March 12, 2013
A-10, All A-10, Atlantic 10 Conference, Briante Weber, Jim Crews, Juvonte Reddic, Khalif Wyatt, Melvin Johnson, Semaj Christon, Treveon Graham
The Atlantic 10 Conference is procedurally different from the CAA in a number of areas, including voting for All-Conference awards. Whereas the CAA used a pool of 48 media members, SIDs and coaches, the A-10 is a strictly coaches voting pool. That doesn’t mean we have to sit this one out, however. We have a blog, you know.
Also, these picks were a part of the Duquesne Sports Blog’s voting pool for their All A-10 awards, so feel free to check out how the collective A-10 blogosphere feels.
Below are what would be my All Atlantic 10 Conference picks. Feel free to discuss, but take it easy on me. I’m sensitive.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Khalif Wyatt, Temple
Why: I didn’t really need further confirmation, but after Sunday’s performance against VCU, it took me all of about four seconds to write in Wyatt’s name here. The 6-foot-4 senior guard, who has five 30-point performances this season, leads the league in scoring (19.9 ppg) is seventh in assists (4.1 apg) and ninth in steals (1.6 spg). Easy pick.|
Also considered: I’m checking to see if Jameer Nelson is eligible.
Khalif Wyatt, Temple
Rotnei Clarke, Butler
Ramon Galloway, La Salle
Juvonte Reddic, VCU
Treveon Graham, VCU
February 3, 2013
A-10, Atlantic 10, Fordham Rams, Juvonte Reddic, Shaka Smart, Tom Pecora, Treveon Graham, Troy Daniels.
Sophomore Treveon Graham is averaging 18.5 points per game in Atlantic 10 play.
RICHMOND, Va. – VCU reached the halfway mark of its inaugural Atlantic 10 Conference season Saturday in an enviable position, alone in first place.
The Rams, who also benefited from Richmond’s win over Xavier Saturday, cruised to their lofty perch with an 81-65 trouncing of Fordham that wasn’t even really that close. At 18-5 overall and 6-2 in the very much still up-for-grabs league, VCU has plenty to crow about.
“I think we’re doing pretty good so far,” sophomore Treveon Graham said. “We’ve got a long way to go.”
It’s already been a season of great highs – a 13-game winning streak and national ranking – and painful lows – a stunning overtime loss to rival Richmond is likely still fresh in players’ and coaches’ minds. But Sunday morning, VCU will find itself atop its new conference. The A-10 has been a dog-eat-dog league for half the season, but so far, the Rams have had one of the most dangerous barks.
February 1, 2013
A-10, Atlantic 10 Conference, Eric Maynor, Shaka Smart, Treveon Graham
Sophomore Treveon Graham is averaging 16.1 points per game this season, including 19.0 in league play.
There were few dissenters when Treveon Graham – a chiseled 6-foot-5, 215-pound walking icebox – was dubbed “The Freight Train”. Like a speeding locomotive, Graham is difficult to stop once he begins moving in one direction, no matter what is in his tracks. Like a train, he’s also strong enough to pull several times his own weight. Graham has been known to put the VCU offense on his back from time-to-time.
Maybe that’s why VCU Coach Shaka Smart didn’t mind laying the weight of high expectations on Graham’s sturdy shoulders. If anybody could bear an extra load, it was him.
During the recruiting process, Smart told Graham he had the ability to become the leading scorer in school history, that he could top Eric Maynor’s record of 1,953 points. What may have sounded like a typical recruiting pitch to some was actually just typical Smart. When the VCU coach puts his belief in someone, he’s all-in. It’s confidence-building and goal-setting rolled into one tidy delivery.
If those expectations are too much for Graham, he has a funny way of showing it. Through 22 games this season, he’s leading the Rams and is seventh in the Atlantic 10 in scoring (16.1 ppg) and is second on the team in rebounding (6.1 rpg). He’s seamlessly stepped into the Bigfoot-sized shoes of Bradford Burgess with aplomb.
