VCU keeps adding pieces

Shaka Smart has done a good job of recognizing talent that fits his system and then closing the deal and getting their commitment.

Things have gone quite well so far for Shaka Smart at Virginia Commonwealth. Smart of course has a Final Four run under his belt, and now the roster continues to shape up very well for the future. The latest to come into the fold is four-star small forward Terry Larrier, and he is part of an excellent class that is shaping up for the Rams.

The two most important things that a coach can do is recruit kids with personalities that fit his coaching style and also recruit kids whose games fit his coaching style. Too often that doesn't happen. However this year at VCU, Smart and his staff have definitely identified guys who fit their style well.

Commitment Coverage
* Larrier pledges to VCU
* Terry Larrier: Highlights
* Terry Larrier: Evaluation
The two most recent commitments especially sum up how VCU plays and what they want on the floor at all times. Both players around 6-foot-8, and both Larrier and Justin Tillman thrive in an up tempo setting.

Larrier is somebody who will play mostly on the wing, but in certain situations could slide down into a power forward role. He is athletic, he can really get to the rim, is solid in the mid-range, and loves to give maximum effort all over the court. Also Larrier is extremely versatile on the defensive end, so he can guard multiple players and is able to switch a lot of things which is important is a pressing style.

While physically Tillman and Larrier look alike, their games are very different. Tillman is someone who should play the vast majority of his time on the interior. He is more of a power forward who plays around the rim and dominates with his energy and rebounding.

In a pressing system you need to have bigs who will run the floor and really rebound, and that is exactly what Tillman does. A big time athlete, he can make up ground on players quickly with his speed, and when the shot goes up on offense he will attack the glass looking for the rebound while on defense he will prevent a team from getting second chances.

Offensively he is raw in a half court setting, but with his ability to offensive rebound as well as run the floor, in transition he is more than capable of making things happen.

Then you have a tough point guard in Jonathan Williams. Williams isn't flashy, but he brings a sense of toughness to the floor and he has good speed. Also Williams will really defend and get after it. In VCU's pressing system you need guards who are willing to do that, and Williams is someone that will fit that role.

Overall this three man class might not be done as the Rams still have their eyes on four-star forwards Michael Gilmore and Makinde London, but even if they miss out on those two it is a class that should pay immediate and significant dividends for the Rams as they move forward in a revamped Atlantic 10.


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