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Kenpom computers pick VCU seventh in A-10 preseason rankings

Ken Pomeroy’s comps have ran the numbers and have the black and gold seventh in their Atlantic 10 preseason rankings. The Rams are predicted at 97th nationally, down from last year’s No.73 ranking and behind Saint Louis (45), Dayton (49), Richmond (62), St. Bonaventure (76), Davidson (80) and Duquesne (84).

Kenpom A-10 Preseason Rankings

  1. Saint Louis (45)
  2. Dayton (49)
  3. Richmond (62)
  4. St. Bonaventure (76)
  5. Davidson (80)
  6. Duquesne (84)
  7. VCU (97)
  8. Rhode Island (98)
  9. George Mason (112)
  10. UMass (125)
  11. La Salle (151)
  12. Saint Joseph’s (160)
  13. Fordham (166)
  14. GW (193)

The Rams replace six players from last season’s team including four senior starters and junior transfer, Marcus Santos-Silva, who graduated early and will finish his career at Texas Tech.

Kenpom’s computers predict the Rams will take a hit offensively with a predicted offensive efficiency of 98.9 (down from 104.7 last season), what would be VCU’s worst offense since kenpom began tracking teams back in 2002 (writer’s prediction: no way that happens and VCU will be improved offensively over last season’s team).

Pomeroy’s site does however predicted an improved defense, with an efficiency of 91.5, essentially a top-10 national caliber defense (in-fairness writer’s prediction: not sure I see that happening either!)

With the Rams replacing so many players, all the numbers could change drastically if and when the season actually gets underway.

The  Rams will participate in a Black & Gold “event” this season Nov 17 at 7PM. No word on VCU’s opening season game yet, but the Rams are reportedly competing in a Thanksgiving weekend event in Knoxville that will include Tennessee and Charlotte from Nov 25-27, Jeff Goodman reporting the Rams tipping it up against the 49ers Nov 26, followed by a Black Friday matchup with the hosting Vols.

 

 

VCU School of the Arts (BFA '07) and Center for Sport Leadership (M.Ed. '10) alumnus, Mat has followed VCU basketball since the Sunbelt days when he'd...

GuardTheArc

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Dec 4, 2014
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Our offensive efficiency is going down from last year....yikes

The predicted offensive efficiency rank of 150 is just a little worse than last yr (138) but our all-time worst is 177 under Mike in 2019.

The defensive efficiency rank of 68 is also a little worse than last yr (45).

The overall KP efficiency rank of 97 is a little worse than last yr (73) as a result.

All of these are about as expected.

The KP tempo increase is crazy (and likely not realistic). We played at a 69 possession pace last yr (rank of 134). This year, KP models us at 73 possessions per game (rank of 94) -- a more upbeat/frenetic pace.......increase of 4 possessions per game. That's a lot (and likely not happening).

Frankly, KP expects us to be one of the worst offensive teams in the A-10 and one of the best defensive teams in the league. We will also play very fast/up-tempo (much more than usual).............we've never played at a 73 possession pace.........even in our Havoc heyday.

KP expects our games to be super fast but also super low-scoring...........which translates to super sloppy.

Interesting.........initially his model has an average 2021 tempo/pace of 72 possessions per game across the NCAA. Last yr it was 68.4 possessions. That's an enormous leap. I'm sure there'll be some smoothing/regression. At the same time, even with all these extra possessions, his model suggests lower offensive efficiency across the NCAA. 98.9 points per 100 possessions is good for a 150 rank in 2021. In 2020, that same (98.9) rate was ranked 240.

At the outset at least, KP is expecting fast-paced, turnover-laden, brick-laying, slopfests.
 

TampaKAP

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The predicted offensive efficiency rank of 150 is just a little worse than last yr (138) but our all-time worst is 177 under Mike in 2019.

The defensive efficiency rank of 68 is also a little worse than last yr (45).

The overall KP efficiency rank of 97 is a little worse than last yr (73) as a result.

All of these are about as expected.

The KP tempo increase is crazy (and likely not realistic). We played at a 69 possession pace last yr (rank of 134). This year, KP models us at 73 possessions per game (rank of 94) -- a more upbeat/frenetic pace.......increase of 4 possessions per game. That's a lot (and likely not happening).

Frankly, KP expects us to be one of the worst offensive teams in the A-10 and one of the best defensive teams in the league. We will also play very fast/up-tempo (much more than usual).............we've never played at a 73 possession pace.........even in our Havoc heyday.

KP expects our games to be super fast but also super low-scoring...........which translates to super sloppy.

Interesting.........initially his model has an average 2021 tempo/pace of 72 possessions per game across the NCAA. Last yr it was 68.4 possessions. That's an enormous leap. I'm sure there'll be some smoothing/regression. At the same time, even with all these extra possessions, his model suggests lower offensive efficiency across the NCAA. 98.9 points per 100 possessions is good for a 150 rank in 2021. In 2020, that same (98.9) rate was ranked 240.

At the outset at least, KP is expecting fast-paced, turnover-laden, brick-laying, slopfests.
How does the tempo compare to when the staff was at Rice because it feels like that is what they are aim to achieve just listening to MR
 

mrgeode

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How does the tempo compare to when the staff was at Rice because it feels like that is what they are aim to achieve just listening to MR
72.7 adjusted tempo Mike's last year there, good for 17th fastest pace that year. 68 or so the year before that
 

mrgeode

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Thanks so that would align with what the KP prediction and what I am reading out of the staff
Yeah, I think Mike would clearly like to play faster if possible, or at least get out on the break quickly.

I'm also not sure I buy the projected average pace nationally or our offensive rating, because A: it's always slower in college, and B: I'm apparently an optimist.
 
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PRock

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Yeah, I think Mike would clearly like to play faster if possible, or at least get out on the break quickly.

I'm also not sure I buy the projected average pace nationally or our offensive rating, because A: it's always slower in college, and B: I'm apparently an optimist.

C) the teams we play have an impact on pace, the entire A10 played in the 60s except for Rhody and Joes.

For us to hit ~73, hopefully we are turning people over at an even better rate.
 
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