GRAHAM IS NO SOFT SOPH

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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

CATCHING UP WITH… DOMONIC JONES

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Domonic Jones scored 1,616 points for VCU from 2000-04. He was named CAA Player of the Year in 2004.

This winter is probably going to feel different to Domonic Jones. For the first time in a long time, he won’t be playing organized basketball. The former VCU star retired from professional hoops in the spring. Will he miss it?

“I wasn’t at that moment and not right now,” said the 31-year-old Jones, the 2004 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year. “That’s not to say that won’t change once basketball season rolls around.”

Jones hasn’t had much trouble filling the basketball void. He’s had a number of other life-shifting events to tend to. On May 19, Jones married the former Amanda Cunningham after a nearly three-year courtship. The couple met through mutual friends a few years ago and managed to grow closer, even as Jones was spending half of his time in Europe.

This spring, Jones decided it was time to move onto the next chapter of his life. No more long distance relationship, no more correspondence from thousands of miles away. He wanted to be home. Home in Richmond. Home with Amanda. After nine professional seasons, mostly in Germany, he called it quits.

“I tried to do what was best for us at the end of the day,” Jones said. “It’s not easy trying to make a relationship work halfway across the world. It’s definitely good to be home,” he said. “I get to spend a lot more time with friends and family.”

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