How much effort should we put into HS recruiting vs Transfers now?

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Perhaps I’m off on this one but honestly it seems like we should put our focus on transfers versus HS recruiting now because quite simply anyone we recruit and develop could bail at anytime and we’re SOL’ed by the new system. As much as I enjoy seeing us develop a player from freshman until whenever they leave it seems way more risky now. We risk becoming a feeder team to the P5. Atleast with transfers after the first one you have to get a waiver.
 

Ramlove81

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Perhaps I’m off on this one but honestly it seems like we should put our focus on transfers versus HS recruiting now because quite simply anyone we recruit and develop could bail at anytime and we’re SOL’ed by the new system. As much as I enjoy seeing us develop a player from freshman until whenever they leave it seems way more risky now. We risk becoming a feeder team to the P5. Atleast with transfers after the first one you have to get a waiver.
I definitely see that, but with the P5's also buying (quite literally sometimes) into the portal market, there is opportunity to get in with neglected high school players that we might not otherwise get. While we have player transfer, our record with players who are playing regularly, getting minutes and producing is that not many of those players transfer. Whether it stays that way under the new reality, we don't really know yet. It's one of those times when I'm glad I'm not the coach, because I don't think it's an easy call.
 

RowdyPkunk

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Here's the issue with that though.... even going the transfer route... you could still have situations where they bolt for one reason or another.... Granted unless they get a special waiver.... they'd have to sit a year if they transfer a 2nd time..... but already this year alone.... 2 guys we brought in via transfer after last year.... both gone (Nichols & Tsohonis).... Now sure, we can sit here & debate the reasons why they transferred.... was it the players or the coaches decisions... etc.

But even if we go the transfer route.... where do we look? Do we try to recruit D-III, D-II, JuCo, lower mid major D-1's.... or do we look for hand me downs from P5/BE/AAC... etc.?

Personally I say we keep going the high school route & fill in gaps when needed via transfers..... If you look at the most successful years in VCU MBB History.... all of the teams (at least since I've been following VCU Basketball) were primarily HS recruits... with some exceptions (Jamie Skeen being an obvious Notable one).

But instead of just always going after the 4* 5*, Top 100 recruits.... lets get back to recruiting guys that fit our style of play. I mean how many stars were guys like Bri, Tre, B-Rozz, Mo, Darius, Jequan, Troy, Melvin, Maynor, Joey, Nixon, The Burgess Bros... etc. coming out of HS? And look how those guys all turned out for us.

We need to find those guys, with the heart, energy, passion... that are gonna leave it all out on the court for us... whether things are going GREAT or whether things are hitting rock bottom. Forget about the # of stars, forget about where they are ranked in the Top 100... find the guys that wanna be here and find the guys that best fit MR style of play.

If we are gonna continue playing HAVOC like defense (or try to)... we need players that can run up & down the length of the court. We need guys that aint afraid to play hard nosed defense. We need guys that aren't going to sulk, pout, give up when things aren't going their way.

Now that's not to say we shouldn't sign a Top 100 recruit, or a 4-5* recruit if we find one that fits our system & that wants to play the way we play.... but I don't think signing just any 4-5*'s or Top 100 players should be the primary focus.
 

RamBamBiggalow

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Whether you think emphasis should be on HS vs.transfers, I think we can all agree that we need to do better with our transfers. It's been miss after miss and it's really holding us back.

Even looking back at our FF run, a transfer piece was arguably the central driving force of that team.
 

rammed

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Whether you think emphasis should be on HS vs.transfers, I think we can all agree that we need to do better with our transfers. It's been miss after miss and it's really holding us back.

Even looking back at our FF run, a transfer piece was arguably the the central driving force of that team.
Timing is a challenge with the portal, too. You never know when kids are going to enter. Do you pull the trigger early and lock someone in or wait and hope for a better talent/fit? Or do you wait too long and miss out altogether?
 
