VCU Rams ‘work in progress’ ahead of Tuesday’s men’s basketball season opener against St. Peter’s

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The VCU Rams returned to the NCAA Tournament this spring and have high hopes for the 2021-22 season of doing the same.

The Rams will have to replace the scoring of Atlantic 10 player of the year and current Denver Nuggets guard Bones Hyland, but head coach Mike Rhoades has the pieces to do so.

“We definitely have some young guys who are going to help us from day 1, without a doubt,” Rhoades said. “They’re going to have to go through some stuff and gain valuable experience, but they can definitely help us.”

Rhoades will mix that young group in with veterans Vince Williams, Hasan Ward and Ace Baldwin, among others.

“I like some of our older guys. You can tell they worked on their game. They’ve improved and with an increased role, they know they have to perform,” Rhoades said. “They’ve been answering the bell here early.”

High pressure and making the extra pass are points of emphasis as usual for Rhoades and he feels he has the personnel to do that this year.

“We’ve talked about with this team, with our athleticism and versatility and length that we have a lot of guys that, you know, can really help us pressing and getting deflections and steals and causing problems on defense,” Rhoades said. “We gotta rely on that every game this year for sure.”

Rhoades hasn’t settled on a rotation for the Rams’ opener against St. Peter’s next Tuesday.

“It’s a work in progress, without a doubt,” Rhoades said. “The way we competed in practice, they’re going after each other for minutes. I think it’s bringing the best out in everybody.”

“We’re gonna play a lot of guys, so sometimes guys are going to play a little bit more than others depending on matchups and situations and so forth.”

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