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CAA Tourney Preview

Ryan Kish of George Mason Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the CAA.  He will be reporting from the CAA Tournament this weekend in Richmond, Va.

Having the privilege of attending this weekend’s CAA conference tournament, I’d like to share the fact that it’s probably going to be one of the most exciting in the country.  Starting this Saturday I will be liveblogging the most intriguing game from the sidelines for the CAA faithful (see RTC Live sidebar).  Choosing which game will be very difficult as almost any match-up will be worthy.  This weekend you will get an in-depth hands-on look into the tournament and some insight on what to expect.


Favorite:  VCU

The term “favorite” is kind of a loose term this season in the CAA, and even though VCU was picked by the coaches and media to be where they are now, any CAA fan will tell you that #1 seed won’t guarantee a championship visit.  The Rams have ridden the success of Eric Maynor as he guided his young squad through the CAA schedule but not without their share of bumps and bruises.  Nearly every team in the top of the conference has lost a game or two to the bottom dwellers and much can be said about the fact that VCU only had to face George Mason and Northeastern once each.  But despite that the Rams have shown more consistency in an unstable CAA and they have the tools to run the table in Richmond.  Head coach Anthony Grant has been here before and Eric Maynor is continuing to make his teammates better even with scoring 25+ a night. Forward Larry Sanders has been having a sensational season to date, on both ends of the court.  His play in the front court will be huge for the Rams.  VCU plays an aggressive, rough, in-your-face kind of game and that’s exactly the kind of squad I’d like to avoid in a single elimination tournament.  At times this season that same aggressiveness has led to trouble but if they can keep it under control and they will be the most dangerous team this weekend.

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Welcome to the RTC 2009 NCAA Tourney Preview


RTC will be providing the very best NCAA Tournament coverage that you will find anywhere on this here series of tubes and dumptrucks.

But for now, when we’re not huddled in our unfinished basements fueled on Rockstar playing Half-Life, we’ll be formulating strategies and post ideas for our 2009 NCAA Tourney Preview.  We’ll have the usual stuff – 65 comprehensive team previews, regional analysis, etc. – but we’ll also have some things unique to Rush the Court, and therefore, to you as well.

If you have any brilliant ideas, and we know that our readers are the savviest college hoops fans around, feel free to leave them in the comments here or send us an email.  Any ideas are welcome.  Until then, enjoy Championship Week(s)!

NCAA Preview: VCU Rams

Virginia Commonwealth University (#11, East, Philadelphia pod)

vs UCLA (#6)
Thurs., 3/19 at about 10 pm
Vegas Line:  +7.5

General Profile
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Conference: Colonial, automatic
Coach: Anthony Grant, hired 2006.  Record at VCU = 76-24
08-09 Record: 24-9 (14-4)
Last 12 Games: 9-3 (won 5)
Best Win: George mason, 76-71, on 1/24/09.
Worst Loss: Delaware, 79-81, on 1/3/09.
Off. Efficiency Rating: 108.0 (74th)
Def. Efficiency Rating: 93.6 (49th)

Nuts ‘n Bolts
Star Player(s): Eric Maynor (22.4 ppg, 6.2 apg, 1.7 spg)
Unsung Hero: Larry Sanders (11.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.7 blocks/g).  Not unsung as much as it is he just plays behind Maynor.
Potential NBA Draft Pick: Maynor is projected as a lottery pick (14th) at
Key Injuries: No significant injuries.
Depth: 28.4% (229th nationally); percentage of minutes played by reserves
Achilles Heel: Rebounding.  VCU pulls 30.9 rpg, which is 209th nationally.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: They can get Maynor his touches and let him work.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: They don’t exercise good shot selection.  The Rams shoot 43.6% which is 55th nationally, but they can’t be intimidated by the cameras and their first-round opponent in UCLA.

NCAA History
Last Year Invited: 2007; beat Duke in R1 and then lost to Pittsburgh in R2 in overtime.
Streak: One year.
Best NCAA Finish: 1-1 in 1983, 1984, 1985, and 2007.
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): n/a

Distance to First Round Site: 243 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: Tony Parker would be proud, since VCU has the largest French film festival in the US.  Notable alums include Patch Adams MD, actor Stephen Furst (aka Flounder) and Dave Matthews Band bassist Stefan Lessard.
School Wishes It Could Forget: Wrongly giving an undergrad degree to a former Richmond police chief after he only earned 6 credits from the school; its “interesting” dealings with Phillip Morris USA.
Prediction: With a star player like Maynor, anything is possible.  You’d have to pick UCLA to get past the Rams in the first round but I can’t say an upset would surprise me or if Maynor positioned himself as this year’s Stephen Curry.
Major RTC stories:  RTC Live: CAA Tournament, CAA Tourney Preview

Preview written by Rush The Court.

RTC Live: CAA Tournament


Hello CAA fans, and welcome to RTC Live’s ongoing coverage of the CAA Tournament from Richmond, Virginia.  Our correspondent, Ryan Kish from George Mason Basketball, will be live-blogging and reporting from the Richmond Coliseum throughout the weekend.  If there’s any news that the fans need to be apprised of from Richmond, Kish will be all over it.  The Tournament begins Friday afternoon with four first round games, so he has already published his CAA Tourney Preview for your viewing pleasure.

We’ll also be live-blogging select games throughout the weekend, starting Saturday afternoon with the quarterfinal matchup between Hofstra and Old Dominion.   If you’re new to the site, the live-blog box will show immediately below this paragraph, and Ryan will be taking comments and questions throughout the game.  Particularly insightful questions will be chosen for him to take into the media press conference and/or locker rooms afterwards.  So if you really want to know how Eric Maynor still feels about  his game-winner against Duke two seasons ago, here’s your opportunity.  Afterwards, we’ll post takes from the day’s other games in the CAA Tourney and give you, the fans, a chance to select Sunday’s semifinal game that we liveblog.