Rhoades - Year 4

duncanlamb

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Apr 22, 2009
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Before we get to (future) recruiting, it's time to "baseline" this and next yr's roster a bit (realistically where/at what level each player probably "should have been playing" in D-1). Recruiting and roster building is full of hits, misses, and miscalculations (quite frankly, that's what talent evaluation and player development is all about).

2019-20 Roster (appropriate level)
Evans - VCU
Jenkins - VCU
Simms - Georgia St/Stetson/Mercer
Crow - New Orleans/Tulane/Florida Atlantic
Vann - Maine/Northeastern
Douglas - Rice/Charlotte
MSS - VCU
Curry - Radford/James Madison
Williams - VCU (or Ohio/Wright St)
McAllister - TBD (need more data)
Ward - VCU
Hyland - VCU
Clark - TBD (need more data)


2020-21 Roster (appropriate level)
Douglas - Rice/Charlotte
MSS - VCU
Curry - Radford/James Madison
Williams - VCU (or Ohio/Wright St)
McAllister - TBD (need more data)
Ward - VCU
Hyland - VCU
Clark - TBD (need more data)
Brown-Jones - TBD
Baldwin - TBD
Banks - TBD
Watkins - TBD


Heading into 2020-21, it's difficult to assess needs and plan properly with so many borderline/unknown A-10-quality kids on the roster. Notice there's not one kid on either roster that, IMO, should definitively be playing at a "higher" level. Now compare that to the Reddic, B. Burgess, Graham, Weber, Johnson, JQ, Daniels, Theus, Alie-Cox, Sanders, Maynor, Shuler, Skeen, Shannon, Larrier, Doughty, Billbury, Tillman era.

So much player acquisition/development work to do............
I disagree with you on curry. He's a helluva a player in transition getting to the basket (no one faster on this team!)., a very good defender in the press.

He is going to gone as one of our better wings in.recent memory!

Vince William's, as a talent, is big 10 level; he just cant seem to stay healthy.

Corey is offensively limited, no question there.
 
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HBK

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Mar 29, 2010
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Before we get to (future) recruiting, it's time to "baseline" this and next yr's roster a bit (realistically where/at what level each player probably "should have been playing" in D-1). Recruiting and roster building is full of hits, misses, and miscalculations (quite frankly, that's what talent evaluation and player development is all about). It’s the difference between dancing or watching it on TV.

2019-20 Roster (appropriate level)
Evans - VCU
Jenkins - VCU
Simms - Georgia St/Stetson/Mercer
Crow - New Orleans/Tulane/Florida Atlantic
Vann - Maine/Northeastern
Douglas - Rice/Charlotte
MSS - VCU
Curry - Radford/James Madison
Williams - VCU (or Ohio/Wright St)
McAllister - TBD (need more data)
Ward - VCU
Hyland - VCU
Clark - TBD (need more data)


2020-21 Roster (appropriate level)
Douglas - Rice/Charlotte
MSS - VCU
Curry - Radford/James Madison
Williams - VCU (or Ohio/Wright St)
McAllister - TBD (need more data)
Ward - VCU
Hyland - VCU
Clark - TBD (need more data)
Brown-Jones - TBD
Baldwin - TBD
Banks - TBD
Watkins - TBD


Heading into 2020-21, it's difficult to assess needs and plan properly with so many borderline/unknown A-10-quality kids on the roster. Notice there's not one kid on either roster that, IMO, should definitively be playing at a "higher" level. Now compare that to the Reddic, B. Burgess, Graham, Weber, Johnson, JQ, Daniels, Theus, Alie-Cox, Sanders, Maynor, Shuler, Skeen, Shannon, Larrier, Doughty, Billbury, Tillman era.

So much player acquisition/development work to do............
So, what you’re suggesting is that the cupboard was pretty bare when Mike got here, as far as VCU-level talent, and that it is possible the rising sophomores and incoming freshman may have a higher ceiling collectively than this year’s upperclassmen as a whole? Glad to see you and I can agree on something.
 

KentuckyRam

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Jul 16, 2009
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So, what you’re suggesting is that the cupboard was pretty bare when Mike got here, as far as VCU-level talent, and that it is possible the rising sophomores and incoming freshman may have a higher ceiling collectively than this year’s upperclassmen as a whole? Glad to see you and I can agree on something.
I'm sold on Clark.
 
