VCU needs to mix it up to have a shot from here on out

HBK

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Mar 29, 2010
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Related stats...

First half box +/- leaders last night v Duquesne (2nd half minutes)
IV +11 (16)
Bones +5 (13)
Hasan +5 (2)
Jarren +5 (6)

Malik +3 (10)
Tre 0 (7)
MSS -1 (18)
Kel -1 (14)
Key -7 (14)

There is a consistent pattern with this staff to favor experience over efficiency, which I suspect ultimately comes down to Rhoades, he's got the final say there so maybe unfair to put it on the staff as a whole. I asked coach about this games ago in the post-game and his answer was he was going to have his seniors backs because "if they get hot, watch out". I know Coach has to be getting annoyed with me (although I swear coach, I'm coming from a good place on this)...because I keep pulling at this thread of efficiency over experience, which is the opposite of where he typically goes. I hate asking those same questions in the post game, but we keep getting the same results following the same patterns, so I gotta keep trying to ask in hopefully the nicest way I can.

I will also add that I know a number of guys in the game that are getting paid to do this and I know that my arguments aren't just some misguided fan blogger argument, they are shared by some paid professionals.

If Coach doesn't think our freshmen are good enough to sit some really inefficient experienced players a bit more often, why should Ram fans believe in them for the future either? We have a losing record in the A-10. If these young guys are as bad as coach apparently thinks, what's up for next season? A 4-win A-10 record?

I personally don't think that's the case and wish coach would let his hair down and let the freshmen give it more of a go. Our staff recruited these guys. We love them. Give the young guys a shot.
These plus minus stats for a single game are so misleading, especially without context. According to it, Ward should have played more than MSS. That is laughable. Does anyone think Ward, who I love, could handle the bigs from Duquesne who outweigh him by 40 pounds?
 
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HBK

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Honestly, I don't think this season hasn't been able to be turned around since the Dayton loss at home. That's an objective we can't reach anymore.

One we can reach though, is getting the kids that will be here next year some experience.
Again, that is easy for us to say, but this is college, not professional. Kids like Crowfield, Simms and Vann have stayed loyal to VCU (Vann and Crowfield suffering through a coaching change). I’m NOT saying your wrong. I’m simply saying it is a hard decision. In the cases of the three I mentioned, these upcoming games may be the final basketball games of their careers. I have no doubt the staff is trying to find a balance between experience for the young guys and winning.
 

VCU Finance 2008

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Honestly, I don't think this season hasn't been able to be turned around since the Dayton loss at home. That's an objective we can't reach anymore.

One we can reach though, is getting the kids that will be here next year some experience.
They are getting experience. Doesn't have to be 30 minutes a game.
 
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Related stats...

First half box +/- leaders last night v Duquesne (2nd half minutes)
IV +11 (16)
Bones +5 (13)
Hasan +5 (2)
Jarren +5 (6)

Malik +3 (10)
Tre 0 (7)
MSS -1 (18)
Kel -1 (14)
Key -7 (14)

There is a consistent pattern with this staff to favor experience over efficiency, which I suspect ultimately comes down to Rhoades, he's got the final say there so maybe unfair to put it on the staff as a whole. I asked coach about this games ago in the post-game and his answer was he was going to have his seniors backs because "if they get hot, watch out". I know Coach has to be getting annoyed with me (although I swear coach, I'm coming from a good place on this)...because I keep pulling at this thread of efficiency over experience, which is the opposite of where he typically goes. I hate asking those same questions in the post game, but we keep getting the same results following the same patterns, so I gotta keep trying to ask in hopefully the nicest way I can.

I will also add that I know a number of guys in the game that are getting paid to do this and I know that my arguments aren't just some misguided fan blogger argument, they are shared by some paid professionals.

If Coach doesn't think our freshmen are good enough to sit some really inefficient experienced players a bit more often, why should Ram fans believe in them for the future either? We have a losing record in the A-10. If these young guys are as bad as coach apparently thinks, what's up for next season? A 4-win A-10 record?

I personally don't think that's the case and wish coach would let his hair down and let the freshmen give it more of a go. Our staff recruited these guys. We love them. Give the young guys a shot.
Great stuff, really enjoy reading your posts.

It was senior night and a game that didn't really mean much in the big picture. So I will give Rhoades a pass on last night. That game was given away late by the players (other than MSS). Let's see what he does these next two games. At this point the facts are the facts and you are 100% right. Rhoades is blind if he can't see this.
 

AlienAiden

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Throwing freshmen out there that aren't ready and letting them get eaten alive doesn't necessarily make them better in the future.
This is true but who says that all of the freshmen need to play together as a group? Ward could be in there with Silva. Clark with Vann.
These plus minus stats for a single game are so misleading, especially without context. According to it, Ward should have played more than MSS. That is laughable. Does anyone think Ward, who I love, could handle the bigs from Duquesne who outweigh him by 40 pounds?
Would a combo of Ward and Silva be effective?
 
