#A10WBBTIPOFF: 2018-19 VCU Rams Season Preview
Welcome to the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Tipoff for the 2018-19 Season. Today, we feature the VCU Rams.
The youngest team in the Atlantic 10 a year ago has the benefit of being a year older.
VCU still has no seniors and returns all its starters in what looks to be a promising season given the way this team ended 2017-18. The young team struggled early on in a 7-22 season, but 12 of the team’s final 13 games were decided by 10 points or less and provide optimism for the coming season.
The Rams dropped the final three regular-season games last year by a total of 15 points. They showed their grit in the first round against Saint Joseph’s, something Hawks’ Coach Cindy Griffin remembers six months later.
“VCU is a team to watch for,” she said.
A look at the Rams:
Coach: Beth O’Boyle 5th season at VCU, 62-61 and 11thseason overall, 155-144
Last year: 7-22 (lost in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship to eventual runner-up Saint Joseph’s 72-63)
Newbies of note: 6-0 freshman forward
Reasons to be optimistic: More home games early – VCU appeared at the Siegel Center just once over the 2017-18 season’s first month. The Rams also figure to be without the crippling injuries that stalled last season’s development.
The Rams coach also touts Malashka’s versatility, noting “She can shoot the 3, go off the bounce, and get up and block shots well.” How quickly she makes an impact depends on how comfortably she adjusts to the pace of the American game and the decision-making it requires.
X-factor: Controlling the glass. These Rams need to go, go, go to be successful, and to do that, they need to rebound and run.
Circle the date(s): O’Boyle likes her team to compete against its in-state rivals and points to
Bottom line: Given VCU’s promising finish in 2017-18 and maturity, odds are good that the Rams will be among the most improved teams in the league.