What to expect: VCU vs. GW

So that second half happened, but there is no time to celebrate because George Washington visits the Stuart C. Siegel Center Saturday night at 7:30pm.

  • What: VCU (20-5, 8-2) vs. George Washington (11-11, 5-4)
  • Where: Stuart C. Siegel Center
  • When: Saturday, February 16th at 7:30 PM
  • Watch: Comcast SportsNet (Comcast 7, 251HD; Verizon 76) | Online
  • Listen: Rams Radio

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The Rundown

So that second half happened (and it was amazing basketball), but there’s no time to celebrate because George Washington visits the Stuart C. Siegel Center Saturday night at 7:30 PM.

23.2 and 13.7. Those two numbers are why VCU should win Saturday–and win big. The Colonials turn the ball over on 23.2% of possessions (306th of 347) and they have the ball stolen on 13.7% of possessions (342nd of 347). Those numbers are against normal defenses. If the Rams maintain a modicum of the second half magic they unleashed on the Minutemen Thursday, the Colonials will be the second revolutionary force dispatched by VCU this week.

The Team

For all of their offensive shortcomings, George Washington is a young team that plays stout defense and has nothing to lose (kind of like the Continental Army). VCU forces more turnovers off of made field goals and free-throws, so the Rams need to establish their offense early in order to turn this from a possession game into a blowout.

Their defense starts with the shot blocking/altering of junior forward Isaiah Armwood. The Colonials are holding opponents to 42.6% from 2-point range which should be interesting considering VCU’s ability to score inside. Behind Juvonte Reddic (.573), Treveon Graham (.535), and Melvin Johnson (.547), VCU leads the Atlantic-10 in 2-point shooting percentage at 52.4%.

George Washington is another under-the-radar A-10 team. They beat UMASS in Amherst, they throttled Charlotte 82-54, and they recently gave Butler a run for their money in a 59-56 loss. VCU can win this game, but it is essential that the Rams don’t look past the Colonials.

The Star: Isaiah Armwood

12.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 1.0 SPG

A 6-foot-9 Villanova transfer, Armwood is a physical force inside. While he is GW’s only double-digit scorer, it’s his defense that makes the difference for the Colonials. He can step out and hit the midrange jumper, he plays way bigger than his 210-pound body, and he could frustrate VCU’s efficient front court.

Supporting Cast

George Washington starts four freshmen:

#22 Joe McDonald (PG, Freshman) • Turnover prone freshman point guard: it doesn’t get much better for HAVOC!

#11 Kethan Savage (G, Freshman) • Savage starts, but his minutes are limited. Perimeter defense is one of his strengths, but GW would rather have Lasan Kromah on the court.

#13 Patricio Garino (F, Freshman) • Garino is the glue guy. He is a capable rebounder, scorer, and distributor, but he’s also foul prone and susceptible to turnovers. He was a combined 12-16 from the field with 28 points in GW’s surprise wins over UMASS and Charlotte.

#21 Kevin Larsen (F, Freshman) • Larsen has a few pounds on DJ Haley, and that’s saying something. Larsen is still very raw, but Juvonte Reddic needs to be disciplined about staying in position on defense and avoiding foul trouble.

The Prediction

In the first game since homecoming and Valentine’s Day, the Siegel Center should be rocking. If VCU can establish some momentum early and feed off of the crowd, the Rams should cruise. KenPom picks VCU to win 72-61 with an 86% chance of victory.

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George Washington Profile

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Enrollment: 24,531
  • All time series: VCU leads 3-0
  • Last meeting: 12/4/12. VCU won 75-60.

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Aaron Williams

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

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