Saturday, March 28, 2015

Duggar is out

I am wholly disgruntled.

 Now of course, this info is coming from anonymous sources. Neither school has made an official announcement, and ADs and coaches won't return phone calls until probably Monday. But we pretty much know Duggar is out and his ten-year career at VMI is done.

I'm not sure if this should come as a surprise, because Duggar was woefully underpaid, but you'd have to wonder why he chose to sign two contract extensions the past two seasons if he was so content on leaving in the first place. Did our record this past season have anything to do with it? Maybe. But remember that Duggar was in nearly the exact same spot five years ago - after a 10–19 season he chose to interview with The Citadel and ultimately turned down the job. This time it's a different story.

There's no point in speculating Duggar's internal motives - perhaps he was dissatisfied with something/someone in the administration, didn't think we had a chance to compete in the future, or simply wanted a change of scenery. Whatever the reason, he's gone, and now we'll have to look for a successor. We could bump up Daniel Willis, who's been here as long as Duggar has, and who knows the system just as well. Or we could reach out to Jason Allison, who was an assistant at App State this season and may love to have a head coaching job. Then there's Ramon Williams, who just finished his second season as a VT assistant. He is very knowledgeable about the game of basketball, and having a coach of color might serve as a recruiting advantage.

Ideally you'd try to hire someone that is committed to the run-and-gun system we currently employ, because if we try rebuilding now into some slow, grind-it-out, Princeton offense (a la The Citadel), we might even be worse than we were this year. And for those that say the up-tempo style isn't sustainable - you're wrong. The previous seventy years of VMI basketball clearly indicate that we cannot compete with a traditional offense - just ask El Cid, who was dead last in Division I in defensive efficiency, and has never been to the NCAA tournament in 68 years. Neither has Army in that same time span. This is a problem that all military schools face - the inability to recruit solid athletes and defensive specialists, and the general wearing out of players as the season progresses.

Duggar leaves VMI with 151 wins in just ten seasons, two of which were 20-win seasons and one that resulted in the first national postseason tournament appearance in 37 years. We made the conference tournament title game three times in his tenure - we did so only twice between 1978 and 2006. Duggar was by no means perfect but he did more to revitalize a dormant basketball program than any other coach at a military school in decades. I can't imagine how our players will take it.

It will be very interesting to see how Coach B is received when his Bulldogs visit Lexington next season.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Duggar Leaving?

There's been some murmur lately online that The Citadel may be looking to hire Duggar, according to Jeff Hartsell of the Charleston Post & Courier. I initially speculated that the idea of Duggar leaving was just a baseless internet rumor, but new reports do have some substance to them. He will in fact be interviewing with Citadel AD Jim Senter "soon", but no additional details from either Senter, Dave Diles, or Baucom himself were given. This comes as no surprise.

Of course, the Bulldogs are looking to replace the recently fired Chuck Driesell, who had a distasteful 42–113 record at El Cid in five seasons, including 22–66 (.250) in conference play. Four of those five seasons featured 20+ losses, and Driesell never won more than six conference games in any given year. Of course, you can't fault him entirely - he came in with absolutely zero DI college coaching experience, and didn't quite know what he was doing the first two or three years. After that, they picked it up a bit and I thought this season (11–19, 6–12 SoCon) was the best the 'Dogs had ever been under Driesell. But it wasn't enough, and with an expiring contract Senter had no choice but to part ways.

Could Duggar really leave Lexington to take this job? Apparently he likes the Charleston SC area, but you'd have to question why he would give up everything he has at VMI to go rebuild some 400 miles away at a school that really isn't going anywhere in basketball. And the playing styles of the two schools could not be more different - the Keydets have been running up and down the court and jacking up three's for the better part of nine years, six of which have resulted in leading the nation in scoring (although 3 of the last 4 seasons we have failed to do so, mainly due to the lack of quality shooters).

At The Citadel, it's a different story. The Bulldogs basically run a Princeton offense (though not very well, clearly), predicated on pick and rolls, setting screens, backdoor cuts, and working the clock to find the right shot. You can sell that methodical style at Kentucky or Virginia - not so much at military school.

Citadel's defense, too was awful. Among 351 Division I schools, they ranked dead last in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. VMI, by comparison, was 261st in that category - not good by any stretch, but not nearly as awful as everyone makes it out to be. The only reason we gave up so many points is because we played so fast, averaging 77.1 possessions per 40 minutes, tops in the country. All told, The Citadel simply does not have the athletes to compete with other teams.

