Three Things — April 21: Starter leaves VCU, big mid-major name hits portal, Landers Nolley commits

Eli Boettger | @boettger_eli | 04/21/20

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Welcome back to Three Things!

The intention of Three Things is simple: Keeping you informed. The offseason can be a busy time and college basketball isn’t always on everyone’s radars from April to October.

Here’s how it will work: Every morning, Monday through Friday, we will provide you with three things that you need to know from the previous day. Pretty simple, right? You’ll be amazed by your new college basketball wisdom!

Here are the three things you need to know for April 21.

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Starter leaves VCU

VCU Ram fans were left with unsettling news on Monday as two-year starter Marcus Santos-Silva penned a goodbye message, declaring his intentions of transferring out of the program. The 6-7, 250-pound big man has started every VCU game the past two seasons and averaged 12.8 points and 8.9 rebounds per game this past season.

“My decision has nothing to do with the coaches, they’re always going to be family to me,” Santos-Silva wrote. Given Santos-Silva’s production at a strong Atlantic 10 program, it’s widely expected that the Massachusetts native will wind up at a power-conference school. Several media outlets have listed Santos-Silva as an immediately-eligible grad transfer.

Big mid-major name hits portal

Marcus Santos-Silva wasn’t the only big name to hit the transfer portal on Monday. Evansville’s tumultuous offseason continued with the news that its best returning player, Deandre Williams, will be leaving the program. Williams started in 15 of his 18 appearances last season, averaging 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while hitting 15 of his 33 3-point attempts.

This past season, Evansville was 0-14 with Williams sidelined and 9-9 with him on the court. His high-level efficiency of over 1.2 points per possession and a 64.8 field goal percentage will almost certainly lead the 6-9 forward to a power-conference program this spring.

Landers Nolley commits

The biggest sit-out transfer on the market picked a new school on Monday. Former Virginia Tech wing Landers Nolley chose Memphis over Georgia and Ole Miss and will have three remaining years of eligibility.

Nolley, a product of Fairburn, Ga., enjoyed an excellent freshman season, averaging 15.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game for the Hokies. Even at 6-7 and 230 pounds, nearly half of Nolley’s shots came from 3-point range, where he hit 68 such baskets this past season. It was the second time Georgia missed out on Nolley after having been the runner-up for the 72nd-ranked recruit out of the 2018 class. Nolley figures to have a big role once eligible with Tigers big James Wiseman headed to the NBA Draft and AAC freshman of the year Precious Achiuwa not far behind.


Eli Boettger is a college basketball writer and founder of HeatCheckCBB.com. He has previously worked for Sporting News, DAZN and USA TODAY SMG.

Boettger’s content has been featured by Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, FiveThirtyEight, Yahoo Sports, Athletic Director University, Washington Post, Illinois Law Review and Notre Dame Law Review, among other publications. Boettger is also a current USBWA member and Rockin’ 25 voter.