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2021 VCU Offseason Guide: Transfers, Newcomers, Etc.

It is never too early for VCU fans to begin to look at the upcoming season. After having the most heartbreaking ending to the season of any team in college basketball, VCU fans are eager to turn the page and look ahead to next season.

Entering year five of his tenure, Mike Rhoades has done a good job keeping his squad together. Thus far, in the most active transfer market in memory, VCU has lost only two players to transfer. Already popular with VCU fans, Rhoades appears to be setting the Rams up for success in the next couple of seasons.

There are still plenty of details to be hashed out for the upcoming season. Here now is VCU’s projected roster, as of April 12, 2021:

Fifth-Year Players: 1

Levi Stockard, Forward

While not confirmed by the team or Stockard himself, it has been an open secret essentially all winter and spring that Stockard will utilize his extra year of eligibility granted to seniors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As an athlete already on scholarship that is exercising his extra year of eligibility, Stockard’s scholarship will not count against the 13-player limit.

The Stats: Stockard started all 25 games he appeared in, averaging a career-high 6.5 points while shooting above 50%. His impact was more off the stat sheet, as he brought a veteran presence to a team among the least experienced in the conference.

Seniors: 2

KeShawn Curry, Guard

The Jacksonville, Florida native has become a mainstay for VCU since arriving in 2018. Curry was hampered by injury issues during the 2020-21 season, missing a large chunk of the non-conference schedule. After recovering, Curry returned and shined off the bench, bringing his slashing ability and hops to the floor as VCU made a playoff push. Curry missed the last five games of the season due to the death of his brother.

The Stats: Curry started four games and appeared in 16, averaging a career-high in scoring (5.8 points) and knocking down eight 3-pointers. He is not dangerous from deep but fills a reserve role well and is among the best at driving to the hoop on the entire roster.

Vince Williams, Forward

What more is there to be said about Vince Williams? Williams reinvented his game during the pandemic, becoming a dangerous sniper from beyond the arc. The Toledo, Ohio native is a Swiss Army Knife on the floor, a forward that can do all things well and help carry a team if needed. The Atlantic 10 conference took notice, naming Williams to the All-Conference Third Team in March.

The Stats: Williams exploded in 2020-21, averaging 10.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. His 41.3% 3-point percentage was a career high and led the Rams. He saw massive improvements in all counting categories and is among the top returning players in the A-10 for 2021.

Juniors: 4

Arnold Henderson VI, Guard

Henderson is living the dream. The walk-on grew up in Mechanicsville, Virginia and as a kid grew up a VCU fan and served as a ball boy. When fans are allowed at the Siegel Center, the Rowdy Rams often cheer for him to enter the game when the Rams have it well in hand. Henderson has shown flashes in his limited playing time and is the most fun player to watch on the entire roster.

The Stats: Henderson totaled six minutes played in 2020-21, spread out over five games. The guard was 0-of-4 from the floor, but did grab two defensive rebounds, the first two rebounds of his collegiate career. For his career, Henderson is 3-of-9 from the floor, including a 3-pointer made in his first career game against Jacksonville State in November 2019.

Jarren McAllister, Guard

Oh, what could have been for the former three-star recruit. McAllister sat on the bench for the first three games of the Rams’ season, battling what Rhoades described as “injuries in each knee.” In early December, McAllister was ruled out for the season with a torn left ACL. He did not play at all in 2020-21. The Rams will certainly be happy to have McAllister back as a crucial depth piece to their guard rotation.

The Stats: McAllister recorded no statistics in 2020-21. In his freshman season, he averaged 2.7 points per game in 16 appearances. His playing time increased down the stretch though, showing Rhoades has confidence in the Wake Forest, North Carolina native.

Hason Ward, Forward

Ward had an incredible season. The 6’9 Barbados native once blocked 22 shots in a game in high school. It felt like he could have done that last season. Ward was 2nd in the conference in blocks per game (2.3), while tallying a conference-leading 61 total blocks. For his efforts, Ward was voted to the A-10 All-Defensive Team in March. His dunking skill is among the best in the conference as well, making Ward one of the most exciting players to watch with a thundering play style.

The Stats: Ward averaged six points per game and five rebounds per game to go with his blocking stats. Much of his damage was done on the defensive glass, where he averaged 3.5 rebounds. In addition, Ward’s field goal percentage flirted with the 60% mark, to go with an impressive 73% clip from the charity stripe.

Bones Hyland, Guard

It has been rumored that the reigning A-10 Player of the Year will make the jump to the pros this offseason, with some mock drafts having the Delaware native as high as a low first rounder in the NBA Draft. But for now, Hyland is still on VCU’s roster for the upcoming season, and what a treat it would be to get one more season of him on Broad Street. Hyland dazzled on the offensive end, averaging 19.5 points and excelling in his role off the ball. Many of these points came via the 3-pointer, which Hyland made an art form. All in all, Hyland represents probably the best VCU Ram of the last half-decade and seemingly has no limit should he return for 2021-22.

The Stats: In addition to his scoring totals, Hyland slashed .447/.371/.862 on the offensive end. On defense, Hyland was among the best ball stealers, averaging over two steals per game. With the benefit of the upcoming offseason, look for Hyland to continue to round out his game in defense of his 2021 accolades. Of note, Hyland already ranks 57th on VCU’s all-time scoring list after two seasons and is ahead of record-holder Eric Maynor’s pace.

