VCU Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


VCU Rams

Atlantic 10 (26-8, 14-4)

Back in 2011 VCU reached the Final Four. They have not missed the NCAA Tournament since. During his first year running VCU last season, Coach Will Wade led his team to a first round win over Oregon State and a great effort in a 85-81 loss against Oklahoma with a trip to the Sweet Sixteen on the line. This may not be the best VCU squad of recent years, but this is a team that knows how to win in March.
Big Wins: 11/29 Princeton (81-70), 12/17 Middle Tennessee (80-77), 1/27 Dayton (73-68)
Bad Losses: 12/7 Georgia Tech (73-76), 1/14 at Davidson (63-69), 1/18 at Fordham (67-69)
Coach: Will Wade
Why They Can Surprise:
VCU does a very good job of working through big men Justin Tillman and Mo Alie-Cox. Tillman, a 6-7 junior, averages 12.4 points and a team high 8.8 rebounds. Alie-Cox is not a great rebounder, but he is a superb shot blocker and always a threat to score in the paint. When the guards remember to work through Tillman and Alie-Cox, this can be a very dangerous offense. And the Rams do share the ball extremely well, so it is rare for this team to forget about Tillman and Alie-Cox. JeQuan Lewis, the team’s top scorer, Samir Doughty, Jonathan Williams and Doug Brooks all average at least two assists per game.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Unfortunately a lot of players on the team also share the ball with the opponent. The Rams commit 12.8 turnovers per game. That is not a terrible number, but it should be better for a team that has plenty of capable ball handlers. The other issue is VCU’s three-point shooting. Lewis is a great shooter and he has connected on 37.3 percent of his 217 attempts from long range, but everybody else should stay inside of the arc. When an offense works through their big men, there are open looks to be had on the perimeter, but VCU has to work the ball around to Lewis. And if Lewis is struggling with his shot, the opposition can pack the lane and the Rams will have a difficult time scoring or advancing in the tournament.
Probable Starters:
Doug Brooks, Senior, Guard, 5.8 ppg, 2.0 apg, 1.6 spg
JeQuan Lewis, Senior, Guard, 14.7 ppg, 4.6 apg, 1.7 spg
Samir Doughty, Freshman, Guard, 9.0 ppg, 2.2 apg
Justin Tillman, Junior, Forward, 12.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg
Mo Alie-Cox, Senior, Forward, 9.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 bpg
Key Role Players:
Ahmed Hamdy-Mohamed, Senior, Forward, 5.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Jonathan Williams, Junior, Guard, 8.4 ppg, 3.1 apg
Malik Crowfield, Freshman, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Jordan Burgess, Senior, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 1.0 apg
De’Riante Jenkins, Freshman, Guard, 4.7 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.8 (140th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.2 (44, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.6 (69, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.8 (76, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (302, 12)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.1 (268, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.1 (135, 7)
Rebound Margin: 2.3 (111, 4)
Assists Per Game: 15.4 (63, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (146, 7)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Round of 64 win over Oregon State
2016    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Oklahoma
2015    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Ohio State
2014    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Stephen F. Austin
2013    NCAA Round of 64 win over Akron
2013    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Michigan
2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over Wichita State
2012    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Indiana
2011    NCAA Opening Round win over USC
2011    NCAA Round of 64 win over Georgetown
2011    NCAA Round of 32 win over Purdue
2011    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Florida State
2011    NCAA Regional Final win over Kansas
2011    NCAA National Semifinal loss to Butler
2010    CBI      First Round win over George Washington
2010    CBI      Second Round win over Charleston
2010    CBI      Semifinal win over Boston University
2010    CBI      Final win over St. Louis
2009    NCAA Round of 64 loss to UCLA
2008    NIT      First Round loss to UAB
2007    NCAA Round of 64 win over Duke
2007    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Pittsburgh
*all team stats through 3/5