January 31, 2013
Calvin Duncan, Charles Wilkins, Domonic Jones, Eric Maynor, Kendrick Warren, Larry Sanders, Ren Watson, Shaka Smart, Treveon Graham
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
January 20, 2013
Duquesne Dukes, Rob Brandenberg, Shaka Smart, Shaka Smart 100th win, Treveon Graham
Shaka Smart is 100-31 in four seasons at VCU
PITTSBURGH – VCU Coach Shaka Smart earned the 100th win of his short, albeit wildly successful, career in Saturday night’s 90-63 runaway victory over Duquesne at the Consol Energy Center. The feat was common knowledge among fans and media, but inside the Smart’s inner circle, many were unaware a milestone had been reached.
“I really didn’t know it was your 100th win, but congratulations,” said sophomore Treveon Graham said as he turned to Smart in the postgame press conference.
You’ll have to forgive Graham for his ignorance. Smart purposefully doesn’t make a big deal out of things like this. And it’s no small occurrence. Smart reached his 100 wins in 131 games. Only 29 coaches in college basketball history have done so faster. He’s also the 12th coach to win 100 in his first four seasons.
Not that he’s unappreciative of the success. But to him, it’s a shower of individual appreciation for an accomplishment that is anything but a solo act.
“The biggest thing for me is that it’s not just my 100th win,” Smart said Saturday. “It’s [Associate Head Coach] Mike Rhoades’, it’s [Assistant Coach] Will Wade’s, David Hinton’s, Darius Theus’, Troy Daniels’. All those guys have been around for the last four years, and our team has been able to make a lot of progress.”
January 19, 2013
B.A. Walker, Bradford Burgess, Duquesne Dukes, J.D. Barnett, Joey Rodriguez, Shaka Smart, Sonny Smith, Treveon Graham, Troy Daniels.
PITTSBURGH – More to follow on VCU’s 90-63 win at Duquesne later, but a few pieces of housekeeping:
- With the win, Shaka Smart improves to 100-31 all-time. He is the third VCU coach, joining J.D. Barnett and Sonny Smith, to reach that plateau. Smart reaches 100 wins in the 30th fewest games in NCAA history and is just the 12th coach to top the century mark in his first four seasons.
- VCU’s victory was its 13th straight, the third longest in school history. The Rams won 16 in a row Jan. 18-March 13, 1981 and 15 straight Jan. 15-March 4, 1983.
- Sophomore Treveon Graham scored 20 points in 21 minutes of play. It’s his fifth 20-point game of the season and his third in five games. Graham is averaging 20.5 points per game in his last six contests.
- VCU knocked down 12-of-29 three-pointers Saturday, its most in five games.
- Senior Troy Daniels buried two 3-pointers to become the fourth VCU player to hit 200 in his career. He joins B.A. Walker, Joey Rodriguez and Bradford Burgess on that exclusive list.
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS:
January 9, 2013
A-10, Archie Miller, Atlantic 10 Conference, Briante Weber, Dayton Flyers, Havoc, Kevin Dillard, Shaka Smart, Stripe the Stu, Treveon Graham, Troy Daniels.
VCU’s Briante Weber produced nine steals in the Rams’ A-10 opener against Dayton Wednesday.
RICHMOND, Va. – You can’t replicate it in practice. You can’t fully appreciate it on TV. You have to be here to understand the claustrophobic grip VCU’s Havoc can slip around opposing teams.
On Wednesday, the Rams’ frenzied pressure introduced itself to the Atlantic 10 Conference, namely the Dayton Flyers on this night, before packed Siegel Center. VCU’s trademark defensive pressure, like metal grinding on metal, served as an agent of attrition and pushed Dayton (10-5, 0-1 A-10) into a breakdown state over the course of the game. As legs tired and the intensity rose, the Flyers’ miscues multiplied and allowed the Rams (13-3, 1-0) to pull away for a 74-62 win in the first A-10 game in VCU history.