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HTTRams!

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We never pressed at UMass and lost. The UMass coach even said he was surprised by the lack of pressing. This is so much more than pressing, Havoc.
So, I wish my original post.....actually posted, because you just nailed it. I think people are confused by what Havoc really is....Havoc is not just pressing, that's why I specifically noted in the post that did go thru.....trapping/doubling off screens (which is also havoc), constantly kills us.

Also, to say we never pressed at UMass, that's a lie lol. Are you referring to a full court press?
 

VCU Finance 2008

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This is true but who says that all of the freshmen need to play together as a group? Ward could be in there with Silva. Clark with Vann.

Would a combo of Ward and Silva be effective?
Not when you only have 2 bigs available. Silva barely has enough time to catch his breath on the bench before Ward picks up a foul and he has to go back in.
 

HTTRams!

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I am not going to create another thread for this one, but would love for each of you to respond with your thoughts.

Starting with you @HBK .....what exactly is Havoc to each of you? For example, havoc is pressing all the time. I would like for each of you to get a little more detailed, those of you who understand BBall and the differnt terms....but curious what yall thought.
 

Natty

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Not to single out your post, but it was about more than one play. Clark is still learning to play defense. So is Bones for that matter. So many people posting look at one end (offense) and talk about efficiency. There are two sides on the court. Want to know where we miss Evans? Defense, particularly pressure on the ball.

The young guys all have potential, but they are learning and make a lot of mistakes. I won’t harp on Bones’s mistakes last night because they were glaring. Kid will be a star, but he is young and inexperienced. The kid from Duquesne who killed us from three last night got an uncontested layup in the first half because Ward messed up in the hedge at the top of the key and Dunn-Whatever glided tor an easy layup. Freshman mistake. It happens. Ward can be really good, but he is learning. It is about so much more than highlight reel dunks.

Clark and McCallister continue to show flashes of being really good, but they make a lot of mistakes, particularly on defense. So, in a close game, do you go with the older guys who you trust to make the right play, whether they do or don’t, or the young guys who you don’t completely trust to be where they are supposed to be?
Definitely agree with a good bit of this, but just cause I'm curious, let's dig into the 2nd half and peek at the game flow with the young guys...

Start of 2nd half: 30-26 VCU lead
-Starters start the half
-Tre & Key enter for Bones & Malik at 16:54 with game still a 4-point lead
-40-37 VCU lead before next sub
-Has in for MSS at 16:00
-Has out at 14:11 with score now 46-39 VCU for a +4 in less than 2 minutes with Tre & Has together
-Jarren & MSS in for Kel & Has at that 14:11 mark
-Tre out at 10:40 with VCU now leading 54-45 for a +5 while he was on the floor those 6 min 14 secs of action
-Has back in at 8:41 with VCU leading 61-49
-Has out after quick foul, VCU lead trimmed to 11 (-1)
THE TURNING POINT OF THE GAME ...
-MSS & Kel in for Has & Jarren at 8:13, VCU lead at 61-50
-Curry spells Malik at 8:03...same score
-Lead trimmed to 63-56 by 6:14 mark with that mostly starter group (+Key) for a -4 in less than two minutes for the experienced group
-Malik & Tre in for Bones & IV at 5:40 with score 63-56
-Bones & IV back in at 4:19 for Leek & Tre, score now 63-61 so a -5 for that group that included Tre
-70-70 at the end of regulation for a -2 for the final 4:19

Then the Rams were outscored by 3 in OT with basically that starting group and Curry subbing in for Malik

The long and short of that, based on the numbers....is it's more about the front court than the point guard situation.

Basically Tre and Bones both are shining as of late with either Jarren in next to MSS or when Has is at the 5. MSS was a -12 box +/- during the second half and OT of last night, Kel was -11 and Key was -5, only slightly better than his -7 first half. So regardless of how many screw ups it may feel like the young guys made last night, the reality is they were a MAJOR part of us building a double-digit lead that our experienced players then came in and squandered.

It's in the numbers and it's there for all of us to see. We lost last night because we subbed in experience for what to that point had been succeeding talent...and it lost us the game.
 
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Natty

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Not when you only have 2 bigs available. Silva barely has enough time to catch his breath on the bench before Ward picks up a foul and he has to go back in.
I think Jarren has played himself into a solid 4 man option at times next to MSS when Has in in foul trouble (which is often).

When you go Jarren over Kel at that position next to MSS, you give yourself better second-chance point opportunities because Jarren crashes the offensive glass (10.1% offensive rebound percentage and a 63.4% true shooting percentage versus Kel who is at 3.4% ORB% and 44.6% true shooting percentage).
 
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HBK

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This is true but who says that all of the freshmen need to play together as a group? Ward could be in there with Silva. Clark with Vann.

Would a combo of Ward and Silva be effective?
I think two bigs on the floor would have been great, but with Douglas out, we only have two bigs. Williams could play along either MSS or Ward to give us more size, but he’s out, too. Options are limited.
 

