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RICHMOND, Va. – With the 2011-12 athletic calendar complete for VCU, we here at VCUathletics.com thought we would try to recap what was a year full of thrills, excitement and another year of growth for the movement known as Ram Nation.
After a long debate, some wrestling matches and name-calling, our crew came up with the top-25 stories from VCU Athletics in 2011-12, which we will unveil one-by-one of the course of the next 25 business days (Monday-Friday).
If you have any thoughts or comments, our Twitter handle is @VCUAthletics, we’d love to hear from you.
Today, we look at #4 on our countdown.
#4 – Two-time All-American Courtney Hurt shatters VCU’s
record book, drafted by WNBA
Senior forward Courtney Hurt, VCU’s all-time leading scorer with 2,092 points, turned in perhaps the greatest career in program history, finishing as the Rams’ all-time leader in scoring, rebounding (1,243), double-doubles (58), games played (131), field goals (770), free throws (503) and minutes played (3,694). Even more impressive, her career scoring, rebounding and double-double totals are the most by any VCU men's or women's player in school history.
In April, Hurt became the third VCU player in the last five seasons to be drafted by the WNBA. She also helped the Rams become one of just two non-BCS programs in the nation to have at least three draft picks since 2008.
After averaging a modest 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game during her first two seasons (just 20 starts in 66 outings), Hurt burst onto the national scene averaging 22.7 ppg and 12.8 rpg during her final two seasons at VCU. She led the NCAA in rebounding during both her junior and senior campaigns, while finishing second in the nation in scoring in 2010-11 (23.2 ppg) and ninth in 2011-12 (22.3 ppg). Hurt also led the country with 25 double-doubles as a junior before tallying 23 during her senior season, which was second-most in the NCAA. She was the only player in the nation to rank the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding in 2011-12.
#5 - Men's Hoops earns second straight NCAA Tourney bid with another conference title
At around the same time each year, around early March, the Richmond Coliseum was painted with Black & Gold. Ram Nation took over the Coliseum each year at the CAA Tournament and 2012 was no different thanks to an unprecedented following behind the Head Coach Shaka Smart and the VCU men’s basketball team.
With the ninth-youngest team in the country, many doubters said the Rams wouldn’t be able to keep up their recent trend of success. Those doubters were silenced on March 5, 2012 when Darius Theus, Bradford Burgess and Troy Daniels led their squad to another CAA conference title and their second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The conference title was the fourth since 2004 for the Black & Gold.
The 2012 CAA Tournament was a dominating performance for the Rams. In 120 minutes of play during the CAA Tournament, VCU trailed for a total of 1:44, thanks to a defense that forced their opponents into 60 turnovers.
"All year long, we've talked about how it's going to come down to defense and that's what got us to this point,” Burgess said. "It doesn't matter if we're making shots or not, if we're focused on the defensive end, we're going to have a chance to win every game."
Off the Rams went to Portland for the NCAA Tournament. How did they fare? You’ll have to stay tuned for the rest of the Top 25 stories of the 2011-12 VCU Athletics calendar year.