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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
VCU

W - NOV. 9 FLORIDA GULF COAST
W- NOV. 13 WICHITA STATE
W - Nov. 17 at Winthrop
L - Nov. 22 vs. Memphis (Battle for Atlantis)
W - Nov. 23 vs. Minnesota/Duke (Battle for Atlantis)
L - Nov. 24 at Battle for Atlantis
W- NOV. 28 STETSON
W - DEC. 1 BELMONT
L - Dec. 7 at Old Dominion
W - DEC. 15 ALABAMA
W - DEC. 18 WESTERN KENTUCKY
W - DEC. 21 LONGWOOD
W - DEC. 29 FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON
W- Jan. 2 at East Tennessee State
L - JAN. 5 LEHIGH

NONCON FORECAST: 11-4

A-10 FORECAST: 11-5

OVERALL PREDICTION: 22-9.


Looking at the last five years of VCU skeds, I see a similar pattern to A-10 teams. The Rams tend to lose on the road to good midmajors and solid BCS teams. They tend to beat lesser teams consistently and score some big wins in in-season tourneys.

Yet the Rams also seem to pull more upsets on the road vs good midmajors or BCS teams than most A-10 programs. In that sense, VCU has been more like Xavier and Temple instead of LaSalle and Duquesne. In other words, their noncon pattern is much like a top-tier A-10 team.


FGCu is a decent team, but VCU is better at every position.

Witchita State will be a good team by season's end, but they lost a lot to graduation and and need to develop a new rotation. I think Gregg Marshall is one the two best coaches outside the BCS leagues and the A-10 (The St. Mary's coach is the other). He will find a way, but the Shockers are too inexperienced to avenge their loss to VCU in last year's NCAA tournament.

Wintrop returns all five starters, but the team also lost 20 games last year. There's a new coach too - former Xavier player Pat Kelsey, who has two X-related-men as assistants (Brian Thornton and Mark Prosser). VCU should not have much trouble with anything X related this year!

The Battle for Atlantis presents a huge opportunity. If VCU can get by Memphis, they would likely get a date with Duke. I see Memphis winning, however. Enough athleticism to avoid "havoc" and more scoring punch.

I wouldn't be surprised if Minnesota beats Duke, but I call it a loss and have the Rams playing the Gophers next. Minny is big and strong and could pound the smaller Rams, but VCU's style might work its magic on a slower team not known for great ballhandling.

If the Rams beat Minnesota, they would end with either Missouri, Stanford or Louisville. i go conservative and call it a loss.

The Stetson game is too soon for my comfort, but the Rams find the energy to win. Belmont (27-8 last year) comes to Richmond next, but the Bruins lost three all-conference players to graduation and aren't ready to pull an upset.

VCU keeps its rivalry with ODU afresh with a visit to Norfolk. ODU has turned over nearly its entire team the past two years and is very young. The team also lacks a motivating cause since it cannot play in the CAA tourney in its last year in the league. But Blaine Taylor always finds a way and he has restocked with athletes.

This is a game VCU should win and Rams have beaten ODU twice in a row on the road (and three times in the last five years). I chalk it up as a loss, however. VCU caught looking ahead to Alabama.

Solace is just around the corner, though. VCU welcomes old (but stil quite young) coach Anthony Grant to Richmond. VCU is better than last year's team that lost 72-64 at Alabama early in the season. Alabama is probably not quite as good. Havoc is wreaked. (always nice to extract these games when you lose a coach).


VCU rides that momentum in its final five noncon games, four of which are at home.

Western Kentucky is always good, but VCU seems to have their number. The progam fired their coach halfway thru last season, a turbulent year. Yet WKU does have a lot of talent and, though young, is capable of pulling an upset if VCU is still high over its victory vs. Alabama. Dangerous game.

Longwood lost 21 games last year and four of the starters involved. Easy win. Ditto for FDU, which was 3-26 last year - 3-26!

East Tennessee State dropped off sharply last year and there's no reason to expect a quick recovery. It's a road game, but VCU has better players 1-8 and has no business losing this game.

Lehigh, slayer of Duke, is a lot different. They have a starting five capable of challenging and beating a bigger and deeper VCU team. I think VCU will win, but as usual, I always add one unexpected loss to each team's sked. I can see VCU falling to either WKU or Lehigh.
 

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I could easily see that scenario playing out. Well done. I think we dance with that record and I'll take that.

I do think it is worth noting that VCU has not lost a fall non-conference home game in the last 5 seasons. If I had to bet, I think that will continue with this team being maybe stronger than any other VCU team over those last 5 seasons.

I also think VCU fans will be very unhappy if we lose to an ODU team that lost their top 3 leading scorers and starting point guard from a team that we swept last season. We've also won in their house 2 years running. They do add NC State 6th man Deshawn Painter who should help their thin frontcourt, but they are starting a true freshman point guard and I think most VCU fans feel pretty good about our chances in that one.

Battle 4 Atlantis is a real wildcard. I can see us going 1-2 there, if only because it's the best preseason basketball tournament in the country this year. Memphis is a tough match-up.

I can understand going conservative, as there is almost always an unexpected loss here and there. Overall I like it.
 

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I would be very surprised to see Lehigh, despite the fact that they are very good, beat us at the Stu. I just don't think they have the horses to hang for 40 minutes. We also have a very good track record at ODU and they have one of their most inexperienced squads since "Blame" Taylor has been running the show.

That said I don't find the prediction offensive and certainly a possible reality, although I like the Rams to pick up 2-3 more wins somewhere along the way....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I could easily see that scenario playing out. Well done. I think we dance with that record and I'll take that.

I do think it is worth noting that VCU has not lost a fall non-conference home game in the last 5 seasons. If I had to bet, I think that will continue with this team being maybe stronger than any other VCU team over those last 5 seasons.
Jan. 5 is officially winter. (-:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I like to think of my forecasts as more of a floor than a ceiling, absent injuries or any other freak events. But we have learned hard lessons on this board over the years about over optimistic predictions. I had an outlier year or two, but my league noncon forecast tends to finish within five games of the mark.
 

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Well then we haven't lost a non-conference home game prior to the conference regular season since 2006-2007. :)

vcurams05 is right, VCU is 5-5 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center at ODU. This may be Blaine Taylor's most inexperienced squad and they have finished outside of top 100 RPI 3 of the last 5 years. They are talented but extremely young and a true freshman point guard going up against our press early in the season is not a great recipe for success if you're ODU. Then again, it is a rivalry game and those are a little different and don't always follow logic.
 

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Well then we haven't lost a non-conference home game prior to the conference regular season since 2006-2007. :)

vcurams05 is right, VCU is 5-5 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center at ODU. This may be Blaine Taylor's most inexperienced squad and they have finished outside of top 100 RPI 3 of the last 5 years. They are talented but extremely young and a true freshman point guard going up against our press early in the season is not a great recipe for success if you're ODU. Then again, it is a rivalry game and those are a little different and don't always follow logic.
the fact that the game is early in the season helps us too. ODU has also made sure that we do not take over the house by limiting the single ticket availability
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Remember, I did write that VCU should win. I just go conservative in noncon forecasting since it ... works. Gives us an idea of our at-large bid chances so we can track.
 

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No it makes complete sense. I actually think that's a very realistic loss total. It's just difficult to pick out losses as a fan. You always think your team should win every game it's favored in even though that rarely ends up happening.
 
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