Coaches comparison

It is no secret that the VCU men’s basketball head coaching position has become one of the most sought after in the country. The Rams’ winning ways over the past seven years has continued through three head coaches, two of which have used the job as a springboard to BCS conference jobs. In 2009, Shaka Smart took over the position as one of the top young up-and-comers in the world of college basketball coaching. Smart’s career as VCU’s coach has kicked off with a 13-4 record through Jan. 20. But how does that stack up against the last two VCU head coaches, Jeff Capel and Anthony Grant, during their first seasons?

Jeff Capel

Hired: 2002 – Promoted to Head Coach after departure of Mack McCarthy

Age at hiring: 27 (youngest in division 1 at the time)

Playing experience: Duke University 1993-1997

Resume: 2000-2001 assistant coach at ODU, 2001-2002 assistant coach at VCU

Record as of Jan. 20: 8-6, 3-3 CAA

Strongest wins as of Jan. 20: Richmond, ODU, at George Mason

First recruiting class: Troy Godwin (6’6” from Suffolk) – started 27 of 28 games, 9.3 points per game;
Nick George (6’6” from Manchester, England) – started all 28 games, 8.3 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game;
Kevin Moore (6’9” from Boynton Beach, Fla.) – played in 22 games

Anthony Grant

Hired: 2006 – Hired after departure of Jeff Capel for Oklahoma University

Age at hiring: 40

Playing experience: Dayton University 1983-1987

Resume: 1993-1994 Stetson University, 1994-1996 Marshall University, 1996-2006 University of Florida

Record as of Jan. 20: 16-3, 8-0 CAA

Strongest wines as of Jan. 20: At Richmond, Houston and ODU

First recruiting class: Franck Ndongo (6’7” from Yaounde, Cameroon) – played in 27 games;
James Eversley (6’8” from Centreville) played in 11 games

Shaka Smart

Hired: 2009 – Hired after departure of Anthony Grant for University of Alabama

Age at hiring: 32

Playing experience: 1995-1999 Kenyon College

Resume: 2001-2003 director of basketball operations Dayton University, 2003-2006 assistant coach Akron University, 2006-2008 assistant coach at Clemson University, 2008-2009 assistant coach at University of Florida

Record as of Jan. 20: 13-4, 5-4 CAA

Strongest wins as of Jan. 20: #17 Oklahoma, Nevada, Rhode Island

First recruiting class: Darius Theus (6’3” from Portsmouth) – played in 17 of VCU’s 18 games
Troy Daniels (6’4” from Roanoke) – played in 11 of 18 games,
Issiah Grayson (5’9” from Henderson, Nev.) – played in five of 18 games

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