VMI's Chavis and Travis Holmes Look To Make History...Again

Tim PollockSenior Writer IMarch 5, 2009

For four years, Chavis and Travis Holmes have been defying odds and proving naysayers wrong. 

After Thursday night’s convincing 78-58 win over Liberty, the brothers will attempt to continue that trend in this Saturday’s championship game of the Big South tournament—and hopefully again when the opening round of March Madness begins.

Make no mistake, however: No matter what happens Saturday, the Holmes twins will leave an indelible imprint on VMI basketball history—racking up a litany of accomplishments that vaulted VMI into national prominence.

A week ago, the twin brother standouts were both named to the 2009 All-Big South Conference teams.  Chavis was tabbed a First-Team All-Conference selection while Travis earned a spot on the conference’s Second-Team.

Chavis’ Big South Conference game stats are borderline absurd.  He ended first in scoring (22.1), first in steals (3.4), first in three-point percentage (44.8 percent), second in free-throw percentage (83.6 percent), fifth in field goal percentage (51.5 percent) and 10th in assists (3.1).  In addition, Chavis only missed double-digit points in one game this season.  

With those kind of numbers—not to mention VMI’s impressive conference and overall record—you have to wonder why Chavis did not earn the Big South Player of the Year Award, which instead went to Radford big man Artsiom Parakhouski.  But that argument is for another day. 

Meanwhile, Travis’ numbers are just as impressive.  A knee injury that forced him to miss seven games kept his numbers from counting toward the conference stats, but his line is just as balanced as Chavis’:  Per game, Travis recorded 19.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 3.3 steals.  He also shot 50 percent from the field and 79 percent from the free-throw line.  

In the season-opening win at Kentucky, Travis dropped 30 points and grabbed seven rebounds.  Against UNCA, he went for a career-high 37 points, and he also has an 11 assist game to his credit (against High Point).  Like his brother, Travis was held to single digit points in just one game.   

For his career, Travis became just the ninth player in NCAA Division I history with at least 1,500 career points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists, and 300 steals.

Combined, the two became the all-time twin brother scoring leaders at the Division I level on January 24, when they scored a collective 47 points versus High Point.

But statistics aside, the two brothers seem to play their best when the lights are the brightest, as evidenced by the combined 38 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, and four steals in Thursday’s semi-final win over Liberty. 

More importantly, however, they limited Big South Freshman of the Year and media darling, Seth Curry, to only 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting. 

Four years ago, VMI was the only Division I team to offer the twins as a package deal.  In two days, the decision to stay together could end up reaping the benefit of every basketball player’s dream: making the NCAA Tournament. 

The final hurdle in VMI’s bid to go dancing is the Radford Highlanders—winners of the Big South regular season crown.  The championship game, Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2, will be played at Radford’s home gym, so VMI has a tall task ahead of themselves. 

Then again, the last time the Keydets visited Radford, they came away with a 15-point win while holding Big South Player of the Year Artsiom (Art) Parakhouski to only two points on four shot attempts.

Something tells me the VMI Keydets, led by senior captains Chavis and Travis Holmes, will be dancing all night long this Saturday night.