July 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm #6272
Hey Mountain Hawks fans!
VCU fan here. Looking forward to hosting Lehigh at the Siegel Center at VCU this year. CJ McCollum and the Mountain Hawks were impressive in dispatching the Blue Devils!
VCU was also a Duke-killer in the NCAA first round behind then-sophomore and current NBA point guard Eric Maynor’s late-game heroics in 2007. It should be a great game in Richmond!
We moved to the A-10 this summer and this will be our first year in the league along with Butler. We lost our leading scorer in Bradford Burgess, but return everyone else from a 29-7 team that went to the second round of the NCAA tourney and was a missed 3-pointer at the buzzer away from beating Indiana to go to the Sweet 16. Burgess’ brother Jordan is an incoming consensus 4-star ESPN/Rivals/Scout recruit that we hope will be able to help fill Brad’s shoes at the same position.
We pride ourselves more on our defense than our offense nowadays although we’re pretty good there. We defend with full, 3/4 court, 1/2 court, and 1/4 court pressure with trapping and mix it up with various zones and zone presses to keep the opposing offense on its toes. We call our style ‘Havoc’ and have seen a good amount of success with it since Shaka Smart implemented it upon his arrival at VCU. We went to the Final Four with it in 2011 and fell just short of the Sweet 16 with it last year.
Our team consists of long, athletic players who get hands in the passing lanes, pressure the ball, and create points off of turnovers in transition. Going into the NCAA tournament last year, VCU led the country in both steal percentage (16.2% of opposition possessions) and turnover percentage (27.4% of opposition possessions). I’m not sure whether they kept post-NCAA tournament stats or not. We return 5 players who averaged 1.2 steals or more per game. We play a very aggressive style and try to dictate the pace of the game, making teams react to our pressure. It’s a tough style to play against and has a cumulative effect over the course of the game that seems to really show results in the last 10 minutes of games as mental fatigue and sometimes lack of conditioning sets in.
We also have a tremendous home-court advantage as we’ve had 18 straight home sell-outs at the 7,617-seat Siegel Center at VCU and have the 11th highest home winning percentage in country at 85.79% since the building opened in 1999 (http://www.rpiratings.com/homecourtrec.php).
Watching CJ McCollum and Lehigh will be a real treat as he has a great chance to be an All-American and the Mountain Hawks return your top 4 scorers. It should be a good contest. Shaka Smart has built quite a program here at VCU and they’ll be a very game and worthy opponent. I can’t wait to see it! Should be a good one!
July 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm #6274
- This topic was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by districtballer.
Thank you so much for putting a date to this contest and your comprehensive summary of the VCU program. I can say with a great deal of certainty that the Lehigh community is also looking forward to the is game with great anticipation. I know I am. Shaka Smart has done an amazing job with your program and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. Personally, I think VCU will be more of a challenge than Duke primarily due to their athleticism. Cj though is the real deal and he has a very nice supporting cast with him again this year.
I wish your team much luck in the A10 but on January 5….it’s Go Lehigh.July 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm #6275
You’re welcome. We actually have a shot at playing Duke this season as well as we are both in the Battle 4 Atlantis preseason tournament in the Bahamas this year. The field includes VCU, Duke, Louisville, Memphis, Missouri, Minnesota, Stanford, and Northern Iowa. Hopefully we can get a shot at the Blue Devils and make it 2-0 for VCU.
A win over VCU at the Siegel Center would be a great accomplishment, not many teams come out of there with a win, but you do have a special player and a good team. It should be an entertaining game!July 15, 2012 at 1:50 am #6276
District Baller – Thanks for posting and putting a date to this exciting game. We’re fired up at this opportunity, kudos to Shaka and staff for giving us an opportunity at the benchmark of mid-major programs over the last few years. Believe me when I tell you, we are well aware of the VCU program and really love the HAVOC style of play that Shaka brings to VCU. It will be really interesting to see how these two teams go at each other, as we like to get out and run/push it on offense and we are guard oriented with a ton of ball handlers on the floor. How Mackey and CJ handle the pressure, will be fun to see, what an intriguing match-up.
Who starts the game on CJ for you guys? Daniels? Brandenburg? Theus?
LUHoops00July 15, 2012 at 2:46 am #6277
To be honest, it’s teams that slow it down and try to beat us up that have the most success against us. Teams that try to run with us usually are not successful. We are very long, fast, and athletic so it wears down on most teams over the course of a game. Having a lot of ball-handlers on the floor will help versus the press for sure though. I too am intrigued to see how it pans out.
It will be Theus and Daniels starting for VCU in the back court with Rob Brandenberg and Briante Weber coming off the bench as defensive sparkplugs. Both are 6’2/6’3 guards with 6’7 wingspans that hound the ball and play excellent defense. Briante Weber was the only freshman in the country not named Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to make a conference all-defensive team. He was tied for 12th in the country with 77 steals (led our conference) and averaged over 2 per game playing just under 19 minutes a game off the bench as a freshman. He could be pretty special by the time he’s done here.
I’m betting those guys will rotate their defensive assignments on CJ to keep our guys fresh and out of foul trouble. I’m sure they will have their hands full with McCollum he’s a nasty, nasty player.July 15, 2012 at 7:13 am #6279
It should be an exciting game. Lehigh will bring their best. After the year they had, they are willing to take on anyone and believe they can beat anyone. I look forward to the contest.July 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm #6280
That’s why this game is going to be great. You have a fearless team that hasn’t played VCU before that is stacked with good talent and a very well-rounded, athletic, high-achieving squad playing at home where they don’t lose much.
I think this is where we find out what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. It’s going to be fun to watch!July 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm #6281
Here are some video highlights of VCU from VCURamNation.com which is VCU’s fan site and forum. There will be a video similar to these ones on the Lehigh game as every home game gets a highlight tape.
CAA championship vs. Drexel: http://www.vcuramnation.com/2012/03/video-rams-win-caa-championship/
CAA semifinal vs. George Mason: http://www.vcuramnation.com/2012/03/video-caa-semifinal-vcu-v-george-mason/
CAA quarters vs. Northeastern: http://www.vcuramnation.com/2012/03/video-caa-quarterfinals-vcu-v-northeastern/
There are videos from every home game VCU played last season if you want to check them out. It’ll give you a good feel for what VCU does as well as our home court atmosphere and fans.July 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm #6290
VCU just added another top-100, 4-star player with a late 2012 commitment from Miami-decommit Melvin Johnson. The St. Benedict’s guard is a deadly perimeter shooter who is a 4-star top 100 recruit on ESPN, Rivals, and Scout.
Scout profile: http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=8&c=1&nid=5541448
He will be another weapon in the arsenal when Lehigh comes to town.
- This reply was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by districtballer.
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