Tennessee vs. VCU - 11/14/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Virginia Commonwealth Rams (26-9) at Tennessee Volunteers (24-13)
College Basketball: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm (Alumni Hall)
The Line: Tennessee Volunteers +4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: CBS Sports Network
The Tennessee Volunteers and VCU Rams play Friday night at the Alumni Hall in Maryland.
No longer with Cuonzo Martin leading the way, the Tennessee Volunteers have a new head coach in Donnie Tyndall, who had great success with Southern Mississippi. Along with its head coach, the Vols lost a ton of experience and firepower with Jordan McRae, Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon no longer on the team. The new leader of the Volunteers will be Josh Richardson, who was third on the team last season with 10.3 points on 47.4 percent shooting. Robert Hubbs III should also have an improved season after missing much of last year with a shoulder injury and playing less than 20 minutes per game. IUPUI transfer Ian Chiles also has the potential to provide a much needed scoring punch for a Vols team that lost more than 70 percent of last year’s production. Overall, the Tennessee Volunteers are expected to have a rocky season with so many new players and a new coach. Don’t expect much this year as far as wins are concerned.
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The VCU Rams are expected to be the cream of the crop in the Atlantic 10 and likely have the best player from the conference in Treveon Graham. Graham averaged 15.8 points and seven rebounds last season and could produce even more as a senior. Briante Weber leads VCU defensively with an insane steal percentage 3.5 per game, and Melvin Johnson shot nearly 40 percent from downtown last season. The VCU Rams return three starters from last season and have added some talented youth including Terry Larrier, who adds length and even more scoring. What you see is what you get with VCU, as the Havoc defense is forever going to give teams fits and the Rams are always going to be a threat each night. VCU is once again a team to watch closely.
The Volunteers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games and 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games. The Rams are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. Southeastern and 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Tennessee simply lost way too much during the offseason to expect a close game this early in the season. VCU has most of its roster returning and will continue to play that nasty defense that results in a ton of turnovers. I like VCU to win and cover the small number.