VCU Media Mentions

Jul 30, 2014
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duncanlamb

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Apr 22, 2009
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Surprised to see a young Wichita State team that lost 15 games last year as well as their best player. Also surprised to see USF after a recent loss during a Canadian tour.
Katz's reasoning is based on that fact tbe shockers return their from a squad went won 11-3 in conference down the stretch, lost in the aac semis by 3 then lost in the nit finals to linscomb.


That 6-11 Jaime Echenique kid was dominating vcu inside until he got injured in the game. They also have a really.good group of.incoming freshman including Tyson Etienne and Josaphat Bilau.
 

mrgeode

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Mar 22, 2013
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Surprised to see a young Wichita State team that lost 15 games last year as well as their best player. Also surprised to see USF after a recent loss during a Canadian tour.
Which Canadian team did they lose to? If it was Charleton, that's no bad loss.

USF still sucks, though :D
 
Jul 30, 2014
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Katz's reasoning is based on that fact tbe shockers return their from a squad went won 11-3 in conference down the stretch, lost in the aac semis by 3 then lost in the nit finals to linscomb.


That 6-11 Jaime Echenique kid was dominating vcu inside until he got injured in the game. They also have a really.good group of.incoming freshman including Tyson Etienne and Josaphat Bilau.
Still crazy to think a NIT team that lost 15 games as well as the only two players that scored double digits last season will be a Sweet 16 team.
 

mglitos

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May 11, 2009
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Did you write the article Mike? If so, do you have any idea why Athlon did not have Marcus Evans on their 1st or 2nd team predictions?
I did write that. The people who write the articles do not pick the standings or all conference teams. Had to be an honest mistake. I know the guys at Athlon and they care, and are smart about college basketball. I'm certain there's someone, somewhere, who reads that and says "how the heck did I skip over Marcus Evans?"

Good dudes--cut 'em some slack.
 
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AlienAiden

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May 3, 2012
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I did write that. The people who write the articles do not pick the standings or all conference teams. Had to be an honest mistake. I know the guys at Athlon and they care, and are smart about college basketball. I'm certain there's someone, somewhere, who reads that and says "how the heck did I skip over Marcus Evans?"

Good dudes--cut 'em some slack.
You know I can't overlook that mistake. Marcus deserves to have his name on the first team over Justin Kier and the others. Heck, not even on the 2nd team. I understand it was a mistake but it is in print on the bookshelf. Cut me some slack :D
 

vcumcvram

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Apr 7, 2010
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https://bustingbrackets.com/2019/10/10/vcu-basketball-rams-may-nations-best-mid-major-team-2019-20/

VCU Basketball: Rams may be nation’s best mid-major team in 2019-20

by Brian Rauf13 hours ago Follow @brauf33


After winning 25 games and claiming the A-10 regular-season title last year, VCU basketball has their sights set even higher in 2019-20.
VCU basketball was one of the country’s biggest surprises a year ago, posting a 25-8 overall record and winning the Atlantic 10 in head coach Mike Rhoades‘ second season in charge after being picked to finish seventh in the conference in the preseason.

This year, however, the Rams will not be sneaking up on anyone.
They return their top six scorers and almost everyone from their rotation, making them one of the country’s most experienced teams. That experience, coupled with last season’s success, has increased expectations around the program.
When the preseason AP poll comes out later this month, VCU is expected to be ranked relatively high. The Rams are already ranked No. 18 in the country in CBS Sports’ preseason rankings. NBC Sports has them at No. 24. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has them earning a No. 6 seed in his most recent bracketology update.
While the players are trying their best to ignore them, those expectations are indicative of a team capable of making a run in the NCAA Tournament – which is perhaps the only thing VCU was not able to accomplish last season. UCF bounced the Rams from the dance in the opening round, and that loss has stuck with the Rams all offseason.

Senior forward Issac Vann told me that loss has and continues to serve as a major motivating factor for this group.
“The ending of last year left a bitter taste in our mouth. We want to improve on what we did last year and finish on a high note. We have five seniors this year and we want to send ourselves out on a high note.”
Improving on what they did last year not only means repeating as A-10 regular-season champs, Vann said, but also winning the conference tournament and making a run in the NCAA Tournament.
They appear to have the ability to do just that, and may very well end up as the best mid-major team in the country by the end of the season. Here’s why:
Continuity & Defense
With all five starters back in the fold, the Rams have the luxury of continuity going into the new season. There hasn’t been a step back – they have been able to continue building on last season’s success.

Marcus Evans, De’Riante Jenkins, Vann, Corey Douglas, and Marcus Santos-Silva give VCU one of the most versatile lineups in the country, which allows them to play that “HAVOC” pressure defense Shaka Smart made so popular during his time there. Rhoades has brought it back, and it has played the biggest role in their success.

The Rams ranked in the top 10 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency (7th), turnover rate (8th), three-point defense (2nd), and effective field goal percentage defense (3rd) a season ago because of how effective their pressure was.

