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3/02/2023 11:41 pm  #1

GW vs VCU Game Thread

GW takes its 4 straight wins, 3 on the road, into the final regular season game of the year.

It gets no tougher in the A10 than VCU our opponent Saturday

GW has already beaten Dayton, does GW pull off the huge upset of both of the A10's most elite KenPom teams, with wins over both  Dayton and VCU?

and improve to 11-7 in league play???


Last edited by The Dude (3/02/2023 11:42 pm)


3/03/2023 12:31 am  #2

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

Still mad at our loss on that inbounds play. NEVER FORGET.

Haven't seen a lot of VCU ball this year. Think we're near our ceiling for the season even with a loss. 


3/03/2023 2:06 am  #3

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

I believe this team really does feed off of an enthusiastic crowd.   If we can come reasonably close to filling up the Smitty on Saturday, we'll win.   VCU will help us to fill the place as they'll contribute several hundred to the crowd.   I just hope their contingent doesn't drown ours out........


3/03/2023 9:12 am  #4

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

VCU will try to trap Bishop out of the game.  And they’ll trap Adams, too.  The only way we’ll have a shot is of the other three make them pay because Edwards, Lindo, Dean are going to be forced to make a lot of quick decisions in this game.


3/03/2023 9:39 am  #5

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

Just not a great match-up for GW based on styles of play.  VCU doing what it does best (pressure, steals, forcing turnovers) should be able to exploit what GW does poorly (handle pressure, taking care of the ball).  If teams like Fordham, Duquesne and La Salle have given GW problems, it's hard to imagine VCU being unable to.

And yet on the other hand, we've reached the point where I can confidently say that if you doubt this GW team, you may soon be regretting this.


3/03/2023 10:36 am  #6

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

Anyone have 2-3 tickets available for the VCU game??? Just making an inquiry, that's all.


3/03/2023 11:10 am  #7

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

bjgiants6 wrote:

Anyone have 2-3 tickets available for the VCU game??? Just making an inquiry, that's all.

Actually yes.  I have Covid and can’t make it.  Send me a private message on here.  But only if you’re a GW fan (don’t remember this poster name)

Last edited by Free Quebec (3/03/2023 11:10 am)


3/03/2023 11:15 am  #8

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

The Smitty will be relatively full, but my guess is 60% by VCU fans.


3/03/2023 3:39 pm  #9

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

Can't imagine what tomorrow will be like.
But we would likely need to have extraordinary shooting to win, unless we have somehow figured
out how to handle traps--or VCU goes away from their traditional pressure defense.
  One thing I've noticed all year is that for some reason, we tend to hold, dribble or pass our way into
traps. Maybe the holding onto the ball/passing can be understandable on say an inbounds play late in the game where you expect to be fouled.
    But the dribbling into traps is hard to understand unless Kevin Larsen, who had the height to deal with it, 
comes back onto the court. We have to pass quickly and smartly, which has not been our strength, to deal with potential VCU pressure. Maybe Hunter can help a bit, heightwise.
   To have a chance against pressure, we need to do better against it this game--or play out of our minds, which admittedly, we have the veteran players to do so on Senior Day at home.


3/04/2023 12:35 am  #10

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

VCU Rams

Date/Time: Saturday March 4th @ 4:30 PM ET at The Charles E. Smith Center in Washington DC (Senior Day!).
Preseason Ranks: 94th (KenPom), 74th (Bart Torvik), 53rd (Sports Illustrated)
2021-22 Record: 22-10, 14-4 (T-2nd in A10)
2022-23 Projected Record: 24-7, 15-3 (1st in A10)

Head-to-Head: 3-17. VCU is currently on a five game winning streak in the series, the longest in the history of the series. They had previously won four in a row on three separate occasions. The Rams have won by 20+ in three of the past four meetings. They've scored 80+ in three of the past four, while we've only scored 50+ in three of the last four. To put it simply, we have been outmatched by them more than any other team in the league (although the same was true for Dayton before this year!).

Last year's 84-57 defeat came just a game after the team had a brief pause due to COVID. Unfortunately for GW, the two teams they faced coming off the pause were Dayton and VCU so neither result was particularly surprising. The Rams took a 20 point halftime lead and never looked back, shooting 47% from the field, 44% from 3 (10 made), and 83% from the line. It's funny that VCU has a reputation of being more of a defensive team than an offensive one yet every time they play us they look like Gonzaga. We don't have the horses to provide much resistance defensively this year either but hopefully luck is finally on the side of GW when it comes to this series...

Perhaps the biggest success in that road contest was that we matched them in steals. Otherwise, offensively we shot under 40% from the field, was outrebounded by 18, finished with 11 fewer assists, and turned it over 18 times. We will need to keep the turnover number within 15 to have a chance I think. The one thing about VCU is that although they turn people over, they can cough the ball up a fair amount themselves. Unfortunately forcing turnovers is not this team's forte either. Just a bad matchup all round.

