Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Former VCU coach Cunningham pitted against former assistant, players in NCAA tourney

What could we possibly have to add about No. 1 Notre Dame meeting No. 16 North Carolina A&T? We offer this nugget in the small world category.

Current Irish associate coach Beth Cunningham is the former coach at VCU; her assistant there was Tarrell Robinson, named the coach of the Aggies in 2012 after Cunningham left to be an assistant to Muffet McGraw at her alma mater.

Aprill McRae
Among the players Robinson recruited at VCU: Aprill McRae, a 6-3 center, and Christina Carter, a 5-8 guard.

McRae and Carter were both part of the CAA's All-Rookie team as freshmen (McRae made 9 starts, averaging 4.9 ppg and 4.4 rpg, while Carter started 29 games, averaging 6.6 ppg and 2.3 rpg).

Christina Carter
McRae and Carter both became Aggies when Robinson was hired as coach. (Both, of course, sat out due to NCAA transfer rules, but McRae actually played a season of volleyball in 2012, starting 18 games).

By now you see where we're going (we hope). Cunningham under McGraw will be on the opposite bench of her former assistant and former players on Saturday night when the teams clash. Still, we're guessing that as competitive as the former two-time All-American guard is, Cunningham is also thrilled for the pair, both of whom were integral to the Aggies MEAC title. McRae, the MVP, scored 40 points and had 20 boards in three games; Carter led the Aggies with 14 points, four boards and four assists in the championship.

We're guessing the handshake line at the buzzer will be a special moment for all.

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