The state of Ramnation

Half-baked Mcbride

Top Member
Apr 19, 2009
9,545
18,511
We ended up in every A10 championship from our first year until a few years ago but we’re not a top flight A10 program? Um ok...
Yea, that's my point....VCU has run roughshod over the A10 since we entered. But THIS year? Not top flight....flailing, frankly. Considering the preseason hopes and hype? It makes the whole current situation all the harder to swallow. Unless you think that THIS years VCU Rams can still be considered a "top flight" team?
 
  • Like
Reactions: RamBo

RamBo

Top Member
Apr 21, 2009
10,000
20,606
Yea, that's my point....VCU has run roughshod over the A10 since we entered. But THIS year? Not top flight....flailing, frankly. Considering the preseason hopes and hype? It makes the whole current situation all the harder to swallow. Unless you think that THIS years VCU Rams can still be considered a "top flight" team?
You are absolutely right, and this is well-stated. I read it right - the first time you posted it. We are, and have been a Top-Flight A-10 Program. We have made, and still do make this Conference better. We are now one of the Foundations of this Conference. I'm really proud of that. And I'm a 42-Year Fan. Since I was about 7 Y/O. You cut me open.... you'll see a ton of black and gold. I've been here through almost all of it - except maybe the (actual) very beginning. And my Dad was here for that - so I get all those "foundational" stories from him - and from his Friends.

Yep. I'm here to stay. I'm proud of being a VCU Ram. I'm also a grad - like my Father before me. We are VCU People. It's in our DNA. It goes way deeper than just being a Fan. And so no. I'm not going anywhere. Period.

But I've got the equity in this thing to have earned the privilege to say how I feel. And here is how I feel about this Team: There is absolutely nothing "Flagship" about this (year's) Team. Nothing. Zero. That is a designation that is earned. And these guys have not even come close to earning that. This Team is an underachieving mess. This is a 6th place Team, if we're lucky, at this point. And that's a shame. It's a shame that this Senior Class has decided to go out like this. I definitely over-rated the Team in the off-season / pre-season. I gleaned too much from last year's dominance. I guess the league really was "down" that much. More than I thought. And we won all the gimme games, and the Kids blew up with confidence. But the real truth is.... I over-rated the real talent level. I really did.

More truth: This is the worst Senior Class performance I have ever seen from a VCU basketball roster. Collectively, they have stunk up the joint - and just played bad basketball. The only guy I give a pass to on that..... is Kel Simms. He's given us everything he's got - IMHO. He's played solid ball - and then some, and played all the way to his talent potential. He's maxed out. I'm proud of Kel. DJ is a close second. He's been solid. He's been steady. But he never rose to the occasion, and blew up like we thought he (eventually) would. The rest..... terrible senior basketball. Low I-Q basketball. And they are not low I-Q guys. They're smart young Men. That's why it makes me scratch my head. Anyway - what a way to go out. The Richmond game.... wow! Pretty obvious at this point... they've cashed it in. They know they are out of the NCAA Tournament now, and so they're done.

These guys set a trend for themselves early in the year, and they have followed through on it. They play bad Teams. They generally win. They play a good Team. They lose. And lately... we even find a way to lose to a 2-and-8 George Mason Team. At home - and get out-rebounded by 20! Wow. Yep. This season has just plain sucked. I'm looking for a better word... but I can't find one. One of, if not the most disappointing year in VCU Basketball history, IMHO. A huge let-down.

Now, as I said earlier..... I'm not going anywhere. You don't bail when things don't go your way. But I've got to get a little of this off my chest. By the way.... the Staff, and specifically Mike, do not get a pass on any of this. A terrible job of bringing them together this year. But that's a tough one for me. The Coach doesn't shoot the free-throws. The Coach doesn't decide whether or not each player brings his A-Game or not. Brings the energy or not. Each player does that himself. The Coach doesn't shoot the 3-balls. He doesn't bring the ball up the court, or make entry passes. Etc, etc. I was unbelievably impressed with Mike last year, when we won- and how he put this Team together so quickly. So I'm not bailing after one bad season, even though it's hard to explain, with the senior-laden Team we've had. I still dig Mike. And I am also super excited about the younger players on this Team - as well as the recruits we've got coming in. Mike's going to have to ramp it up though - that's for sure, if he wants to keep up with A-G and some of the others. They're coming. And he needs to find a way to pick up a few more big-game wins here and there. Anyway - I'm still stoked to be a Ram. And a die-hard Ram-Fan. But I had to vent a little.
 
