RICHMOND, Va. â€“ When the news came down that senior Brandon Rozzell would be sidelined for a few weeks with a broken hand, the passionate fan base of VCU basketball hit the message forums trying to come up with answers on who would replace him.
Their answer was delivered less than six hours later as freshman Rob Brandenberg lit up the Tribe of William & Mary for a career-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. That performance highlighted a week in which the Gahanna, Ohio native averaged 14.5 points and drained five three-pointers.
For his outstanding week, he was named CAA Co-Rookie of the Week. He shared the award with Brandon Britt of William & Mary and Devon Saddler of Delaware. Itâ€™s the first rookie honor received by a Ram since Bradford Burgess in December of 2008.
â€œRob was huge for us and has a very bright future ahead of him,â€ Head Coach Shaka Smart said. â€œAs good as he has been, he still has so much to learn. Thatâ€™s the best part about freshman is that you get to work with them for another three years.â€
Entering this past week, Brandenberg was averaging just over 12 minutes a night, tallying 4.1 ppg and had connected on 10 three-pointers.
Then Wednesday night came when the youngster torched William & Mary for four three-pointer en route to 22 points, the highest output by a VCU freshman since Domonic Jones tallied 23 on December 21, 2000 against Southern Methodist.
His success continued on Saturday when he scored seven points and grabbed two rebounds in a home win over Notheastern.
On the year, Brandenberg is averaging 5.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and shooting 47% from the field. He has also tallied 16 steals on the campaign.