Seven weeks ago, Virginia Commonwealth's 2009-10 season seemed to be swirling down the drain. Head coach Anthony Grant bolted for a higher coaching job at Alabama, senior Eric Maynor had played his last game as a Ram, and new coach Shaka Smart expected then verbally committed recruit Ben Eblen to decommit.
Joey Rodriguez's announcement that he planned on transferring to Division II Rollins College for his junior and senior years put a bitter cherry on top of a cake that was already melting.
After nearly two months of ambivalence, Rodriguez informed coach Smart that he would tear up his transfer papers and return to VCU. With their shooting guard back, VCU will once again be a competitor for the CAA title.
As a sophomore Rodriguez averaged 9.4 points per game and shot 41.6 percent from deep. He is a scorer and would have had a higher average if his point guard was not Eric Maynor.
Rodriguez will be joined by eligible transfer Jay Gavin and incoming freshman Darius Theus in the backcourt. Gavin played shooting guard as a freshman at Marist and was named the 2007-08 MAAC Freshman of the Year. Either Gavin or Rodriguez will probably need to play some point guard as Theus, rated 89 by ESPN.com, adjusts to the college level.
Larry Sanders, Bradford Burgess, and Brandon Rozell will be the other prominent players on the VCU roster.