We can all agree that Havoc is awesome. He can also agree that Strawberry Street Cafe is awesome. Well, here’s an artist named Bunnie Comer dominating the chalk board Havoc game at Strawberry Street Cafe recently. Color me impressed.
November 4, 2013
October 11, 2013
The Black and Gold Game is bearing down on us. If you’ve been hitchhiking across Siberia, let me catch you up. On Sunday, Oct. 13, VCU Basketball will hold an intra-squad game at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart. C. Siegel Center at 6 p.m. Admission is FREE. Seating is general admission.
I was going to write up a quick preview, but a couple of outlets did a nice job producing their own, so I’ll lead you towards their quality work and go back to making widgets over here at VCU HQ.
Nice job by RVANews, which lays out a list of things to look for Sunday. You can click HERE for the full article, but here’s a sample:
Are you the type of fan that will be upset on Sunday because VCU has to lose, or are you the type of fan that sees this as a win-win? Let’s be honest, when HAVOC! plays HAVOC!, everyone’s a winner.
Recently, Coach Smart has talked about having a nine to eleven man rotation this season. With Guest sidelined, that leaves each team with seven players. How will the full-court pressure and high octane offense look with such a short bench? How will VCU’s guards handle the full-court pressure?
The piece also includes a list of match-ups to watch. I’m going to add one they didn’t include. I’d love to see Briante Weber matched up on Melvin Johnson. I know Weber’s going to get plenty of burn at the point this year, but historically he’s played a lot of two-guard. I’d love to see VCU’s best on-ball defender checking the Rams’ top dribble-drive-floater guy. Wouldn’t you? I don’t know how the teams will be constructed, so the point might be moot, but I can dream.
VCU Ram Nation also waded into the Black and Gold Game mix:
The other familiar face with an unfamiliar game comes in the form of a 6’6 260lb physical machine, Mo Alie-Cox. Cox’s size alone (including a 7’1 wingspan) make him an intriguing front court option for the Rams. Take it for what it’s worth, but one VCU insider I spoke with said Cox isn’t just size, but can really play as well (drooling yet?).
We’re all looking forward to Sunday. We hope to see you and about 7,000 other friends there. In the meantime, here’s a great Tumblr of brides throwing cats.
June 26, 2013
Baseball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Men's Basketball, Men's Soccer, Men's Tennis, Track & Field, VCU Athletics, Volleyball, Women's Basketball, Women's Soccer, Women's Tennis Adam Ball, Atlantic 10 Conference, Brandon Ruffin, Briante Weber, Cindy Chala, Courtney Conrad, Havoc, Hayley Moorwood, Heath Dwyer, Jaleesa Williams, Jason Johnson, Jessica Pellechio, Jessica Williams, Joey Cujas, Kelsey Scherrer, Kiara Porter, Marlene Stollings, Matt Ball, Matt Ball Jr., Matt Lees, Max Wennakoski, Paul Kostin, Quanitra Hollingsworth, Robyn Parks, Ryan Farrar, Shaka Smart, Troy Daniels., Yoram Mwila Leave a comment
June marks the conclusion of the college athletics calendar, and July’s arrival effectively signals the beginning of the 2013-14 season, at least for those of us in the biz, anyway. It all makes this week a good time to reflect back on the year that was in VCU Athletics.
A – is for Atlantic 10 Conference, in which, according to our slogan, the Rams were ‘all-in’. We were also all-in for another season of “Arrested Development” and Pop Tart ice cream sandwiches, so we’re having a good year. VCU competed in the A-10 for the first time in 2012-13, a move that has elevated the program’s national profile. The Rams’ first A-10 title came via the women’s tennis squad, followed by a men’s tennis crown days later. Meanwhile, several other sports (men’s basketball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer) reached the league’s championship final.
B – is for the Ball family, one of the driving forces behind the VCU Golf program. They’re like the Kennedy’s of VCU Golf, but with a better short game. Matt Ball may have just completed his 14th season with the Rams, but this one was surely different than the others. That’s because 40 percent of his starting lineup was occupied by sons Adam and Matt Jr. Son Adam, a freshman, led the Rams in scoring average (73.53) this year, while Matt Jr., a junior, placed seventh at the A-10 Championship and was named to the league’s All-Academic Team.
C – is for Courtney Conrad, the alliteratively named star of the women’s soccer team. Conrad led the Rams with 11 goals, including five game-winners, and received All-Mid-Atlantic by the NSCAA.
D – is for Daniels, Troy. If you are a fan of basketball players who score three points at a time (and the signed, obscure Mark Price picture in my dining room proves I am), then you would’ve enjoyed Daniels’ 2012-13 season. In 36 games, Daniels bombed a school-record 124 three-pointers, including games of 11, nine and eight.
April 2, 2013
Four years ago today, near mid-court of the Verizon Wireless Arena – underneath where a Final Four banner would soon hang – Havoc was born.
On April 2, 2009, Shaka Smart was introduced as head coach of the VCU Men’s Basketball program, to which we all answered, “who is Shaka Smart again?” Four years later, the man has a higher Q rating than RGIII (okay, slight embellishment) and could run for mayor of Richmond tomorrow (probably not an exaggeration). The Rams are 111-37 under Smart with three straight NCAA bids and a Final Four appearance. Meanwhile, Havoc, Smart’s trademark full-court press defense and opportunistic, up-tempo offense, is an integral piece of the Richmond lexicon, right up there with BBQ and Brown’s Island.
Happy Havoc Day.
March 17, 2013
HAVOC HAVOC HAVOC HAVOC HAVOC HAVOC
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) March 17, 2013
Yup. He’s ready.
