Thursday night, VCU welcomed George Mason to the Atlantic 10 Conference essentially the same way the Rams said farewell (although they didn’t know it at the time) to them in the CAA in 2012: with a Havoc-heavy double-digit win. In front of a raucous, “Check the Stu” legion of VCU fans – the 43rd straight sellout at the Siegel Center – VCU beat the Patriots 71-57.

It was a night where I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the bouillabaisse of terrific happenings on and off the court. First and foremost, the “Check the Stu” promotion. Much like last year’s “Stripe the Stu”, this was outstanding. Frankly, it’s intimidating to look up in the stands and see 7,700 black and gold shirts bearing down on you. Love how big-time that looks on TV too.

As if that wasn’t enough, the game featured possibly the best Briante Weber steal you’ll ever see, a thunderous Terrance Shannon tip dunk, a Shaka Smart chestbump (of Shannon) and a space kitten. Let’s recap!


This picture doesn't necessarily do it justice, but it's the only arena shot at have right now.

This picture doesn’t necessarily do it justice, but it’s the only arena shot at have right now.

With about 47 seconds left in the game and VCU up double-digits, George Mason attempted to roll the ball in – an attempt to advance the ball without running clock. Bad idea. Briante Weber, who just flat-out never downshifts, came sliding in for one of the best steals you’ll see. Ever. Seriously.

EDIT: Slide gif now available.

Weber finished with 12 points and added a total of five steals to move into sole possession of second place one the program’s career list.

Shaka Smart is somewhat energetic. As far as college coaches, he’s like Buzz Williams, if you attached him to a bar battery with jumper cables. It’s from this frame of mind that Smart, in the moment of the game, decides to do things like chest bump 6-foot-8 Terrance Shannon (photo via Logan Whitton Photography).


The VCU Pep Band, The Peppas, has been digging deep lately. Their recent addition of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” has been well received. So, they took it to another level Thursday, unveiling a “Space Kitten” poster during second half free throws and a meow chant thing. It’s all related to Miley Cyrus. Now, to an outsider, I can see how this would seem a little weird because…actually, because it’s pretty weird. It was also pretty awesome, and potentially, very effective. Somebody can check my math, but by my count, George Mason was 2-of-5 at the line when the claws came out, so to speak.


They also played music.

Alaa Abdelnaby is way taller than Shaka Smart. Makes for an interesting interview.


Plus this:

And this tip slam: