Adam Cheek, Staff Writer
Trenton Fisher, Contributing Writer
All illustrations by Sammy Newman
De’Riante Jenkins – 0 – senior guard
Jenkins heads a returning class of nine players, with the senior guard coming off a season in which he started all 33 games. The 6-foot-5 Jenkins racked up 20 double-digit scoring games and led all black and gold players with 63 buckets from beyond the arc. His average of 11.3 points makes him a solid player to have on the floor at any time — he’s started all of the Rams’ 66 games since he was a sophomore.
Mike’L Simms – 1 – senior guard
The Richmond native returns for his third season of play with the Rams. The 6-foot-5 guard has appeared in all 66 games since he arrived at VCU. He scored double-digit points four times last season, including 15 in 18 minutes during the Rams’ Dec. 30 win over Rider.
Marcus Evans – 2 – redshirt-senior guard
The comeback story of 2018, Evans bounced back from two Achilles tendon tears — barely a year apart — to lead the Rams to the Atlantic 10 tournament and an NCAA tournament berth. Evans was named to the All-A-10 Conference First Team, averaging 13.6 points, 3.2 assists and 1.9 steals last season. He drained at least 20 points five times on the season and had four or more steals three times. Keep an eye on that No. 2 jersey. Fans will be seeing a lot of it this year.
Corey Douglas – 4 – junior forward
The 6-foot-8 Louisville, Kentucky, native is the second-tallest player on the roster, and he makes the most of his height advantage. A prolific shot blocker — he led the team with 51 last year — Douglas made 10 starts in 33 appearances, shooting .511 from the field. He continues to play under Mike Rhoades after beginning his college hoops stint with Rhoades at Rice. Douglas produces well off the bench and is a quality starter. Expect him to start more games on the floor in 2019-20.
Nah’Shon ‘Bones’ Hyland – 5 – freshman guard
Hyland is a four-star recruit who arrived in Richmond electing to play for VCU over suitors such as UConn and Boston College. The Wilmington, Delaware, native averaged almost 30 points in his junior and senior years at St. Georges Tech and led his team to the DIAA Boys Basketball Tournament semifinals. Hyland’s impressive resume also features his title of 2019 Delaware Player of the Year and two selections to First Team All-State. Expect to see him on the floor often and make big plays late.
Vince Williams – 10 – sophomore forward
A southpaw sophomore from Toledo, Ohio, made an immediate impact last season. Williams’ 34 steals ranked third among all VCU players, and he drained a season-best 13 points against Charleston in December. Three of those steals came against rival Richmond in March, and Williams added 6 points, five assists and five rebounds for an impressive slash line. The three-time Toledo Blade Boys Player of the Year led St. John’s Jesuit to a 90-17 record during his high school career.
KeShawn Curry – 11 – sophomore guard
After the Jacksonville, Florida, native made 15 appearances off the bench for the Rams in their 2018-19 campaign, he’s solidified his place on the roster as a solid shooter and a quality guard. Curry’s season-high 8 points in December came off a 3-for-3 shooting day from the paint, and he racked up a shooting average well over .500 in almost 30 attempts. Look for Kyrie Irving-esque antics from the guard who wears the same number as the NBA star.
Tre Clark – 12 – freshman guard
One of four freshmen on this year’s team, a combo guard, Clark brings dynamic scoring ability and adds depth to VCU’s roster. Following his breakout summer of 2018 playing AAU, recruiters began to notice Clark’s skill. During his senior year in Covington, Georgia, playing at Newton High School, he averaged 20 points, six rebounds, and three steals. He led his team to a 22-8 record and a run in the GHSA AAAAAAA State Tournament. He was selected as the 8-AAAAAAA Player of the Year as a senior.
Malik Crowfield – 13 – senior guard
Last year, Crowfield averaged 3.7 points and 1.6 rebounds and shot a team-best 37.6% from 3-point range. He posted double figures on four occasions, including his best game against cross-town rival Richmond, where he finished with 14 points. His development over the past three seasons has seen an already gifted shooter expand his skillset. His biggest asset is the sneaky athleticism he poses at 6-foot-4 and his ability to drive to the basket at any time.
Marcus Santos-Silva – 14 – junior forward
In 2018 Santos-Silva proved to be the Rams’ most improved player. Starting all 33 games, he also posted double-double numbers a team-high six times. One of the most skilled left-handed players in the nation, Silva’s rebounding ability and his excellent passing make him one of VCU’s key players.
Arnold Henderson VI – 15 – freshman guard
Henderson didn’t have to travel far to find a good collegiate fit for his skill set. A Richmond native, Henderson averaged 10 points as a senior at St. Christopher’s and made 34 3-pointers for the Saints. He converted on 88% of his free throws. As a preferred walk-on, Henderson will add depth to VCU’s skilled guard corps.
Hason Ward – 20 – freshman forward
Another freshman, Ward, brings two high school state championship titles to Richmond all the way from Massachusetts. Last year as a senior at Springfield Central, Ward averaged 10.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. His 7-foot-4 wingspan allows for an excellent set of skills on both sides of the ball. His elite shot-blocking ability will be one of the best attributes he brings to the Rams.
Jarren McAllister- 21 – freshman forward
As a three-star recruit in 2018, McAllister was known for his high motor and athleticism. McAllister chose VCU over the likes of Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and others. Along with being a two-time all-state selection and 1,000-point scorer, he led Massanutten Military Academy to a state championship game appearance in 2017. His skills will fit in well with VCU’s up-tempo system.
Issac Vann – 23 – redshirt-senior forward
As a 33 game starter for VCU last season, Vann posted 10.8 points, third-best on the team, along with about four rebounds per game and swiping 40 steals. He also posted double figures on 16 occasions. His physical style of play makes him a huge asset for VCU’s rebounding ability. He also can connect from long range, making him someone every opposing team will have to plan for.