NOE LOBBIED FOR A ‘YES’, HELPED LAUNCH VCU-RICHMOND RIVALRY

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Former Rams’ Chuck Noe helped usher in the Richmond-VCU rivalry.

RICHMOND, Va. – Not many people know it, but the roots of the University of Richmond are tangled with those of VCU.

On the corner of Ryland and Grace Streets, on the eastern fringe of Richmond’s Fan neighborhood and very much within VCU’s footprint, sits a gateway that marks the former location of Richmond College. The college picked up and moved out to the West End in 1914 and became the University of Richmond. Today, you can stand at the gateway and watch fans on the next block trickle into VCU’s Stuart C. Siegel Center.

VCU’s beginnings are also modest, from Richmond Professional Institute – once an arm of William & Mary – to the 1968 merger with the Medical College of Virginia that created the University as it exists today.

The origins of the VCU-Richmond basketball series, a rivalry that has often roused this city for nearly 40 years, are similarly humble. Separated by just eight miles, the two institutions might as well be worlds apart. VCU is a large, public institution located downtown, while Richmond is small, private and tucked away in a leafy neighborhood in the West End. For those and a number of other reasons, the rivalry has maintained its edge despite changes in coaches, administrators and conference affiliation.

Although the RPI-MCV merger produced VCU in 1968, it wasn’t until eight years later that it would meet Richmond on the basketball court. There are a number of possible explanations as to why VCU and Richmond didn’t face each other until 1976. Most agree, however, that Richmond, as an established member of the Southern Conference at the time, chose not to play VCU because it simply didn’t have to.

“We always wanted to play Richmond, but they were an established school. VCU had been an independent up to that point. The schools just never had a chance to play each other. We’d always see the guys in the summer time, and we’d go back and forth,” says Gerald Henderson, a VCU star from 1974-78.

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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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