After last week’s game against ISU, looking at player performances and what to expect from them is promising. With old and new players performing better than they ever have, VCU looks as if their season will prove that their #14/15 ranking is subpar.
Defeating the Redbirds 96-58, the Rams not only scored more points than ISU, but they also dominated the court overall. One of the loudest moments in the Siegel Center last Friday was after Sophomore Melvin Johnson sunk 3 three-pointers back to back to back within 48 seconds. Johnson was the top three-point shooter for the game, making 3-5.
Although no Troy Daniels, Johnson looks to be a promising outside shooter and will likely gain more strength with these shots as he gets more game time.
As for the questions surrounding point guards, it appears the strongest candidate is Briante Weber. Weber has grown in almost every area on the court. Being one of two players with the most minutes, Weber utilized that time to show his strengths.
Fans got excited to see Weber attempt three-point shots and although he sunk just one, we know the skill and drive to shoot outside is there. It will be exciting to watch as he takes more chances and grows as VCU’s primary point guard.
Outside shots aside, Weber’s skill in the lane and with his ball movement was one to note. His game was on point as he had 5 steals, exciting fans with his quick hands. Weber was impressive overall and he showed he can lead Shaka Smart’s plays with confidence and finish them with speed.
Speaking of leaders, Florida State transfer Terrance Shannon lit up the court with his communication and positive control. New fans of VCU may have thought he had been with the team all four years as he finishes out his senior year with the Rams. His relationships with the entire team appeared to be strong as he fit right in with what VCU fans are used to seeing, a charismatic team.
Apart from characteristics, Shannon’s box score numbers only reinforce his talent. Playing 23 minutes, Shannon showed his endurance when others appeared to slow down. He was one of the two top scorers with 14 points and proved that he will be just the muscle VCU needed under the basket.
Team stamina as a whole appeared to weaken the second half of the game. VCU has always used their endurance and relentless speed to overcome teams during the second half in the past, but watching the second half this game was almost like watching a different team. Although the Rams were ahead by 30 points, it seemed as if they weren’t letting up on purpose, it looked as if they were tired.
Plays became more sloppy and players slowed down which, is not the team fans are used to. That being said, if they know Shaka, he will have them playing at 100% the whole game in no time.
VCU faces off in Charlottesville, Virginia tonight at 7:00 PM Eastern Time.
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