Decommits, transfers and scholarship count

Perhaps not surprisingly, there have been some changes this offseason with the swap of Mike Rhoades for Will Wade as head coach of the Rams. Let’s take a quick peek at the dominoes that fell via that and where we stand as of now.


Re-committed: Sean Mobley (ESPN 4-star), Marcus Santos-Silva (ESPN 3-star)

De-committed: Lavar Batts (ESPN No.96), Mayan Kiir (ESPN No.95)

Clearly losing two ESPN top-100 players is a hit to a recruiting class, at least one paper. Point guard Lavar Batts asked out of his LOI and opted to stay home in North Carolina, joining Kevin Keats (who had recruited Batts while at UNCW) at NC State. Mayan Kiir asked out as well and has yet to sign with another school.

Mike Rhoades was able to retain two of VCU’s originally committed four-man recruiting class.

Still, VCU’s 2017 class is still off to a very strong start with Sean Mobley and Marcus Santos-Silva. Mobley is coming off a high school national championship appearance with Montverde. While the Florida native may not have cracked ESPN top-100, he could quite possibly be the biggest piece to keep for VCU. A 6’9 big with guard skills, Mobley can do it all and fits in perfectly with what Mike Rhoades will likely look to do at VCU (shoot tons of threes).

Then there’s Santos-Silva. A 6’7 265-lb bruiser, Santos-Silva is more substance than style. While he’s perhaps not as flashy as many in the ESPN 100, in many cases he’s more productive. Santos-Silva averaged a 15.8-point, 11.8-rebound double-double in last year’s Nike Peach Jam showcasing many of the most talented high school players in basketball. He’s a rebounding machine and comes to VCU as a large human being than Mo Alie-Cox as an exiting senior.


After being granted a fifth year of eligibility it has been reported that senior big Ahmed Hamdy (5.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg) was granted his release from VCU. The 6’9 Egyptian will explore his options but also may stay with the Rams. Hamdy was one of VCU’s most active bigs offensively this season but finished just 47.7% of his attempts.


The bad news is it turned out VCU wasn’t the dream situation for those three aforementioned people. C’est la vie. The good news is VCU returns a ton of talent, is adding two very talented freshmen and also now has four scholarships to hand out. Two of those scholarships were to go to Batts and Kiir, one for Hamdy and the other was a leftover Will Wade was saving for a potential grad transfer. Four spots open on a very good team/program should be a fun offseason activity to keep track of.

VCU will likely use at least one more of those spots on another freshman, but don’t be surprised if the Rams fill more than one with a transfer, including one or more immediate impact grad transfers. Two key names to watch are Duquesne decommit Jamarie Wheeler and Rice transfer Marcus Evans (19 ppg). Those are two players I won’t be the least bit surprised to see end up in the black and gold.

A total of 633 players transferred from their DI basketball team last offseason. VCU may have lost two 2017 recruits and may potentially lose Hamdy as well, but the list of options to fill their positions will grow by the day. Stay tuned.

A two-time graduate of VCU (School of the Arts '07, Center for Sport Leadership '10), Mat is a co-founder of VCU Ram Nation and a longtime fan as the ...
  • Joe Marolla
  • April 3, 2017
Thanks for the positive spin on recruiting. As coach Rhoades says, you have to accept it and move on. It would have been great to get Batts as our point guard to keep up the pressure with J Williams. But, we have had some awfully great players who were not 4 star recruits, Maynor, Theus, and Lewis all come to mind. And of course my personal favorite Ed Sherod (yes I am that old). But we need another point guard and just to throw this out. Ed Sherod came to VCU as a center from John Marshall. He saw the writing on the wall and the rest is history. Who knows who might want to play some point to get on the floor. That said, I agree this will be an interesting off season. But I do hope Ahmed decides to play his last season with the black and gold!!!!
  • RamBo
  • April 3, 2017
Um. Ed Sherod was not a "Center" at John Marshall. He might have played a little Center- and that happens at the High School Level, ot of occasional necessity. But he was not a Center. He was a 2-Guard. A true "Combo" Guard, in today's terminology, that everyone on the East Coast knew was going to translate into a fantastic College Point Guard.
  • RamBo
  • April 3, 2017
Joe- I do agree with the points that you made. And I am also looking forward to seeing what happens over the next several weeks. Let's get em' in.... and get em into the Gym.
  • Darren
  • April 4, 2017
Good article, but needs some proofreading.

- Clearly losing two ESPN top-100 players is a hit to a recruiting class, at least one (on) paper.
- He’s a rebounding machine and comes to VCU as a large (larger) human being than Mo Alie-Cox as an exiting senior.
    • John Warriner
    • April 5, 2017
    Were you an English major?
  • Bob
  • April 6, 2017
I remember Ed Sherod... Lotta hustle... There are kids out there who haven't signed or want to transfer that fit that mold... I don't see any reason to rush this... Let Rhoades take his time on finding the pieces...

As for Batts, I am disappointed because just two days before bolting for NC State he won MVP and the dunk contest at a all-star event in Concord wearing a VCU teeshirt... That was kinda classless and not like him...

Oh well...

BTW, since 2000, VCU has been the 15th most consistent Division 1 program in the country...