TROY DANIELS IS A ROCKET, MAN

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Troy Daniels was recalled from the NBA D-League Wednesday. So the former VCU 3-point gunner hopped on a plane and met the Houston Rockets in Denver and started bombing threes from the airport terminal. Well, almost.

The Rockets trailed by 17 heading into the fourth quarter, so they unloaded their bench of D-League All-Stars, including Daniels. It took Daniels about .7 seconds to start firing away. In all, the former Ram hit 4-of-6 triples to help the Rockets rally to within six. Prior to Wednesday, Daniels had played a grand total of eight NBA minutes. After this 12-point, 11-minute performance, you’ve got to think Rockets’ Coach Kevin McHale (responsible for one of the greatest episodes of “Cheers” in history) will consider getting his rookie shooting guard a little more burn the last four games of the regular season.

And look, we have highlights! Thanks Internets!

VIDEO: TROY DANIELS SCORES HIS FIRST NBA POINTS

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Awesome moment for Troy Daniels. Here are his first two buckets as a Houston Rocket. Naturally, his first NBA bucket was a three. The first of many, we hope.

TRIPLE PLAY; RAMS RIDE ARC OVER GW

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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.

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PROLIFIC DANIELS TAKES AIM AT NBA

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Former Ram Troy Daniels set a D-League record for 3-pointers on Jan. 29. He has 159 treys this season.

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.

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TROY DANIELS: MAN ON FIRE

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Troy Daniels, no longer a Bobcat, but for their sake, they should continue to keep tabs on him.

Troy Daniels, no longer a Bobcat, but for their sake, they should continue to keep tabs on him.

The word “Hidalgo” in Spanish is a term of nobility, although in later years it has been adopted somewhat informally. The Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League play in Hidalgo, Texas, which is, almost quite literally, a 3-pointer away from the Mexican border.

Former Ram Troy Daniels’ career with the Vipers, the D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets, is just five games old, but he’s already playing in a way that should merit some type of designation of nobility, or at least a gift certificate to El Torito over on Jackson St. If we elect for the former, we’d have something like, Hidalgo de la Canasta de Tres Puntos (forgive my butchered Spanish).

In five games, Daniels, a walking NBA Jam trope during his final two seasons at VCU, is averaging 25.0 points and shooting 53 percent (33-of-62) from 3-point range. Yes, in five games, Daniels – who once hit 11 triples in a game at East Tennessee State in college – has hit 33 treys. Last night, in a 153(yes, 153)-109 win over Delaware, Daniels hit 6-of-10 threes in 21 minutes. The night before, he bombed 7-of-12 from beyond the arc in just 24 minutes. Daniels hit six of those threes in one nine-minute stretch.

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HERE’S DARIUS THEUS DUNKING (REALLY)

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Hey, remember during Eric Maynor’s senior year, when he got a steal and actually dunked a ball against Hofstra? I bet you were wondering if he could actually do it up until that point. Evidence below:

This happened.

This happened.

How about last season against George Washington, when Troy Daniels got a steal and a sort of (lefty, no less!) dunk? You never saw it coming. Feel free to watch (3:12 of the video below):

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As entertaining as those dunks were, you’d probably trade them in to see Darius Theus dunk in a game, right? Well, here you go. Thanks to Scott Day for unearthing this gem from Holland, where Theus is playing professionally. Check out the look at the end. My man is getting his money’s worth out of the moment.

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Torey Burston is officially on the dunk clock.

EDIT: I felt compelled to include this photo, since this probably as close as Joey Rodriguez ever got to actually dunking in a college game. Toby Veal with the big assist.

rodriguez-dunk-ff

TROY DANIELS SIGNS WITH ROCKETS

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Troy Daniels is still shooting for the NBA. The former VCU 3-point gunner signed with the Houston Rockets today, the team announced.

