On Thursday night 60 names were called, but Bradford Burgess fell short in the 2012 NBA draft.
By the late 2000s, VCU’s ability to produce NBA talent seemed like a distant memory. After becoming the first school in Virginia to have back-to-back first round draft picks (Eric Maynor (2009) and Larry Sanders (2010)), Ram fans now have draft day marked on their calendar. On Thursday June 28th, VCU’s only senior, Bradford Burgess, and the Ram Nation held their collective breath as 60 names were called. At the end of the night, Burgess’s name went uncalled, but he still has a strong professional career ahead of him.
During his senior campaign, Burgess struggled to dominate as he was forced to create his own shot without the help of Joey Rodriguez, Brandon Rozzell, Ed Nixon, and Jamie Skeen. Burgess’s intangibles were paramount as he lead the 9th youngest team in the nation to within seconds of the Sweet 16, but the NBA uses very specific metrics in scouting players and intangibles are rarely on the list. Still, Bradford Burgess is one of the greatest catch and shoot players to wear the black & gold, but his rebounding prowess and character are what make him unique. At 6-foot-6, Burgess will play a more natural position in the pros as a shooting guard or small forward than the power forward position he played at VCU. His NBA dreams aren’t done, but next season don’t be surprised to see Burgess joining many other VCU greats across the pond in an international league.
Success against the best
Before the 2011 NCAA Tournament, #20 was way off the radar of NBA scouts. A few weeks later after averaging 15.16 PPG, 7 RPG, 2.33 APG, 1.66 BPG, 1.16 SPG, and shooting 58.6% from three (17-29) in his six games, Burgess and the NBA didn’t seem like an unlikely pairing. Despite their dominance in March of 2011, Bradford Burgess and Jamie Skeen both went un-drafted while many of the players they forced out of the tournament saw their names called on draft day:
- Markieff Morris – Kansas
- Marcus Morris – Kansas
- Nikola Vu?evi? – USC
- Chris Singleton – Florida State
- JuJuan Johnson – Purdue
- Josh Selby – Kansas
- E’Twaun Moore – Purdue
- Thomas Robinson – Kansas
- Bernard James – Florida State
- Tyshawn Taylor – Kansas
- Robbie Hummel* – Purdue
* Did not play due to injury.
Jamie Skeen and Bradford Burgess are fantastic basketball players, but one Ram has more NBA potential than either of them. With a solid frame, an impressive face up game, a penchant for steals, and a tremendous upside, Juvonte Reddic has the most NBA potential since Larry Sanders. The 2012-2013 Rams will be Darius Theus’s team, but don’t be surprised if Reddic averages 15 PPG and 8 RPG en route to a 3rd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. If anything, we should see more performances like his first half against William & Mary in the Stuart C. Siegel Center. (19 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 steals).