What to expect: HAVOC! hits the road against Winthrop

The VCU Rams look to get back to their winning ways against Winthrop on Saturday afternoon after dropping a home game against Wichita State.

  • What: VCU (1-1, 0-0) vs. Winthrop (1-1, 0-0)
  • Where: Winthrop Coliseum
  • When: Saturday, November 17th at 2:00 PM
  • Watch: Streaming
  • Listen: 100.3 WARV FM
  • Venues: Baja Bean Co.

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The Rundown

The Virginia Commonwealth University Rams look to get back to their winning ways against Winthrop on Saturday afternoon after dropping a home game against Wichita State 53-51 on Tuesday. For the first time this season, HAVOC! is hitting the road as VCU plays its first game outside the comfortable confines of the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

So far this season, Winthrop has been one of the slowest teams in the nation averaging just 62.9 possession per game (66.8 is average). After struggling to dictate anything against WSU, VCU will attempt to get back to HAVOC! and speed up Winthrop in order to force turnovers. It took three early losses last season before the Rams starting looking great, but VCU will try to expedite the process before heading to the Battle 4 Atlantis this week. The Rams open against #17 Memphis on Thanksgiving at 7:00 PM.

The Team

1st year head coach Pat Kelsey is 1-1 with a win over St. Andrews Presbyterian and a loss to Indiana State. As a whole, the Eagles have not been efficient on offense or defense, but they have been very successful in specific areas of the game.

Defensively, Winthrop has forced a lot of turnovers and has rebounded the ball very effectively, but their first two opponents have shot the ball extremely efficiently. VCU will look to capitalize against a Winthrop defense that has allowed opponents to shoot a 63.5 effective field goal percentage. Winthrop’s weakness should allow the Rams to excel in the half-court where VCU, with the exception of Juvonte Reddic, has struggled so far this season.

On the offensive end, Winthrop has been effective in rebounding and has limited turnovers, but the Eagle’s 38.1 effective field goal percentage is awful. If the Rams can force Winthrop to shoot poorly while forcing a doable 15 turnovers, the Rams will be in a good position to push their record to 2-1.

The Star

Sophomore shooting guard Derrick Henry is the Eagle’s first option to score the basketball. He has averaged 14 shot attempts and 9.5 free-throw attempts while averaging 20.5 points in 34.5 minutes per game so far this season. Despite only being 6-foot-3, he is second on the roster in rebounds and is a capable defender while avoiding foul trouble.

Honorable mention: Senior Gideon Gamble is far from the Eagle’s most prolific player. Gamble has never averaged more than 5.2 PPG in a season during his career, but on November 15, 2010, he dropped 20 points on the VCU Rams in the Siegel Center.

The Prediction

Ken Pomeroy projects VCU to win 67-53 with a 92% chance of victory. This game could be much closer than anticipated if VCU’s half court offense continues to struggle, if they can’t force turnovers, and if the free-throw woes continues to plague the Rams.

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Winthrop Profile

  • Location: Rock Hill, SC
  • Enrollment: 5,913
  • Conference: Big South
  • All time series: VCU leads 1-0
  • Last meeting: VCU won 67-54 (2010)

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Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams loves music, basketball (follow @rvaramnews!), family, learning, and barbecue sauce.

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