VCU and Turnovers - How to Beat the Rams

Submitted by gwkrlghl on March 21st, 2013 at 11:24 PM

So we play VCU Saturday. I had heard somewhere recently that when VCU wins the turnover battle, they win and when they lose the turnover battle they tend to lose. I have nothing super insightful but I did gather up the data for you all to see and discuss so we can judge for ourselves. Behold:

      VCU TO Opp TO
1-Nov Virginia Union W, 94-44 12 22
9-Nov Fla. Gulf Coast W, 80-57 14 25
13-Nov Wichita St. L, 53-51 15 13
17-Nov at Winthrop W, 90-54 13 21
22-Nov vs. Memphis W, 78-65 19 22
23-Nov vs. #5 Duke L, 67-58 10 8
24-Nov vs. #13 Missouri L, 68-65 8 14
28-Nov Stetson W, 92-56 8 22
1-Dec Belmont W, 75-65 15 24
7-Dec at Old Dominion W, 83-70 12 15
15-Dec Alabama W, 73-54 11 18
18-Dec Western Ky. W, 76-44 11 32
21-Dec Longwood W, 93-56 12 27
29-Dec Fairleigh Dickinson W, 96-67 15 34
2-Jan at East Tenn. St. W, 109-58 14 24
5-Jan Lehigh W, 59-55 12 22
9-Jan Dayton W, 74-62 12 26
12-Jan at St. Bonaventure W, 72-65 15 16
17-Jan Saint Joseph's W, 92-86 5 20
19-Jan at Duquesne W, 90-63 12 19
24-Jan at Richmond L, 86-74 13 13
26-Jan La Salle L, 69-61 12 14
30-Jan at Rhode Island W, 70-64 19 18
2-Feb Fordham W, 81-65 8 22
9-Feb at Charlotte W, 68-61 10 17
14-Feb Massachusetts W, 86-68 8 24
16-Feb George Washington W, 84-57 16 25
19-Feb at St. Louis L, 76-62 10 8
23-Feb at Xavier W, 75-71 11 22
2-Mar Butler W, 84-52 8 23
6-Mar Richmond W, 93-82 6 15
10-Mar at Temple L, 84-76 14 13
15-Mar vs. #10 Saint Joseph's W, 82-79 13 17
16-Mar vs. UMass W, 71-62 8 24
17-Mar vs. St. Louis L, 62-56 13 18
21-Mar Akron 11:03 left 1 15

In wins VCU sports the following:
VCU TO: 11.3 per game
Opp TO: 21.7 per game
TO Ratio: 1.92

In losses VCU does this:
VCU TO: 12.1 per game
Opp TO: 14 per game
TO Ratio: 1.16

So win or lose, VCU turns the ball over at about the same rate, but if they can't get you to turn the ball over, they struggle. With Trey Burke as the helm, that's a good matchup for us. That may cause you to say 'duh' but I found it interesting that there was such a stark contrast between wins and losses

Michigan is currently #1 nationally in turnovers at just 9.2 per game ( Go blue


Rather be on BA

March 21st, 2013 at 11:29 PM ^

VCU looks very good, Shaka Smart is an amazing coach and I really enjoy VCUs style of play.  We will need a better peformance out of Burke than tonight in order to defeat them.  I think he is up to the task, but it should be a good battle.  Go Blue.

Michigan Eaglet

March 21st, 2013 at 11:35 PM ^

with the way we were able to beat a good team tonight without trey making a field goal for the first 27ish minutes of the game, I feel more confident in our next game then I did before today. I think Trey got a little bit too caught up in his match up against Wolters and didn't run the offense as much as he should have. That being said, VCU is still a good team and shouldn't be taken lightly, but I still feel good about how we're playing as a team right now, especially McGary.


March 22nd, 2013 at 1:13 AM ^

Trey's #1 job is to beat VCU's press.

That might lead to a lot  of easy baskets for GR3 & THJ.