AlienAiden

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I think two bigs on the floor would have been great, but with Douglas out, we only have two bigs. Williams could play along either MSS or Ward to give us more size, but he’s out, too. Options are limited.
I agree.
 
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Natty

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Definitely agree with a good bit of this, but just cause I'm curious, let's dig into the 2nd half and peek at the game flow with the young guys...

Start of 2nd half: 30-26 VCU lead
-Starters start the half
-Tre & Key enter for Bones & Malik at 16:54 with game still a 4-point lead
-40-37 VCU lead before next sub
-Has in for MSS at 16:00
-Has out at 14:11 with score now 46-39 VCU for a +4 in less than 2 minutes with Tre & Has together
-Jarren & MSS in for Kel & Has at that 14:11 mark
-Tre out at 10:40 with VCU now leading 54-45 for a +5 while he was on the floor those 6 min 14 secs of action
-Has back in at 8:41 with VCU leading 61-49
-Has out after quick foul, VCU lead trimmed to 11 (-1)
THE TURNING POINT OF THE GAME ...
-MSS & Kel in for Has & Jarren at 8:13, VCU lead at 61-50
-Curry spells Malik at 8:03...same score
-Lead trimmed to 63-56 by 6:14 mark with that mostly starter group (+Key) for a -4 in less than two minutes for the experienced group
-Malik & Tre in for Bones & IV at 5:40 with score 63-56
-Bones & IV back in at 4:19 for Leek & Tre, score now 63-61 so a -5 for that group that included Tre
-70-70 at the end of regulation for a -2 for the final 4:19

Then the Rams were outscored by 3 in OT with basically that starting group and Curry subbing in for Malik

The long and short of that, based on the numbers....is it's more about the front court than the point guard situation.

Basically Tre and Bones both are shining as of late with either Jarren in next to MSS or when Has is at the 5. MSS was a -12 box +/- during the second half and OT of last night, Kel was -11 and Key was -5, only slightly better than his -7 first half. So regardless of how many screw ups it may feel like the young guys made last night, the reality is they were a MAJOR part of us building a double-digit lead that our experienced players then came in and squandered.

It's in the numbers and it's there for all of us to see. We lost last night because we subbed in experience for what to that point had been succeeding talent...and it lost us the game.
Note: I think this mistake has been on the coaches for some time, but it is especially on them 30 games into the season. They are responsible for putting our chess pieces in the right position to win knowing the moves those pieces are capable of. Basically we were eating up Duquesne's board last night, then decided halfway through the second to just give up our queen and try to win the game with our bishops.
 

HBK

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So, I wish my original post.....actually posted, because you just nailed it. I think people are confused by what Havoc really is....Havoc is not just pressing, that's why I specifically noted in the post that did go thru.....trapping/doubling off screens (which is also havoc), constantly kills us.

Also, to say we never pressed at UMass, that's a lie lol. Are you referring to a full court press?
I don’t recall us pressuring full court at all up at UMass. I may be wrong. If I am, then I certainly wouldn’t consider it a lie.

We did pressure the ball in the half court. Sometimes we hedge hard and retreat, sometimes we trap. That trap off the screen in the half court got MSS a steal and breakaway layup last night.

I don’t believe the scheme on defense is the problem. We were a great defensive team last season. We have been at times this season. We held Dayton to their lowest point total of the season at the time (66 points). That was their only game under 70 until the Mason game last week where they got 62, but Mason’s pace of play was much slower, too.

It is about execution for us. Without Douglas, a good defender and Evans, a fantastic on the ball defender, we will struggle at times. Better to struggle now and get the young guys the experience in the system, I think.
 

HTTRams!

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I don’t recall us pressuring full court at all up at UMass. I may be wrong. If I am, then I certainly wouldn’t consider it a lie.

We did pressure the ball in the half court. Sometimes we hedge hard and retreat, sometimes we trap. That trap off the screen in the half court got MSS a steal and breakaway layup last night.

I don’t believe the scheme on defense is the problem. We were a great defensive team last season. We have been at times this season. We held Dayton to their lowest point total of the season at the time (66 points). That was their only game under 70 until the Mason game last week where they got 62, but Mason’s pace of play was much slower, too.

It is about execution for us. Without Douglas, a good defender and Evans, a fantastic on the ball defender, we will struggle at times. Better to struggle now and get the young guys the experience in the system, I think.
So this is not, in any way, attacking your thought process but....just because he got one steal, for the first time ever that I can remember, means nothing. Look at how many times they trapped and doubled, which led to open shots. When you guys, especially your big who is doing most of the doubling, is running around frantically like that....it will effect rebounding too. He is out of place to box out, and tired. Hedging is fine, I just hate the constant trapping/doubling. We need to pick and choose when to do that, because we seem to do it more often that not and, I am not seeing a net gain from it.

I am all down for getting the young guys experience, been saying that for weeks.
 
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