Three Gdub players finished in double figures: JB had 16, Joe added 11, and Bray had 10. Ricky had a near double-double and a very Lindo statline: 8 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks, 5 turnovers, and 4 personal fouls.

Offensive Efficiency: 173rd (KenPom), 175th (Bart Torvik)
Defensive Efficiency: 17th (KenPom), 16th (Bart Torvik)
Pace: 134th (KenPom), 126th (Bart Torvik)
Offensive Shot Quality Rank: 98th
Defensive Shot Quality Rank: 73rd
Rim & 3 Rate: 82% (77th)

Strengths (OOC Play):
Free Throw Attempts Per Game (3rd)
Free Throws Made Per Game (6th)
Turnovers Forced Per Game (T-19th)
Steals Per Game (26th)
Blocks Per Game (T-28th)
Scoring Defense (53rd)
Winning Percentage (T-89th)
Turnover Margin (T-94th)
Field Goal Percentage Defense (97th)

Weaknesses (OOC Play):
Scoring Offense (T-260th)
Defensive Rebounds Per Game (T-263rd)
Rebound Margin (T-264th)
Bench Points Per Game (284th)
Assists Per Game (T-286th)
Three Point Attempts Per Game (T-290th)
Offensive Rebounds Per Game (T-293rd)
Three Point Percentage (303rd)
Rebounds Per Game (306th)
Three Pointers Per Game (T-306th)
Turnovers Per Game (329th)
Assist Turnover Ratio (332nd)

Key Returning Players:
Adrian "Ace" Baldwin Jr. (Junior; Baltimore, MD) 11.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.5 apg, 2.5 spg; 42% FG, 41% 3-PT, 74% FT
      Last Season @ VCU: 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals; 5-8 FG, 4-5 3-PT, 2-2 FT in 29 minutes.

Jayden Nunn (Sophomore; Flint, MI) 8.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.5 spg; 40% FG, 36% 3-PT, 76% FT
      Last Season @ VCU: 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals; 2-5 FG, 1-3 3-PT, 4-4 FT in 20 minutes.

Key Losses:
Vince Williams Jr. (Exit Early Pro; Toledo, OH) 14.1 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 apg, 1.6 spg, 1.1 bpg; 48% FG, 39% 3-PT, 81% FT
KeShawn Curry (Exit Early Pro; Jacksonville, FL) 11 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.4 spg; 50% FG, 27% 3-PT, 75% FT
Hason Ward (Transferred to Iowa State; St. Thomas, Barbados) 6.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.5 bpg; 55% FG, 67% FT
Marcus Tsohonis (Transferred to Long Beach State; Portland, OR) 5.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.1 apg; 37% FG, 37% 3-PT, 61% FT

VCU is a basketball institution. While failing to make the NCAA tournament is considered to be a disappointment by their fanbase, from a GW perspective they haven't really had a bad season in a very long time. The numbers are stunning: the Rams have won at least 18 games in 22 consecutive seasons (which includes time when they were in the CAA prior to joining the league and the shortened season due to COVID). Going a bit further, they have only finished below .500 in conference play twice in the last 25 years and in both cases they were only one game under. There are also 12 NCAA appearances in the last two decades. Every program in the country is looking for that kind of consistency.

Last year was business as usual for VCU. Year 5 under Mike Rhoades produced 22 total wins and 14 wins in the A10. Things started a little uneven for them with dropped games against solid mid-major squads (at the time) in Wagner and Chattanooga, but win streaks of 7 and 8 later in the season proved that those games were just outliers in the grander scheme of things. A couple of missed opportunities against ranked Baylor and UConn resulted in an NIT trip where the team went 1-1.

Players come and go, but "havoc" remains consistent. VCU is a team that uses defense to fuel transition opportunities on the offensive end. Their guards are able to gamble along the perimeter knowing that any team that somehow passes through their impenetrable shell will be met at the rim by a strong forward with shot blocking capabilities. Last season, VCU ranked 18th nationally in blocks per game and 10th in steals per game. When you also consider the fact that they sported the 3rd best 3-PT FG % defense nationally that's a pretty good defense where everything is contested. Without good looks from three or near the rim available, the opposition has to settle for low-percentage midrange shots (though funnily enough maybe this GW team actually wants that).

The stout rim protectors down low last season were Hason Ward and Vince Williams Jr. Ward ranked 84th nationally in blocks per game but transferred to Iowa State in the offseason. The Cyclones seemingly wanted to get as many A10 players as they could as multiple Bona players joined him in Ames this season. Williams made all-A10 first-team last year and was a strong candidate for player of the year before the award went to Brajkovic of Davidson. He not only contested shots but was a good on-ball defender and shot 39% from 3 on the other end - Williams was certainly one of the most well-rounded players the league has had in some time and is now on a two-way contract with Memphis.

