May 09, 2017
RICHMOND, Va. – New VCU Men's Basketball Coach Mike Rhoades is already putting his mark on the program. Rhoades officially announced his first three VCU recruits, Marcus Evans, Khris Lane and Lewis Djonkam, this week.
Rhoades is already pretty familiar with Evans.
The 6-foot-2 guard starred for Rhoades for two seasons at Rice. Evans will sit out the 2017-18 season in compliance with NCAA transfer regulations and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
A Chesapeake, Virginia native, Evans poured in 1,350 points in just two seasons wi/th Rice and was twice named All-Conference USA First Team. Evans averaged 21.4 points and 4.0 rebounds for the Owls in 2015-16 and was named Conference USA Rookie of the Year for his efforts. Evans was a catalyst in Rice's dramatic turnaround under Rhoades. He averaged 19.0 points and handed out 3.7 assists per game last season as the Owls finished 23-12 and reached the second round of the College Basketball Invitational.
"We're super excited to have Marcus join our family here at VCU," Rhoades said. "He had two great years at Rice and helped move that program forward. When he decided that he wanted to make a change, we wanted to make sure we had an opportunity to have him here at VCU.
"He's a super kid from a super family. The kid wants to win, and he'll add a lot to our program. He's a dynamic playmaker and scorer, and every team wants a kid like that."
Lane joins VCU as a graduate transfer from Longwood. He is eligible immediately and will have one year of eligibility remaining.
The 2016-17 campaign saw Lane break out on the court. The 6-6 forward averaged a team-high 17.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on the way to an All-Big South Second Team citation. He shot .537 from the field last season and knocked down 32 three-pointers. In two seasons on the court for the Lancers, Lane averaged 12.7 points and averaged 6.7 rebounds in 63 games, including 51 starts.
A Richmond native and Benedictine High School graduate, Lane began his career at Drexel before spending the past three seasons at Longwood.
"It's nice to have Khris come back to his hometown. He's very excited, as we are, to have a great senior year here at VCU," said Rhoades. "He's a versatile big man who can do a lot. I'm going to ask him to do a lot, put a lot onto him. But being an experienced, versatile player, it's exactly what we need this year coming up, and I think he's going to give us a great lift and bring great energy, great spirit to our program, and we're going count on him to have a great year and help move us forward as the season goes on."
Djonkam, a 6-9, 240-pound center, averaged 11 points and seven rebounds last season at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., the same prep school that produced current Ram De'Riante Jenkins. Djonkam averaged 14.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game as a senior at West Springfield High School in 2015-16.
"I love big men who have high motors that play with great energy and toughness, and he sure does that," said Rhoades. "He had an unbelievable year at Hargrave, and really built his body up and got better on the court. I think his best basketball is ahead of him."
Evans, Lane and Djonkam join fellow newcomers Marcus Santos-Silva and Sean Mobley, who will join the Rams this fall as freshmen.
Rhoades, a former VCU assistant, took over the program in March. The Rams were 26-9 last season and reached the NCAA Tournament for the seventh consecutive year.