Sunday, June 23, 2013

VCU's Projected 2013-2014 Schedule-Wins and Losses

      The schedule is almost done now and their might be one or two games not on the schedule yet, but I am going to project which games the Rams might win or which ones they might lose. I will put a percentage on how confident I am on that pick from 100% chance of  being a likely win to 0% chance to being a loss.

Puerto Rico Tip Off Teams-We will play 3 games in San Juan
-Michigan-40% sure on a victory versus the Wolverines
-Georgetown-64% sure on a victory versus the Hoyas 
-Florida State-75% sure on a victory versus the Seminoles
-Kansas State-70% sure on a victory versus the Wildcats
- Northeastern-85% sure on a victory versus the Huskies
- Charlotte-75% sure on a victory versus the 49ers
-Long Beach State-88% sure on a victory versus the 49ers

2013 Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic-We will play one game in the Richmond Coliseum
-Virginia Tech-80% sure on a victory versus the Hokies

Brooklyn Hoops Winter FestivalWe will play one game in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn
-Boston College-48% sure on a victory versus the Eagles

Home and Away Out of Conference Games
-Northeastern(Home)-90% sure on a victory versus the Huskies
-Eastern Kentucky(Home)-65% sure on a victory versus the Colonels.
-Old Dominion(Home)-95% sure on a victory versus the Monarchs
-Belmont(Away)-79% sure on a victory versus the Bruins
-Stony Brook(Home)-60% sure on a victory versus the Seawolves
-Winthrop(Home)-85% sure on a victory versus the Eagles
-ETSU(Home)-99% sure on a victory versus the Buccaneers
-Northern Iowa(Away)-50% sure on a victory versus the Panthers
-Illinois State(Home)-75% sure on a victory versus the Red Birds
-Virginia(Away)-44% sure on a victory versus the Cavaliers

A10 Scheduled Games(We play 4 teams both home and away)
 Duquesne-88% sure on a victory versus the Dukes
 George Mason-65% sure on a victory versus the Patriots
 St. Bonaventure-78% sure on a victory versus the Bonnies  
 Rhode Island-65% sure on a victory versus the Rams  
 Fordham-85% sure on a victory versus the Rams
 George Washington-70% sure on a victory versus the Colonials
 Richmond-79% sure on a victory versus the Spiders
 Saint Louis-55% sure on a victory versus the Bilikens

Dayton-64% sure on a victory versus the Flyers
La Salle-45% sure on a victory versus the Explorers
Saint Joseph's-75% sure on a victory versus the Hawks
UMASS-40% sure on a victory versus the Minutemen
Fordham-80% sure on a victory versus the Rams
George Washington-67% sure on a victory versus the Colonials
Richmond-70% sure on a victory versus the Spiders
Saint Louis-40%  sure on a victory versus the Bilikens

Saturday, June 22, 2013

VCU's Main 2014 Recruits

1.) Jonathan Williams PG out of St. Benedict's committed already to VCU. Williams is a 4 star recruit that has been on the rise ever since he has signed with VCU. He is a lock down defender and is a great slasher through the paint. He has very good athleticism and is known and praised by teammates and others as being a great on the court leader. VCU defiantly got a steal with this guy.

Now VCU has 2 open scholarships left since for the 2014 class. Shaka is obviously going for either a tall wing player or another big man. He is recruiting the hardest though tall athletic wing players that can play either the 2, 3, or 4 position. Here are some of Shaka's main guys he is looking at to finish this 2014 class off.

  1. Victor Law: Law is an ESPN Top 100 player out of South Holland, Illinois. Law is 6'6 and an athletic wing player who can score the ball by either pulling up or by getting to the basket. Shaka is recruiting him probably the hardest out of all the recruits. Shaka has shown up to his high school to watch him practice and taking other trips to see Law play. Law has defiantly shown interest back. He has also taken an official visit to VCU and the trip went well. Shaka looks to steal Law from programs like UVA, Creighton, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Harvard, and many other major programs.
  2. Devin Robinson: Robinson is a VA native that goes to Christchurch. Law is another Top 100 recruit that Shaka is going for. Robinson is 6'8 wing with great outside touch and can finish in the lane over the tall bigs. Robinson has been on the rise for a while. He is now getting looks from top programs like Louisville and Indiana. Robinson has taken unofficial visits to VCU and he says that VCU is recruiting him the hardest out of any school. It will be hard for Shaka to steal  an Indiana recruit but as we should know by now that Shaka can pull off miracles.
  3. Makinde London: London is from Thompson's Station, Tennessee and is a 4 star recruit. The 6'9 center was not always that big. His freshman year he was just 6'1 guard but then by his junior year he grew to become 6'9 center/power forward. London has good shooting touch for a big man and great athleticism for his size. Many colleges have now realized London's skill. VCU and Wichita State were first to show interest. He doesn't hold an offer yet by VCU though. He has offers from Wichita State, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.
  4. Markell Lodge: Lodge is a 6'7 power forward out of Creedmoor, North Carolina. Lodge maybe  a bit undersized for the Power Forward position ,but he makes up for it with his long arms, great athleticism, and great motor on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. He has great bounce and is very well built player already. He dunks anything he can and blocks many shots with his long arms. Lodge has many offers from VCU, George Mason, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, St. Joseph's. 
Other guys we could get but we or they don't show as much interest as the other guys.
  1. Terry Larrier
  2. Johnathon Wilkins
  3. Andre Walker
  4. Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman
  5. Robert Johnson
  6. JaKeenan Gant

