Producer of the Wes McElroy Show from 3pm - 6pm
Jesse has been with Clear Channel Media & Entertainment since 2010. He considers himself a Richmond transplant as he has lived in the River City for over 10 years now but grew up in the Western Maryland area. Deciding to attend VCU he studied Broadcast Journalism and English while spending time working at radio stations WVCW and WRIR. Jesse is currently the producer for the Wes McElroy Show as well as other shows for Sports Radio 910. Being from the Maryland area he is a diehard fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Capitals. Besides his work at Sports Radio 910 he also writes a blog for VCU basketball’s radio website.
Well it’s finally here the game that every VCU fan, and some of the players, circled on their calendars when the A10 schedule was released. As the Butler Bulldogs come to the Siegel Center for the first meeting between the two since the 2011 Final Four. Most fans, including me, still remember the thrill of that Rams’ Cinderella run and just the emptiness that was felt that fateful Saturday, and if you didn’t feel anything that day revoke your fan card. But this season’s edition of Butler is a completely different team than the one that got the best of the Rams in Houston. VCU though still has a few from that squad including; Darius Theus, Juvonte Reddic, D.J. Haley, Rob Brandenberg, Troy Daniels, and David Hinton. Though no one directly wanted to say it at media day, the 2011 Final Four game is still on the mind of the ones who were involved. Head Coach Shaka Smart said he watched the game for the first time since it happen but he had to tell himself he wouldn’t get mad beforehand. Even the players looked like they had to hold back their true feelings when asked about the rematch factor.
As both teams continue their rise in college basketball’s upper echelon and try to shed the mid-major label, this matchup could be the last given the recent news of Butler leaving the A10 after its first year in favor of the Catholic 7 or the new look “Big East” conference, whatever you want to call it. Even with the news this showdown could not come at a better time in the season. VCU currently sits a game back from the A10 lead while Butler is trying to stay in the top 4 of the conference. The Bulldogs are lead by star point guard Rotnei Clark who averages 17.0 point ppg and have a stout front court with center Andrew Smith and forward Roosevelt Jones. Most fans are well aware of the Rams’ havoc style and it is in full force this year. Right now VCU leads the nation in steals and steals per game and individually both Briante Weber and Darius Theus are in the top 10 in steals per game.
Another very awesome factor of this matchup is the fan reaction. Tickets were impossible to get in the first place and the ones that hit the secondary markets were going for anywhere from 120-750 dollars! Students even lined up starting at 6am to pick up student tickets the day they were available. Also Shakaville, a tiny village of students camping out at the STU, was constructed in anticipation so don’t think that the homeless population shot up if you saw it. The atmosphere at the STU should be beyond electric and louder than if One Direction’s bus broke down at an all-girls school. I recently caught up with VCU Ram Radio Michael Litos and we chatted about the game and the current landscape of college basketball, you can get that out below. It’s going to be quite an afternoon at the Siegel Center and don’t forget the game is on ESPN 2. GO RAMS!