#164 R.P.I. Syracuse @ #48 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech basketball returns home after a truly beat-up looking -41 point double thrashing deficit out on the road.
The hooping Hokies will attempt to inflict some measure of gridiron revenge for their revenue O&M sporting brethren on Tuesday night down in a warming back up New River Valley. This may or may not be an easy thing to do, as the 10 up and 6 down Syracuse Orangemen seem to court a record that is chasing their statistical analysis. As in they have beaten the pants off of every little team they have played; every bit as much as they have truly struggled vs. nearly every single BIG name team they have faced thus far. This makes this a dicey game to call; as the Syracuse statistical variability here is far ranging, indeed.
Syracuse Head Coach: James Arthur Boeheim : 888–347 (.719) overall and at Syracuse, alike.
Baller Boeheim was a walk-on Pt.Guard with the freshman basketball team at Syracuse. By his Sr. year he was the team captain and a teammate of all-American and future Mayor (of Detroit) Dave Bing. Dave was his freshman roommate; and Dave is only in the Basketball Hall of fame himself for his work with the Detroit Pistons. The pair led Coach Fred Lewis’s Orange to a 22–6 overall win-loss record that earned the team’s second-ever N.C.A.A. tournament berth. After graduating from Syracuse, Boeheim played professional basketball with the Scranton Miners of the American Basketball League, during which he won two A.B.L. championships.
Coach Boeheim has only guided the Orange to nine Big East regular season championships, five Big East Tournament championships, and 28 NC2A Tournament appearances and one National Championship (2oo3 with ‘Melo Anthony). He only has 13 conference titles, six National Coach of the Year awards, and four Conference Coach of the Year awards. He is only a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame as well. He has only won six International Gold Medals three of which are Olympic. He sucks; fire him, now! Nevertheless, coach B was forced to vacate a backbreaking 1o1 total wins from the 2004–2005, 2005–2006, 2006–2007, 2010–2011, and 2011–2012 seasons due to recruiting violations. He is also down eight schollies over the next two years and was suspended the first nine games of last year.
Boeheim has already announced that he will retire in April 2o18. Boeheim had prostate cancer in 2oo1, and subsequently became a major fund-raiser for Coaches vs. Cancer, he and his wife also inaugurated the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation to help kids from Central New York; God Bless.
Orangemen at a glance:
- 20th in 3-point percentage (39.9%).
- 21st in steals (8.7 spg).
- 22nd in assists (22.5 apg).
- 28th in blocks (5.5 bpg).
- 32nd in FG percentage D allowed (39.1%).
- 58th in scoring D allowed (65.7 ppg).
- Everything else, 240th or better.
SU Returning Starters=2
- Coach Jim is the undisputed brewmeister of the 2-3 Zone Defense. A zone designed to force outside shots, hide weak(er) man defenders, slow/control the tempo and allow fewer offensive shots, period.
- Kansas, then Nebraska graduate transfer, and Richmond Va. homespun native #3 Andrew White III leads the Orange way for coach Jim. The former 48th ranked recruit from the Miller School Va. private school circuit is the alpha Orangeman scorer with 16.1 ppg and you have to wonder just where Syracuse would be if ‘drew had not sojourned back east and left the midwest? Well, they’d be doing it without his leading 34.4 mpg along with his 4.7 boards on 42% overall and 40% from range shooting. Which may not exactly be epic; although it is the best that the Cuse currently deploys. As Andrew got to Syracuse so late in the process, he is not even listed in Lindy’s pre-season magazine. His shooting is down 6% and change at the ‘Cuse; however, White III has just put together his best 3-game span as an Orangeman and he seems to be figuring Carrier Dome logistics and line-of-sight out, and heating up just in time for conference play.
- 6’9”, 233 lb. second year stretch-Forward Tyler Lydon is back, and so is his slowly improving overall game. 13.9 ppg and 7.8 rpg and 1.5 bpg is pretty decent frontcourt work, if you can get it. The book on Tyler says that he is extremely versatile, he scores inside and out and he defends sharply as well. Being named 2nd-team all-A.c.c. preseason does not suck; and neither does being ranked 64th best outta high school by Rivals. Tyler has a nice all-around skill set to his game; 48% from the floor and a nifty 46% from 3-point land says so. He is a high basketball I.Q. baller; who makes the smart play as opposed to the physically spectacular one. He will dunk in/around the rim; and he can always flash his 2o14 USA Basketball Men’s Under-18 National Team gold medal at campus parties.