And then there are recruiting advantages for basketball in Virginia compared to South Carolina. The only SC schools with an RPI in the top 100 this season were Wofford and Clemson. But in the Commonwealth, there was UVA, VCU, Richmond, Old Dominion, and William & Mary. Among ESPN Top 100 Recruits, four come from Virginia; only two hail from South Carolina. Football is the big deal down there, and you can see why El Cid has never made the Big Dance in sixty-eight years and probably won't for a long, long time.

So would Citadel be any better with Duggar, and should Bulldog fans want him? I'd say yes to both. If you compare his record against those coaches of all other Division I military schools, it's no contest. Duggar is far and away the most successful.

Duggar Baucom
Record at VMI: 151–159 (.487), 10 seasons
Winning seasons: 4
Conference reg. season/tourney titles: 0
Postseason appearances: 1

Chuck Driesell
Record at Citadel: 42–113 (.271), 5 seasons
Winning seasons: 0
Conference reg. season/tourney titles: 0
Postseason appearances: 0

Zach Spiker
Record at Army: 83–98 (.459), 6 seasons
Winning seasons: 1
Conference reg. season/tourney titles: 0
Postseason appearances: 0

Ed DeChellis
Record at Navy: 33–89 (.270), 4 seasons
Winning seasons: 0
Conference reg. season/tourney titles: 0
Postseason appearances: 0

Dave Pilipovich
Record at Air Force: 46–55 (.455), 3+ seasons
Winning seasons: 1
Conference reg. season/tourney titles: 0
Postseason appearances: 1

So given all this, why on earth would Duggar decide to leave Lex?

Well, because money talks.

Baucom currently makes a base salary of around $134k. Diles, who extended his contract last July through the 2018–19 season, did not, for whatever reason, give him a pay raise. Driesell, on the other hand, made $189k per year, a solid 41% more than Duggar. Was Driesell massively overpaid, or Duggar severely underpaid? Probably a little bit of both. Needless to say, I doubt VMI is willing to buy out Duggar's contract.

Other potential candidates for The Citadel include Doug Novak, a former Citadel assistant currently and current head coach at Bethel University, Patrick Beilein, a Utah Jazz assistant, and Earl Grant (College of Charleston HC) has had his name thrown around a couple times. It looks like Duggar is the front runner, and if he says no, I think they'll go with Novak.

As of right now, I'd give Duggar's chances of leaving around 20%. Remember, he was interested for the same job back in 2010 (after that disastrous season), but turned it down. He's still got four years left on his current deal and I think he loves VMI. But the man deserves a bigger paycheck and if we don't give it to him in the foreseeable future, it shouldn't surprise anyone if Duggar decides to bolt.

Monday, March 9, 2015

2014–15: Season in Review, Part II

Yesterday I began the Season in Review by assessing our upperclassmen. Today I will follow up with the underclassmen, plus the walk-ons, and give an overview of the season behind us and the season ahead.

Trey Chapman. Trey, like Jordan, had an inconsistent year and I thought he could've been better. His highlight of the season came very early on, with a forced five-second call and a late game-winning three pointer to give us a win over The Citadel in the All-Military Classic semis, 66-65. After that, Trey bounced up and down. He committed 9 of our 36 turnovers at West Virginia, and scored fewer than five points nine times while averaging 21 minutes/game. Nonetheless, he had two memorable games against ETSU, scoring 14 on the road and a season-high 16 at home, eight of those points coming from the free throw line, where he was a 67% shooter. He's very effective when he gets to the line but rarely gets there to begin with. He's never been much of a three-point shooter (28% this year), but we don't need him to be. At 6'7 he will be depended upon for scoring down low next year, so he needs to bulk up a bit. His footwork was also poor, averaging 2.2 turnovers per game, second only to Eleby. I'd like to see him get to the next level, but he has a lot of work to do.

Julian Eleby. Like QJ, Julian was thrust into a new position this year, moving from a two-guard to a PG following Peterson's departure. Notable games including 19 points in the conference-opening win at Samford, 16 against Navy, 25 against Chattanooga, and of course that 43-point majesty against Western Carolina in double-overtime. Eleby is definitely not an 8-15 3PT shooter, so I view that game as more of an aberration than anything. But we know he can shoot, and for much of the year he did. Julian hit 37% of his three-pointers and 78% of his FTs. He ended up averaging 11.1 PPG and led the team with 2.8 APG (excluding QJ). It will be very interesting to see if he manages to maintain his starting spot in the next two years, whether as a natural SG or a PG. I doubt it, given our talented freshman coming in, but he has shown great potential and is worthy of consideration.

