Just weeks after Eric Maynor took his last shot and Anthony Grant coached his final game at Virginia Commonwealth University, Joey Rodriguez has notified the basketball program that he will be transferring to another school.
Rodriguez, whose 9.4 points per game were third-best on VCU last season, initially signed with the Rams to play for Coach Grant. When Grant accepted the Alabama coaching job, Rodriguez knew that he wanted to leave the program.
With Rodriguez and Maynor gone, the Rams will have 31.8 points per game to make up. Marist-transfer Jay Gavin will be eligible to play in the upcoming season, and he can provide a decent amount of scoring—the 6'3" shooting guard averaged 12.3 points per game and shot 38.6 percent from three as a freshman.
VCU was hoping for Rodriguez and Gavin to be a dangerous scoring duo in 2009-2010, but now Gavin will need to work with incoming freshman point guard Ben Eblen to create a threat on the perimeter that will open up the middle for Larry Sanders. The program is not 100 percent confident that Eblen will maintain his commitment because of Grant's departure.
Other key players that will need to step up next season are Bradford Burgess—who is coming off of an impressive freshman campaign—Brandon Rozell, and Kirill Pishchalnikov. All are capable of contributing.
The good news for VCU is that Grant played everyone on his team last season—all but two roster members averaged over 12 minutes per game.
Despite losing Grant, Maynor, and now Rodriguez, VCU has the talent to be a contender in the CAA next season because of their experience, potential guard-play, and Larry Sanders.