#217 R.P.I. The Citadel @ #49 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech basketball is set to host out-of-conference (The) Citadel this Saturday afternoon down in a -hopefully- warming back up New River Valley at 1pm.
The Citadel is decent enough; at 7-up and 4-down; and they sure put on on offensive treat! What with seven games already, in which the Bulldogs have bitten off 1o8 points or more; with a season high of a Denver Nugget Doug Moe era 146! That’s a buck-forty-six in forty minutes –not in a octa-overtime or something farcical like that kind of game. As this Citadel comes to pour it offensively on and pour the Bulldog buckets in. Making this a smaller though very fan-friendly O.O.C. opponent that anyone could be forgiven for wanting to include in their regular season schedule. And yes, it may take a few points to teach these highly offensive Bulldogs’ a new, trick.
Head Coach: Robert Franklin “Duggar” Baucom, (age=56). 198-2oo (.497) overall and 10-22 (.313) at The Citadel.
Coach Baucom you may not know by name; although his Keydet chart topping scoring offense you can remember via reputation. Yes, he was the V.M.I. coach who routinely cracked the centennial scoring mark over in Lexington before reconnoitering into another Military school over in Charleston Sc. Coach Baucom balled in high school and then went 5-o or into municipal and statie (N.C.) law enforcement as a police officer. Then he suffered a sudden heart attack and nearly died on Christmas 1990 A.D. from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (thickening of the heart); wow; and God Bless! After graduating U.n.c. Charlotte with a history diploma; Baucom turned to coaching (H.S.) as a low(er) stress level occupation and has been coaching at Tusculum, then V.M.I. now The Citadel ever since. Coach Baucom’s team’s FORCE the tempo and shot A.S.A.P. They trap, they press, they get that rock up quick; don’t blink, or you will indeed miss something here.
The Citadel at a glance:
- #1 in scoring O (1o5.4 ppg)!!!
- 2nd in assists (21.2 apg).
- 2nd in offensive rebounding (16.55 o-rpg)!
- 2nd in FTA’s (329)!
- 6th in steals (10.2 spg).
- 14th in FT makes (78.4%).
- #LAST (350th) in FG percentage D (54.3% allowed)!
- #LAST (350th) in scoring D (99.2 ppg allowed)!
Citadel Returning Starters=2
- #35, one 6’7” 2o5 lb. t-sophomore Zane Najdawi is the alpha-Bulldog here, make no misQ on that. As medium Zane leads the Bulldogs in: scoring (20.1 ppg), rebounding (8.5 rpg), blocks (1.4 bpg), shooting (56.1%), free-throwing (85.4%) and FT-attempts (89). Zane is second in steals (1.5 spg) and a very competitive 39% when dialing long distance. Or in other words, Zane is the Bulldog M.V.P., and at least in the mix for Southern Conference Player of the Year. In point of fact, Zane is the one Bulldog who could possibly crack Buzz’s starting line-up; or at the very least be a very savvy enough contributor from Buzz’s bench. Believe it or not, the S/F looking Zane actually does play the Five (or C) for The Citadel, and he plays it something like a “mad-dog”Mark Madsen did for Stanford and later on the Lakers to a lesser extent. Good handles on both sides, noticeably more muscular after looking downright scholastic last campaign; and he has kicked his scoring up by virtually 300% this season. Can you say: Southern Conference Most Improved?
- Kaelon Harris is a 6’4” 220 lb. ready-made rookie year mini-me Swing from Tulsa Ok., who is already built like a senior year 2-guard. Harris plays above the rim and he will finish strong on you per the same if you let him. Harris is third in scoring (12.2 ppg) and second on the glass (5.2 rpg). 42% from beyond the arc and 55% overall never sucks, although his FT-shooting (60%) needs a few more gigs before it can pass inspection. Though still yet, that’s not a bad effort if you can get it from a nugget season Three who looks more parts Strong-Safety from football than he does a Swing in hoops.
- 5’1o”, 169 lb., shooting-G Quayson Williams is a fun little bugger to watch do work. As Williams is second in scoring (14.1 ppg) and second again in 3-point shooting at 46%. Williams returned to the Bulldog line-up after an ankle roll last game and went 25% for it overall. Though Williams finished third in the Southern Conference as a rookie from long-range last year for a reason as this kid can flat out shoot that rock.
- Star recruit 6’8” 2o9 lb. above the rim Nigerian P/F, Obinna Ofodile is no where to be found; except in ones pre-season magazines. He is not in any box-score, on any stat page and not on any Bulldog roster that I can find. And Goggle does not seem to know why, either. God Bless and Godspeed @Obinna. As Obinna was viewed as a very rare vertical baller to ink with any given Military Academy in the modern era; making the now foregone Mister Ofodile something of a recruiting coup.
- Yet again this is a small out-of-conference team vertically, horizontally (weight) and match-up wise. As the Citadel have only two kids north of 6’7” and nobody north of 6’8” — and only one baller above 22o lbs. Further, and as you will see below; the Bulldog pine-squad is nearly diminutive.
- The Bulldogs departed ~45 ppg and 14 rpg which is a lot for you and I and even more for any Service School.
Bulldog Bench: (depth=6, you need bodies plural, to fund this high octane O)
Harris, who has been rotating in from the Bulldog pine of late and he Preston Parks are you two main sub’s. Parks is a 6’1” 175 lb. début year Pt.Guard who does not look it physically to me. He is a Koufax (or a lefty); and he is already fourth in scoring for The Citadel at 11.7 ppg. Preston set a number of conference scoring marks in high school in South Carolina and may have been a bit overlooked after attending three H.S.’s in three years. That’s nominally a red-flag; although being a honor roll student mutually normally is not, so take that for what that is worth. 6’1” 149 (no that’s not a typo) lb. Matt Frierson (39% on 3’s) nets you some shooting off the Bulldog bench and 5’8” 15o (no that’s not a typo again) lb. Frankie Johnson brings what little defense The Citadel has –as he stakes the team lead at 1.7 spg.
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
The takeaway here is… Virginia Tech basketball returns from a week of fall semester ending final exams as the Virginia Tech students depart campus for a couple of fortnights or about a four week furlough. This makes Cassell Coliseum a dull boy or a sleepy place. And a team that is .188 out on the road in the last couple of years does not do a lot to help wake you up all that much.
The word from practice this week is that Buzz has them working on: “finishing”; and that sure seems like code for applied sports psych in learning how to take the final step. First you learn how to win at home, then you learn how to win out on the road and then you learn that every single (pious) scoreboard in the Game of Life is as easy as A.b.c. Always Be Closing or “finish” in the modern-era Nick Saben sporting tongue.
That being said, The Citadel does hold the most recent 5 game split advantages across the offensive board. The Bulldogs are 4% better in shooting overall or from the floor, they are virtually 1% better than Tech from range and from the FT-stripe alike. Defensive however is a different animal, as the defensively challenged Bulldog’s are a stunning 13% worse from the floor and 9% easier from 3-point land. Neither team rebounds strongly although Virginia Tech works the glass less badly –I’ll put it that way.
So, to put it another way, unless we are still (somehow) taking Finals at 1pm? Virginia Tech basketball should pass this Service Academy exam with flying colors in a scoreboard friendly game; and thank you to The Citadel for your service to our country; God Bless, Godspeed and good hunting.
(91% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=96, The Citadel=65