RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Good news for hoops fans! VCU basketball is back in Richmond.
The VCU Rams return to the Siegel Center for the season opener Monday, Nov. 7.
The women’s team tipped off at 11 a.m., where the Rams clobbered Lafayette 65 to 42. The men’s team is set to hit the hardwood at 7 p.m. against Manhattan College.
This is the first year since the pandemic that the gameday experience will be pretty much back to normal with no masks required.
“Richmond is a basketball town,” VCU Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin said. “In a lot of ways, the city comes alive. There’s just a different buzz in the city when basketball season is going on.”
A young VCU men’s team, with plenty of new faces, looks forward to a packed schedule under Head Coach Mike Rhoades. The Rams finished second in the Atlantic 10 Conference the last two seasons and reached the conference tournament final in 2021.
The fans are celebrating the return of the thrilling atmosphere.
“When basketball season is going, there’s no better time in Richmond,” McLaughlin said. “If you haven’t been in the Siegel center for a game, there’s no better atmosphere in college basketball when it gets to rockin’ and rollin’.”
A huge part of that game day experience is the VCU pep band, also known as The Peppas. This year, The Peppa’s longtime director Ryan Kopasci is returning to the stands to bring the energy.
“I never felt like I was completely done,” he said.
Kopasci, a local legend, stepped back from his role as VCU’s pep band director in 2016 to focus on his career as a Richmond firefighter. He is still putting out fires as his day job, but he’s pumped to be back in the Siegel Center for VCU games.
“Richmond has always been kind of a tough sports town, but the VCU Rams have always brought the energy and the excitement,” he said. “I want Richmond to fall in love again and again and again as we do every year with the basketball team and the program.”
Season tickets are still available.
Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.