October 26, 2009
The Hunt for the Most Interesting Team in the World is the Dagger's 2009-10 countdown preview series. Check out the overriding principles here.
Last year's record: 24-8 (13-5 Big South)
2009-2010's toughest games: at Virginia Tech, at Seton Hall, at George Mason
Primary attraction: Can the highest scoring team in the country play enough defense to get back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1977?
Three items of undeniable interest:
1. Offense, offense, offense -- The Keydets were the highest scoring team in the country last season (93.8 ppg) for the third straight year, thanks to a run-and-gun style that's based on quick perimeter shooting. (44 percent of VMI's points came from three-pointers last year, most in the nation.)
2. Defense, defense, defense -- Unfortunately for them, VMI's frenetic offensive style leads to just as many points on the other end of the floor. Coupled with the fact that the regular rotation won't feature anyone taller than six-foot-seven and it's no surprise that the Keydets gave up more two-point baskets than any team in the NCAA in 2008-2009. (They're a team of extremes, that's for sure.)
3. No more twins -- VMI fell short of the NCAA tournament in the Big South final last year (for the second time in three seasons). Getting back there will prove to be tough without the team's top two players, twins (and truth-stretchers) Chavis and Travis Holmes.
An AP picture from last year's Big South championship:
The caption reads:
Radford senior Brayden Deluns, left, yells at a VMI cadet during an NCAA college basketball game at the Big South Conference championship at the Dedmon Center, in Radford, Va., Saturday, March 7 2009. Radford beat VMI 108-94.
I don't know what makes the guy on the left more of a loser: That he's yelling at a guy in uniform or that he celebrated said fact by willingly giving his name to the photographer.