Meet the Players: 2018 season brings fresh talent to Men’s Basketball

The 2018-19 Men's Basketball team. Photo courtesy of VCU Athletics.

De’Riante Jenkins – 0 – Junior Guard

Jenkins is one of nine returning roster members, having played the last two seasons for the Rams. The two-year veteran shot an even 75 percent from the free-throw line in 2017-18, scoring 425 points over the course of the season — bested only by the now-departed Justin Tillman. Jenkins averaged 12.9 points last season and put up double-digit points 23 times over the course of the season. He will likely garner a starting gig at small forward for the Black and Gold.





Mike’L Simms – 1 – Junior Forward/Guard

Highland Springs’ Simms came off the bench for all 33 games in the 2017-18 season, establishing a reputation in his first season as a versatile asset. Simms shot more than 40 percent from the field and knocked down 34 3-pointers. The Richmond native racked up 20 points — fueled by six 3-pointers — against George Mason last season and will look to get more playing time as the upcoming season unfolds.





Marcus Evans – 2 – Redshirt-junior Guard

Evans did not play in the Black and Gold Game due to injury, having damaged his Achilles for the second time in two years. Evans was a member of VCU head coach Mike Rhoades’ team at Rice, scoring 1,350 points — an average of 20.1 per game — for the Owls. The crafty point guard will look to return healthy as ever and do some damage for the Rams when he hits the court again. When healthy, Evans should immediately slide into the starting point guard position and serve as the Rams’ leading scorer.





Corey Douglas – 4 – Redshirt-sophomore Forward

Douglas also played with Rhoades at Rice, where he started his career. The Louisville, Ky., native transferred from Tallahassee Community College to VCU. He averaged 13.3 points per game for the TCC Eagles.








Sean Mobley – 5 – Sophomore Forward

Having donned black and gold last season as a freshman, the Florida native started 13 of his last 14 games and appeared in all 33 during the 2017-18 campaign. Mobley proved to be the Rams’ second-most-accurate player from behind the 3-point line, eventually knocking down 30 throughout the season for a .380 percentage. The four-star ESPN recruit racked up eight assists in his first start against George Washington. Mobley is a projected starter in the Rams’ frontcourt this year.





Vince Williams – 10 – Freshman Forward/Guard

The Toledo, Ohio native is one of five new faces on the Rams’ roster. As a recruit, he was ranked in the country’s top-50 small forwards. The All-Ohio First Team selection and three-time All-Northwest District player hopes to make a big splash in his first season on Broad Street. He averaged 19.6 points and 8.2 rebounds at St. John’s Jesuit High School while shooting 62 percent from the field and 75 percent from the line.





KeShawn Curry – 11 – Freshman Guard

The Jacksonville, Fla., product blends in well with the Rams’ fast-paced play. Curry and Douglas both come from Fork Union Military Academy. Curry helped the Blue Devils to a 19-10 record last season. Averaging 19.5 points and 6.2 rebounds in high school, the new addition was selected All-First Coast Second Team and All-Gateway Conference, and racked up 48 points in a single high school contest.





Dylan Sheehy-Guiseppi – 12 – Sophomore Guard

Sheehy-Guiseppi is a sophomore walk-on from Lake Havasu City, Ariz.  He appeared in four games as a freshman, playing a total of six minutes. He brings depth and versatility to the guard position, and he is an athletic scorer and rebounder for the Rams.

“Dylan has been a great contributor to our program; he plays with great energy every day, brings toughness and tenacity that we need in this program,” head coach Mike Rhoades said in a VCU Athletics video.



Malik Crowfield – 13 – Junior Guard

Crowfield is from LaPlace, La. Last year, he appeared in 29 games — making 13 starts — where he averaged 5.8 points and 1.3 rebounds. He shot 35.9 percent (46-128) from 3-point range last season. His 46 3-pointers ranked second on the team. He is a gifted shooter and has shown the ability to play either guard spot. Crowfield projects as the Rams’ starting 2-guard.  

“He is a guy who can shoot, dribble and pass. Very good defensive player, really picks things up easily. We’re going to need him to really step up,” Rhoades said in a VCU Athletics video.



Marcus Santos-Silva – 14 – Sophomore Forward

Last year, the Massachusetts native appeared in 33 games, averaging 3.1 points and three rebounds per game. His 17 blocked shots ranked second on the team last year. While he finished sixth in total rebounds last year, he averaged 12.4 rebounds per 40 minutes, good for second-best on the team. The left-hander is a tenacious rebounder and skilled passer — he will be a key piece for VCU this season on both ends of the floor. Santos-Silva is projected to start down low for the Black and Gold.




Xavier Jackson – 15 – Senior Guard

Jackson is from Hinesville, Ga. He transferred to VCU prior to last season from Sheridan Community College. Jackson appeared in 20 games last season, making seven starts. He averaged 1.3 points and 0.9 rebounds. He adds depth to the guard position for VCU, and his athleticism allows him to be a very good rebounder despite only being listed at 6-feet-3-inches. He is another 3-point threat for VCU this season and will be a key player off the bench for Rhoades.





Michael Gilmore – 22 – Redshirt-senior Forward

Gilmore transferred to VCU after spending two years at FGCU. Gilmore previously played for VCU from 2014-2016, appearing in 56 games for the Rams. In 24 appearances for FGCU last season, he averaged 6.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks. His length and ability to run the floor make him a great fit in Rhoades’ pressing attack. He is a 3-point threat and could be a major key to VCU’s success this year — if he realizes his potential, the stretch-4 could garner major minutes and even push for a starting job as VCU’s predominant rim protector.




Issac Vann – 23 – Redshirt-junior Forward

Vann appeared in 25 games last year, averaging 9.8 points and 3.8 rebounds. The Connecticut native underwent offseason surgery after suffering a high ankle sprain last year that forced him to miss eight games early-on. Vann is a physical slasher, able to connect from the 3-point line and a great defender who can use his long, athletic frame to fill passing lanes to force steals. Vann could push for a starting job this year and should be a key contributor for the Rams.




P.J. Byrd – 24 – Freshman Guard

Byrd is a true VCU freshman who played basketball at George Bush High School in Richmond, Texas. He was selected for All-State his senior year and was named the District 20-6A Most Valuable Player as a junior and senior. He led Bush to four consecutive district championships. As a point guard, Byrd should thrive in Rhoades’ up-tempo system this season.





Adam Cheek Staff Writer

Andy Riddler Contributing Writer

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