This Sunday Oct. 25 at 5pm marks the unofficial end to a long offseason for VCU Rams fans . The 2 nd annual Black & Gold game allows Ramnation to finally move past the gut-wrenching loss to Stephen F. Austin in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Here are a few things to watch for in the game :
1) How Melvin bounces back from injury
Last year, Johnson hurt his knee in the semifinal of the A-10 tournament. He was forced to sit out against St. Joe’s in the A-10 championship game as well as the Tournament game against SFA.
While all signs indicate is that he’s 100% healthy, it will still be interesting to see if he’s hesitant at all while playing , which would indicate that the knee injury is still in the back of his mind.
Fans also should lookout for what kind of shots he takes. Johnson says he is trying to be more unpredictable with his shot selection this season.
“I’ve been watching a lot of film, and like freshman year was all drives, sophomore year was three point shooting and the coaches just want me to mix it a little bit and not be so predictable,” Johnson said.
2) The highly touted freshman classThe recruiting class of 6-9 F Michael Gilmore, 6-8 G/F Terry Larrier, 6-7 F Justin Tillman and 6-0 G Jonathan Williams was ranked the 14th recruiting in the nation by ESPN.com.
Most eyes will be focused on Larrier, the highest recruit for VCU since it signed Kendrick Warren in 1990. Warren was a McDonalds All-American while Larrier was rated the 43rd best player in the 2014 class.
Treveon Graham has high hopes for Larrier and says he has unlimited potential at SF, saying “He’s a little taller than me , a lot longer than me but we have the same aspect where we can drive and we can shoot, so that position is great for him. And if looks at me he can really thrive in that position.”
3) Big man scoring
Juvonte Reddic graduated last spring and will be the toughest player to replace this season. Despite many Ram fans frustrations Ju because they felt he didn’t live up to his potential, his 11.8 PPG and 8.4 PPG was good for second and first on the team, respectively. Redshirt Sophomore Mo Alie-Cox will replace him in the starting lineup. Everyone know that Mo Says No on defense, as witnessed by this highlight tape.
However, Shaka Smart would prefer to see Mo Say Yes more on offense this season, as he only averaged 3.3 PPG last season. Senior Jared Guest has received limited playing time in his career thus far but he has high hopes for this year, saying “I plan to lead league in rebounding”. The aforementioned Gilmore and Tillman, along with redshirt freshman Antravious Simmons will all compete for playing time, but all have no in-game experience.
The B&G game provides an opportunity for one of the big men to stand out from the rest of the frontcourt.Add a comment