The Citadel (0-0) at VMI (0-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 8, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cameron Hall (5,800) -- Lexington, Virginia. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: The Citadel 0-0, VMI 0-0 . Away Record: The Citadel 0-0, VMI 0-0. Neutral Record: The Citadel 0-0, VMI 0-0. Conference Record: The Citadel 0-0, VMI 0-0. Series Record: The Citadel leads, 54-45.
GAME NOTES: The third annual All-Military Classic comes to Cameron Hall in Lexington, Virginia today, as the VMI Keydets clash with the Bulldogs of The Citadel.
The Keydets are coming off a 2012-13 season in which head coach Duggar Baucom directed the group to a 14-17 record overall and a split of 16 Big South Conference matchups. The team was able to pick up a 90-86 win versus Longwood during the conference tournament, but then bowed to Charleston Southern, 71-65, in the final game of the campaign.
As for the Bulldogs, members of the Southern Conference, they won a grand total of only eight games all season, two of those coming against Montreat College and Union College, schools that reside outside of Division I. Winners of back-to-back games only twice all of last season, The Citadel's campaign came to an end the second week of March with a 76-61 loss to Western Carolina.
In terms of the all-time series between these familiar foes, the Bulldogs own a 54-45 edge, thanks in part to an 84-76 triumph last season in this event.
Both teams will be back in action on Saturday, finding opponents in Army and Air Force depending on the outcomes this afternoon.
This year's roster for the Bulldogs includes just 11 players, four of whom are freshmen, so to expect too much from the group would be rather unfair given their youth and inexperience. A starter in all 30 of The Citadel's games in 2012-13, Matt Van Scyoc is the top returning scorer for the program after putting up 11.1 ppg, stemming from his 42.5 percent shooting from the floor.
Marshall Harris III was the top passer for the Bulldogs with 155 assists as he too started every game, but his scoring output (6.3 ppg) took a serious hit due to his mere 29.9 percent accuracy from the floor. Surprisingly, Harris was slightly better from 3-point range with 30.2 percent of his attempts falling through. As a team, the Bulldogs were third in the conference with 36.1 percent accuracy from beyond the arc, yet they were 325th in the country in scoring margin with minus-8.8 ppg.
For years the Keydets have focused their efforts at the offensive end of the floor in shooting behind the 3-point line and last season was no exception. In fact, VMI ranked fourth in the country in 3-pointers made with 9.1 per contest and that was a major reason for the group producing 78.2 ppg which was sixth in the nation. However, at the same time the Keydets showed little regard for slowing down the opposition, to the point where they were permitting 77.8 ppg which was fourth-most in the country.
The top two performers for VMI will likely be D.J. Convington and Rodney Glasgow after they averaged 15.0 and 11.7 ppg, respectively. The former also accounted for 7.2 rpg and 3.0 blocks per contest as he was named the 2012-13 Big South Defensive Player of the Year. Jordan Weethee is making a return to action after missing all of last season with a knee injury.
Both sides have several new players on their respective rosters, but with a knack for running up the score and tiring out the competition, the Keydets should be picking up the win in the opener.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: VMI 83, The Citadel 71
11/08 10:40:20 ET