Liberty and VMI meet in Lexington on Saturday afternoon. Can the Flames pick up their first road win while handing the Keydets their first home loss of the season? Find out in our VMI Primer.
1. Team introduction. VMI comes into the game at 8-6 overall and 1-0 in conference. The Keydets defeated Longwood 95-72 on Wednesday night to improve to 8-0 at home on the season. VMI is led by head coach Duggar Baucom who is in his 9th season. The only common opponent thus far has been William & Mary. Both teams lost to the Tribe in Williamsburg, Liberty 84-72 and VMI 97-67. VMI is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings with the Flames.The Keydets are playing their last season in the Big South before moving to the Southern Conference next season.
2. Offense. The Keydets are once again leading the nation in scoring at 89.8 points per game, something they have done 5 times in the past 6 seasons. VMI is shooting 43% from the field and 31% from 3. Freshman Q.J. Peterson leads the team in scoring with 20.6 points per game while seniors Rodney Glasgow and D.J. Covington both score over 16 points per game.
3. Defense. With VMI’s fast-paced offense, the Keydets rank near the bottom of the conference in scoring defense as they allow their opponents to score 82 points per game. VMI ranks 5th in the conference in field goal percentage defense and 3-point field goal percentage defense. The Keydets lead the league in blocked shots, led by D.J. Covington’s 2.93 per game.
4. Player turnover. The Keydets lost the Big South player of the year from a season ago in Stan Okoye. Okoye averaged 21.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game during his senior season. VMI also lost Joe Carr, Nick Gore, Gavin Stephenson, and Dorian Albritton who combined for 31 starts and 12.8 points per game a season ago.
5. Possible starters. A look at the likely starting line-up for the Keydets…
Guard: Rodney Glasgow (#1) – 5’10” 170 pound Senior – is averaging 16.2 points, 5.07 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 40.7% from 3. Glasgow ranks 5th in the Big South in scoring, 4th in assists, and 4th in 3-point field goal percentage.
Guard: Q. J. Peterson (#22) – 6’0″ 170 pound Freshman – is averaging a Big South leading 20.6 points per game to go along with 5.1 rebounds and 2 assists. He is shooting 42.2% from the field and 33.3% from 3. Peterson is coming off a 30 point performance in the Big South opener against Longwood.
Forward: Trey Chapman (#15) – 6’6″ 205 pound Freshman – is averaging 5.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Forward: Jordan Weethee (#40) – 6’6″ 210 pound R-Sophomore – is averaging 9.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He missed all of last season due to injury.
Forward: D.J. Covington (#24) – 6’9″ 235 pound Senior – is averaging 16.1 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.93 blocks per game while shooting 54.2% from the field. He ranks 4th in the conference in rebounding, 2nd in field goal percentage, and 2nd in blocked shots per game. Covington has recorded 6 double-doubles on the season including his 15 points and 16 rebounds against Longwood.
6. Key reserves. Some other key contributors…
Guard: Brian Brown (#3) – 5’11” 185 pound Junior – is averaging 6.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
Forward: Phillip Anglade (#32) – 6’5″ 210 pound Sophomore – is averaging 3.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
7. Prediction. VMI is undefeated at home. Liberty is winless on the road. Keydets 79 Flames 76