When you lose players like that (along with ballhawk/penetrator KeShawn Curry), the average team would live with the fact that the following year would be a rebuilding one. Not VCU. There's no rebuild, only reload and their OOC numbers this year reflect that albeit with a slight regression. The Rams ranked 28th in the non-con in blocks per game and 26th in steals per game. That's the result of having a set system, a good development program, and an identity which makes it easier to know what players to look for to fit the system.

VCU went 9-4 during OOC play this year which included wins over Howard and Radford, two teams GW faced as well. The Rams also notably beat Pittsburgh (a team that unexpectedly rose to the top in the ACC this year), Kennesaw State (the dark horse to win the ASUN championship), and Vanderbilt (who may not be the strongest P6 team but is still a P6 team). Their win against Vanderbilt came on the same night as our win against South Carolina.

Even their losses weren't outright embarrassments: Arizona State came from behind to beat them (and side note I don't think the Sun Devils are an NCAA tournament team - they've been incredibly lucky all year), Memphis is always solid, Temple was expected to at least be NIT level (though it's tough to find a more erratic team - imagine beating Houston and losing to Maryland Eastern Shore and Wagner), and Jacksonville (who was picked high in the ASUN to begin the year but somehow failed to even qualify for their conference tournament - that might be the worst loss).

The Rams enter Saturday's contest on a five game winning streak. They haven't just won those games but have won in convincing fashion, with their last four being by double digits. Their defeats during conference play have been against Duquesne at their place and St. Bonaventure + Dayton at home. Unsurprisingly none of those losses were by double figures either. This was always going to be a tough contest, but things will be that much harder (what happened to scheduling an easier conference opponent on Senior Day?).

VCU's undisputed leader on both sides of the court is Adrian 'Ace' Baldwin Jr., who spearheads VCU's frenetic defense (51st nationally in steals last year) while doubling as lead facilitator of the halfcourt offense (17th nationally in assists). He is putting pretty similar numbers to what he did last year (when he made all-A10 second-team), but has regressed slightly on three point shooting which might be partially due to a wrist injury he suffered earlier in the season. Baldwin of course has a long history playing against JB dating back to his HS days in Baltimore so that figures to be a can't-miss matchup tomorrow. Like Bishop, he's really good in the mid-range which was on full display in a 37 point performance at SLU last month.

Baldwin's backcourt mate is Jayden Nunn. The Flint native who originally committed to Iowa State out of HS (I guess Ward was sent to ISU in return for Nunn) is another pest of a defender, having ranked 79th nationally in steals per game during OOC play. Nunn, an all-rookie team selection last season, is a very good three point shooter, hitting 39% from 3 on the year. For the most part, he's a very solid complementary player on offense but can occasionally erupt like he did against St. Joe's a couple weeks back where he went for 31 on an unreal 12/13 from the field and 7/7 from deep. GW has had a really bad habit of going under screens all year and he's one guy who will punish us if we do.

Jalen DeLoach, Nick Kern Jr., and Josh Banks, key reserves from last season, also return.

DeLoach has been a big reason why VCU has not seen a dropoff with regards to internal rim protection with the departures of Ward and Williams last season - he was 48th in blocks per game during OOC play. He operates exclusively in the paint but gobbles up rebounds by the second, finishes efficiently around the rim, and commands a lot of space in the paint.

Kern has taken over the KeShawn Curry role somewhat. He's all about getting downhill on offense and is the kind of guy you want to force to take jumpers. Kern is 1/13 from three in two seasons at VCU but is shooting 66% from inside the arc which is incredibly good for any player.

Banks has more or less continued his deeper bench role from last year. He had a reputation of being a decent shooter out of HS and is 12/34 from 3 on the year (35%) but doesn't see even 10 minutes a game on average.

The Rams also technically have one other player returning from last year. Jamir Watkins is back in the fold for their squad after missing all of last year due to an ACL injury (seems like a lot of VCU players have experienced that recently). He provides defensive versatility at 6'7" and is a strong rebounder (second on team). Watkins is still a work in progress on the offensive end as he's now had two seasons shooting below 40% from the field and 30% from 3. Surprisingly his season-ending injury from last year has not really hurt his stats from his freshman year. In fact, they are very similar minus improved rebounding and passing.

Even with all the returning production, Rhoades landed a few players from the transfer portal. Brandon Johns Jr. and Zeb Jackson both come over from Michigan, while David Shriver arrives from Hartford (good luck to them as they move to D3 next year...I feel bad for their fans).

