Treveon Graham is like a volcano — he’s just waiting to erupt. Would be shocked if he doesn’t lead VCU in scoring.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) October 24, 2012
RICHMOND, Va. – It’s been a while since a VCU sophomore received the type of preseason pub Treveon Graham is getting these days. Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated labeled Graham the No. 1 sophomore breakout threat in the country. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports Network, in addition to his volcanic musings, wrote that Graham was likely to emerge as the “go-to scorer” of this year’s team; one that is of top-25 quality, according to many national writers.
Don’t expect VCU coach Shaka Smart to be the guy to pump the brakes on those expectations. He’s even willing to go a step further.
“I’ve always had extremely high expectations for Tre,” Smart, entering his fourth year with the Rams, said. “When we recruited him, I told him I felt like he could be the all-time leading scorer at VCU. He might have thought that was just a recruiting line, but I really meant that.”
Eric Maynor set the school scoring record with 1,953 points from 2005-09, which means Graham is just 1,701 short of VCU immortality. But it wasn’t until Maynor’s sophomore season in 2006-07 that his career took off. That season, he averaged 13.9 points per game and led the Rams to a conference championship and a first round upset of Duke in the NCAA Tournament. He followed with seasons of 17.9 points and 22.4 points per game as a junior and senior, respectively. Graham would be okay with a similar career arc.
A 6-foot-5 swingman, Graham will likely fill the role vacated by Bradford Burgess, who led the Rams in scoring (13.4 ppg) and intangibles last year. A rugged scorer, Graham can knock down 3-pointers, but is most comfortable driving to the paint and absorbing contact.
After a 1-of-16 shooting slump to start the year – “nerves”, Graham says – the Washington, D.C. native recovered to average 7.0 points in 16.7 minutes per game. He also drew a team-high 6.0 fouls per 40 minutes last season. Everyone, from Shaka Smart to the janitors at the Siegel Center, expects those numbers to go up this year, and that’s fine by Graham. He says Smart’s talk of chasing Maynor didn’t bother him. Instead of chalking it up to recruiting-speak, Graham says Smart’s confidence empowered him.