The Stu is developing a sweet tooth for cupcakes (EDITORIAL)

Photo by Pilar Curtis
The Stuart C. Siegel Center, a 200,000 square foot facility that opened its doors in 1999, has hosted far too many easy games. Photo by Pilar Curtis
Photo by Pilar Curtis
The Stuart C. Siegel Center, a 200,000 square foot facility that opened its doors in 1999, has hosted far too many easy games. Photo by Pilar Curtis

Cupcakes — healthy or not, it’s hard to resist the fluffy and scrumptious texture of the self-sufficient dessert. For team scheduling, the similar sentiment is evident: We all love them.

Home games at the Stu provide students and alumni the perfect atmosphere for viewing a VCU basketball game. The condensed arena fits just over 7,000, making it a deafening place to play because of the lack of volume in the arena. The Stu is intimidating, often times impossible for visiting team’s to come out of the game with a successful trip to Ram territory. This is our home court advantage, an advantage that should be tested to the highest level.

Out-of-conference teams slated to play at the Stu this season are Praire View A&M University, Radford University, American University, Old Dominion University, University of Cincinnati, University at Buffalo, Liberty University and the University of North Florida. None of these teams come into the 2015-16 season ranked in the preseason top-25. VCU will be favored against each of these opponents, making the out-of-conference schedule “cupcake.”

It’s hard to get excited for a Saturday game, when lackluster talent is on the court. Everyone loves winning, but everyone also loves competition.

In the past five years, the University of Virginia has been the toughest opponent to enter Ram territory. The Hoos in last seasons matchup were ranked as the No. 7 team in the land. Sure the outcome was not to our liking, but the build-up to that matchup was talked about weeks prior to the teams even hitting the court.

VCU will travel to play Duke University in the 2k Classic on Nov. 20. This will be the Rams toughest matchup of the season, as the team will face the GOAT of college basketball in head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The most highly anticipated matchup of the season will not be a home game, but a game played in New York. Granted, Madison Square Garden will be an epic experience for our basketball team, but I can’t help but be selfish when a week later I’ll be watching Buffalo come to town — didn’t know they even played basketball in Buffalo.

The Stu needs quality teams to experience the marvels of the VCU basketball tradition. On a large scale, the country is blind to the supremacy the Stu has over other top arena’s in the Commonwealth. Our arena is arguably the best in the state; sure, U.Va.’s is larger and quite frankly nicer, but the HOO Crew has nothing on the Rowdy Rams and VCU Peppas.

VCU deserves a top-tier basketball program to visit the Siegel on gameday. VCU basketball’s brand would benefit from obtaining a tough out-of-conference schedule when it’s time to decipher NCAA Tournament projections. The Rams, normally a seven-seed in the tournament, could find themselves a top-five seed if a rare win against a superior program out-of-conference was on its resume.

Playing in the Atlantic 10 is a blessing and curse for the program. The A-10 is not a power-five conference in college basketball. The selection committee will always lean on that realization when deciding between VCU and a school like Oklahoma State. By playing and defeating a prominent program, not only would it bid well for the tournament, but it would enhance the Rams in their quest for attracting future recruits.

No school will just come to the Stu for free. It is a proven arena capable of posing a threat to any opponent that accepts the invitation to come here. VCU would have to make a strong case to entice top talent, but if it does happen in the foreseeable future, the Rams would finally be able to publically display the spectacle of the Siegel Center. Who knows, there may be a top program that doesn’t deem the Stu a tough place to play, ultimately scheduling VCU as one of its cupcake games — what a rude awakening that would be.

Sports Editor, Bryant Drayton

bryantBryant is a sports advocate thats always smiling. He is a senior print and online journalism major aspiring for a career as a professional or college football columnist. Bryant currently covers high school football games for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. // Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply