Living Up To The Potential: Bradford Burgess, VCU
Perhaps no player faces a heavier weight upon his shoulders than that of VCU's Bradford Burgess. Burgess is one of two remaining starters from a CAA team that shocked many by even making the newly-expanded field of 68, but more so put forth a run that will never be forgotten as the Rams made the Final Four. And Burgess was the main reason behind this success.
Burgess was inconsistent throughout the regular-season, but played well-enough to give the Rams some hope at upsetting USC in the play-in game. That game was the first of a string of six games where the now-senior forward defined his game and put himself on the NBA map. He lit up Purdue and Florida State, the 12th and top-ranked defenses in the country respectively, when he connected on 9-of-11 3-point attempts and scoring 49 points combined.
Without forward Jamie Skeen and guard Joey Rodriguez to share the rock with, VCU and coach Shaka Smart will be dependent on Burgess to once again lead the way. In the five games where he took 14+ shots last season, the Rams were 4-1, but more impressively, Burgess averaged 24.6 points and 5.6 rebounds while connecting on 17-of-26 3s.
By President Corey Ruff - 12 - 13 - 11