VCU Rams1

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.11.32 AMLook, you’re a busy person. I’m sure you’ve got to find a Cliff Diver Elmo or something, so I’ll keep this brief. VCU dumped East Tennessee State Monday night 84-60. The Rams limited ETSU to 39 percent (20-of-52) shooting overall and turned the Buccaneers over 22 times. Game over. Rather than bother you busy shoppers with a long-winded column about “The Game That Saved Christmas”, I thought I’d keep my thoughts brief and direct.

  • This could be Coach Shaka Smart’s deepest team. All 13 Rams played Monday, and at least 12 VCU players have appeared in the last four games. Only walk-on Torey Burston failed to score Monday, and no player logged more than 24 minutes. Nine Rams are averaging 11.0 minutes per game or better.
  • VCU’s freshman class  has the potential to be scary good. Michael Gilmore provided 10 points Monday, his second solid output in three games. Each rookie slammed a dunk Monday, including point guard Jonathan Williams, who intercepted a pass at midcourt late in the game and threw down an uncontested jam. Williams finished with 5 points, 3 steals and 2 assists.
  • Monday’s game marked VCU’s 56th consecutive sellout.
  • The Rams have turned the ball over nine or fewer times in five of six games. VCU is averaging just 10.7 turnovers per game – compared to 17.6 turnovers for the Rams’ opponents.
  • Melvin Johnson was 0-of-7 from the field in Monday’s first half, then hit all four of his shots – all 3-pointers – in the second. He is 0-of-11 in the first half of the last two ballgames and 11-of-13 in the second half of those contests. He finished with a team-high 15 points against ETSU.
  • Treveon Graham scored 13 points to move ahead of Gerald Henderson and into 11th on VCU’s all-time scoring list with 1,545 points.
  • Briante Weber logged seven more steals and has 342 in his career, which is tied with Devan Downey for 10th in Division I history. John Linehan of Providence is the all-time leader with 385. At his current rate of better than four steals per game, Weber could be knocking on the door of the all-time record by mid to late February.
  • VCU’s bench is averaging 35.0 points per game in the Rams’ last four contests. The Rams averaged 26.0 ppg in VCU’s first six games.
  • The Rams have not trailed at any point in their last three games.
  • Melvin Johnson has 28 assists and 9 turnovers in 12 games this season. He provided 40 assists and 47 turnovers all of last season.
  • VCU is now 11-0 all-time against East Tennessee State.