Kenpom.com, the wildly popular basketball analytics website, has penciled VCU in as the 94th best team in the nation heading into the season. Pomeroy’s numbers are a non-biased prediction based on returning talent combined with a predicted adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency.
The Rams started last season as the 97th best team before eventually finishing 63rd in the standings. They started 90th the season before than and finished 48th, a season after being predicted 23rd and finishing 73rd.
Pomeroy’s computers predict an 18-12 record of the known games (the Rams will pick up an additional game at the Legends Classic in Brooklyn next month) and tied for fourth with Richmond and George Mason in the Atlantic 10 with a 10-8 record behind Dayton (14-4), Saint Louis (13-5) and conference newcomer, Loyola Chicago, at 12-6.
The Rams lost seven players from this past season including NBA draftee, Vince Williams, as well as key defensive big man, Hason Ward (transfer to Iowa State).
VCU can quick change that predicted ranking by outperforming it’s game-1 prediction against Manhattan. Pomeroy’s computers have the Rams defeating the MAAC preseason No.2 Manhattan Jaspers by 11 at the Siegel Center on Nov 7, but that experienced group has now lost their coach as of yesterday and is facing a slew of late transfer portal entries due to that decision by Athletic Director, Marianne Riley, including MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, Jose Perez, who texted his intention to leave the program yesterday to Zagsblog’s Adam Zagoria following Steve Masiello’s firing.
Manhattan looked to be a potentially sneaky tough opening game opponent, but reports are upwards of seven Jaspers may end up transferring, sending what would be an out of sorts MAAC opponent into the lions den that is the Siegel Center on Nov 7.