RICHMOND, Va. – A few thousand miles, a whole lot of water and a common language separate London, England and Richmond. What sounds like English to native Londoner Teddy Okereafor and what sounds like English to Virginian Darius Theus can be two different things.
“I mean, it’s tough with his accent,” Theus a senior, joked of his understudy. “You can’t really understand him sometimes.”
But the good news is that Okereafor is talking. The translation will come later. Accent or not, Okereafor’s teammates are starting to hear a lot more out of VCU’s backup point guard this season, and that’s good for everybody.
“Teddy still has a long way to go, but he’s much better than last year,” says VCU Coach Shaka Smart. “He was a church mouse last year.”
There’s more to being a point guard than just making fancy passes. The good ones, and VCU has had many of them over the years, direct their teammates on the floor like chess pieces, arranging them properly before initiating an attack. If there’s nobody to direct traffic, the offense falls apart.
Smart hopes a more vocal Okereafor will finally provide the Rams with a consistent backup to Theus, who averaged 31.2 minutes last season. In Smart’s Havoc system, that’s a fair amount.