Sophomore D.J. Haley (left) provided 8 points, 5 rebounds and a block in 12 minutes Saturday

NEWARK, Del. – D.J. Haley’s teammates have taken to calling him “The Dream” at practice after NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.

While Haley is similarly tall, standing 7-feet, he bears little resemblance to the former Houston Rocket. But in practice this year, Haley has shown he has a little flash and a little substance in his game that his career averages of 1.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game might not indicate.

“In practice he’ll make a play when you’re supposed to go hand-off with the guard. He’ll keep it himself and drive to the rim. He does it in games too,” said senior Bradford Burgess. “He’ll make a behind-the-back pass in practice you won’t expect and we’ll just yell out ‘The Dream!’”

Haley’s getting closing to displaying those types of skills in games too. In VCU’s 68-55 win at Delaware Saturday, Haley delivered an 8-point, 5-rebound performance in just 12 minutes. He was limited by four personal fouls, but Haley also provided stout interior defense against Delaware’s front line of Jamelle Hagins and Josh Brinkley.