RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - VCU has many changes to look forward to this season. But while they have to prepare for all new conference competition, they still may have the advantage.
The Rams open up their season two weeks from Friday at the Siegel Center against Florida Gulf Coast. But what the fans are looking forward to is the start of the Atlantic-10 conference schedule. VCU has taken the step up from the CAA, and has a whole new set of opponents in which to unleash havoc. The Rams up-tempo defense is remarkably difficult to succeed against, and even more so when a team is facing it for the first time.
VCU is playing down that they have an advantage going into league play, but Shaka Smart believes this year that the defense could be even better. VCU loses just one player from a team that led the country in both steals and turnovers forced.
But that one player that lost was a big piece. Bradford Burgess finished his career #4 on the team's all-time scoring list, and #1 on the all-time games played list. He was the clear leader on the team, and this year they'll be looking for senior captain point guard Darius Theus to fill that role. But with six other players who averaged 15 or more minutes played per game, VCU believes they have a handful of players that can be leaders on the team.
VCU has its one exhibition game next Thursday at the Siegel Center against Virginia Union.