clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

VCU’s Brendan Medley-Bacon might be the most underrated transfer of 2020

The Coppin State transfer ranks ninth in school history with 82 blocks, and was one of the best defenders in the MEAC last season.

NCAA Basketball: Coppin State at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Coppin State forward Brendan Medley-Bacon announced he has verbally committed to VCU on April 20. At 7’1, be the tallest Ram since Denis Orlov (7’2), and the first player listed from Maryland since Treveon Graham graduated in 2015.

“Biggest thing for me was to go to a program where I was most comfortable”, he told All Facts Media.

These past four years have been something out of a movie for Medley-Bacon, and he’ll try to build upon that story in Richmond.

Growing Up

Like most ballers with high expectations, Medley-Bacon would practice from sun-up until sun-down. They literally had to turn the lights off in the Baltimore gyms to get him to leave.

From that, he would take a step up every year. He went from rec centers to house leagues to AAU and the steps are even progressing today with his recent move to the A-10.

As his mom said in a May 2019 interview, basketball served a couple purposes to him and his family. He had asthma, but it was unbeknownst to him until he started playing. So, he had to fight through that adversity.

High School Years

Medley-Bacon attended Archbishop Curley High School, a school with very little basketball history, in such a basketball-rich city.

Heading into his junior year, interest from college basketball coaches was at a minimum because Brendan had reached an all-time low in his young basketball career: He fractured his tibia and fibula. This kept him out for much of the season, but he wasn’t going to let it be the end. He knew it was an important season. After taking himself off the AAU scene, he knew it was his main time to attract college interest. After being projected to be out the whole season, he came back to finish off six games towards the tail end of the season.

“This was when I figured out basketball was really was passion, because it was burning me up that I couldn’t play. Like there was one time, I was just laying in the bed crying because I couldn’t hoop,” Medley-Bacon said.

During his senior year, he came back stronger than ever. Brendan gained many accolades, including MIAA Defensive Player of the Year, and being named to First-Team All-MIAA. This led to college interest.

He had public offers from Coppin State and UMES. Along with that, schools such as Maryland, Portland, UMBC and IUPUI showed strong interest.

After a lot of thought though, Brendan decided it would be best to stay home. Coppin State did have a very good physical therapy school, and that was his dream outside of basketball since his middle-teenage years. He never let his height and hoop skills define him.

At Coppin State

Medley-Bacon took a big step in his final year in West Baltimore. After only starting one game for Juan Dixon’s squad during his debut season, it didn’t look that bright for the local boy. He averaged 2.4 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 10.4 points per contest.

In Coppin’s best win of the season, he did show bright spots. Coppin State went down to Durham and upset NC Central, the team who would ultimately represent the MEAC in the NCAA Tournament. He scored 11 points off the bench, shooting a team best 5-7 from the field.

During his sophomore season, he would have many more games like that. It all started at a game against red-hot Bethune-Cookman, his first double-digit rebounding performance. From there, Brendan would pick-up double-digit rebounds in 11 of his final 13 games including a school record 24 against Morgan State.

Also, after shooting 43% in the non-conference portion of the schedule, he scored double digits in eight conference contests and finished the season with a 45% field goal percentage.

His offense is not what caught the attention of the likes of Cincinnati, Maryland, Oregon State, Syracuse and VCU to name a few; instead it was his defensive and rebounding skills.

During the 2019-20 season, he was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Week four times, MEAC Player of the Week once, and a member of the MEAC Third Team. Along with this, he skyrocketed up to ninth in Coppin State’s history with 82 blocks. His 66 blocks were also the third-most blocks in a season in program history. Some, including his teammate Justin Steers thought he was robbed of the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Announcement

When Medley-Bacon put his name in the transfer portal on March 25, he wasn’t the first Eagle to do so, but he was by far the most impactful.

Right away he gained interest from some of the top mid-major schools. It took him about a month to make his decision after being contacted by numerous D1 programs.

On Wednesday, April 20, in an interview with his former Coppin State teammates, the very talented Andrew and Aaron Robinson , Medley-Bacon announced he would be attending VCU.

Medley-Bacon will be the twelfth scholarship player for coach Mike Rhodes.

Prediction

Unless the proposed transfer rules change this summer, Medley-Bacon will have to sit out next season. He does have two years remaining, and his size will be unmatched in the A-10. As of now, he is the only seven-footer in the league.

If he can play next season and Marcus Santos-Silva returns to VCU, the Rams could have the scariest frontcourt in all mid-major basketball. Right now, the Rams only return two of their top six scorers from the 2019-20 season, and one of those is Santos-Silva.

If Nah’shon “Bones” Hyland and another young guard emerges as a scoring threat, the Rams could get into the NCAA Tournament picture.