2011-Present: What a run....

Mar 19, 2014
894
2,366
This isn't meant to be a rah rah, big picture perspective post.... Just more of a reflective one. I know everybody is really bummed out about how this season is turning out, and I'm included. However to some degree, this season has allowed me to catch my breath and really look back and admire all that VCU Basketball has accomplished in the past 7 years.

Saturday sucked. It felt like we bottomed out. Barring a last second miracle in the A10 tourney, I think we can call this one. This season, or one like it, was always inevitable. It got me thinking this morning, we have been one of the big dogs, nationally relevant, for the past 7 years since 2011. Not even most of the so called power conference schools can claim that level of relevance, certainly not the teams like the ones Coach Smart and Wade left for.

I just started thinking about when this run started, and how much has changed since then. We went to the Final Four and became the America's Cinderella! We jumped from the CAA to the A10, a major profile move for us, and we took advantage of it every year. We took every bit of the money and national recognition and built a brand, and a brand new basketball facility. In 2011, it was a chore to watch VCU on TV. Now every game is televised, many nationally. We are known all around the country. We win 20 plus games every year, we've been to 7 (!) straight NCAA Tourneys! We had the number 1 team in the country in our gym this year! It's just all so unbelievable to me as somebody that's been following this team since I started at VCU back in 1994.

I know this season has sucked, we were probably due, and I feel bad for all the guys, especially Tillman and Johnny, but even they got to taste what it was like to be nationally relevant almost their entire time here. As a program, VCU is light years away from where they were when this run started.

So while this season has sucked, it may be a good time for everybody to catch their breath and regroup. sit back, reflect on the amazing run we all just got to watch. Hope and know that we'll be back. Here's to another 7 years of prolonged success. Who knows where we'll be at then end of the next one.
 

duncanlamb

Top Member
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Apr 22, 2009
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This isn't meant to be a rah rah, big picture perspective post.... Just more of a reflective one. I know everybody is really bummed out about how this season is turning out, and I'm included. However to some degree, this season has allowed me to catch my breath and really look back and admire all that VCU Basketball has accomplished in the past 7 years.

Saturday sucked. It felt like we bottomed out. Barring a last second miracle in the A10 tourney, I think we can call this one. This season, or one like it, was always inevitable. It got me thinking this morning, we have been one of the big dogs, nationally relevant, for the past 7 years since 2011. Not even most of the so called power conference schools can claim that level of relevance, certainly not the teams like the ones Coach Smart and Wade left for.

I just started thinking about when this run started, and how much has changed since then. We went to the Final Four and became the America's Cinderella! We jumped from the CAA to the A10, a major profile move for us, and we took advantage of it every year. We took every bit of the money and national recognition and built a brand, and a brand new basketball facility. In 2011, it was a chore to watch VCU on TV. Now every game is televised, many nationally. We are known all around the country. We win 20 plus games every year, we've been to 7 (!) straight NCAA Tourneys! We had the number 1 team in the country in our gym this year! It's just all so unbelievable to me as somebody that's been following this team since I started at VCU back in 1994.

I know this season has sucked, we were probably due, and I feel bad for all the guys, especially Tillman and Johnny, but even they got to taste what it was like to be nationally relevant almost their entire time here. As a program, VCU is light years away from where they were when this run started.

So while this season has sucked, it may be a good time for everybody to catch their breath and regroup. sit back, reflect on the amazing run we all just got to watch. Hope and know that we'll be back. Here's to another 7 years of prolonged success. Who knows where we'll be at then end of the next one.
The stretch actually goes back 2004.
 

Mistachill

Top Member
Apr 20, 2009
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28,796
I understand the sentiment but geez I guess folks may be too young to remember 1997-98? That and the season afterwards when the Siegel Center was a year behind schedule and we were scrambling to find places to play our home games. That is rock bottom and we're a long way from that.

A bump in the road. If anybody expected smooth sailing until eternity I don't know what to tell ya.
 
Mar 19, 2014
894
2,366
I understand the sentiment but geez I guess folks may be too young to remember 1997-98? That and the season afterwards when the Siegel Center was a year behind schedule and we were scrambling to find places to play our home games. That is rock bottom and we're a long way from that.

A bump in the road. If anybody expected smooth sailing until eternity I don't know what to tell ya.
Just to clarify, I didn't say we've hit rock bottom, I meant we've bottomed out from this run.

Meaning the magic was gone. We could still pull a rabbit out of a hat last year.
 

fmrick

Top Member
Insider
Apr 19, 2009
3,021
4,816
I understand the sentiment but geez I guess folks may be too young to remember 1997-98? That and the season afterwards when the Siegel Center was a year behind schedule and we were scrambling to find places to play our home games. That is rock bottom and we're a long way from that.

A bump in the road. If anybody expected smooth sailing until eternity I don't know what to tell ya.
Well, they just don't know. We do.

The fact is that the building of this program for the second time (the first being in the 80's) started when Mac was hired to replace Sonny. It is my understanding that many of the stables of the VCU program that we enjoy today were started because of Mac. He told them that if he was to come here certain things were required. A band. A dance team. Things like that, things that made a PROGRAM, not just a basketball team. The building was already under construction. We starting moving in the right direction.

When the building was being built, we had fewer than a 500 donors, most giving what they could, but not as much as necessary. There was no Commonwealth Room, no Founder's Room. In fact, pre and post game fan gatherings were done by The Rams Club. The Rams Club was set up and run by FANS, not the school. Bus trip were there for many away games, but were set up and paid for by FANS, not the school. Often a few fans would take the loss on these trips until the Rams Club stepped up and started to sponsor them. I could go on, but you get the point.

