RICHMOND, Va. – VCU Head Coach Mike Rhoades has been named the 2019 Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year, the league announced Tuesday, while Rams' junior guards Marcus Evans (Chesapeake, Va.) and De'Riante Jenkins (Eutawville, S.C.) earned All-Conference honors.
The architect of the Rams' Atlantic 10 regular season championship campaign, Rhoades has led VCU to a 25-6 mark – a seven-win improvement over last season – as well as a 16-2 record in league play. VCU finished 18-15 in 2017-18 and was picked seventh in this season's A-10 Preseason Poll.
Rhoades is the program's first conference Coach of the Year since Anthony Grant collected the honor from the Colonial Athletic Association in 2007. However, it's not the first time Rhoades has been honored for his coaching prowess. The Mahanoy City, Pa. native captured three ODAC Coach of the Year awards during his tenure at Randolph-Macon College in nearby Ashland, Va. from 1999-2009.
Behind Rhoades' direction, VCU tied a program regular-season record with 25 wins. The Rams' 16 conference victories also matched the school high-water mark. The second-year coach has steered VCU to 12 straight wins and a likely return to the NCAA Tournament. VCU is currently receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Top 25 polls.
Evans was named All-Atlantic 10 First Team, as well as to the league's All-Academic squad. A two-time Conference USA First Team selection while at Rice from 2015-17, Evans has led the Rams in scoring (14.2 ppg), assists (3.3 apg) and steals (1.9 spg) this season, despite two Achillies' tendon surgeries in the past 18 months. He's been even better in conference play, supplying 14.9 points, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game, while shooting .475 from the field and .794 from the free throw line.
Evans has totaled more than 20 points in a game five times this season, and the 6-foot-2 point guard scored go-ahead buckets in a pair of wins over Dayton. Evans' inclusion marks the sixth straight year a VCU player has been named to the All-Atlantic 10 First Team.
An interdisciplinary studies major with areas of focus in business and communications, Evans was one of five VCU players to post a GPA of 3.0 or better during the fall semester.
Jenkins was selected All-Atlantic 10 Third Team following a regular season in which he averaged 11.3 points, second-best on the team, as well as 3.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Jenkins has also knocked down a team-high 58 three-pointers. His 14 blocked shots rank third on the team.
VCU, the No. 1 overall seed, will begin its quest for an A-10 Tournament Championship on Friday, March 15 at noon at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Rams will take on the winner of Thursdays game between Rhode Island and La Salle. NBC Sports Network with broadcast that contest.