The Shaka Smart era at VCU has been an unmitigated success, but high-profile recruiting hasn’t been the lynchpin of that positive play. With that, however, Smart has landed the biggest recruit of his tenure with the Rams.
Terry Larrier, a highly-touted swingman from New York, has reportedly (by various outlets) committed to VCU, and for reference, he selected the Rams over a long list of schools that included Florida, UConn, and Florida State. Larrier would be the first top-50 commit at VCU under Smart, and his length (6-foot-8) and athleticism (crazy level) would seem to be ideal for the full-court, pressing style deployed under Smart.
It is very important to note that the simple existence of Larrier as a highly-ranked recruit does not propel him to guaranteed playing time at VCU. The cupboard is still quite full with Smart’s “guys”, and it would be borderline irresponsible to project anything other than a competition for playing time on behalf of Larrier. However, it is undeniable that this type of pure talent is a rarity at the mid-Major level, and Smart is about the only guy outside of Gonzaga’s Mark Few who can recruit at this level.
This is a huge get for Smart in an effort to turn VCU into the Gonzaga of the East (Few famously stayed with the Zags despite big-time offers, much as Smart has), and it could just be the first step toward an even longer run at the top.