Shaka Smart’s new tactic for VCU? Navy SEAL training

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Ready to be charmed by Shaka Smart all over again?

The VCU coach was the star of the 2011 Final Four, serving up great quotes, hilarious antics and some refreshing candor. As anyone who watched video of the Rams’ practices knows, Smart, 34, isn’t shy when it comes to the physical aspect of practices, either.

Five months later, Smart and the rest of the VCU program took part in Navy SEAL training as part of their preseason conditioning program. Only Shaka.

This fun story by CBSSports.com’s Matt Norlander – complete with photos! – details the players’ surprise at the training regime and how long it lasted. The goal was to build toughness and team chemistry, though it’ll take a few months before anyone can tell if it paid off.

Maybe by then their muscles will have recovered. From Norlander’s story.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was a little sore, but I feel great,” Smart said. “To be out there with the guys is such a thrill. You’re in there with them, shoulder to shoulder, in the push-up position. …. Everything’s competitive. Whether you’re an individual or a small group, you’re trying to win and get done before the others.”

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