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!