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
Luke Bamgboye
Terrence Hill

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. Luke Bamgboye
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

12 of 13 Scholarships
 
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I anticipate Clark at times playing down low in a line-up with Russell, Shulga, Jackson and Bam. Mix in others but I do see Clark playing down there.
I wasn't really sure where we'd see more of him -- at the 3 or the 4. He seems to have the build and skills to do either. He could be a 3 in the mold of Bairstow, or a 4 in the mold of Kuany. I'm fine with either of those.
 
I wasn't really sure where we'd see more of him -- at the 3 or the 4. He seems to have the build and skills to do either. He could be a 3 in the mold of Bairstow, or a 4 in the mold of Kuany. I'm fine with either of those.
I remember him playing the 5 quite a bit for La Salle. He blocked lots of shots for them. La Salle played a style where their 5 would float out so he took 3s as well.
 
I remember him playing the 5 quite a bit for La Salle. He blocked lots of shots for them. La Salle played a style where their 5 would float out so he took 3s as well.
I have a hard time picturing that at VCU. We did see Kuany play a bit at the 5, but it was mainly because of foul trouble and/or the desire to have more shooters on the floor. I could see that with Clark but, like Kuany, done sparingly.
 
So, here's the big question: is the roster better today than it was last season? There's a lot of speculation involved with this question, but that's what we do here, so I'll give it a shot...

PG: This is "pure" PGs only, so I'm not including Max Shulga in the equation. I think we're much better off with the mix of Russell and Jennings than we were with Nelson last year.

Guard: We have the same players coming back, and one has been added. There's no doubt that a one year older Shulga, Jackson, and Bamisile is better than last year. Plus, with Jackson and Bam in the system for their second season, they'll probably be more comfortable right out of the gate. Plus, Bam actually staying in a system for more than one year could be a big deal. We also have Terrance Hill waiting in the wings to develop. For all of these reasons, I think we're much better off.

Wing: Billups and Belle are still here, although I'm including Belle more at the 4. The addition of Clark, who can play the 3 or 4, helps. I think with one-year-older Belle and Billups, and the fact that Bam may be the starter, we'll be just fine. If I had to choose, I'd say we're slightly weaker here, due to not having Bairstow.

Forward: Last year was a mix of Bairstow, Kuany, and Belle, which was a good combination. This year will be Clark, Belle, and maybe Okafor. We haven't seen Clark in this system, but I'm hoping he can be an upgrade over Kuany ... which is not putting Kuany down in the least. I feel like this has the potential to be a push, but right now I have to say we're slightly weaker due to not really seeing Clark yet. If Clark gets the system down quickly, this could easily flip.

Center: We've lost Tobi and Wheeler, but added Bamgboye. Tobi was good at a number of things, with the leaping ability being at the forefront. Bamgboye doesn't jump like Tobi, but he's coming to the team as a much more polished player than when Tobi was a frosh. But, is he better than the Tobi from last year? It's doubtful just due to him being a freshman. We've lost Wheeler as well, but that doesn't amount to very many minutes lost for sure. Right now, I'd say the mix of Fermin, Bamgboye, Okafor, and a sprinkle of Clark is probably weaker than Fermin, Tobi, Wheeler, and a sprinkle of Kuany. But, depending upon the development of Bamgboye, it could end up being a good bit better by the end of the season.
I didn’t even read past the first sentence and the answer is yes.
 
Keep in mind that Okafor hasn't played competitively for 2 years and never at the college level. With the exception of Shulga and the players we had from last year, I have to temper my expectation but hope for the best
 
Keep in mind that Okafor hasn't played competitively for 2 years and never at the college level. With the exception of Shulga and the players we had from last year, I have to temper my expectation but hope for the best
It's a bit of a shame we don't have another foreign tour to use to analyze the players, because the Greece trip actually gave us some fairly accurate insight into our team last season despite Shulga being hurt and the competition being about as good as a YMCA pickup basketball team (Lawal, Bamisile, Bairstow, and to an extent Billups looked good, Jackson didn't score much but had 13 assists in just two games, Wheeler was disappointing, and Nelson was inconsistent) - the only thing it didn't tell us was that we actually could shoot free throws.
 
Keep in mind that Okafor hasn't played competitively for 2 years and never at the college level. With the exception of Shulga and the players we had from last year, I have to temper my expectation but hope for the best
He hasn't been playing, but he has been practicing. If he can provide a few minutes (up to maybe 5) per game of competent play, that's a plus for the team. He's still technically a freshman.
 
Sorry to pour salt on fresh wounds but I Lawal made a mistake. I don't care how much more money he made this year. If he had come back VCU prob be a top 25 team all year and he'd be getting all the looks he needs from next level. Lots of questions at tech.
 
Gonna miss his dunks, that's all. He didn't want to stay so I say good luck.
No one leaves the ground and dunks quite like Tobi for certain (Tobi leaving the ground and suddenly appearing to look down on the rim is almost like something magic), but we'll have plenty of guys who will give us exciting dunks, especially if our outside guys can knock down three and penetrate. It will open lots of lanes for some high flying excitement.
 
No one leaves the ground and dunks quite like Tobi for certain (Tobi leaving the ground and suddenly appearing to look down on the rim is almost like something magic), but we'll have plenty of guys who will give us exciting dunks, especially if our outside guys can knock down three and penetrate. It will open lots of lanes for some high flying excitement.
Gonna miss his rebounds too. Lawal gobbled up rebounds when he was in.
 
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