All the movement that has been on going in college basketball this off-season involves more transactions than professional sports. Students now more than ever are bolting for new chances at different schools. While the upper echelon are able to leave early for the NBA draft, four year athletes have to consider what’s best for them. It’s a year to year evaluation. A lot more athletes are deciding to pursue a different school rather than play through their current situations.

It’s a move that continues to hurt college basketball. Rising transfers is only continuing and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. This past season’s NCAA champion has a chance to be a legitimate contender again with NC State transfer Rodney Purvis eligible.

Looking around the college basketball horizon I truly believe 2015 will be the year a smaller school wins the NCAA tournament. In the past ten years we’ve seen the possibility teased of this happening. George Mason, VCU, and Butler have made magnificent runs before. The tease will finally come to fruition and I believe that VCU is going to be the team to do it.

Last year I was one that bashed VCU’s team on multiple occasions. Their frenetic play seemed a bit disorganized, especially on offense. While they would win their fair share of games with tenacious defense, they seemed to play like an NFL team powerhouse. Their defense would get the job done but offensively they would let teams back in just as easily. Quick shots and poorly ran sets offensively doomed them from being a better team than they were.

A past season can prove to be a booster going forth, and the stage is set for VCU.

Shaka Smart once again turned down the opportunity to head to a larger school to keep things going at VCU. Who could blame him? He seems comfortable there and has been able to recruit well.

The Rams did lose several key graduating seniors but by playing a nine man rotation, the Rams should be able to count on the experience learned by underclassmen a year ago. Including guard JeQuan Lewis who made the big blunder against Stephen F Austin by fouling a three point shooter to send the game into overtime via a four point play.

Other talented players include Melvin Johnson, Treveon Graham, and Jordan Burgess. This team once again will not have great interior length but teams have shown that is not needed to go deep and win an NCAA tournament. UConn just won the tournament off of sound defense mainly from their guards.

VCU has that top on the ball guard defender in Briante Weber. If he hones in his frenetic play in half court sets and improves his jump shot, he will make this VCU team even that more dangerous.

The returning talent is enough to get me to believe that VCU will be a solid top ten to fifteen team. Tags: , , , , , , ,
posted in: Basketball, Handicapping on Monday, 9 June, 2014
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