Penn State is reportedly hiring VCU’s Mike Rhoades as its next basketball coach

Penn State has found its next men’s basketball coach.

Following the loss of Micah Shrewsberry to Notre Dame, the school will announce the hiring of Mike Rhoades from VCU later Wednesday. The appointment will become official once the PSU Board of Trustees’ Compensation Subcommittee formally approves Rhoades’ contract.

According to multiple reports, Rhoades’ deal with Penn State spans seven seasons and is worth more than $3 million a year.

A native of Pennsylvania, Rhoades has brought the VCU to three of the last four NCAA tournaments. Overall, he coached the Rams for six years, posting a 129-61 record with two Atlantic 10 regular-season titles and one A10 tournament title.

Rhoades’ best two seasons at VCU were 2019 and this most recent season. In 2019, the Rams went 25-8 and a 16-2 mark in conference play. This year, VCU finished 27-8 with a 15-3 A10 record. However, VCU lost both seasons in the first round of the NCAA tournament. VCU also competed in the 2021 NCAA tournament, but was unable to play its first-round game due to positive COVID-19 tests under the program.

Before becoming the head coach at VCU, Rhoades spent 10 seasons as the head coach at Randolph-Macon, a Division III program in Virginia. From there he served as VCU assistant under Shaka Smart for six years and then spent three seasons as head coach at Rice.

Rhoades’ VCU teams were known for playing an aggressive defensive style. That will be in stark contrast to the way PSU played 2023 under Shrewsberry. PSU distanced the ground and relied heavily on 3-point shooting and ended up earning an NCAA tournament invite for the first time since 2011 (PSU would have made the 2020 tournament had it not been canceled). The Nittany Lions beat SEC runners-up Texas A&M in the first round before narrowly losing to Texas in the Round of 32. The win over A&M was PSU’s first win in an NCAA tournament since 2001.

Once he arrives at Penn State, Rhoades plans a complete roster reboot. PSU had five fifth-year seniors on its roster. Additionally, senior Seth Lundy opted to report for the NBA draft rather than use his extra year of eligibility, and four others have visited the transfer portal. Two of these were 2022 recruits signed by Shrewsberry, two others were underused reserves from the 2020 class.

Virginia Commonwealth head coach Mike Rhoades works on the bench in the first half of a first round college basketball game against St. Mary’s at the NCAA tournament on Friday, March 17, 2023, in Albany, NY (AP Photo/John Minchillo )

VCU already promising Rhoades replacement?

With Rhoades moving to the PSU, it looks like the VCU has already made progress in hiring his replacement.

According to multiple reports, the VCU is expected to bring in Utah State’s Ryan Odom. Odom is best known for his time at UMBC when his team upset Virginia as the No. 16 in the 2018 NCAA tournament. Odom spent five seasons at UMBC and has been at Utah State for the last two years and has a 44-25 record with the Aggies. USU went 26-9 and reached the NCAA tournament that season.

Odom’s name has been popping up all over the coaching carousel, and reports have surfaced that he has his eye on a return to the East Coast. A North Carolina native, Odom had stints at Furman, UNC Asheville, American, Virginia Tech and Charlotte before becoming a head coach. He was initially in Division II Lenoir-Rhyne before joining UMBC and later Utah State.

Now Odom is about to land arguably the best job in the Atlantic 10.

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