Jan. 14, 2012 (Bob Carpenter Center – Newark, Del.)
2011-12 Record: 7-8 (3-2 CAA)
2011-12 RPI: 256
Guy to heckle: Devon Saddler, So., G (19.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg)
The skinny: Devon Saddler, the 2011 CAA Rookie of the Year, leads the Blue Hens, who are smarting from a 68-66 overtime loss to Old Dominion Wednesday at the buzzer.
Saddler is a hot and cold player. He can be prolific on the offensive end, but also has stretches of forced shots and turnovers. He has turned the ball over 55 times this season, an average of 3.7 per game. Expect the Rams to pressure the 6-foot-2 guard early and often.
Junior forward Jamelle Hagins (13.6 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 2.5 bpg) has been a revelation for Delaware. The Rams have struggled against teams with an elite shot blocker this year, including Seton Hall (Herb Pope), Akron (Zeke Marshall) and Georgia State (Eric Buckner), so Hagins could give them trouble. It wouldn’t hurt for the Rams to knock down a few 3-point shots, since points in the paint could be tough to come by.
Fifth-year Head Coach Monte Ross has added productive freshmen Kyle Anderson (10.7 ppg), Khalid Lewis (6.5 ppg, 3.0 apg) and Jarvis Threatt (5.6 ppg), a Highland Springs graduate to the mix to give the Blue Hens a deeper group of options than they’ve had in years.
Delaware is limiting opponents to 39 percent shooting from the floor, so another rock fight is a real possibility, given VCU’s recent offensive production.
Rambits: VCU leads the all-time series with the Blue Hens 15-3. The Rams have won 14 of 15 against Delaware, the exception an 81-79 loss in Newark in 2009… The Blue Hens are turning opponents over just 9.5 times a game… Delaware was the first state, but nothing interesting has happened there since… Delaware has no sales tax, but they get me every time on that $6 toll. I swear, next time I’m taking a pontoon boat to the game.
Wilmington, Delaware’s own, George Thorogood, sings us on down the road…“She was so nice. Lawd, she was lovey dovey.”