Game 21: GMU (12-8 / 4-3) at vcu (15-5 / 6-1) on Wednesday, January 25, at 7:00 PM.

Patriot Lawdog

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Breaking their press is an obvious key to this game, but I would argue that our defense and defensive rebounding are even more important. VCU's full-court press and half-court traps have always been predicated upon scoring. If they miss shots, they can't set up their press, and it gives us a chance to get out in transition and put them on their heels.

We want this game to be a rock fight in the 60s. If it's a high-scoring game, it will be a long ride back to Fairfax.
Agreed... I wouldn't mind seeing a little bit more of the junk defenses CKE has thrown out there. I'm thinking specifically of the matchup zone look. We need to make this a slog.
 

Earl the Squirrel

Specialist
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
VCU still records a lot of steals, but not at quite the same rate as they did during the Shaka years. It's my understanding Roades had a big hand in that scheme, but he's definitely dialed it back in recent years. It would make sense for him to turn up the pressure against us, given our propensity for TOs.

But on the TO front, VCU has had their own problems the last two years. In fact, as bad as we think WE are -- VCU is worse, averaging 15 per game (one more than us). As has been pointed out it points toward an ugly game.

Dinkins may be just a freshman and you'd hate to put too much on his shoulders by playing him more than 6-8 mins, but on a per minute basis, he's got the lowest TO percentage of our guards, and has been particularly good these last 5 games (with a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio). Defensively, I like how hard he goes after his opponent. Ace Bladwin's going to have to work slightly harder when Devin's on the floor.

If Oduro stays out of foul trouble and we can get our threes to fall, we can win this game even with 14-15 TOs. We kept it close last time we played them in Richmond.

Can't shoot 50% from the line, though...
 

Earl the Squirrel

Specialist
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Cooper had 4 TO's vs a crappy uri today. He might have 10 vs vcu pressure d.

Maybe we press them and disrupt their now more efficient half court offense?

Maybe duncanlamb picks us to pull the upset. He seems to know.
I'm too am curious if Duncan is willing to weigh in on the outcome, given that he appears to be clairvoyant.

Maybe not, though. I don't think I'd be able to enjoy the game if Duncan started shining and posted..."VCU guards decimate Mason's and they win by 30. Book it!"

I'm not too worried about turnovers because what's the point? As a team we are careless with the ball. CKE can call people out but it just isn't going to alter the reality. We just saw that in the Rhody game. 17 more big ones.

VCU, OTOH, is elite defensively. There will be turnovers...lots of them, but VCU is worse at ball control so the TOs may be a wash and a non-factor.

In my mind, it comes down to who hits at a higher percentage from deep. Here the teams are pretty evenly matched, but Mason appears to have an edge. VCU is good at defending 2Pt shots but they're just run-of-the-mill at defending from distance. GMU does a better job of defending 3 pointers shooters (we're a top 55 team) than VCU does, and we shoot a better percentage from distance than they do, so this is where our advantage lies and what will dictate the outcome of the game. Given this, it is IMPERATIVE we get Victor Bailey and Coop a number of good looks. From a coaching standpoint it ain't hard to do...screen...screen...screen.

Lastly, one other area where we have an advantage is our ability to limit offensive rebounds. We're very good (top 33 -- I found this surprising) and VCU is very bad at this (#286 in the country). Crash those boards and follow shots on the offensive end. Argues for Malik getting sizable minutes because he is gifted in this respect.

Play to our strengths and this is winnable.
 

mkaufman1

Administrator
Staff member
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Hopefully the team puts on a good performance and gets the w today.

I will be at the a10 party in Brooklyn with a few former basketball players.
 

JimP

All-American
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
I'm too am curious if Duncan is willing to weigh in on the outcome, given that he appears to be clairvoyant.

Maybe not, though. I don't think I'd be able to enjoy the game if Duncan started shining and posted..."VCU guards decimate Mason's and they win by 30. Book it!"

I'm not too worried about turnovers because what's the point? As a team we are careless with the ball. CKE can call people out but it just isn't going to alter the reality. We just saw that in the Rhody game. 17 more big ones.

VCU, OTOH, is elite defensively. There will be turnovers...lots of them, but VCU is worse at ball control so the TOs may be a wash and a non-factor.

In my mind, it comes down to who hits at a higher percentage from deep. Here the teams are pretty evenly matched, but Mason appears to have an edge. VCU is good at defending 2Pt shots but they're just run-of-the-mill at defending from distance. GMU does a better job of defending 3 pointers shooters (we're a top 55 team) than VCU does, and we shoot a better percentage from distance than they do, so this is where our advantage lies and what will dictate the outcome of the game. Given this, it is IMPERATIVE we get Victor Bailey and Coop a number of good looks. From a coaching standpoint it ain't hard to do...screen...screen...screen.

Lastly, one other area where we have an advantage is our ability to limit offensive rebounds. We're very good (top 33 -- I found this surprising) and VCU is very bad at this (#286 in the country). Crash those boards and follow shots on the offensive end. Argues for Malik getting sizable minutes because he is gifted in this respect.

Play to our strengths and this is winnable.
David Shriver can fill it up...gotta prevent him from knocking down a bunch.
 

MasonSAE4

All-American
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Welp here it is. Pretty much the last shot at top four. Win this and turn the top four race into a car crash at the top of the standings. Lose and we probably have little chance. I’m weirdly optimistic though.
 

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