Good morning and happy GAMEDAY Ram Fans! VCU Men’s Basketball takes on Duquesne in their second consecutive Atlantic 10 road game of the season in Pittsburgh. Here are some thoughts as we count down the hours until tip-off:
2nd Dose Of A-10 Play
VCU is feeling good after opening A-10 Play with a 73-64 road win at George Mason. The team stepped up in hostile territory and put on a show in Fairfax. JeQuan Lewis netted a season-high 26 points while Mo Alie-Cox was one rebound shy of a double-double with 14 points and 9 rebounds.
After gaining some A-10 road experience, the Rams now focus on Duquesne. The Dukes are 8-6 overall on the season and sit at 1-0 in A-10 play after defeating Fordham 75-75 on the road. That victory has Duquesne currently on a 4 game winning streak heading into tonight’s contest.
De’Riante Jenkins: OUT
VCU Head Coach Will Wade broke the news yesterday during media minutes that De’Riante Jenkins suffered a foot injury during the George Mason game. The freshman will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks. An opportunity has arrived upon the VCU Bench during a tragedy. There is now minutes at disposal for Coach Wade as Rams like Doug Brooks, Malik Crowfield, Samir Doughty and others will look to step up their game.
Not Your Average Dukes
Duquesne as a team is a good test for VCU as Atlantic 10 play starts to get in motion. The Dukes have four players averaging over 10 points per game led by Mike Lewis II (12.1 PPG). Lewis has a supporting cast consisting of Emile Blackman, Isiaha Mike and Tarin Smith who are capable of scoring buckets in bunches.
Rebounding is a strength that Duquesne looks to build off of after outrebounding Fordham 59-32. One issue present for the Dukes is turnovers with 14.6 per game for a total of 204 turnovers on the season. Playing a majority of their games at A.J. Palumbo Center this season, Duquesne is 6-3 on their home court. With both teams near the top of the A-10 table, a victory is essential to keep on track with the rest of the conference.
Even with history on VCU’s side going 4-0 all-time against Duquesne, this is not a locked-in victory for the Rams. If the Black & Gold puts in a repeat performance from Fairfax at Pittsburgh then the Rams should have no problems in theory. The Dukes have a tendency to land surprise victories out of nowhere but have never surprised the Rams. The spotlight will be on VCU’s bench. With Jenkins out, who will step up to the occasion? There is potential in the reserves and could put on another good performance against Duquesne.
The odds are on VCU’s side in this one but anything is possible once that ball goes up in the air. It’s another opportunity as Coach Wade would say for VCU. Can the Rams seize it in Pittsburgh?
We Shall See.
Ram Reminder: VCU battles Duquesne in A-10 action tonight at 7 PM on American Sports Network.