Arrick Wilson, Contributing Writer
Basketball season is gearing up, which means a fresh schedule has been announced. The VCU community is close to being in that familiar atmosphere again, with energetic fans and lively music from the VCU Pep Band.
This year brings a new and exciting season for the men’s basketball team, as it is another tough but thrilling schedule for the Rams. For fans of VCU men’s basketball, here’s a list of games to look forward to this season, with a mix of nonconference and rivalry matches.
1. VCU at ODU: Dec. 11 (TBA)
The rivalry between the Monarchs and Rams still stands to this day. The Rams will face the Monarchs for the 97th time. The Rams lead the rivalry all-time at 52-44. Last season, the black and gold defeated the Monarchs 77-54 for the second time in a row. The game will be held in ODU’s Chartway Arena at the Ted Constant Convocation Center for the first time in two years. In the last ten matchups, the Rams have ruled the rivalry, 8-2.
2. Atlantic 10 — VCU vs. St. Bonaventure: Mar. 1 (TBA)
VCU will face A-10 champion St. Bonaventure two times over the course of the season. The Bonnies will be returning with the majority of last season’s players, including Osun Osunniyi, who was named A-10 Defensive Player of the Year. The Rams defeated the Bonnies only once in the three times they played, falling to the opposing team in the A-10 championship. This season, the Rams will try to avenge their losses from last year.
3. Atlantic 10 Conference Opener — VCU vs. George Mason: Dec. 30 (TBA)
This game will open Atlantic 10 conference play for the Rams. Last season, the Patriots and the Rams split the season series, both accumulating a win against each other. The Rams defeated the Patriots 66-61 in January, then lost 79-76 in an overtime thriller in February.
4. Atlantic 10 — VCU at Richmond: Jan 29 (TBA)
The Rams will face the Spiders in the annual Capital City Classic. The Rams lead the classic all-time, 55-31. The men’s basketball team will look to continue their dominance over it’s local rival. Spider fans should be excited to watch graduate students and A-10 honor players, Grant Golden and Jacob Gilyard, come back and start for the Spiders for another season — their fourth as starters. Both A-10 honor players are four-year starters for the Spiders. Golden used his last year of eligibility and Gilyard became a graduate student.
5. Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis — VCU vs. Syracuse: Nov. 24 at 5 p.m.
The Rams will partake in an early-season tournament versus some of the top ten teams in Division I basketball. Last season, the Rams captured third place in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic. The Rams could possibly face the reigning NCAA champions, Baylor, if they defeat the Syracuse Orange in the first round of the tournament. This is a game for transfer students and newcomers like Marcus Tsohonis to show us what they’ll bring this season.
This season will be interesting as the black and gold will play in front of 7,500 rowdy spectators in the Stuart C. Siegel Center for the first time in over a year. This season, the Rams will try to bring their 10th all-time conference tournament championship win, and the team will try to gain their second A-10 championship win since their first in 2015. There is much to expect from the Rams this season.
The Rams will open up their season with the annual black and gold scrimmage on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. The game will be played at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. For ticket information, visit vcuathletics.com.