Tag Archives: VCU Athletics

Off-Season Edition: The Week That Was In VCU Basketball

Mo Alie-Cox To The NFL 

Mo-Alie Cox (6-foot-7, 250 pounds) will be the latest college basketball player looking to make a career in the NFL than the NBA, and of course he’ll try to make it in the NFL as tight end.

Cox doesn’t have to look far back for inspiration as Rico Gathers made the same transition last year.  Gathers played basketball at Baylor University and drew 24 NFL clubs for his pre-draft workout. Gathers was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round and is currently on the team’s praactice squad.  Cox can also look at other NFL players like Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, and Antonio Gates as guys who made the transition from college basketball to the NFL.

Cox has told NFL teams he will work out for scouts on April 11, here in Richmond, VA.

Lavar Batts and Mayan Kiir decommit from VCU following Will Wade’s departure 

Lavar Batts Jr. decided to decommit from VCU and recommits to North Carolina State. Batts was expected to get a lot of playing time in his first year at VCU.  Two days later, Mayan Kiir decided to ask for his release from VCU as well. The 6-10, 4 star center was also expected to play huge minutes as a freshman.  New head coach Mike Rhoades will now have three open scholarships to fill this offseason. But the good news for Ram fans is that they were able to keep Marcus Santos-Silva and Sean Mobley, and the future is still bright even though it’s gloomy at the moment.

Ahmed Hamdy considering leaving the program 

Ahmed Hamdy has requested his release from the school and will look at other options for his final year of eligibility. However, Hamdy indicated that his decision to leave VCU is not final, and it’s still possible he will stay with the Rams. As a junior, Ahmed Hamdy averaged 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

RECAP: VCU Rallies Late To Stun Old Dominion 67-64

The VCU Rams and Old Dominion Monarchs rivalry is like no other. There’s a strong hatred between the two schools and it makes for great basketball on the court. Saturday night was another instant classic between the Rams and Monarchs that came down to the final seconds at the Ted Center.

VCU, who came into the game losers of their last two, knew heading to Norfolk this was a must win.

“We had a way about us tonight. We knew we were going to dig it out somehow,” head coach Will Wade said.

The Rams trailed 55-44 with 7:37 remaining, but mounted a great comeback led by senior guard JeQuan Lewis. Lewis scored 12 points during a 16-1 VCU run that was highlighted by a Lewis 4-point play that tied the game at 55. The run by VCU lasted a little less than 3 minutes and once VCU was able to get a lead they weren’t going to let this game slip away.

“I just wanted to be more aggressive, just get the ball to the rim,” Lewis said.

Old Dominion aided the comeback as well, going 13 of 28 from the foul line and missing 9 of 14 in the final stretch of the game.

VCU went 6-of-8 from the free throw line down the stretch, but the Monarchs still had two final looks to either tie or take the lead, but VCU forced a shot-clock violation with 5.8 seconds left, and senior Mo Alie-Cox forced Ahmad Caver into a contested 3-point shot as time expired.

Along with Lewis, freshman De’Riante Jenkins had a breakout performance on the road. Jenkins provided 11 points and 6 rebounds for the Rams, while Alie-Cox handled his own in the paint scoring 8 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and collecting 4 block shots on the night.

B.J. Stith led the Monarchs with 17 points, while Caver added 16.

VCU will returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 17 when it hosts Middle Tennessee State at the E.J. Wade Arena at the Siegel Center at 7 p.m.

VCU Holds Off UNCG To Secure The Victory 65-54

The VCU Rams returned back to the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center Sunday afternoon to face the UNCG Spartans after playing three straight road contests at George Washington, Furman, and Old Dominion. The Rams came into this game losing three of their last four games, which included a loss to former CAA rival Old Dominion, 70-60 in their last outing.

The Rams got off to a slow start in the first quarter as they struggled to defend Nadine Soliman and Bailey Williams as the two combined to score 19 points in the first quarter. Heading into the second quarter down by 5, the defensive energy by the Rams picked up and crashing the offensive glass was a key factor as well in the quarter. Unlike the first quarter, Williams and Soliman struggled to find a rhythm, and it made it difficult for the Spartans to generate any offense as VCU was able to take a 32-28 lead heading into halftime thanks to an 11-0 run.

The Rams defense had a profound impact in this game. VCU scored 13 points off 11 Spartans turnovers.

VCU led throughout the second half and the game was never in question down the stretch as senior guard Keira Robinson hit a corner three to seal the win for VCU.

Robinson led VCU with 15 points and senior guard Ashley Pegram added 9 points.

VCU will play its final nonconference game of 2016-17 at home against Brown on Dec. 29. The Rams will begin Atlantic 10 play with a New Year’s Day home matinee against La Salle.

VCU Loses In Dramatic Fashion To Georgia Tech In Overtime

Coming off a 64-46 loss to Big Ten member Illinois on December 3rd, the VCU Rams were looking for a bounce back performance against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets tonight. The same went for Georgia Tech as they were coming off an embarrassing loss to Tennessee 81-58.

