College Basketball Preseason Top 25: #16 VCU


Juvonte Reddic and VCU will hassle opponents all over the floor again this season. (Dean Hoffmyer/Times-Dispatch).

16. VCU Rams

If you had told anyone associated with Virginia Commonwealth University back in 2009 that their basketball program would soon take off and become a national brand on par with Gonzaga and Butler, they probably would have laughed in your face. But here we are–it’s 2013, and VCU’s momentum, like its style of play, doesn’t show any signs of slowing. The Rams will be excellent once again despite losing two backcourt starters in Troy Daniels and Darius Theus. Big man Juvonte Reddic (14.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg) returns, as does leading scorer Treveon Graham (15.1 ppg). Both players will be in the conversation for Atlantic 10 Player of the Year at season’s end. The 6-9 Reddic is a capable scorer down low and shot 56.7 percent from the field last season. His presence in the paint will be supplemented by 6-8 Florida State transfer Terrence Shannon. Also back is 6-2 guard Rob Brandenberg, who showed plenty of promise in putting up 10 points per game last season, and Top 100 recruit Jordan Burgess, who sat out last season as a partial qualifier.

VCU’s signature has been pressure defense, and that will undoubtedly continue in 2014. The Rams led the nation in takeaways by a wide margin last season, forcing 711 turnovers in 36 games (that’s a ridiculous 19.5 per). They have the players to do the same again this year. 6-2 junior Briante Weber will likely take over the point guard duties. He’s got the quickness and athleticism to create havoc on the defensive end.

BOTTOM LINE: Ever since Shaka Smart took over in Richmond, VCU has shot up the national rankings. Their Q rating may not be as high as Gonzaga’s, but this team appears to have the formula to compete on a national level year in and year out. With Temple, Xavier and Butler all moving on to the Big East, the Rams look like the class of the Atlantic 10. Expect another 25-plus wins and a high NCAA seed.

Click here to see our Entire Top 25.


  1. Pingback: College Basketball Preseason Top 25: Creighton

  2. Pingback: College Basketball Preseason Top 25: Memphis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *