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Monday Nuggets: Rumors, visits, VCU Athletics catchup and more [INSIDER]

This week is like one long Christmas Eve in Ram Nation. Saturday VCU fans will head back to the Siegel Center to catch game action on Broad Street for the first time in seven months when VCU takes on VCU in the annual Black versus Gold scrimmage. What’s more there are a number of intriguing sideshows to that date this year, giving even more reason for exciting for a late October exhibition.

Two top-100 recruits visit the Siegel Center

ESPN top-100 2016 recruits Charlie Moore (No.80 ESPN, No.57 Rivals) and Alpha Diallo (No.90 ESPN) will hit VCU this weekend on official visits that will give them a quick taste of Siegel Center basketball (all-be-it an exhibition). We’ve heard that the Rams would sign both if given the opportunity, which would give Will Wade three top-100 players in his first recruiting class as VCU head coach, joining the two with the previously signed De’Riante Jenkins, ESPN’s No.59 player in that class, the third-highest rated player to ever sign at VCU. If Wade and Co. are able to secure commitments from either it would add to what will already be one of VCU’s best classes ever. Sign both and the Rams would have their second Top-25 class over the past three seasons.

Like Jenkins, Diallo is a 6’7 guard/forward who can play positions 1-3 for VCU (potentially the 4 even in a Treveon Graham or Jordan Burgess type roll in VCU’s unique havoc system if needed), and would give VCU two incredibly versatile players for future VCU teams. Moore is a point guard out of Chicago who would have those two at his disposal, not to mention top-100 2014 bigs Justin Tillman and Michael Gilmore for two years at VCU to connect with for easy assists.

Wade likes team’s depth heading into season

I got a chance to do a quick catchup with Will Wade this past weekend at VCU’s “A Night at the Stu” who told me how much he really liked this team’s depth and their ability to go double-digit deep off the bench, a great sign after losing Treveon Graham, Briante Weber, and Jared Guest to graduation as well as Terry Larrier to transfer.

VCU brought in a slew of new faces this offseason, including transfers Korey Billbury (ORU) and Ahmed Hamdy (Lee College, JUCO) as well as freshmen Samir Doughty, Gerron Scissum, Jonathan Nwankwo and Jordan Riullano to complete their 15-man roster.

Alumni Game roster rumors

Larry Sanders is rumored to be "competing" in this weekend's alumni game following the Black v Gold scrimmage.
Larry Sanders is rumored to be “competing” in this weekend’s alumni game following the Black v Gold scrimmage.

There is a ton of talent returning to the Siegel Center for Saturday’s alumni game but the hottest rumor right now is that the landlord, Larry Sanders, will be hitting the court to reject everyone’s shots all night.

Sanders was the No.15 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and saw his star shine brightly before leaving the league this past offseason due to personal reasons. Sanders has been rumored to be in discussions with both the LA Lakers and Dallas Mavericks in a return to the league but it’s VCU fans who may have the pleasure of watching his return first, this time back to the Siegel Center floor where he went from under-recruited two-star recruit to near-Lottery pick.

Confirmations include Calvin Duncan, Kendrick Warren, Joey Rodriguez, Darius Theus, Vince Wilson, Bo Jones, Scott Weinstein, Mark Adams, Ed Nixon, Lamar Taylor, Lionel Bacon, Rob Brandenberg, TJ Gwynn, Kirill Pishchalnikov, Wil Fameni, Rod Lad, Matt Coward, Patrick Lee, William Dickerson as well as appearances from Len Creech, Marcus Reed, Elander Lewis and Mike Brown.

That list is subject to change but regardless it’s a serious autograph opportunity and one heck of an addition to an already incredible free event to get you ready for basketball season.

Maynor Tears other ACL

After tearing his right ACL in 2012 while playing with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder Maynor will miss another season, this time with Russian club Nizhny Novgorod after going down to a left ACL tear in his Euroleague season opener.

Maynor is VCU’s all-time leading scorer with 1,953 career points as a Ram.

Trevon Graham still fighting for roster spot

After going undrafted this past offseason Treveon Graham can almost taste a regular season roster spot with the Utah Jazz. He is currently in a battle with Bryce Cotton and Chris Johnson for the final roster spot but may have taken a hit last night after going 0-7 from the field in just under 17 minutes in a loss at Portland. Johnson finished 4-10 in his 26 minutes in the loss with Cotton going 1-9 from the field, so neither did much to distance themselves from Graham who did grab two rebounds and dish one assist. Playing time would suggest however Graham may be on the bottom of that trio and a possible D-League stash for the Jazz.

The Other Sports update

Women’s Soccer – Lindsey Vanderspiegel’s squad has had a hot start to conference play, starting the the A-10 in second place behind undefeated GW at 5-1 thus far. Women’s soccer sits at 7-7-1 overall and has been led by Kailyn Slade with a team-high seven goals to go with three assists so far this season.

Men’s Soccer – Dave Giffard and Co. played an absolutely brutal non-conference schedule to get them ready for Atlantic 10 play and currently sit in fourth at 2-0-3, as well as 4-6-4 overall. Sophomore keeper Pierre Gardan has been one of the stars early for the Rams, with six shutout performances in goal including all of VCU’s last four contests. Gardan has 37 saves in his 12 games this season. He needs help however as VCU has scored just four goals in conference play.

Volleyball – It’s been a rough year for Jody Rogers and the ladies of VCU volleyball, sitting at 8-14 on the season and 2-5 in the Atlantic 10, good for a four-way tie for sixth. The Rams rank last in opponents hitting percentage in the Atlantic 10, but with five freshman and eight underclassmen on this 13-person roster, some growing pains were to be expected.

Field Hockey – Things haven’t gone much better for VCU field hockey, with the Rams compiling a 4-10 season record thus far. The good news is two of those wins have been in conference play, the bad news is that’s good for eighth out of nine teams.

 

VCU School of the Arts (BFA '07) and Center for Sport Leadership (M.Ed. '10) alumnus, Mat has followed VCU basketball since the Sunbelt days when he'd...