In college basketball, teams are built during the season, but programs are built during the offseason. And this offseason has been particularly fruitful for the Rams.
In college basketball, teams are built during the season, but programs are built during the offseason. With the move from the CAA to the A10, the commitments of key recruits, the addition of Ed McLaughlin as AD, an international trip, and the retention of Coach Smart, this offseason has been particularly fruitful for the Rams. The recent commitment of Antravious Simmons, the start of Bradford Burgess’s professional career, and historic season ticket sales all add to VCU’s momentum as it builds a special program.
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Saturday morning, Miami-based center Antravious Simmons made a verbal commitment to join Shaka Smart’s Rams in 2013. The 25th best center according to ESPN, Simmons is the much-needed big man in VCU’s 2013 class. More importantly, Simmons is extremely athletic, and his ability to get up and down the court will fit into Coach Smart’s system. The 6-foot-9, 220 lbs. center joins point guard JeQuan Lewis and combo guard Jairus Lyles in what is shaping up to be a solid recruiting class for the ever improving Rams. Simmons also picked up offers from 2012 NCAA Tournament teams Alabama, Kansas State, Memphis, Murray State, and South Florida.
The commitment is also a symbolic victory for the Rams as VCU edged out former head coach Anthony Grant’s Alabama. Simmons is the first player to commit to VCU from the state of Florida since Coach Grant’s tenure when he lured players like Joey Rodriguez, Ed Nixon, and Larry Sanders up the East Coast to Richmond.
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While much of VCU’s recent recruiting success can be attributed to the 2011 Final Four and VCU’s ability to sell-out the Siegel Center, former Rams’ pro careers are also certainly helping the cause.
Bradford Burgess recently inked a pro contract to play basketball for the Leuven Bears in Belgium. The Bears compete in the Ethias league, Belgium’s highest basketball league and they open their season on October 6th.
All eight upperclassmen that have played under Shaka Smart have signed professional contracts in the USA or abroad. Going back to VCU’s 2007 upset of Duke in the NCAA Tournament, 14 of 15 upperclassmen have inked professional basketball contracts. While Jamal Schuler and Jamie Skeen play in elite international leagues, some players have found significant success in the NBA. In 2009 and 2010, Eric Maynor and Larry Sanders became the first back-to-back first round draft picks from the same school in the state of Virginia.
Most top recruits aspire to play professional basketball after their college careers. VCU’s rapidly developing tradition has undoubtedly caught the eyes of the best high school basketball players in the nation, and it will certainly pay future dividends.
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Season ticket sellout
Season ticket priority
Season tickets are awarded based on the following criteria in this order:
- Annual contribution to the Ram Athletic Fund
- Priority points
- Date of ticket request submission
The VCU Rams’ athletic department recently announced that “due to unprecedented demand, the VCU Ticket Office will open a waiting list for men’s basketball season tickets.” In the midst of an 18-game home sellout streak, it’s getting progressively more difficult for students, alumni, and fans to see the Rams in action.
Anyone on the waiting list will receive priority for single-game tickets over the general public if seats become available.
Limited single-game, standing room only tickets will be saved for each game and will be sold at the ticket office. Student admittance will once again be first come, first serve on game day.
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