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Old 11-22-2012, 08:04 PM   #196 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebask...-is-dukes-cook
Quote:
Poor Quinn Cook.

I feel for the kid. Seriously. He struggled through his freshman season in Durham and is just trying to establish himself as Duke's starting point guard. He's been up and down and continues to attempt to gain the confidence of his teammates, Coach Krzyzewski and even for himself.

Now he has to go up against VCU.

If Cook does happen to run into Memphis' Joe Jackson somewhere in the Atlantis resort sometime on Friday prior to the game against the Rams, he needs to sprint in the opposite direction. Don't ask Jackson, who may still be scarred from his outing against Shaka Smart's club, anything about VCU.

Jackson was also trying to find his way. He's been trying to do so for much of his career -- and Thursday night's performance was among the most frustrating in his three years on campus. He finished with seven turnovers and just two assists. Memphis coach Josh Pastner instructed him, prior to the game, to utilize his speed and become a one-man press break.

Instead, VCU's trapping press ate Jackson and his teammates up.
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VCU entered this season with high expectations, losing just one player of note, albeit an important one in Bradford Burgess, from last season's team that won 29 games and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament. But then came that loss at home to a Wichita State team picked to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley.

"That's fine," Smart said. "We like being written off."

"They controlled the tempo," Theus said. "They slowed it down and the game was in the 50s. We don't usually win games in the 50s."

So everyone naturally began talking about what's wrong with VCU, assuming this team was overrated. Why? Because that's what we do, tend to overreact to one loss.

But this VCU team is tough. Just ask the Memphis players, who couldn't take care of the ball or guard the perimeter. The Rams forced 22 Tigers turnovers and also shot a ridiculous 13-of-22 from beyond the arc. Rob Brandenberg was 5-for-5, Treveon Graham 4-of-6 and the team's most effective long range shooter, Troy Daniels, finished 4-of-8 from deep. These guys can shoot it, can put it on the floor and also get after it on the defensive end. They also don't get rattled because they possess a rarity: Final Four experience. Five players on this team -- Theus, Daniels, Brandenberg, Juvonte Reddic and D.J. Haley -- all played roles in the Final Four run two years ago.

"They can win the whole national championship if they make shots like that," Pastner said.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:33 PM   #197 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebaske...s-to-play-duke
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“Memphis is a great team,” Smart said. “When you play a high-level team like them, they’re going to make a run. You can’t expect it to be smooth sailing just because you go into halftime with a 14-point lead.

“This game reminded me of March. These are the kind of games that prepare you for March.”

Friday’s semifinal against Duke will likely have a similar feel. While it may be tough for VCU to maintain the outside shooting success it enjoyed against Memphis, it will definitely put forth the same kind of effort defensively and hope for similar results.

The Rams forced standout point guard Joe Jackson into seven turnovers Thursday. He played just 20 minutes before fouling out. VCU’s depth is one of the main reasons its able to play at such a frenetic pace. Ten players saw double-digit minutes against Memphis.

Asked if fatigue could be a factor on one day’s rest, Smart said: “If you let it be, but the reality is that our guys are used to playing basketball several hours a day. They’ve played AAU basketball three or four times a day. This is what our guys live for.
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The question is whether Duke will be ready. Curry scored 25 points in Thursday’s 89-71 victory over Minnesota, but his chronic leg condition makes it difficult for him to play on back to back days. Krzyzewski said he wasn’t sure if Curry would play against VCU.

Also, as good of a coach as Krzyzewski is, it’d be difficult for anyone to prepare for VCU on such short notice, simply because the Rams’ style is incomparable to any other team the Blue Devils have faced, not just this season, but last year, too. It’s also hard to simulate in practice.

Smart, however, said he doesn’t have any doubt that the Blue Devils will be ready.

“They’re extremely physical, as physical as any Duke team I’ve seen in a long time,” Smart said. “They blow up all your cuts and they’re physical on your drives. We’re going to have do a really good job of playing with toughness and playing through physicality. On our defensive end, we’re going to have to block guys out. (Mason) Plumlee had his armpits on the rim several times today. We’re going to have to match him with toughness and physicality.

“It’s an unbelievable opportunity for us. You’re talking about arguably the best program in the nation and certainly, more than arguably, the best coach of the modern era.”
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:54 PM   #198 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams



Dave Telep mentions VCU among the top non-BCS recruiting classes in the country for 2013 and specifically mentions JeQuan Lewis as a key signing for next season.

