Briante Weber: Man of Steal
His stats are only surpassed by his incredible plays and the pure joy of watching him.
Last season, ESPN’s Luke Winn wrote a great article that dissected HAVOC! with the byline, “Not since Nolan Richardson’s Arkansas Teams Of The 1990’s Hath A Program Unleashed 40 Minutes Of Hell Quite Like That Of VCU’s Men Of Steal.” Well if the Rams are the Men of Steal, then Briante Weber is THE MAN OF STEAL.
Last night he became the second most prolific thief in VCU history and his 239 career steals are only 18 short of Rolando Lamb’s VCU record. Only 16 games into this season, his 64 steals already rank 9th on VCU’s single-season list (he already holds the #1 and #3 spots). It may be early, but Weber has a shot at the Atlantic 10 record (365) and the NCAA record (385) for steals.
As amazing as those numbers are, they pale in comparison to just how fun it is to watch this guy play basketball. All 239 of his steals have been exciting, and the diversity of the methods of his madness keep everyone, most importantly opposing ball handlers, guessing. Whether he’s diving on the floor, using his go-go gadget arms, or leaping towards the heavens, Mr. HAVOC! will forever be remembered as the master thief.
Reducing his body of work to three steals is hardly fair, but here are my three favorites. I eagerly await the day when VCU Athletics posts all 239 + the mind boggling number he will add in the next 50-something games on Youtube.
It’s the loudest moment in the Stuart C. Siegel Center in the last two seasons if not ever, and it perfectly sums up one of the most iconic wins of Coach Smart’s career in three seconds.
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It’s largely forgotten, but it’s one of the quickest, smoothest thefts I’ve ever seen. One second Maxie Esho is about to score. The next second Briante Weber has the basketball is already across the timeline.
It combines all of the complexities of Briante Weber into one play. The game was entirely over but Weber clearly didn’t care as he penguined across the floor and inspector-gadgeted the ball away from an unsuspecting Marquis Moore. Weber dares another team to try and save clock by rolling the ball inbounds.
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