Today and beyond!

Natty

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Was going to post this in the Rhody thread, but it turned into something else, so a new thread it will get.

Today sucked, but we got torched by two senior guards. Sucked, but basketball happens. Vince has been kicking tail all year, but had like his first rough game of the year, just an overall bad day for us.

Still, I've watched enough basketball now to know a major key to success is to have better players than the other guys. Imagine that.

I think as Ram fans we all got spoiled by the continued success we were somewhat lucky to have coaching change after coaching change. We kept winning when Capel left and we got Grant (Capel hasn't had consistent success at either school he's been the head coach of...especially without Blake Griffin). We had insane success when Shaka replaced Grant (Grant failed at Bama, had an amazing year at Dayton and just lost to Fordham and Flyer fans close to done with him once more). We kept the success rolling when Shaka left and Wade came in (Texas has been wanting to run Shaka out of town the last few years because he couldn't consistently win at all at Texas....VCU has gone to more NCAA tourney's than Texas has sense he's been there). Wade has still been winning, but he's also on a FBI recording talking about paying players, so I mean...whatcha gonna do (also we beat him last year with a not so great team).

Then Rhoades came in and it's like we're experiencing a true rebuild for the very first time in a long time.

I think a coach (Wade) staying only two years will throw you into that situation. When Wade took over he was handed a nice returning core, then he left after we graduated SIX total players. Year-1 under Rhoades went about as well as you can expect from a team playing in a much tougher conference than the CAA with what was left and what he was able to bring in in a matter of weeks, year-2 somehow saw VCU dominance, then year-3 was a disappointment, but one thing I've really needed to see...legit recruiting, has been building and building.

Rhoades Recruiting Classes since settled in
-Coach whiffed on PJ in that first class, but KeShawn is playing the best basketball of his career and Vince has arguably been our MVP this year and one of the better players in the conference (and was a highly recruited player). That was coach's first true recruiting class (meaning with time, not like a couple of weeks to get whoever was left)
-Bones, Tre, Hasan, Jarren....find one miss in that group if you can, cause I can't. That is one of the better recruiting classes I can remember and they are still learning and growing up.
-Ace, Jamir, MBJ and Josh...still early, but those dudes look crazy promising. I think Jamir is VCU's legit best potential NBA prospect on our current team, Ace is maybe my favorite freshman to watch in a long time, MBJ I think is gonna be a tough SOB as he continues to get better and once Josh gets that three falling, he's gonna be a very tough player. I've liked him while in even though the shot hasn't fallen at all. Another crazy promising class.
-Nick & Jalen ...gotta see these dudes, but all the college coaches I've talked to love em. And who knows if we'll add to that or not.

Coincidentally the coaching comparison I keep looking to is actually Rhody's old coach, Dan Hurley. He had two losing seasons when taking over those Rams, followed those with two mediocre ones (NIT and a 17-15 year)...then year-5 he had a senior Hassan Martin, juniors Terrell, Matthews, Robinson and Dowtin and Langevine as freshmen and they went dancing after winning the A-10 tourney (year-6 all those juniors were seniors and back to the tourney they went), but just took a while for all his consistent best A-10 recruiting classes to age up and start dominating. He could've continued to keep Rhody a power had he stayed and kept building. But, now at UConn he's doing the same thing now that is talented recruits are growing up (also just a different recruiting experience altogether at UConn and especially at UConn now back in the Big East).

David Cox has run off most of his freshmen somehow (Tate, Silvero, Toppin, Long and Martin all left) and he's patching things together with transfers. Maybe he'll be able to make that work longer than most, but personally for the longterm I'd put my chips on the foundation that Rhoades is building over the patchwork job Cox may have to do year after year if guys keep leaving (before he himself leaves). Cox has done a good with that, but the threads that have also held it together a bit have been Hurley's freshmen guards in Dowtin and Fatts. I don't think it'll turn as bad as it did for Dr. Jon at La Salle, but I won't be surprised either if it does a few years.

Anyway, I just think it's the two coaching changes that caught up to us. Getting that surprise great season two years ago was a bonus, but I think the real good times are ahead of us when Rhoades and Co. and all these super talented young guys are an experienced group.

