RICHMOND, Va. - After losing five key players from the 2011 Final Four run, the 2011-12 men's basketball team was thought to be a "rebuilding project" by many experts across the country.
Someone forgot to tell the 13 players and Rams' coaching staff about that as this year's edition of the Black & Gold embarked on a historic season and continued to etch VCU into the nation's best programs.
From the undefeated December to yet another run through March, this year's players and coaches gave Ram Nation plenty to cheer about and that's exactly what the best fan base in the country did in historic fashion.
On the last day of the 2011-12 college basketball season, here's some facts & figures about this year's Rams:
• 29 wins by the Black & Gold set a new school record, surpassing the 2006-07 and 2010-11 squads
• 16 of those wins came away from the Siegel Center, either neutral or road courts, which tied the 2006-07 squad for the school record in that category.
• From Nov. 30th on, the Rams went 26-4 overall with all four losses coming by a combined 11 points. Three of those four losses were one possesion games.
• Since Coach Smart and his staff took over in 2009, VCU has won 84 games, which ranks as the eighth-most in the country over that stretch.
• Coach Smart's 84 wins is the second-most by any Division I Head Coach in their first three seasons
• VCU is one of four programs in the country to post at least 24 wins in each of the past six seasons. Joining the Black & Gold in that club is Kansas, Memphis and BYU.
• The Rams became the first CAA program since 1985-86 to post wins in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. Navy was the last CAA team to do so and they were led by "The Admiral", David Robinson.
• VCU was one of just five schools in the country to sell out every home game this season, joining Kansas, Duke, Michigan State and Gonzaga.
• The 14 home games set a new school record with an average attendance of 7,622, which led the CAA. Overall, attendance figures surpassed 250,000 for VCU's 36 games, which is the second highest total next to last year's Final Four run.
• The 33 televised games this year smashed the old school record of 24 set by last year's squad. 18 of those were on the ESPN Family of Networks, which also was the highest such total in school history.
• VCU led the country in total steals (381) and steals per game (10.6). The 381 steals is the highest single-season total in all of college basketball in the past four seasons. It also smashed Old Dominion's previous CAA record of 329 steals set in 2009-10.
• VCU led the country in opponent turnover rate (27.3) and steal percentage (16.0).
• VCU led the country in turnover margin (+6.5), the next closest Syracuse (+5.5). The Rams forced their opponents into 644 turnovers, a rate of 17.9 per game, which also led the country.
• The Rams held 17 opponents to 60 points or less, the highest such total in school history.
• Prior to the 2011-12 season, only two Rams had ever made at least 80 three-pointers in a season. Troy Daniels (94) and Bradford Burgess (81) both joined that club this year.
• Daniels' 94 treys set a new school record, breaking B.A. Walker's old record of 92 set during the 2006-07 season.
• Freshman Briante Weber led the country in steal percentage (7.01) and steals per 40 minutes (4.6). He is the first player since 2002-03 in all of college basketball to record a steal percentage over seven.
• Weber (77) and junior Darius Theus (71) combined for 148 steals on the season, the highest total for any set of teammates in the country. Both totals rank in the top-four on VCU's single-season steal chart.
• Senior Bradford Burgess set the NCAA record for consecutive games started with 146. He passed basketball legends Patrick Ewing (142) and Danny Manning (141) on his way to college basketball history.
• Burgess also became the only the third VCU player in school history to accumulate over 1,600 points, 700 rebounds and 200 assists. He joined Kendrick Warren (1990-94) and Charles Wilkins (1968-71) in that elite club.
• The Rams return 84% of their minutes played, 80% of their scoring and 85% of their rebounding next season.