New Rice head coach Mike Rhoades received his first verbal commitment in the 2015 class Sunday night, and the player hails from an area that Rhoades is familiar with.
As first reported by Matthew Hatfield of VirginiaPreps.com, Cape Henry (Va.) HS point guard Marcus Evans has verbally committed to attend Rice. Evans, a 6-foot-2 point guard, plays his grassroots basketball for the Boo Williams program.
As a junior at Cape Henry, Evans posted averages of 12.6 points, five assists and four steals per game on a team that reached the Division I title game of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) state tournament. For his efforts last season, Evans was named second team all-state by the VISAA.
In landing Evans, Rhoades took advantage of a state he’s very familiar with considering the fact that he spent the last five years working for Shaka Smart at VCU.
Rhoades and his staff will have six newcomers to coach this season, one of which being former Arizona State guard Egor Koulechov (he’ll have to sit out this season). Of the five players who will be able to play in 2014-15 just one, point guard Jordan Reed, is a guard. Jeremy Jones, Bishop Mency and Maurice Rivers are all small forwards, with 7-foot-1 center Nathan Pollard rounding out the class.
Rice finished the 2013-14 season with a 7-23 record (2-14 Conference USA), and they’ll need to account for the loss of their top two scorers from that team (Sean Obi transferred to Duke and Austin Ramljak graduated). Rising junior guard Max Guercy is the team’s leading returning scorer, as he averaged 9.2 points and 3.2 assists per game last season.