Oh, also when I look for "good coaches" (for dreaming up coaching changes for other A-10 schools) I consistently try and find non-power conference coaches who can consistently post dominant offensive or defensive efficiency numbers. We're on pace for our third consecutive top-50 defense and if we stay where we're at as of today, it would be two out of three years in the top-20. That's legit, especially considering the patchwork roster Rhoades had to build considering those two coaching changes before him (how did we dominate the A-10 two years ago with the group we had? Actually go back and look at that roster). Got some work to do offensively, but better players always help with that and I don't think Rhoades is above learning, growing and experimenting there, so we'll see what happens. But also Mike is a good dude and years after begging coaches to stay who didn't want to be here, I'm naive enough perhaps to believe Mike really wants to be here. I believe he can have a ton of success here and I think once he hits his groove with that, which I honestly believe will happen, it's much easier to sustain that in the A-10 than at a power conference. He can create a recruiting advantage here that can make it very fun to be a VCU fan for a long time. So I'll go ahead and put my chips on Mike and the staff. I can see what they are building and I genuinely believe in it.
 
May 19, 2015
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Was going to post this in the Rhody thread, but it turned into something else, so a new thread it will get.

Today sucked, but we got torched by two senior guards. Sucked, but basketball happens. Vince has been kicking tail all year, but had like his first rough game of the year, just an overall bad day for us.

Still, I've watched enough basketball now to know a major key to success is to have better players than the other guys. Imagine that.

I think as Ram fans we all got spoiled by the continued success we were somewhat lucky to have coaching change after coaching change. We kept winning when Capel left and we got Grant (Capel hasn't had consistent success at either school he's been the head coach of...especially without Blake Griffin). We had insane success when Shaka replaced Grant (Grant failed at Bama, had an amazing year at Dayton and just lost to Fordham and Flyer fans close to done with him once more). We kept the success rolling when Shaka left and Wade came in (Texas has been wanting to run Shaka out of town the last few years because he couldn't consistently win at all at Texas....VCU has gone to more NCAA tourney's than Texas has sense he's been there). Wade has still been winning, but he's also on a FBI recording talking about paying players, so I mean...whatcha gonna do (also we beat him last year with a not so great team).

Then Rhoades came in and it's like we're experiencing a true rebuild for the very first time in a long time.

I think a coach (Wade) staying only two years will throw you into that situation. When Wade took over he was handed a nice returning core, then he left after we graduated SIX total players. Year-1 under Rhoades went about as well as you can expect from a team playing in a much tougher conference than the CAA with what was left and what he was able to bring in in a matter of weeks, year-2 somehow saw VCU dominance, then year-3 was a disappointment, but one thing I've really needed to see...legit recruiting, has been building and building.

Rhoades Recruiting Classes since settled in
-Coach whiffed on PJ in that first class, but KeShawn is playing the best basketball of his career and Vince has arguably been our MVP this year and one of the better players in the conference (and was a highly recruited player). That was coach's first true recruiting class (meaning with time, not like a couple of weeks to get whoever was left)
-Bones, Tre, Hasan, Jarren....find one miss in that group if you can, cause I can't. That is one of the better recruiting classes I can remember and they are still learning and growing up.
-Ace, Jamir, MBJ and Josh...still early, but those dudes look crazy promising. I think Jamir is VCU's legit best potential NBA prospect on our current team, Ace is maybe my favorite freshman to watch in a long time, MBJ I think is gonna be a tough SOB as he continues to get better and once Josh gets that three falling, he's gonna be a very tough player. I've liked him while in even though the shot hasn't fallen at all. Another crazy promising class.
-Nick & Jalen ...gotta see these dudes, but all the college coaches I've talked to love em. And who knows if we'll add to that or not.

Coincidentally the coaching comparison I keep looking to is actually Rhody's old coach, Dan Hurley. He had two losing seasons when taking over those Rams, followed those with two mediocre ones (NIT and a 17-15 year)...then year-5 he had a senior Hassan Martin, juniors Terrell, Matthews, Robinson and Dowtin and Langevine as freshmen and they went dancing after winning the A-10 tourney (year-6 all those juniors were seniors and back to the tourney they went), but just took a while for all his consistent best A-10 recruiting classes to age up and start dominating. He could've continued to keep Rhody a power had he stayed and kept building. But, now at UConn he's doing the same thing now that is talented recruits are growing up (also just a different recruiting experience altogether at UConn and especially at UConn now back in the Big East).

