VCU officially leaves the CAA for the A10; Bradford Burgess, Jamie Skeen, and Larry Sanders join NBA Summer Leagues; and VCU adds a talented 2013 SG. VCU basketball is alive and well in July.
Between the change of conference; Bradford Burgess, Jamie Skeen, and Larry Sanders joining NBA Summer Leagues; and Jairus Lyles’s commitment it has been a wild week for VCU.
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Thanks for the memories CAA
Saturday, June 30th marked VCU’s final day in the Colonial Athletic Association after 17 successful seasons. The Rams depart with an impressive 191-99 (.658) conference record, five regular season titles, six NCAA Tournament berths, and 12 consecutive winning seasons. On Sunday, July 1st, VCU joined the Atlantic 10 conference marking the start of a new era in VCU athletics.
Last week Bradford Burgess’s name went uncalled in the NBA Draft, but it didn’t take long for him to find a spot on the Orlando Magic’s summer league roster. The league will take place July 9th – 13th in Orlando and Burgess will play in five games. Brooklyn, Boston, Detroit, Indiana, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, and Utah join Orlando in the eight team league.
Burgess will get the opportunity to play alongside University of Richmond’s Kevin Anderson and Justin Harper, who were both seniors when the Spiders made the Sweet Sixteen in 2011. Kyle O’Quinn from Norfolk State will also join the team. O’Quinn had 26 points and 14 rebounds as #15 Norfolk State upset #2 Missouri in the NCAA Tournament last season. O’Quinn was picked by Orlando in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft.
After falling short in the 2011 NBA Draft, Jamie Skeen spent time playing international basketball in France and Israel. This summer he will play in the NBA Summer League for the Chicago Bulls from July 13th – 22nd.
Skeen will get the opportunity to play alongside Marquis Teague who was the starting point guard for the national champion University of Kentucky Wildcats this season. Teague was picked in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Bulls.
Former Ram star Larry Sanders will play for his Milwaukee Bucks team in Las Vegas. With two years of NBA experience including significant playing time and a handful of starts, Sanders will be one of the most experienced players in Las Vegas.
Jamie Skeen and Larry Sanders will face-off Sunday, July 22nd at 4:00 PM on NBATV. Fortunately for fans, the Las Vegas rosters are yet to be finalized so Bradford Burgess could still join a team.
Joining the Atlantic 10 was enough good news for the average Ram fan on Sunday, but the commitment of 2013 SG Jairus Lyles was icing on the cake. Coach Shaka Smart offered the Hyattsville, Maryland native a scholarship Saturday afternoon and Lyles quickly committed on Sunday. Lyles is a highly touted 6-foot, 185-pound scorer out of powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School. He’s highly regarded by ESPN, Rivals, and Scout. Plus his perfect fit in the “HAVOC!” system will hopefully allow him to play at an even higher level than he was recruited.
While the 2012 class was loaded with frontcourt talent in SF Jordan Burgess, PF Mo Alie-Cox and C Justin Tuoyo, the 2013 class is stacked with backcourt talent in SG Jairus Lyles and PG JeQuan Lewis. While the 2013 class will still grow, it likely won’t gain any more guards. On Sunday, SG Hallice Cooke immediately said he was no longer considering VCU after the Lyles commitment.
With a bevy of talented already committed at each position in 2013/ 2014, Coach Smart and his staff can now patiently focus on filling the last 2013 scholarship with one more high level recruit. Smart’s early grabs in the class of 2013 show that VCU is becoming a destination for talent instead of a back up school. While in-state rivals like Virginia Tech, ODU, GMU, Richmond and George Washington still have zero commitments in the class of 2013, the Rams can go ahead and start recruiting the class of 2014.