Marcus Santos-Silva has been the face of the VCU Rams for the past two seasons, establishing himself as one of the dominant big men in the Atlantic 10. While an undersized 6-foot-7 in height, he became the anchor for VCU in the paint and gave balance to the VCU offense.
He abruptly transferred out of the program after entering the NBA Draft process this offseason. His transfer decision for his final year of school is this week.
Without Santos-Silva, plans now most certainly have to change for VCU entering the 2020-21 season. The Rams lost four starters from last season now that Santos-Silva has moved on.
It is their biggest roster overhaul since Shaka Smart was their head coach. It's an oddity for a program that has become the class of mid-majors for the past decade.
A lot of weight will be on rising sophomore Nah'Shon "Bones" Hyland who is coming off a great first season at VCU. Last season he displayed his explosiveness and playmaking ability in a limited spot in the rotation. He was the backup point guard for most of the season and filled in as a starter for an injured Marcus Evans. By the end of the season, though, he earned the starting role over the senior.
The rest of the roster is a question mark. Corey Douglas will bring experience as a redshirt-senior but has never had more than a role as a spot starter. KeShawn Curry and Vince Williams could likely fill out a starting rotation. Next season will be the biggest ask for any of them in their collegiate careers.
Other than that, the Rams will have to rely on the best recruiting class in the Atlantic 10, according to 247sports. But in an ideal spot, none of those players would even start. Coppin State 7-foot-1 transfer Brendan Medley-Bacon will have to sit a season before he is allowed to play.
Facing the facts, it may be another down year for the Rams. The 2019-20 season came off the rails toward the end of the year. They were on pace to miss the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons. Both of those years having far better rosters than what is projected this upcoming season.
Is it a rebuild? No one probably could go that far. They should be competitive in the Atlantic 10, but not competing for a title or an NCAA Tournament spot. Definitely a place where VCU has not been in quite some time.
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What's next for VCU after Marcus Santos-Silva's transfer? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington