Mo Alie-Cox put the exclamation point on last year’s Havoc defense. The break out performance by Alie-Cox in his redshirt freshman year of play started a chant heard round the Siegel Center and A-10 courts across the country. When he was on the court it was inevitable that at some point “Mo Says No” or “Mo Alie Blocks” would rumble throughout the stands. Since he made an appearance in all 35 games, it became a defensive battle cry among the fans.
Coming in at 6′ 6″ and 250 lbs with a 7′ 1″ wingspan Mo is a formidable force on the court. The announcers made note of it at every game with some version of “this guy should be a football player” as consistent commentary. He doesn’t fit the standard body type of a basketball player, but he came in right on point with the Havoc style of play. Alie-Cox is proof that you don’t have to be lean and sinewy to be quick or efficient on a basketball court. He moves fast for a big man (a recorded 5:40 mile) and can get from an offensive position at one end to defense at the other just in time to thwart an opponents chance at scoring. When Mo Says No it is not subtle, and it’s a big play from a big man. That is why ramnation loves Mo. The big man is supposed to be the guy that crushes the opposing team at the basket, and that is what Mo Alie-Cox does best. What starts as the hope of a shining moment for a scorer is instead thunderous applause for the denial.
Get ready for more defensive dominance this season as Mo returns and has the advantage of being the go to big man, now that Juvonte Reddic has moved on to his post collegiate career. Shaka Smart has developed an intensive off season training regimen and there have been serious summer work outs to prepare the team for Havoc. Expect Mo to be bigger, stronger, and ready to go to war in 2014-15. If past performance predicts future trends then the VCU men’s basketball faithful will have a lot to celebrate over the next few seasons. Alie-Cox posted some impressive stats his freshman year including 48 blocks beating out Juvonte Reddic’s 41 for the season. Even more impressive is a side by side comparison of their numbers their respective first year of play.
Mo played 1 less game and started 8 fewer games than the same time frame for Juvonte, but had 103 more minutes of overall play averaging 14.4 minutes per game. The quick rotations utilized to keep VCU at full intensity means you have to prove you can keep up the pace and deliver to earn those minutes. He didn’t do much shooting with 41 field goals and 79 attempts for his 51.9% average, but he was a perfect 1 for 1 on his 3 point shooting while Juvonte had 50 field goals on 108 attempts with a 46.3% average and with no 3 point attempts. Alie-Cox had more free throw attempts in his first year but his 59.6% didn’t beat Reddic’s 65% as a freshman. Where Mo really made is mark against Juvonte’s freshman stats was rebounding and blocks. Mo had 61 offensive and 65 defensive rebounds for a total of 126 while Ju had 33, 37, and 70 respectively. Here’s your standout stat – if you add Ju’s freshman (7) and senior (41) year blocks you get Mo’s first year number of 48.
That’s not to say that there aren’t growth opportunities, but when you’ve got a player that has an obvious strength you play it up. Shaka is a strategic coach and we’re sure he’ll position Mo so that everyone understands “It’s Havoc You Fear”!