In their loss to George Mason on Tuesday night, Virginia Commonwealth turned in an uncharacteristically weak defensive performance. The Patriots took over in the second half and cruised to a 12-point win that kept the CAA a two-team race. Rams coach Anthony Grant couldn't have been happy with that performance and must have done something about it in practice this week. Yesterday VCU was impenetrable during their 65-42 win against Towson.
Only one Tiger had more than six points and they made fewer shots than the Rams had steals. Towson was 14-of-55 from the floor while VCU stole the ball 17 times, including seven by Joey Rodriguez. Larry Sanders had seven blocks, which makes you wonder if the Tigers might have been better off just taking shot clock violations every time down the floor. The Commonwealth offense never took off, they shot just 36.8%, which is why the specter of Mason's win wasn't completely erased.
The Patriots turned in a defensive effort almost as impressive in their 72-46 win against James Madison and complemented it with an offensive showing that's beyond the Rams. Folarin Campbell had 20 points and John Vaughn scored 19 in a 53% showing from the floor. Their early season struggles look well behind them after a strong week.
GMU's offensive depth is unrivaled within the league, as is VCU's defensive prowess. When the CAA tournament final comes, it will be a shock and disappointment if we don't get a rematch between the league's best offense and its best defense.