Craig Hinton. Craig was probably the most frustrating player this season. With his 6'7 stature and promising athletic ability, it seemed to me like Craig was never in the right mental state and it showed with the turnovers. Despite playing only 13 minutes/game he managed to turn the ball over 28 times, good for over three per 40 minutes. His 23-point performance against Maryland where he went 6 of 6 from three was about his only highlight of the year. Overall he averaged 5 PPG on 35% three-point shooting, but if you take out that Maryland game, those numbers drop to 4.4 and 30%. I'd suggest Craig spend his time in the film room more than anywhere else.

QJ Peterson. Obviously QJ was away from the school for the final twelve games of the season, and in the time that he did play, he averaged 19.6 PPG and 4.9 APG. The scoring totals sound nice but not when you look at the shooting percentages - 34% overall and a horrid 28% from behind the arc, compared to 32% last season. And he needed more than 17 shots per game to do it. It must be noted, however, he was uncomfortable as a point guard and had a mere three weeks at best to learn the system. He desperately wanted to win but towards the end of his time with the team I thought he was detrimental to our play and was not in the right mental state like his sophomore counterpart Hinton. Luckily, QJ will be back next season and hopefully better than ever. The shooting will undoubtedly come back. I'm more worried about how he handles himself on and off the court. Hopefully he matures and will thrive with a natural PG by his side.

Fred Iruafemi. Fred did not score much this year but did play in all but two games. Remarkably, his only two double-digit scoring games came against East Tennessee State, where he scored 10 on the road, and 16 at home on 8 of 12 shooting to lead us to a comeback win (I give him all the credit in the world for helping us win that game). There must be something about the Bucs he likes. Alas, those were his highest outputs of the season. Fred scored 7 against Western Carolina and 6 against Johnson Univ., but in no more games had more than five points. He averaged 2.5 RPG and 2.8 PPG on 46% shooting in just about 12 minutes. We'll certainly see more of him in 2017 and 2018 but I doubt he'll get significant playing time next season.

Armani Branch. Unlike Fred, we did not see Armani much at all this year. He scored a season-high 14 points against MACU and 12 (plus 6 boards) against Johnson, certainly nothing to brag about. Those were his only double-digit scoring games. He scored two against UNCG and hit a three against Marist; not much else. Armani played in just 13 Division I games for an average of 3.5 minutes. His three-point shooting was bad, very bad - just 13% - but he only took 23 attempts. And of course shortly following the 29-point home loss to UNCG, Branch was suspended, apparently for the remainder of the season, for undisclosed reasons (though we can always speculate). He should come back next year, but we never know. Armani has a long way to go if he wants to contribute, mentally and physically.

Tyrell Mason. Tyrell was on the squad in October, but was taken off the roster before a game was played. From what I've heard the team later asked him to come back due to the dismissal of QJ so they would have enough practice players. He returned before the road Chattanooga game, where he scored his only two points of the year. With a full roster next season, we may have seen the last of Tyrell as a Keydet.

Niles Tate. Niles, a freshman and fan-favorite, scored 2 points against MACU and Furman, with a nice put-back layup in garbage time of a 34-point win in the latter. He played in four games and was a very high-spirited young player. His fellow freshman walk-on Conrad Jenne scored two against MACU as well. Good luck in the future to both of those players.

We struggled this year largely because we couldn't shoot. Why couldn't we shoot? Because we had no facilitator in the offense. 32% three-point shooting isn't going to get it done. If you take that out from our overall 40% mark (last in the SoCon), we shot a shade under 49% on two-point field goals, good for fifth in the league. But compare that to least year, where we shot 52% on two-pointers, second in the Big South behind only Radford. The loss of Covington stung badly, but it was the loss of Jon Elmore that really hurt the most.

Interestingly, Anglade (59.9%) shot the ball slightly better this season than DJ (58.1%) did last season. Their FT shooting certainly distinguished the two, but our problems lied behind the arc. Last year, Glasgow hit 38.7% on threes, which barely cracked the top twenty in the league. Brown was more accurate (38.9%) this year, but he didn't take quite as many. Glasgow was much better at shooting off the dribble, whereas we needed someone to feed Brian on the 3PT line, which we couldn't do as much of. And while Weethee's shooting was better, QJ was much worse, as was Tim Marshall. If we aren't hitting threes, we aren't going to win. It's as simple as that.

