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VCU and Old Dominion are set to meet for the 90th time Saturday at the Ted Constant Center in Norfolk. The VCU-ODU rivalry lost a little luster the last couple of years as both teams changed leagues and the Monarchs waded through a rebuilding process, but it appears second-year Coach Jeff Jones has led Old Dominion back to relevance. The Monarchs enter Saturday’s contest at 4-1 and have beaten both LSU and Richmond.

VCU leads the all-time series 47-42. The Rams are 18-22 all-time in Norfolk. VCU’s seniors, Treveon Graham, Briante Weber and Jarred Guest, will attempt to complete a career sweep of the Monarchs. The Rams have won four straight in the series overall. Shaka Smart is 6-4 in his career against ODU.



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Juvonte Reddic turned in his fourth double-double in his last six games Sunday.

Juvonte Reddic turned in his fourth double-double in his last six games Sunday.

RICHMOND, Va. – Before Sunday’s game, Juvonte Reddic worked on Power Poses. During the game, he struck a pose of dominance and lifted VCU to a 69-48 victory over Old Dominion at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Reddic, cashing in on a game plan geared to exploit VCU’s size advantage over the Monarchs (just two ODU regulars stand as tall as 6-foot-7), delivered season highs of 24 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. Reddic used a series of post moves, baby hooks, dunks and putbacks on the way to an efficient 12-of-16 shooting performance. He was just four points shy of his career high.

Behind Reddic, VCU outrebounded Old Dominion 50-35 and grabbed 27 offensive rebounds. Five or Reddic’s caroms came on the offensive end, and VCU outscored ODU 30-9 in second-chance points.

While Sunday’s effort was Reddic’s best of the season to date, it was just the most recent in a series of good games for the 6-foot-9 forward of late. In his last six games, Reddic has produced four double-doubles and five double-digit rebounding games. In those six games, he’s averaging 15.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and shooting .574 (39-of-68) from the field. It’s a dramatic shift from the beginning of the season, when Reddic averaged 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and recorded no double-doubles in the first four games.

The difference Reddic says, is in his mental and emotional state. He’s more plugged in now, and it’s paying off.



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This is the worst free throw ever. I’m not asking. I’m telling you. It’s not close.



Senior Troy Daniels tied a school record with eight 3-pointers in Friday's win at Old Dominion

Senior Troy Daniels tied a school record with eight 3-pointers in Friday’s win at Old Dominion

NORFOLK, Va. –Scott Day was at lunch this summer when the call came in from Shaka Smart. The VCU coach wanted to ask his sports information director, “what was the school record for 3-pointers in a game?”

Day didn’t have to look up the answer; it wasn’t the first time Smart had asked this question. “Eight”, he told the Rams’ fourth-year coach.

“Troy will get that this year,” Smart said, referring to senior shooting guard Troy Daniels.

In the moment, it was clear that Smart’s insistence over the years that Daniels was an elite shooter – the best he’s ever coached, he said – wasn’t some calculated pressroom creation or public coaching ploy to prop up his senior’s confidence. He believed every word of it.

Friday, Daniels rewarded Smart for his faith when he tied Bo Jones’ 13-year-old school record with eight 3-pointers in the Rams’ 83-70 win at Old Dominion. Daniels hit eight of his first 10 from long range and finished 8-of-13 from that distance. He scored a career-high 24 points.

It’s probably not fair to watch Daniels hit a school-record 94 three-pointers last year and still expect more, but many observers did. But Smart’s steadfast endorsements of Daniels’ marksmanship in practice foretold of nights when he could break an opponent’s back with a series of long range bombs, of nights when he’d hit six, seven, eight 3-pointers and leave opposing coaches with nothing left but to tip their caps. Friday was one of those nights.


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