2024-25 Roster Thread

Here we go again. Same format as last year. Hopefully with a little less action the first week. Not making any assumptions about who may be returning until they have either indicated that they are coming back or the portal closes on May 1st. I will edit this post daily if things are changing to keep the most recent info at the top. With that being said let's have a great off season and put together a roster that can win the A10!

2023-24 Roster

Fr. Michael Belle
RS Fr. Fats Billups
RS Fr. Obinnaya Okafor
So. Tobi Lawal
So. Christian Fermin
So. Jason Nelson
Jr. Roosevelt Wheeler
Sr. Max Shulga
Sr. Zeb Jackson
Sr. Connor Odom-Walk On
Sr. Joe Bamisile
Sr. Kuany Kuany
Sr. Sean Bairstow

Out Of Eligibility

Sr. Kuany Kuany
Sr. Sean Bairstow

Recruits Signed

Brandon Jennings

Portal Out

Jason Nelson - Youngstown State
Roosevelt Wheeler - ETSU
Tobi Lawal - VPI
Max Shulga - Villanova

Portal In

Jack Clark - From Clemson
Phillip Russell - From UTA
Jamarii Thomas - From Norfolk State

2024-25 Roster

Fr. Brandon Jennings
Fr. Terrence Hill
RS Fr. Obinnaya Okafor
So. Michael Belle
RS So. Fats Billups
Jr. Christian Fermin
Jr. Phillip Russell
5th Yr. Sr. Joe Bamisile
5th Yr. Sr. Zeb Jackson
5th Yr. Sr. Max Shulga
7th Yr. Sr. Jack Clark

11 of 13 Scholarships
 
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Agree having been a mid-major fan for a long time, but some coaches definitely do better at our level.
The red flag I see is based on more than a one year body of work. Nate Dixon was basically responsible for the recruiting at USU, so I'm concerned at what Odom brings to the table. Agreed one year at VCU doesn't show much, but the multi-year trend is disappointing. I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised this off season.
With almost no recruiting time for last year, I felt he first did a great job re-recruiting the handful that stayed, did well adding Bamisile, we needed Jason for sure for the depth, adding Belle, adding Kuany, we also added the German sharpshooter but lost him for several reasons. I like the incoming pieces thus far a lot and let's let the pollen stop covering our windshields before we think our staff has failed in adding depth in the low post.
 
With almost no recruiting time for last year, I felt he first did a great job re-recruiting the handful that stayed, did well adding Bamisile, we needed Jason for sure for the depth, adding Belle, adding Kuany, we also added the German sharpshooter but lost him for several reasons. I like the incoming pieces thus far a lot and let's let the pollen stop covering our windshields before we think our staff has failed in adding depth in the low post.
Any time you can get a kid that was former walk on …well now …you are killing it

We will now have two…don’t know many top programs that can claim that
 
Kenny Payne (Louisville) "loved" some of his players too.
Tony Stubblefield (DePaul) "loved" some of his players too.
Patrick Ewing (Georgetown) "loved" some of his players too.

Christian Fermin should not have been starting last season. He was not "starter" material (he was, at best, a rotational piece masquerading as a starter). Fermin had neither the (developed) body, the requisite "demonstrated" skill set, nor the experience to start for an NCAA-aspirational, A-10 flagship (Top 50-caliber) program. Last season, he was (basically) a first-yr sophomore (i.e. a frosh - from a PT/experience perspective).

Meanwhile, our main competition was Holmes (Dayton), Venning (St Bonny), Quinn (UR), Kelly (GMU), etc. -- all of them very experienced/developed bigs.

The staff, unfortunately, was left with little choice last year after their lackluster/underwhelming performance addressing our frontline in the portal:
Scholly = Kuany
Scholly = Wheeler
Scholly = Vacant (aka Okafor)
Scholly = Vacant


The collective ROI on this group above was minimal.

Fermin's play last season was uneven (and largely inconsequential/unimpactful); consequently, Tobi Lawal ended up manning the frontline (sometimes alone) during pivotal moments/stretches and, as a result, was the one who shined, was in demand this offseason, and moved up to the ACC.

One of the big reasons VCU danced in 2022-23 was "balance," which included our productive frontline of Johns/Deloach. Note: Deloach, as a result, moved to the SEC (Georgia) the following year.

Kuany/Fermin was not the answer last year (2023-24), even with the significant advantage of playing with four senior perimeter-oriented double-digit scorers (Shulga, Jax, Bam, Bairstow).

If VCU aspires to dance in 2024-25, the "five spot/frontline" needs to be addressed/fortified/upgraded. Note: The blueprint includes Sanders, Alie-Cox, Johns, Deloach, Godwin, Skeen, Reddic, Santos-Silva, etc)
I agree with everything you stated. However, I don't believe we ever would've been able to retain any of those bigs you named in this environment. It was always hard to land talented post players at smaller programs. The blueprint was always landing underrecruited players and developing them. Pay to play coupled with the portal is going to make that strategy virtually impossible. I sincerely hope I am proven wrong. Meanwhile, I find it inexcusable we didn't make a push for DeLoach to return. His family likes VCU and he has proven quite capable of winning at our conference level. We're going to get the leftovers after all the deep pocketed power schools fill their spots. Gotta love the new era of college sports!
 
I agree with everything you stated. However, I don't believe we ever would've been able to retain any of those bigs you named in this environment. It was always hard to land talented post players at smaller programs. The blueprint was always landing underrecruited players and developing them. Pay to play coupled with the portal is going to make that strategy virtually impossible. I sincerely hope I am proven wrong. Meanwhile, I find it inexcusable we didn't make a push for DeLoach to return. His family likes VCU and he has proven quite capable of winning at our conference level. We're going to get the leftovers after all the deep pocketed power schools fill their spots. Gotta love the new era of college sports!
Maybe, just maybe DeLoach doesn’t mesh well with coaches rumored fav, Fermin.
 
Deloach is a 4. He wants to play the 4, his coaches want him to play the 4, and playing the 4 is his best shot at playing professionally. Deloach would not have come here to play the 5 over Ferm, he would've come here to play the 4 and we wouldn't have Jack Clark. Reasonable people can disagree on who'd be a better pick there, but I lean toward the former ACC starter and Elite Eight participant (and I say that while wearing a Jalen Deloach T-shirt).
 
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