Welcome to A10 Talk’s Preseason Top 25 Player Countdown for the 2018-19 season. Each day, we’ll be publishing a new article counting down our best 25 players for the coming season, as voted on by our staff of writers. Today, we feature #16 Marcus Evans of VCU.
What He’s Done
Rice transfer Marcus Evans is expected to be a scoring machine for VCU in 2018-19; however, an achilles injury suffered this past summer will delay his first game as a Ram. While the exact time of recovery is still up in the air, optimists think that Evans could be back before the start of conference play, if not even sooner. Obviously, the earlier Evans gets back into the lineup, the better off the Rams will be this year. Evans followed Mike Rhoades from Rice where he averaged 19.0 PPG, 3.7 APG, and 3.3 RPG as a sophomore. He shot 39.0% from three in his last year at Rice, adding another lethal shooting threat to the combo of De’Riante Jenkins and Malik Crowfield. While he wasn’t necessarily great at taking care of the basketball (3.7 TOPG), Evans has the court vision to be an effective PG replacement for Jonathan Williams who graduated this past spring. Evans is also very prone to getting to the free throw line — he cashed in on 79.2% of his 226 charity stripe attempts this past season, another bonus for the VCU Rams.
What He’ll Do
Evans’ addition to the VCU lineup creates a very deadly backcourt in tandem with De’Riante Jenkins, Malik Crowfield, and maybe even point guard P.J. Byrd depending on his development during Evans’ absence. If Sean Mobley, Marcus Santos-Silva, and Michael Gilmore can pick up some of the slack left behind by Justin Tillman, this VCU squad looks like a potential sleeper. The Rams will have to get better on defense, and losing the aforementioned rim-protector and big body in the post won’t help matters. Evans not only adds a lot of potential scoring, but he had the 2nd best steal percentage in his conference as a freshman. If Evans can get back to averaging 2.2 steals per game and being a pest on that end of the floor, he’d greatly help out the Rams in containing opposing teams. I think Evans has a shot to be VCU’s best player — if not this season, then he’ll have an even better chance next season. Given his scoring ability at Rice, Evans has proven his talent. We’ll have to see if he can put up similar numbers in a dog-eat-dog Atlantic 10.
Previously: #17 Fatts Russell