Coaching change may cost VCU its entire recruiting class

The Dagger
New VCU college basketball coach Will Wade smiles at a news conference Wednesday, April 8, 2015, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Mark Gormus)
New VCU college basketball coach Will Wade smiles at a news conference Wednesday, April 8, 2015, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Mark Gormus)

When Shaka Smart left for Texas earlier this month, VCU may have lost more than just the most successful coach in program history.

The Rams also could have to say goodbye to all three members of Smart's final recruiting class.

Tevin Mack, Rivals.com's No. 78 recruit in the class of 2015, has received a release from his letter of intent, ESPN.com reported Tuesday. The 6-foot-6 small forward originally chose VCU in November over UConn, South Carolina and Georgia.

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Mack's decision comes less than a week after fellow Rivals 150 prospects Kenny Williams and Jordan Murphy also received releases from their letters of intent to VCU. Williams, a sweet-shooting 6-foot-2 guard from Virginia, initially chose the Rams over North Carolina. Murphy, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Texas, had previously considered UNLV.

It's unclear at this point whether new VCU Will Wade will be able to persuade any of the three to reconsider and stick with the Rams. Wade, a former assistant under Smart who spent the past couple years coaching Chattanooga, will likely run a similar trapping, up-tempo system to his predecessor's. 

The potential loss of a strong recruiting class is a blow to a VCU program that also must replace departed seniors Treveon Graham and Briante Weber. VCU will build around the likes of highly touted wings Terry Larrier and Melvin Johnson and frontcourt standout Mo Alie-Cox next season.

Rivals.com video of Tevin Mack:

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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