Preseason Rankings of A10

  1. VCU-All the returning and new talent that is coming in for the Rams should make a lot of noise come March. The Rams are the likely team to win the A10 this year.
  2. La Salle-La Salle had a great season last year making it all the way to the sweet sixteen ,but they were not just a one hit wonder. With everyone returning except First Team A10 player Ramone Galloway this team should be just fine to make another run into the tournament. Expect Tyrone Garland to fill the role of Galloway and be the teams main offensive weapon.
  3. UMASS-UMASS loses 2 key seniors, Freddie Riley and Terrell Vinson, but with Chaz Williams back for his senior year expect him to try to put the team on his back and get to the NCAA Tournament.
  4. St. Louis-St. Louis was the powerhouse last year beating almost every A10 last year. They lose 3 key seniors: Kwamain Mitchell, Cody Ellis, and Cory Remekun. They return though Dwayne Evans who made First Team A10. Expect the Bilikens to win many games ,but not just roll through the A10 like last season.
  5. Richmond-Richmond's season had a very bad end by losing to Charlotte in a controversial way in the A10 tournament. They return all their key players from last years team and have young returning players ready to make a bigger impact. Expect the Spiders to be very competitive this season.
  6. George Mason-George Mason comes into the A10 as the new kids on the block. They had a good season in the CAA last year but defiantly could have done better. They return everyone next season except Vertrail Vaughns who is transferring to North Texas. Big man Erik Copes and shooting guard Patrick Holloway should make a much bigger impact this season. George Mason could either really make a big splash in the A10 or could just be an another middle of the pack team. 
  7. Rhode Island-Rhode Island comes into this season with one of the best recruiting classes in the A10. With coach Dan Hurley returning to coach the Rams expect them to build on last season and have a much better season than last year's team. DeAndre Bembry comes into next season as a freshman who supposedly can make an impact automatically. Phil Martelli is a good coach so he will be able to coach the hawks into a good A10 team.
  8. George Washington-George Washington was very young last year, but were still very competitive. They return both freshman guards who should have an even better. Isaiah Armwood will be the main post presence this season. Expect George Washington to be a middle of the pack A10 team.  
  9. St. Josephs-Last years favorites to win the A10 St. Joe's defiantly had a disappointing season last season. They lose CJ Aiken to the NBA draft and Carl Jones to graduation. They will not be as talented as last years team but they maybe will play better than last years team. 
  10. Dayton-Dayton brings in an another stellar recruiting class but lose second team A10 guard Kevin Dillard and Josh Benson. Dayton has all the tools to become a basketball power house but now actually needs to win games if they want to be the elite program they think they are.
  11. Fordham-Fordham returns everyone except top scorer Chris Gaston but that don't expect that to hinder the Rams on offense. They have many young players who had big roles last year and carried the load. With another year under their belt they should be able to get more wins and grow as a team this season.
  12. St. Bonaventure-The Bonnies lose their three top scorers for this season. This season will defiantly be a rebuilding one. Expect the Bonnies to try to find an identity on offense and defense  next year with the loss of so many seniors.
  13. Duquesne-Duquesne was not very good last year ,but have more to look for this season. They're leading scorer,Derrick Colter, was only a freshman and they get UAB small forward Ovi Soko this season who sat out last year. Expect the Dukes to get more than one victory in A10 play this season.

 The A10 I think will get up to at least 3 bids maybe 4. Even though losing Temple, Butler, Xavier, and Charlotte the league will still be strong.