Last edited:

RESRam

Insider
Apr 21, 2009
1,170
1,019
Wow RamBo! So well written and considered. I’m with you 1000%. Hope at some point we’ll all be given a peak under the kimono to better understand what happened this year. Soooo looking forward to next year’s team and the talent we return and bring in.
 
Last edited:

rvaram

Top Member
Mar 26, 2012
3,161
4,999
You are absolutely right, and this is well-stated. I read it right - the first time you posted it. We are, and have been a Top-Flight A-10 Program. We have made, and still do make this Conference better. We are now one of the Foundations of this Conference. I'm really proud of that. And I'm a 42-Year Fan. Since I was about 7 Y/O. You cut me open.... you'll see a ton of black and gold. I've been here through almost all of it - except maybe the (actual) very beginning. And my Dad was here for that - so I get all those "foundational" stories from him - and from his Friends.

Yep. I'm here to stay. I'm proud of being a VCU Ram. I'm also a grad - like my Father before me. We are VCU People. It's in our DNA. It goes way deeper than just being a Fan. And so no. I'm not going anywhere. Period.

But I've got the equity in this thing to have earned the privilege to say how I feel. And here is how I feel about this Team: There is absolutely nothing "Flagship" about this (year's) Team. Nothing. Zero. That is a designation that is earned. And these guys have not even come close to earning that. This Team is an underachieving mess. This is a 6th place Team, if we're lucky, at this point. And that's a shame. It's a shame that this Senior Class has decided to go out like this. I definitely over-rated the Team in the off-season / pre-season. I gleaned too much from last year's dominance. I guess the league really was "down" that much. More than I thought. And we won all the gimme games, and the Kids blew up with confidence. But the real truth is.... I over-rated the real talent level. I really did.

More truth: This is the worst Senior Class performance I have ever seen from a VCU basketball roster. Collectively, they have stunk up the joint - and just played bad basketball. The only guy I give a pass to on that..... is Kel Simms. He's given us everything he's got - IMHO. He's played solid ball - and then some, and played all the way to his talent potential. He's maxed out. I'm proud of Kel. DJ is a close second. He's been solid. He's been steady. But he never rose to the occasion, and blew up like we thought he (eventually) would. The rest..... terrible senior basketball. Low I-Q basketball. And they are not low I-Q guys. They're smart young Men. That's why it makes me scratch my head. Anyway - what a way to go out. The Richmond game.... wow! Pretty obvious at this point... they've cashed it in. They know they are out of the NCAA Tournament now, and so they're done.

These guys set a trend for themselves early in the year, and they have followed through on it. They play bad Teams. They generally win. They play a good Team. They lose. And lately... we even find a way to lose to a 2-and-8 George Mason Team. At home - and get out-rebounded by 20! Wow. Yep. This season has just plain sucked. I'm looking for a better word... but I can't find one. One of, if not the most disappointing years in VCU Basketball history, IMHO. A huge let-down.

Now, as I said earlier..... I'm not going anywhere. You don't bail when things don't go your way. But I've got to get a little of this off my chest. By the way.... the Staff, and specifically Mike, do not get a pass on any of this. A terrible job of bringing them together this year. But that's a tough one for me. The Coach doesn't shoot the free-throws. The Coach doesn't decide whether or not each player brings his A-Game or not. Brings the energy or not. Each player does that himself. The Coach doesn't shoot the 3-balls. He doesn't bring the ball up the court, or make entry passes. Etc, etc. I was unbelievably impressed with Mike last year, when we won- and how he put this Team together so quickly. So I'm not bailing after one bad season, even though it's hard to explain, with the senior-laden Team we've had. I still dig Mike. And I am also super excited about the younger players on this Team - as well as the recruits we've got coming in. Mike's going to have to ramp it up though - that's for sure, if he wants to keep up with A-G and some of the others. They're coming. And he needs to find a way to pick up a few more big-game wins here and there. Anyway - I'm still stoked to be a Ram. And a die-hard Ram-Fan. But I had to vent a little.
This sums it up perfectly
 
