By: Sravan Gannavarpu
Coming into this season, the realm of expectations for the VCU Men’s Basketball team is not as high as expected despite the success level. Following a successful yet considered disappointing season under first-year head coach Mike Rhoades in which the Rams failed to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011, the teams look to return to their dominant ways. After the departure of three beloved seniors in Khris Lane, Johnny Williams, and Justin Tillman, leadership roles will need to be filled and the stats will need to be replaced considering how much they have contributed to the program’s success. Players like De’Riante Jenkin, Malik Crowfield, and Isaac Vann will be relied on heavily. Before the Rams can get ahead of themselves with their conference foes, they have to play some teams outside the A-10. Gardner-Webb is the opening game of the season followed by Hampton University who is most known for their football team. Then with Bowling Green arriving a tough late will follow very soon. The Rams will then have to head to the most prestigious areas in New York, The Barclays Center to face Temple, St. Johns or California. Then they meet up with a former CAA opponent in Hofstra before heading to Virginia Beach to play Old Dominion. MAAC champion Iona is also up on the charts before December 5th in which the Rams will fly to Austin and the Frank Erwin Center will play host to the Rams as they face Shake Smart and Texas for the second straight season. The Longhorns are without their big star Mo Bamba who recently was drafted into the NBA by the Orlando Magic. Four days later, they will face the team who lost to a 16-seed in March Madness in the UVA Cavaliers. Then its three straight home games against Charleston who was the CAA Champion, a powerhouse program in the Shockers of Wichita State and Rider University. The 2018-2019 season is almost here!