A review of VCU Roster/Depth Chart

     Its very early to predict which players are going to receive the most minutes, but we know that Shaka likes to use his whole bench if he can. This team has seven players that have not played on the team(4 freshmen/1 transfer/2 redshirt freshmen). The roster this year though is defiantly deep and talented so expect players to be fighting for minutes for the course of the season.

PG: Briante Weber-Briante Weber will come into the season probably as the starting point guard. He will defiantly have to grow into the position being more of a floor general than just a HAVOC creator. Weber was defensive player of the year in the A10 and top 5 in steals in the country. He will have be careful about not fouling to much because now that he is the starter. He defiantly is skilled enough to take the reins from Darius Theus. His athleticism and unselfishness should propel him to be one the great point guards VCU has had.  
      Jequan Lewis-Highly touted freshman Jequan Lewis is from Tennessee. He comes into the rams  being a 4 star recruit and on the cusp of being a Top 100 player on ESPN rankings. People out of VCU and other people outside of VCU praise the young guard for his all around ability to carry a team. His speed and outside shot make him a threat all over the court. Look for Jequan to play good quality minutes and giving Briante a good rest on the sideline. He will defiantly have freshmen mistakes but expect Shaka to try to get him up to speed as soon as he can since Lewis is the point guard of the future for VCU.
       Torey Burston-Last years late addition to the squad was 5'9 point guard from Trinity Episcopal Torey Burston. Torey walked on to the team and he is recognized for his great on ball defense coming out of high school. Expect to see Torey in situations where the game is out of reach. 

SG: Rob Brandenberg-Senior shooting guard Rob Brandeberg will defiantly be a leader of this season's locker room. From day one Rob has been a key part of the team. His freshman year he played in 39 of the rams 40 games. He also had a key block in the Rams Sweet Sixteen matchup with Florida State where he blocked Chris Singletons attempted buzzer beater which helped the rams move on to the Final Four. Now as a senior brandenberg will asked to be a key contributor on both the defensive and offensive side. He will have to pick up the slack with 3 point specialist Troy Daniels graduating this year. Expect another solid year from Rob as he tries to solidify his place in VCU history as one of the best players to come through the school.

       Melvin Johnson-Melvin "The Microwave" Johnson was a late addition to the team last year when he decomitted from Miami and chose to sign with VCU. Melvin coming out of high school was a 4 star recruit and an ESPN Top 100 player. Melvin brought instant offense off the bench becoming one the rams most consistent offensive threats on the team. Melvin became a crowd favorite for his Eric Maynor signature floater he has which he calls The Melvin. With so much skill offensively expect to see Melvin competing with Rob on playing time next year. 
       Douglas Brooks-Freshman Douglas Brooks from Lake Wales Florida is known for his great pressure on the ball and his 3 pointer. Brooks is expected to come in and give Melvin and Rob a breather. When he is on the court he wreaks Havoc and gives you 110 percent when he is on the court. Expect Brooks to play the second most out of true freshman next year.
       Jarius Lyles-Jarius Lyles comes from high school powerhouse Dematha. Lyles is athletic undersized 2 guard with exceptional 3 point range and good ball handling. Lyles needs to put on more weight before he can make an impact at the college basketball level. Lyles has god upside but will defiantly needs one year of college basketball before he can make an impact for the rams.

SF: Treveon Graham-Leading scorer Treveon Graham returns for his junior season. Graham averaged  15.7 points and 6 rebounds as a sophomore and made 2nd team all A10. Expect Graham's numbers to increase with the addition of Florida State transfer Terrance Shannon. Shannon will allow Graham to move to his normal position which is small forward and not having to play the power forward position and being undersized. Graham has a tremendous offensive skill set which compares to Temple great Khalif Wyatt. If he keeps up his progression he could end up as the rams all time leading scorer surpassing the great Eric Maynor.
       Jordan Burgess-Jordan Burgess had to sit out last season because of transcript issues. Jordan came into the team as a 4 star recruit and also an ESPN Top 100 player. During the time Jordan had to sit out he focused on getting stronger and understanding how to play under coach Smart's system. Jordan is brothers with VCU great Bradford Burgess who started every single game of his career. Don't expect Jordan to do that but expect Jordan to compete for starter minutes either at the SF or SG position next year. Coach Smart raves about Jordan's toughness saying he is the toughest player on the team. That is high praise for just a freshman. Jordan is a good defender, a slasher, and also has a 3 point shot. Expect Jordan to play key minutes for the Rams.