  • Like
Reactions: RamBo

RamBo

Top Member
Apr 21, 2009
10,000
20,606
Wow RamBo! So we’ll written and considered. I’m with you 1000%. Hope at some point we’ll all been given a peak under the kimono to better understand what happened this year. Soooo looking forward to next year’s team and the talent we return and bring in.
Thank you, RES. Me too.
 

theyaintwantit

Top Member
Dec 22, 2009
766
1,963
You are absolutely right, and this is well-stated. I read it right - the first time you posted it. We are, and have been a Top-Flight A-10 Program. We have made, and still do make this Conference better. We are now one of the Foundations of this Conference. I'm really proud of that. And I'm a 42-Year Fan. Since I was about 7 Y/O. You cut me open.... you'll see a ton of black and gold. I've been here through almost all of it - except maybe the (actual) very beginning. And my Dad was here for that - so I get all those "foundational" stories from him - and from his Friends.

Yep. I'm here to stay. I'm proud of being a VCU Ram. I'm also a grad - like my Father before me. We are VCU People. It's in our DNA. It goes way deeper than just being a Fan. And so no. I'm not going anywhere. Period.

But I've got the equity in this thing to have earned the privilege to say how I feel. And here is how I feel about this Team: There is absolutely nothing "Flagship" about this (year's) Team. Nothing. Zero. That is a designation that is earned. And these guys have not even come close to earning that. This Team is an underachieving mess. This is a 6th place Team, if we're lucky, at this point. And that's a shame. It's a shame that this Senior Class has decided to go out like this. I definitely over-rated the Team in the off-season / pre-season. I gleaned too much from last year's dominance. I guess the league really was "down" that much. More than I thought. And we won all the gimme games, and the Kids blew up with confidence. But the real truth is.... I over-rated the real talent level. I really did.

More truth: This is the worst Senior Class performance I have ever seen from a VCU basketball roster. Collectively, they have stunk up the joint - and just played bad basketball. The only guy I give a pass to on that..... is Kel Simms. He's given us everything he's got - IMHO. He's played solid ball - and then some, and played all the way to his talent potential. He's maxed out. I'm proud of Kel. DJ is a close second. He's been solid. He's been steady. But he never rose to the occasion, and blew up like we thought he (eventually) would. The rest..... terrible senior basketball. Low I-Q basketball. And they are not low I-Q guys. They're smart young Men. That's why it makes me scratch my head. Anyway - what a way to go out. The Richmond game.... wow! Pretty obvious at this point... they've cashed it in. They know they are out of the NCAA Tournament now, and so they're done.

These guys set a trend for themselves early in the year, and they have followed through on it. They play bad Teams. They generally win. They play a good Team. They lose. And lately... we even find a way to lose to a 2-and-8 George Mason Team. At home - and get out-rebounded by 20! Wow. Yep. This season has just plain sucked. I'm looking for a better word... but I can't find one. One of, if not the most disappointing year in VCU Basketball history, IMHO. A huge let-down.

Now, as I said earlier..... I'm not going anywhere. You don't bail when things don't go your way. But I've got to get a little of this off my chest. By the way.... the Staff, and specifically Mike, do not get a pass on any of this. A terrible job of bringing them together this year. But that's a tough one for me. The Coach doesn't shoot the free-throws. The Coach doesn't decide whether or not each player brings his A-Game or not. Brings the energy or not. Each player does that himself. The Coach doesn't shoot the 3-balls. He doesn't bring the ball up the court, or make entry passes. Etc, etc. I was unbelievably impressed with Mike last year, when we won- and how he put this Team together so quickly. So I'm not bailing after one bad season, even though it's hard to explain, with the senior-laden Team we've had. I still dig Mike. And I am also super excited about the younger players on this Team - as well as the recruits we've got coming in. Mike's going to have to ramp it up though - that's for sure, if he wants to keep up with A-G and some of the others. They're coming. And he needs to find a way to pick up a few more big-game wins here and there. Anyway - I'm still stoked to be a Ram. And a die-hard Ram-Fan. But I had to vent a little.
RamBo, though I don’t agree with all statements in this post, I have to respect your opinion. You aren’t calling for anyone’s heads and you aren’t personally attacking a coach or player. Our senior class has disappointed and there’s no way getting around it. Maybe they aren’t that good, but regardless they haven’t been a good enough cohesive unit this year.

