VMI @ Seton Hall, 12PM
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Television: Hall Pass
Radio: 770 WABC
Projected starting five:
Virginia Military (4-4) will come to Newark on Saturday afternoon fresh off a 25 point loss to Virginia Tech on Wednesday. Prior to the 98-73 loss at VT, the Keydets had scored at least 93 points in six of their first seven contests. Despite being drubbed early in the season against Richmond to the tune of 103-59, the Keydets are still averaging 92.4 points per game. There's no doubt VMI can put points on the board, but make no mistake, their defense is severely lacking, giving up an average of 98.6 ppg!
They'll show up attempting to run with the Pirates, however how long they can sustain a Gonzo-paced basketball game is another debate. VMI is shooting 41% from the floor, whereas the Pirates are shooting 46%, however the Keydets have a slight advantage at the perimeter, shooting 35% to the Pirates 33%. VMI may hang around for the first ten, maybe fifiteen minutes, however it will come down to trading FGs and whether or not the Keydets can break Gonzo's press without committing a flurry of turnovers. By the end of the first half I think the Pirates will have survived a brief test, finding themselves pulling away from VMI heading into the half.
From the SHU Athletics preview of Pirates-Keydets:
Four Keydets are currently averaging in double-figures in scoring including Keith Gabriel, who is averaging a team-best 18.5 ppg. VMI has not won on the road yet this season in three attempts.
Special contributor, 'Piratz' of PirateCrew.com, with another great preview in anticipation of tomorrow afternoon's tip off:
They’ve surrendered at least 86 points in every game played this season with over 100 allowed on 3 different occasions. They’re being scorched for over 98 PPG and are perhaps the worst defensive team in Division I basketball. According to the latest KenPom ratings, VMI’s defensive efficiency ranks #345th out of 347 teams.
* .526 FG%
* .569 2PT FG%
* .342 3PT FG%
* 20.9 turnovers forced per game (+4.8)
* -12.9 rebounding margin
* 11.5 steals per game
* 5.3 blocks per game
At first glance, you'd be surprised at the steals and blocks per game for the Keydets, check out Piratz' review as to why their defensive numbers are deceiving.
And to get the opponents perspective, check out the VMI Athletics preview:
In 2009-10, VMI is shooting to become the first school in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in scoring for four straight seasons. Last season, VMI joined Furman (1953-55) and Loyola Marymount (1988-90) as the only teams to lead the country in scoring for three consecutive years. This year, the Keydets currently lead the nation at 92.4 points per game.
Interesting. No mention of their defensive deficiencies. Take what you will.