At his introductory news conference at Virginia Commonwealth, Shaka Smart promised one thing: "We are going to wreak havoc on our opponents’ psyche and their plan of attack."
That is what defines the Rams, who made a surprising run to the 2011 Final Four under Smart. What does HAVOC mean? It means defense plus speed. It means full-court pressure and transition offense, and the Rams do no hesitate to bring the full-court press early.
This translates to VCU leading the country in turnover margin (675 to 402) and steals (11.8).
Valparaiso is kind of, well, old. And that’s not a bad thing.
Valparaiso has six seniors, including two fifth-year seniors, among the team’s top eight players, and all five starters.
"They wanted to make the NCAA Tournament," Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew said in advance of his team’s game against Michigan State today. "They know this is their first and only NCAA Tournament, and I think we’re all excited to get to the game."
The Crusaders are led in scoring by 6-foot-7-inch senior Ryan Broekhoff (15.9 points, 7.3 rebounds).
Mr. Nice Guy
Who knew a 7-footer with a 7-5 wingspan could be such a geek?
At least Akron C Zeke Marshall is the one who has described himself as a "well-rounded geek," a guy who loves computers and studying them —not to mention playing a few video games here and there.
Akron coach Keith Dambrot also described Marshall as a "sweetheart," and that aspect of his personality has hurt. But if his production is any indication, Marshall hasn’t been as sweet. He is averaging 13 points, 7.1 rebounds and has 109 blocks entering the Tournament.
Jackrabbits a local fave?
South Dakota State is planning on plenty of support from Michigan State fans during its game today against Michigan.
"I hope (Michigan State fans) bought up a lot of the all-session tickets," South Dakota State coach Scott Nagy said. "We went to PF Chang’s (on Tuesday in Troy), and we had a lot of people that told us they were rooting for us.
"I expect that any Michigan State fan is going to be rooting for us. I don’t think there’s any question."
What’s in a name?
Trying saying Matthew Dellavedova ’s last name three times, fast.
You can’t do it.
Well, maybe you can, but that’s not important. What is important is the fact Dellavedova is Saint Mary’s best player (22 points Tuesday against Middle Tennessee).
The senior guard from Australia, who played on his country’s Olympics team, is the Gaels career leader in points (1,923), assists (761), 3-pointers (287) and 3-point attempts (757).
Dellavedova currently leads Saint Mary’s in scoring (16.0 points) and has 216 assists