Richmond at VCURecommendation: Under 70.5 first half
VCU head coach Mike Rhoades is not a happy camper
. Last time out his squad allowed 106 points in regulation to an average Dayton squad.
“When you get taken out to the woodshed ... you can blame, blame, point fingers, you can make excuses,” Rhoades said. “Or you can look in the mirror and say, 'I got to do better, we got to do better, we got to do more.' ”
Tonight serves as a chance for redemption, especially considering the opponent is crosstown rival Richmond. Overall, the Rams have been pretty formulaic: beat the weak, lose when asked to step up in class. Richmond is in a rebuilding year with one of the youngest rosters in the country. The Spiders took their lumps early on but have quietly improved. Since getting blown out in back-to-back games against Wake Forest and Old Dominion, the Spiders are 3-5 SU with the five losses coming by margins of 8, 5 (OT), 4 (OT), 7, and 6.
Rhoades eventually wants VCU to get back to playing a more chaotic style similar to that of what we saw under Shaka Smart. The problem thus far is that opposing teams haven't been bothered by the defensive pressure VCU has tried to create. Based on Rhoades' quotes and the personnel advantages they'll have in this matchup, I think VCU is sitting on their best defensive performance of the season. A number of ways we can play it but for now we'll look to play the first half under the total.