In a season VCU was set to lose just three players to graduation (Daniels, Hinton and Theus), the Rams ended up doubling that at six.
The first departure news came the day before the Atlantic 10 tournament, when junior center, DJ Haley, decided to bring an abrupt end to his playing days on Broad St.
Following the season, news broke that sophomore point guard, Teddy Okereafor, would transfer to Rider. Then just this week, it was reported that freshman center, Justin Tuoyo, was headed elsewhere, and in his place, 5th year Florida State forward, Terrance Shannon, would join the Rams.
Which brings the departure list to this:
Troy Daniels: 12.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 40.3% 3-pt%
Darius Theus: 6.8 ppg, 4.8 apg, 2.4 spg
David Hinton: 0.7 ppg, 1 rpg in 5 mpg
DJ Haley: 1.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg in 8 mpg
Teddy Okereafor: 1.3 ppg, 1.6 apg in 8.3 mpg
Justin Tuoyo: 1.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg in 7.2 mpg
Total Production: 24.1 points per game of 78 ppg team average, 10 rebounds per game of 35 rpg team average and 7.4 assists per game of 15 apg team average.
Terrance Shannon (Florida State): 7.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.2 spg
JeQuan Lewis: 6’1 175 PG
Jairus Lyles: 6’1 165 G
Antravious Simmons: 6’9 240 C
Douglas Brooks: 6’3 165 SG
2012-13 Ineligibles (eligible next season)
Jordan Burgess: 6’4 210 G (2012 ESPN top-100)
Mo Alie-Cox: 6’6 260 F
In adding Shannon, the Rams bring in a proven athletic big man with big game experience. He is the kind of player who throws caution to the wind, a 6’8 240 version of Briante Weber who dives for loose balls and plays with reckless abandon. If he can stay healthy, he could have a major impact on next year’s team and provide Juvonte Reddic some solid support in the front court. He’s joined by promising newcomers Antravious Simmons and Mo Alie-Cox, which combined with the FSU transfer are an overall upgrade in the paint for VCU. Shannon’s 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds are both more than the three departing bigs combined (3.7 ppg and 4.3 rpg), and in roughly the same amount of minutes (21 mpg for Shannon, 20.2 for VCU’s departing bigs).
But while VCU had upgraded their front court, the major question mark coming into the season will be at the point guard position. Briante Weber has been one of the best defensive guards in the country since joining the Rams, but will have the added pressure of keeping VCU’s 11th-ranked offense (nationally) clicking on all cylinders. Weber averaged just 1.4 less points and 2 less assists per game than Theus in about 5.5 less minutes, BUT averaged more points and assists as a sophomore than Theus who made a nice jump when having to take over for the departing Joey Rodriguez as a junior. Weber had four games with an impressive 7+ assists last season, including a 10 assists performance at ODU (bonus points) with Darius Theus playing limited minutes due to injury. Weber will be joined by newcomer JeQuan Lewis and combo guards Jairus Lyles and Douglas Brooks.
On paper this may be VCU’s best team ever.