RICHMOND, Va. â€“ In his introductory press conference as the Head Coach of the Virginia Commonwealth University menâ€™s basketball program, Shaka Smart expressed the desire to take the program to new heights.
Smart and his staff seem to be on their way to accomplishing just that after landing yet another strong recruiting class for the 2011-12 season. Recently, guards Briante Weber (Chesapeake, Va.) and Treveon Graham (Bowie, Md.) inked National Letters of Intent to join the Black & Gold.
â€œThe addition of Briante and Tre meets our most pressing recruiting need,â€ Smart said. â€œBoth are terrific fits for our style of play and have the opportunity to make an immediate impact on the court.â€
Weber is a 6-3, 175-pound combo guard that caught the eye of the Black & Gold coaching staff with an innate defensive ability. He was a standout performer for Great Bridge High School and will join the Rams after spending the 2010-11 season at nearby Fork Union Military Academy.
â€œAlong with being extremely hard to keep out of the lane, Briante has the potential to be one of the best defensive players that VCU has seen in a long time,â€ Smart said. â€œHis quickness is elite which makes him an ideal fit for our HAVOC style of play.â€
During his tenure at Great Bridge, he was named the All-Southeastern District Defensive Player of the Year during his junior and senior years and averaged 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals per outing.
Weber, who earned a three-star rating from both Rivals.com and Scout.com, drew interest from Virginia and Virginia Tech out of the ACC, Creighton out of the Missouri Valley Conference and CAA foe Old Dominion.
Graham brings a 6-5, 210-pound frame to the VCU backcourt. He used a breakout junior season to draw interest from high majors such as Cincinnati, Clemson and West Virginia. He helped lead St. Maryâ€™s Ryken to a school record 18 wins behind his 18.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per night. He garnered the respect of the highly-regarded Washington Catholic Athletic Conference out of Washington, D.C., where he earned First-Team accolades to go along with honorable mention All-Met honors.
â€œTreveonâ€™s potential as a scorer in our system is almost limitless,â€ Smart stated. â€œHis ability to create shots, get to the foul line and offensive rebound make him a threat from a multitude of areas on the floor. Tre will be a matchup nightmare in the CAA.â€