22-23 Opponent Tracking Thread

Ramlove81

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Posts
6,530
Likes
10,503
I think what makes Tony Bennett a great coach is the fact that he is not afraid to force his players into an uncomfortable style of play during OOC play. He knows it will only make them better later in the season, especially come NCAA Tournament time.
Yeah, there will be a lot of teams trying to speed them up, press or not. Playing VCU may actually help them there.
I've been clear I don't like Bennett's slow it down tendencies, but he really seems like a good person. Glad we're getting a chance to play them again.
 

RamDanFan

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Posts
1,003
Likes
1,370
"Style of Play" sounds like a convenient excuse (not by our coaches giving cover for other schools, but by the ones from other schools). We don't press like we used to. We play an aggressive defense. We're to believe they don't want to play us because we play aggressive on defense and none of the other schools they play will play them tough on D? Any excuse is a good one to the one saying it, but I'm not buying "style of play."

My comments are not directed at you at all HBK. Thank you for sharing.

No different to playing a Davidson or UR like non con team. Better to see it now than later when we whoop your arse in March because you didnt get to see it all year.
 

Ramaholic

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Posts
1,352
Likes
4,632
I had an occasion within the last week to spend some time with Jimmy Martelli. We spoke about the schedule, and I came away with some information which I can share here. (I will always share things like this when I can, but sometimes I am asked not to share, and I will not break that trust. Example: I knew about Howard a couple of weeks before it was announced, but I was asked not to share it.)

For all the moaning and groaning about our schedule this season, it wasn't for a lack of effort on our part. Here is a list of schools and places we tried to schedule on a "neutral court" this season, and all turned us down (Important note: we tried to get just one of these teams to play, not all of them this season): Baylor in Dallas (mentioned by myself and others a couple of months back), Providence in New Jersey, San Diego State in Phoenix, and any Power 5 in Atlanta. VCU needed a game away from the Stu the weekend of 12/9-12/10 (VCU winter commencement in the Stu on 12/10). They were working with a group who wanted to put on a couple of games and reached out to VCU. Our only criteria was that it had to be a Power 5 school on either 12/9 or 12/10. After some time passed, the group putting on the games called Jimmy and said the best they could do was a non-power school, which was not attractive. The reason given by schools who turn us down is almost always the same: STYLE OF PLAY.

Without a place to play away from the Stu on that December weekend, Howard became the last minute addition as a home game on 12/11. It's a Sunday game only because of the aforementioned graduation ceremonies at the Stu on 12/10.

ODU dropped down to a worse league, so a game with them now does even less for us. One important criteria the selection committee apparently looks at is record against other tournament teams. As Howard is picked to win the MEAC, all things being equal, a home win against Howard may be better for us than a home win against ODU. Sounds crazy on the surface, but when you factor in things the selection committee looks at, it makes some sense.

As mentioned by someone else in another thread, VCU is in the ESPN Orlando MTE next season. Virginia Tech is also in the field. Apparently, that's the only way we'll ever get a chance to play Virginia Tech, absent a Gubernatorial directive. They will not schedule VCU on their own. (Jimmy mentioned some other schools scheduled to be in that tournament, but I'm drawing a blank. Good field is what I remember thinking.)

The Virginia series looks likely to start next season. It was supposed to start this season, but UVA had to change it. Jimmy said UVA is one of the absolute best schools to deal with in this regard. He and Mike hold Bennett and the entire group at UVA in very high regard for how they handle scheduling. Jimmy said lots of schools just lie right to your face and/or don't honor verbal/handshake agreements.

VCU needs to schedule 8 home games in the non-conference each season for season ticket/revenue purposes. The A-10 would like teams to do 9 home games in the non-conference. Some schools do and some don't, it depends on several factors.

Last tidbit: we try to schedule at least one school in the non-conference whose basic offensive principles are similar to UR and Davidson, as they run relatively unique stuff. They want the kids to get some experience against it before seeing it in A-10 play. Given that we typically have four games against Davidson and UR, that makes a lot of sense to me.