Johns is second on the team in scoring and does a good job rebounding the ball. He has a knack for finishing in traffic near the basket and generating second-chance opportunities. Johns will handle the ball along the perimeter and let it fly but is just 11/40 from 3 on the year. Hopefully he pulls a Ricky and falls in love with shooting three after three assuming he continues missing and we keep daring him to shoot it.

Jackson, a former top 100 out of HS per 247Sports, has done a solid job arriving in Richmond and embracing the role of every VCU guard that comes into the system: attack the basket, play suffocating defense, and move the ball in the halfcourt. He's only 9/46 from three so again daring him to shoot is not the worst idea in the world.

Shriver is on the court to do one thing and one thing only: get threes up and make them. He's accounted for nearly 24% of their total attempts from deep on the year and has overall done a better job of playing that role compared to the now departed Marcus Tsohonis (who was by no means bad, but Shriver is a legit specialist). Shriver may not have the look of a CBB player but can really shoot it if given even a little bit of space. The main takeaway is to focus on closing out when Nunn and Shriver shoot, along with Baldwin if he's having a good day shooting. If others get hot we then have to adjust accordingly.

VCU's freshmen (Toibu Lawal, Christian Fermin, and Alphonzo 'Fatts' Billups III) don't figure to play much if at all tomorrow if the game remains remotely close. Given our history lately though they may appear for a few minutes at the end (minus Billups who I believe is redshirting). Keep an eye out on this trio in the future though. All of them were pretty good prospects out of HS (it's VCU, not a shocker).

Not much else has to be said. Really hoping we can find a way to put an end to our ineptitude against VCU. I mean at some point luck has to be on our side to allow us to come out with a win. I don't feel like that's this year with how they're playing and what we have on the team (VCU must be licking their chops getting the chance to face a team with limited depth, is susceptible to turnovers, and can quickly get into foul trouble with some drives to the basket) but hopefully CC can figure out what previous coaches at GW have not somewhat consistently.

Regardless of what happens, year 1 has undoubtedly been a success under CC. Congrats and thank you to all the seniors who may or may not be moving on and thanks to everyone who has read my previews all year. Crazy that another year is almost in the books!

Projected Score: VCU 76, GW 71. 31% chance to win (Bart Torvik). ESPN gives us a 21.7% chance to win our fifth game in a row and finish conference play 11-7.


3/04/2023 7:40 am  #11

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

VCU Fans do not seem to think much of GW as an opponant.  Neither to the odds makers (GW plus 7 at home).


3/04/2023 7:45 am  #12

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

We are statistically better in every offensive category.  Defense is another story however.


3/04/2023 11:04 am  #13

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

Colonials are +250 on the money line. I’m a homer as I proved with last week’s wager, but even a homer has to take a pass every now and again.


3/04/2023 11:56 am  #14

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

Any tickets text me at 8049725001. Thanks.


3/04/2023 11:59 am  #15

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

Alum1 wrote:

Colonials are +250 on the money line. I’m a homer as I proved with last week’s wager, but even a homer has to take a pass every now and again.

I gave it some thought.   Senior day.   Team on a roll.   VCU not really playing for anything beyond maintaining a slim at large bid if they do not win the tournament.   What should be the biggest crowd of the season (thanks to the VCU fans who will be present in sizable numbers).   We very well good win if game is a shootout as opposed to a defensive chess match.  In the end, I decided to take a pass also.


3/04/2023 2:13 pm  #16

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

Remember, today may very well be your last chance ever to cheer on the Colonials at the Smith Center.

Last edited by GW Alum Abroad (3/04/2023 2:15 pm)


3/04/2023 2:50 pm  #17

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

Richmond had the ball with a chance to win the game and instead turned it over and lost on a layup. Horrible way to end that game seeing as they had a huge comeback. Best case for us is now 6th. If the Dukes win against Fordham our game today means nothing in terms of seeding.


3/04/2023 2:53 pm  #18

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

GW Alum Abroad wrote:

Remember, today may very well be your last chance ever to cheer on the Colonials at the Smith Center.

They will alway be the Colonial to those of us of a certain age. Always.


3/04/2023 3:38 pm  #19

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

MG14 wrote:

Richmond had the ball with a chance to win the game and instead turned it over and lost on a layup. Horrible way to end that game seeing as they had a huge comeback. Best case for us is now 6th. If the Dukes win against Fordham our game today means nothing in terms of seeding.

Dukes are down 20.  So log shot odds at the 6 still alive with the big upset.


3/04/2023 4:00 pm  #20

Re: GW vs VCU Game Thread

True Alum1. Too bad this administration thinks they know it all. More than anyone who preceded them. They know how to divide the community. But, of course, few of these people care, because they are not alumni.


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