Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top Pre-Season Top 25 Player Countdown for the 2016-17 season. Each day, we’ll be publishing a new article counting down our best 25 players for the coming season. Today, we feature #8 Mo Alie-Cox of VCU.
What He’s Done
Alie-Cox has made a name for himself as one of the best two-way players in the Atlantic 10 over his three seasons at VCU. A Third Team and All-Defensive A-10 selection this past year, Alie-Cox averaged a career-high 10.4 points while blocking 68 shots for the second consecutive season, hearing VCU’s “Mo Says No” chant all the way to his third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. In the dance, Alie-Cox put together one of his better performances of his career, a 20-point, 8-rebound, 3-block performance in a win against Oregon State. Big Mo is perhaps one of the league’s more underrated offensive performers, finishing third in the conference last season with a 65.5% true shooting percentage while setting a VCU single-season record for field goal percentage at 61.2%. Defensively Alie-Cox has been one of the most dominating presences in the Atlantic 10, leading the league in total blocks this past season and finishing in the top-three in blocks percentage throughout his career.
What He’ll Do
You can count on Mo to be one of the toughest S.O.B.’s in next year’s Atlantic 10, an elite defender who will play within himself and somehow who will always seems to make the smart play. The big question will be whether or not Alie-Cox can consistently become the leaned-upon star offensive player that VCU can go to without the services of Melvin Johnson on the court.
Mo was incredibly efficient last season, finishing with a 121.7 offensive rating (4th in the Atlantic 10), but Alie-Cox ranked just seventh on VCU’s team with a usage percentage of 15.1%. The Rams may need more of Alie-Cox as an option No.1 than they have in his three previous seasons, so it will be interesting to see how the Alexandria, VA native fairs when VCU absolutely needs him to create while opposing teams are more focused on the dreadlocked big.
It’s hard to believe the man-mountain has yet another season left at VCU and almost unfair to think he gets another summer in the weight room. Expect Alie-Cox to post his best season yet and could have a serious dilemma following his senior year at VCU: NBA…or NFL?
Previously: #9 Scoochie Smith