Rams’ roster a revolving door

Fred Jeter | 5/16/2024, 6 p.m.
Blink, and you might miss the next basketball player transferring from or into VCU.
Coach Odom

Blink, and you might miss the next basketball player transferring from or into VCU.

Due to the school transfer portal and NIL revenue bidding, college hoops have become a topsy-turvy world and the Rams have been smack dab in the middle of it.

Here’s some background: In Coach Ryan Odom’s first season, a Rams’ roster rebuilt from the year before went 24-4, reached the A-10 tournament final and advanced to the NIT quarterfinals.

Since then, here are the additions:

Jack Clark, 6-foot-10, is coming to VCU as a graduate student after pit stops at LaSalle, North Carolina State and Clemson.

Phillip Russell, 5-foot-11, chose to finish his career at VCU as a grad student following one season at St. Louis, two at Southeastern Missouri and this past season at University of Texas-Arlington.

Terrence Hill, 6-foot-3, incoming freshman, first committed to Utah State (Odom’s previous school) before opting for VCU. He’s from Portland, Ore., but played high school ball in Chandler, Ariz.

False alarm: VCU felt it had a commitment from Jamarii Thomas, the MEAC Player of Year from Norfolk State. However, after about a week Thomas changed his mind and will enroll at South Carolina.

Returning Rams: Coming back for another season will be 6-foot-7 sophomore Alphonzo Billups from Varina, 6-foot-6 sophomore Michael Belle from London, 6-foot-10 Christian Fermin from Pennsylvania, 6-foot-5 senior Zeb Jackson and 6-foot-4 senior Joe Bamisile.

Jackson will be in his third VCU season after transferring from Michigan. Bamisile, out of Monacan High, will be in his second Rams’season after stops at Virginia Tech, George Washington and Oklahoma.

En route: Brandon Jennings, a 6-foot-3 guard who earned Richmond Metro Player of year honors at St. Christopher’s. Jennings signed with the Rams early last winter.

Also, 6-foot-9 Obi Okafor from Hampton is expected to join the action after two red-shirt seasons.

Gone: All-Atlantic 10 guard Max Shulga transfers to Villanova as a graduate student.

High-rising Tobi Lawal, among the NCAA’s leaders in shooting percentage and dunks, transfers to Virginia Tech as a junior.

Jason Nelson, junior guard out of John Marshall, transfers to Youngstown State, Ohio.

Also out of JM, Roosevelt Wheeler, a senior, transfers to East Tennessee.

Players Kuany Kuany and Sean Bairstow finished their college eligibility.

The NCAA allows 13 scholarships. The Rams are at 10 and counting. Expect anything written about the Rams squad on Sunday might be outdated by Monday.