VMI Keydets basketball
|University||Virginia Military Institute|
|All-time record||859–1,430 (.375)|
|Head coach||Dan Earl (3rd season)|
|Colors||Red, White, and Yellow
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1964, 1976, 1977|
|Conference tournament champions|
|1964, 1976, 1977|
The VMI Keydets basketball team represents the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. They compete in the Southern Conference of the NCAA Division I. They have played their home games in Cameron Hall since 1981. VMI has played basketball since 1908, and had played in the Southern Conference (SoCon) until 2003, when they moved to the Big South. VMI rejoined the SoCon on July 1, 2014. They are coached by Dan Earl.
- 1 History
- 2 Postseason results
- 3 Facilities
- 4 Players
- 5 Coaches
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The VMI basketball program began in 1908 under head coach Pete Krebs, and team went 3–3 in their inaugural season. VMI enjoyed mild success within the first several years of its existence, achieving twelve winning seasons in seventeen years as an independent between 1908 and 1925, including records of 11–1 and 16–1 1920 and 1921, respectively. Pinky Spruhan, who coached the Keydets from 1919 to 1922, had a 38–9 coaching record which still stands as the highest winning percentage of any VMI head basketball coach (.809).
VMI joined the Southern Conference in 1925 at which time they were led by 4th-year head coach W. C. Raftery. After a 7–8 overall mark and 3–5 conference record in their opening season in the SoCon, VMI finished in 20th place or lower in the conference four of the next six seasons. Raftery departed in 1934 with a 68–112 record; the 68 wins are the 4th-most in VMI history.
Throughout the next 30 years, VMI never placed better than 5th in the conference. This stretch included one winless season and two winless conference marks. From 1943 to 1953, VMI failed to win more than five games in any season. The Keydets saw 13 different head coaches, five of which were only tenured for one year.
Louis Miller era
Hired in 1958, Louis "Weenie" Miller became the first coach to lead VMI to an NCAA tournament appearance. After seasons of 5–13, 4–16 and 5–17, the Keydets managed to go 9–11 and 6–8 in SoCon play in the 1961–62 season. The nine wins were the most for the program since 1953–54, and they made their first Southern Conference tournament semifinal appearance since 1941.
Two seasons later, VMI went 12–12 and 7–7 in the conference which was their first non-losing season since 1942–43. Despite being the 4th seed, VMI narrowly ran their way through the SoCon tournament defeating Furman, Davidson, and George Washington in succession. The three wins came by a combined 10 points. In the NCAA tournament, VMI fell to Princeton 86–60. Miller left VMI following the season's end.
Bill Blair & Charlie Schmaus era
VMI returned to mediocrity and losing seasons following their Southern Conference title. Gary McPherson replaced Miller from 1964 to 1969, followed by Mike Schuler, who was tenured until 1972. The Keydets more than nine games in a season in that stretch, including a 1–25 campaign in 1970–71, which is tied for the most losses in a single season in VMI basketball history.
Bill Blair, who also played for VMI, led the Keydets to their first of what would be two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. In 1975–76, the Keydets went 22–10 which including a 9–3 Socon record; it was the school's first winning record in conference play since 1968, and only their second since 1943. After winning the SoCon tournament, VMI defeated Tennessee 81–75 and DePaul, 71–66 in overtime, before falling to Rutgers by a score of 91–75. The team was led by Ron Carter, who went on to be the 26th overall pick selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1978 NBA Draft. The following year, VMI went 26–4, 8–2 SoCon under first-year head coach Charlie Schmaus. After defeating Duquesne 73–66, they fell in the Sweet Sixteen to Kentucky 93–78.
Despite going 21–7 the following year, VMI lost in the Southern Conference tournament semifinals to Marshall. After a dismal 1–25 season two years later, Schmaus departed VMI. Blair went on to become the coach of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets.
Big South Conference
VMI became a member of the Big South Conference in 2003. The first team in VMI's Big South tenure went 6–22 and 4–12 in the conference under Bart Bellairs, who had been the coach since 1994. After a 3–13 conference campaign the following year, Bellairs was fired on February 28, 2005.
Duggar Baucom era
Between 1978 and 2005, VMI had just three winning seasons between head coaches Marty Fletcher, Joe Cantafio, and Bart Bellairs. During that time the Keydets made only two tournament final appearances in 1985 and 1988. Following the firing of Bellairs in 2005, VMI hired Duggar Baucom, a former Tusculum College head coach and North Carolina state trooper.
Baucom's first season as coached saw continued failure with a 7–20 record. However, the next season in 2006–07, VMI reached the Big South Championship game for the first time, despite a 12–18 regular season and 6th seed in the conference. They ultimately fell to Winthrop 84–81. That season was the first in which Baucom implemented a high-scoring, run-and-gun offense which garnered a considerable amount of notability. VMI averaged 100.9 points per game as well as 14.9 steals per game and 442 total three-pointers made, all of which led the NCAA that year.