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GuardTheArc

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Dec 4, 2014
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So, what you’re suggesting is that the cupboard was pretty bare when Mike got here, as far as VCU-level talent, and that it is possible the rising sophomores and incoming freshman may have a higher ceiling collectively than this year’s upperclassmen as a whole? Glad to see you and I can agree on something.
This was the cupboard the day Rhoades was hired..............Williams, Tillman, Jenkins, Doughty, Hamdy, Crow, Vann, Fraser, Batts, Kiir, MSS, Mobley.

From that day forward, every player that suits up for VCU is completely/exclusively up to Mike Rhoades. He is, and always will be, under no obligation to any player from year to year. He and his staff are responsible for player selection and development. That's why he makes $1.5M+.

As all new coaches do, he looked in that cupboard and threw out some stale bread, kept some old soup, returned some unused/never-opened groceries, exchanged a few items, and bought some new groceries. His decision. And he lives (and we live) with the consequences.
 
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JDI

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Apr 20, 2009
928
828
This was the cupboard the day Rhoades was hired..............Williams, Tillman, Jenkins, Doughty, Hamdy, Crow, Vann, Fraser, Batts, Kiir, MSS, Mobley.

From that day forward, every player that suits up for VCU is completely/exclusively up to Mike Rhoades. He is, and always will be, under no obligation to any player from year to year. He and his staff are responsible for player selection and development. That's why he makes $1.5M+.

As all new coaches do, he looked in that cupboard and threw out some stale bread, kept some old soup, returned some unused/never-opened groceries, exchanged a few items, and bought some new groceries. His decision. And he lives with the consequences.
Four of the above chose to go elsewhere.
 

GuardTheArc

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Dec 4, 2014
655
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Four of the above chose to go elsewhere.
After presumably meeting/speaking with Coach Rhoades (and perhaps some staff).

Coaches are, first and foremost, salespeople. Some better than others. They send messages, both subtle and direct, by what they say and don’t say, by their passion or lack thereof, about their intentions/plans/vision for a player and for the program overall.

Some coaches (and their staffs) are more personable, charismatic, convincing, pedigreed, engaged, resolute, passionate, focused, organized, etc than others.

After doing due diligence, most players/families (and the coaching staffs) can generally “read the tea leaves,” one way or the other, and adjust their gameplan accordingly.
 
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JDI

Insider
Apr 20, 2009
928
828
After presumably meeting/speaking with Coach Rhoades (and perhaps some staff).

Coaches are, first and foremost, salespeople. Some better than others. They send messages, both subtle and direct, by what they say and don’t say, by their passion or lack thereof, about their intentions/plans/vision for a player and for the program overall.

Some coaches (and their staffs) are more personable, charismatic, convincing, pedigreed, engaged, resolute, passionate, focused, organized, etc than others.

After doing due diligence, most players/families (and the coaching staffs) can generally “read the tea leaves,” one way or the other, and adjust their gameplan accordingly.
3 of the 4 felt like they had higher level offers else where. The fourth had no option but to move on.
 

rammad90

Top Member
Jan 19, 2010
14,244
11,741
Before we get to (future) recruiting, it's time to "baseline" this and next yr's roster a bit (realistically where/at what level each player probably "should have been playing" in D-1). Recruiting and roster building is full of hits, misses, and miscalculations (quite frankly, that's what talent evaluation and player development is all about). It’s the difference between dancing or watching it on TV.

2019-20 Roster (appropriate level)
Evans - VCU
Jenkins - VCU
Simms - Georgia St/Stetson/Mercer
Crow - New Orleans/Tulane/Florida Atlantic
Vann - Maine/Northeastern
Douglas - Rice/Charlotte
MSS - VCU
Curry - Radford/James Madison
Williams - VCU (or Ohio/Wright St)
McAllister - TBD (need more data)
Ward - VCU
Hyland - VCU
Clark - TBD (need more data)


2020-21 Roster (appropriate level)
Douglas - Rice/Charlotte
MSS - VCU
Curry - Radford/James Madison
Williams - VCU (or Ohio/Wright St)
McAllister - TBD (need more data)
Ward - VCU
Hyland - VCU
Clark - TBD (need more data)
Brown-Jones - TBD
Baldwin - TBD
Banks - TBD
Watkins - TBD


Heading into 2020-21, it's difficult to assess needs and plan properly with so many borderline/unknown A-10-quality kids on the roster. Notice there's not one kid on either roster that, IMO, should definitively be playing at a "higher" level. Now compare that to the Reddic, B. Burgess, Graham, Weber, Johnson, JQ, Daniels, Theus, Alie-Cox, Sanders, Maynor, Shuler, Skeen, Shannon, Larrier, Doughty, Billbury, Tillman era.

