2020-21 Season Outlook

Sethjax

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Jan 22, 2010
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No, it wasn't the culmination of coaching changes.

The staff, since Apr 2017, could've gone in many directions regarding the roster. The 5-man senior class was a roster construction/management decision made by the staff over a period of time. It was avoidable. They chose to align the classes as they did.......and with 5 "perimeter" seniors to boot. They chose to recruit a JUCO soph (Simms) and keep Crow for 4 years and allow Vann to remain (who had graduated). They understood what 2020-21 would bring with those roster decisions. They rolled the dice that we'd dance again in 2020 (thus two yrs in a row) and that it would buy them some "rebuilding" time in 2021 and 2022. It didn't work out that way. They thought 2019 (NCAAs) was "repeatable." Many folks did.

If 2020-21 is now an admitted "rebuilding year" (which it is), why are we bringing in a 3 ppg role-playing grad transfer (Stockard) in a year of total uncertainty anyway and tying up Scholly #13 (our last one)? Is his inclusion on the 2020-21 roster going to alter our win-loss results in any significant way? What is the "opportunity cost" (Ward/MBJ development) of using that final scholly on a marginal player likely toiling on a marginal team? What potential 2020 decommit, D-1 transfer down, JUCO stud, D-1 transfer up, HS reclassifier might we be missing out on because we tossed that last scholly at Stockard? or because we didn't have marginal talents Curry or Douglas move along?

Every season, there are lingering and potential long-term ramifications (good and bad) for every roster decision made..........and even those not made (like trying to upgrade Crowfield). We are now experiencing the results (like MSS bolting) of those cumulative roster decisions since Apr 2017. This is not an easy/forgiving business and coaching staffs (even VCU) don't always get it right (both on the player retention and the recruiting target fronts).
I think there's a bit of truth here in that they decided to go a certain route....bank on a big year this past year with a bunch of seniors and then the fanbase could swallow a bit of a down year with a youth movement...and why the heck not? We had just come off of an incredible year with those same guys...defense had taken a huge jump and become one of the best in the country...nobody that I know of saw the chemistry and injury problems coming...and I sure as heck would have gladly taken a down year in 2020-2021 if we made a big run with our seniors leading the way.
 
Dec 16, 2013
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No, it wasn't the culmination of coaching changes.

The staff, since Apr 2017, could've gone in many directions regarding the roster. The 5-man senior class was a roster construction/management decision made by the staff over a period of time. It was avoidable. They chose to align the classes as they did.......and with 5 "perimeter" seniors to boot. They chose to recruit a JUCO soph (Simms) and keep Crow for 4 years and allow Vann to remain (who had graduated). They understood what 2020-21 would bring with those roster decisions. They rolled the dice that we'd dance again in 2020 (thus two yrs in a row) and that it would buy them some "rebuilding" time in 2021 and 2022. It didn't work out that way. They thought 2019 (NCAAs) was "repeatable." Many folks did.

If 2020-21 is now an admitted "rebuilding year" (which it is), why are we bringing in a 3 ppg role-playing grad transfer (Stockard) in a year of total uncertainty anyway and tying up Scholly #13 (our last one)? Is his inclusion on the 2020-21 roster going to alter our win-loss results in any significant way? What is the "opportunity cost" (Ward/MBJ development) of using that final scholly on a marginal player likely toiling on a marginal team? What potential 2020 decommit, D-1 transfer down, JUCO stud, D-1 transfer up, HS reclassifier might we be missing out on because we tossed that last scholly at Stockard? or because we didn't have marginal talents Curry or Douglas move along?

Every season, there are lingering and potential long-term ramifications (good and bad) for every roster decision made..........and even those not made (like trying to upgrade Crowfield). We are now experiencing the results (like MSS bolting) of those cumulative roster decisions since Apr 2017. This is not an easy/forgiving business and coaching staffs (even VCU) don't always get it right (both on the player retention and the recruiting target fronts).
MR has had two very good recruiting classes in a row - so to me the arrow is pointing up as far as talent but you are absolutely right about who bears the burden and responsibility of the roster construction and results.

