The VCU Rams 2022-23 Season Thread

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We just need to learn to play without Ace. What are we going to do when he returns if gets in early foul trouble or fouls out? Just go scoreless? Go back to heroball? We need to figure this out now for then.
 

TampaKAP

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We just need to learn to play without Ace. What are we going to do when he returns if gets in early foul trouble or fouls out? Just go scoreless? Go back to heroball? We need to figure this out now for then.
Think back to when Crowfield had to play PG. Until we can have a roster with two legitimate actual PG’s, we are going to run into this issue
 

mrgeode

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Think back to when Crowfield had to play PG. Until we can have a roster with two legitimate actual PG’s, we are going to run into this issue
I agree with you, but it's not like we haven't been here before. Can Darius take over for Joey, can Bri take over for Darius (he's not a real point guard), can JeQuan take over for Bri (he's not a real point guard either), can Jonathan take over for JQ (he's a real point guard but he can't shoot), is Marcus Evans a point guard at all, can PJ Byrd play at the level we need, can Bones back up Evans/should Bones start over Evans? I would like to have another steady hand at the 1 for sure, but Zeb seems to have the necessary skills to successfully transition from combo guard to point eventually. Regardless, that's clearly a position of need going into next year.
 

TampaKAP

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I agree with you, but it's not like we haven't been here before. Can Darius take over for Joey, can Bri take over for Darius (he's not a real point guard), can JeQuan take over for Bri (he's not a real point guard either), can Jonathan take over for JQ (he's a real point guard but he can't shoot), is Marcus Evans a point guard at all, can PJ Byrd play at the level we need, can Bones back up Evans/should Bones start over Evans? I would like to have another steady hand at the 1 for sure, but Zeb seems to have the necessary skills to successfully transition from combo guard to point eventually. Regardless, that's clearly a position of need going into next year.
Bri was a special talent with a special skill set. Consider the fact that Teddy O, a legitimate PG felt he needed to leave to get playing time(a decision he admits he regret). JLew also played football in high school. Why is that important? Vision and ability to see the field(court). Zeb maybe able to make the transition if he can dribble with his head up and see the floor. Until someone can get the other players the ball in position and on time, our shooting percentage is going to be lower than it should be.
 

mrgeode

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Bri was a special talent with a special skill set. Consider the fact that Teddy O, a legitimate PG felt he needed to leave to get playing time(a decision he admits he regret). JLew also played football in high school. Why is that important? Vision and ability to see the field(court). Zeb maybe able to make the transition if he can dribble with his head up and see the floor. Until someone can get the other players the ball in position and on time, our shooting percentage is going to be lower than it should be.
No argument on any of this. I do wish Teddy had stayed. Jairus too. Can't blame 'em but still.

To the other point in your initial post - how much of a coaching shakeup do you feel is necessary?
 

TampaKAP

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No argument on any of this. I do wish Teddy had stayed. Jairus too. Can't blame 'em but still.

To the other point in your initial post - how much of a coaching shakeup do you feel is necessary?
It no secret I am a fan of MR. I think he is a genuinely good person and brings a level of stability to the program that was for me beginning to feel like it was built on a house of cards. By the same token, I felt it would take 4 to 5 years for things to start to rise again after the foundation was stabilized. I expected there to be a minor deep. Neither Covid nor NIL were factors when he came on board, which is why I extended or checked my expectations until this year, year 6. My concern is that from the outside looking in, MR is loyal to a fault which appears to prevent him from honestly assessing the situation. Let’s be honest. If FIU doesn’t call Ballard, then would MR staff look any different than it did day one? I don’t think its any secret that the Defense got better when Brunt arrived but the offense also go worse after Ballard left( with arguably better players). Now I don’t want to make it sound like Ballard took the offense with him because honestly, while Fiu’s offense was better his first two years, it has since gotten progressively worse as well. Full transparency, I’d like to see Jimmy Martelli take JD Byers spot. Brunt obviously is good with the defense and was the lead on players like Tre Clark(Who I wish was still a Ram in uniform). Big B certainly has connections everywhere and seems to do better than most with our front court players. I just don’t know what JD adds honestly. When Martelli was at Rutgers, for all their flaws, Rutgers was a statically efficient offensive team. Maybe he is what we need.
 

mrgeode

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It no secret I am a fan of MR. I think he is a genuinely good person and brings a level of stability to the program that was for me beginning to feel like it was built on a house of cards. By the same token, I felt it would take 4 to 5 years for things to start to rise again after the foundation was stabilized. I expected there to be a minor deep. Neither Covid nor NIL were factors when he came on board, which is why I extended or checked my expectations until this year, year 6. My concern is that from the outside looking in, MR is loyal to a fault which appears to prevent him from honestly assessing the situation. Let’s be honest. If FIU doesn’t call Ballard, then would MR staff look any different than it did day one? I don’t think its any secret that the Defense got better when Brunt arrived but the offense also go worse after Ballard left( with arguably better players). Now I don’t want to make it sound like Ballard took the offense with him because honestly, while Fiu’s offense was better his first two years, it has since gotten progressively worse as well. Full transparency, I’d like to see Jimmy Martelli take JD Byers spot. Brunt obviously is good with the defense and was the lead on players like Tre Clark(Who I wish was still a Ram in uniform). Big B certainly has connections everywhere and seems to do better than most with our front court players. I just don’t know what JD adds honestly. When Martelli was at Rutgers, for all their flaws, Rutgers was a statically efficient offensive team. Maybe he is what we need.
As usual, this seems like a fair and honest take to me. I immensely do not want Brunt moving on anytime soon. Definitely agree on Mike being loyal to a fault from an outsider's perspective - we've seen that borne out in the amount of minutes he's allocated to some seniors, although in fairness I believe the majority of coaches do the same to an extent (and of course I don't see what the staff does in practice).

So far as I can recall, this is the first time I've addressed the Clark situation, and I'm hesitant to do so now since I don't know anything more about it than anyone else on here. However, there's a very short list of things that lead to you being asked to leave school immediately that are also things the school in question will not comment on. Given that fact pattern I am OK with him playing elsewhere.
 

SteveMM

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Rhoades said this is his deepest team ever. If that’s the case the team shouldn’t be falling apart because one player is out. Especially when that player has been out before and other players had to step into his role before. Losing one player on a deep team shouldn’t result in the mentality of “Well it was fun guys but now we’re screwed.” Injuries happen. Considering the amount we have usually we should be pretty use to dealing with them these days.
Ace Baldwin, as far as I'm concerned, is the #1 irreplaceable player on this team. We don't have anyone else who has his combination of skills. Brandon Johns is probably second. After him, we can probably muddle through just fine with replacements if a starter or key player gets hurt. A lot of teams have three or four guys like this. We might have two.

With that said, it seems to me that the team SHOULD have recruited a true freshman PG this season. I know they were trying to get some high level guys, but given that they didn't get those guys, a promising 2-3 star player might have been a good idea, since he could theoretically sit behind Ace for two years or possibly (doubt it) three. It might not be helping now, since the kid would be a freshman, but you never know. Even if the guy could pull 5-10 minutes while Nunn and Jackson play shooting guard, it might have been a very good thing.
 
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TampaKAP

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As usual, this seems like a fair and honest take to me. I immensely do not want Brunt moving on anytime soon. Definitely agree on Mike being loyal to a fault from an outsider's perspective - we've seen that borne out in the amount of minutes he's allocated to some seniors, although in fairness I believe the majority of coaches do the same to an extent (and of course I don't see what the staff does in practice).

So far as I can recall, this is the first time I've addressed the Clark situation, and I'm hesitant to do so now since I don't know anything more about it than anyone else on here. However, there's a very short list of things that lead to you being asked to leave school immediately that are also things the school in question will not comment on. Given that fact pattern I am OK with him playing elsewhere.
Like you no idea why Tre was asked to leave school so i am unable to form an opinion based on the situation. My desire for him to still be a Ram in uniform is my desire that what ever led to his dismissal having not occurred. As a side note, his roommate also was never the same after his departure so whatever the situation, it ultimately cost us two Rams in uniform.
 
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Ace Baldwin, as far as I'm concerned, is the #1 irreplaceable player on this team. We don't have anyone else who has his combination of skills. Brandon Johns is probably second. After him, we can probably muddle through just fine with replacements if a starter or key player gets hurt. A lot of teams have three or four guys like this. We might have two.

With that said, it seems to me that the team SHOULD have recruited a true freshman PG this season. I know they were trying to get some high level guys, but given that they didn't get those guys, a promising 2-3 star player might have been a good idea, since he could theoretically sit behind Ace for two years or possibly (doubt it) three. It might not be helping now, since the kid would be a freshman, but you never know. Even if the guy could pull 5-10 minutes while Nunn and Jackson play shooting guard, it might have been a very good thing.

No PG is sitting behind another player for a few years. They will transfer after a year.
 

theyaintwantit

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Agreed. I also do not think for a minute we are falling apart as some have mentioned.
VCU is 2-2 w/o Ace. Both losses have come to potential NCAA teams, one win came against a currently Top 100 ACC team, and the other came in a buy game.

I’ve been disappointed in how we look as a team, but holy poop some of these hacks on here gotta relax a little bit.
 

theyaintwantit

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Marcus Evans had a lot to do with Rice's success with Coach Rhoades at the helm. Injuries held him back at VCU to the point I don't think we ever saw him play at his peak.
February 2019 into early March 2019 Marcus Evans was a VERY good individual stretch of basketball for a VCU player. Dude was nails and made the big shot at Dayton and absolutely embarrassed Mason on their senior night on his way to an A10 First Team nomination.

But yes, he never looked 100% in 2019-2020.
 

mrgeode

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February 2019 into early March 2019 Marcus Evans was a VERY good individual stretch of basketball for a VCU player. Dude was nails and made the big shot at Dayton and absolutely embarrassed Mason on their senior night on his way to an A10 First Team nomination.

But yes, he never looked 100% in 2019-2020.
And that was him playing with way less athleticism than he had at Rice.
 
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