Vermont Men's Basketball 2014 NIT Tournament Capsule

Vermont Catamounts
America East (22-10, 15-1)


Vermont is making their sixth straight postseason appearance. They have not had much success in the postseason since their massive upset over Syracuse in the Round of 64 back in 2005, but they have dominated the America East for the most. With an experienced squad, the Catamounts had little trouble navigating through the conference this year and ended with just one conference loss.

Big Wins: 11/27 vs Illinois State (87-76), 1/8 at Yale (67-59), 2/27 Stony Brook (69-53)
Bad Losses: 11/16 at Bryant (64-87), 11/21 at Wagner (61-68), 1/24 at Stony Brook (64-67)
Coach: John Becker (3 seasons at Vermont)

Why They Can Surprise:
It is that experience that could lead to success. This group has been through many big games together and it could culminate with another surprise in March. Six of Coach John Becker’s usual nine man rotation are seniors, including four starters. Point guard Sandro Carissimo hits 43.0 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and is the team’s top perimeter threat. Fellow senior Candon Rusin also connects on over 40 percent of his three-point attempts. Vermont does not hoist up too many long balls, but they are extremely efficient when they do. Brian Voelkel is not much of a scorer, but he is one of the most versatile and productive players around. The 6-6 forward easily leads the team with 8.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per contest. The final senior in the regular starting lineup is Clancy Rugg. The 6-8 forward provides the inside game and helps free up space for the shooters.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Back in November Vermont scored 90 points against Duke in a one point loss. However, that offensive output is not the norm. The Catamounts offense can be a little stagnant at times. That usually works for Coach Becker since this team wins games with their defense, but to pull off an upset, the offense is going to have to be firing on all cylinders.

Probable Starters:
Sandro Carissimo, Senior, Guard, 12.6 ppg, 2.2 apg
Candon Rusin, Senior, Guard, 9.6 ppg
Brian Voelkel, Senior, Forward, 6.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 5.8 apg
Ethan O’Day, Sophomore, Forward, 7.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg
Clancy Rugg, Senior, Forward, 13.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Luke Apfeld, Senior, Forward, 7.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Josh Elbaum, Senior, Forward, 1.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Hector Harold, Junior, Forward, 4.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Kurt Steidl, Freshman, Forward, 6.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.2 (179th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.5 (14, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.9 (52, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.3 (15, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (202, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.9 (5, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.1 (56, 2)
Rebound Margin: 5.2 (28, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.0 (152, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (128, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    CBI        First Round loss to Santa Clara
2012    NCAA    First Round win over Lamar
2012    NCAA    Second round loss to North Carolina
2011    NIT        First Round loss to Cleveland State
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Syracuse
2009    CBI        First Round win over UW-Green Bay
2009    CBI        Second Round loss to Oregon State
2007    NIT        First Round loss to Kansas State
2005    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Syracuse
2005    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Michigan State

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules