VCU’s 06-07 squad arguably put the Rams on the national map, even with a plethora of talented early 80s squads.
Eric Maynor’s “dagger” against the Duke Blue Devils with 1.8 seconds made him an instant celebrity, and insured the presence of multiple NBA scouts in Richmond for the remaining two years of his career at VCU.
The Rams proved the win was no fluke by taking 3rd-seeded Pitt Panthers to overtime before their dream season came to an end.
But was the team lead by seniors B.A. Walker, Jesse Pellot-Rosa, and breakout sophomore Eric Maynor the best to ever dawn the Black-and-Gold?
That squad was arguably made up of the most talented backcourt the Rams have ever seen. Ã‚Â The aforementioned Walker and Pellot-Rosa were talented seniors, both of who scored over 1,000 career points at VCU, appearing in their second NCAA tournament since taking a Chris Paul lead Wake Forest team to the brink just three years prior. Ã‚Â Both started in each game.
Waiting in the wings was fellow 1,000 point scorer, Jamal Shuler.
The athletic and lengthy shooting guard scored 14 points against the Blue Devils, hitting 4-of-5 three point attempts in the win. Ã‚Â Shuler continued his breakout postseason hitting both of his three point attempts in a 12-point bench contribution against the Pitt Panthers the following game.
Maynor really needs no introduction.
The all-time leader in both points and assists at VCU, Eric parlayed a dominant CAA career into the 20th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and become VCU’s first ever 1st-round selection.
His NBA career is off to a good start, contributing valuable minutes off the bench to the Oklahoma City Thunder after being traded by the Utah Jazz. Ã‚Â Eric’s 3.13 assist to turnover ratio was the 9th best in the league his rookie season, and recently posted 13 points off the bench in a 110-89 playoff win against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 28 wins that season were the most ever for any VCU team.
But could that team have hung with the 84-85 Rams?
The J.D. Barnett-coached team were eventually ranked 11th in the country, and entered a 32-team NCAA tournament as a 2-seed.
The classic Rams were lead by fellow VCU greats Calvin Duncan, Rolando Lamb, and Mike Schlegel.
Lamb averaged 27.5 points that NCAA tournament, and appeared in 6 NCAA tournament games at VCU. Ã‚Â He would later be drafted by the Seattle Supersonics with the 53rd pick in the 1985 draft.
Duncan, no stranger to VCU fans as he’s still a fixture in the community and at VCU home games, has a jersey hanging beside the only three other Rams to ever have their jersey retired (Maynor, Kendrick Warren, and Gerald Henderson), and is one of VCU’s top-5 leading scorers at all time, posting 1,616 career points at VCU.
As one of VCU’s most versatile scorers, Duncan was drafted with the 30th pick in the 1985 NBA Draft. Ã‚Â He would eventually give up the NBA lifestyle to follow his true calling as a dedicated christian, playing for Athletes in Action before starting a career as a minister back in Richmond, VA.
The third leader of that squad may be the ultimate edge the 84-85 Rams have over the ’07 edition, a dominant big man.
6’8 Mike Schlegel was also drafted by an NBA team, but with the 96th pick (non-existant in today’s draft) by the New York Knicks. Ã‚Â Schlegel could score at a high percentage, hitting over 57 percent of his baskets that year, giving the 84-85 Rams an advantage in the paint over the Maynor-lead squad. Ã‚Â With Schlegel in the paint, the Rams won NCAA tournament games in three consecutive years before being eliminated in the second round.
Join the discussion in our forum and let us know which VCU team YOU think is the best to ever wear the Black-and-Gold.