The Marist men’s basketball team will play its Bracketbuster matchup in the tonight, as the Red Foxes will take on the Keydets of the Virginia Military Institute. This is the first-ever meeting between the teams.
Virginia Military Keydets
Record: 11-15 (6-8 Big South)
Leading scorer: Stan Okoye (20.9 ppg)
Last game: Loss at Charleston Southern, 92-69
Marist Red Foxes
Record: 7-20 (4-12 MAAC)
Leading scorer: Chavaughn Lewis (15.7 ppg)
Last game: Loss at Rider, 67-63
Marist has won its Bracketbuster game the last two years, against Maine and New Hampshire. The Red Foxes will be looking to make that three in a row against the Keydets, who are tied for third place in the Big South North Division. Senior guard Devin Price will suit up for the game after missing the last four games with an ankle injury, but head coach Chuck Martin said that it is still to be decided if Price will play.
The Red Foxes are coming off a disappointing four-point loss at Rider six days ago in which they shot 50 percent from the free-throw line. Martin said that in preparation for VMI, the Foxes have used the five days between games to work on transition defense and attacking the changing zone defenses they expect to see from the Keydets.
“It’s going to be an up-and-down game,” Martin said.
The Keydets, who rank 13th in the nation in scoring at 77.6 points per game, are coming in on a five-game losing streak. Senior 6-6 forward Stan Okoye leads the squad in both points (20.9) and rebounds (9.0), and ranks 10th in the nation in scoring. Forward D.J. Covington also puts up big number down low, averaging 14.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. Between Okoye, Rodney Glasgow, Brian Brown, and Time Marshall, the Keydets also have several options from beyond the three-point arc, where those four combine for a 35.5 percentage. Marist will look to make use of its size advantage as well, as there is no player besides Covington on the Keydets’ roster over 6-7.
The game will take place in the McCann Arena at 7 p.m. tonight. Next season, Marist will make a trip to VMI as part of the Bracketbuster agreement. MAAC play will resume for the Red Foxes when they take on Siena on Friday, March 1.