So much player acquisition/development work to do............
Firs,t this is your opinion to which you are 100% entitled to state. Second, no-one has to agree with your assessment especially when you dont let us know what metric you are using to make your determination. Even if you had, its your opinion.

Given the above, I think your assessment would be more reasonable except for the fact that you dont let us know what the VCU or any other level is. or how you determined the "levels". You use schools many of which while in different conferences or geographic locations that in appearance to be at the same level. Also, you have not rated anyone on the team (this year or last) as higher than VCU level.

Fwiw, I think at least Bones is clearly in the higher than VCU level, as was Jenkins, and Evans (prior to his injury).

As such, its really difficult to determine what level you are staying our talent presently sits other than the fact some of our guys should have attended other schools.

Why not refine and use P5 Top 10-15 regularly National Championship contender, P5 solid top 30 occasionally National Championship Contender, Hi Major not quite a contender, Elite Mid Major (VCU level IMO- these guys can compete with high major non contenders and win 50-60% of the time, and defeat the 2nd group about 20-30% of the time on average) Mid Major, Low Major?

Given the above, loving at performance and potential I'd say most of the guys on this years team were at the Hi Major to Mid Major level. Exception Bones and Jenkins both could play anywhere even the top 5 dependent team needs.

Just my thoughts and opinion.
 
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rammad90

Top Member
Jan 19, 2010
14,244
11,741
So, what you’re suggesting is that the cupboard was pretty bare when Mike got here, as far as VCU-level talent, and that it is possible the rising sophomores and incoming freshman may have a higher ceiling collectively than this year’s upperclassmen as a whole? Glad to see you and I can agree on something.
We can't say the cupboard was bare when Mike arrive. It wasn't loaded but bare it was not. After an adjustment year, where IMO Mike relied on Tillman to the detriment of the team he did okay with what he was left and what he added.

All this crying complaining and other stuff is BS IMO. If Evan's legs are shot we are firmly in the NCAa tournament. Firmly.

A healthy Evans takes control of the team and takes pressure of DJ and also forces others to fall in line. A healthy Evans cures all ills that we had. Without him the wheels fall off as the other guys weren't and aren't Alpha's and the one guy the may be ( Bones) was a freshman.

On a team with talented Senior who while not Alphas clearly weren't going to stand behind and listen to a freshman who had things to learns from them. Remember our Seniors (accept maybe Crow) were all older guys. Heck even Corey has an older guy.

I do think Mike made and continues to make a few X's and O's mistakes. We just have to live with that. He isn't elite but he isn't bad either. I also think he'll get better.

Bones, MSS, and a healthy Williams (although Mike has to figure out a way to use his talents to the benefit of the team, he is clearly a baller but doesnt seem to have a true position, at least in the starting lineup) are a solid core group especially in the A10.

All we need is for Corey to give a solid 10-15 in the post, Ward to develop (and he should have except for maybe the cover-19 limiting his off season work as did other reasons last year), and either Ace, Curry, or someone else to give us valuable play that is integrated into team versus displaying individual talent/potential.

VCU has talent, the key is meshing these guys into winners. This is like a Mike Polio team of the late 80's early 90's. Talent wasn't the issue it was how do we integrate the talent into a nuclear unit. That was what made JD Barnett, AG, SS, and even WW (yes FBI Frank is a good Coach) very good to great HC's.
 
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GuardTheArc

Top Member
Dec 4, 2014
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If we're going to turn this thing around in 2020-21 (and I'm not sure we can/will - our "decade of domination" ship may have sailed), Mike and his staff, IMO, need to adjust/elevate some their thinking/approaches in two distinct areas.

#1) Recruiting/Roster Construction/Roster Mgmt - Grade C- (to date)

#2) Game Management - Grade C-


Some of the decisions (or non-decisions), on all fronts, that I've witnessed over the past three years give me great pause/concern. We'll get to #1 above at a later date but #2 is worth mentioning/discussing now.

#2) GAME MANAGEMENT: I'm not sure about the true relationship/dynamic between Mike and his assistants regarding a host of pre-game and in-game approaches/strategies/tactics but some of the head-scratching decisions/philosophies I've seen lead me to wonder about the relative power/input/influence of each staff member in practice, in games, and in meetings. For example:

A) 2-foul rule - sitting a key guy for what often amounts to 10-14 minutes in the first half after he picks up #2; often times, this is unnecessary and detrimental. Wonder if the staff has really deep-dived this one. Several studies suggest this is generally a major overreaction and would be handled better "situationally." Most of the time, it's an unnecessary move and reduces overall win probability.

