City Sports Report

Shaka Smart recalls game at Rose Hill Gym from 2002

Shaka Smart talks with Derrel Jazz Johnson (Photo by Herbert Delancey)

Virginia Commonwealth University head coach Shaka Smart is regarded as one of college basketball’s best, as he has won at least 26 games in his first five seasons for a combined total of 137 wins.  Add to that his Final Four appearance and it is easy to see why Smart is highly regarded.  What Smart also has is a phenomenal memory.

At Atlantic 10 Conference Media Day at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, head coach Smart was specifically asked about the toughest places to play in the A 10, and recalled a game at Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym from over a decade ago.  “They had Smush Parker and just a heck of a team.  I believe Bob Hill was the coach at the time, and that place was…that was a heck of a challenge.”

Smart was referring to a game on February 6, 2002, when he was Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Dayton.  Bob Hill was indeed head coach of the Rams, and Fordham led the game at the half, 40-36, but Dayton exploded in the second half and won 92-78.  Parker finished with 25 points and 7 assists, probably why Smart recalled him fondly.  Parker went undrafted in the 2002 NBA Draft but went on to play for six different NBA franchises, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.

Then head coach Smart returned to 2014 and recent experiences at Rose Hill Gym.  “So yeah it’s different there, but it’s certainly a challenge, and they’ve got so many guards, that they keep you on your toes.”

Expect Shaka Smart and VCU to be on their toes on Sunday, January 4, 2015, when they come up north to visit the Fordham Rams at Rose Hill Gym.  Sophomore Jon Severe is one of the guards who will be expected to do so.

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