March 16, 2013
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – If Kentucky can have Ashley Judd and Duke can have Dick Vitale, we here at VCU are certainly entitled to our own superfan. It doesn’t get much better than Spike Lee. After meeting Shaka Smart and the Rams at practice a few weeks ago, Spike has morphed into a VCU backer faster than you can say, “Do the right thing.”
Friday, he sat center court wearing a lime green sweatshirt. He was occasionally vocal. But Saturday, he returned wearing a gold “VCU Rams” longsleeve tee. He was at his Reggie Miller-heckling best, too. At a couple of points, after VCU steals, Lee could be heard shouting “Havoc! Havoc!” It was terrific.
Let’s catch up on the Spike Lee beat, shall we?
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) March 16, 2013
Snow Flurries Can’t And Won’t Stop Coach Shaka Smart And VCU Rams Vs. UMass Playing Without Dr. J And Marcus Cambry. HA HA. OH YEAH-HaVoc YO
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) March 16, 2013
— VCU Pav (@VCUPav) March 16, 2013
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) March 15, 2013
— MayaSmart (@MayaSmart) March 15, 2013
— Lance Stowell (@WSwildcats22) March 16, 2013
March 7, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. – College basketball is broken? Scoring is down? The game is boring? Soft bubble? Too many upsets? I think some of these stodgy columnists need some Havoc therapy.
This year, more than any in recent memory, college basketball has faced parroted calls for a fix.
“Make this game more fun! Entertain us! Too many upsets. Too many guys leaving college early.”
Maybe I’m not qualified to assess the state of Division I basketball. I drive a Pontiac – a car brand which no longer exists – and own a total of two suit jackets, so, probably not. Maybe hoops is “broken”, maybe it’s not. I’m just wondering if these guys are watching what I’m watching. Have you seen VCU? Have you sampled the fruit of the breakneck, devil-may-care style of play that is only churning out turnovers and entertainment value at a faster rate than it is producing victories?
From where I’m sitting, college hoops looks better than ever.
March 1, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. – In 1989, Energizer Batteries scored a marketing victory when it introduced the Energizer Bunny, a pink, sunglass-wearing, bass-drum pounding, stuffed rabbit that shuffles, presumably, in perpetuity. It became a pop-culture icon and embedded itself in the national lexicon as a THE metaphor for someone or something with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
I’m appreciative of the Energizer Bunny’s legacy, because it allows me to describe the play of supercharged VCU guard Briante Weber effectively to the uninitiated. If Weber dresses up as the Energizer Bunny for Halloween next year, I will lose my mind.
He’s a unique talent, Weber. An angular, 6-foot-3, 165-pound sophomore wing with a 45-inch vertical leap, he doesn’t necessarily fit into the tidy positional descriptions we’ve come to accept: point guard, shooting guard, small forward, etc. What is he? He can play some point guard, yes. But most of the time he’s swooping around the court as if he’s on fire, creating havoc on defense.
Defense in basketball has never been as easily quantified as offense. You can more easily judge the efficiency of a player by his shooting percentages, scoring averages, assist-to-turnover ratio. Defense can be a little murkier. But for VCU and Coach Shaka Smart, you can draw a number of conclusions about the Rams’ effectiveness on defense by the number of turnovers they force, many via the steal. That’s where Weber’s impact is most easily understood.
February 15, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. – Whatever Shaka Smart said or did at halftime of Thursday’s game, he should remember it and then repeat it every day for the rest of the season. I don’t care if he built his team up, tore it down, broke a whiteboard or played “Fire on the Mountain” on the banjo, he needs to bottle it, because if VCU can play better than the first 14 minutes of the second half of Thursday’s 86-68 blitzing of UMass, I’d like to see it.
VCU, trailing 42-37 at intermission, embarked on a 21-1 run at the start of the second half and turned a tight game into a chance for fans to beat the traffic. At one point, VCU pushed its run to 44-12 and assumed an 81-54 advantage before calling off the dogs with six minutes remaining.
“I think we were able to break their spirit a little bit with that run, and that was the determining factor in the game,” Smart said.
It was like watching the best possible version of the Rams for 14 unmatched minutes. The Rams (20-5, 8-2 A-10), who won a game by 51 earlier this season, actually found a sixth gear. UMass’ first 11 possessions of the second half went as follows: turnover, missed 3-pointer, turnover, missed 3-pointer, free throw, turnover, turnover, missed 3-pointer, shot blocked, turnover, turnover. By the time that hellacious six-minute stretch was over, it was 58-43. Game, VCU.
January 9, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. – You can’t replicate it in practice. You can’t fully appreciate it on TV. You have to be here to understand the claustrophobic grip VCU’s Havoc can slip around opposing teams.
On Wednesday, the Rams’ frenzied pressure introduced itself to the Atlantic 10 Conference, namely the Dayton Flyers on this night, before packed Siegel Center. VCU’s trademark defensive pressure, like metal grinding on metal, served as an agent of attrition and pushed Dayton (10-5, 0-1 A-10) into a breakdown state over the course of the game. As legs tired and the intensity rose, the Flyers’ miscues multiplied and allowed the Rams (13-3, 1-0) to pull away for a 74-62 win in the first A-10 game in VCU history.
After just four turnovers in the first eight minutes of the game, Dayton committed 22 in the final 32 minutes. In all, the Rams outscored the Flyers 30-5 off turnovers on the way to their 10th straight victory.
“I think our press had a cumulative effect,” VCU Coach Shaka Smart said in perhaps one of this season’s bigger understatements.