Sophomore Treveon Graham leads the Rams in scoring (16.1 ppg) and is second in rebounding (6.0).

Sophomore Treveon Graham leads the Rams in scoring (16.1 ppg) and is second in rebounding (6.0).

Treveon Graham’s rapid development has helped mold VCU into a contender for an Atlantic 10 championship and is making Shaka Smart (who all but predicted this) look clairvoyant. In short order, the sophomore from Washington, D.C. has become the Rams’ best scorer and a rugged rebounder. At 16.1 points per game, Graham ranks seventh in the A-10 in scoring, the only underclassman in the top nine.

So, nobody’s disputing that Graham has been good – very good – this season. But I would argue that what you’ve seen through 22 games this season has been historically significant. Prior to this season, just eight VCU sophomores had averaged 15.0 points per game, and none since Dom Jones in 2001-02.

In VCU’s infancy in the 70s and 80s, the Rams churned out an impact sophomore every year or so, from Charles Wilkins to Gerald Henderson to Ren Watson to Calvin Duncan. But somewhere along the way, either VCU or college basketball (or both) changed. Sure, there were solid contributors as sophomores, but the truly elite, impact second-year players became pretty rare. More