BACK TO BASICS: STETSON NOTEBOOK

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Juvonte Reddic led all players with 20 points Wednesday.

RICHMOND, Va. – Juvonte Reddic said it was about getting back to basics. If he meant, basically running Stetson out of the gym, then Wednesday night was mission accomplished for VCU, which dismantled the Hatters 92-56 at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

In their first game back from the rugged Battle 4 Atlantis, the Rams looked like a baseball player who spent the weekend swinging a bat with a weighted donut, only to remove it in time for Wednesday’s game. VCU unloaded on the overmatched Hatters (2-3), dominating every facet of the game. If not for VCU’s dreadful 3-point shooting (5-of-22), the Hatters would be wearing their Stetsons much lower on their way back to Florida.

After a 1-2 showing at the “Battle”, where they played three top-25 teams in three days, the Rams looked loose against a team that is clearly not of the same ilk, no offense to Stetson. It makes the win difficult to assess, if the prism we’re viewing VCU through now is that of a team on par with the Dukes and the Missouris and the Memphises. But the Rams appeared to do everything they were supposed to do, and more.

“It’s always fun to play here. We had a tough little stretch in the Bahamas going 1-2, so we told ourselves to reset, come back to Siegel,” said junior Rob Brandenberg, who finished with 17 points.

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SCOUTING REPORT: STETSON

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All hat, no horse.

STETSON HATTERS (Nov. 28, 2012)
2012-13 Record:
2-2 (9-20, 6-12 Atlantic Sun in 2011-12)
2011-12 RPI: 263
Guy to Heckle: Adam Pegg, Sr., F (18.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg)

The Skinny: The Hatters in Year Two of Coach Casey Alexander’s rebuilding project and there are reasons for optimism. Stetson returns all five starters and nine players overall from last season’s 9-20 squad, including former Delaware big man Adam Pegg.

After two unremarkable seasons with the Blue Hens, Pegg enjoyed a breakout season with the Hatters last year. He nearly tripled his scoring average from the 2009-10 season and established himself as Stetson’s best player. At 6-foot-9, Pegg has the size to mix it up in the paint, but also knocked down 18 three-pointers last year and is 5-of-9 from that distance in 2012-13.

The Hatters can score the basketball. They’re averaging 76.0 points per game this season and have four players averaging double-digits. Guards Aaron Graham and Joel Naburgs have combined to shoot 21-of-55 from three.

However, defense (or lack thereof) and regard for the basketball (or lack thereof) have been major issues for Stetson. The Hatters allowed 78.4 points per game last season and turned the ball over 17.7 times per game – a recipe for disaster against VCU. Neither has been dramatically better so far this season. The Hatters are currently 272nd in Ken Pomeroy’s Defensive Adjusted Efficiency (AdjD) and 279th nationally in turnover rate. That’s like a Petri dish for Havoc.

Quick hitter: Stetson has performed admirably in two games against Miami (Fla.) and South Florida. Although the Hatters lost both, the final margin was less than 10 in each. In addition, Pegg did not play against South Florida. He was serving a one-game suspension for a flagrant foul earlier this season.

Actual Stetson recruiting video below:

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