Friday, April 30, 2010

Interview with VCU signee Rob Brandenberg

Earlier in my review of VCU's Fab Five, I did a fairly comprehensive write-up of Ohio native and VCU 2010 commit Rob Brandenberg. He is a standout guard from Columbus, Ohio and was the first commit in the class of 2010 for Coach Shaka Smart and the VCU coaching staff. It's only fitting that he should then be the first guy interviewed by the Report as well. Rob was gracious enough to spare some moments to talk to me about his decision to come to VCU as well as a little bit about himself as a basketball player.

RRR: On behalf of the Ram Nation I’d like to express our excitement at your decision to be a part of the future of VCU basketball.

RRR: You were pursued by many schools from many different levels, what made VCU the right fit for you in your mind?

ROB: Well VCU's playing style and the coaching staff were the two main reasons why I chose VCU. I feel I can be very successful and I feel that VCU will get the best out of my game.

RRR: Over the course of your recruitment, which schools did you have offers from?

ROB: I had offers from Wright State, Akron, Ohio, Miami(Ohio), Marshall, Western Carolina, App St, Nevada, Butler, VCU, and Loyola of Chicago.

RRR: When you ultimately chose to commit to VCU, which schools did you have offers from or have visits scheduled for?

ROB: I had no officials set up but earlier in the month I went to Ohio, and Wright St. on unofficials.

RRR: Which NBA or college player would you say your game most resembles and why?

ROB: I think I am a 6'2 Kevin Durant...We both play very smooth and can play off the dribble or shoot over a defender.

RRR: What do you think your greatest strength as a player is?

ROB: I think my athletic ability with the ball. I use my athletic ability to jump and shoot over defenders. I use my speed to blow past defenders and I can flush on defenders in the half court or the fast break.

RRR: What role do you see yourself playing at VCU next year?

ROB: I see myself backing up Joey or Rozzell at the 1 or the 2 and being a player off the bench with instant offense and alot of energy on defense.

RRR: Ohio has a lot of D1 basketball talent with guys like Jared Sullinger, JD Weatherspoon, Geron Johnson, Jordan Sibert, Aaron Kraft etc. Rivals ranked you as the #11 player in all of Ohio. How did playing in the Ohio Capital Conference and the States after that prepare you for the college level?

ROB: The teams in the OCC are very defensive minded and I seen all types of defenses so it just prepares me just in case I see those types of defenses in college.

RRR: When did you start hearing from the VCU staff about playing at VCU and who was the primary person in your recruitment?

ROB: I started to hear stuff from VCU in April of 2009 from coach Getter, so him and Rhoades were the primary recruiters.

RRR: You helped lead your high school team Gahanna Lincoln to a big upset of the #1 team in the country in Columbus Northland. Nobody was giving you guys any respect. How did it feel to knock them off?

ROB: It felt incredible. To beat the number one team in the nation is something I can take with me for the rest of my life. Unfortunately we did not win states but I will use that loss to fuel the fire at VCU.

RRR: Any chance Stevie Taylor wants to join you at VCU? ;)

ROB: Stevie is my boy and he is a great player, but he's likely to stay in Ohio or the Midwest.

RRR: Anything else you wanna say to Ram fans?

ROB: Expect big things from us this year! We are going to build off Coach Smart's successful rookie year and do some great things!

RRR: Thanks so much for your time Rob and we can’t wait to see you take the court for VCU!

Reddic finishes just outside the 151 (per Jerry Meyers at Rivals)

In Rivals' highly complimentary write-up on Juvonte Reddic after committing to VCU, Brian Snow of said this:

On the strength of his senior year, Reddic will earn definite consideration for a Rivals150 ranking when they are updated after the season.

Well, today the Rivals put out their final Rivals150 for the class of 2010...and Reddic was not on it, although his teammates Stargell Love and Aaron Bowen cracked the list. I emailed Jerry Meyer at in his recruiting mailbag to ask what happened with Juvonte in light of Snow's comments. His reply:

"Literally 151 and I’m not being sarcastic"

Close but no cigar. While it is somewhat disappointing this still puts him as the highest-rated CAA recruit in the class of 2010 by He has been upgraded to a 3-star recruit from unranked however. This makes him the second rivals 3-star after Reco McCarter in the class.

