Today’s hump day notes are all about the great things returning to VCU.
Starting with Will Wade…
WADE ON RETURNING TO VCU
Will Wade met with local media a day after the school announced a new eight-year contract extension for the head coach that currently stretches into the 2023-24 season.
“I tell guys all the time the grass is always greener on the other side until you’ve got to mow it.”
Wade had been targeted as Vanderbilt’s potential new head coach after the Commodores lost previous head coach Kevin Stallings to Pittsburgh.
“We’re not going to get into all that. I was never leaving,” Wade said when asked about the potential of leaving VCU after this year’s successful season on Broad St.
“I wasn’t going to look these kids in the eye after a year and say, ’I’m outta here.’ That was not on the table, no matter what the conjecture was.”
“We’re adding some guarantee games. In three years, we’re going to have to add another one or two. That’s just the way this thing works and the way it’s going. Our university is committed to doing that, our athletic director is committed to doing that, and when you’ve got that and you’ve got kids you love, kids you care about that laid it on the line for you this year, you’re not going to walk in there in front of them and say, ‘We’re out.’”
Wade’s contract has been upgraded via $750,000 in privately funded enhancements that include salary increases for Wade and his assistants as well as additional money for recruiting and guarantee games.
VCU TRIO AMONG A-10’S BEST OFFENSIVE RETURNEES
The black and gold trio of Mo Alie-Cox, JeQuan Lewis and Justin Tillman gives VCU three top-10 A-10 returnees in terms of offensive rating.
Alie-Cox has the second highest returning offensive rating in the conference (121.7) behind only St. Bonaventure’s Jaylen Adams. Tillman checks in right behind him at 121.1, giving VCU two of the top-three returnees in that stat. JeQuan Lewis ranked 20th in the A-10 in offensive rating last season but is the ninth-ranked returnee.
- Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure) – 122.2
- Mo Alie-Cox (VCU) – 121.7
- Justin Tillman (VCU) – 121.1
- Peyton Aldridge (Davidson) – 120.4
- Tyler Cavanough (George Washington) – 119.1
- TJ Cline (Richmond) – 115.4
- Idris Taqqee (St. Bonaventure) – 114.4
- Nathan Ekwu (Davidson) – 113.3
- JeQuan Lewis (VCU) – 111.4
- ShawnDre’ Jones (Richmond) – 111.3
Offensive rating is a statistic used in basketball to measure an individual player’s efficiency at producing points for the offense. Offensive Rating = (Points Produced / Individual Possessions) x 100.
Graduates Melvin Johnson, Korey Billbury and Mike Gilmore were VCU’s only other players to post 100-plus offensive ratings.
JeQuan Lewis improved his rating from his sophomore year (95.8) by 15.8 points. It was the second biggest improvement on the team behind sophomore Jonathan Williams’ 19.7-point improvement, up to 98.7 from 79 his freshman season.
RAMS TARGETING GRAD TRANSFER?
Will Wade loved his addition of Korey Billbury this offseason and may dip into the graduate transfer bucket yet again, with rumors of a potential sharp-shooter joining next year’s Rams.
Anyone can fire off a random rumor tweet but it’s worth noting L. Jason Smith covers the Tigers for Memphis Paper the Commercial Appeal.
Woodson would make a ton of sense as an addition to the Rams with VCU losing two of their top-three three-point shooters from this past season (Melvin Johnson and Korey Billbury). The former Tiger is an elite shooter who could quickly see big minutes on Broad Street.
There are a ton of other possible candidates including Arizona State transfer Savon Goodman or Presbyterian’s DeSean Murray, but an addition, no matter where from, means the subtraction of another Ram from this past season’s team.
VCU is currently over-committed for next year with three freshmen coming in with only two seniors leaving, meaning the Rams are set to see one transfer themselves and would see that number go to two if VCU were to bring in a player like Woodson.