B) Substitution patterns/routine - so much to unpack here; from taking out the "hot guy" after he's stroked a few to bringing in guys at the same intervals every game regardless of how the group on the floor is doing to properly utilizing offense/defense substitutions late in games to removing poor FT shooters late in "fouling" situations to better protect a lead (i.e. get MSS out of there), I've seen so much mismanagement of these "relatively easy" game flow decisions, it hurts my head. The staff just needs to improve their overall situational awareness and tactical acumen during games.

C) Starters (vs rotation) - a program doesn't need to start upperclassmen just because they are upperclassmen. Some of the best rotation guys are juniors/seniors. Some kids (at any age) play better off the pine. Some underclassmen really value being a starter (mentally) and need to start (to become fully engaged - sad but true). Seniors, especially, don't necessarily need to start (they aren't going anywhere anyway - i.e. transferring if they become disgruntled). Simms NEVER should have started his senior yr. Minutes played is ultimately what matters. Even a junior/senior off the bench can still play significant minutes (25+) and have a leading role (be a major impact).

D) Timeout/clock usage - this nonsense of not using timeouts and "letting the kids figure it out" is ridiculous; Mike's overthinking this, especially when the data suggests otherwise. Timeouts can be, and ought to be, used to halt runs before they start, to remind kids of strategies/tactics, to alleviate confusion during a set, to set up a critical possession/inbounds play, after we hit a shot late to close a deficit, to make a key/critical substitution late, to switch defenses, or simply to give the guys a quick blow.

E) Changing defenses - any competent high-level D-1 program should be able to switch defenses on the fly in-game (and execute accordingly/effectively). The thought process that a pressing/trapping team (Havoc) can't learn/play effective zone and other defenses on the fly (box and one, triangle and two, man, etc) is silly. They can and they do, often on consecutive possessions. Switching defenses (to slow/confuse the opponent) is a staple of many a successful coach.

F) Player/coach relationship(s) - Mike may scold his kids in practice and behind closed doors but the bottom line is a team ultimately reflects the personality of the coach and we have been physically and sometimes mentally soft (mostly finesse) for the past 3 years. We aren't big, tough, strong, physical, intimidating, gritty. I personally don't care if the players "like" the coach/staff, and they really shouldn't care either.

G) Embracing (advanced) analytics - rumor has it the staff does; I'm skeptical. There's too much data to suggest otherwise. From lineup combos to game strategies to certain defensive looks to offensive shot selection (who and from where and how often), the results do not always support a concerted effort to follow the analytics. I would suggest they get more on board.

H) Lineup composition - Mike's "small ball" approach (starting a 6'6" center and 6'4" PF for example). Size does matter and "cumulative" size matters even more (especially if your talent/ability isn't off the charts). Margin of error is reduced for nearly everything when the team is fairly undersized across the board (and by undersized I mean not only height but strength and athleticism). Take a close look at most Top 50 NCAA programs (serious contenders), their lineups/rotations, their rim protectors, wings, etc. Even a pressing, full court approach still requires, and benefits from, length/size/bulk. We need to get bigger, stronger, longer, more athletic, and more skilled across the board. Yes, a certain type of 6'10" C and a 6'8" PF can still press/trap effectively (see Louisville, West Virginia, etc).

I) Miscellaneous - from seeing smart two-for-one (possessions) and situational substitutions at the end of halves to mixing in some offensive lobs to working the refs to wearing the right uniforms/warmups (hoodies - really?) to "getting in better shape" himself, there are a bunch of little things that Mike controls that need some work.

To me, it's a bit troubling to see so much variation in Mike's philosophy/execution compared to what should be fairly "common/expected" approaches in these various "game mgmt" areas. I don't personally view Mike as this worldly, battle-tested, confident, in-control, $1.5M+/yr 47-yr old heady, veteran D-1 coach/strategist/tactician leading a Top 50 program. Rather, I see a guy who (even after 3 yrs each at Rice and VCU) still appears at times confused, unsure, and conflicted (in many areas). Fortunately for him (if he can do it), some high-level recruiting and competent roster construction/mgmt (i.e. success with #1 above) can pretty much cure all that ails us (and smooth over many of these game mgmt issues as, quite frankly, it partially did with Shaka). Regardless, I hope the staff re-evaluates some of their game mgmt philosophies/approaches.......and soon. Otherwise, the next few years are going to be rough.

