The Vermont Catamounts are a men’s college basketball team that represents the University of Vermont. As a member of the America East Conference, they have become a consistent force in both their conference and the NCAA tournament. They are characterized by their disciplined defense, blue-collar work ethic, and efficient offense.
Whether you're a fan of NCAA basketball or just want to know more about this team, we’re going to provide you with a short profile of the Vermont Catamounts to help you learn more, including some of their history, key players, and some information about their coaching staff.
The Vermont Catamounts basketball program has its roots all the way back in 1906, however, it wasn’t until the 1980s, with the arrival of coach Tom Brennan, that they began to sky-rocket in success. Brennan led the team to five separate NCAA tournament appearances, and nine conference championships during his tenure, including an epic upset win over Syracuse in the first round of the 2005 NCAA tournament.
Following the retirement of Tom Brennan, John Becker took over as head coach in 2011, and has continued to advance the team. Becker has led the Catamounts to six conference championships and four NCAA appearances. He has also made sure to cultivate NBA prospects, including Anthony Lamb and Tae Bell-Haynes.
Although the Vermont Catamounts are known for having a strong and talented team, there are a few players who stand out as important players.
Stef Smith is a senior guard who has been a steady force for Vermont his entire career. Smith was named to the All-America East First Team in 2020 after helping Vermont win the conference championship that year. With his athleticism, he is a versatile scorer who can shoot from the outside and attack the rim.
Another key player is Ryan Davis. This is a junior forward who made his debut in the 2020-21 season. Davis was named America East Player of the Year and a finalist for the Lou Henson Award, which honors the top mid-major player in college basketball. Davis was a dominant force in the paint last season, averaging 18.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Ben Shungu is a senior guard known for his tough defense and leadership. Shungu was named to the America East All-Defensive Team in 2021 and has been a key component of Vermont's recent success. He can also score, as he averaged 11.2 points per game last season.
Vermont Catamounts head coach John Becker has been with the program since 2011. Becker has a career record of 200-84, leading Vermont to six conference titles and four NCAA tournament appearances.
Becker is renown for his methodical approach to the game and ability to develop players. He has helped to produce several NBA prospects, including Anthony Lamb and Trae Bell-Haynes. Becker is also a two-time America East Coach of the Year and a Hugh Durham Award finalist, which honors the best mid-major coach in college basketball.
Vermont's coaching staff also includes assistants Kyle Cieplicki, Kyle Downes, and Hamlet Tibbs, in addition to Becker. Cieplicki has been with the program since 2012, and he has been instrumental in player development and recruitment. Downes and Tibbs joined the coaching staff in 2021 and bring with them a wealth of coaching experience.
The Vermont Catamounts have been one of the most consistently successful mid-major programs in college basketball over the past decade. In recent years, they have won six conference championships and made four NCAA tournament appearances. The Catamounts have a reputation for being tough opponents in the NCAA tournament, with close losses to Purdue in 2017 and Florida State in 2019.
One of the hallmarks of Vermont basketball is its disciplined defense. The Catamounts finished last season ranked 26th in the nation in defensive efficiency, allowing just 64.7 points per game. Offensively, the Catamounts are a balanced team that relies on efficient scoring from a variety of players. Last season, Vermont ranked 34th in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting 47.2% from the floor.
One of the key factors in Vermont's success has been their ability to recruit and develop talented players. While they don't typically attract high-profile recruits, the Catamounts have a knack for finding under-the-radar prospects who fit their system and develop into impact players. With the Catamounts, you can always expect some impressive talent on their roster, with underdogs that will come to do great things in their basketball careers!
In short, the Vermont Catamounts are a consistent force in the America East Conference, with a regular presence in the NCAA tournament in recent years. With some legendary coaches, including Tom Brennan and John Becker, the team has grown in both popularity and skill. We hope that this guide has taught you everything you wanted to know about the Catamounts, and that you’re now more confident about them, and how they will fare in college basketball odds. We wish you the best of luck with any future bets!