As I recall, MR first recruiting class was 17-18
Khris Lane (grad transfer from Longwood)
Lewis Djonkam (transferred to low D1)
Tyler Maye (transferred)
Dylan Sheehy-Guiseppe (walk-on so no real expectation)
Marcus Evans (transfer in and played 2 years)-- Solid D1 player - best recruit
Corey Douglas (transfer in and will play 3 years)
Mikel Simms (transfer in and played 3 years) over achiever IMO
Lost Samir Doughty (I have no intel on the why) was an excellent P5 player for 3 years
18-19
Mike Gilmore (grad transfer from FGC)
PJ Byrd (transfer out after frosh season)
Vince Williams
Keyshawn (sp) Curry
Lost part time starter Sean Mobley to transfer after 18-19 season
lost best player to transfer out MSS after 19-20 season

While I am sure all of us back seat quarter backs will want immediate results and will continue to complain ( and clearly all of you have that right,) I think MR needs to show we are back No later than the end of the 22 season

go rams
 

Cyniclone

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Jan 30, 2013
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The Ivy League has cancelled fall sports and won't entertain playing any sport before Jan. 1. So if VCU was looking at an OOC against an Ivy, that's likely out the window.
 

SZQ VCU

Insider
Dec 5, 2012
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The Ivy League has cancelled fall sports and won't entertain playing any sport before Jan. 1. So if VCU was looking at an OOC against an Ivy, that's likely out the window.
i wonder if the A10 will follow suit.
 

Violet Ram

Top Member
Jan 29, 2015
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No, it wasn't the culmination of coaching changes.

The staff, since Apr 2017, could've gone in many directions regarding the roster. The 5-man senior class was a roster construction/management decision made by the staff over a period of time. It was avoidable. They chose to align the classes as they did.......and with 5 "perimeter" seniors to boot. They chose to recruit a JUCO soph (Simms) and keep Crow for 4 years and allow Vann to remain (who had graduated). They understood what 2020-21 would bring with those roster decisions. They rolled the dice that we'd dance again in 2020 (thus two yrs in a row) and that it would buy them some "rebuilding" time in 2021 and 2022. It didn't work out that way. They thought 2019 (NCAAs) was "repeatable." Many folks did.
Normally, people use the cliche that hindsight is 20/20. However, even with the benefit of knowing how things progressed, you're still showing signs of near-nearsightedness. I mean, I guess you're technically correct. The staff could have sent the entire team packing when they came onboard and burnt bridges galore. But who would they have replaced them with 3 months before the season? 3 of the players were from Wade's era, one of which was a top 60 recruit, another a top transfer. Marcus Evans was considered a top 5 sit-one transfer. Should we have sacrificed our tournament berth in '19 to be competitive, but still miss the tournament in '20?

Is your objection purely Mike'l Simms? Seriously, give us some alternatives of who the staff could have targeted that summer. Or, are you suggesting that the Staff should have dropped those players last summer after making the tournament? If so, I'd love to see those posts you made last year arguing such.


If 2020-21 is now an admitted "rebuilding year" (which it is), why are we bringing in a 3 ppg role-playing grad transfer (Stockard) in a year of total uncertainty anyway and tying up Scholly #13 (our last one)? Is his inclusion on the 2020-21 roster going to alter our win-loss results in any significant way? What is the "opportunity cost" (Ward/MBJ development) of using that final scholly on a marginal player likely toiling on a marginal team? What potential 2020 decommit, D-1 transfer down, JUCO stud, D-1 transfer up, HS reclassifier might we be missing out on because we tossed that last scholly at Stockard? or because we didn't have marginal talents Curry or Douglas move along?
Besides hoping Stockard can excel as a role player, probably for his mentorship to the younger players on the roster now that we have one upperclassman. You know, like how major franchises sometimes bring on a veteran player to help mentor younger/rookie players. Again, who would you have replaced Stockard with realistically?

I'm not trying to sound like a Rhoades defender. I think he's made a few mistakes, mostly with Maye and Byrd. But to place the blame of roster construction on him completely is absurd. We likely would have missed the tournament in '18 even if Wade had stayed, though perhaps our '20 roster would have been better.
 

