VCU freshman guard Jairus Lyles will transfer, the school announced on Monday. The 6-foot-2 guard out of DeMatha only played in 22 games and averaged 2.6 minutes per game during his freshman campaign.
Lyles struggled to find his shot during his freshman season as he went 2-for-20 for the season and 1-for-8 from the three-point line.
The Rams have so much depth returning at guard next season that Lyles would have had a tough time cracking the rotation for Shaka Smart’s team.
Treveon Graham, Briante Weber, and JeQuan Lewis all played significant minutes in the VCU backcourt and return next season and Lyles didn’t look very close to contributing in the Atlantic 10 based on the way he played last season.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.