VCU plays pesky & small.  I think a three-guard lineup of Spike & Trey could push the ball to THJ & GR3 and cause all sorts of problems for VCU (e.g. alley-oops). Or open threes for Stauskus in place of either THJ or GR3.




Game Statistics
Treveon Graham 34 27.7 G 6'5" 15.5 6.0 1.6 0.9 0.1 1.6 .450 .728 .364
Juvonte Reddic 34 28.1 F 6'9" 14.4 8.3 0.6 1.4 0.9 1.6 .561 .711 .167
Troy Daniels 34 26.2 G 6'4" 12.1 3.0 0.6 0.9 0.1 0.9 .417 .720 .406
Rob Brandenberg 33 24.3 G 6'2" 10.4 2.7 1.4 1.3 0.2 1.3 .403 .684 .348
Darius Theus 33 26.9 G 6'3" 7.1 1.6 4.9 2.5 0.3 1.9 .461 .667 .341
Melvin Johnson 33 17.0 G 6'3" 7.0 1.5 1.0 0.8 0.0 1.0 .418 .767 .291
Briante Weber 34 21.1 G 6'3" 5.4 2.9 2.8 2.8 0.3 1.2 .418 .785 .225
Jarred Guest 33 10.4 F 6'8" 2.2 2.4 0.2 0.5 0.3 0.6 .471 .474 .000
D.J. Haley 29 8.0 C 7'0" 1.9 1.9 0.0 0.2 0.6 0.5 .571 .400 .000
Teddy Okereafor 30 8.2 G 6'3" 1.3 1.0 1.6 0.6 0.0 0.8 .351 .750 .250
Justin Tuoyo 24 7.0 F 6'9" 1.1 1.4 0.3 0.2 0.5 0.4 .212 .625 .188
David Hinton 23 4.4 F 6'9" 0.8 0.9 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 .444 .667 .000
Totals 33 -- -- -- 78 35 15 12 3 12 .452 .701 .356



March 21st, 2013 at 11:35 PM ^

VCUs loss to Missouri bodes well. They are a very guard oriented team that is too say the least defensively challenged. Basically a worse version of us.


March 21st, 2013 at 11:35 PM ^

Saw my Temple Owls handle VCU a couple weeks ago in Philly.

VCU will struggle with Michigan's athleticism and outside shooting. Book it.



Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sunday, March 10, 12:00 PM (ET)
76 - 84
  1 2   Total
VCU 41 35   76
Temple 36 48   84



March 21st, 2013 at 11:39 PM ^

In many ways, the diamond press plays right into Michigan's biggest strengths.  No doubt it will be a big challenge, but I like the matchup.

My biggest fear is how the freshman can handle the pressue.

The Truth Hurts

March 21st, 2013 at 11:38 PM ^

the last time we played a pressing team like this was Clemson who smart use to coach with.  We only had 13 turnovers that game with cj lee and david merritt running the point so i feel comfortable with trey burke

Lazer with a Z

March 21st, 2013 at 11:43 PM ^

I think the VCU/ Akron game says as much about Akron as it does about VCU. Akron looks pretty bad, apparently due to injuries and illness. They didn't have anyone to handle the ball against VCU. Ball handling is not an issue for us. 


March 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 AM ^

Akron's starting point guard got the boot not to long ago.  One of their other players injured his back in practice yesterday and couldn't play and they had 2 guys in the hospital overnight with the flu who didn't play.  Akron had 4 players out.  This game tells you almost nothing about Akron or VCU.

Blue boy johnson

March 22nd, 2013 at 7:19 AM ^

It al starts with defense. According to St. Louis Billikens coach, Jim Crews, 2-0 vs VCU this season, the way to beat VCU: "get stops". VCU can't press if they don't make shots.

Michigan has played well against this type of team in the recent past. M beat Arkansas this year, narrow loss on road to Ark. last season. M also beat Memphis pretty good last season, and destroyed Tennessee 2 years ago.