- DaJuan Coleman is a graduate, 5th year, Senior who sure looks like a certain legacy Syracuse Coleman. Except; for the little biological factoid, that they (he and Derrick) are not related. Though dang, they sure look similar, if not alike. This Coleman -Happy B-day to TSL’s very own Chris Coleman insert ____ (here) check- this D.Coleman goes 6’9”, 258 heavy set lbs. as a C-P/F combo frontcourter who has a ugly history of knee knocks, injuries, and surgeries to correct the dame (God Bless). Coleman had a monsta scholastic career that culminated in the 2o12 Mr. New York Basketball Award after a zillion double-doubles and general internal domination everywhere you look. Though as said, God Bless some more, as that was 2.0 good knees ago, as DeJuan bangs his way to a second best 5.4 caroms with 6.4 ppg on 54% overall and oh what could have been here. As this is/was a very physically strong and hard to deny internal workhorse post player just two seasons’s ago.
- The 2-3 is said to be vulnerable to 3 outside shooting seams/spots, mid-range players, and playing from behind as the 2-3 ultimately limits ‘Cuse offensive possessions/shots as well.
- 7’3”, 226 lb., r-Soph., Paschal Chukwu, a Providence transfer BIG true-C with a detached retina (may St.Helen bless); with is 3 ppg, 2 bpg, 3 rpg, and an easy anchor to the middle layer-3 in the 2-3 zone. 51st outta high school according to ESPN.com.
- 6’8”, 22o lb. r-Fr., Matthew Moyer, P/F with a broken foot. 40th outta high school two years ago, when he took a red-shirt, already; so here is hoping he gets granted a med’-red after this.
- Not one of the deeper no talent rich Cuse team’s as the pine-squad goes; scholarship reductions will do that to you, or so I’ve heard.
- Departed a buncha offensive firepower from last years regulatory defiantly Final-4 club (43 ppg and 12 rpg if you are keeping score, at, home).
Orange Bench: (depth=1 to 3)
Tyler Roberson is now coming off the bench; although he and his 6’8”, 226 lb. senior frame did start last year. In point of fact he is the featured baller in Lindy’s preseason magazine for the ‘Cuse. And in further point of fact, he was the entire 1-man bench for Syracuse’s truncated conference rotation all to his ownself the Orangemen’s last time out. That’s not good as depth, foul-trouble, nor as injury goes, although 6.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg is decent substitute relief. This Tyler is known for his offensive glass work and aggressive to the point of temperamental inside play. As Robinson leads Syracuse in offensive-rebounding; despite playing no more than 50% of the game! And this section would be piously longer; if the Syracuse bench only, was. (READER’s note: there is zero backcourt reserve power here, presuming coach Jim sticks to his 6-man rotation on Tuesday night)
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
Number of Orangemen who could start @Tech=2
The takeaway here is… “Will the real Syracuse, please stand up, please stand up?”
As alluded to in the opener, the good, P.A.T.T., N.C.A.A. or ½ full Syracuse has beaten the damn breaks off of 1o teams by an average of 26.1 ppg. However, the bad, N.A.T.T., N.I.T. or ½ empty version of Syracuse has gone out and floated belly up to the tune of six slaps by an average of –14.7 ppg against! Or a staggering swing vote of 40.8 ppg depending upon how well -or not- a given opponent puts the squeeze on this Orange. Thus making this a Tale of Two ‘Quse | or a Dickens of a game to pick.
Data mining the stat-lines are always our best friend; and here is what they have to say, accordingly…
- The overall numbers are a cancelling effect personified, both teams shoot precisely 39.9% from downtown on the year; Syracuse is 3.7% better on D overall and Virginia Tech basketball is 2.9% better on O. So a 0.8% differential does not offer us much traction here.
- The last five games are similar; although Virginia Tech basketball is playing a bit better of late… what with a 4.2% overall FG percentage aggregate advantage compared to 8/10ths above; and a whopping 13.1% composite edge from distance!
- And yet the Home/Away splits are even more damning if orange juice is your favorite drink. As the Hokies are a mind-bending 26.2% better on agglomeration FG% overall, and a completely off the charts 35.3% better from beyond the arc on the clustered 3-point percentage! WOW, and wow some more.
- And me three, as I’ve never ever witnessed that epic of a Home/Away swing vote before.
This however makes pretty good sense when you take the time to calculate that Syracuse has been mule kicked by –48 total points this year when balling away from home. Why these Orangemen get squeezed into hooping pulp fiction out on the road I have no idea? And if I were a betting man, I’d wager that Coach Jim has no (real) answers here, either.
On the other side of the R.A.T.T. O&M coin, the Seth Allen head injury is still an O&M concern and the lack of Hokie front-line ballers is more than a match-up foible.
Nevertheless, it is daunting at best; and umpossible at most, to pick against that kinda Home/Away metrical disparity.
(61% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=79, Syracuse=63