Ram in the Pros: Troy Daniels

Troy Daniels is second all-time in 3-pointers made in VCU Basketball history with 251. CT File Photo

Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor

Former Rams star and current Phoenix Suns guard Troy Daniels can knock down a 3-pointer, no matter the situation. Daniels has hit clutch game-winning threes in the NBA and holds the record for most threes made in a season at VCU at 124.

Daniels played for the Rams from 2009-2013, including the miraculous 2011 Final Four run. He is second all-time at VCU with threes made in a collegiate career at 251.

The Roanoke native went undrafted out of college and signed with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, a Houston Rockets affiliate, and has played for five NBA teams since his 2014 debut.

This season, Daniels has appeared in 14 games for the Suns, shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc and averaging 6.5 points per game. The CT sat down with Daniels when the Suns faced the Wizards Dec. 22 in Washington D.C.

What was your favorite memory from playing at VCU?

Obviously we went to the Final Four when I was a sophomore, but probably my senior year I went on a huge stretch where I had made eight or more threes in a game. I got a lot of career-highs in that stretch, which was pretty fun too.

What was the NCAA tournament and the Final Four run like?

It was pretty cool. Obviously I wish I could have been a part of it — I broke my foot that year so it was a little tough for me to get into the rotation. Overall, it was one of the best experiences in my life — something I’ll tell my kids. I talk to some of the guys in the league about it all the time. A lot of guys never get to experience it, so I am glad I was able to.

Could you have foreseen that three players — Troy Daniels, Treveon Graham, and Briante Weber — from the 2012 team would eventually make it to the NBA?

No, I probably wouldn’t. We always dream about getting to the NBA, and when it actually happens it’s great, but probably wouldn’t have known at the time.

What did former Men’s Basketball coach Shaka Smart do to help you get ready for the NBA?

He instilled a lot of core values of life and also on the court, getting that killer mindset — that killer attitude to go out there and just kill. That’s what I do when I try and get into the game. A lot of guys say, ‘Oh, you’re not scared to shoot,  you’re never scared to take the last shot.’ Shaka really helped me with that in my college career.

What do you think about the Rams this season?

I think they have some good recruits, some good guys in there. I look forward to see what they do in March.

What’s your favorite thing about playing in the NBA?

Being able to compete everyday. A lot of people look at it as a job for us, but I’m doing something that I love to do every single day. It doesn’t get any better than that, it’s not a 9-5 [job] for me.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Richmond?

I say go hit the barber shop up. I used to go to the barber shop up between classes when I went to VCU. It’s a fun atmosphere and right on campus, so it’s pretty cool.

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