After an electric two-year stint at VCU, guard Bones Hyland is taking his talent to the professional ranks.
The Wilmington, Del., native said Saturday evening that he will declare for this year’s NBA draft with plans to hire an agent. He’ll look to become the first Ram since Larry Sanders in 2010 to be picked in the draft.
“The past two years with Ram Nation have been the most exciting and rewarding time of my life,” Hyland wrote in a Twitter posting. “The VCU experience will continue to be a part of who I am as a person and an athlete. The lessons learned will be with me forever as I approach my next set of life challenges.”
Hyland put himself in pro-prospect position with his offensive wizardry, which includes outstanding range beyond the arc.
He began to show flashes of it at the end of nonconference play as a freshman in the 2019-20 season, when he played point guard. Hyland hit five 3-pointers in VCU’s nonconference finale that season against Loyola Maryland.
Starting point guard Marcus Evans battled injury in Atlantic 10 play, and Hyland’s playing time increased. He wound up starting the Rams’ final seven games.
For the Rams’ 18 A-10 games in 2019-20, Hyland averaged 11 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and shot 46.5% from 3-point range in 24.1 minutes per game. His overall averages in 31 games, averaging 20.6 minutes, were 9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 43.4% on 3-pointers. The 9 points per game were the most by a VCU freshman since Shawn Hampton averaged 10.3 points in 1998-99.
From the great promise Hyland showed as a freshman, he moved into the starring role for VCU as a sophomore this past season. With Evans, Malik Crowfield, De’Riante Jenkins, Mike’L Simms and Issac Vann gone through graduation, and Marcus Santos-Silva’s transfer to Texas Tech, Hyland became the Rams’ offensive centerpiece.
With strong handles that allow him to create long-range shots and get to the rim, Hyland was the Rams’ leading scorer. He averaged a league-high 19.5 points, plus 4.7 rebounds, and shot 37.1% from 3-point range.
Hyland also took a great leap defensively, finishing second on the team with 45 steals. He slid to VCU’s starting shooting guard spot this past season, with freshman Ace Baldwin taking over starting point guard duties.
Hyland was named the A-10’s player of the year, the first Ram to earn a conference player-of-the-year award since Eric Maynor won it in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2008 and 2009.
Various mock drafts have mostly put Hyland early in the second round. According to a March story by The Ringer, while some NBA executives see Hyland as a second-round pick, others see him as someone worthy of a late lottery pick.
Hyland would be VCU’s youngest draftee. Sanders was a junior, and VCU’s previous 18 draftees were seniors.