Thursday nuggets: Current Rams prep for big season while past Rams chase NBA dreams [INSIDER]
The Rams will lose two key pieces with the graduations of seniors Melvin Johnson and Korey Billbury, but may not replace that production piece for piece. How they may make up for those losses is with what could end up a historically good duo in Mo Alie-Cox and Justin Tillman.
Did you know?: Mo Alie-Cox is currently on pace to become VCU’s all-time leader in field goal percentage.
Alie-Cox’s 59% career field goal percentage is currently 19% better than that of former Ram Bernard Hopkins and his 57.1%.
Like Alie-Cox and Tillman, Hopkins saw his career overlap with George Byrd and his 55.7% career mark, checking that duo in at first and third in VCU history prior to the arrival of Alie-Cox on Broad Street. Alie-Cox however has now seen his career overlap with talented Detroit native Justin Tillman, who could maybe even out-shoot (or out-dunk in this case) Alie-Cox, checking in at 58.4% two seasons into his career. Combine the two and you have a duo set for a relentless assault on the basket next season, making them a historically good duo that Ram fans need to appreciate in the moment.
I’m confident they will.
MELVIN JOHNSON ON DISPLAY
Melvin Johnson has a busy travel schedule this offseason. VCU’s new all-time three-point leader was not invited to this year’s NBA Draft combined but has worked out for the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers and will showcase his talents for the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets as well.
It would be a major surprise for Johnson to get drafted so will likely need to impress this summer in NBA Summer League action. My gut says the Bronx native will likely opt for a NBA D-League rout to “The League” like recent teammates Troy Daniels and Briante Weber.
GRAHAM, REDDIC IN NBA D-LEAGUE ELITE MINI CAMP
Like Johnson, former Rams Treveon Graham and Juvonte Reddic have been doing their best to impress NBA scouts this month, in this particular situation doing so through last week’s NBA D-League Elite Mini Camp.
The duo joined 37 other D-League prospects hoping to impress in the two-day event.
Reddic battled a back injury early in the season but eventually fought his way into the Canton Charge’s starting lineup, averaging 12.2 points on 55.4 percent shooting and 6.1 rebounds as a starter.
Like his partner-in-crime at VCU, Briante Weber, Treveon Graham has become one of the D-League’s hottest prospects. Graham averaged 15.7 points and 6.1 rebounds on the year but was particularly effective late in the season thanks to a boost in minutes, averaging 23.7 points from March through the end of the season to go with 8.5 rebounds.
RAM NATION TBT TEAM GETS POWER RANKINGS MENTION
Yes, we’ve hyped the hell out of this thing, but how do you NOT get excited about a VCU team consisting of Joey Rodriguez, Brandon Rozzell, Jamie Skeen, Bradford Burgess, Darius Theus, Michael Anderson, B.A. Walker, Jesse Pellot-Rosa and Larry Sanders playing basketball this summer (especially if you aren’t an MLB fan)?
One TBT blogger released his recent tournament power rankings with Ram Nation checking in at No.13 among the 100+ teams that have registered (only 64 will advance to the actual tournament).