Additions and Subtractions: VCU Rams

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Additions and Subtractions is the latest A10Talk series taking a look at new and departing players in each of the Atlantic 10 programs. Today we examine the roster change-ups for the VCU Rams.

Key Additions:

  • De’Riante Jenkins, SF (6’5, 180 lbs)

Jenkins signing with the Rams makes him a statement recruit for VCU under Will Wade, giving the Rams second-year head coach his first top-100 commit as a head coach. The versatile wing out of Hargrave joins the Rams as the 59th-ranked recruit by ESPN, No.44 by Rivals.com and the 36th rated recruit from 247Sports. The South Carolina native is long and athletic and a legit NBA hopeful who’s getting rave reviews from his summer workouts. Playing a year at Hargrave will help ease Jenkins’ transition into D1 college ball, making him a more likely candidate to get early minutes on what should once again be another talented VCU team.

  • Malik Crowfield, SG (6’4 190 lbs)

With the graduation of Melvin Johnson from last season’s NCAA tournament team, VCU needed to bring in a shooter that could stretch opposing defenses. That’s exactly what they get in Crowfield. The three-star guard was considering Baylor, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Iowa State and Mississippi State but ultimately opted to join Wade and the Rams after a very successful high school career that included three consecutive state championships and a Class 2A Player of the Year in 2014. Crowfield was an elite shooter in high school and also a very good rebounder, averaging over 17.5 points and 11.3 rebounds his last two seasons at New Orleans based Riverside.

  • Marquell Fraser, G (6’5 200 lbs)

A three-star commit from Ontario, Canada, Fraser earned himself a spot on VCU’s 2016-17 roster thanks to his size as a combo guard, defense and work ethic. Fraser played at Mountain Mission School in Grundy, VA and Southwest Christian Academy in Houston, TX before deciding to go back home for his senior season in Canada. He received interest from several high-major teams but due to a “developing” shot, flew a bit under the radar, exactly where Will Will and staff liked him. Fraser won’t become a big-time scorer in the A-10 anytime soon but thanks to his size and defense could perhaps one day turn into VCU’s next Darius Thues.

Key Subtractions

  • Melvin Johnson, SG (6’4, 190 lbs)

Easily the biggest loss for the Rams, Johnson’s graduation means the departure of one of VCU’s best three-point shooters in the history of the program, a hole that could prove difficult to fill next season. Johnson was a crafty scorer and a big-time play-maker, not to mention the on-court leader of last year’s VCU team.

  • Korey Billbury, G/F (6’4, 210 lbs)

Billbury’s time at VCU was brief but productive, getting one year with the Rams after joining VCU as a graduate transfer from Oral Roberts. Billbury averaged 11.4 points at VCU and a career-best 39.3% three-point shooting mark with the Rams, giving VCU yet another three-point hole to fill. Billbury also brought a toughness (4.9 rebounds per game) that you don’t often see from most his size. Billbury’s graduation will likely mean an expanded roll for Justin Tillman, who while not the deep threat of Billbury will give the Rams a larger front court with an extremely efficient scorer who also happens to be one of the conference’s best rebounders.

  • Michael Gilmore, F (6’10, 215 lbs)

Gilmore is an interesting loss for the Rams after averaging just 11.5 minutes this past season. While his playing time was extremely limited (what likely led him to transfer), failing to scratch for the Rams in six of VCU’s last seven games, Gilmore flashed serious potential throughout the season, also doing so in timely fashion (for his eventual transfer) by posting 12 points (4-4 shooting) and eight rebounds in just 20 minutes in VCU’s near-upset of Oklahoma in this year’s NCAA tournament. Gilmore could’ve been a potential breakout candidate in next year’s Atlantic 10 but opted to take his talents to South Beach, joining former George Mason coach Jim Laranaga and his Miami Hurricanes.

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About Author

Mat Shelton-Eide has been involved in college athletics since 2007, starting as a co-founder of VCURamNation.com where he covered the Rams all the way to Houston as the one-time CAA darling shocked the hoops world with a historic run to the Final 4. He has worked within two Atlantic 10 athletic departments, first as a graduate assistant in the VCU Sports Information Department during the '09-'10 basketball season, then after receiving his M.Ed. from VCU's Center for Sport Leadership, as a ticketing and marketing intern in the University of Richmond's athletic department during the inaugural season of Richmond's Robins Stadium, months before the Spiders 2011 Sweet 16 run.

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