VCU has gained some value in the minds of pollsters in the USA Today Coaches and the Associated Press polls. Their stock rose higher as Virginia Commonwealth put two victories on their total last week: the first and most impressive win was over St Joe's who led VCU late in regulation, but the Rams forced overtime and won there, 92-86. The second game was a bigger margin (27 points, 90-63) of victory, over Duquesne, but there was no serious question that the Dukes would beat VCU, even on their home court. The Rams are on a streak having won 13 in a row: their last loss was a 3-pointer to Missouri in November. As a matter of fact their three losses this season are to teams in the top 25 now: they were all single-digit losses.
Fellow Atlantic 10 conference member Butler also rose up, four spaces in Butler's case, to number 9 in each aforementioned poll. VCU has yet to play Butler this year, but for whomever loses that match up it might be the only conference game either team will lose this year.
VCU is now number 19 in the Associated Press poll and number 16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. This is the third straight week that the Rams have risen in the polls and has, apparently, coincided with the string of victories. Most of the teams ahead of them are one-loss and two-loss teams. I say apparently because VCU has had great won-loss records in previous years without reaching the magical top 25 status everyone covets.
Additional numbers came out today which reflect the excellence that Virginia Commonwealth has been pursuing; VCU's efforts have produced the following results for the 2012-13 season:
- Team scoring, number 11 at 79.3 points/game
- Team assists, number 16 at 16.5 assists/game
- Team steals, number 1 at 12.89 steals/ game
- Steals, Briante Weber number 2 at 3.4 steals/ game
- Steals, Darius Theus number 6 at 2.83 steals/ game
Briante Weber's number are more impressive if you consider the stat which is derived from his raw numbers: he has the highest number of steals per forty minutes, STP40M, of anyone in the country and it's not really close. He's a terror though he only plays about 22 minutes/ game.