Friday, December 6, 2013

VCU: The kids can play (the vets, too)

Isis Thorpe
During a preseason chat with VCU coach Marlene Stollings,  we tried to get her to identify the one or two players out of her boatload of freshmen most likely to make an immediate impact.

"Actually, they're all doing well," Stollings said.

"Oh...uh, OK."

That's what we said. But here's what we thought:

Yeah, right. C'mon, coach. You just don't want to single anyone out. They can't all be ready to go right out of the box.

Then the season started, and in the Rams' very first game Ashlee Mitchell racked up seven assists, Camille Calhoun grabbed 10 rebounds and Monnazjea Finney-Smith scored 18 points.

Oh, so it's those three. She could have just told us that and....

Then Keira Robinson started going off, earning Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Week honors.

OK, Robinson too....

Then Isis Thorpe started going off until she too captured the league's weekly top rookie award.

Hmmm.... Maybe Stollings was giving it to us straight after all.

By the way, during that same conversation, Stollings said she expected senior Robyn Parks to be even better than she was in 2012-13. And we thought, well, that sounds good, but are you really expecting more than 18.7  points and 7.9 rebounds?

Parks is currently averaging 20.3 points and 11.3 rebounds while wearing the A-10 Player of the Week belt for the second straight week.

From now on we're going to stop thinking about what Stollings tells us. Just write it down and move on.

The Rams, who at 6-1 are enjoying their best start in five years, will look to make it six straight victories on Saturday at UMBC.

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