2022 record: 27-8 (15-3) w/ Mike Rhoades (left for Penn State)

Coach: Ryan Odom 26-9 (13-5) w/ Utah State last season. Career 170-106

VCU was in an interesting spot this offseason. With the coaching change that saw Mike Rhodes leave for Penn State and Ryan Odom take his place, they dealt with a ton of roster turnover. Despite losing their top seven scorers, they built the team back up in the portal and should have another successful year in the Atlantic 10.

Lineup Prediction:

PG: Jason Nelson (Richmond 8.3 Pts, 2.3 Reb, 2.0 Ast)

SG: Max Shulga (Utah State 11.9 Pts, 4.5 Reb, 4.0 Ast)

SF: Sean Bairstow (Utah State 10.3 Pts, 5.2 Reb, 2.6 Ast)

PF: Kuany Kuany (Cal 9.0 Pts, 3.9 Reb, 0.8 Ast)

C: Roosevelt Wheeler (Louisville 1.2 Pts, 2.0 Reb, 0.1 Ast)

6: SG Zeb Jackson (5.2 Pts, 1.5 Reb, 1.7 Ast)

7: SG Joe Bamisile (Oklahoma 4.0 Pts, 2.3 Reb, 0.5 Ast) (Double Transfer, Waiver TBA)

8: C Christian Fermin (0.4 Pts, 0.7 Reb)

9: SF Alphonzo Billups (0.3 Pts, 0.5 Reb)

10: SG Michael Belle

11: PF Toibu Lawal (1.3 Pts, 1.1 Reb, 0.1 Ast)

I’m expecting Max Shulga to take another big step this season. He’s improved astronomically each season in his 3 years at Utah State and I don’t expect that growth to stop anytime soon. Sean Bairstow, another Utah State transfer following Odom, should also impress at the A-10 level and be a double digit guy. Cal transfer Kuany Kuany could also have a better season than many expect. Louisville transfer Roosevelt Wheeler, a former 4-star recruit, could show huge improvementsfrom his seasons with the Cardinals.

Despite losing the production that they did, the Rams still have some promising pieces back on the roster. Former Michigan transfer Zeb Jackson could see an expanded role, being the highest scorer remaining from last year. Christian Fermin and Alphonzo “Fatts” Billups were highly regarded recruits in 2022, while Michael Belle was a highly sought after international prospect.

VCU should be near the top of the Atlantic 10 next season even with the tremendous roster overhaul that they had to endure. Ryan Odom and staff have done enough this off-season to field a team that will be competitive in conference play. While an at-large bid might be a stretch in Odom’s first season, the team could compete to win the auto bid. I expect VCU to finish towards the top of the conference.