David Cox has run off most of his freshmen somehow (Tate, Silvero, Toppin, Long and Martin all left) and he's patching things together with transfers. Maybe he'll be able to make that work longer than most, but personally for the longterm I'd put my chips on the foundation that Rhoades is building over the patchwork job Cox may have to do year after year if guys keep leaving (before he himself leaves). Cox has done a good with that, but the threads that have also held it together a bit have been Hurley's freshmen guards in Dowtin and Fatts. I don't think it'll turn as bad as it did for Dr. Jon at La Salle, but I won't be surprised either if it does a few years.

Anyway, I just think it's the two coaching changes that caught up to us. Getting that surprise great season two years ago was a bonus, but I think the real good times are ahead of us when Rhoades and Co. and all these super talented young guys are an experienced group.

Oh, also when I look for "good coaches" (for dreaming up coaching changes for other A-10 schools) I consistently try and find non-power conference coaches who can consistently post dominant offensive or defensive efficiency numbers. We're on pace for our third consecutive top-50 defense and if we stay where we're at as of today, it would be two out of three years in the top-20. That's legit, especially considering the patchwork roster Rhoades had to build considering those two coaching changes before him (how did we dominate the A-10 two years ago with the group we had? Actually go back and look at that roster). Got some work to do offensively, but better players always help with that and I don't think Rhoades is above learning, growing and experimenting there, so we'll see what happens. But also Mike is a good dude and years after begging coaches to stay who didn't want to be here, I'm naive enough perhaps to believe Mike really wants to be here. I believe he can have a ton of success here and I think once he hits his groove with that, which I honestly believe will happen, it's much easier to sustain that in the A-10 than at a power conference. He can create a recruiting advantage here that can make it very fun to be a VCU fan for a long time. So I'll go ahead and put my chips on Mike and the staff. I can see what they are building and I genuinely believe in it.
Hear! Hear! I know we have a NCAA team in the making. I don’t think there is any question that our guys will have this team tournament ready when the time comes. Go RAMS🐏!
 
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theyaintwantit

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Dec 22, 2009
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I work for a small business in the mechanical contracting industry in the area. We provide commercial plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work for new construction, renovation, and service projects.

The owner of the company started it 8 years ago and told me after 2 years he was worried it wouldn’t work out. His team was building, but he felt as if he didn’t have any “stars” and he was still trying to connect with new customers.

2021 is the start of year 9 of the business and the company I work for has one of the best reputations in the area and our trucks are all over the roads in the 804. We have competitors all over the area that have reached out to my HR manager to seek employment because of the reputation that we’ve built.

@Natty - what I’m saying is that success takes time. When WW left VCU on 3.20.2017 the only coach I wanted was Mike Rhoades and my mind has not changed since then. I think there’s room for improvement for him as a coach, but his recruiting is close to some of SS’s last few classes. Building a winner takes time and I’m on board with MR as our coach. He wants to be the VCU head coach and it’s clear from day 1 that he does not view this as a stepping stone job.
 

RamStrut

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Mar 8, 2011
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Agreed on all except for Curry. I guess he’s playing the best basketball of his career but not sure that is saying much.
 

Rams4Life

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Nov 20, 2011
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Hey @Natty, are you still updating the advanced metrics thread? Since you echoed the same sentiment I said about Jamir’s potential in the game thread, I would love to see how he stacks up against the rest of our guards. His ceiling is insane and it really is interesting that he doesn’t play more. Just curious to see if the advanced stats shed light on that.
 

Natty

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Hey @Natty, are you still updating the advanced metrics thread? Since you echoed the same sentiment I said about Jamir’s potential in the game thread, I would love to see how he stacks up against the rest of our guards. His ceiling is insane and it really is interesting that he doesn’t play more. Just curious to see if the advanced stats shed light on that.

