#714 Virginia Commonwealth University Ramsvs.#713 George Washington University Colonials
Written by Ricky Dimon
George Washington Colonials (9-7 SU, 5-8 ATS, 6-6-1 O/U) vs. VCU Rams (13-3 SU, 5-7 ATS, 8-4 O/U)
NCAAB: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. EST
The Line: VCU Rams -10.5. Total: 141
The VCU Rams have won seven games in a row heading into a home date with the George Washington Colonials at the Stuart Siegel Center on Wednesday evening. VCU most recently extended its winning streak by defeating Massachusetts last Saturday. The Colonials have dropped three of their last four contests after falling to Richmond this past weekend.
Despite a valiant comeback attempt in which the Colonials cut a 23-point second-half deficit to four, the Colonials ultimately succumbed to Richmond 77-70 last Sunday. Tyler Cavanaugh led George Washington with a game-high 22 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds and four assists
Cavanaugh is coming off a pair of 20-point performances, having scored 20 against Davidson prior to his showing against the Spiders. The graduate student has six 20-plus point outings this season and 17 for his career. He also has five double-doubles during this 2016-17 campaign, which ranks second in the Atlantic 10. His 16.9 ppg rank Cavanaugh 11th in the conference and his 7.6 rpg rank him fifth in that department.
This era of VCU basketball under head coach Will Wade is not the same as what was on display when Shaka Smart was at the helm. Smart’s style is to wreak havoc on opponents with a full-court press and a generally frenetic pace. Wade has his Rams playing solid, fundamental ball. They will play up-tempo when necessary but are not afraid to slow it down. In its most recent outing, VCU crushed Massachusetts on the boards en route to a an 81-64 victory. The Rams won the rebounding battle 45 to 32 and they pulled down 15 of the offensive variety. Their half-court ball pressure stymied the Minutemen into 4-for-18 shooting from three-point range.
“We’ve got to keep playing the way we’re playing,” Wade explained. “It’s nothing sexy. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. But it’s tried and true, good basketball. We’re a mid-tempo team. We push it in transition. If we don’t have anything, we pull it out and get that thing in the paint, either off the bounce or off a post feed. We guard and we crash the glass. We’re nothing special. We’ve got to understand why we’re having success.”
The George Washington Colonials are:
The VCU Rams are:
“We’re scoring a lot in league because we’re running offense the right way,” Wade said of his Rams. “We take good threes, and that’s how you win. We can’t think we’re the Golden State Warriors and go out there and start jacking and stuff like that or we’re gonna be in trouble because we’re not built like that.” As for George Washington, Jordan Roland had a streak of six straight games in double-figures before it ended against Richmond. Roland is still second on the team in scoring over the last seven games with 12.4 ppg. GW is averaging 16.3 assists per game over the last seven after averaging 11.0 in the first nine outings. The over is 3-1-1 in the Colonials’ last five overall and 4-1-1 in their last six against the Atlantic 10. It is also 11-4 in the Rams’ last 15 overall and 5-2 in their last seven at home. Look for this one to go over the total.
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A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.