Saturday, November 9, 2013

Game Preview: VCU vs UVA


On ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m.
At John Paul Jones Arena:

Head Coach: Tony Bennet

Projected Starters for UVA:

PG- Malcolm Brogdon #15
Sophomore - 6'5
SG- Joe Harris #12
Senior- 6'6
C/PF- Anthony Gill
RS Sophomore- 6'8
PF- Akil Mitchell #25
Senior- 6'8 

If healthy
SF-Justin Anderson 
#1 Sophomore- 6'6

Key Reserves:

C- Mike Tobey #10
Sophomore- 6'11

PG/SG- Teven Jones #5
Sophomore- 6'0
SG- Evan Nolte #11
Sophomore- 6'8
PG- London Perrantes #23
Freshman- 6'2 

PF- Darion Atkins #32
        Junior- 6'8

Characteristics of UVA:

  • Their guards and forwards are all very good shooters. With great shooters all over the court for UVA that helps them get the court spread out and makes it easier for Brogdon and Anderson to slash through the paint.

  • Their big men are very skilled and can match up well with any team's bigs. They can be physical, but also are very composed in defending the paint.

  • They are very disciplined on defense and do not give up easy baskets in the half court. With Bennet's philosophy of slowing the game down and being stout in their half court defense it has become hard to score up to 60 points against the Cavaliers.

  • They have a go to scorer, in Joe Harris, that can get the team baskets in critical situations and South Carolina transfer, Anthony Gill, who sat out last season for transferring, but was said to be the best player in practice last season.

Advantages/Disadvantages for the Rams:

  • Havoc will definitely cause fits for the inexperienced guards of UVA that bring the ball up the court for the whole game.
  • Even though UVA has more depth than last year, they still are only four deep on the bench and that is the exact opposite of VCU. Shaka can play up to 12 players who can make an impact on offense or on defense.
  • If VCU speeds the game up and it becomes an up-tempo game, then you will most likely see UVA lose composure in trying to keep up with the ram's athleticism. Evan Nolte and Mike Tobey will be thrown off their games' if the game gets to fast.
  • UVA is a more disciplined team on the offensive side and they look for the best available shot. VCU can sometimes get a little to trigger-happy and force shots instead of looking for the best available one.
  • UVA has a strong, physical team that will try to get good easy shots under the basket. They will try to feed Mitchell, Gill, and Tobey. It will be important that Juvonte Reddic, Terrance Shannon, and the other big men for the rams that they can defend and stop them from getting easy buckets.
  • UVA has some real athletes on the team that you do not want to give space and drive right down the middle for an easy dunk or layup.

Key Player for the Rams and the Cavaliers:

 Melvin Johnson

     Melvin Johnson must be able to come off the bench and provide an instant spark on offense. With Reddic, Shannon, and Graham focusing on their individual match ups with Mitchell, Gill, and Harris, Melvin will be the X factor for the rams this game. Melvin will be able to get past UVA's inexperienced guards and get to lane where he will either use his signature floater over the UVA bigs or dump the ball of to a VCU the big man for an easy dunk. Melvin will also be making a lot more three's this season just because he is more comfortable in the system. Expect a rams victory if Melvin Johnson makes a big impact on offense. 

 Justin Anderson:
      Justin Anderson is an athletic freak that has the ability to affect the game offensively and defensively. Anderson is a great defender and it will be very hard for the rams to get by him in any sort of isolation play versus him. Anderson was not much of a factor offensively his freshman year, but he has had a good summer up at Charlottesville and is ready to show that he has become a complete player this year. If VCU lets Anderson get going on offense then, UVA will defiantly have the upper hand in this match up. VCU must close out as soon as Anderson gets the ball, so he can't set his feet and shoot the ball. If Anderson starts the fast break for UVA, then VCU must either force it out of his hands and not let him get into the lane where he will elevate over a defender and dunk it. Justin Anderson is a hustler and a hard worker so do not expect him to just give up if VCU is shutting him down offensively, but if they do then VCU will have a better chance of winning this game.

Predicted Score:
VCU: 79
UVA: 71 

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