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The current easy come, easy go system seems to be missing one thing - junior-college transfers. For many years, JUCO's were the quick fix; now it's the Zeb Jackson's of the world. Sonny Smith, especially, relied on JUCOs throughout Ramball's dark '90s. One more thing: very, very interesting story in TD Tuesday about VCU's admissions/revenue looking forward. This may or may not impact athletics. Did you know 86 percent of VCU students are in state while, in 21-22, zero percent of the scholarship hoopsters hailed from the Commonwealth?
 

RowdyPkunk

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Whether you think emphasis should be on HS vs.transfers, I think we can all agree that we need to do better with our transfers. It's been miss after miss and it's really holding us back.

Even looking back at our FF run, a transfer piece was arguably the central driving force of that team.
Miss after miss? What are you smoking? You mind Sharing?

If you take out Tsohonis & Nichols... overall I'd say we've done well.

  1. Stockard actually did really well for us last year... not sure what happened this year other than the Covid bug.
  2. I would say Douglas, Simms, Evans, Vann... all of which were transfers were all solid contributors to us.
  3. Xavier Jackson, I'll agree was a miss overall.
  4. Gilmore, while technically a transfer to an extent, I'm not counting him, cause he started with us & Only left bc of Wade.
  5. Khris Lane... kind of a toss up. He didn't come out & shine, but he also was not a complete whiff as he did have some bright spots & gave us depth.
  6. Korey Billbury..... darn sure was not a miss.
  7. Terrance Shannon had some bright spots before abruptly disappearing... I presume due to real life stuff.
  8. And of course.... we all know how good Jamie Skeen.

So just on that list alone going back to 2010-11.... I count 3 guys that were straight up misses, Tsohonis, Nichols & Jackson.

Lane & Stockard are debatable.... depending on your level of expectations.

Gilmore I'm excluding, because he was originally recruited by us, and it was more of a finishing his career where he started.

And Terrance Shannon I'm undecided on, because we didn't get the full year out of him, due to stuff in personal life that made him leave the team... he did show some promise at times.

And guys like Douglas, Simms, Evans, Vann, Billbury & Skeen were all solid contributors if not key factors in our teams success.... so they darn sure were not "misses"

So I don't know where you get the idea that our transfers have been miss after miss after miss.
 
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I wish I knew what Rhoades did about the reasoning for all of the transfers. Like is it something that the coaching staff could remedy for future classes or is it something completely out of our control. If the latter then how do we create an atmosphere and team so that we can attract talents from other colleges in the same way.

Having a winning team that people want to play for also probably helps to retain talent. In the past we have lured players away from P5, just need to do that and retain the talent.
 

VCUBusiness

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It's not as binary as this discussion is going to revolve around. Some years we may need to farm the transfer portal a bit more than others. Sometimes we'll have a good group of HS recruits where we can just keep an eye on the portal for whatever we think we might want/need based on circumstance. The coaching staff is smart enough to do both. We're paying them to figure it out, and if they can't, we'll pay someone who can.
 
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Here's the issue with that though.... even going the transfer route... you could still have situations where they bolt for one reason or another.... Granted unless they get a special waiver.... they'd have to sit a year if they transfer a 2nd time..... but already this year alone.... 2 guys we brought in via transfer after last year.... both gone (Nichols & Tsohonis).... Now sure, we can sit here & debate the reasons why they transferred.... was it the players or the coaches decisions... etc.

But even if we go the transfer route.... where do we look? Do we try to recruit D-III, D-II, JuCo, lower mid major D-1's.... or do we look for hand me downs from P5/BE/AAC... etc.?

Personally I say we keep going the high school route & fill in gaps when needed via transfers..... If you look at the most successful years in VCU MBB History.... all of the teams (at least since I've been following VCU Basketball) were primarily HS recruits... with some exceptions (Jamie Skeen being an obvious Notable one).

But instead of just always going after the 4* 5*, Top 100 recruits.... lets get back to recruiting guys that fit our style of play. I mean how many stars were guys like Bri, Tre, B-Rozz, Mo, Darius, Jequan, Troy, Melvin, Maynor, Joey, Nixon, The Burgess Bros... etc. coming out of HS? And look how those guys all turned out for us.