Reddic's updated Rivals profile

Saturday, April 24, 2010

2011 Prospect- 6'7 SF Aaron Rountree

6'7 Rountree is an intriguing prospect that has great size at 6'7 to go along with a nice mid-range game. He is not a polished product but averaged 10.1 points and 8.8 rebounds for Bedingfield High out of North Carolina. He was invited to Dave Telep's Carolina Challenge as one of the top underclassmen in the state. VCU has targeted North Carolina as of late with Reco McCarter and Juvonte Reddic having signed from the 2010 class and Rountree,Travion Leonard, Chris Wilson, Anthony Stitt, Keynan Pittman, and Freddie Jackson among others in the 2011 class. He already visited VCU on March 19th and visited UVA the month before. In a recent workout at his high school, coaches from VCU, UVA, NC State, and Elon were present to evaluate his game. Although he's still a work-in-process, Rountree has a nice all-around game and does many things well. He will be a player to watch for the Rams in the 2011 class.

Rivals profile: unranked, interest from VCU, Virginia, NC State, and Elon.

Scout profile: 2 star

The 6'7, 190 pound wing has a pretty smooth shooting touch and nice range out to the 3-point line. This video clip shows off his nice touch from the perimeter. His highlights begin at 0:28.

Despite it being early in the process ACC-members Virginia and NC State have jumped in on him early. He visited UVA in February along with 2012 phenom Montrezl Harrell who also sports a VCU offer but will almost certainly go higher. The VCU staff brought him in for a visit on March 19th where he toured the campus and practice facilities.

While it's still early in Rountree's recruitment and there is stiff competition from ACC schools, the coaching staff has shown a penchant for identifying under-the-radar players before they blow up. With Kasey Wilson already committed to the Rams and a host of impressive players considering VCU from the 2011 class, there is much to be excited about in the year ahead when it comes to Ram recruiting!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dave Telep gives high praise, calls 2010 VCU class 'talk of the league'

In an article from the Commonwealth Times (a VCU student-run paper), columnist Adam Stern interviews National Recruiting Director Dave Telep. Telep has very high praise for Shaka Smart's first recruiting class and even goes as far as to say that 'it's going to wind up being the talk of the league.' “VCU’s primary concern (going into this year’s recruiting) was getting some bodies for their front court and I don’t know if it could have worked out any better for them. Long, rangy guys that fit in with the style they play, it’s perfect.”

Here is the article in its entirety (very good read):

CT: Basketball Recruiting Class 'Talk of The League'- Adam Stern

Here is a sample of Telep's thoughts on Juvonte if you don't believe me (he also discusses DJ Haley and Rob Brandenberg).

Juvonte Reddic: “They snatched a couple guys, man, I actually thought they were wasting their time with Reddic. I thought he was going to wind up going higher, so for them to pop Reddic was a big deal.”

Needless to say, Telep is highly impressed with VCU's 2010 class. There is much for Ram fans to be excited about. The best part? He didn't even mention the guy he rates the highest and headlines the class in Reco McCarter. The future looks bright ladies and gentlemen.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2010 Recruiting Class Highlight Video

With all 5 NLI's signed, VCU Athletics released a compilation of video highlights of the Class of 2010 coming into VCU this fall. This is probably one of the most athletic overall classes we have had at VCU and there is no doubt that these players fit Shaka Smart's 'Havoc' style to a 'T'. Enjoy!

The Signing Period is Upon Us!

We are now in the spring signing period and 3 players signed their NLI's to play at VCU this coming season. 6'8 Toby Veal, 6'10 Juvonte Reddic, and 7'0 Darrell Haley Jr. are officially part of the Ram family. Here are pictures of the signing ceremonies for all 3 players:

Darrell Haley Jr. signs his NLI surrounded by family and his high school teammates.

Juvonte Reddic (center)signs his NLI accompanied by teammates Stargell Love (left, Baylor) and Aaron Bowen (right, Georgetown).

Toby Veal (right) signs his NLI accompanied by teammate Sherard Brantley (headed to Georgia).