#274 R.P.I. UNC-G @ #1o1 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech returns to action after what our very own Mike Burnup described as prolly the second most severe broadcast-able word in all of sports … “soft.”
As none other than our vaunted color commentator took our beloved Hokies to task in a rather hardcore on-air way for being so damn Charmin or “squeezably soft” last weekend during a rout and the finally score (actually) did not paint the picture of just rammed we got almost exactly a week ago. 7-4 overall may not be that bad of a record for coach J’s and company at nearly the 1/3rd mark of the 2013-2014 campaign. However, one does have to wonder if that level of a butt-kicking taken good and hard from size 30 point beat-down up at V.c.u. will leave a mark? And if Virginia Tech and coach J’s may still be playing Coach Shaka and company when this one tips off?
Today’s word is … soft
adjective, soft·er, soft·est.
- yielding readily to touch or pressure; easily penetrated, divided, or changed in shape; not hard or stiff: a soft pillow.
- elatively deficient in hardness, as metal or wood.
- smooth and agreeable to the touch; not rough or coarse: a soft fabric; soft skin.
- the 2013-2014 VT men’s basketball team (source: Mike Burnup and numerous TSL MB posters)
UNC-G Backcourt: (returning starters=1)
- Drew Parker, Drew is the lone returning backcourt starter in the 3-Foraward Spartan line-up down at UNG-G. Drew is a final year baller whose career box score sure reads that of a reserve. 1.8 ppg, 2.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists on 28% from the floor and 25% from downtown pretty damn well says so. And mind you, those numbers are off a bit as a starter from last year; as one almost has to wonder how such a genetically unproductive Pt.Guard starts, never mind plays.
- Tevon Saddler, #0 Tevon does a bit better as the Spartan Lead-G, with 11.8 ppg, a team leading 3.5 assists and 4 rebounds chipped in for good measure. And yet Tevon could not make a 3 with a pencil with a putrid 13% from range this campaign. This from a daring penetrating Lead-G from the elbow-extended what with nearly 100 FTA’s thus far this season as this kid at least does go hard in the paint and he will dunk on you if you so allow.
UNC-G Frontcourt: (starters back=1)
- Kyle Cain: this ‘Zona transfer is one smoooooth looking Three. #14 leads UNC-G in ppg at 16.5 and rebounding at 8 with a pure old-school seldom seen (anymore) mid-range game. 10-15’. That’s were you will find Mr Cain on the court; as his dialing long-distance is a bit scarce what with only eleven 3-point attempts this year (27%). Cain’s game is further made interesting by the fact that he has a pretty nice handle on the rock, yet he does not go to the hoop all that often. Though make no mistake, this is a 3-year starter (2 at Zona and 1 at UNC-G) who appears to have an overseas ceiling if this level of betterment keeps pace.
- Kayel Locke: 6’5’’ 24o lb. burly looking wannabe sized P/F who looks like the footballer (Charles Jefferson) from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Kayel nets you 11.4 ppg and hauls down 5.4 boards and really not much else as a stat-line goes. Kayel is a 1.5 year starter; he is an Baltimore area former VT prospect and Honor Roll student which is most praise worthy to be sure.
- Nicholas Paulos: New Hampshire by way of Utah prep star who came up right under scholastic coach Pete Hutchins. 10.5 ppg to go along with 3.5 swipes of the glass and a pretty reasonable 38% clip from beyond the arc dot Nic’s game. Though that said, Nic’ has been a career reservist until now for a reason.
UNC-G Bench: (depth=3)
- RJ White: Mr. White is a behemoth of a small-conference big-man Mel Turpin stylized kinda Center, at 6’8’’ and 288 lbs. “Where’s the beef” as Wendy’s used to ask on TV once upon a time indeed. White missed most of last year due to injury White gets you 5 ppg and 4.5 boards while leading UNC-G with a lowly .5 blocks per contest. Most of Mr. White’s rebounds are defensive and most of his points are bunnys or put-backs; hence is 57% shooting this season.
- Tyrone Outlaw: Outlaw is a G/F prototypical Swing who gets you a pretty decent 7.8 ppg and 2.8 rpg. Tyrone is also a very smart FT shooter at a sizzling 89% from the charity-stripes. Though beyond that; his J same as Baldwin’s below, lacks extended range.
- Diante Baldwin: pretty well sought after NC Pt.Guard recruit outta high school. Although he only nets you 3 ppg with a dime and a rebound; and he is said to have very limited range beyond 15-17’. So sagging off this One would be no bad idea; as he is very unlikely to beat you from the outside.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
All 5 starting Spartans basically go for 30 minutes+ in most close or competitive games for Coach Wes Miller down in Greensboro North Carolina. That means that fatigue will be a factor in this one later on as we will see just how Spartan UNC-G will be. However, getting these very Spartans in early foul-trouble and forcing the entrance of less talented non-normative reserves could do wonders as well.
This contest features two 3-point shooting teams’ sports fans; as UNC-G is a very respectable 83rd best from beyond the arc, and our very own Hokies are merely #1! Yes, #1 in all of men’s D-1 hoops from downtown. On tape however, these Spartans defend the hoop, well, rather poorly. As the next dribble-drive penetration I see them avert or should I say divert away from the lane will be the first. Ditto the fact that this UNG-G backcourt has really suspect looking handles (ball-handling) on film and this one therefore could lend itself to some Hokie trapping and therefore to some high jinx.
As of now, the only real chance I see here is for Virginia Tech to suffer a late December or early Winter ice-cold day from the outside; simultaneous to UNC-G occurring a hot-streak and staying outta foul trouble entirely. Which is actually pre-dependent upon the same … or in other words the odds of that realistically ain’t all that great. Not at home as the Atlantic Coast anywho…
Virginia Tech=79, UNC-G=57