RICHMOND- Three straight losses. All in conference play. Forget about it.
VCU’s 66-61 defeat against No.5 Dayton Tuesday night effectively ended the Rams hope of any bid to the tournament in March.
This Dayton victory completed a sweep of the season series and gave the Flyers their first win at the Siegel Center since 2015.
The only way to get into March Madness now for VCU, is to somehow find themselves as the Champions of the Atlantic 10. Not happening.
The loss tonight might have seemed close to the eye, but VCU’s (17-9, 7-6 Atlantic 10) inconsistent shooting, or lack there of, has put them in a position of constant reliability on their defense.
“VCU could’ve had that game but they did fight hard against the #5 team in the country”, Serge Whittleton said.
Dayton (24-2, 13-0 Atlantic 10) at No.5, was the highest ranked team ever to play at the Siegel Center.
They on the other hand, meanwhile had no issues as Jalen Crutcher led the team with 18 points and three Flyers players, including star Obi Toppin, finished with over 10 points.
Dayton coach Anthony Grant has done a good job of turning their program into a consistent contender and has the Flyers looking for a very high seed in March.
Bones Hyland led VCU with also 18 points and three Rams players finished above 10 as well. Marcus Santos-Silva registered 17 rebounds.
What was the main difference? Knocking down shots when needed and being consistent. This season, the Rams have neither of them.
Any team who wishes for success has a complimentary scheme of both excelling offense and intense defense. VCU seems to have defense, and little to no offense.
VCU coach Mike Rhoades continues to bring his energy in terms of defense, but in the last few games, the offense under his guidance has been mostly lethargic.
The system is has comparisons to the Golden State method of flying three’s, but without the proper execution, chances of victory compare to the New York Knicks, basically saying nowhere to be found.
Shooting is the key to win in this system and so far, the cold range from behind the arc represents the temperature of the 1967 Ice Bowl.
“Always comes down to the shooting, whether it’s 3’s 2’s or 1’s”, Daniel Macchiavello said.
In the first half however, VCU withstood multiple referee whistles and spectacular Dayton shooting to only be down by 7 at the half.
The Rams also looked to hold Dayton below their average, yet their shooting slump has not seemed to recover.
Once again though, the defeat devil supposedly rested his head and affected the Rams abilities. While VCU was able to outscore Dayton in the second half 32-30, it was to no avail as the Flyers kept pushing forward.
VCU went 1-8 in the second half beyond the arc and also registered 33% shooting in FG. Dayton managed to go 2-7 in 3-PT while scoring 38.5% FG.
The Rams also didn’t have the presence of Marcus Evans who, despite not being ruled out for the game, played zero minutes in the contest.
This was possibly due to the knee injury that Evans suffered during the loss to George Mason. Evans was held out last game against Richmond as a precaution.
That injury doesn’t excuse why the Rams have been on a 3-game losing streak, the first since December of 2015, Will Wade’s first season.
The Rams are now in danger of losing 4 straight for the first time since January-February of 2000.
Following the game, several Rams fans endured harsh comments via social media and left the Siegel Center in disappointment.
Others left with a positive outlook as to how they feel the rest of the season could go.
“They gotta put that game behind them and focus on winning out the season to up their seeding for the tournament” Whittleton said.
VCU’s next game is a road contest with the Saint Louis Billikens on Friday Night @9pm on ESPN2.