As for Simms, I totally agree with your statement. He’s a juco transfer that has probably been better than anyone thought he would be. He seemed like such a safe MR last minute recruit and IMO he’s been more valuable than you can expect from a juco transfer.

Pointing out that you dig MR and you love VCU is important. I have a hard time respecting someone’s opinion who gives up on their team after one mediocre or disappointing season or gives up on a coach before he really has his recruits on the team.
 

Dr Joe

Top Member
Insider
Oct 12, 2017
220
1,117
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?
WE won a lot of close games last year. Many of them came down to ME either hitting a shot, driving to the basket, or hitting foul shots. You cannot underestimate the value of a point guard who controls the tempo of the game and can direct the team in a game winning moment. Without that guy everyone else is less. Check out what Duke did when their point guard went down. Check out what UNC looked like without their point. Check out the UMass/Dayton game and how Crutcher took the game over for three minutes and dug a hole that UMass could not get out of.
At the beginning of the year MSS took up the slack and became our go to person. However, without a legit #4 he gets a lot of attention and (IMO) is rushing his shots given that he is 2 or 3 inches shorter than many of our opponents. Bones will be a great player but when he was dropped into the role of the point person the game sped up for even him. I am not ready for next year but what I am ready for is to get DJ 10-15 shots a game, Crow to get more than his share of 3’s, Vann a lane to the basket. Vince to be the player we all thought he would be this year. And MSS to bring back that unbelievable energy that he had the first ten games. Time to maximize what we do well and minimize our deficiencies. Just do not know who can be at the wheel to make this happen. Hope the team gives the wheel to someone really soon. Suspect that we may still roll on the health of ME’s knees. But if not someone has to rise out of the ashes that was last week! I believe we can, GO RAMS!!!
 

KentuckyRam

Insider
Jul 16, 2009
773
975
WE won a lot of close games last year. Many of them came down to ME either hitting a shot, driving to the basket, or hitting foul shots. You cannot underestimate the value of a point guard who controls the tempo of the game and can direct the team in a game winning moment. Without that guy everyone else is less. Check out what Duke did when their point guard went down. Check out what UNC looked like without their point. Check out the UMass/Dayton game and how Crutcher took the game over for three minutes and dug a hole that UMass could not get out of.
At the beginning of the year MSS took up the slack and became our go to person. However, without a legit #4 he gets a lot of attention and (IMO) is rushing his shots given that he is 2 or 3 inches shorter than many of our opponents. Bones will be a great player but when he was dropped into the role of the point person the game sped up for even him. I am not ready for next year but what I am ready for is to get DJ 10-15 shots a game, Crow to get more than his share of 3’s, Vann a lane to the basket. Vince to be the player we all thought he would be this year. And MSS to bring back that unbelievable energy that he had the first ten games. Time to maximize what we do well and minimize our deficiencies. Just do not know who can be at the wheel to make this happen. Hope the team gives the wheel to someone really soon. Suspect that we may still roll on the health of ME’s knees. But if not someone has to rise out of the ashes that was last week! I believe we can, GO RAMS!!!
And he controls the other pg which sets the defense.-when healthy
Clark should help here.
 
Last edited:
Apr 20, 2009
1,469
1,132
Speaking of PGs..Ace is having a tremendous season at St Frances. They beat Oak Hill a couple of weeks ago. He is regularly dishing out 8-9 assists per game. He rebounds well too for a guard. I don't think it's a stretch to envision a backcourt of Ace and Bones next season. Hopefully thats something we can all agree on!
 

rammad90

Top Member
Jan 19, 2010
14,148
11,628
Lsu a lock for the NCAA tourney not a bubble team before playing Mason and U of R...Lsu didn't need to play with desperation
The Mason loss was horrific. The UR loss wasn't as bad as it seems with regards to our NCAA at large berth status. They have a good RPI and BPI. It was hard to lose to them but hey it happens.
 
Last edited:

RowdyPkunk

Top Member
May 19, 2009
21,024
18,521
Im not trying to be simplistic but we are not a good shooting team.
While we are certainly not near the shooting team we have been in years past... I think there's several reasons for our struggles & it's not just the fact we are not as deep as we used to be.

