On what Ken Pomeroy’s statistical analysis told him about turnovers:
“We pay a lot of attention to KenPom stats. We use them in scouting and then we use them quite a bit analyzing our own team. We actually had a conference call with Ken a couple of weeks ago where we were talking to him about some more advanced stats that aren’t necessarily on his website. He’s great. He’s a genius.
“Can we turn people over at a similar rate? I think we can. We just have to remember within our program, because there is a lot of attention paid to our style of play, particularly on defense and turning people over, that the primary goal on defense is to get a stop. It’s not to turn over the other team. Obviously a turnover is a form of a stop. In a lot of ways it’s the most exciting form because you can take a turnover and turn it into a dunk.
“There’s that iconic picture of Bri from last year after he stole the ball against Butler, dunking the ball. … That’s exciting, and we want to continue to do that. But most importantly we want to stop the other team on as many possessions as we can.
“If we get a higher percentage of stops, and we force a few less turnovers, I’m fine with that.”
On what Pomeroy’s stats told him about rebounding (VCU averaged 13.7 offensive rebounds last season but allowed 11.1 offensive rebounds; the Rams were outrebounded 34.8-34.6 overall):
“I think we can be even better (at offensive rebounding) this year. That’s a big point of emphasis. We gave up too high of an offensive rebounding percentage for our opponents. That’s something we’ve got to get better at.
“One of the things that KenPom really believes in is this notion that it does not make any sense to look at rebounding as a sum of offense and defense because they are two completely different components of the game. There’s offensive rebounding, which we happened to be good at last year. And there’s defensive rebounding, which we were not good at last year. He’s really big on separating things.”
On why VCU was good on the offensive glass but not as good on the defensive glass:
“There’s a lot of reasons why. To simplify, we have an aggressiveness on offense. We shoot a lot of 3s, and there’s going to be a lot of long rebounds. We play fast, so it’s harder to defensive rebound in transition. It’s easier to offensive rebound. And then on the defensive side of it, the No. 1 reason would be because we were smaller. There’s about eight other reasons, too.”
On getting to the foul line more (opponents shot 67 more free throws):
“I talked to him about that. That’s not something he thought was a huge one that correlates with winning. Some of those stats very strongly affect winning and losing, and other ones don’t as much.
“I do think we’ll get to the line a whole lot more this year. No. 1 because of the rule changes, and No. 2 because of personnel. I think we have several guys who have the ability to get fouled on a regular basis.”