Jenkins, Vann, Douglas, and Santos-Silva are all in the 6-5 to 6-8 range, allowing them to aggressively switch without necessarily sacrificing a mismatch anywhere on the court. Evans is the smallest starter at 6-2, yet he led them in steals (1.9 per game).

A number of quality bench players return as well, led by seniors Malik Crowfield and Mike’L Simms along with sophomores Vince Williams and KeShawn Curry.

VCU is also welcoming in an influx of talent with the second-best recruiting class in the A-10. Four-star guard Nah’shon Hyland, the No. 81 overall recruit in the country according to the 247sports Composite, headlines that group. He has drawn high praise from his teammates already and is expected to play a major role for the Rams off the bench. 6-9 center Hason Ward should see some time as well.

Rhoades said mixing those young players into an already-established rotation has been the “toughest thing right now,” but those players have the athleticism and skills to be excellent fits in VCU’s system.

With their experience and that new talent, the Rams should be even better on the defensive end – and everywhere else on the court – which is a scary thought for the teams on their schedule.

Schedule breakdown
Speaking of their schedule, the Rams have the opportunity to make a statement to the rest of the country very early on.

LSU, the reigning SEC champs led by former VCU coach Will Wade, will visit the Siegel Center on November 13. Later in the month, VCU will take part in the Emerald Coast Classic, where they will play Purdue and then either Tennessee or Florida State.

The opportunity to face three NCAA Tournament teams from power conferences in the opening month is a big one for the Rams when it comes to gaining national respect, and they’re not shying away from the challenge. As Vann told me, those are games this team expects to win.
“Those are the kind of games we go into fully expecting to win. We don’t view it as a Power 5 vs. mid-major. Every time we step on the court, we have the confidence to step in and compete no matter who we’re playing.”
December brings another contest against a team that played in the 2019 NCAA Tournament in Old Dominion, and the Rams will have another high-profile nationally televised game against Wichita State prior to conference play.

Once A-10 games do get underway, Davidson and Dayton are expected to be VCU’s toughest competition in what could be a three-bid year for the conference.

So, all-in-all, the Rams have a great chance to put together the kind of resume that will keep them ranked all season long. With their defense and experience, I’d expect them to make the most of their opportunities.

Standing vs. other top mid-majors
There are many high-quality mid-major programs going into the 2019-20 season and we could see a much-larger-than-normal-number of them ranked in the preseason poll. However, all of them have at least one flaw that VCU is stronger in.

Gonzaga, perennially the best mid-major in the country, is dealing with injury problems to Killian Tillie, arguably their best player, and have major questions about their backcourt. Meanwhile, the backcourt is VCU’s strength.

Utah State returns a pair of stars in reigning Mountain West Player of the Year Sam Merrill and potential first-round NBA Draft pick Neemias Queta, but the Aggies lack depth around them. Depth is another one of VCU’s strengths.

Saint Mary’s also returns almost everyone from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, yet they face questions about their defense, athleticism, and how they’ll replace Jordan Hunter in their frontcourt. The Rams don’t have to worry about replacing a starter and, again, defense and athleticism are VCU’s calling cards.

We could keep going but anyways, you get the point. And that’s not to say VCU doesn’t have flaws, because they do. They need to improve drastically from behind the arc and take better care of the ball offensively, but they’ve worked on their shooting and turnovers should naturally improve due to the progression that comes with experience.

Most importantly, they have an identity. VCU knows who they are and they know how to do it well. And, unlike most teams in college basketball that deal with annual roster turnover, the Rams know who they are doing it with.

Rhoades told reporters earlier this week that his team knows they can accomplish big things and have been working to turn those goals into reality.
“Guys have been getting after it. I’m just really excited about how excited the guys are. These guys want to win a championship and that’s very hard. You’ve got to put the work in every day. It’s a long journey.”
VCU has a rare combination of talent, experience, and elite dominance on one end of the court that makes them perhaps the best and most dangerous mid-major team in the country. 2019-20 looks like it could be a really special one for the Rams.
 

rammad90

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Jan 19, 2010
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Katz's reasoning is based on that fact tbe shockers return their from a squad went won 11-3 in conference down the stretch, lost in the aac semis by 3 then lost in the nit finals to linscomb.


That 6-11 Jaime Echenique kid was dominating vcu inside until he got injured in the game. They also have a really.good group of.incoming freshman including Tyson Etienne and Josaphat Bilau.
He looked awkward to me. He only played 9 minutes against us. He was 2-3 with 1 rebound , 0 blocks, 0 steals, 0 assists, 0 turnovers. He is big but his 9 minutes weren't dominant. He did have some good games against solid programs. He rebounds well, can shoot the 3 but offensively he looks stiff. I think his offensive play will be dependent upon his point guard.

Also, he fouls a lot, I think MSS can foul him out. It'll be a fun game but I see us winning by 10.
 
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