Recap of a wild start to the offseason

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…

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

Rice transfer Marcus Evans, a Chesapeake native, averaged 21.4 points as a freshman and 19 as a sophomore and could potentially follow Rhoades from Rice to VCU.

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.”

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