Ram fans had the basketball equivalent of opening a present on Christmas Eve today when the black and gold finalized their 2015 recruiting class with two major signings just a day before tomorrow’s regular season opener against Tennessee.
Things started early and with extreme build up as ESPN’s No.58 player in the 2015 class, Tevin Mack, took to the stage at 12PM in front of a crowd of fans at his Dreher High School in Columbia, SC to make his highly-anticipated selection between a final five of VCU, UConn and Georgia as well as home state schools Clemson and South Carolina. Mack started his decision by saying he would attend “The University of” before walking off stage where he would return with a black and gold t-shirt adorned with the letters “V-C-U”.
Ram fans shut down the internet after that announcement only to be surprised roughly three hours later when San Antonio, TX native, Jordan Murphy, announced he would be attending VCU as well.
The Rams just recently brought Murphy to campus but were able to close the deal, landing Rivals’ No.112 player in the 2015 class to complete a group that had begun with local product, Kenny Williams (ESPN No.79), this past August.
Murphy had offers from the likes of Memphis, Maryland, UNLV, Texas and a host of other major schools before ultimately joining Williams and Mack in VCU’s highly-rated 2015 class (247Sports.com composite ranking of No.22 but could rank higher in ESPN’s updated rankings when they are released).
What VCU is getting:
Kenny Williams – 6’3 175 – Chesterfield, VA
Williams made a name for himself as an elite shooter but was prized for much more than that by VCU’s coaching staff. The LC Bird standout is seen as more of a combo guard than just a shooter at VCU, with an ability to get buckets all over the floor. ESPN describes him as: “One of the best 3 point shooters in the class and does so with self-confidence as his last shot never effects his next shot; the perfect mentality of a shooter. Williams is always thinking about shooting the ball as his shot preparation is executed at a high level and can change the momentum of a game due to his dangerous jumper and athletic ability. Set a screen for Williams and he will read his man make the proper cut and nail the shot. He is dialed into every game and plays with purpose and poise as he competes and cares about winning.” Ram fans will have plenty of opportunities to watch Williams attempt to match his 50-point game as a junior with a short drive south to Chester to watch the VCU commit’s LC Bird Skyhawks compete for a Central Region championship.
Tevin Mack – 6’7 200 – Columbia, SC
Like Williams, Mack climbed the ESPN rankings all the way up to No.58 due to an ability to hit shots and make plays on the offensive end. Mack has been described to me by someone close to his recruitment as a “bucket getter”, as he demonstrated with a number of 30-point games this summer against top competition with his Carolina Wolves AAU squad. Mack is long and athletic and can simply fill up the stat sheet. When he gets hot he is Troy Daniels deadly from range (watch his AAU game against Syracuse Select…does.not.miss). At 6’7 200 (and growing) Mack Ram fans will view Mack as the heir apparent to Treveon Graham upon his graduated following this season. Both have size and can score all over the floor, both were pitched on becoming all-time leading scorers at VCU. Graham is on pace to break Eric Maynor’s scoring record, but will Mack be able to break both?
Jordan Murphy – 6’7 220 – San Antonio, TX
VCU added some size and athleticism when securing a commitment from San Antonio forward Murphy. The Brennan High standout was described to me as a “VERY athletic” (in caps) forward by a source close to his recruitment, one who can bang in the post but also has shown a nice touch from range as well. Murphy averaged 24.5 points as a junior and was a Texas Basketball Coaches Association All-Region selection this past seasson. Rivals ranks him No.112 in the class but don’t be surprised if the big man finds his way into top-100s a la Justin Tillman and Mike Gilmore in VCU’s 2014 class. Murphy is a great compliment to Mack and Williams and gives the Rams an athletic big to run the floor in VCU’s havoc system.