As of the very moment I sit down to write this post, VCU’s men’s basketball roster consists of 12 scholarship athletes. The NCAA limit for athletes under scholarship on a DI hoops team is 13 players.
So with that you are probably wondering: why would VCU wait this late into the summer to fill up a roster for this upcoming season’s team? VCU’s entire team — including Maine transfer (who will have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules), Issac Vann — is on campus, working camps, going through individual workouts and taking classes.
Well, Nebraska graduate and Richmond, VA native, Andrew White III, could just be one of those reasons.
You see, graduate transfers are immediately eligible as long as the school they are transferring to offers a program their undergrad institution does not (think Terrance Shannon, recent grad transfer from Florida State). This rule combined with VCU’s open scholarship spot and recent grad transfer recruiting history would seem to put a huge ram-shaped target on White.
A Thomas Dale hooper before going on to the Miller School, White was a top-50 prospect who played two years with the Kansas Jayhawks (under 6.3 minutes per contest both seasons) before opting for the Cornhuskers and more playing time. The 6’7 guard saw his stock soar at Nebraska, posting 16.6 points and a team-best 41.2% three-point shooting percentage while connecting on over 55% of his attempts inside the arc. His addition to Tim Miles’ squad helped take Nebraska from a team that ranked 285th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency without him to 88th nationally with him in the roster.
The guy can flat out play and White’s three-point ability makes him a prime target for VCU’s last available roster spot, especially considering the black and gold previously prioritized Memphis grad transfer Avery Woodson, who posted similar three-point numbers but doing so at four inches shorter than the more versatile White.
White’s return to his hometown would bring a floor-stretcher the Rams could also greatly use after losing both Melvin Johnson and Korey Billbury from last year’s team. Johnson set the Rams record for career threes while Killbury managed to connect on 42 of his own, third most on VCU’s team.
The former TD Knight is somewhat of a combination of the two players, with the shooting touch of Johnson combined with Billbury’s ability to bang and fight for rebounds, grabbing 5.9 boards per game and an 18.9% defensive rebound percentage that ranked second on Nebraska’s team (tops among players who averaged more than 4 minutes per contest).
No planned visits have been scheduled but after recently working out for a number of NBA teams before opting to return to college, it’s safe to say there will be no shortage of options. Ram fans will have to hope VCU is one of those and that the hometown product might have an interest in finishing off his college career in front of his family and friends.