1. Outside of Bones.... our best 3 point shooter (crowfield) has hardly been utilized... and while his injury had part to do with that for a small amount of time... the other part is.... Crowfield is not a guy that will create his own shot most times. Not saying he can't, but he's certainly much better, when we run a set play to get him open in the corner. The problem is, it doesn't appear we run many set plays.... and if we do, we don't run them very well. If you go back & look at the Loyola game (I think it was)…. Crowfield was 3-3 on 3's.... every one of those were set plays started by ME... that got Crowfield open for nice easy looks that he knocked down.

2. I honestly believe our players struggles on offense are affecting how we play on defense.... and I say this sorta based on what I've been seeing from our Women's games as of late compared to our Men's games. And what I mean by that is... lately WBB team has started off a lot of games cold offensively, and they've had to weather the storm & try not to get run out of the gym by the other team. Yesterday our Women played Dayton... the best team in the A10... we started off the game Very cold offensively, down 21-8 at the end of the 1st quarter, and even got down by as many as 17 early in the 2nd quarter.

So how did they avoid getting run out of the gym by the best team in the A10, on the road? They started focusing more on their defense, started shutting down Dayton, using their defense to force turnovers & create their offense. They managed to cut the deficit all the way to 2 pts with 3:25 to go in the 4th... now they ultimately lost by 5... but they never gave up... and when their offense went cold, they started locking down on defense which got them back in the game until they started hitting shots.

I don't see this same kind of thought process out of our men's team much currently. What I see is more of frustration defense, where we start making careless fouls, or start over pursuing / not communicating on defense which leads to a wide open basket for the other team.

Prime example was the one play that involved Vann & someone else (Williams maybe?) against Richmond on Saturday…. Vann is guarding Gilyard at the top I believe it was... Williams was following his guy who was running towards Gilyard, as Gilyard was going towards the corner.... Vann & Williams collide... which left a wide open lane for Gilyard to go all the way for the easy layup... absolutely no communication on that play whatsoever. And I'm certainly not singling these 2 out, because I've seen it a lot the last 3-4 games, with a lot of our players. But that play is fresh in my mind as it just happened Saturday.

I know some of yall hate the comparisons between MBB & WBB, mainly because of the gap between talent levels (or because you find WBB boring)... but I'd be willing to bet most of you would prob love to see our mens team use a similar mindset, to the one our WBB team put on yesterday against Dayton (despite being down as many as 17 points early in the 2nd quarter). When your shots are not falling, just focus on playing even better defense. And if we had lost either the GMU or Richmond game strictly because our shots were not falling (like our WBB team against Dayton yesterday).... there would be a much different tone from a lot of you then there is currently.

We've seen this team win games on nights where our offense just isn't clicking.
 
Last edited:
May 4, 2012
7,277
4,477
RamBo, though I don’t agree with all statements in this post, I have to respect your opinion. You aren’t calling for anyone’s heads and you aren’t personally attacking a coach or player. Our senior class has disappointed and there’s no way getting around it. Maybe they aren’t that good, but regardless they haven’t been a good enough cohesive unit this year.

As for Simms, I totally agree with your statement. He’s a juco transfer that has probably been better than anyone thought he would be. He seemed like such a safe MR last minute recruit and IMO he’s been more valuable than you can expect from a juco transfer.

Pointing out that you dig MR and you love VCU is important. I have a hard time respecting someone’s opinion who gives up on their team after one mediocre or disappointing season or gives up on a coach before he really has his recruits on the team.
Strictly speaking 2 out of three unimpressive seasons. And the third was against an abnormally weak A10.
 

RamBo

Top Member
Apr 21, 2009
10,000
20,606
RamBo, though I don’t agree with all statements in this post, I have to respect your opinion. You aren’t calling for anyone’s heads and you aren’t personally attacking a coach or player. Our senior class has disappointed and there’s no way getting around it. Maybe they aren’t that good, but regardless they haven’t been a good enough cohesive unit this year.

As for Simms, I totally agree with your statement. He’s a juco transfer that has probably been better than anyone thought he would be. He seemed like such a safe MR last minute recruit and IMO he’s been more valuable than you can expect from a juco transfer.

Pointing out that you dig MR and you love VCU is important. I have a hard time respecting someone’s opinion who gives up on their team after one mediocre or disappointing season or gives up on a coach before he really has his recruits on the team.
 
  • Like
Reactions: theyaintwantit