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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Rams of VCU

5th place game in the Puerto Rico Tipoff baby!  Get amped!  Your Georgetown Fighting Hoyas are getting ready for a revenge grudge match to the death with VCU, and here with us to dish on all things VCU are our best blog buddies from Mid-Major Madness, your source for all things VCU!  Let's do this.

Let's establish this right off the top. True or False: But for Georgetown, VCU basketball wouldn't be where it is today. Feel free to elaborate on your answer.

I have to say false, I get that the Georgetown win in the 2011 tournament was a springboard for what the Rams did the rest of the tournament, but it was just a second round game among five tourney wins that year. Shaka Smart essentially won with Anthony Grant's team and VCU was building a program far before that Georgetown win. First was the success of the Jeff Capel era and then the historic win over Duke in the NCAA tournament in 2007. A foundation was built a long time ago and Rams' fans are certainly reaping the rewards.

I'll be honest, this whole HAVOC thing scares the bejeesus out of me and the thought of Georgetown facing a 40 minute press has ruined my weekend. Tell me everything is going to be OK.

Haha, I certainly think everything is going to be OK. VCU has shown that they can struggle in halfcourt defense and in transition defense, that was certainly the most prevalent on Thursday night against Florida State. For HAVOC to work then VCU has to score to set up their defense an if they have trouble scoring (like shooting 29% Thursday) then the Rams really struggle. If you have good guards that can get it past the initial wave of pressure VCU brings and can get it past halfcourt then that will go a long way as well.

Who are some of the guys that Georgetown needs to be aware of on VCU?

I think the guy to watch is Juvonte Reddic, the Rams big man. He is certainly a very talented individual, but showed he could be bullied in the paint. Personally, I'm in the camp that thinks Reddic is really soft. I'm very interested to see what he does today against Josh Smith.

The other guy to watch, especially given your HAVOC comments, is Briante Weber. Weber is the guy that makes HAVOC go and is the defending Defense Player of the Year in the Atlantic 10, he's a one man press to say the least. The other interesting thing about Weber this year is that with the departure of Darius Theus he has become the primary ball-handler for the Rams. He's a great talent, but right now he's still learning how to set up offenses.

Florida State loss aside, is VCU really the 10th best team in the country? Is VCU even really the best team in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area?

In terms of 10th in the country, no...I thought they were a little over-ranked to begin the year and the losses of Theus and Troy Daniels are hurting the Rams worse than anticipated. I just think if this team matched up against Oklahoma State, Kansas, Duke, Michigan State, etc. right now that they would get their doors blown off.

In terms of being the best team in the DMV area, that's a tough one and I'm going to be super lame. I think the match up versus Virginia was looked at as the state championship, but VCU can and will lose to Richmond, George Mason, or even Georgetown today (I wouldn't count out GW either). It's really a fun sports bar debate at this point, but I think at the end of the year it will be Georgetown that goes farthest this season.

Amazing how much has changed for the VCU program since we last met. What does VCU have to do this season for it to be deemed a success? Win the A-10? Sweet 16? Beyond?

That's a great question. I think Rams fans expectations are unrealistic and it's impossible to capture lightning in a bottle twice. Fans were licking their chops to get a "revenge" game versus Michigan in Puerto Rico, but the Rams didn't take care of business. I have to think that goal #1 is exercising the demons against Saint Louis and winning the Atlantic 10 title. I also have to think making it to the second weekend of the tournament has to be a perpetual goal for Shaka Smart's squad.

Shaka Smart has already turned down jobs at high paying schools with pristine and shiny new athletic facilities that can get any kid in due to low admissions standards. What are the chances he considers the Georgetown job should it open in, you know, 20 years or so?

I don't know what Shaka's looking for, he's a weird dude. Maybe he's that rare guy that is content with where he is at. I thought if he went anywhere it would be Illinois because it's close to home for him. It's not like HAVOC would work in the NBA (sorry delusional Wizards fans), so he's not going to the Brad Stevens route. Maybe he'd consider Georgetown, it's rumored Texas is ready to flash $3-plus million at him but I have to think they don't have enough tradition. Maybe he's waiting for one of those "cornerstone" jobs to open (Duke,UNC), I just don't know.

You seem like a pretty cool dude. If you walk into a bar, what drink are you ordering and be specific.

I'm always looking to try local brews, but if I'm in the DMV area then I'm probably ordering up a Legends Brown. You have one waiting for you if you're ever in town.

Final score prediction?

It'll be interesting, especially given the day lapse. On one side I think VCU needed a day off after two lackluster games in a row, on the other side I think JT3 getting an extra day to prepare is big. Barring either team hitting the rum punches too hard by the pool yesterday, I say VCU wins 73-69. Mainly just to fire up the HAVOC hype machine back in Richmond and drive me nuts!