#288 R.P.I. Detroit Mercy @ #48 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball squad returns after one of seven NC2A seasons to face a program that has already logged six NCAA campaigns.
The Hokies may or may not have been one trick knee -that was pre-game reported here only- from advancing into the round of 32. Nevertheless, can Buzz and company get back sans 10 years worth of very coachable Zach LeDay and Seth Allen experience/leadership, production, Summa Cum Laude hoops I’s and Q’s, and just some downright git ‘er done moxie, mettle and hooping musk? We shall see, and we see for keeps starting Friday night at 6pm on ACCN Extra down in a now chilling out early November New River Valley…
Head Coach: Bacari Alexander: age=41, 8-23 overall, same at Detroit Mercy. Has a rep’ for: toughness, intensity, epic motivation… and his Pat Riley ‘esque attire swagg! (no bleep!) $475,000.oo +incentives
Peep Alexander was born in Detroit, Michigan. Baller Alexander played high school basketball at Detroit Southwestern H.S. He starred in two seasons of college basketball at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh then transferred to Detroit Mercy. In two seasons with the Detroit, Alexander helped lead the Titans to back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths in 1998 and 1999. He was known as “the enforcer” on the Titans’ 1999 team. From 1999 to 2oo1, Alexander played with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Coach Alexander broke in at his alma of Detroit, then secured come-up-in stints at: OhioU and Western Michigan before making a splash at Big Blue for the Michigan Wolverines. Where coach Alexander was responsible for coaching the team’s post players, developing defensive strategies, scouting opponents and on-court coaching.
Alexander was recognized by CollegeInsider.com’s Runway to the Fashionable Four as the most fashionable assistant coach in the United States in 2oo5, 2oo7, 2oo9, and 2o1o. He was also the runner-up in 2008. No other coach has won the award four times; again; no bleep!
Alexander the speaker is an all the word’s a stage truly talented thespian who inspires creative and motivating pregame speeches, often involving props. For example… before a game against Michigan State, Alexander wore a construction hat and safety goggles while urging the group to “go to work”. Before the team’s Sweet-16 game against Kansas, he placed a picture of a Jayhawk in a birdcage and told the team “The JayHawk needed to be caged”. Before Michigan’s Elite Eight victory over Florida, Alexander sent one of the team’s student manager to purchase a can of Pringles potato chips and then placed a Pringle on the shoulder of each Michigan starter and inspired the team to “play with a chip on its shoulder. Damn yo’, I like coach Alexander already | now imagine him if he nets some actual talent(s).
Detroit Mercy at a glance:
- Picked an interesting 4th in a top heavy Horizon League!
- 346th best in FG percentage allowed (50%)!
- 343th in scoring D allowed (84.8 ppg)!
- 3o4th in rebounding margin (–4.1 rpg).
- 291st in FT-shooting (66.4%).
- 87th in scoring O (77 ppg).
- 73rd in 3-point shooting (37.2%).
- 0 injuries listed. (thank Coach God).
- Pace, tempo, kinda an inner-city version of G.State’s bombs away free flowing offensive set.
- “Titan Territory,” or, “The Boys from Livernois.” As Coach Alexander is coaching mo’ than just hoops, he is coaching culture —or at least attempting to.
- Exciting Titans’ coach’s son Kameron Chatman, is a neighboring Michigan Wolverine 6′9″, 229 lb. r-Jr. transferring P/F who is said to have a skill-set of a G. The former Top-25 recruit in America is also said to bean an elite athlete who put up 4 & 2 at michigan on 37% overall and 26% deep. Apparently he never found his niche in Ann Arbor in two tries there. Though still yet, VT has no Top-25 recruit to its name, achieving or under thereof.
- Likewise, exciting Titans’ coach’s son Jermaine Jackson Jr., a debuting 5′10″ , 174 lb. who was a major VT recruiting target. This dynamic Pt.G mighty mite is said to be a lead-G truth at the One. Big recruiting get for DET-Mercy here folks.
- Last years’ second team all-Horizon selections in team leading scorer (15.4 ppg) #21 Jaleel Hogan and Corey Allen are both back. Jaleel was second in board-work (5.9 rpg) and a whopping 59% shooter overall (0% on threes with 0 3-point attempts). Hogan is a physical hammerhead scorer who can drop high 30’s when his shot is falling. 54% from the charity stripe needs work though this is a temperamental alpha male 6′7″ 266 lb. final year Wing, when not in overly aggressive foul-trouble. Allen is a 6′3″, 2o6 lb., sophomoric shooting-G who swished 14.4 ppg on 46% from beyond the arc in his Horizon League Rookie of the Year first season last year. One of if not the best pure shooter in the Horizon this Allen kid.
- DET-Mercy is said to have one of the best shooting backcourts in the Horizon with 14 ppg Josh McFolley (a lefty with Steph Curry range) back in tow to boot.
- Good size for a small school, five ballers between 6′9″ and 7′ is way more than V.Tech.
- Suffice it to say that defense is not listed above among the Titans, strengths.
- Lotta roster turnover with rookies, transfers, Jr.College incomers; gonna take a minute to gel here.
- Off of only 8 wins the only way to go is, up. Single digit wins for the first time in over a decade, as DET-Mercy had been sneaky good for a spell.
Nearly all seniors here so experience is not a concern. The Jackson Jr. kid is likely to start out as a back-up; so that’s nearly a quality substitute backcourt right there. Isaiah Jones, is a final year is a JUCO though he missed last season due to an injury; and an honor roll student, God Bless. Jones is the second tallest player on this roster, and, at 6’11,” 222 lbs. he is a rim protector and rebounder from the pine. Roschon Prince S/F, g-Sr. 6′7″, chiseled 237 lb. three. Prince is a graduate transfer from Long Beach State. While with the 49ers, Prince averaged 10 ppg and led the team with seven caroms; not bad transferring work if you can get it. Tariiq Jones, t-Jr., Jones is a homegrown motor-city JUCO transfer who is coming back home to ball in Detroit. Jones is another player who is a dynamic scorer. Last year in junior college, Jones showed he could score in a multitude of ways. He shot 50% overall from the floor including 46% from three good for 16 per.
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
Number of Titans who could start @Tech=2 maybe 2.5.
The takeaway here is… yah; DET Mercy is in rebuilding mode and I had thought this to be an easy -even a walkover- season opening VicTory in the 1-hole this season.
However, this is a Detroit Mercy team that has brought in a buncha help; even if “yes”, they needed to bring in the same —as there is something strangely Alabama, nobody, nothing, yet upsetting, State; about this one to me.
As Detroit Mercy does not match-up all that poorly with Buzz’s small ball set(s); all the more so if the Titans suffer an Olympus type shooting night from range.
As there are baskets to be had here for each squad; first one to 75 -possibly even to 80- wins.
Nonetheless, I still like Virginia Tech here, I just no longer love Virginia Tech basketball and my mercurial boy coach Buzz here.
Better mind your pints and quarts vs. such a saucy street crew here coach Williams.
As DET-Mercy is gonna hang around before being finished off, late
(65% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=83, Detroit Mercy=73