With the loss of one of VCU’s best centers they’ve had, the Rams have a huge void to fill in the frontcourt. Juvonte Reddic stole the show many of games with his ability to run the floor. Reddic’s 6-9, 250 IB body and his guard speed will be missed greatly. Reddic’s shoes are large ones to fill, but the Rams have some great candidates for this spot.
Looking into the future, VCU has two players who will likely see time in the center position. Both players have similar and different characteristics which will all work well with Coach Smart’s style of play.
Mo Alie-Cox will likely be the starting center as he played in all 35 games last season. Mo averaged at 3.3 PPG and 3.6 Reb/G. These stats don’t appear to be outstanding at first sight but his minutes played need to be taken into account. Mo earned 505 minutes last season, compare that to Reddic’s 975. With almost double the playing time next season and more training during the off season, Mo will impress even more.
One of Mo’s characteristics that make him a great center is his power and intimidation. Mo knows how to run the court with his strength as he is never one to back down from a block. Being that he had 48 blocks in his 505 minutes says a lot for his attack attitude under the basket. VCU needs his energy and authority in the frontcourt. In addition to his quick hands and defensive skill, Mo’s ability to shoot is yet another reason he will likely start as center. Mo shoots at 52% FG and although he only threw up on 3-point shot, his ability to sink it excited fans. Mo shows versatility on the court and being that he is only a rising sophomore; VCU has a lot to look forward to with this player.
Second, we come to a player who many may not know much about. Antravious Simmons didn’t earn any playing time last season, but he was only a freshman after all. Simmons is not to be over looked as he brings some serious talent to the floor. This 6-9, 250 IB player knows how to use his body, much like Reddic. His frontcourt game is flawless as he waits for the game to come to him before acting. His patience and ability to read the court will be a great asset to VCU because he fits their style. Simmons can read the Rams’ quick plays, set screens and box out, wait for the right time, then finish.
Simmons initially caught eyes from colleges when he won the MVP in the A-Rod Basketball Tournament in his senior year. During this year he also averaged at 18 PPG and snatched an astonishing 15 Reb/G. Simmons obviously has the raw talent needed to thrive under Coach Smart’s guidance. With his time training and practicing with the team more since last season, Fans will know exactly who Simmons is in no time.
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