UNI shuts down Havoc and has fans asking, “Should VCU be worried?” The Rams had a tough loss on the road against Northern Iowa on Saturday. The Panthers knew who they needed to shut down, and they did just that. Senior Juvonte Reddic was held to a 5 point game as UNI kept their focus on keeping him from running the court. In addition, Senior Rob Brandenberg could only manage to put up 2 points as UNI’s defense was tight against him as well. VCU’s opponents may look at how successful UNI was after shutting down these two key players. If they decide to try the same approach, VCU will have to learn to adapt and to run plays with different players.
On the other hand, Jordan Burgess earned a starting spot this game and proved it was well deserved. He took advantage of the defensive emphasis on his fellow players and put up 18 points. He was one of the top scorers of the game along with Treveon Graham who had 18 points as well. One reason fans enjoy watching Burgess play is because he never gives up. He isn’t an outright star who demands attention; he earns it and practices hard.
As for plays that largely lead to VCU’s loss, one of the biggest problems was their ability to recover loose balls. The Rams, known for their ability to force turnovers, were off their game when it came to following loose balls and recovering them. In addition, they struggled to retrieve many loose ball rebounds. Northern Iowa snatched the large majority of the loose balls, and it seemed to set the pace of the game.
Finally we come to fouls. Coach Smart’s style of play if very “in your face” and the refs were not having that this game. On top of this being one of VCU’s lower scoring games, it didn’t help that they were sending UNI to the line for free points frequently. The Panthers ended the game with 19 free throw points and were sent to the line 28 times. Fans worried early on in the season when the new rules were first put into action that VCU may get into some trouble with their style of play. They have been lucky so far and haven’t had to adjust too much, but this game proved that some refs will be harder on them than others.
VCU battles Wofford at home Tuesday at 7:00. Fans will see if any adjustments with VCU’s style of play have been made then.
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