Owls basketball coach Mike Rhoades turned to his old stomping grounds to secure Rice’s first verbal commitment for the 2015-2016 team.
Marcus Evans, a 6-2 senior-to-be point guard at Virginia Beach’s Cape Henry Collegiate recently gave a verbal commitment to Rice. As a junior, Evans averaged 12.6 points, five assists and four steals per game. He was named second team all-state by the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association. His is listed as a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com.
Evans visited the Rice campus in late June. In an interview with Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Evans said Rhoades was the main reason he picked Rice.
“I really believe in what he is doing here at Rice,” Evans said. “I know he is going to turn this program into a national contender, and I know he will help me develop my game from his history of developing guards. Also the academics and opportunities at this school are second to none.”
Evans, who took a visit to St. Louis earlier this year, also was considering Leigh and UNC-Greensboro.
He has been playing with the Boo Williams 17U team this summer and attending various basketball camps.
Anthony Canavos of Phenom Hoop Report said Evans has displayed his elite ability as an on ball defender, thriving in his role of making the life tough for the opposition’s best perimeter player.
Rhoades spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach and associate head coach at VCU. He took the Rice head coaching job in March after Ben Braun resigned. The Rams aggressive defense Rhoades helped implement the past few seasons also appeared to play a role in the recruitment of Evans.
“The 6-2 combo guard hopes to play in a 2-guard system in Houston, with his ability to play strong on-ball defense and pressure the opposition on a full-court scale,” wrote Will Greer of Vantage Hoops. “And although Evans knows that perfect execution of VCU’s suffocating defense will be nearly impossible, he noted that Rhoades brought up HAVOC a couple times in the recruiting process and wants to play a similar style.”
Evans could fight for playing time in 2015-2016. Returning starter Max Guercy is entering his junior season for the Owls and Marcus Jackson will be a sophomore. Dan Peera is a senior.
Jordan Reed from Lucas could play some point guard as a freshman in 2014-2015. Fellow freshmen Bishop Mency and J.T. Trauber could see some time in the backcourt as well. Arizona State transfer Egor Koulechov will have to sit out this season.