After the departure of incoming recruit Lavar Batts, VCU has found a solution to its point guard dilemma – albeit one that will be delayed a year. Marcus Evans transferred to VCU from Rice, following head coach Mike Rhoades across the country. Evans, a Chesapeake, Virginia native, will have two years of eligibility after sitting out the 2017-2018 season. Evans offers VCU a point guard with the ability to score and slash into the pain, in a similar vein to graduating senior JeQuan Lewis. Evans averaged 21.4 points per game his freshman season before tallying 19.0 points per game during his sophomore campaign. Evans was regarded as one of the top available sit-out transfers in Division I and was also considering Miami and Arizona as potential destinations.
Evans, while providing a great option for point guard a year down the line, does not solve the Rams’ point guard problem presently. Rising senior Johnny Williams represents the only true point guard on VCU’s roster. Redshirt sophomore Samir Doughty was deputized as a hybrid point guard during stretches of the season and could figure into that role more in 2016-2017. Both players cycled in and out of the starting lineup, showing inconsistent form. At his best, Williams is a player quick enough to get anywhere he wants on the court and has a wide array of moves to finish inside the paint. However, Williams’ jump shot plagued him throughout the season and he became more turnover-prone as teams congested the paint and sagged off him defensively when he was on the court. Doughty, too, showed flashes during his first collegiate season. Doughty represents a player who can be an above-average shooter, with great vision and the ability to creatively distribute the ball. Doughty often would drive to the basket, leave the floor and distribute to VCU’s frontcourt players once he had got frontcourt defenders to commit to his drive. However, Doughty also struggled with turnovers and often found himself in mid-air in situations which lead to numerous turnovers. Evans represents a future solution to a present problem, but between Williams and Doughty the Rams have two experienced guards who grew under the tutelage of Lewis.
Evans fills the void for one of the Rams’ four vacant scholarships. Ahmed Hamdy, who asked out of his scholarship at the end of the season, visited San Diego State last week but has the option to return to VCU for his granted fifth year of eligibility. The Rams are looking at two graduate transfers to bolster their lineup for 2017-2018. University of Virginia graduate Darius Thompson visited VCU last week as a potential destination for immediate eligibility. The 6-4 guard shot 35 percent from the three-point line and 44 percent from the floor in 33 games with the Cavaliers in 2016-2017. The Rams are also expected to schedule a visit with Longwood graduate transfer Khris Lane. The 6-6 Richmond native began his career at Drexel before transfer to Longwood and playing two seasons with the Lancers. Lane averaged 17.1 points per game during his senior season and is also looking at Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island and George Washington.