Unlike last year, where our six conference losses (tournament included) came by an average of 3.7 points, we did not struggle to win close games this year. Although, this statistic doesn't mean too much, given we lost by 15 points or more six times this season (and that's not including our four guarantee games - WVU, Maryland, Tech, and GWU - three of which qualified). We were also 2-3 in games decided by five points or less. Once the threes didn't fall, we got down early, and we never play well when we get down early.

Looking ahead now. Of our four graduating seniors, only two (Brian and Jarid) had scholarships. Three of our four current commits - Quayson Williams, Austin Vereen, and D'Andre Mahaffey - will have scholarships (Trey Johnson does not). Add in three juniors, four sophomores, and two freshman, and that totals to 12 of our allotted 13 scholarships. This is, of course, assuming that all our current players return (Armani is the only one I have doubts about). So we have one scholarship remaining at a minimum and have still not recruited a big-man, which is concerning. We've proven in the past that we don't have to have a big man to win (see Chavis and Travis for advice on that), but I don't know if we have the shooters or all-around athletes to compete for a top three spot in the SoCon next year.

For the record, Duggar isn't going anywhere. His current contract runs through 2017–18, so he's at VMI until then. I do think he's quite underpaid, which is my only concern going forward. Dave Diles is seemingly not afraid to pull the plug on losing coaches, so I'd like to see at least two winning seasons between now and then.

Next year will be better, but I don't know much better. There's no way our freshman are going to be good enough to lead the team to a top three seed, so we need several players to step up. In particular, QJ, Tim, Phil, and Jordan all need to have better seasons. Our freshman class wasn't very good this year, and what becomes of them is yet to be seen. At least we can put this disastrous season behind us, knowing the future cannot only be better.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

2014–15: Season in Review, Part I

The 2014–15 season was a disappointment to say the least, but in hindsight one that we should have seen coming. Following the untimely departure of Jon and Ot Elmore, our players were awkwardly thrust into new positions and were forced to take roles they had never played before. It was unlike any other year in recent VMI basketball history (save for that debacle in '06 when two players were booted for honor violations, thus creating the impetus for our run-and-gun offense), with no true standout players but a collection of what I like to call "misfit toys" that had no serious direction or cohesion. Our scoring was incredibly balanced, much more so than in recent memory - three players averaged between 10 and 12 points per game, and four more averaged at least 5.

I won't fault our 11–19 record to a lack of leadership (because I think that's just an excuse when you don't know why things are going wrong), but rather to a simple lack of talent and basketball skill. Certainly our players must be commended for their efforts. While there were several games this year that left me dumbfounded (Navy, VaTech, UNC Greensboro #1 and #2, and of course Mercer last night), most of our guys gave it 100% effort the entire way. They just didn't have the size or skill to compete with the quality teams in this league. When you factor in all the roster changes, having 18 players on the team throughout the course of the season (four of which were walk-ons), the Elmore fiasco back in October, and losing QJ midway through the year, it's amazing we even got 11 wins. The guys did all they could, but what they could do wasn't enough.

Below I will asses the seasons of all of our players, starting with our seniors and working my way down. Today will feature the upperclassmen, followed by the underclassmen tomorrow.

Brian Brown. Clearly the most talented among our senior class, Brian served adequately as a shooting guard but suffered obviously from the lack of a true PG. He worked best as a catch-and-shoot player, so rarely did he ever run the floor. I thought we should've used him more when breaking the press, because it looked to me like his ballhandling skills were superior to that of Eleby's. Nonetheless, Brian averaged 10.9 PPG and 1.8 APG, shooting 40% overall and a team-leading 39% from behind the arc. His 29-point, 9-three pointer performance against Furman will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, single-game performances in Keydet basketball history. He scored in every game he played and had double-figures in 7 of his final 8 games. For his career, Brian hit 203 three-pointers at a 36% rate. I wish Brian the best of luck as he commissions into the military.

Christian Burton. This year was by far Chris Burton's most productive one. Having joined the program as a walk-on in 2011, Chris played in 29 games his first three seasons combined with no starts. This year, he played 28 games with 6 starts. He averaged 9.5 minutes/game and averaged 2.8 PPG on 30% 3PT shooting. Obviously he wasn't talented enough to get a starting role but served as a hustling backup point guard who gave 100% effort. Sometimes the effort was a bit unrestrained, as Chris tended to hound opponents defensively which resulted in many needless fouls. He averaged 4.7 fouls per 40 minutes, a pretty bad ratio. However, Chris was never one lacking for intensity and it showed.

