- My 10* Conference Game of the Month (A-10) is on St Bonaventure at 7:30 ET.
The VCU Rams will travel to the Reilly Center to take on the St. Bonaventure Bonnies this Friday night in Olean, NY for an A-10 clash. The Rams enter this contest on a seven-game winning streak, after defeating the George Washington Colonials, 84-57, this past Tuesday. VCU is 10-4 on the season, including 3-0 in the A-10. The St. Bonaventure Bonnies snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 9-3 on the season (1-0 in the A-10), after defeating the Lasalle Explorers, 80-76 (OT), this past Tuesday. Bothe schools have seen four games postponed or canceled from mid-December thru early January.
Mike Rhoades has some pretty good credentials in his first four seasons in Richmond, going 80-41 with two NCAA bids. Last season's NCAA bid ended before his team was able to play its first round game with Oregon, as the VCU team had a COVID outbreak. The Rams lost Hyland (9.5 & 4.7) to the NBA and this season, have used a seven-man rotation. 6-6 senior forward Williams (11.3 & 6.0) is joined by in double digits by guard Baldwin (10.8 & 5.2 APG), who has played in just six games. However, he has played in all three January games, averaging 11.7 & 5.7 APG. Other contributors are guard Nunn (9.8), Curry (8.7) and Tsohonis (6.4) plus the 6-8 Stockard (7.3 & 3.9) and the 6-9 Ward (5.7 & 4.8) up front. VCU's strength is a defense allowing 57.1 PPG (8th).
St Bonaventure is the defending Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament champions and was ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press preseason poll, the school's first ranking in the media poll since January 1971 (Can you say Bob Lanier?). However, many feel like the Bonnies have underachieved. I'm not so sure that is totally fair but it is fair to say the Bonnies have, at least so far, left something to be desired. However, this team has FIVE double digit scorers, giving them great balance. The group includes four guards and the 6-10 Osunniyi (10.1 & 7.3). The guards are Holmes (15.9-6.5-4.4), Lofton (15.9-3.8-3.8), Adams (13.5 & 7.5) and Welch (11.7 & 5.6).
Recent form says VCU, which is 7-0 SU (6-1 ATS), while entering on a 9-1 ATS run the last 10 games. However, take note of this. The Bonnies beat the Rams twice last season, including by 16 at home and then by nine in the A-10 Tournament. This season, the Bonnies have victories over Marquette, Clemson, and Boise State, and I expect them to be prepared to play at their highest level tonight as well. I am not yet ready to concede that the well-balanced Bonnies' struggles will continue. Take St Bonaventure.