JeQuan Lewis stepping up his game in conference play

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At this point, we’re no stranger to JeQuan Lewis of VCU and his highlight performances in the Atlantic 10. Leading the Rams in points per game, assists per game, and steals per game, the senior is arguably VCU’s most valuable player. We know what JeQuan is capable of; he’s been displaying high levels of talent since he arrived in Richmond as a freshman. Last season, we saw Lewis erupt in various conference games, dropping 29 in overtime at Richmond and 26 against St. Bonaventure. JeQuan Lewis has the ability to drop 25+ points on any given night, which makes him one of the most dangerous players in the league. But so far in conference play, it’s been other areas of the stat sheet that the senior is excelling and helping lead his team to victory.

For starters, JeQuan Lewis has been arguably the most intense defensive player in the conference since the start of Atlantic 10 play. Lewis’ 4.9% steal percentage is really damn good, and it’s second in the league only to Fordham’s Joseph Chartouny who is in absolute pest on defense. To put this into perspective, Lewis is 24th in the nation in this category. He’s only ranked as high as 51st in his previous three seasons as a Ram. Lewis’ 11 steals in VCU’s first 4 conference games have had a huge impact on their 4-0 start. Lewis was a big reason why George Washington coughed the ball up 17 times and fell by 30 points at the Siegel Center. Lewis had an incredible steal in the first half which he took to the rack and slammed home with emphasis.

JeQuan Lewis has also been doing a great job distributing the basketball in VCU’s last 4 games. The senior has 23 total assists in Atlantic 10 play. Most notably, in VCU’s win over George Washington, even though JeQuan went for just 7 points on 3/6 shooting, he impacted the game in another way: with 7 assists and 0 turnovers. You know you have a talented point guard when he’s still making positive plays even when he’s not scoring at a high level. Though his 12 turnovers in 4 conference games isn’t exactly stellar, JeQuan Lewis is certainly still doing more good than bad when he’s got the ball in his hands. According to Kenpom, Lewis’ 29.3% assist rate in Atlantic 10 play ranks 5th in the conference. His teammates are benefiting from his ability to set them up.

JeQuan Lewis does all the little things for this VCU team. He’s shooting 81.8% from the free throw line which leads VCU. His 41.6% three point shooting percentage is by far the best on the team, and he’s shooting just as well as he was last year from deep. JeQuan Lewis hasn’t even shot the ball all that great in conference play, and yet, he’s averaging 15.3 points per contest and is helping his teammates score as well. We saw Lewis go for 26 points against George Mason to kick off league play, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time until he goes off again.

VCU may be onto something this season, and it obviously starts with JeQuan Lewis at the helm, making plays and getting the job done for Will Wade’s squad. From his defensive intensity to his passing skills to his ability to go on a scoring run at any given time, Lewis is emerging as a dangerous player in the Atlantic 10 conference and one that will look to lead the Rams to an Atlantic 10 title. VCU has a crucial 4 game stretch coming up that features an away game against Davidson and a home game against Dayton. Don’t expect Lewis to shy away from the spotlight. He knows he is emerging as one of the league’s best, and he’s sure playing like the veteran he is.

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About Author

Grant Labedz is a college basketball superfan who loves the entire sport but definitely has favorites in the A-10 and the Big Ten. He has written for SB Nation's BT Powerhouse (Big Ten Basketball) and The Champaign Room (Illinois Basketball). He also co-founded his own Illinois Basketball blog called The Groce Report. Grant is a member of the Davidson Class of 2020. Shoot him an email at [email protected] Follow @GrantLabedz

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