After just four turnovers in the first eight minutes of the game, Dayton committed 22 in the final 32 minutes. In all, the Rams outscored the Flyers 30-5 off turnovers on the way to their 10th straight victory.
“I think our press had a cumulative effect,” VCU Coach Shaka Smart said in perhaps one of this season’s bigger understatements.
January 6, 2013
C.J. McCullom, Darius Theus, Lehigh Basketball, Lehigh Mountain Hawks, Shaka Smart, Treveon Graham, Troy Daniels.
Senior Troy Daniels cooled off Saturday, but still hit a critical 3-pointer late in the game. He finished with 11 points.
RICHMOND, Va. – VCU had been so effective during its eight-game win streak that the Rams hadn’t played a close game since November. Everything worked. They were turning the opposition over at obscene rates, bombing away from beyond the 3-point line, rebounding effectively, you name it. The only edges the Rams weren’t able to sand smooth were the ones that dictate how to win close games.
But Saturday, as uneasy as it was to sweat out a close one, the Rams got the chance to see how they’d respond when everything didn’t go their way, when they had to make plays down the stretch. So sue them if the 59-55 win over gritty Lehigh wasn’t a cruise-control special, but it was probably a necessary evil.
It’s been an all-or-nothing proposition for VCU. Its previous 11 wins had all come by double figures, while its three losses were all by 10 points or less. In losses to Wichita State and Missouri, the games were decided by a single possession. That’s one stop, one bucket when it counts, a couple of free throws under duress.
There wasn’t much left for VCU to gain from another lob-sided win. Sure, everybody enjoyed the Rams’ 51-point pasting of East Tennessee earlier this week, but what Shaka Smart needed to know was how his team would respond in critical moments, when the game was on the line. This time around, the Rams answered the call. With the VCU’s first foray into Atlantic 10 Conference beginning Wednesday against Dayton, Smart had to find out if his team was ready for white-knuckle moments.
November 27, 2012
Battle 4 Atlantis, Rob Brandenberg, Treveon Graham, Troy Daniels.
Sophomore Treveon Graham averaged 18.0 points and 6.0 rebounds for VCU, which finished 1-2 at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
RICHMOND, Va. – VCU’s 1-2 performance at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament over Thanksgiving Weekend is likely to be viewed as many different things to many different people.
On one hand, the Rams upset 19th-ranked Memphis and battled then fifth-ranked Duke and 13th-ranked Missouri to the final horn, only to lose close games. You could say that alone is proof the Rams are a top-25 caliber team and can compete with anybody in the country, that they can walk with their chests puffed out, their confidence soaring.
The flip side is that for whatever moral victories were won, the Rams still lost games to Duke and Missouri that were within their reach, that VCU missed an opportunity to make a splash nationally. Against Duke, VCU’s balky free throw shooting reared its ugly head, while Missouri was able to control the paint in its 68-65 win over the Rams.
Regardless of which side you fall on, or, if your opinions reside closer to the centerline, there were positives and negatives from the experience. VCU players, talking publicly for the first time since returning from the Paradise Island Resort in Nassau, the site of the star-studded tournament, sounded as if they were also trying to categorize their performance. Net positive or an exercise in frustration? Teachable moment? Confidence builder? All of the above?
“We learned a lot. It was a good trip, a learning experience,” said junior Rob Brandenberg, who averaged 11.3 points in three tournament games. “One thing I learned about us is we’ve got to continue to get better and we’ve got to attack everything we do. Every time we take the floor we’ve got to attack. That’s when we’re at our best.”
November 26, 2012
Battle 4 Atlantis, Juvonte Reddic, Treveon Graham
I thought this may be of interest. Here are VCU’s stats from the three Battle 4 Atlantis games – games against the No. 19, 13 and 5 teams in the country. Click to enlarge.
Right out of the gate, one thing that jumps out is Treveon Graham’s stat line: 18.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg against terrific competition. That speaks volumes about the progress of the talented sophomore. Juvonte Reddic also continues to impress. He posted a double-double against Duke and averaged 12.0 ppg and 9.3 rpg.