More on #1) RECRUITING later........
#1) Recruiting/Roster Construction/Roster Mgmt: GRADE C- (to date)

A)
At the time Mike Rhoades was hired, Apr 2017, VCU was unquestionably a Top 4 non-P6 program along with Gonzaga, Wichita St, and
Cincy (and a Top 50 program overall). The program accomplishments 2004-17 were undeniably impressive (and actually remarkable,
particularly for a non-P6).


B) For the last three years, Mike Rhoades and his staff have enjoyed a recruiting environment unlike anything ever experienced before
(and ever again) at VCU (the new practice facility, the Siegel sellout streak, the 7 straight NCAA tourney appearances, the 24+ win
season streak (11), the A-10 title game appearance streak (5), the fairly recent Final 4 appearance, an established national playing
style brand (Havoc), unprecedented national TV exposure, a multi-bid conference (A-10), major campus upgrades, and NBA alum like
Maynor, Sanders, Weber, Graham, and Daniels). The recruiting advantages that Capel/Grant/Smart/Wade teed up for Mike and his staff
were/are unprecedented.


C) Mike's four classes to date are as follows:
2017-18 - Lane, Maye, Jackson, Simms, Djonkam, Evans, *MSS, *Mobley
2018-19 - Curry, Williams, Douglas, Byrd, Gilmore
2019-20 - Bones, Clark, McAllister, Ward
2020-21 - MBJ, Baldwin, Banks, Watkins, BMB

22 kids......15 HS/prep school, 3 D-1 Transfer-Ups, 2 GT, 2 JUCO. * Wade retainees

The long term effectiveness/impact of this first swath (2018-21) of recruits remains to be seen but the results so far have been
somewhat uninspiring (quite frankly, not at the standard achieved by previous VCU staffs). From 2004-2017, with much less to
sell/offer in many cases, VCU still landed the likes of Walker, JPR, Shuler, Maynor, George, Reddic, Weber, Theus, Graham, Daniels,
Johnson, Alie-Cox, Sanders, Burgess (2), Tuoyo, Lyles, Billbury, Doughty, Shannon, Doles, Fameni, Anderson, Lewis, Tillman, Larrier,
Gilmore, Brandenberg, and others. Hence, the 15 years of greatness (10 NCAA appearances).


D) While Mike and his staff have clearly targeted the 4-yr HS route as the preferred recruiting choice (for program continuity long
term), our lack of success with GTs, JUCOs, transfer-downs (from P6s) is noticeable. This talent pipeline helps supplement the foundational HS
recruits, plug gaps, and fortify strengths. Our program history is littered with impact transfers like Evans, Skeen, Hopkins, Doles,
Fameni, Harris, Billbury, and others. For a non-P6 trying desperately to remain relevant, we need to unearth talent from every
available source.


E) With a "1 for 3" NCAA appearance record and Year 4 likely headed for a rebuild, Mike and his staff have some serious work to do. The
program has lost some of its cache, both on and off the court (i.e. on the trail). We don't really even appear to be on the Top 100
recruit radar anymore (for the most part) like we were under Smart/Wade. Program perception/visibility, at our level, is palpable (and
critically important).


F) Our anemic offense under Rhoades (KP #146, KP #177, and KP #139; 3 of the 4 worst VCU offenses in the past 20 yrs) is the current
performance anchor and NCAA appearance obstacle. Only time will tell if he can turn that around but some high-level recruiting and proper
talent evaluation/targeting (along with a little offensive imagination/creativity/analytics) will go a long ways to fixing what ails
us.


G) In the recruiting game, Mike and his staff are, for all intents and purposes, competing with non-P6/NCAA caliber brethren Wichita
St, Cincy, Houston, Memphis, UCF, SMU, Dayton, St Louis, Richmond, Davidson, Rhody, BYU, St Marys, San Diego St, New Mexico, etc for
"second tier" recruits, hidden gems, and disgruntled P6 or low-major talents looking to transfer up or down. He's competing against
some savvy recruiters/staffs........Sampson, Marshall, Hardaway, Brannen, McKillop, Cox, Grant, Dawkins, Ford, Pope, Mooney, etc. Does
he and his staff have the pull/sway/gravitas on the trail?