VCU didn’t get the wdsc_6596-4in they were looking for as they fell to Georgia Tech in overtime 76-73, and going forward this loss will sting as VCU makes a push for the NCAA tournament come March. After the game head coach
Will Wade didn’t have a lot to say to the media, and just hinted at having an open conversation with his players.

“I told them what I was thinking and got some of their opinions on some things. We’ll formulate a plan here moving forward,” Wade said.

Forward Justin Tillman had a career night in which he scored 26 points to go along with nine rebounds and senior guard JeQuan Lewis added 16 points, but there will still times throughout the game in which the Rams’ offense was stagnate against the Yellow Jacket’s zone defense.

VCU didn’t pldsc_6613-5ay with much energy in the first half, but in the second half it looked as if VCU was a totally different team. VCU was able to take the lead late in the second half, but Georgia Tech always had an answer for the Rams, forcing the game into overtime.

In overtime, it was all Georgia Tech, even though VCU had multiple opportunities at the end to tie the game that fell short.

Now heading to Norfolk to play Old Dominion on Saturday in a rivalry game, thisdsc_6531-1
may be as close to a must win for VCU early in the season as it can get.

“We’re going to move forward. It’s a tough one,” Lewis said.

(Photo Credits: Chris Richardson)

VCU Battles Back From An Early Defecit To Beat Princeton

After going 2-1 in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament during the Thanksgiving break, with their only loss being to the eventual champions, the then 20th ranked Baylor Bears, VCU returned to the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center to take on the Princeton Bears and things didn’t get off to a great start for the Rams.

Princeton jumped out to a 16-0 lead before VCU started playing their brand of basketball. The Rams started to up the tempo of the game to claw their way back to a tie score at the half. A late 9-0 run in the second half propelled VCU put away Princeton for good by a score of 81-70.

JeQuan Lewis scored 25 points, with 19 of those coming in the first half, to go along with 12 assists, collecting his first double-double of the season. Lewis conintued his stellar play from last week where he was named Atlantic dsc_6023-110 Co-Player of the Week in which he averaged 18.3 points per game, while shooting .500 from the floor. Lewis also knocked down 11-of-23 from the 3-point line, while recording 16 assists and seven steals.

Mo Alie-Cox scored 15 points and had a team-highdsc_6048-4 five blocks, Jordan Burgess chipped in with 12 points while shooting perfect from the floor, and Samir Doughty added 11 points.

VCU was also without one key component tonight. Jonathan Williams, the Rams’ starting point guard missed tonight’s game due to sickness.

Princeton was able to slow down VCU early with  a 1-3-1 trap defense that made the Rams sedsc_6012-1ttle for a lot of 3-pointers, but VCU was able to settle down and take their first lead of the game 44-41 with 18:09 in second half.

VCU made critical free throws down the stretch, and Burgess added a dunk on a breakaway with 44 seconds remaining to put an exclamation point on the game for the Rams.

VCU will head to Miami next, where they will meet Illinois on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. at AmericanAirlines Arena.

(Photo Credit: Kallie Raymond)

VCU Improves To 3-0 As They Head Into The Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament

After a hard fought battle with the Liberty Flames on Tuesday in which the VCU Rams squeaked out a 64-59 victory, it was a totally different story for the Rams on Friday night against the Binghamton Bearcats.

Midway through the first half, freshman De’Riante Jenkins scored six points during 16-0 run by the Rams over a seven-minute stretch that provided a 20-6 lead for VCU. The rout continued minutes later as senior JeQuan Lewis knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers and senior Doug Brooks followed with one of his own during an 11-0 run that pushed VCU ahead 35-14 and the game was never close again.

VCU went on to win by a score of 81-42 and the Rams’ 39-point victory was its largest since November 20, 2014 when VCU dominated Maryland-Eastern Shore 106-66. VCU had its best shooting night of the season as well, shooting 56 percent from the field, including making a season high 11 three pointers. Binghamton’s 42 points also were the fewest by a VCU opponent since the Rams beat Towson 67-42 on January 25, 2012.

Jenkins, who did dsc_5568-4not score in either of the Rams’ first two games this year, had 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, to lead all scorers. He also pulled down 10 rebounds, dished out two assists and recorded a steal and a block in 24 minutes.

VCU freshmen Jenkins, Samir Doughty, Malik Crowfield and Marquell Fraser accounted for 33 points Friday. Doughty recorded his second double-digit game in three contests this season with 10 points.

Four Rams scored in double figures, including senior JeQuan Lewis, who went 4-of-5 from beyond the arc and finished with 12 points. Junior Jonathan Widsc_5731-10lliams added 8 points, 5 assists and 2 steals for VCU.

VCU now will be heading to the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament this week 3-0 and ready to take on their toughest opponents of the season Nov. 23-25. VCU opens against Baylor on Wednesday Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m., then plays either Michigan State or St. John’s in the second game.