A few more sentences and then we focus on Winthrop.
Yesterday's bleary-eyed recap failed to include the handing out of the VCU Stars of the Game. (And by "failed to include" I mean "forgot to write.") So here we go:
*** Juvonte Reddic. I shudder to think how that game turns out if Reddic isn't knocking down 10-foot baseline jumpers and 18-foot key jumpers. Remember, he was 6-7 from the line, too, in the game's first 39:59.05. I smile when I consider Smart doesn't think Ju played a good game.
** Darius Theus. Reference point: With Troy Daniels in the locker room and VCU trailing by three, Theus swished a game-tying three with 27 seconds to play. Onions! Its greatest impact may be seen in January or February, when the situation presents itself again. Confidence.
* Troy Daniels. All you think about with Daniels is his shooting. However he grabbed six rebounds Tuesday night, many because of textbook boxout technique. Smart said coming into the season Daniels needed to be a better rebounder. Mark this game.
Quick primer on statistics you will read constantly here...I'm a big fan of rebounding percentage versus rebound margin. By using the percentage of available rebounds, you get a better gauge of who's truly winning the battle of the boards.
Short version as to why: the pace of a game and the number of shots missed can impact rebound margin in ways that skew reality. The percentage of available rebounds levels out that influence.
Tuesday is a good example. VCU battled Wichita State to a 38-38 stalemate, including a narrow 14-13 loss on the offensive glass. However it sure "felt" like WSU did more damage. That's because they did.
Wichita State grabbed 36.1% of its misses, while VCU grabbed just 29.0% of its bricks. To give you scale, that WSU number was a top 35 in the nation last year. That VCU 29.0% number would have finished about 275th. Last year VCU grabbed 33.4% of its misses, good for 132nd.
Quick translation: VCU grabbed an offensive rebound a little shy of three in 10 times. WSU grabbed an offensive rebound a little shy of four in 10 times. That's an extra possession, probably at point blank range. We lost by two points.
I also love turnover rate for the same reason. The goal of havoc is to get extra possessions. It stands to reason that the percentage of possessions that end in a turnover is a critical statistic to measure our success.
And finally, I like to use offensive points per possession, and defensive points per possession. Those are the statistical summary of many factors and a great indicator of how well we're executing. Again, havoc is predicated on posssessions, so the more points per possession we score and the fewer we give up, the better.
On Tuesday, VCU scored 0.786ppp and gave up 0.820ppp. The general dividing line between acceptable and unacceptable is 1.000. So yes, it was a defensive war.
Generally speaking, I avoid the whole recruiting end of things. So here's what I've got on that front:
<span style="text-decoration:underline;">News:</span> VCU signed all three verbal commits. Jarius Lyles, JeQuan Lewis, and Antrevious Simmons.