H) More than likely, the 9 current frosh/soph (counting BMB as a soph as he probably sits) will determine Mike's (and the program's)
fate (either way) over the next 3 years. By 2023-24, if we haven't danced since Rhoades Year 2, Mike (and perhaps Ed) will be in
serious trouble and could, probably should, be gone. If we do dance along the way, Mike might be gone anyway (to a P6 - safer, more
lucrative waters).
 
Jan 23, 2011
342
363
#1) Recruiting/Roster Construction/Roster Mgmt: GRADE C- (to date)

A)
At the time Mike Rhoades was hired, Apr 2017, VCU was unquestionably a Top 4 non-P6 program along with Gonzaga, Wichita St, and
Cincy (and a Top 50 program overall). The program accomplishments 2004-17 were undeniably impressive (and actually remarkable,
particularly for a non-P6).


B) For the last three years, Mike Rhoades and his staff have enjoyed a recruiting environment unlike anything ever experienced before
(and ever again) at VCU (the new practice facility, the Siegel sellout streak, the 7 straight NCAA tourney appearances, the 24+ win
season streak (11), the A-10 title game appearance streak (5), the fairly recent Final 4 appearance, an established national playing
style brand (Havoc), unprecedented national TV exposure, a multi-bid conference (A-10), major campus upgrades, and NBA alum like
Maynor, Sanders, Weber, Graham, and Daniels). The recruiting advantages that Capel/Grant/Smart/Wade teed up for Mike and his staff
were/are unprecedented.


C) Mike's four classes to date are as follows:
2017-18 - Lane, Maye, Jackson, Simms, Djonkam, Evans, *MSS, *Mobley
2018-19 - Curry, Williams, Douglas, Byrd, Gilmore
2019-20 - Bones, Clark, McAllister, Ward
2020-21 - MBJ, Baldwin, Banks, Watkins, BMB

22 kids......15 HS/prep school, 3 D-1 Transfer-Ups, 2 GT, 2 JUCO. * Wade retainees

The long term effectiveness/impact of this first swath (2018-21) of recruits remains to be seen but the results so far have been
somewhat uninspiring (quite frankly, not at the standard achieved by previous VCU staffs). From 2004-2017, with much less to
sell/offer in many cases, VCU still landed the likes of Walker, JPR, Shuler, Maynor, George, Reddic, Weber, Theus, Graham, Daniels,
Johnson, Alie-Cox, Sanders, Burgess (2), Tuoyo, Lyles, Billbury, Doughty, Shannon, Doles, Fameni, Anderson, Lewis, Tillman, Larrier,
Gilmore, Brandenberg, and others. Hence, the 15 years of greatness (10 NCAA appearances).


D) While Mike and his staff have clearly targeted the 4-yr HS route as the preferred recruiting choice (for program continuity long
term), our lack of success with GTs, JUCOs, transfer-downs (from P6s) is noticeable. This talent pipeline helps supplement the foundational HS
recruits, plug gaps, and fortify strengths. Our program history is littered with impact transfers like Evans, Skeen, Hopkins, Doles,
Fameni, Harris, Billbury, and others. For a non-P6 trying desperately to remain relevant, we need to unearth talent from every
available source.


E) With a "1 for 3" NCAA appearance record and Year 4 likely headed for a rebuild, Mike and his staff have some serious work to do. The
program has lost some of its cache, both on and off the court (i.e. on the trail). We don't really even appear to be on the Top 100
recruit radar anymore (for the most part) like we were under Smart/Wade. Program perception/visibility, at our level, is palpable (and
critically important).


F) Our anemic offense under Rhoades (KP #146, KP #177, and KP #139; 3 of the 4 worst VCU offenses in the past 20 yrs) is the current
performance anchor and NCAA appearance obstacle. Only time will tell if he can turn that around but some high-level recruiting and proper
talent evaluation/targeting (along with a little offensive imagination/creativity/analytics) will go a long ways to fixing what ails
us.


G) In the recruiting game, Mike and his staff are, for all intents and purposes, competing with non-P6/NCAA caliber brethren Wichita
St, Cincy, Houston, Memphis, UCF, SMU, Dayton, St Louis, Richmond, Davidson, Rhody, BYU, St Marys, San Diego St, New Mexico, etc for
"second tier" recruits, hidden gems, and disgruntled P6 or low-major talents looking to transfer up or down. He's competing against
some savvy recruiters/staffs........Sampson, Marshall, Hardaway, Brannen, McKillop, Cox, Grant, Dawkins, Ford, Pope, Mooney, etc. Does
he and his staff have the pull/sway/gravitas on the trail?


