Commonwealth Times’ Sports Twitter
Before Tuesday night’s game against UAB, VCU head coach Shaka Smart was introduced junior guard Troy Daniels to a new recruit as the Rams’ best shooter and the best shooter he’s ever coached.
“They said ‘Well you really let him shoot,’ and I said ‘Well yeah, he might shoot 15 threes tonight,'” Smart said.
That Daniels primarily fires the long ball in games has become quite the norm, and also what he is most known for. But Tuesday night, the Blazers sealed off and guarded the perimeter from the 6-foot-4, 200-pound sharpshooter, who only attempted two shots from three-point range on the night.
So Daniels decided to excel elsewhere, on the defensive end of the floor. He was a nuisance to the Blazers, who committed 23 turnovers, and recorded one of VCU’s 14 steals less than four minutes into the game.
At one moment shortly before halftime Daniels dove on the ground and fought for a loose ball, forcing a jump ball with the possession arrow in favor of the Rams. Smart ran onto the floor with a thrilled look on his face and helped the Roanoke, Va. native to his feet.
Daniels has recorded 13 steals so far this season, four of which came in a 75-60 win over George Washington.
“He’s really grown up from the standpoint that even when he’s not putting up numbers offensively, he’s dedicated to the plan,” Smart said. “He guarded on their kid (Jordan) Swing, who’s a very good player and I’m proud of Troy.”