Bottom line: the staff tries to schedule as many top teams as possible, but it is challenging. People wonder why Dayton and SLU can get some games that we seemingly cannot. It is NOT about relationships. Mike and his staff have plenty of relationships. It is about style of play, more often than not. More than one school over the years has told Jimmy that they don't want to subject their young, inexperienced PGs to our style of play. If you're the other school, and you won't play any pressing teams in your league, then why schedule VCU. That seems to be their thought process.

Peace all.
i dont think that our schedule is all that bad. In fact, its been pretty good ever since the F4. I believe removing ODU was a mistake. But all in all, the staff seems to put together a big MTE, a game or 2 against a brand name team, some really clever , lesser heard teams that usually finish with a higher than expected net and a couple of cupcakes. All this with 8 or 9 home games.
Now as to relationships, i think you are missing the mark. Getting a better schedule is probably 95% about relationships for VCU. That is why we pull UVA so often for a H/H. We have a good relationship with Bennett. Opposing coaches and teams arent employing some AI algorithm when selecting teams. VCU has a certain profile that is shared by several other schools (rank/ high mid major/...). To land the big games in the non conference you need to have strong enough relationships to convince the school to sign the papers (not just a wink and a handshake). The same does for conference jumping.
That said, I think our coaches do a much better than average job on scheduling and a top notch job on recruiting (which is also relationships). As in all fields, the longer you are in the your position and the longer you have a reputation of being fair and honest, then you will have stronger relationships. If MR stays here 10 years longer, then VCU will be selected more often than not for some of these games we are being elbowed out of now. Why? Because our relationships will be stronger.
Its not because of the style of play and we keep the ball "hot" and try to get downhill.
 

RowdyPkunk

Elite Member
Joined
May 19, 2009
Posts
23,617
Likes
20,934

Looks about right to me. The fight for #4 is going to be fierce. Fordham and Duq are noteable. What a disaster Bilbo has been at Duq.
Yeah 4-7 could all be interchangeable but if I was a betting man 4-5 would be Davidson/Loyola in some order... and 6/7 would be ur/gmu in some order.

Kinda surprised to see Bonnies down at 10.... figured they'd be in the 6-8 range.

If Fordham finishes 9th... thats a really good year for them.
 

VCU Heel

Elite Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Posts
14,547
Likes
18,172

AlienAiden

Elite Member
Insider
Joined
May 3, 2012
Posts
45,868
Likes
145,319
St. Joes hasn't been a regular top team in the conference since the early 2000's. Their record under Martelli since VCU joined the conference was all over the place.
sj hawk would let you know about St Joe’s over the years. The issue they had was the yo yo effect. They tended to have bad years followed by one or maybe two really good ones. The question now is whether they should have held off one year. If they did we would not have gotten Bones and who knows how St Joe’s would have done. Hindsight is 20/20. Lange has been recruiting well this off-season.
 

VCU Heel

Elite Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Posts
14,547
Likes
18,172
St. Joes hasn't been a regular top team in the conference since the early 2000's. Their record under Martelli since VCU joined the conference was all over the place.
They have 2 conference championship since we joined. Both by beating us in the A10 championship game. They were certainly up and down a bit, but now they’re a complete dumpster fire. They’ve finished last or next to last each of the 3 years since they got rid of Martelli and have the worse record (10-38) in the A10 over those 3 years. And now they’re picked to finish last in the A10 again this season. As much crap as people talk about Duquesne, Fordham, and La Salle, St. Joe’s is the worst program in the conference right now.
 

mrgeode

Top Tuna
Elite Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Posts
10,595
Likes
22,981
Maybe, at least we would like to think so, but I don't think they will be as bad as some fans think
They're bums and they were bums last year. The thing is if you give a bum enough tries eventually they'll win, and that particular set of bums got an unprecedented number of tries to win a conference tournament and did so. Good on them.
 
Top