The state of Ramnation

Apr 21, 2009
8,639
8,975
A friend of mine who knows college basketball asked me last night what VCUs biggest issue is this year? I told him that overall the team has been out of sync for a reason that is unknown, but what absolutely KILLS us when an opponent takes the lead is that we lack a “get-a-bucket-guy.” Typically a guard or slasher is going to be that guy on the team. Evans was the man last year, but his injuries have affected him this year. I love DJ’s improvement this season, but he’s still not an alpha. And that’s about it.

I’ve watched VCU basketball since 1999 and we’ve been luck enough to have the likes of Dominic Jones, Michael Doles, Eric Maynor, Brandon Rozzell, Bradford Burgess, Treveon Graham, Melvin Johnson, and JeQuan Lewis to name a few. Those guys would put the ball in the darn hoop when an opponent had momentum.

Maybe a few of our freshman have that gene and I love the recruits we have coming in next year, but I just don’t see a member of the senior class having that gene built inside them.

I know we are all frustrated with the way the team is playing. Thoughts on my opinion?
Out of sync is the best description. Something just seems off about this year's team.
 

HBK

Top Member
Mar 29, 2010
4,263
9,390
A friend of mine who knows college basketball asked me last night what VCUs biggest issue is this year? I told him that overall the team has been out of sync for a reason that is unknown, but what absolutely KILLS us when an opponent takes the lead is that we lack a “get-a-bucket-guy.” Typically a guard or slasher is going to be that guy on the team. Evans was the man last year, but his injuries have affected him this year. I love DJ’s improvement this season, but he’s still not an alpha. And that’s about it.

I’ve watched VCU basketball since 1999 and we’ve been luck enough to have the likes of Dominic Jones, Michael Doles, Eric Maynor, Brandon Rozzell, Bradford Burgess, Treveon Graham, Melvin Johnson, and JeQuan Lewis to name a few. Those guys would put the ball in the darn hoop when an opponent had momentum.

Maybe a few of our freshman have that gene and I love the recruits we have coming in next year, but I just don’t see a member of the senior class having that gene built inside them.

I know we are all frustrated with the way the team is playing. Thoughts on my opinion?
I feel like we aren’t mentally tough as a team. In years past, more often than not, we always through the first punch in a game. If we didn’t, then we sure as heck counter-punched quickly. This season, all of our losses since the Florida trip have similar looks: the opponent throws a punch and another and another. We don’t counter, and it seems as if we have neither energy nor urgency. Next thing you know, the opponent is on a 17-0 run, and we find ourselves down huge. Then, we wake up and start throwing our own punches, but it’s too late. Sometimes, the lull is in the first half (at UR, at Wichita, and both Rhody games) and sometimes it is in the 2nd half (at Dayton and Mason).

Earlier in the season, I felt like this team thought they could just flip a switch and go on a big run whenever they felt like it. The mindset was: ‘no worries, we’ll just go on a run and win at some point’. Teams just cannot do that consistently.

Now, I think this team lacks confidence. They’ve gone 11-8 in the past 19 games. I didn’t think they’d lose 8 during the entire regular season, and you know they didn’t. Now, no games are gimmes. This team could win the remaining 6 or lose the remaining 6.
 

HBK

Top Member
Mar 29, 2010
4,263
9,390
Out of sync is the best description. Something just seems off about this year's team.
My buddy has been saying that since the Alabama State game. Something is just off. I’m sure that’s frustrating for the coaches and players. Apparently, no one can put a finger on it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: northernvatiger
Jan 1, 2010
4,029
3,558
1581858581914.png

Starts with Recruiting - If I remember correctly NOT ONE of the players in this gif were over 3stars...Shaka and HIS Team had an eye for talent, character and GETTING them on the court THEN, Shaka getting them to buy into the system...

I am Guessing (based on twitter posts etc...) that THIS current senior roster has not bought in THIS year. Things MAY have started going wrong and the team IMO "giving in" instead of trying to "Overcome"... that's a character issue.

Unfortunately IF this is the case - they will regret this choice years from now
To use MR's "ARMY" reference: FIGHT don't RETREAT
 

HBK

Top Member
Mar 29, 2010
4,263
9,390
It’s also very different playing with low expectations versus playing with high expectations. Last year expectations were low and we played with a looseness. It wasn’t always pretty, but we just played. This season it sure seems like the high expectations have been an albatross around this team’s neck. Even in many of the wins, it just feels like the team is tight. Trying not to lose instead of playing to win.
 

Mistachill

Top Member
Apr 20, 2009
17,315
28,797
Overachieving in a bad A10 last year caused preseason prediction to be a little high. We can all agree on that. But still, even in a lot of wins we kinda just don’t look good either.
People keep saying that, but last year's OOC schedule we only played one team who ended up with a losing record (Hampton at 15-17), 9 teams who ended up winning 20 games or more, six teams with a NET under 100 (plus ODU at 100 and Charleston at 107) and ultimately the national champions. So yeah, the A10 was down last year but we also played a very competitive OOC schedule.
 

VCU85

Top Member
Jan 26, 2016
3,918
6,205
People keep saying that, but last year's OOC schedule we only played one team who ended up with a losing record (Hampton at 15-17), 9 teams who ended up winning 20 games or more, six teams with a NET under 100 (plus ODU at 100 and Charleston at 107) and ultimately the national champions. So yeah, the A10 was down last year but we also played a very competitive OOC schedule.
Yep, they won games last year as a team. Last season they don't lose the GM game, they don't get embarrassed at FUR.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mistachill
Apr 19, 2009
942
1,137
Yep, they won games last year as a team. Last season they don't lose the GM game, they don't get embarrassed at FUR.
Nah, the offense was crap last year too. Evans was the difference maker. The team couldn’t do anything without him in the game. It was the old pass it around and give it back to Evans and hope he makes a play. The difference between this year and last year is that he was carrying the team on his back, this year he hasn’t been able to.
 

VCU85

Top Member
Jan 26, 2016
3,918
6,205
Nah, the offense was crap last year too. Evans was the difference maker. The team couldn’t do anything without him in the game. It was the old pass it around and give it back to Evans and hope he makes a play. The difference between this year and last year is that he was carrying the team on his back, this year he hasn’t been able to.
And yet, they managed to run off a string of 12 wins I believe. GM wasn't much worse last year really, FUR wasn't as strong, but always a dangerous rival. And yes, ME was more effective last season, you're 100% correct there. Sucks seeing a kid struggle like that.
 

Mistachill

Top Member
Apr 20, 2009
17,315
28,797
Nah, the offense was crap last year too. Evans was the difference maker. The team couldn’t do anything without him in the game. It was the old pass it around and give it back to Evans and hope he makes a play. The difference between this year and last year is that he was carrying the team on his back, this year he hasn’t been able to.
But the defense was on point to offset any offensive deficiencies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mrA10

HBK

Top Member
Mar 29, 2010
4,263
9,390
An interesting side note to the game yesterday was the lack of playing time for some older guys. Douglas got 4 minutes, Simms got 7 and Crowfield got 8. None of the three had foul problems. Compare that to some of the young guys: Ward got 8 minutes, Clark got 10, and McAllister got 13. Counting Bones, freshman got 51 of the 200 minutes on the court.
 
Mar 2, 2014
2,388
3,164
Why even play Crow? He is a shooter that takes 1 shot a game. Shouldn't he be a leader on this team? I will say I don't understand why Douglas only played 4. Simms is hot and cold.