Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball Ranking of top 10 mid-major winners of 2024 offseason

McNeese v Gonzaga
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No. 10: VCU

The Rams had a solid first season under head coach Ryan Odom, overcoming a slow start to the year and finish 24-14 (11-7 A-10) overall to finish in a tie for fourth in the A-10, and reaching the quarterfinals of the NIT. The Rams have made some key additions in the portal this year, along with bringing back some of their top players from their 2023-24 team.

The Rams have landed two portal commitments in former UT Arlington guard Phillip Russell and Clemson forward Jack Clark, along with incoming freshman guard Brandon Jennings being set to join the team this year. Russell will join the Rams as a senior, and is coming off a solid junior year at UT Arlington that saw him average 14.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, and 4.4 apg while shooting 41.2% from the field. Clark will also join the team for his "super senior" year, and averaged 4.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, and 1.4 apg with the Tigers last year, and was among Clemson's top defensive players down the stretch. Both Russell and Clark will bring veteran experience and leadership to VCU this year, and look poised to play big roles in the Rams' rotation.

While not an addition necessarily, VCU received some good news last week as guard Max Shulga, who had initially transferred from VCU to Villanova, ultimately decommitted from Villanova and will return to VCU for his final year. Shulga was a huge piece for VCU on both ends of the floor this year, leading the team in scoring while averaging 14.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, and 3.6 apg while shooting 44.6% from the field. The return of Shulga will be a game-changer for the Rams, who will retain their top scorer and now look to be one of the top teams in the A-10 this year.

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The A-10 as a whole has improved significantly this offseason, and VCU is no exception. With the return of some of their top players along with the addition of the few veterans, VCU looks primed to be a serious contender for the A-10 title next year.