Lewis most recently won MVP of his division in the State Farm Tournament of Champions last weekend and broke the all-time tournament scoring record with a 50 point game on a list that includes Anthony Davis, Reggie Bullock, Cory Joseph, Nick Calathes, Quincy Miller etc.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:26 PM   #199 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

As you know District Baller I am a season ticket holder and have been to every home game thus far including the exhibition and eventhough I support the Rams obviously, very basic things have been exploited thus far this season and many of those elements of the game we have debated leading into the season. It was nice to see Reddic have the kind of game last night agianst Stetson even if it was against rather unchallenging opposition, but again I like others question the consistentcy of play for the Rams "bigs" in Reddic and Haley. Much of that may be due to quality guard play but even the games on TV had the announcers questions why it seemed the "bigs" were uninvolved in the offense on a consistent basis. The glaring thing that stands out is the fact that Havouc very well may contribute to the horrendous secod half free throw shooting for this years squad. An arguement can be made that both the Duke and the Missou games were lost down at Atlantis from the charity strike. Problem being there was no charity given VCU, which shot around 50% while its opponents shout 70%+. You can't beat top programs with those numbers. If you look at our performance we have blown out teams and still shot below average from the line and three point shooting and these often gest lost in victories, but in the close games VCU has lost; Shockers, Blue Devils and Tigers. In fact, some of these elements also contributed to Memphis getting back into the game as well. We have a quality squad no doubt but questions abound just like every other team in the A-10 right now but I think at 4-3 we have underachieved. Ever game has been winnable in my view and I would make the case that last years squad would have won them. I have seen a few Richmond Spider games and watch some off Butler and Xavier and it seems to me while the Rams are incredible to watch in transition and wreaking havouc, we will be challenged in the half court because I believe these teams may be fundamentally sounder basketball teams.(today) That does not mean that being "fundamentally sound" equates to wins but shooting % and free throw % matter and directly impact wins and losses. If A-10 teams decide to slow it down with a half court set and VCU cannot play its game I am not confident at this point we can win that game. However, if an opponent gets into a fast tempo style of play and allows VCU to run the transition game all night VCU will be beating up on alot of teams just like they did last night. Just my observation thus far, but I do like the fact that VCU is playing seven and eight guys routinely getting these young guys some experience.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:46 PM   #200 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

Fair observations and I agree.

If teams in the A-10 can slow us down like Missouri, Duke, and Wichita State were able to, they will have a good shot at beating us. Our half-court offense is still pretty lackluster and our outside shooting is suspect. We also give teams a chance when it comes to our horrendous free throw shooting as well.

Our defense is right up there at the top of the league if not the best defense in the league. That may not be enough some nights.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #201 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

I've been really impressed with what I've seen of VCU in the couple games I've seen them play. They are going to finish very high in the A10 standings this year. Looks like a great addition to the league.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:29 PM   #202 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

JD, Last years NCAA tournament team would've probably beaten those teams and had a shot to win at Atlantis. that team also played 36 games together. This years team is 7 games in. We are FAR ahead of last year's team at this point.

I don't question Reddic this year, just question the guards who at times forget he is there. He is averaging 15points and 8 or 9 rebounds through 7 games. That is first team all league type numbers.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #203 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebaske...-rankings-a-10
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2. VCU. It is tempting to put the Rams up top, and I suspect they’ll be there more often than not throughout these rankings, but I’m giving St. Joe’s the benefit of the doubt for now. (We have plenty of time, after all. No rush.) Simply put, Shaka Smart’s team is almost certainly the best three-loss team in the country -- deep, athletic, highly attuned to Smart’s pressing havoc style and every bit the equal of the teams (Wichita State, Duke, Missouri) it lost to in November. Look out for the Rams.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:33 PM   #204 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

Former VCU star and current Milwaukee Buck Larry Sanders had a career game with his first triple-double in the NBA tonight with a 10 point, 12 rebound, 10 block outing. His 10 blocks tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most blocks in a game in franchise history.

Sanders was the #15 pick in the 2010 NBA draft and played against Richmond, Rhode Island, Saint Louis, and George Washington from the A-10 over his career at VCU.

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Old 12-02-2012, 07:44 AM   #205 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

Larry Sanders followed up his triple-double with 18 points, 16 rebounds and 5 blocked shots in a 91-88 win over the Boston Celtics. He's starting to come into his own as a NBA player.

Here are the highlights of VCU's win over Belmont last night from VCU Athletics (go to the HD option for the best video quality):



Here's the post-game presser:

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Old 12-02-2012, 10:59 AM   #206 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

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Originally Posted by DistrictBaller View Post
Given St. Joe's excellent performance against Creighton, I'd say VCU will be #1 when the rankings come out again.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:40 PM   #207 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

Looking forward to this week with the Spiders playing ODU and then Rams facing ODU late in the week. I will have to say thus far my RAMIFICATIONs Cross Town Rival assessment is Rams have performed about as "expected" while the Spiders have "exceeded expectations" thus far given the pre-season predictions. Right now Spiders are a very balanced team IMHO.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:17 PM   #208 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

Hey BigE - that graphic you linked to says the game is Saturday. It's actually on Friday, right?
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:45 PM   #209 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams



http://www.vcuathletics.com/sports/m...21207_s0n4.xml
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:50 PM   #210 (permalink)
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Re: The VCU Rams

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebask...top-25-and-one

VCU snuck back into CBSSports' Top 25 (plus one) rankings today at #25:
Quote:
25: VCU (6-3)
26: Connecticut (7-2)

Out: Alabama, Virginia Tech
In: Creighton, VCU
Also the local news did a profile on VCU Associate Head Coach Mike Rhoades tonight:

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