Of course I have the usual things to cover — stats, game recap, Goldrush dancer of the game etc. But I also have a few very important improvements that I have decided we need to make in Ram Nation.
Of course I have the usual things to cover – stats, game recap, Goldrush dancer of the game etc. But I also have a few improvements that I have decided we need to make in Ram Nation. Before I get all discombobulated trying to address all my problems at once lets slow down and take things one step at time — in an orderly and judicious manner.
Heading into tonight’s contest Western Michigan, who entered the season as the unanimous selection to repeat as MAC champions, was undefeated on the road. VCU has had a tumultuous week and a half posting losses to East Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Rhode Island but garnering a big win over New Mexico. Eric Maynor has carried the team averaging, in the past week of games, 28.0 points, almost 5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 2 steals,
Despite the Rams first points coming from a tiiiiiight alley-oop (Maynor to Sanders) the first half was a sloppy, dreary mess. At nearly the half way point the score was 9-6 with both teams shooting under 40% from the field. In a disturbing trend of under utilizing (in my opinion) their height advantage (and by under utilizing their height advantage I’m talking about Larry Sanders) VCU embraced the 3, at one point shooting 7 three pointers in four minutes, making 2 of them and with 3 minutes to go the score was 22-19 with both teams shooting a dismal 36.4% from the floor. BUT!! the Rams embraced their vibrant second half persona a few minutes early converting a 3 point play, an aesthetically pleasing fast break layup and 2 threes in succession, including a Maynor buzzer beater to finish the half.
Halftime stats of note: VCU only forced 3 turnovers. Western Michigan is 0-1 from the free throw line – considering that going into the game Western Michigan has scored 25% of their points from the foul line … Justin i need you to forge that into an engaging stat asap!!!!. Eric Maynor scored 14 points in the half shooting 4/5 from the 3 point line. Pishchalnikov is also quielty having a nice game with 7 points and 6 rebounds. With 1:45 left 4 people had scored for VCU.
The second half began with the starting lineup taking the floor with a 31-21 lead. The starting unit seems to be crystallizing into Maynor, Sanders, The Russian, Rodriguez, and freshman Benedictine alum Burgess. In the first 5 minutes the Rams shot 100% from the field and went on an 11-4 run capped by two Rodriguez threes. Despite sick Maynor crossover moves, a ballooning fg%, perfection from the foul line, and the Russians double double, with 5:00 minutes to go this was a 6 point game. After a scary 2 and a half minute scoring drought VCU closed out the game on a 12-3 run and brought home a win.
Game stats of note: Western Michigan only scored 10 points from the foul line. (see above for significance). Maynor dropped 29 points and added 8 assists. The Russian crafted himself a beautiful double double with 15 points and 14 boards. Larry Sanders had 2 rebounds. The Rams shot 18/19 from the foul line. Strong 17 pt performance from Rodriguez.
You can crunch those numbers into all kinda of additional story lines on your own time. The Rams remained undefeated at home, winning a game that certainly didn’t have the same aesthetic beauty as even some of the less appealing Goldrush dancers. Eric Maynor showed his superior skliiz, and other folks – notably The Russian, had some bright moments. Now. In vintage RVANews fashion I well list some suggestions I have for Ram Nation …
We should light The Stu like the Lakers light the Staples Center. Light only the court and keep the fans are in the dark. Its dramatic, riveting and people do crazy things in the dark. Plus it showcases the svelte stylings of Coach Grant.
There needs to be Kirill Pishchalnikov drinking game or at least a Kirill Pishchalnikov cocktail that Ipanema serves after games.
We need a real Ram. This is obvious.
I’m going to go ahead and call out the Rowdy Rams for being a little B-team. There is very little clever cheer creation, they are seldom THAT Rowdy and generally do little to separate themselves from a very enthusiastic local crowd. It seems like the townies have as much invested in this as the Rowdies do — which I guess is a win-win, or lose-lose depending on how you look at it. Here’s a tip: In your section the right half stands while the left half sits. If you move half of your standing section over to, maybe even in front of, the sitting section, I predict everyone stands … and cheers louder, harder, etc.
There needs to be some sort of specific cheer for The Russian every time he gets the ball or makes a tight play. Maybe throw up the ol’ hammer and sickle flag. If anyone out there knows Kirill can you ask him if it would be offensive to pass out old USSR flags to the crowd. Listen I’m happy to support the use of the new Russian flag I just don’t think it has the same kind of brand recognition.
I support the Goldrush Dancers in everything that they do. I dont have any suggestions for them.
Similar to a specific sheer for Kirill we need some cheers for Larry Sanders.:
- We need a cheer specifically for the patented Larry Sanders fade – maybe just so he gets the idea of how many times he shoots a jumper falling away from the basket while his vertically inferior defender looks as confused as the rest of us.
- We also need 2 cheers for blocked shots. One for a shot block that goes out of bounds, maybe some sort of less enthusiastic cheer, and another for blocks that stay in bounds and/or lead to a change of possession. AFTER ALL THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.
I suggest everyone check out T.J Gwynns’s tight shoes.
Please come enagage yourself in the charmining, captivating and growing community the is VCU basketball – the same community that is making the Rowdy Rams blush. The next home game is Wednesday, December 17th.