Jarid Watson. Our only legitimate center on the team (though I say that hesitantly), Jarid played in every game this year and started eight of those. He shot 55% from the floor but his FT shooting was horrid at 12-29 (41%), albeit a small sample size. He ended up scoring 2.9 PPG and grabbed 3.0 RPG, with 26 total blocks as well, all career highs. Unfortunately Jarid didn't have the footwork or ability to finish at the rim we needed, so he sat behind Anglade for much of the year. He averaged 4 fouls per 40 minutes and his defense was shaky. It's disappointing Jarid wasn't better, especially given his size. We could've used him alongside Covington for a powerful 4-5 tandem. I wish Jarid well in the future.

Phil Anglade. Phil made his way to be my favorite player on this team, not only because of his shot-blocking ability but also his work ethic, hustle, and determination. Phil was, in his first two seasons, by no means a quality rim protector or post presence, but he worked tirelessly in the offseason and throughout the year to hone his craft. He shot exactly 60% from the field this year, tops in the SoCon by far. And he's a much better rim protector than most people give him credit for. He averaged 5.8 RPG (13th in SoCon) and while his 2.9 blocks per game were good for second in the league to Justin Tuoyo, his 5.02 blocks per 40 minutes were far and away the league best. Essentially, what that means is that Phil Anglade is the most efficient shot-blocker in the Southern Conference. And while his FT shooting was atrocious for much of the year, he picked it up in the final five games, shooting 24 of 35 (69%). His work in practice paid off and I have nothing but admiration for Phil. He is bound to get better next year and will be the cornerstone of our defense.

Tim Marshall. Tim had an up-and-down season, with a few more downs than ups. He scored 20 or more points four times, including 25 and 26-point games against Furman and The Citadel, respectively. However, for much of the year his three-point shot wasn't there and we needed it to be, given that 81% of all his FGs were from three. In a four-game stretch late in the year, Tim hit 24 of 56 three-pointers (42.8%), but immediately after that he finished 5 of 23 (21.7%) in the final three games. Hopefully he works on his shot in the offseason, because he will likely be one of our top three or four three-point shooters. Our offense depends on him.

Jordan Weethee. It seemed like Jordan could never string together several consistent games in a row. He bounced in and out of the starting lineup but ended up starting 23 games and playing in all 30 (he is still yet to miss a game in his collegiate career, not including his redshirt season). He missed easy layups here and there, and his three-point shot was wildly inconsistent. Jordan had a seven-game stretch of 6 for 28 from three (21%), a two-game stretch of 6 for 11, a two-game stretch of 1 for 10, a three-game stretch of 7 for 14, and ended the season on a five-game skid of 2 for 11. All told, Weethee shot 32% from three and scored just under 6 points per game. To sum Jordan's inconsistencies in one sentence: he had seven games of 10 points or more, and six games without a single point, including the monstrosity that was the quarterfinal game against Mercer. A consistent season from Jordan next year would be more than excellent.

Tomorrow I will asses our underclassmen, plus the four walk-ons, as well as recap the season in full and postulate about the future.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Postgame Thoughts: vs. Mercer

Our season mercifully came to an end tonight. I wasn't expecting a win coming into the game but I certainly considered it a possibility. Mercer had other plans. They were better coached, outhustled us to loose balls, and did the things it takes to win a basketball game. Our players looked lethargic and uninspired at times but it really came down to making shots and we did none of that. Mercer's defense must be credited, however; they defended the three-point line well (really the only thing you need to do to beat us) and stopped us in the post.

The defense was what we expected it to be; the offense wasn't there. It was certainly reminiscent of the home UNCG game, although a bit more redeeming this time given that Mercer is a top-three team in the SoCon (but not 28 points better than us). Eleby led us in scoring with 22 points on 7 of 17 shooting (1-5 from three). He also had a career-high 11 rebounds, the team leader. I thought he tried to do a little too much, often getting stuffed on drives in the paint and whatnot, but he certainly gave it all he had. Three of our four other starters had double-figures (surprise surprise, Weethee did not score). Marshall had 12, Brian had 11, and Phil had 10 (5 of 8 FG). The problem was both Brian and Tim shot a combined 8 of 25 and 6 of 18 from behind the arc. Add in Eleby, and that last number drops to a chilly 7 for 23 (30%). Not gonna happen.