We need to find those guys, with the heart, energy, passion... that are gonna leave it all out on the court for us... whether things are going GREAT or whether things are hitting rock bottom. Forget about the # of stars, forget about where they are ranked in the Top 100... find the guys that wanna be here and find the guys that best fit MR style of play.

If we are gonna continue playing HAVOC like defense (or try to)... we need players that can run up & down the length of the court. We need guys that aint afraid to play hard nosed defense. We need guys that aren't going to sulk, pout, give up when things aren't going their way.

Now that's not to say we shouldn't sign a Top 100 recruit, or a 4-5* recruit if we find one that fits our system & that wants to play the way we play.... but I don't think signing just any 4-5*'s or Top 100 players should be the primary focus.
Wether it be from HS or transfer, I want to see more guys that genuinely want to be at VCU, take pride and playing at VCU and play with a chip on their shoulder. A lot of the players you listed came in with a chip on their shoulder. Not highly recruited but worked their butts off and had very successful careers with many playing pro somewhere. Bri was a fan favorite because he played hard all the time, he loved VCU and played like he had something to prove. I'm not saying we don't have that now but I would like to see more of that.
 

RAMification

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Placing more emphasis on harvesting the portal vs. prep recruiting would be a huge mistake. It will not happen during Mike's tenure. That would be analogous to building an NFL team via free agency and ignoring the draft. While it may be a bit too early to ascertain how this will all play out I still believe most of the historically successful programs will continue to load and reload via the prep route. It's a short-term vs. long-term thing. Rarely does short-term thinking win out in the long-run. That said, I totally agree that programs, ours included, need to learn better how to utilize the portal. Hopefully it will be used as a filler with plug and play guys vs. employing it as a methodology to build a championship program. Kids are in the portal for a reason. Whether it's a deficiency, being recruited over, lack of playing time, style of play, or cultural mismatch there is a reason for moving on. Need to be deliberate and careful albeit there are time constraints in play.

I also believe there may be more opportunities afforded the Elite Mid's to recruit 4* top 100-ish kids if in fact the P6 guy's flock to the portal. Some seriously good preps may feel somewhat disenfranchised. You take advantage and move in. I also think that while it's essential to recruit and sign kids that "fit", I want a mix of elite 4* top 100 or so kids that fit. Successful programs almost always have elite prospects on their roster. Look at their rankings and more importantly their offer sheet and go from there. Thinking you can have a stable full of low rated, relatively unknowns populate your roster that are fits will get a coach gone in a hurry. Can't do it at this level. You must be able to recruit elite prospects if you endeavor to take your program to the next level. For me building with elite preps and locking-up some highly- skilled portal players to fill the roster each year would be a winning formula and one that would hopefully provide some stability. Hopefully the prospects that we get this year via the portal have more success than previous additions.

One other thing to keep in mind with respect to the portal. While at the end of the day there will likely be more than 2000 entries, there are a lot of kids with the extra "covid" year that make them more attractive. This advantage will disappear soon. Some of these kids moving on may be left out in the cold due to over supply.
 

2012Ram

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For me it just depends. If we focus on talent retention first and foremost then it absolutely makes more sense to go the HS recruit route. The staff has proven to be able to get talent into the program via the route.

However, if we continue to end up losing that talent to bags of money from an iowa st assistant coach the portal, we'll have no choice but to turn right back to the portal to replace it - and at that point, we better hope the staff starts hitting a little more often there, because to date it's been... unexceptional.
 
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Skeen was great. Only P5 transfer the last 15 years worth it. Unique circumstances.

Billbury, Evans good players, Vann was decent, Douglas was serviceable.

The rest make a long list, and were a waste.

Low major players that have proven to be good players, want to move up, and have proven not to be problems seem to like the best targets. Particularly guards and wings. Low major post players not so much.
 

VAHills

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I think the model will be 2/3 of your yearly roster the traditional route, with 1/3 via the portal. And that 2/3 will have to be "re-recruited" every year to some extent to help avoid their transfer later.
 
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