The Virginia Military Institute is an interesting place. First and foremost, like all military academies, students there voluntarily give up the typical college lifestyle for wall sits, long runs early in the morning and a strict dress code. Kids at VMI are not sleeping past 6 a.m. and they certainly don’t enjoy the type of luxury that comes from taking a piss in your sink in the middle of the night at Founders Hall.
Now here’s where things get weird. If you attend West Point or the Naval Academy everything is paid for. In fact, at the big three academies you actually receive a monthly stipend to attend — graduates typically leave school with a degree, no debt and some folding money in their pocket. However, there is the five-year service obligation which likely entails sixty months of picking sand out of your asshole and eating camel meat out of plastic bags. To each his own.
However, students at VMI actually PAY for the opportunity to be yelled at by men that have human teeth necklaces in their drawers, men that Dog the Bounty Hunter would be ashamed to share a meal with at a roadside diner. Attendees fork over upwards of $50,000 a year to live under what is essentially authoritarian rule. These kids, young men and women from across this country, forego a typical college experience (but not the insurmountable debt) to ward off homosexual advances and beatings with pillowcases stuffed with oranges. Someone has to explain this to me. How does VMI even stay in business?
VMI is straight garbage, there are probably better basketball teams in prison than what the Keydets will throw on the floor tonight in the Sweater Centre. VMI is currently 3-7 on the season, with two of those wins coming against non-D1 competition (it saddens me to think we can’t judge them for playing such inferior competition). The Keydets best win, their only victory over a division one program, came against Charleston Southern, a five-point victory that set back college basketball possibly for good. How or why Dayton scheduled this game is anyone’s guess. What a bizarre non-conference schedule the Flyers set up for themselves this season.
VMI has an RPI that is hovering around 320, the Keydets are one of the least efficient defensive teams in the land – currently ranked 328th in D1. Opponents have an effective field-goal percentage of FIFTY-SEVEN PERCENT. Please read that last line quietly to yourself. Teams are shooting FORTY-SEVEN PERCENT from three-point land against this team. How in the fuck is this even possible? You could put your average college basketball team on the floor by themselves and they likely won’t knock down 47% of their three-point attempts. It’s just a dumbfounding statistic.
The Keydets hack the shit out of their opposition, turn the ball over at an alarming rate yet play at a fairly rapid pace. Nothing this team does on the floor makes any sense, none whatsoever. The one thing VMI is excellent at is guarding free-throws — opponents are converting just 59.9% of their foul-shots against the Keydets. They must say some deplorable, disturbing shit when other teams are at the foul line. I’m getting physically upset thinking about how bad this VMI squad is. I hope their parents are embarrassed by them.
The Keydets (yeah, I don’t get it either) are led by QJ (is that even a nickname?) Peterson and Julian Eleby. Peterson is the team’s leading scorer, racking up 19.3 points per game and the squad’s top rebounder, averaging 7.1 boards per contest. He’s six-feet tall as well, so I think that should tell you a thing or too about VMI’s rebounding effort. Eleby is a 6’3″ guard, the best three-point shooter on the roster and VMI’s second leading bucket-getter, dropping around fifteen points an outing.
Trey Chapman, Adrian Rich and Fred Iruafemi round out the Keydets’ starting lineup. Chapman averages 10 points and 6 rebounds per game and is the school’s main weed man. Adrian Rich sounds like an early nineties R&B singer who just happens to suit up for what is basically a ROTC program gone wild. Iruafemi is a 6’6″ junior forward, he’s the team’s garbage man.
Keith Smith, Garrett Gilkeson and Will Miller are the main cogs in VMI’s reserve machine, and what a broken down piece of shit it is. Smith is a California kid that probably cries himself to sleep each night, Gilkeson didn’t own a collared shirt until he came to the Institute and Miller has seen things in the shower that he didn’t even know were possible. I think Dayton’s will have these guys under control.
I think for anyone even remotely following college basketball should know just how bad VMI is. They’re not 200+ RPI bad, the Keydets are literally one of the worst teams in the country. Ken Pom has them 322nd out of 351 teams as of this morning. The sad thing is, they suck and they’re not even fun to laugh at or with. Two years ago Dan Earl took over the reigns and then program has slid even further downhill. Not that they were wonderful to begin with, but they did run one of those hyper-paced, three-point shooting systems that would at least be a novelty to watch. The Keydets were the nation’s top scoring team just a few seasons ago, commonly scoring over a hundred points a game with a high-paced offense that got shots up as soon as the crossed the center of the court. Now you have no reason to go. That being said, half my extended family will be there.
When you look at VMI’s numbers, there’s really only one bright spot. FT% defense. So basically they’ve been lucky to play and foul shitty free-throw shooters. Who knows if this is even calculated, probably not. They allow a large amount of three-point attempts and also own the worst three-point shooting percentage in the country. The latter is less under their control than the former. Given their lack of three-point shooting defense, let’s see if this squad is the slump buster Durrrrrrrrrrellllllllll has needed for over a year –this might be the only reason to watch. I’m not holding my breath, though.
I’m going to say the line is Dayton -24, basically because that’s where Pom has them and I feel like huge spreads like this can get pretty random. I wouldn’t expect a ton of movement or action on this game, so it opens and closes there. I was detained at the old real-life job for the Vandy preview, so I didn’t have an estimate there. Two points off openers and seven off closers on the season thus far.
If that lil’ Bonsu fella doesn’t get in then this entire program can fuck right off.