The men’s basketball season does not open until November, but VCU fans can get an early look at the team on Oct. 13.
“The Black & Gold Tip-Off” scrimmage will pit Rams against Rams in an inter-squad contest. The scrimmage will be held at the Siegel Center on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m.
Rams fans can expect to get a sneak peak of the eight new faces who will be taking the court for head coach Shaka Smart in the 2013-14 season. As the preseason favorite to win the A-10 conference, according to ESPN, VCU enters the season with its highest expectations in years.
With the loss of point guard Darius Theus and 3-point marksman Troy Daniels to graduation, VCU will look to replace two critical components of a team that went 27-9 a season ago.
Sophomore Melvin Johnson, juniors Briante Weber and Treveon Graham and seniors Rob Brandenberg and JuVonte Reddic are back to carry a good portion of the workload for the Rams.
With the departure of two backcourt starters, the guard position figures to be an area of early emphasis for Smart and his coaching staff.
Johnson was VCU’s leading scorer off the bench last season. He is expected to pick up some of the scoring slack this coming season and he’ll have help from a trio of freshmen who are joining the backcourt. Douglas Brooks, JeQuan Lewis and Jairus Lyles will look to make an instant impact off the bench for the Rams.
Antravious Simmons and Emerson Burk round out the incoming freshman class.
In addition to the incoming recruiting class, redshirt freshmen Jordan Burgess and Mo Alie-Cox will suit up for the first time. Both sat out last year for academic reasons.
Terrance Shannon, a transfer from Florida State University, joins the team this season. He played for the Seminoles against VCU in the 2011 NCAA Tournament thriller that saw the Rams advance to the Elite Eight. Shannon is immediately eligible to play and is expected to compete for a starting job against junior Jared Guest, who may still be sidelined by a broken ankle he suffered in late August.
Last year’s scoring leaders Treveon Graham and Juvonte Reddic are set to return for their junior and senior seasons respectively. Both professional prospects will look to carry the team offensively as the Rams contend for their first A-10 conference title.
VCU will likely enter the season ranked in the preseason top-25 and look to solidify itself as a national contender. The team opens its season on Friday, Nov. 8, when it hosts Illinois State at the Siegel Center.