As is more or less customary, VCU held a makeshift pep rally upon returning home after clinching a Final Four berth yesterday. Such a rally is especially a sight to behold in VCU’s case, because really…who expected they’d be having one of these? VCU’s own players and staff, led by head coach Shaka Smart, were probably just about the only ones who thought this moment possible (and even Smart, if he thought about it objectively, would have to be a little shocked at the amazing things his team has accomplished).
Because as you know, back when the tournament field was announced, common thought was VCU didn’t even deserve to be in it. We’ve seen Smart use it as motivation once already during the tournament, and while there was little doubt he’d keep playing that card (really, why wouldn’t he?), a few of his remarks at the aforementioned rally removed any doubt. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch (the remark in question begins at 0:54):
We especially like how, after Smart asks what all those Selection Sunday doubters are saying now, a voice is clearly heard off-camera, enthusiastically saying, “Nothing!” And while we’d venture to guess there are not many people left doubting VCU’s chances to win it all, after they’ve come this far, with the “disrespect” angle working so well, there’s no reason to abandon it.
Again, let’s just take another moment to think about it – VCU is in the Final Four. Regardless of any disrespect, any doubters…that is unbelievable.