Take a minute on Saturday to honor the seniors before being extremely grateful that the season isn’t over just yet.
- What: VCU (23-7, 11-4) vs. Saint Bonaventure (16-13, 6-9)
- Where: Stuart C. Siegel Center
- When: Saturday, March 8th at 7:00 PM
- Watch: SNY
- Listen: Rams Radio
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Just 44 hours removed from a 56-50 win at the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University returns home to host Saint Bonaventure for senior night.
Whether it is because of the excitement surrounding Saint Louis visiting the Siegel Center or the importance of beating crosstown rival Richmond, senior day has sneaked up. It feels like Rob Brandenberg scored 22 points on William and Mary last week and 23 points on Georgia State yesterday. It feels like Juvonte Reddic scored 12 points in 10 minutes on Purdue in the 3rd round last night.
Saturday, the last players from VCU’s 2011 Final Four team will play their final game in the Stuart C. Siegel Center. When it’s all said and done, Reddic and Brandenberg will litter the record book, be present in most of Ram fans’ best memories, and be remembered as two of the more important players in the Shaka Smart era.
On Saturday, take a second and think about Heath Houston whose dancing is known in households around the country. Reflect upon the importance of DJ Haley who started in the Final 4 and was an important part of this program. Finally, enjoy every second of watching Reddic and Brandenberg play before rejoicing in the fact that it’s not over yet.
The Bonnies run an intricate offense that all starts with point guard Charlon Kloof. At times they struggle with turnovers so the Rams will have opportunities to keep them out of the half court.
VCU’s six previous opponents failed to score more than one point per possession (the national average is 1.045 PPP), so this game is going to come down to whether the Rams can score or not.
The Bonnies force plenty of turnovers on defense and they block plenty of shots but teams are abusing them from 3-point range. VCU will hope their hot second half shooting from range on Thursday will make the 6.5 mile trek from the Robins Center to the Siegel Center on Saturday.
Brandenberg had a solid game Thursday but Juvonte Reddic was rather quiet. Expect both to get plenty of opportunities in terms of set plays and minutes.
The Star: #24 Matthew Wright*
34.5 MPG, 16.5 PPG (88-190 2PFG, 58-167 3PFG), 3.1 RPG, 3.3 APG
Wright has played all 40 minutes in three of his last four games and he has been putting up some gaudy scoring numbers. Over the last six games he’s averaging 21.5 PPG but he’s a volume shooter and he’s the focal point of St. Bonaventure’s offense.
He is a capable 3-point shooter but his real knack is getting to the line an making free-throws. If VCU can key in on him and slow him down, then St. Bonaventure will be fighting a very steep uphill battle.
#3 Charlon Kloof* (PG, Senior) • Another Atlantic 10 team, another talented senior point guard. Kloof is excellent at putting teammates in scoring position but he’s had the turnover bug as of late. He has 28 turnovers and 19 fouls in his last six games.
#5 Jordan Gathers* (SG, Junior) • When he hits 3-pointers, SBU is a different team. The problem: he’s 1-of-7 in his last three games.
#21 Dion Wright* (G/F, Sophomore) • He should be a fun matchup for Treveon Graham. He’s extremely efficient on offense and he’s solid on the offensive glass.
#35 Youssou Ndoye* (C, Junior) • At 7-foot, 250 pounds, Ndoye is a force and he’s one of the best shot blockers in the A-10.
VCU had their battle on Thursday, expect them to run away on Saturday and win by 15 points by forcing plenty of turnovers and getting out in transition. KenPom picks VCU to win 78-67 with an 86% chance of victory.
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St. Bonaventure Profile
- Location: Allegany, NY
- Enrollment: ~2,500
- All time series: St. Bonaventure leads 2-1.
- Last meeting: 1/2/13. VCU won 72-65.
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- Recap: Rams survive first bonafide A-10 road adventure
- What to expect: Rams face first A-10 road test against St. Bonaventure