VCU Rams1

New VCU Men's Basketball Coach made the rounds in a whirlwind 24 hours.

New VCU Men’s Basketball Coach made the rounds in a whirlwind 24 hours.

It was a whirlwind first day for new VCU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Will Wade. He completed the media car wash that included a throng at his press conference, then his own coaches show, plus in-studio appearances at other locations. He was truly a man about town. What did we learn on day one? Well, I listened to a bunch of his interviews in case you didn’t have the time. Some nuggets.

  • He’s obviously happy to be back. “One thing that happens when you leave here, you appreciate it more. You take for granted when you’re here sometimes the sellouts, how fanatical the fan base is. All those people at the press conference yesterday, half our road games in the Southern Conference didn’t have that many people at them.”
  • Wade originally hoped to become a world geography teacher and was once a substitute teacher.
  • One of his favorite memories from his first VCU stint was beating Drexel in the 2012 CAA Championship, one year after the Rams reached the Final Four with a senior-laden team. “I thought that really jump started the program in terms of consistency. That season we started out….we were on the bus on the way back from Charleston. I told one of the assistants on the bus, we’re going to be lucky to win 20 games with this crew.”
  • On keeping Havoc: “I think it gives us a national brand. When people think of VCU Basketball, they think of Havoc.”
  • He had plans to meet with incoming recruit Kenny Williams on Thursday.
  • His coaching staff will take shape quickly. If Wes Long, one of his assistants at Chattanooga, doesn’t get that school’s head job, he’ll join Wade in Richmond. Long, like Wade, is a Clemson grad. He served five seasons as head coach at Queens University in Charlotte.
  • In addition, Wade on plans on bringing a math student from Chattanooga that handled much of the team’s analytic data, likely as a graduate assistant.
  • He loves the food in Richmond. It sounds like Comfort is his favorite restaurant. Good choice.

  • Wade said a number of former VCU players have reached out to congratulate him, including Jamie Skeen, David Hinton and Joey Rodriguez. Darius Theus attended Wednesday’s press conference and spent time in the VCU offices.
  • He met with all of VCU’s current players individually Wednesday. He also said he prefers to visit players “on their turf”. He spent time at Ackell Residence Hall Tuesday night when he arrived.
  • He plans on adding a post player with VCU’s remaining scholarship for 2015 (vacated by Antravious Simmons). It sounded like he’s already zeroed in on someone. The term “bruiser” was used.
  • He says a player he recruited heavily at Chattanooga, but who was likely bound for the SEC reached out yesterday to schedule a visit to VCU.
  • He discussed using a 2-2-1 press and a match-up zone about 30 percent of the time. VCU rarely played zone under Shaka Smart.
  • VCU will “continue our current scheduling philosophy”. Wade says he talked to a school yesterday that will “likely be preseason top 25 next year” about possibly scheduling a game.
  • Wade loves when The Peppas play “Africa” by Toto. He says he used to request it be played during warm-ups.

Here are some additional media clips from Wednesday: