Just sixteen days after taking over at VCU, Coach Smart signed his first recruit, an under-recruited point guard from Portsmouth, VA named Darius Theus.
Three VCU basketball careers ended in Auburn Hills, MI on March 23rd. Troy Daniels, David Hinton, and Darius Theus didn’t rock the recruiting world when they came to VCU, but the three of them played during the most successful four-year span in VCU history. They leave behind incredible legacies including the VCU record for wins at 111, a Final Four, a 7-3 record in three NCAA appearances, and a CBI title.
You only have one first recruit and you’re my guy, I love you. Shaka Smart
Believe it or not, there was a time before Shaka Smart was a household name. A time when he lived in the shadow of his predecessor Anthony Grant, and in the shadow of other coaches in the state. Just sixteen days after taking over at VCU, Coach Smart signed his first recruit, an under-recruited point guard from Portsmouth, VA.
Coach Smart must have seen something that others missed, because Darius Theus leaves behind a legacy worthy of being mentioned alongside his predecessors Eric Maynor and Joey Rodriguez. Theus didn’t always stuff the stat sheet, but he has been the Rams’ most important player for the past two seasons.
When VCU lost 61% of their scoring, 51% of rebounding, 68% of assists, and 58% of minutes from the Final Four squad, Coach Smart left no doubt as to who would lead the team. In the summer of 2011, he scribbled on a white board, “Team=Theus, Theus=Team.”
It’s no accident that VCU led the nation in steals and turnover differential for the past two seasons. Constantly on the front line of HAVOC!, Theus is a menace. Statistically he was overshadowed by Briante Weber, but Theus often drew the assignment of guarding the opponent’s best guard.
Steals don’t create much of an advantage if a team is careless on offense. VCU led the nation in defensive turnover percentage this season, but it was their 21st ranking in offensive turnover percentage that made them so dangerous. Theus’s poise on offense will undoubtedly be missed next season as the Rams try to replicate those statistics.
When VCU’s return to the NCAA tournament in 2012 was in question, Darius Theus led VCU to a CAA tournament title en route to being named the CAA Tournament MVP. He seemed to always hit that timely shot, even when it was from 3-point range. For the past two years, Darius Theus has been master and commander of the HAVOC! ship during a period of unprecedented success.
When we first got here, Eric was on his way out and everybody said what are you going to do with Joey as your point guard? When Joey graduated after two terrific years as a starting point guard, everyone said Joey is moving on from the Final Four team, what are you going to do with Darius as your point guard? All we did was set a school record for wins, go back to the NCAA tournament and win another game, won a conference championship, and [Darius Theus] has more to do with that than anyone on our team, and I give [him] a lot of respect for that. Shaka Smart
The Record Book
- 6th all-time in assists at VCU with 460.
- 3rd all-time in steals at VCU with 237.
- 3rd (85) and 5th (76) on the VCU single season steals list.