RICHMOND, Va. – The fans of VCU men's basketball saw a glimpse of Rob Brandenberg's potential last season with two 20-point performances while senior Brandon Rozzell was sidelined with a hand injury.
His name once again came up in the Rams' unforgettable overtime victory over Florida State in the Sweet 16, when the Gahanna, Ohio native blocked a shot to secure the 72-71 win.
Those instances were just some of the reason that Brandenberg was named as one of the top backcourt breakout players for 2011-12 by Rivals.com.
"It's great to know, but it doesn't mean anything if I'm not putting work in this summer and that's all I'm worried about right now," Brandenberg said. "I just want to do everything possible to help this team win not only this year, but for many years to come."
Last season, the 6-2 guard played in 39 games, averaging just under 14 minutes per contest for the Black & Gold. He finished the season with an average of 4.9 points and 1.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 41% from the floor.
His biggest breakthrough came when the Rams needed him most after Rozzell went down in mid-January. Brandenberg stepped up, scoring in double-figures in four of the next eight games, two of which included those 20-point performances. He averaged 10.7 points and knocked down eight three-pointers over that stretch.
Brandenberg and the Rams open up the 2011-12 campaign with an exhibition game against California University (Pa.) on Nov. 3. The regular season opener and Final Four celebration night is slated for Nov. 11 at the Verizon Wireless Arena.