BURGESS TAKES CAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS FOR SECOND TIME THIS YEAR

RICHMOND, Va. – The importance of veteran leadership in college basketball becomes even greater during the months of February and March.

VCU's Bradford Burgess knows that and displayed that he's ready for that role this past week when he posted back-to-back 20-plus point outings to lead his team to victories over Towson and Old Dominion. For his performance, Burgess was named CAA Player of the Week for the second time this season.

"Brad was terrific this week," Head Coach Shaka Smart said. "He's got the bounce back in his step and it showed in the way he shot the ball this week. He's just such an important of the way we communicate, both offensively and defensively. His leadership has been phenomenal."

The Midlothian, Va. native averaged 23.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.5 assists in VCU's two wins, which pushed the Rams win streak to 11 games, the seventh-longest active streak in the country.

"I'm just trying to do whatever it takes to help my team win," Burgess said. "We have such a talented team that any guy Is capable of stepping up on any given night, this week just happened to be me."

In the 66-43 home win over Towson, Burgess tied a career-high with six three-pointers en route to 22 points in just 25 minutes. He followed that up with a season-high 24 points with five three-pointers, including a clutch three with under a minute to play that helped VCU pick up a huge 68-64 road win at Old Dominion.

The lone senior on this year's roster has now been a part of 101 victories during his Black & Gold career, just two off the record held by Joey Rodriguez, Brandon Rozzell, Ed Nixon and T.J. Gwynn. Burgess has also made 137 consecutive starts, which is currently tied with UNLV's Stacey Augmon for the third-longest streak in NCAA history.

On the year, Burgess is leading the squad with 13.0 ppg, which ranks 12th in the CAA. He's also hauling in 5.2 rebounds, while shooting 35.7% from the field and 35.9% from beyond the arc.

With 49 more points and five more rebounds, Burgess would become just the third player in VCU history with 1,600 points and 700 rebounds, joining only Kendrick Warren and Charles Wilkins.

Burgess and the Rams return to action on Tuesday night when they travel to Fairfax for a first-place battle with George Mason. Game time on Comcast SportsNet is set for 9 p.m.

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