VCU’s Rodriguez brimming (rightly) with confidence


Virginia Commonwealth’s Joey Rodriguez has what every good point guard needs: confidence. And why not? The Rams have won four of their five NCAA tournament games by double figures and are coming off a win over Kansas.

Who wouldn’t be confident?

“There’s only four teams and from what we’ve done in the tournament, we think we’ve been the most dominant team, so there’s no doubt in our minds that we could win this whole thing,” he said this week. “It’s crazy to say it, but if you look back on all of our games and how we’ve performed, I think you could say if you compare us with the other teams, we’re the most dominant one.”

No argument here. VCU (28-11) is hitting 43.8 percent of its 3-points attempts in five tourney games, five points higher than its season average. And Rodriguez is one of the main reasons why.

His quickness and dribble penetration into the lane creates numerous open looks for teammates, which is a huge reason why he’s boasting a 3.8-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He’s far from the biggest guy on the court, but he doesn’t play like it.

“We’ve got a group that really believes and is playing with a great deal of poise right now, and it starts with Joey as our point guard and as our leader,” coach Shaka Smart said. “Joey’s a guy, and you can call it ‘little man syndrome’ or ‘Napoleon’s complex’ or whatever you want to call it, but he’s a guy that is willing to take on anybody — anybody — and believes that he can win.”

The way the Rams are playing, he’s not the only one.

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