So you can sit and say that the last seven years have been good (the have), but the seeds of this program we sown long ago, when things were not so good, but a few stepped up and did the things that laid the groundwork and made it what it is today. It took a lot of heart to go to games on the road knowing that we would usually lose. But the "VCU fans travel well" was not started in the past 7 year. We were always there. And we will continue to be, no matter what is going on on the court.
 

Mistachill

Top Member
Apr 20, 2009
17,315
28,796
Just to clarify, I didn't say we've hit rock bottom, I meant we've bottomed out from this run.

Meaning the magic was gone. We could still pull a rabbit out of a hat last year.
For me I consider our "run" starting with Capel. I view it as one continuous run even if we had a couple of non-tournament seasons mixed in. The "streak" certainly ends (maybe), but unless we go on an extended tournament drought I wouldn't consider this the end of the "run." Just my perspective.
 

Mistachill

Top Member
Apr 20, 2009
17,315
28,796
Well, they just don't know. We do.

The fact is that the building of this program for the second time (the first being in the 80's) started when Mac was hired to replace Sonny. It is my understanding that many of the stables of the VCU program that we enjoy today were started because of Mac. He told them that if he was to come here certain things were required. A band. A dance team. Things like that, things that made a PROGRAM, not just a basketball team. The building was already under construction. We starting moving in the right direction.

When the building was being built, we had fewer than a 500 donors, most giving what they could, but not as much as necessary. There was no Commonwealth Room, no Founder's Room. In fact, pre and post game fan gatherings were done by The Rams Club. The Rams Club was set up and run by FANS, not the school. Bus trip were there for many away games, but were set up and paid for by FANS, not the school. Often a few fans would take the loss on these trips until the Rams Club stepped up and started to sponsor them. I could go on, but you get the point.

So you can sit and say that the last seven years have been good (the have), but the seeds of this program we sown long ago, when things were not so good, but a few stepped up and did the things that laid the groundwork and made it what it is today. It took a lot of heart to go to games on the road knowing that we would usually lose. But the "VCU fans travel well" was not started in the past 7 year. We were always there. And we will continue to be, no matter what is going on on the court.
Yeah, that's why I cringe when folks are dismissive of the folks who have been in the mix well before the final four. When you're familiar with your roots it gives your a clearer perspective on things.
 
Mar 19, 2014
894
2,366
For me I consider our "run" starting with Capel. I view it as one continuous run even if we had a couple of non-tournament seasons mixed in. The "streak" certainly ends, but unless we go on an extended tournament drought I wouldn't consider this the end of the "run." Just my perspective.
That's fair, I don't view this as the end. Only a regroup. Yes, the "run" had it's roots much earlier than Shaka...

I just feel like where we were in 2011 to where we are now was just exponentially a bigger jump the previous seasons. Of course it is all relevant.
 
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Mistachill

Top Member
Apr 20, 2009
17,315
28,796
That's fair, I don't view this as the end. Only a regroup. Yes, the "run" had it's roots much earlier than Shaka...

I just feel like where we were in 2011 to where we are now was just exponentially a bigger jump the previous seasons. Of course it is all relevant.
Like I said, I understand the sentiment. We need to understand the trip has been smoother than for most schools so far and lets just ride out this rough patch of road and we'll soon hit paved highway again.
 
Mar 19, 2014
894
2,366
Well, they just don't know. We do.

The fact is that the building of this program for the second time (the first being in the 80's) started when Mac was hired to replace Sonny. It is my understanding that many of the stables of the VCU program that we enjoy today were started because of Mac. He told them that if he was to come here certain things were required. A band. A dance team. Things like that, things that made a PROGRAM, not just a basketball team. The building was already under construction. We starting moving in the right direction.

When the building was being built, we had fewer than a 500 donors, most giving what they could, but not as much as necessary. There was no Commonwealth Room, no Founder's Room. In fact, pre and post game fan gatherings were done by The Rams Club. The Rams Club was set up and run by FANS, not the school. Bus trip were there for many away games, but were set up and paid for by FANS, not the school. Often a few fans would take the loss on these trips until the Rams Club stepped up and started to sponsor them. I could go on, but you get the point.

So you can sit and say that the last seven years have been good (the have), but the seeds of this program we sown long ago, when things were not so good, but a few stepped up and did the things that laid the groundwork and made it what it is today. It took a lot of heart to go to games on the road knowing that we would usually lose. But the "VCU fans travel well" was not started in the past 7 year. We were always there. And we will continue to be, no matter what is going on on the court.
I fully acknowledge VCU's basketball history before 2011. If my post came off as dismissive of that, that was not my intent.

When I came to VCU in 1994, I had never heard of it. I was an artist and obviously was steered here for the Art Program. When I told my friend's dad I was accepted, first thing out of his mouth was "good basketball program". I was in the Coliseum when they won the CAA in 1996.

I took a half day off work and sat in my apartment in Northern VA to watch Eric Maynor's dagger live in 2007.

I was pissed when I heard on Richmond radio that Joey Rodriguez had decided to leave the program to return to Flordia when Shaka was hired, only to change his mind.

All I was doing was just acknowledging the accomplishment of 7 straight tournament appearances and all of the other crazy numbers that occurred for seven straight years. Nothing more, nothing less, and certainly am not discounting anything that happened prior.