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Rea's Rams Report: No. 2

Kyle Guy drives past Malik Crowfield
Good storytellers know "discovery" is a device that can magnify the power of a message embedded in the plot. That's why they sometimes allow their readers/viewers to discover keys to unlocking the mystery. Of course, a little subtle foreshadowing can help goose the process of discovering. In real life, we also know plenty of people seem to have more faith in what they've figured out, for themselves, than they do in whatever they've been told.

OK, four games into the season, Coach Mike Rhoades' 2017-18 VCU Rams team has had the opportunity to discover, firsthand, something important to most D-I teams striving to achieve their goals. Having lost two consecutive games, both against teams that will likely be in the postseason conversation in March – UVA's 'Hoos and Marquette's Golden Eagles – and the Rams should have seen that summer league defense usually won't beat such teams.

No doubt, this is something Coach Rhoades has already mentioned more than a few times in team practices. So, do his players – 10 of which have only played four games in black and gold – need to lose more games to learn the lesson? Or, have the kids discovered and taken to heart the unvarnished truth?

As Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson) asked memorably, in "A Few Good Men" (1992), can these young and talented Rams handle the truth?

We'll soon see. They have two more games in Hawaii to start proving to themselves they can learn from the discovery of a truth that calls for a change in attitude and execution. 
  • Can these Rams change to playing a withering full-court defense, time and again, without fouling too much? 
  • Around the backboard, before poising to out-jump everybody, can they remember to first box out? 
  • Can they deflect more passes and dive for more loose balls on the floor? Can they be more aggressive on defense, take more chances?
In a nutshell, when can Rhodes' Rams start playing defense for most of a game's 40 minutes as a unit, rather than as five guys running around in the same uniforms?

Next tilt: Maui Invitational: Tues., Nov. 21, at 4 p.m: VCU (2-2) vs. California (2-2) on ESPN2. 

Note: One change in the starting lineup for today's game might be inserting Issac Vann. Malik Crowfield would come in off the bench. Crowfield scored his career high of 17 points against Marquette.  

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-- Photo from VCU

This post first appeared on SLANTblog, please read the originial post: here

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Rea's Rams Report: No. 2


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