It’ll be interesting to see if Troy sticks with Houston. With the Daniels signing, the Rockets are now carrying 18 players on their roster, and according to HoopRumors’ Luke Adams, 13 are inked to guaranteed deals. Several Houston writers and bloggers have already speculated this move was made with the D-League in mind, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Daniels would have the opportunity to get playing time and develop with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Weiner has more insight on his Twitter timeline, if you’re so inclined. Hopefully, Daniels will get some preseason burn with Houston. The Rockets’ next two preseason games – Oct. 21 vs. Dallas and Oct. 24 vs. San Antonio, will be televised by NBATV and TNT, respectively. In the meantime, here’s a gif of Daniels’ NBA meal ticket.


GIFSoup

CAN A RAM RUN WITH THE BOBCATS?

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Troy Daniels averaged 12.3 points per game and shot .403 (124-of-308) from 3-point range for VCU last season. He’s in training camp this fall with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Unless you’ve been maintaining radio silence since the end of last season, you know that Troy Daniels is in training camp with the Charlotte Bobcats this week. Like most undrafted free agents, Daniels will face an uphill battle in order to actually grab a roster spot. VCU fans justifiably want to know what kind of shot Daniels has of making the team. Let’s have a look.

Factor No. 1: Roster space.
NBA rosters consist of 13 active players, plus two inactive spots. The Bobcats currently have five guards – Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Ramon Sessions, Jannero Pargo and Ben Gordon – signed to guaranteed contracts.

bobcatsrosterWhile Charlotte could certainly choose to carry three shooting guards, don’t expect them to drop a point guard to free up the space, according to Bobcats’ beat writer Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

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THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS EVER THIS WEEK (OCT. 1)

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Happy Shak-tober, VCU fans. This month is good for many things, among them (in no particular order): foliage, NBA training camps, candy corn, postseason baseball, marzen, candy corn, Atlantic 10 Conference races and, finally, candy corn. How does VCU Athletics fit into all of this? I’m glad you asked, even if you didn’t.

RAMS IN CAMP
NBA training camps are underway, which means three former Rams are in action, each with a different task in front of them.

Troy Daniels is in Asheville, N.C. with the Charlotte “soon to be Hornets” Bobcats. Troy earned a camp invite after playing on the Bobcats’ summer league squad in Las Vegas. Now would be a good time to remind Michael Jordan that Charlotte was 27th in the NBA in 3-point shooting last year, and Troy Daniels (feel free to use the Around The Horns-approved #TreyD3 hashtag) hits threes in his sleep. If he was a dinosaur, Daniels would be a triceratops. If he was a TV station, he’d be ESPN3. If he was a stadium, he’d be Three Rivers.

Trust us, Daniels was born for this. We recently slowed down some film of Daniels shooting at training camp and captured his expression right at the moment he’s about to catch and shoot. Check it out:

Three, coming right up.

Three, coming right up.

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BRANDENBERG, GUEST HOPE EUROPE TRIP IS A PASSPORT TO SUCCESS

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Rising senior Rob Brandenberg averaged 10.4 points per game and sank 49 three-pointers last season.

Rising senior Rob Brandenberg averaged 10.4 points per game and sank 49 three-pointers last season.

RICHMOND, Va. – The passports of Rob Brandenberg and Jarred Guest will pick up a couple more stamps this summer, but they hope that’s not all they bring home with them.

The VCU duo is set to participate in a nine-day exhibition tour of Germany and the Czech Republic Aug. 11-19 with the Global Sports Academy (GSA). The team will be coached by Bill Brown of California (Pa.), a mentor of VCU’s Shaka Smart. For Brandenberg and Guest, it’ll be their second straight summer abroad. Both players were members of the Rams’ exhibition tour of Italy last August.

While there will be plenty of sights along the way, Brandenberg and Guest won’t exactly be singing “Holiday Road”. They say their primary focus is the same as every offseason, to become better players.

“Jarred and I have been working real hard, extremely hard for the season, so I think it’s going to be a chance for us to assert ourselves and show what we’ve been practicing and work on it in game form,” Brandenberg said.

Each player will have his own goals, his own checklist things to work on during the tour. For Brandenberg, who started 28 of 35 games last year and averaged 10.4 points, it means a focus on the intangibles. A rising senior, he’s aware that his teammates will look to him during the 2013-14 season for more than just his blazing speed or scoring punch.

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