Violet Ram

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Jan 29, 2015
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If Wade had stayed the roster would have been different and maybe better than that team. I think he would have found a way.
I agree the roster would have been better, but perhaps not for the '17-18 season. The loss of Kiir and Batts would have been felt more in '19 and '20. The only questionable change, to me at least, is whether Samir would have remained.
 

2012Ram

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Feb 28, 2013
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But to place the blame of roster construction on him completely is absurd.
Who else would be to blame though? He has total control over the roster. He decides who gets added and who gets removed.

I've been saying it for years now, and it is as true now as it was then: Mike and his team did a bad job on the recruiting trail when they first got here. They were ill prepared, panicky, and recruited kids that had no business being in a VCU uniform.

But, you usually dont feel the impact of recruiting for a couple years. We are at that point now. I mean, seriously - look at our upperclassmen this year. I dont think I've seen a less inspiring group since I have been watching VCU basketball. Bart Torviks model has us as starting 3 of those guys and as the ~130th ranked team in the nation. Those two things are directly correlated.

The silver lining is that, mike and his staff have seemingly figured out that recruiting like you are still in the CAA isnt gonna work, and they have significantly brought their recruiting standards up in the last two classes. Mike better hope the underclassmen develop fast enough to save his job.
 

LQuarles

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Mar 10, 2012
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VCU did make the NCAA tournament 8 out the last 10 years, and that is one heck of an accomplishment. The problem is two of those years, the first year of Mike and last year with Mike, were with Mike. We were not going to make the NCAA tournament last year, if there would have been a tournament, unless we win the A-10 tournament. I like Mike, and I believe Mike will win at VCU, but with the basketball resources given to Mike there is no reason, yes no reason, for the basketball team to not be one of the top teams in the A-10 every year. Three years of not having success out of four years is not acceptable for the VCU men's basketball coach. I believe VCU , even through young, will finish a lot better than 10th place, and if not there does need to be a major adjustment made.
By your logic, speaking strictly about resources and nothing else, UNC should've been around the top of the ACC last season, since they're supposed to do it every year. There were many factors that went into what happened to us last season. I still think whenever we play next season, it's going to be better than the last, based on basketball IQ and athleticism alone.
 
Jul 27, 2017
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Rhoades first year recruiting was pretty poor. Maye, Jackson, Djokem, and Lane were not VCU caliber players. Potentially not having any difference making upper classmen is directly Rhoades fault. If he had done a better job with those four spots his first year we could have some better upperclassmen now. Also not being able to retain Mobley and MSS really hurts. If we had those two guys as our front court as seniors I think we are picked much better than 10.

Recruiting is definitely on the upswing now even though we will be very young I think we will be much better than 10th in the conference.

In defense of our upperclassman I do think they are all serviceable players who are good enough to play at VCU. I still believe in Vince's potential and think he can be really good. Curry, Douglas, and Stockard are all decent role players who will help.
 

AlienAiden

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May 3, 2012
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Rhoades first year recruiting was pretty poor. Maye, Jackson, Djokem, and Lane were not VCU caliber players. Potentially not having any difference making upper classmen is directly Rhoades fault. If he had done a better job with those four spots his first year we could have some better upperclassmen now. Also not being able to retain Mobley and MSS really hurts. If we had those two guys as our front court as seniors I think we are picked much better than 10.

Recruiting is definitely on the upswing now even though we will be very young I think we will be much better than 10th in the conference.

In defense of our upperclassman I do think they are all serviceable players who are good enough to play at VCU. I still believe in Vince's potential and think he can be really good. Curry, Douglas, and Stockard are all decent role players who will help.
I guess he could have gone the JUCO or grad transfer route.

Wade had a similar issue with misses on Sissum, Nwankwo, etc.
 
Jul 14, 2011
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Besides hoping Stockard can excel as a role player, probably for his mentorship to the younger players on the roster now that we have one upperclassman. You know, like how major franchises sometimes bring on a veteran player to help mentor younger/rookie players. Again, who would you have replaced Stockard with realistically?
The issue I have with Stockard is that it is wasting 2 years of scholarship unless something has changed. If someone was going to grab a mentor why not just bring him in for this year and fill another scholarship with a recruit. Right now we have 2 years tied up with a bench player on a terrible KSU team. I hope it works out for everyone but it just seems like a panic signing to get size.