VCU’s Defense Is Key To Their Success

VCU Havoc Defense

As the link isn’t working to get to the site with just this post, you can search for the title “VCU’s most telling stat?”.

ESPN: 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, their 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.

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First off, I want to say that the VCU/SLU game was over before it even started. I saw the score scroll along the ESPN Bottomline and saw that at one point it was 30-9. Straight-up embarrassing for a ranked team.

Second of all, it is to be expected that VCU will struggle more in the A-10 than they did in the Colonial Athletic Association. Every team has the ability to do the scouting work on this HAVOC defense that VCU uses but not every team has the talent to overcome or even neutralize the swarming defense. The A-10 has better teams with higher caliber of players than the CAA. VCU lost to St. Louis, La Salle, and Richmond. No offense to the CAA or their fans…actually, if you’re a fan of one of those schools and can’t accept that they are garbage, then you deserve to be offended. Anyway, any of those 3 teams could beat the likes of UDel, Towson, Hofstra, Northeastern, and the like.

I know mentioned in a previous post that a perhaps these teams have created the blueprint to beat VCU and their defense. The truth of the matter is that the “blueprint” has been around for a while but it takes the right personnel. The “right personnel” means having smart players with quick reaction time. There are holes in the defense and they can be found so long as the offensive players don’t panic as the VCU defenders come flying at them.

The strength of VCU is built upon a smothering defense turning into extra possessions and timely 3-point shots.

Here is how I think teams can beat the Havoc defense:

Beating Havoc Defense

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