VCU’s high-intensity full court press is hardly the norm in college basketball. A few notable teams run something similar, Missouri and Arkansas come to mind, but certainly no team in the Big Ten, where the Hoosiers reside, does. Other than its game against top-ranked Kentucky – a game IU won, it should be pointed out – did the Hoosiers face an up-tempo press like the Rams’. It’s that unfamiliarity that VCU hopes will keep the opposition guessing.
“There are a lot of reasons we play the way we play,” said VCU Coach Shaka Smart. “But one of the reasons we play that way is because it’s different from what teams are used to practicing in their own practices and playing against. In theory, our style is something that will be new for them tomorrow.”
VCU players agree that when the Rams have to face teams after a short turnaround, as in many NCAA Tournament games, Havoc comes in handy.
“I definitely think it’s an advantage,” sophomore Rob Brandenberg said. “It’s one thing to watch film, but it’s another to get on the floor and have game experience playing through the press and things like that.”