VCU fans await the AP Top 25 ranking updates and wonder, “Will a winning week boost the Rams back into the Top 25?” VCU players showed their heart on Thursday as they won, 71-68, in overtime against the talented Colonels of Eastern Kentucky University. The Rams won another home game, 69-48, Sunday against their state rival Old Dominion University. As VCU won against two very different teams this week, fans are hoping it will earn them the votes to be ranked once again.
With the No. 10 ranking on the AP poll in week 3, VCU fans may have overestimated their ability to stay in the top. Although the Rams experienced large losses in Puerto Rico, the drop from the Top 25 can’t only by blamed on their performances. Teams that shoot over 50% and that have unstoppable defense, consistently, have earned their spots in the Top 25 solely because they are steady with their strengths.
As fans look at the games this past week, two huge losses may help VCU rise up in the rankings. No. 1 Michigan State’s astounding loss to North Carolina will probably put a damper on their standing votes. Second, No.3, University of Kentucky, lost in Texas to No. 20, Baylor. With VCU beating Eastern Kentucky and killing ODU, they should be able to earn more votes this week.
As for VCU’s performances this week, the Rams improved their rebounding game tremendously. Throughout the season so far, VCU has averaged at about 36 rebounds/game. Against ODU, the Rams racked up 50 rebounds. Although rebounds hadn’t appeared to be an issue for VCU, fans do find themselves with frustrations from time to time when easy rebounds are missed. Watching players use the passion behind this state rivalry to never let up while rebounding showed fans what their team is capable of. It doesn’t sound harsh for fans to keep expecting 50 rebounds a game from here on out. The passion and talent is there to make it happen.
As the team’s newer players get more experience, fans see the Rams getting steady in all categories. Two bench players contributed largely to VCU’s wins this week. Freshman Jequan Lewis and Sophomore Melvin Johnson scored 25 of the 28 bench points against Eastern Kentucky. Lewis is full of energy, and has the attitude of a winner. Watching Lewis learn and develop his confident chemistry with the team is already exciting to watch. He should be able to put on a great show again next week.
Coach Smart has a week to work with the team as they prepare for their next game. The Rams travel Sat. Dec 14 to play against Northern Iowa at 12:00 PM.
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