The senior March

Rob Brandenberg and Juvonte Reddic have accomplished more in the past three years than most could have ever imagined. Now they belong to an elite group of active basketball players.

Virginia Commonwealth University and Coach Shaka Smart caught headlines in 2011 for their improbable run to the NCAA Final Four. It was a defining moment in Richmond, but the Rams have also been successful over the past two seasons. VCU ranks in the top 10 over the past three seasons in wins and number of games played in the NCAA Tournament:

Team Record # of Tourneys Best Finish
Kansas 10-3 3 2012 Championship
Louisville 10-2 3 2013 Champions
Ohio State 9-3 3 2012 Final 4
Florida 9-3 3 3 Elite 8s
Kentucky 10-1 2 2012 Champions
North Carolina 8-3 3 ’11 & ’12 Elite 8
Syracuse 8-2 3 Final 4
Marquette 7-3 3 2013 Elite 8
VCU 7-3 3 2011 Final 4
Michigan 6-3 3 2013 Championship

Plenty of attention has been given to freshmen over the past three years, but when it comes to March, upperclassmen are an invaluable asset. Rob Brandenberg and Juvonte Reddic have already captured headlines for being the first class in VCU history and the second class in the state of Virginia to go to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments–but they also make up one of the most prolific senior classes in America when it comes to the Big Dance.

This table shows the senior classes in the 2014 NCAA Tournament that have played in the most NCAA Tournament games including redshirts but excluding transfers. To be included, players needed to play at least 10% of minutes during the 2013-14 season.

Team Seniors Record # of Tourneys Best Finish
Louisville Russ Smith 10-2 3 2013 Champions
Ohio State Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith Jr. 9-3 3 2012 Final 4
Florida Casey Prather, Scottie Wilbekin, Patric Young, Will Yeguete 9-3 3 3 Elite 8s
Kentucky Jarrod Polson 10-1 2 2012 Champion
Syracuse CJ Fair, Baye Keita 8-3 3 2013 Final 4
Duke Andre Dawkins1 8-2 3 2010 Champion
VCU Rob Brandenberg, Juvonte Reddic 7-3 3 2011 Final 4
Michigan Jordan Morgan 6-3 3 2013 Championship
Duke Tyler Thornton, Josh Hairston 5-3 3 2013 Elite 8
Louisville Stephen Van Treese2 6-1 2 2013 Champion

67 teams fall short every year. Many of these prolific seniors will cry in the next few days as their careers end in the blink of an eye. It may be months or years before they can truly appreciate what they accomplished on the court. When the final buzzer sounds on the careers of Rob Brandenberg and Juvonte Reddic, there will be sadness, but they will also be remembered as a transformative pair of players for VCU basketball.

  1. Dawkins redshirted the 2012-13 season.  
  2. Van Treese redshirted the 2011-12 season.  

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Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams loves music, basketball (follow @rvaramnews!), family, learning, and barbecue sauce.

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