Sophomores: 4

Josh Banks, Guard #33

A good 3-point shooter who had to take on an expanded role as injuries piled up, Banks seems primed for a larger role as his career develops. The Charlotte, North Carolina native did win the preseason 3-point contest and has a silky-smooth shot.

The Stats: Banks averaged 3.1 points in 21 games played, averaging nine minutes per game. He was also sneaky good on the glass, averaging just under one board per game. Banks recorded his season-high in scoring in the A-10 title game, providing his first double-digit outing on a perfect shooting performance.

Mikeal Brown-Jones, Forward

At 6’8, the IMG Academy graduate has a versatile set of skills that can only improve with development. Coming off the bench last season, Brown-Jones proved to be a skilled rebounder with great but still to be refined scoring ability. Brown-Jones can score the ball in multiple ways and secure rebounds, making him the closest comparison on the team to Williams.

The Stats: In 25 appearances, Brown-Jones averaged 2.3 points and 2.1 boards. As a freshman, his playing time was limited, meaning the full breadth of his skills has yet to be fully shown. In limited time, Brown-Jones has quickly shown great potential as his college career progresses.

Jamir Watkins, Guard #0

In a season where guards dropped like flies due to injury, Watkins exceeded expectations and embraced the Sixth Man role. The New Jersey native led VCU’s freshmen in scoring and ranked third on the team in points per game. Rhoades started Watkins in two late season contests, showing that Watkins has great potential in case the injury bug bites again or if VCU desires to run a three-guard starting lineup. Watkins is among the most anticipated returners on the roster.

The Stats: Watkins totaled 7.2 points per game to go with 2.6 boards. His shooting percentage was low, dragged down by a 28.9% rate from 3-point range, but Watkins has three years to continue to improve those numbers.

Ace Baldwin, Guard

Baldwin represented a rarity; a freshman that started every game. The Baltimore native showed to be a top-tier passer, dishing out 4.4 steals per game. A true point guard, Baldwin is a calm and capable leader that excels on the ball and serves as a near-perfect complement to Hyland. For his efforts, Baldwin was named to the A-10 All-Rookie Team in March.

The Stats: In addition to his assists, Baldwin tallied 6.7 points per game. He also rated among the best ball stealers in the conference, averaging over two steals per game. VCU appears to be set long-term with Baldwin running the offense.

Freshmen: 2

Nicholas Kern, Forward

A 6’5 forward out of Saint Louis, Kern signed with VCU on Aug. 11, 2020. Kern is rated as a two-star recruit on Verbal Commits and a three-star on Rivals and 247Sports. Saint Louis University also offered Kern, along with DePaul, Southeast Missouri State and TCU.

Jalen DeLoach, Forward

A 6’8 forward from Savannah, Georgia, DeLoach signed with VCU on Sept. 8, 2020. DeLoach is rated as a three-star recruit on Verbal Commits, 247Sports and Rivals. In addition to VCU, nine other schools offered DeLoach, highlighted by 2021 Midwest Regional Champion Houston.

The Transfer Portal

As it stands now, VCU has 11 players that count against its scholarship cap. With an unusually active transfer portal season, VCU still has plenty of options available to round out its roster for the upcoming season. As of April 12, here are the players that VCU has been in talks with that are still in the portal:

Kobe Elvis (DePaul)

Rising sophomore point guard, averaged 5.2/1.6/1/9 in 2020-21

Seth Lundy (Penn State) 

Rising junior small forward, averaged 10.1/4.2/0.8 in 2020-21

Alfonso Plummer (Utah) 

Rising fifth-year point guard, 13.6/2.2/1.0 in 2020-21

D.J. Horne (Illinois State) 

Rising junior point guard, averaged 15.1/3.7/2.7 in 2020-21

Joel Soriano (Fordham) 

Rising junior center, averaged 10.4/9.2/0.9 in 2020-21

Departures

VCU has had three departures this offseason. Two players entered the transfer portal, while one graduated and is unlikely to use the extra COVID year. VCU’s departures are:

Corey Douglas, Forward

Douglas has played five years of college basketball. As a freshman, Douglas played under Rhoades in 2016-17 at Rice before taking a redshirt season at Tallahassee Community College the following year. Douglas completed his collegiate career at VCU over the next three seasons. Having completed his master’s degree, and with his 25th birthday approaching in the summer, Douglas’ collegiate career is over. Douglas played 84 games with the Rams, averaging 3.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Tre Clark, Guard

Clark left VCU in January under strange circumstances. He sat a game due to what Rhoades called a “university suspension” before leaving the program altogether the following day. Clark has transferred to Tallahassee Community College. In 16 games last season, Clark averaged 5.9 points and 1.8 steals and proved to be a great dunker and defender.

Brendan Medley-Bacon, Center #35

One of the tallest players in program history, the 7’1 transfer from Coppin State never really gelled with the team. Medley-Bacon appeared in 13 games, averaging less than one in every statistical category except personal fouls. Medley-Bacon will look to get back to form next season with McNeese State.

The transfer portal brakes for nobody, so this guide will likely go out of date rapidly. Check our transfer list periodically for roster news on all A-10 teams.