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VCU forward Mikeal Brown-Jones enters transfer portal

Sophomore forward Mikeal Brown-Jones announced on March 21 that he has entered the transfer portal, according to Verbal Commits and Brown-Jones’ Twitter page.

In a message posted to his social media channels, Brown-Jones thanked VCU’s staff and program for the opportunity to play for the Rams.

“The time had I had [sic] here at VCU has been nothing short of FUN!” Brown-Jones wrote. “The Ram Nation has shown me much love when I did get on the court. I will never forget you!”

Brown-Jones continued, “It’s time to write my own story! Excited to start my journey!!!”

In two seasons at VCU, Brown-Jones averaged 3.2 points per game and 2.4 rebounds per game. Last season, Brown-Jones appeared in 29 games and started twice, while playing just over two minutes more per game than his freshman season.

In recent weeks, Brown-Jones has seen an increased role while playing some of the best basketball of his VCU career. He scored a career-high 15 points in VCU’s home victory against George Mason on Feb. 23, weeks after earning the first two starts of his career in replacement of an injured Vince Williams.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of Brown-Jones’ career came on Jan. 27, against Davidson. In the dying seconds of the game, Brown-Jones blocked what would have been a game-winning 3-pointer from Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Luka Brajkovic, sealing one of the biggest VCU victories of the season.

The opportunity to start fresh with a new team comes amid a roller-coaster of playing time in recent games. Despite the increase of impact play late in the season, Brown-Jones’ minutes remained inconsistent, with Brown-Jones playing 10 or fewer minutes in five of the final eight games of VCU’s season. In VCU’s three postseason games, Brown-Jones’ high for minutes played was nine, in the loss in the A-10 tournament to Richmond.

Prior to his departure, Brown-Jones was seen to be at minimum a key rotational player for the 2022-23 VCU Rams team.

A Philadelphia native, Brown-Jones initially committed to Penn State before decommitting in early 2019. Brown-Jones committed to VCU in the fall of 2019 after receiving offers from numerous colleges, including fellow A-10 member schools La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and Massachusetts.

VCU’s scholarship situation

As a reminder, men’s basketball coaches can offer a maximum of 13 scholarships per team by NCAA rule.

However, players using the extra year of eligibility granted to 2020-21 basketball players due to the COVID-19 pandemic do not count against this limit.

VCU had three seniors on the roster for the 2021-22 season. Fifth-year senior Levi Stockard III has ran out of eligibility, having used his extra COVID year this past season after three years at Kansas State and a senior season at VCU.

The remaining two seniors, KeShawn Curry and Vince Williams, could remain on the roster and not count against the scholarship limit if they choose to take the extra COVID year of eligibility. Per Wayne Epps Jr. of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Curry will likely not take the extra year, while Williams remains undecided. Regardless, these two players would not count against the 13-scholarship limit.

On March 22, Verbal Commits reported that junior guard Marcus Tsohonis has entered the transfer portal. A transfer from Washington, Tsohonis played a limited role off the bench for VCU and totaled just six minutes of playing time during the NIT in March.

As of March 22, VCU has two scholarships available, assuming Tsohonis and Brown-Jones don’t withdraw from the transfer portal. Here is the roster breakdown for the upcoming 2022-23 season:

Freshmen (2):

Fats Billups (Guard)

Christian Fermin (Forward)

Sophomores (3):

Jalen DeLoach (Forward)

Jayden Nunn (Guard)

Nick Kern (Guard)

Juniors (4):

#0 Jamir Watkins (Forward)*

Ace Baldwin (Guard)

Jarren McAllister (Guard, Redshirt)**

#33 Josh Banks (Guard)

Seniors (3):

Arnold Henderson VI (Guard)***

Hason Ward (Forward)

Jimmy Nichols Jr. (Forward)

*Jamir Watkins did not play in the 2021-22 season due to injury. Assuming he is granted a medical redshirt, Watkins has three more years of eligibility

**Listed as a redshirt sophomore last season, Jarren McAllister has not appeared in a game since the spring of 2020, having missed two seasons due to injuries. He is presumed to have three more years of eligibility.

***Arnold Henderson VI is a preferred walk-on and does not count against the 13-scholarship limit.