VCU still a Giant Killer under Will Wade

First-year VCU coach Will Wade, a longtime assistant to Shaka Smart, returned to Richmond this season and has the Rams primed for a return to the NCAA tournament. Amber Searls/USA TODAY Sports

Over the years, no program has represented the philosophy behind Giant Killers better than VCU. High-risk, high-reward strategy is virtually embedded within the Rams’ DNA. And if you thought that era would end when Shaka Smart departed for Texas last April, you don’t know Will Wade.

While Smart was an assistant coach at Clemson, Wade served as the director of basketball operations. When Smart got the VCU job in 2009, Wade was the first assistant coach he hired. So after spending the past two seasons as the head coach at Chattanooga, a team that is headed to the NCAA tournament with a strong Giant Killer rating (18.3), Wade was the natural replacement for Smart at VCU.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that Wade has the Rams again projected as a top-tier Killer (48.6 GK rating). So with his team about to begin play in the Atlantic 10 tournament and hoping to secure a favorable slot on Selection Sunday, we decided to chat with Wade about his first year back in Richmond and how he has balanced Smart’s system with his own twists.