Virginia Military Institute is a small military (duh) school located in Lexington. It is perhaps most famous for educating many Confederate generals, as well as being the only military academy that doesn’t require a period of service after graduation. Now, it is known for something else: having the fastest coach in America.
Not literally of course, but in 2005 VMI averaged 67.3 possessions per 40 minutes. That was ranked 161st nationally. Then, they hired Duggar Baucom. Baucom, who made the Division 2 regional quarterfinals in his second year as head coach of Tusculum, immediately sped things up. The Keydets’ record wasn’t much better his first year, but they averaged 72.7 possessions a game, 13th nationally. The past three years the Keydets have averaged 90.9 (1st), 79.7 (2nd), and 80.9 (1st) possessions per game.
Their offense hasn’t been that good however. Their highest rank was last year, when they were 94th overall, averaging 106.3 points per 100 possessions.
This year the Keydets are again the fastest team in the country, at 88.7 possessions per game. They are giving up the most points per game (obviously), but what’s more is only two teams give up more points per possession than VMI, who are allowing 117.5 per 100. They allow their opponents to shoot a 61.7 eFG, worst in the country, and 60.2% from 2, 2nd worst nationally.
They’re not much better on offense, as they have an eFG of barely over 50%. They are putrid on the offensive glass, and, as a fun bonus stat, they get more of their shots blocked than any team in the country, at over 20%.
The Keydets are a very young team, as there is only one Junior who gets big minutes and no Seniors. Sophomore Keith Gabriel takes nearly one third of the team’s shots when he’s on the floor. Too bad he has under a 50 eFG. He has already taken 91 threes this year. At their current paces, they would have 3 players take over 200 three pointers, and one almost to 150 threes. If they can make more than 38% of their threes, they might be able to make some noise in the big South.
VMI doesn’t have a great team, obviously, but because of their style they are a very fun team to watch. Here’s hoping we get to see them in the NCAA Tourney.