Wednesday, February 20, 2013
VCU's most telling stat?
By Luke Lapinski
Virginia Commonwealth has had plenty of success in recent years. And it's no secret that much of that success comes from the Rams' tenacious defense. But is it the most important component of their game?
As it turns out, it just might be. VCU lost for just the third time since late November last night, falling to Saint Louis by 14 and dropping to 21-6 on the year. They forced the Billikens into just eight turnovers in the contest and fell behind by what proved to be an insurmountable deficit. As Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports points out, that performance is reminiscent of a bit of a trend for Shaka Smart's club this season. In their nine conference wins, they're forcing an average of 21 turnovers per game. In their three losses against Atlantic 10 foes, they're forcing just 11.
So what's the takeaway? The Rams are still a team to look out for in March. And giving away the ball against them means playing right into their hands -- literally and figuratively. But a team that controls the ball at least has the chance to give them some problems in a one-and-done situation.