In 2008–09, VMI reached the championship again, but fell to Radford 108–94. The loss ended the Keydets' season at 24–8, which was tied for the second-highest single-season win total in VMI history. It was highlighted by a season-opening upset win over Kentucky in Rupp Arena, 111–103. Senior twins Chavis and Travis Holmes led the team with 22 and 19.1 points per game, respectively, and ultimately became the highest-scoring twins in NCAA history.
The Keydets reached the Big South final once again in 2012, despite being the 7th seed, but fell to UNC Asheville 80–64. It was the first season since the 2006–07 campaign that VMI did not lead the nation in scoring, ending a streak of five consecutive years. VMI returned to their usual high-scoring pace in 2013–14, leading the nation in scoring averaging 88.3 points. Most notably, the Keydets made their first post-season tournament in 37 years as they accepted an invitation to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. VMI cruised through the first two rounds, defeating Canisius 111–100 and IPFW 106–95. In the quarterfinals they erased a 17-point deficit to defeat Ohio, but fell at home to Yale in the semifinals, 75–62. The loss ended VMI's year at 22–13, which was only the fifth 20-win season in the program's history. On March 30, 2015, Baucom accepted the Head Coaching position at The Citadel.
NCAA Tournament results
The Keydets have participated in three NCAA Tournaments. Their combined record is 3–3.
|1964||First Round||Princeton||L 60–86|
The Keydets have appeared in one CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). Their record is 3–1.
- Cormack Field House (1930s–1980)
Cormack Field House, nicknamed "The Pit", served as the home of VMI basketball from the 1930s through 1980. There were many notable performances in its time, including a trio of SoCon championships and Elite 8 and Sweet Sixteen VMI squads.
- Cameron Hall (1981–present)
The 5,030-seat Cameron Hall has housed VMI basketball since 1981, and does so today. It replaced aging Cormack Field House, which is now used for indoor track and field.
|VMI Keydets basketball retired jerseys|
Other notable players
|Lewis Preston||1990–93||2nd all-time in shot blocks|
|Jason Conley||2001–02||Only freshman to lead NCAA in scoring (29.3 PPG)|
|Chavis Holmes||2005–09||5th all-time points leader, 2nd all-time steals leader, 3rd all-time most three pointers made|
|Travis Holmes||2005–09||8th all-time points leader, leading all-time steals leader, 8th all-time assists leader|
|Stan Okoye||2009–13||4th all-time points leader, 2nd all-time rebounds leader, 4th all-time most FG made, 5th all-time blocks leader|
|D. J. Covington||2010–14||All-time shot blocks leader, 2nd all-time FG percentage|
Individual career records
- Reggie Williams – 2,556
- Gay Elmore – 2,422
- Ron Carter – 2,228
- Stan Okoye – 2,146
- Chavis Holmes – 2,065
- Keith Gabriel – 1,925
- Austin Kenon – 1,767
- Travis Holmes – 1,733
- Ramon Williams – 1,630
- Damon Williams – 1,622
- Dave Montgomery – 1,068
- Stan Okoye – 962
- Bill Ralph – 919
- Eric Mann – 841
- Reggie Williams – 820
- Ron Carter – 809
- Karl Klinar – 760
- Charlie Schmaus – 715
- Steve Powers – 675
- Chuck Cotton – 661
- Richard Little – 608
- Mike Huffman – 480
- Bobby Prince – 452
- Percy Covington – 432
- Kelly Lombard – 383
- Ron Burks – 382
- Reggie Williams – 368
- Travis Holmes – 360
- Darryl Faulkner – 333
- Rodney Glasgow – 325
- Travis Holmes – 309
- Chavis Holmes – 304
- Jason Bell – 240
- Keith Gabriel – 212
- Percy Covington – 196
- Aaron Demory – 180
- Reggie Williams – 175
- Ron Burks – 170
- Willie Bell – 169
- Richard Little – 168
- Lewis Preston – 202
- Eric Mann – 184
- D. J. Covington – 166
- Tim Allmond – 110
- Mike Herndon – 103
- Stan Okoye – 103
- Keith Gabriel – 99
- Matt Murrer – 89
- Stephen Sargent – 64
- Zach Batte – 62
|W. C. Raferty||1913–14, 1922–34||68–112||.378|
|Frank Summers||1934–36, 1947–49||12–61||.164|
|Allison Hubert||1936–37, 1942–43||14–19||.424|
- VMI Visual Identity Standards Manual (PDF). Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Cameron Hall – The Home of VMI Basketball
- "SoCon Adds ETSU, Mercer and VMI"
- VMI Basketball Fact Book
- "VMI dismisses men's basketball coach Bellairs". Yahoo! Sports. February 28, 2005.
- "VMI's high-octane offense producing points and now wins". ESPN.com. August 6, 2009.
- NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Team Scoring Per Game Statistics – 2006–07
- "Yale beats VMI 75–62 in CIT semifinals". USAToday.com. April 1, 2014.
- "Jersey Retirement Ceremony Set for VMI's Reggie Williams"