225 days and it’s finally here. For the first time since the 2013 NCAA Tournament, HAVOC! is back.
- What: VCU (0-0, 0-0) vs. California (PA) (0-0, 0-0)
- Where: Stuart C. Siegel Center
- When: Saturday, November 2nd at 7:00 PM
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Coach Shaka Smart just wrapped up his most successful recruiting class as a coach (see: Terry Larrier, Michael Gilmore, Justin Tillman, and Jonathan Williams), but what about the man who recruited Coach Smart? Meet California (PA) head coach Bill Brown. Smart played his freshman season under Brown in 1995/1996 at Kenyon College and was a graduate assistant under Brown at California (PA) from 1999-2001.
For the second time in three years, Coach Brown and the Vulcans will play VCU in exhibition in the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
On Monday, the Division-II California (PA) almost upset Division-I Robert Morris. Despite leading by as many as nine points, the Vulcans ultimately fell short 64-58 to the Colonials, a team picked to finish second in the Northeast Conference. While VCU is significantly better than Robert Morris, it is important to remember that Division-II teams know how to play basketball.
California (PA) is no exception. It’s early in the season, but, historically, the Vulcans have found success pushing the ball in transition and feeding the post on offense–two things that will be difficult against the speed of VCU’s backcourt. They usually play man-to-man defense.
The last time these two teams met, it was the Rams’ first opportunity to establish their new identity in the wake of their magical run to the Final Four. Without Joey Rodriguez, Jamie Skeen, Brandon Rozzell, Ed Nixon, and Toby Veal, it’s interesting to see how the younger Rams established themselves:
|Douglas Appiah Jr.||15||4||1-2||0-0||2-2||0||0||2||1||2||0||0|
The 2011-12 Rams struggled early with shooting, fouls, and turnovers before their monstrous defense took over and won a school record 29 games. On Saturday, the Rams will likely shoot better than 37.9%, will foul less than 26 times,1 and will turn the ball over fewer than 14 times.
The Star: #5 Jake Jacubec
Sophomore guard Jake Jacubec was last year’s Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Freshman of the Year. He scored 13 points on five-of-eight shooting (3-of-6 from 3-point range), grabbed four rebounds, tallied three assists, and snagged two steals in the Vulcans’ exhibition loss to Robert Morris. A 6-foot-0, 165-pound guard, Jacubec will be playing in a different weight class on Saturday. Whether he is guarded by Briante Weber or Rob Brandenberg, replicating Monday’s stat line will be one tall order.
- #15 Arman Marks (G, Junior) • 6-foot-4, 215 pounds
- #11 Tynell Fortune (G, Junior) • 5-foot-10, 155 pounds
- #23 Alonzo Murphy (F, Sophomore) • 6-foot-8, 255 pounds
- #21 Art Cook (G/F, Senior) • 6-foot-6, 195 pounds
- #22 Chris Williams (G/F, Senior) • 6-foot-5, 200 pounds
The first 2.5 weeks of the 2011-12 season was one of the lower points of Coach Smart’s tenure at VCU, but the Rams still thumped California (PA) 71-48. This season, Coach Smart starts the season with arguably his most talented team ever. There are more intriguing questions than by how much will VCU win: How many Rams will score in double figures? How many steals will Briante Weber tally? How many minutes will Torey Burston play?
California (PA) Profile
- Location: California, Pennsylvania
- Enrollment: 9,400
- Conference: PSAC
- All time series: VCU leads 1-0
- Last meeting: VCU won 71-48
- Smart speaks with Cal U Men United
- What to expect: VCU vs. California (PA)
- Recap: balanced VCU crushes California (PA)
- PHOTOS: VCU vs. California (PA)
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