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HomeSportsBasketballMike Rhoades guides Penn State into clash vs. VCU

Mike Rhoades guides Penn State into clash vs. VCU


The seventh-place game of the ESPN Events Invitational will pit coach Mike Rhoades and some of his former players against the program they left earlier this year.

Rhoades will direct Penn State (4-2) against his former program, VCU (3-3), on Sunday in Kissimmee, Fla.

In six seasons at VCU, Rhoades led the Rams to three NCAA Tournament appearances and a 129-61 overall record. The Nittany Lions’ job came open when Micah Shrewsberry left for Notre Dame, and Rhoades, a Pennsylvania native, was attracted to the job.

“I’ve known Penn State since I was born,” Rhoades said when he was introduced at his new job. “My dad used to drive us up here for a lot of different things, and I’ve seen games in Rec Hall. I went to basketball camps here. My sister went here, my mother went here, my dad went to graduate school here.

“It’s a cool place. Who wouldn’t want to be here?”

Ace Baldwin Jr. and Nick Kern followed Rhoades from VCU to Penn State. Baldwin is Penn State’s second-leading scorer (11.8 points), and Kern has averaged 6.8 points and 4.3 rebounds.

Penn State is in the seventh-place game after an 89-77 loss to No. 12 Texas A&M and an 88-78 defeat to Butler. Kanye Clary scored a career-high 28 points against Butler and paces the Nittany Lions at 19.5 ppg.

VCU hired Ryan Odom to replace Rhoades. Odom was at Utah State after guiding UMBC when the program became the first No. 16 seed to upset a No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament 2018 against Virginia.

The Rams fell 68-64 to Iowa State in the opening round in Florida and lost by four again Friday, 65-61 to Boise State. Max Shulga’s season-high 24 points and Tobi Lawal’s career-best 14 points weren’t enough for VCU against the Broncos.

“We’re not as efficient as we need to be, the execution is not there,” Odom told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “… We’re trying to get to the basket as much as we can. We rely heavily on Max right now.”

Shulga is averaging 15.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists for VCU.

–Field Level Media

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