Game Preview: VCU at Memphis

VCU faces their toughest test of the young season today and currently on paper, the toughest they’ll face all year, when visiting the Memphis Tigers at 5PM. The two last met in South Dakota two years ago, a surprise 70-59 Rams win despite an off shooting night from talented sophomore guard, Bones Hyland (1-7 from distance). This year’s transfer-heavy Tigers squad is almost completely unrecognizable from the one that VCU team faced and is looking to get back to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season. To do so however, they’ll hope to not add a two-game losing streak to the Atlantic 10 to their resume, while the Rams are hoping to pick up their first good win of the season.

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A two-time graduate of VCU (School of the Arts '07, Center for Sport Leadership '10), Mat is a co-founder of VCU Ram Nation and a longtime fan as the ...
A nugget from today's preview for those of you who aren't cool enough to subscribe:

"Ultimately the Rams ceiling — and perhaps the result tonight — will be determined by their ability to figure things out on offense. Rhoades and Co. have never, I repeat…NEVER…had a top-100 offense during their six seasons so far at VCU (currently ranked 190th in adjusted offensive efficiency), their highest ranking coming in 2021 at 122nd nationally with not one, but two future NBA players (Bones Hyland and Vince Williams) on the roster. Both Will Wade teams had top-100 offenses. Shaka Smart’s groups had top-100 offenses five out of their six years (yes, that includes time with Rhoades as an assistant), two of Anthony Grant’s three VCU teams were top-100 on O and even Jeff Capel, yes JEFF CAPEL, managed to crack the top-100 on offense. Most of those groups had CAA recruits on the roster and didn’t have the benefits of a post-Final 4 recruiting advantage or multimillion dollar practice facility to bring recruits to.

To me this is a bit of a microscope season for Rhoades on that side of the ball. I’ve heard a slew of people talk about how this is one of the deepest and most talented rosters we’ve had at VCU and heck, I know I’ve even said it myself. If that’s the case, is it too much to ask of this coaching staff — which to their credit, brought these dudes in AND have been on of the best DEFENSIVE coaching groups the last six years in college hoops — to figure out a way to bring some offensive efficiency to VCU? Tonight would be a great time to start. If not, that 10-point Memphis favorite betting line could have ended up looking generous toward the Rams come about 7PM when 40 minutes of play is up."

Well...looks like it's heading toward that last line being sadly too true.