Ryan Grube, Staff Writer
Men’s basketball hit the court of the Siegel Center for the first time since March Saturday night, unveiling the new 2019 team for fans to enjoy.
With free admission to the Black and Gold game, fans piled in to watch their favorite local team take on one another in an intrasquad scrimmage.
Coach Mike Rhoades said the Siegel Center’s atmosphere is unlike any other in the country. Rhoades noted the fans that attended Saturday’s contest are the, “true, real fans.”
“It tells you the type of people that support VCU basketball,” Rhoades said. “They’re awesome, they’re so into it. To be a college basketball player, and you get to come to a scrimmage and you see this crowd — you’re a very lucky basketball player.”
Team black took the game by a final score of 59-56 over the gold team. Team black was led by junior forward Marcus Santos-Silva’s 17 points and nine rebounds on 8-14 shooting. Freshman guard Bones Hyland added 10 points on 4-7 shooting, and 2-4 from three point range.
Senior guard De’Riante Jenkins contributed 14 points and eight rebounds on 5-10 shooting from the floor.
On the gold side, redshirt-senior guard Marcus Evans led his squad with 17 points and three assists. Sophomore guard KeyShawn Curry chipped in 11 points, while senior guard Mike’L Simms finished with nine points and six rebounds for the gold.
Ahead of the scrimmage, Rhoades emphasized his defense and shot selection as the main things he would be looking out for. Rhoades said he was happy with how his team responded to both aspects.
“Guys were pumped, excited. We shot some quick shots, some quick threes, especially ones that didn’t get a chance to go in,” Rhoades said. “But, as the game went on, we settled down a little bit.”
In a rare occurrence, Saturday’s scrimmage extended into overtime. Rhoades said his staff had to think quickly about what would benefit his players, as well as the fans, the best.
“I said sudden death, first one to one wins like camp, so we can get out of here,” Rhoades said. “What I’m happy with — VCU won tonight, and no one got hurt. I love college basketball when it comes down to the last possession of the game.”
With the regular season right around the corner, Rhoades said he’s eager to get a look at Saturday’s tape, and to use the scrimmage as a building block for his team’s coming games.
“We got so much to improve. We have to find a way to continue to improve everyday,” Rhoades said. “But, we can use this to fuel what we need to fix moving forward, and get better at it.”
The Rams will be back at the Siegel Center Oct. 26 for their exhibition matchup against Virginia State at 7 p.m.