Key season numbers for Jamir:
7th in +/- at +3.4
5th in PER at +18.8
1st in True Shooting % at 66.6% :twisted:

The cool thing though is his A-10 numbers are off the charts, albeit in a small 3-game 45-minute sample. He's tops on the team in A-10 play in PER (23.3), true shooting percentage 81.1% :shock: and obviously EFG% too at 86.4%. Dude's ceiling is high. To me he has the tools NBA teams and scouts drooled over with Terry Larrier, but is way stronger and way more efficient of a scorer. Again, NBA potential in my opinion.
 
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Natty

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Some coaching/program success comparisons
* = COVID year (thus, no NCAA tournament)

Rhoades' VCU (Kenpom ranking/tourney result)
Year-1: 144
Year-2: 42 (NCAA 8-seed)
Year-3*: 73
Year-4: 60 (TBD)

Ford SLU
Year-1: 273
Year-2: 148
Year-3: 106 (NCAA 13-seed)
Year-4*: 62
Year-5: 30 (TBD)

Cox Rhody
Year-1: 142
Year-2*: 65
Year-3: 68 (TVD)

Hurley Rhody
Year-1: 193
Year-2: 115
Year-3: 60
Year-4: 82
Year-5: 32 (NCAA 11-seed)
Year-6: 52 (NCAA 7-seed)

Tony Bennett UVA
Year-1: 76
Year-2: 103
Year-3: 33 (NCAA 10-seed)
Year-4: 41
Year-5 and beyond = just pure dominance

Shaka Smart Texas
Year-1: 39 (NCAA 6-seed)
Year-2: 70
Year-3: 36 (NCAA 10-seed)
Year-4: 25 (losing conference record though, so no tourney)
Year-5*: 61
Year-6: 7

Rick Majerus SLU
Year-1: 157
Year-2: 143
Year-3: 98
Year-4: 127
Year-5: 14 (NCAA 9-seed)

Just a few examples there to show you how it can take time and also just how lucky we have been the past 15 years to have the continued success we've had. Bennett is a darn genius and it took him a while to build it up, get all the pieces he needed. Shaka had more success at VCU than he's had with Big 12 Kansas. Ford and Hurley took a while to get their A-10 programs going, but both built them into really tough teams/programs. Majerus is a darn Hall of Famer genius and took him five years to turn SLU into the tough teams we remember. Also fun to note on that Majerus team, they went from 244th nationally in offensive efficiency with a bunch of freshmen and sophs playing one year (and No.51 on D) to 34th on offense and 12th on D when they leveled up to be sophs and juniors. I could easily see a similar path for us and we look ahead of schedule on that as compared to where his group was.
 

Natty

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Key season numbers for Jamir:
7th in +/- at +3.4
5th in PER at +18.8
1st in True Shooting % at 66.6% :twisted:

The cool thing though is his A-10 numbers are off the charts, albeit in a small 3-game 45-minute sample. He's tops on the team in A-10 play in PER (23.3), true shooting percentage 81.1% :shock: and obviously EFG% too at 86.4%. Dude's ceiling is high. To me he has the tools NBA teams and scouts drooled over with Terry Larrier, but is way stronger and way more efficient of a scorer. Again, NBA potential in my opinion.

Also some Jamir freshman comparison numbers to Treveon, for anyone wondering about minutes and what he's doing with those minutes at this point in his career.

Minutes Per Game
16.8 - Treveon
15.3* - Jamir

Worth noting he can still raise that number and he's averaging 17+ minutes if you exclude those first three games where he averaged under 12 in each.

Points Per Game
7.3 - Jamir
7 - Treveon

Rebounds Per Game
3.2 - Treveon
2.6 - Jamir

Total Rebound Percentage
11.7% - Treveon
9.8 - Jamir

True Shooting Percentage
66.6% - Jami
50.4% - Treveon

Steals Percentage
2.7% each

Player Efficiency Rating
18.5 - Treveon
18.1 - Jamir

Overall Box +/-
+3.4 - Jamir
+2.6 - Treveon

LOTS of season still to be played (er...I hope), but you can see that Treveon, an eventual VCU legend and NBA player, was getting basically the same mount of burn as Jamir is getting his freshman year so far. I guess the key difference though is Tre was backing up Bradford Burgess and Troy Daniels (hello!) whereas Jamir is coming in for Vince (who has been ballin out this year) and KeShawn.