Why is it that the two best sports to watch – college basketball and the NFL – have the longest offseason? We’re still not even halfway through the college hoops offseason, but here’s what’s gone on in the world of the VCU Rams.
Two transfer out, one comes in
It was long rumored that sophomore point guard Teddy Okereafor would transfer at the end of last season. As predicted, at the end of April, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported that he would transfer to Rider. Okereafor played in 58 games for VCU and averaged just under seven minutes a game. He averaged 1.05 points and 1.5 assists per game, but turned the ball over almost 1.5 times per outing as well.
His best moments as a Ram? Perhaps anytime some newcomer at the Stu would try to pronounce his name. “A-koo-rah-fore,” a Virginia Union radio announcer pronounced it. Against Florida Gulf Coast, in the second game of the season, the live stats simply read “Teddy.”
Not long after the news broke of Okereafor transferring, freshman forward Justin Tuoyo decided he too would leave VCU in early May. The Georgia native played an average of seven minutes per game in 2012-13, averaging 1.1 points and 1.4 rebounds a contest for the Rams in 26 appearances. Tuoyo announced he would follow former VCU assistant Will Wade to Chattanooga.
His best moment as a Ram? When the big man buried a late game 3-pointer against St. Joseph’s in the A-10 Tournament quarterfinals. Tuoyo tried 16 3-pointers in his only season at VCU and made three. But that one, even though it may have been in garbage time, was fun to watch.
Wade’s best moment as a Ram other than his innate ability to recruit? His plaid suits that resembled something you’d see on a picnic table.
In the wake of Okereafor and Tuoyo transferring, VCU picked up Florida State transfer Terrance Shannon. A 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward, who will be eligible to play in the upcoming season, Shannon averaged 7.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game last season with the Seminoles. The senior-to-be will likely play a large part in a rare stacked frontcourt at VCU, that includes the likes of Juvonte Reddic, Jared Guest and freshmen Mo-Alie Cox and Antravious Simmons.
With Wade leaving for Chattanooga, Smart promoted Mike Morrell to assistant coach. Morrell previously served two seasons as director of basketball operations and will be succeeded by Jesse Bopp, who served as a graduate manager during the 2009-10 season when Smart first arrived at VCU. Former graduate assistant Dwight Perry has been hired as the Rams’ video coordinator. He will replace Donny Lind, who left to join former VCU assistant coach Jamion Christian as an assistant at Mount Saint Mary’s.
Associate head coach Mike Rhoades was said to be a finalist for the head coaching jobs at Siena and Florida International, but will remain at VCU.
Reddic invited to Nike’s Big Man Skills Academy
Rising senior forward Juvonte Reddic was one of 14 college players nationwide to be invited to the Nike Big Man Skills Academy headed by NBA big men Amare Stoudemire and Anthony Davis.
The three-day event, which lasted from June 24-26, featured four closed workouts in front of numerous personnel from NBA organizations.
Atlantic 10 home/away pairings announced
This season will be a little different in the A-10’s home/away pairings with the departure of Butler, Xavier, Temple and Charlotte. VCU will have a home-and-home series with four conference schools: Saint Louis, Richmond, Fordham and George Washington. The Rams will host Duquesne, Saint Bonaventure, Rhode Island and George Mason and will travel to Dayton, La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and Massachusetts.