Everybody loves a winner; particularly the unexpected underrated darling. We like to be surprised and no team has thrilled us more than the VCU Rams. They play with “shock and awe” as they take down the giants one by one…USC, G-town, Purdue.
Who is the puppet master? The man behind the curtain, who we should pay some attention to? The one who motives and inspirers…. Their coach Shaka Smart…and how smart he is..
He makes doubters, believers. His energy: palpable. He feeds off the role of the underdog and fuels his team with a “bring it on attitude”. They play with no fear so they can elevate their game. Some times it is good to play with a chip on your shoulder. Their full court press style of play smothers their opponents. He calls their play a “havoc” style of basketball. They swarm their opposition not unlike gnats on hot summer night (Joba and the Yankees can relate).
One of the youngest college head coaches, Smart has the ability to relate to his players, but yet be effective as a leader. He is well schooled by some of the best coaches in the game arriving at VCU through Clemson and Florida. During his short time at VCU, he has made a name for himself and the university. He has put VCU on the map; no longer will people ask what VCU stands for. He has earned the respect of the NCAA and those who love basketball.
Another highlight of VCU’s play: No one has impressed us more than their scrappy, pesky point guard, Joey Rodriguez. He is entropy. The guy is relentless; racy up and down the court without breaking a sweat…watching him wipes us out. He is the maestro. His no look spot on wizard-like passing makes one wonder if he has eyes in the back of his head or elsewhere. His diminutive size doesn’t stop him from driving to the basket. He finds the open man or could just as easily take the shot.
VCU: has the masses routing for them. VCU: the first school to ever win 3 games to advance to the Sweet 16. If they win, it will no longer be a shocker, but rather an “I am not surprised” “They are playing good ball”.
If they take out FSU tonight and advance to the Elite Eight, they will not only be dancing but they will be dancing with the stars and no longer wearing Monolo’s but kicking it up a notch to Christian Loubians.