I think Beilein, with his young team, would much rather play a team like VCU, as opposed to a grind it out, milk every possession, half court oriented defense, Wisconsin like team


March 22nd, 2013 at 9:27 AM ^

What a great breakdown. Luke Winn might be the best basketball analyst out there. He can really explain how teams attack and why things happen. It's either him or Zach Lowe for Grantland, who writes about the NBA.

From that tape, it looks like the three keys are: 

1. whomever has the ball has to keep their head up (not so concerned about Burke, but worried about everyone else) because that trap is coming from somewhere and if you don't have good vision with your head up, it'll be trouble.

2. Don't abandon the ballhandler in the backcourt if you think it's a man press, because they're still bringing the trap

3. Don't let them force you into the half-court corner on the offensive end, push the ball to the middle of the court.


March 22nd, 2013 at 12:03 AM ^

To expand on Mr. Berenson's chart, if VCU's opponent commits 15 or more turnovers, VCU wins. If the opponent commits 14 or fewer turnovers, VCU loses. This is excepting their last game against St. Louis. 

Michigan has only committed more than 14 turnovers twice - at MSU and at PSU. So if VCU mugs the shit out of Michigan and nothing is called, or they start chucking no-look arm-punt threes with a hand in their faces that subsequently hit nothing but net, then we should all worry. Otherwise, I feel okay about the chances. Anything can happen, but I like our guys.


March 22nd, 2013 at 12:16 AM ^

I think Burke will be fine handling the press.

My two biggest concerns are:

1) if VCU forces the ball out of Burke's hands, how do THJ, LeVert, Stauskas and GRIII handle the pressure. Timmy is known to be careless with the ball at times and the other 3 are freshman.

2) How tired does Burke get if he has to constantly break the press by himself. Stamina could be a big issue late in the game.This is what teams like VCU thrive on. They dont necesarily force turnovers all game long, but they wear you down to where you are physically tired and thus more mistake prone in the second half. Saginaw High is a team that does this to perfection at the high school level.


March 22nd, 2013 at 12:16 AM ^

But let's be honest; VCU's turnovers are largely created by their fierce press, and UM hasn't face much like it.  Not sure saying "UM doesn't turn the ball over much in its halfcourt offense" is the same as "UM won't turn it over against a nonstop press."

WIth that; VCU's got a lot to worry about WHEN UM breaks its press.


March 22nd, 2013 at 12:17 AM ^

Trey Burke is going to cut through them like a hot knife through butter. As always, the outcome of the game will come down to whether Michigan makes their outside shots. VCU gives up a lot of easy buckets, and if we are the offensive juggernaut that we think we are, we ought to be fully capable of taking advantage of that. Michigan matches up extremely well with VCU.


March 22nd, 2013 at 1:03 AM ^

another key is how well UM finishes near the rim.  If UM is breaking down the press, they're going to get a decent amount of shots near the rim.  They need to convert those easy chances.  Over the course of the year all most everyone but Burke seemed to have stretches where they have trouble finishing near the rim.


March 22nd, 2013 at 12:36 AM ^

I'm hoping we don't have another Loyola Maramount on our hands, based on what I saw tonight.  VCU got to bump with the body and Daniels couldn't miss from deep.  That 1990 track meet was painful.

I like our chances given our ball handling capabilities.  And with any luck, they used up some mojo tonight.

GRIII should have a huge game.  The pace and spacing will suit him.

SF Wolverine

March 22nd, 2013 at 12:53 AM ^

no guarantee, but we are good (if not incredibly well-practiced) at beating the press, and there are not a whole lot of teams that can put a hurt on you in transition in very short order like we can.    If Burke can get clear or a double-team, the ball is going to move quickly to the hoop or to the perimiter for a good look at a three.


March 22nd, 2013 at 1:04 AM ^

JB's teams have handled the press pretty well in the past (the few times I've seen them face it).  He likes to pass his way out of it, quickly up the court.  McGary is a great outlet passer so I look for him to a play role.