H) More than likely, the 9 current frosh/soph (counting BMB as a soph as he probably sits) will determine Mike's (and the program's)
fate (either way) over the next 3 years. By 2023-24, if we haven't danced since Rhoades Year 2, Mike (and perhaps Ed) will be in
serious trouble and could, probably should, be gone. If we do dance along the way, Mike might be gone anyway (to a P6 - safer, more
lucrative waters).
Some good Sunday morning reading here. And just in time. I’ve read the last covid-19 story i can stomach for the time being. This is the kind of post that can be debated endlessly and i would agree with the last post i read every time. So i look forward to perusing the responses. My only contribution is to state the obvious: Winning cures all. Let’s win!
 
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Ramaholic

Top Member
Mar 8, 2010
853
2,941
I think sustaining our trajectory thru so many coaching changes is unrealistic. I'm surprised we didn't really suffer an entire season or 2 below .500.
We are going to feel financial gravity bring this program back to earth over the next few years due to Covid-19 and our Final Four momentum petering out. One thing I learned from building a business is this; You can't predict the future. Things you never imagine to happen will occur. Entire industry shifts in consumer preferences, new technologies emerge, best selling products become obsolete, new competition emerging from the unlikeliest of places... But the only thing you can guarantee to happen is that if you have debt or long term financial obligations -they will still need to be paid. Every. Single. Month. No exceptions. That is the single largest reason I have seen businesses fail.
Donations, TV, NCAA shares, ticket sales, advertising and perhaps University subsidies thru student fees will all be down for the foreseeable future. I imagine our expenses with salaries and enhancements to all the programs (BDC, Baseball facility, stadium land acquistion...) is at an all-time high. What gets programs and orginazations thru times like this is to give diehard support in any way you can: financially, cheering or just refraining from beating dead horses about negative things we can't change. MR is our coach and will be for several more years at least. If there is ever a time to support the program, it is now. Now is not the time to dissect every mistake we made in the past. This economic downturn will affect every NCAA program. The programs with the better leadership and supporters will better there position. That is where we want to be. Tough times don't last, tough people do.
There is a time to have a discussion like the one posted above. I don't think that time is now. I hope no one takes the bait and starts discussing a situation that will have no outcome but dividing us. Happy Mother's Day everyone!
 
Feb 16, 2017
328
404
#1) Recruiting/Roster Construction/Roster Mgmt: GRADE C- (to date)

A)
At the time Mike Rhoades was hired, Apr 2017, VCU was unquestionably a Top 4 non-P6 program along with Gonzaga, Wichita St, and
Cincy (and a Top 50 program overall). The program accomplishments 2004-17 were undeniably impressive (and actually remarkable,
particularly for a non-P6).


B) For the last three years, Mike Rhoades and his staff have enjoyed a recruiting environment unlike anything ever experienced before
(and ever again) at VCU (the new practice facility, the Siegel sellout streak, the 7 straight NCAA tourney appearances, the 24+ win
season streak (11), the A-10 title game appearance streak (5), the fairly recent Final 4 appearance, an established national playing
style brand (Havoc), unprecedented national TV exposure, a multi-bid conference (A-10), major campus upgrades, and NBA alum like
Maynor, Sanders, Weber, Graham, and Daniels). The recruiting advantages that Capel/Grant/Smart/Wade teed up for Mike and his staff
were/are unprecedented.


C) Mike's four classes to date are as follows:
2017-18 - Lane, Maye, Jackson, Simms, Djonkam, Evans, *MSS, *Mobley
2018-19 - Curry, Williams, Douglas, Byrd, Gilmore
2019-20 - Bones, Clark, McAllister, Ward
2020-21 - MBJ, Baldwin, Banks, Watkins, BMB

22 kids......15 HS/prep school, 3 D-1 Transfer-Ups, 2 GT, 2 JUCO. * Wade retainees

The long term effectiveness/impact of this first swath (2018-21) of recruits remains to be seen but the results so far have been
somewhat uninspiring (quite frankly, not at the standard achieved by previous VCU staffs). From 2004-2017, with much less to
sell/offer in many cases, VCU still landed the likes of Walker, JPR, Shuler, Maynor, George, Reddic, Weber, Theus, Graham, Daniels,
Johnson, Alie-Cox, Sanders, Burgess (2), Tuoyo, Lyles, Billbury, Doughty, Shannon, Doles, Fameni, Anderson, Lewis, Tillman, Larrier,
Gilmore, Brandenberg, and others. Hence, the 15 years of greatness (10 NCAA appearances).


