They’re back! For the first time since the 2012 NCAA Tournament, fans can see the Rams in action. Thursday night VCU takes on VUU in an exhibition game at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
- What: VCU (0-0, 0-0) vs. VUU (0-0, 0-0)
- Where: Stuart C. Siegel Center
- When: Thursday, November 1st at 7:30pm (EST)
- Listen: 107.3 WBBT
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For the first time since Rob Brandenberg’s game winning shot rimmed out in Portland, Oregon last March, fans can see the VCU Rams in action on Thursday night. A lot has changed in the past few years, particularly this offseason, but after a one-year hiatus, the Rams return to their preseason tradition of playing the Virginia Union University Panthers.
While the game will not affect the Rams’ record, it is the first time fans will be able to watch VCU since they lost to Indiana in the NCAA Tournament. Despite the exhibition game status, HAVOC! will be back in full force, and the crowds will be large as a record number of season ticket holder’s fill The Stu. Like the Rams’ trip to Italy, minutes will be more evenly distributed between the players than they will during the regular season. Players that will see fewer minutes later in the season will get an opportunity to experience the action while fans will get to watch the future of the Rams.
Second year head coach Luqman Jaaber returns eight players from last season’s team that finished 15-14 including the team’s four leading scorers and three leading rebounders. Junior forward Damion Harris (13.2 PPG, 7.9 RPG) and senior guard Calvin Brown (11.3 PPG, 2.79 APG) are two Panthers to watch.
It is easy to overlook Division II teams, but VUU has a long tradition of success. Between 1978 and 2011, coach Dave Robbins had an incredible track record at VUU. Under his leadership, the Panthers went to seven Division II “Final Fours” and won three NCAA Division II national championships (1980, 1992, 2005). Four time NBA all-star Ben Wallace went to VUU from 1994-96 before working his way into the NBA via Italy.
In 2004 and 2005, the Rams lost back to back exhibition games to the very talented Panthers. Both of those teams went to the Division II Final Four and the 2004-05 squad won the national championship. Considering the Ram’s returning firepower and the evolution of the Siegel Center, the Rams will likely put on a show while beating the Panthers by double digits.
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Virginia Union University Profile
- Location: Richmond, VA
- Enrollment: 1,700
- Conference: Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (Division II)
- All time series: VCU Leads 17-4 (including exhibition games)
- Last meeting: VCU won 71-56 (Nov. 4, 2010)
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