Ryan Odom replaces VCU’s Mike Rhoades

Fred Jeter | 4/6/2023, 6 p.m.
VCU’s basketball forecast has gone from sunny and bright to overcast and complicated.
Coach Odom

VCU’s basketball forecast has gone from sunny and bright to overcast and complicated.

Here’s the deal:

Last week Mike Rhoades, after six outstanding seasons, resigned to coach at Penn State.

Within hours, VCU replaced Rhoades with Ryan Odom from Utah State.

Immediately, the Rams’ roster for 2023-24 began to take on an “iffy” look.

Standouts Ace Baldwin (Atlantic 10 Player of Year), Jayden Nunn, Jamir Watkins, Jalen DeLoach and Nick Kern all placed their names in the NCAA transfer portal.

They could all return to the Siegel Center, or they could all land elsewhere (possibly at Penn State to join Rhoades). Decisions will likely be made throughout April.

VCU went 27-8 this past season with A-10 regular season and tournament titles and an NCAA berth. With most key players expected to return, prospects for 2023-24 were off the charts.

Coach Odom, 48, coached Utah State to a 26-9 record and the NCAA tournament this past season.

He may be best known for leading Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) to a stunning win over Virginia in the 2018 NCAAs. It was the first time a No. 16 seed had defeated a No. 2 seed.

The son of longtime Wake Forest Coach Dave Odom, Ryan was a standout guard at Hampden-Sydney College. He left H-SC as the school’s all-time three-point shooter.

VCU has endured numerous coaching changes in the past with little, if any, reduction in success. There was a smooth transition from Jeff Capel to Anthony Grant to Shaka Smart to Will Wade to Rhoades.

The Rams have enjoyed 23 straight winning seasons (with 11 NCAA bids since 2009) and sellout crowds at The Stu have become commonplace.

Still, there are worries along Broad Street.

Instead of putting on their dark glasses to view what figured to be a glistening 2023-24, Rams fans are holding their breath.