Senior duo Treveon Graham and Briante Weber started the 2014-15 season with a great shot at topping the VCU and NCAA all-time records list. For Graham, that journey continues while a knee injury has robbed Weber of the opportunity.
Weber was 12 steals away from becoming the NCAA all-time leader in steals. Weber will finish his pursuit in third place, trailing Providence University’s Eric Murdock and John Linehan with 374 career steals. Weber was three steals shy of moving to second place to pass Murdock on the all-time steals chart.
Weber added six steals Saturday, Jan. 31 against the University of Richmond to bring his total to 374. With more than a month to play, the two-time Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year looked to be a lock to break the record. However, the knee injury he suffered late in the U of R contest ended his collegiate career.
With an 18-point outting against the Spiders, Graham is 269 points from notching the title of VCU’s all-time scoring leader from Eric Maynor. Graham currently sits sits at No. 4 on the scoring chart as he passed Bradford Burgess (1,684 career points) with 1,685 career points.
The two players have improved significantly since first stepping foot into the Siegel Center. In particular, Weber has become one of the leading pick-pocketers in the nation. The Chesapeake, Virginia native emerged from being 25th overall his freshman year to now being the overall leader in steals per game and total steals for the second season in a row. Weber ends his collegiate career currently leading the nation in steals, averaging more than three steals per game and 78 steals on the season.
Weber’s defensive intensity transferred over to the team’s overall defense. In just the past five seasons, VCU has led the nation three times in turnover margin and in steals per game. These statistics are a testament to head coach Shaka Smart’s unorthodox, defensive system. The system has been labeled as “HAVOC,” which is an appropriate title for the team’s defensive scheme.
Smart’s defense consists of a smothering, full-court press for almost the entire game. This scheme has intimidated opponents and caused players to make unforced errors, which is a testament to the team’s impressive turnover margin.
However, where this defense prospers, VCU’s offense hasn’t been particularly the strongest in recent years. The team has ranked outside of the top 100 in points per game for several years. However, the team has had strong offensive players, including Treveon Graham.
Graham, commonly known as “The Freight Train” due to his attack-the-lane mindset, has been on the outside looking in as far as being included among the best scorers in the land. However, this season, Graham broke the top-100 in scoring and now seats 97th in the nation in scoring, notching 16.8 ppg.