PF: Juvonte Reddic-Juvonte Reddic returns for his senior season after a successful junior season. He made 2nd team A10 and averaged 14.4 points and 8.3 rebounds last season. Reddic is the most talented player on the team with potential to get drafted into the NBA next season. Reddic possesses great athleticism for a 6'9 power forward. He also has a great post game being able to finish with both the left and right hand. Reddic will get the bulk of the looks in the post on the offensive side. He will now have more help next season though with transfer Terrance Shannon coming in and providing help on the low block. Reddic is getting much preseason hype for having a breakout year this season. Reddic should have a great senior season and have many NBA teams looking at him throughout the season.
       Jared Guest-Jared Guest comes into his junior season with much more experience and strength to bang with D1 college basketball players. Guest is a finesse player who has good touch from inside and outside the paint.  Coach Smart said Guest was one of the best practice players last season. He said he was the best rebounder in practice last season also. Expect Guest to be a better role player next season and providing more on the offensive side. 
       Mo Alie Cox-Mo Alie Cox came in last season being suspended also for academic reasons by the NCAA. Being forced to sit out last season Mo got even bigger and stronger. Mo is praised for his great leaping ability and strength for just being a 6'6 power forward. Mo is great for coach Smart's system because of his rare athleticism for his size. Mo will play mostly the power forward position but could get some time at the small forward position. 

C: Terrance Shannon-Terrance Shannon comes onto the team as 5th year senior from Florida State. Terrance is 6'8 and has a high motor on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Terrance averaged the most steals on his team last year with 1.2 steals per game which most have Shaka Smart very excited. Terrance will let the rams now play big and not small ball like last year. This addition to the team can be the missing piece that last years team needed to beat teams like St. Louis, Duke, and Michigan. Expect to see Terrance starting at the center position this season.
    Antravious Simmons-Antravious  Simmons comes from South Miami Florida. Simmons is 6'8 240 pound big man with a soft touch on the ball. Simmons is said to have good foot work and is a good rebounder. Simmons was recruited and offered by many high major schools. Simmons will defiantly have to lose some of his weight so he can run up and down the floor and playing Shaka's Havoc style of basketball. Expect to slowly see Simmons late in the season because it will take some time for the big man to learn how to play against D1 big men.

VCU vs UVA Preview

I dont know if you guys know but this UVA game could be ( I think) the hardest game that will be on our schedule. Here is the roster

Advantages UVA has over us:

  1. Playing at UVA will be diffucult. That place gets loud for big games
  2. This team is Tony Bennett's most talented team top to bottom. Returning key starters Joe HarrisAkil MitchelEvan Nolte, Justin Anderson(A physical freak), Mike Tobey ( Just made the U19 USA roster!!),Malcom Brogdon( SG who got hurt last year who was very promising his freshman year), and new addition from last year Anthony Gill(We were going after this guy also. He is from USC gamecocks and he is a beast everyone says!!
Reasons/Advantages we have over UVA:

  1. Havoc- Uva even though returning a lot of talent and players they dont return much experiance at the guard position. They bring in freshmen London Perrantes and Devon Hall. They are highly touted freshmen but they are freshmen and freshmen versus HAVOC usely favors Havoc. They return Taylor Barnette(Lefty shooter) and Teven Jones(aka a wanna be Briante Weber). Both are very inexperiance. Taylor is the better ball handler than Teven. Barnette is also more of a slow the pace down type of guard. We should expose UVA's main weakness next year.
  2. Our Size/Physicality- With the addition of Terrance it allows Tre to move to his normal position which is the SF spot. Terrance and Ju will both be able to bang with there bigs whoever they have out ( 7 footer Tobey/The beast Anthony Gill/ or the lengthy Akil Mitchel). Our bench is also much better and tougher with guys like Mo(The Manimal) and Jordan Burgess(The toughest player on the team according to Shaka. Guest will also provide good minutes next year as his progression is still happening( Shaka said he was the best rebounder and one of the best players always in practice).
  3. Guards- Like I was saying before UVA's main concern is lack of leadership/experiance/depth at the guard position. Our strength is our guard depth and guard talent. Next year we will probably have(guessing) two four star guards to start on the bench(Melvin and Jequan) which is damn good. Bri and Rob will probably start and those two will create just as much or even more havoc than last years starting backcourt did. The late addition of Brooks is also very key for next years squad. From what I hear he is a HAVOC and 3 point specialist. Jarius is probably the most questionable guard on the team(I don't know what to expect out of him). He will probably need a year under the system before making a big impact.
I am so amped for this season guys and this game!!!! I will defiantly be up at UVA cheering on the guys this season. This is(In my eyes) the most talented team that VCU has ever had, but this team has to want it just as much as that 2011 Final Four team if they want to reach their goals. Go Rams!!!