Offseason? What offseason?
It’s hard to believe less than two weeks ago VCU was playing St. Mary’s in the NCAA tournament and I was hunting down restaurants in downtown Salt Lake City for a 10PM meal. Yet here we are on March 29, the Final 4 not even tipped up yet and we’ve got a new coach, re-recruited players and are drooling over the transfer market.
Basketball comes at ya fast. Here’s a quick catchup on what has happened while you were away and what’s still in the works.
COACHING CHANGE TIMELINE
March 16 – VCU loses to St. Mary’s in first round of NCAA tournament
March 19 – LSU visits Will Wade at Chesterfield airport
March 20 – Wade accepts job at LSU
March 21 – VCU announces they’ll hire Mike Rhoades as head coach
March 22 – Mike Rhoades introduced as head coach at press conference
March 24 – Sean Mobley becomes first VCU recruit to recommit to Rams under Rhoades
March 26 – Marcus Santos-Silve joins Mobley in recommitting to VCU
COACHING STAFF UPDATE
Here are the names we know as reported by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman…
New VCU coach Mike Rhoades’ staff is as follows: J.D. Byers, Brent Scott, Jimmy Martelli as DOBO, Joey Rodriquez as player development.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 29, 2017
Head Coach – Mike Rhoades
Assistant – J.D. Byers
Assistant – Brent Scott
Assistant – TBD
Dir. of Operations – Jimmy Martelli
Dir. of Player Development – Joey Rodriguez
Dir. of Student-Athlete Development – TBD
Dir. of Video & Basketball Operations – TBD
Dir. of Sports Performance – Don Brown
A couple of names to watch for a few of those positions: first, keep an eye on Jeremy Ballard (former VCU assistant, current Pitt assistant) as a potential target for that final assistant coach slot. The Director of Student-Athlete Development is currently Darius Theus who may return in that role but could also accept a potential position at the University of Texas (or so I’m told).
TRANSFER NAMES TO WATCH
VCU recruited four players under Will Wade for the 2017 class, two of which re-committed to play for Mike Rhoades. That leaves Lavar Batts and Mayan Kiir as the other half of the class yet to re-commit to stay at VCU and one additional spot former head coach Will Wade left open for a potential immediate impact grad transfer. Rhoades and Co. could opt for a grad transfer as well but a name to watch for with that final spot is available Rice transfer, Marcus Evans. Evans is a Chesapeake product Rhoades recruited to Rice in his first class. The 6’2 guard averaged 21.4 points as a freshman and 19 as a sophomore. Following VCU’s hiring of Rhoades from Rice, Evans announced his intention to transfer and since doing so has received offers from a who’s who of college hoops teams. Don’t be surprised however if the Cape Henry grad follows Rhoades to VCU and continues a string of what have been incredible 757 guard talents (Walker, Theus, Weber).
WILL WADE ON LEAVING VCU
Former Rams head coach Will Wade did a recent interview with TheAdvocate.com where he went over a number of things but most importantly for our readers his timeline of his departure, how he told his players, etc.
“They asked me Monday night; they didn’t ask me Sunday when they came up and met with me. They had to go back; you know, there’s a lot of politics where you have to run things up the food chain, on Monday. I was actually on the phone with a recruit when Joe called. I put the recruit on hold and told Joe I was on the line with an important recruit and that I’d call him back. I didn’t know what it was, so when I called Joe back, he said, “Well, is this recruit going to play at LSU?” That was kind of how we started.
I wanted to talk to my wife (Lauren) about it to make sure she was OK with everything, and we went from there. It was pretty quick after that. I had to get over to our players’ apartments and get with the guys, but sometimes you can’t stop what happens on Twitter. Some people found out about three minutes before I made it to our players, which was disappointing, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”