D) While Mike and his staff have clearly targeted the 4-yr HS route as the preferred recruiting choice (for program continuity long
term), our lack of success with GTs, JUCOs, transfer-downs (from P6s) is noticeable. This talent pipeline helps supplement the foundational HS
recruits, plug gaps, and fortify strengths. Our program history is littered with impact transfers like Evans, Skeen, Hopkins, Doles,
Fameni, Harris, Billbury, and others. For a non-P6 trying desperately to remain relevant, we need to unearth talent from every
available source.


E) With a "1 for 3" NCAA appearance record and Year 4 likely headed for a rebuild, Mike and his staff have some serious work to do. The
program has lost some of its cache, both on and off the court (i.e. on the trail). We don't really even appear to be on the Top 100
recruit radar anymore (for the most part) like we were under Smart/Wade. Program perception/visibility, at our level, is palpable (and
critically important).


F) Our anemic offense under Rhoades (KP #146, KP #177, and KP #139; 3 of the 4 worst VCU offenses in the past 20 yrs) is the current
performance anchor and NCAA appearance obstacle. Only time will tell if he can turn that around but some high-level recruiting and proper
talent evaluation/targeting (along with a little offensive imagination/creativity/analytics) will go a long ways to fixing what ails
us.


G) In the recruiting game, Mike and his staff are, for all intents and purposes, competing with non-P6/NCAA caliber brethren Wichita
St, Cincy, Houston, Memphis, UCF, SMU, Dayton, St Louis, Richmond, Davidson, Rhody, BYU, St Marys, San Diego St, New Mexico, etc for
"second tier" recruits, hidden gems, and disgruntled P6 or low-major talents looking to transfer up or down. He's competing against
some savvy recruiters/staffs........Sampson, Marshall, Hardaway, Brannen, McKillop, Cox, Grant, Dawkins, Ford, Pope, Mooney, etc. Does
he and his staff have the pull/sway/gravitas on the trail?


H) More than likely, the 9 current frosh/soph (counting BMB as a soph as he probably sits) will determine Mike's (and the program's)
fate (either way) over the next 3 years. By 2023-24, if we haven't danced since Rhoades Year 2, Mike (and perhaps Ed) will be in
serious trouble and could, probably should, be gone. If we do dance along the way, Mike might be gone anyway (to a P6 - safer, more
lucrative waters).
Excellent summary of where we are and what needs to be done to get back to where we need to be. Can Mike pull this off? Honestly, I'm not sure, but am pulling for him. I'm not overly impressed with the results so far, but he's had a few challenges that had to be overcome and deserves more time.
 

VCU Finance 2008

Top Member
Apr 19, 2009
16,456
17,465
I think sustaining our trajectory thru so many coaching changes is unrealistic. I'm surprised we didn't really suffer an entire season or 2 below .500.
We are going to feel financial gravity bring this program back to earth over the next few years due to Covid-19 and our Final Four momentum petering out. One thing I learned from building a business is this; You can't predict the future. Things you never imagine to happen will occur. Entire industry shifts in consumer preferences, new technologies emerge, best selling products become obsolete, new competition emerging from the unlikeliest of places... But the only thing you can guarantee to happen is that if you have debt or long term financial obligations -they will still need to be paid. Every. Single. Month. No exceptions. That is the single largest reason I have seen businesses fail.
Donations, TV, NCAA shares, ticket sales, advertising and perhaps University subsidies thru student fees will all be down for the foreseeable future. I imagine our expenses with salaries and enhancements to all the programs (BDC, Baseball facility, stadium land acquistion...) is at an all-time high. What gets programs and orginazations thru times like this is to give diehard support in any way you can: financially, cheering or just refraining from beating dead horses about negative things we can't change. MR is our coach and will be for several more years at least. If there is ever a time to support the program, it is now. Now is not the time to dissect every mistake we made in the past. This economic downturn will affect every NCAA program. The programs with the better leadership and supporters will better there position. That is where we want to be. Tough times don't last, tough people do.
There is a time to have a discussion like the one posted above. I don't think that time is now. I hope no one takes the bait and starts discussing a situation that will have no outcome but dividing us. Happy Mother's Day everyone!
I agree, the future will present a different set of challenges than the past. If the transfer rule is changed and the rules are changed allowing players to be compensated by local businesses then VCU could effectively become a minor league. If football season doesn't happen this year that could actually help level the playing field as far as revenue is concerned, and put A10 schools in a better position. We will just have to see how things shake out and keep moving forward.
 
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