We got a grand total of 6 bench points tonight. Hinton had a couple more stupid turnovers and just looks lost on the court. It's disappointing to see from a guy with such great potential. We know he can hit the three but his mind just wasn't in the right place for 70% of the season, including the entire second half of the season.

We had 7 assists tonight compared to 14 turnovers, most of which came in the first half (by then the game was decided and Mercer called off the dogs). Stephon Jelks, a freshman for Mercer, scored 12 points off the bench and hauled in 9 rebounds. The Bears shot 53% from the floor, had 20 assists, and outrebounded us 39-33, all without the services of starting guard Darious Moten, who injured his arm in the early seconds of the game and sat out the rest. Hallice and Nwamu, who both destroyed us last time out at Cameron, each had 19. I thought Coach Hoffman told his players to cool the engines with about 10 minutes to go, but our press was so horrid and attenuated that Mercer had no choice but to convert on wide open layups. We were also 10 of 17 (59%) from the line tonight, an appropriate statline to finish the season.

Our three seniors (sans Michael Donovan, who did get some playing time tonight) will certainly be missed.  Brian and Chris were very emotional on the bench in the waning seconds (no need to go into that any further). I really felt bad for them and hate to see us perform so poorly. It looked like the days of old, in the forgetful era of Bart Bellairs and Joe Cantafio. We had no energy and simply lacked the athleticism and pure basketball talent to win.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of Eleby in his final two seasons. We have two scholarship guards coming in next season: Austin Vereen, a 6'4 combo guard from D.C.-powerhouse Maret HS, as well as Quayson Williams, a talented 6'1 pointguard from North Carolina. As far as I can tell both players will compete for playing time and one might just take Eleby's starting spot. Julian certainly showed some bright spots this year, with the 43-point game at Western Carolina, and another 25-point performance against Chattanooga. Despite this he doesn't have the ball-handling skill or play-making ability to be a reliable starting PG. But there's always room for improvement in the offseason.

QJ is almost certainly coming back next season, good news for sure. We definitely could've used his scoring tonight. It's certainly true that QJ struggled mightily in comparison to last season. He got his point-scoring average but the shooting numbers (34% FG, 27% 3PT) were woeful. Quite simply he was playing in an unnatural position and had to take on an entirely new role in the matter of two weeks after that Elmore fiasco. I think he was incredibly uncomfortable in the PG role. Hopefully, he matures this offseason and comes back stronger than ever. We're really gonna need him.

Aside from QJ, next season depends on the play of Marshall and Anglade. Unless you're Kentucky you cannot expect freshman to come in and dominate. Tim had an up-and-down year (mostly down than up), making a living from behind the arc. In his senior year I expect a much more accurate three-point shot. Phil was immensely improved from his Rat and sophomore year. Despite being only 6'3 or so (our roster erroneously gives him a couple of inches), he battled with some of the best big men in the conference all year long and for that should be appreciated. A lot of folks say he isn't a great rim finisher, which is true only if you are comparing him to last year's Covington. Anglade, mind you, led the entire league in overall FG percentage at just a shade under 60%. He certainly has work to do at the free throw line as well, but improved tremendously in the last five games or so. He ended the season connecting on 24 of 35 FTs, boosting his percentage from 35 to 47%. The man is definitely getting better.

Some other questions to be answered: will Armani come back for his sophomore season? He was suspended from the team shortly following the UNCG debacle. Additionally, we should have enough practice players next year so we may have seen the last of walk-on Tyrell Mason (and Niles Tate as well). Or not. Who knows?

Thanks to our four seniors - Brian Brown, Christian Burton, Jarid Watson, and Michael Donovan - for all their contributions to VMI. It's disappointing that Brian was the only one of the four to see consistent playing time over his career. The other two simply weren't good enough to get in, but did what they could in their senior season. Nonetheless, Brian will go down as one of the top ten three-point shooters in program history, and he will be missed greatly. I wish him the best as he commissions into the military upon graduation.

I could talk about Weethee and the freshman and a lot of other things but this article is getting way long and I'll leave it for an end-of-season recap tomorrow (or sometime in the short future). This season will be one to forget, but I'm sure everyone who made it out to a few basketball games can come away with at least a couple good memories. Here's to hoping the baseball team can get VMI athletics back to their winning ways!