February 13, 2014
George Washington Colonials, Melvin Johnson, Rob Brandenberg, Shaka Smart, Treveon Graham, Troy Daniels.
VCU hit 13-of-25 from beyond the 3-point arc in a 92-75 win over George Washington.
RICHMOND, Va. – Troy Daniels hit the first 3-pointers before the game even started, and the arc exhibition didn’t end until more than two hours later.
Whether or not the VCU grad inspired his former team is a matter of conjecture, but the Rams certainly followed his lead, riding a season-high 13 three-pointers (on 25 attempts) to a crucial 92-75 win over George Washington Wednesday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Daniels, who set a school single-season record with 124 three-pointers for VCU last season, was in Richmond while the NBA D-League, where he plays with the Houston Rockets-affiliated Rio Grande Valley Vipers, is on its all-star break. Daniels was called on for a pregame promotion which challenges participants to hit shots to win pizza. After a successful layup and free throw, Daniels swished his 3-point attempt. Then, from halfcourt, he banked home his second attempt to win free pizza for the entire arena.
The fans weren’t the only ones feeding off of 3-pointers, however. Once the game started, VCU feasted by hitting 8-of-14 in the first half alone to roll to a stunning 45-28 advantage. In the second half, the Rams were less prolific and more opportunistic, beating back a George Washington comeback with timely treys. Meanwhile, the Colonials were 0-of-8 from three in the first half and 6-of-18 for the game.
February 10, 2014
Isis Thorpe, Marlene Stollings, Quanitra Hollingsworth, Rochelle Luckett
Isis Thorpe is VCU’s highest-scoring freshman since Quanitra Hollingsworth in 2005-06.
VCU freshman guard Isis Thorpe has always been a bit of an independent spirit. In high school, she loved the piano sections of the K-Ci & JoJo hit “All My Life” so much she decided to take up piano. So she asked her mother for a keyboard and looked up tutorials on YouTube.
“I wanted to play the piano because I just wanted something new,” the Reading, Pa. native says. “I never wanted to be just a basketball player. I always wanted to do other things so I can say I’ve done something else.”
Thorpe later took a piano class as a high school senior, and while she still calls herself a beginner, she can play Christmas songs and some Beethoven, as well as some R&B standards.
Her basketball career has followed a similar plot line. A late-starter, the 5-foot-8 guard learned the game in her own independent way, but has proven to be a quick study. This season, she’s burst onto the scene to become the second-leading scorer for Coach Marlene Stollings’ upstart VCU Women’s Basketball team. Even among Stollings’ ready-made initial VCU recruiting class, Thorpe has managed to stand out.
Thorpe’s outstanding debut campaign isn’t just a nice surprise for the 18-6 Rams, it’s bordering on historic. Thorpe is averaging 12.9 points per game, the most by a VCU freshman since future WNBA pro Quanitra Hollingsworth averaged 14.7 during the 2005-06 season, and the most by a true VCU freshman since Rochelle Luckett (12.8) in 1998-99. Hollingsworth eventually scored 1,604 points in a VCU uniform, which ranks third in school history. Luckett is fifth with 1,483. Thorpe also ranks fourth in the A-10 in 3-pointers per game (2.5). Her 60 triples are already the sixth-most in school single-season history.
February 7, 2014
A-10, Juvonte Reddic, Mo Alie-Cox, Rhode Island Rams, Shaka Smart
VCU has won sixth straight games and 11 of its last 12.
RICHMOND, Va. – It’s not enough to just be talented or skilled or, in the simplest sense, good. The key to being good is replicating that performance. It’s consistency.
I mean, Bruce Willis isn’t Bruce Willis because he makes one Die Hard movie where he levels entire office buildings, airports and the East Coast in 120 minutes of one-liner-muttering splendor. Bruce Willis is Bruce Willis because he can do that five times.
Forgive my affection for bloated, Willisian action cinema. The point is, consistency is a skill in and of itself. High-end potential is great, but it can be a maddening pursuit when you’re only teased the best on occasion. There are plenty of basketball teams out there that haven’t mastered the skill of consistency. Speaking strictly on a macro level, Kentucky is a good example. There are probably 7-8 future NBA players on that team. Sometimes, they look like a terrific, cohesive unit, others a storm of wasted motion and discombobulation. Consistency is a skill as valuable as any other.
February 7, 2014
Danny Hurley, JeQuan Lewis, Jordan Burgess, Juvonte Reddic, Rhode Island Rams, Shaka Smart
RHODE ISLAND COACH DANNY HURLEY
JORDAN BURGESS, JEQUAN LEWIS, JUVONTE REDDIC
February 5, 2014
Briante Weber, Briante Weber steals, Rolando Lamb
In honor of Briante Weber setting VCU’s all-time steals mark Saturday against Richmond, here’s an awesome compilation of him relentlessly picking the pocket of every ball-handler within a five-mile radius. Weber now has 260 career steals. He’s a JUNIOR. VCU hosts Rhode Island Thursday. Go see Briante make more history.
February 3, 2014
Andy Rautins, D-League, Houston Rockets, NBA, Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Troy Daniels.
Former Ram Troy Daniels set a D-League record for 3-pointers on Jan. 29. He has 159 treys this season.
EDITOR’S NOTE: On Feb. 3, Troy Daniels was selected for the D-League All-Star Game on Feb. 15.
Early in training camp, Nevada Smith laid out one of the more unconventional elements of his coaching philosophy: he wanted his team, the NBA D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers, to shoot more than 40 three-pointers a game.
While it’s a strategy that was sure to rankle a few traditionalists, Troy Daniels felt like he’d hit the lottery.
“Oh yeah. I was like a kid in a candy store,” said Daniels, a 2013 VCU graduate and D-League rookie.
Daniels’ basketball career is nothing if not prolific. Last season, he hit a VCU-record 124 three-pointers, 32 more than the previous mark. In a game against East Tennessee State last year, Daniels bombed 11 triples – many from NBA range. In his four-year career, 85 percent of his field goal attempts came from beyond the 3-point arc.
In other words, he was born to play in this offense.
The results have been historic. In 29 games with the Vipers, an affiliate of the Houston Rockets, Daniels has been one of the D-League’s breakout stars, averaging 23.4 points and a league-high 5.5 three-pointers per game. On Jan. 29, Daniels hit his 153rd three-pointer to break the D-League mark of 152, set by Andy Rautins, and did so in 21 fewer games. He is now 159-of-392 from three in 29 games.