Nov 7, 2022 - Sports

Your guide to the VCU men's basketball season

"Ace" Baldwin recovered to lead the Rams to tie for second in the Atlantic 10 last season. Photo: Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

If you ditched for a while or are maybe just unacquainted, it’s a great time to start following the Rams.

Driving the news: VCU’s storied men’s team tips off the season at the Siegel Center against Manhattan College tonight at 7pm. Here’s a primer so you don’t get outed as a total bandwagon at the water cooler.

The big storyline: VCU is years removed from the seven-year streak of March Madness appearances that followed the school's 2011 fairytale run to the Final Four. They’ve only made the Big Dance twice in the last five years under Coach Mike Rhoades.

  • But the Rams still have a strong reputation nationally. They finished second in the Atlantic 10 Conference the last two seasons and reached the conference tournament final in 2021.

The intrigue: Rhoades has built on the entrancing “Havoc” style that’s long hallmarked VCU’s brand.

  • They’ve consistently been among the best defensive teams in the country under Rhoades — it’s often been a tepid offense that’s held them back.

What to watch: Rhoades’ roster has more new faces than any other year he’s been coach — so there’s uncertainty about how the team will come together. But a top-three finish in the Atlantic 10 would signal a good season. The Rams will be itching to win the conference tournament, since they haven’t done so since 2015.

  • The holy grail, though, would be getting to March Madness and ruining everybody’s brackets thereafter.
  • Sports Illustrated ranked VCU No. 53 in the country and predicted the offense could spark to life. They think the team’s on the bubble to make the tournament.

Who to watch: Point Guard and playmaker Adrian “Ace” Baldwin Jr. He was just named among the top 15 potential breakout stars in the college game.

How to watch: The Rams will play twice a week for the most part until early March. Tickets for the 18 home games are sold online, usually starting at $25. Bigger games, like February’s rivalry game against University of Richmond at the Siegel Center, are more expensive.

  • All games will be televised. Listings are here.

The bottom line: The Rams will have their doubters, like any young team with a lot of new players, but fans have a lot to be hopeful about.


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