#112 R.P.I. Wake Forest vs. #227 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
ESPN2 3pm tip-off:
Vegas number: VT+4.5
Virginia Tech is precisely a mere 5 straight A.c.c. tournament wins away from coach Buzz’s first O&M NC2A March Madness tournament auto-invitation!
Though at least 13-16 overall, 5-11 inside the A.c.c., and the #11 2015 A.c.c. men’s basketball tournament seed is not entire beyond out depth.
Don’t believe me?
Just ask 1 single solitary shot back on o1.31.
Because that is precisely and merely all that separated Wake Forest from Virginia Tech.
Wake Forest at a glance:
- 44th in offensive rebounding
- 80th in Rebounding Margin (+3.3 rpg)
- 273rd in turnover margin (-1.4 tpg)
- 3o3rd in scoring defense (71.8 ppg allowed)
- 332nd in FT percentage (63.5%)
- no injuries reported (thanks @coach God!)
Wake Backcourt: (returning starters=1 of 2)
Mitchell Wilbekin: 6’2” 165 lb. Fr. bantamweight combo-G who is technically a Tulsa refugee after being released from his Tulsa letter-of-intent. Kinda a energizer bunny floor-burn player that each and every coach craves. Said to be a natural leader in only his rookie season of voting at 18 years of age. 6, yes, s, i, x, time letter-winner in high school as he played varsity from the 7th grade on! 4-time all-state once he properly got seated as a Floridian scholastic 9th-12th grader. Had nice high school numbers, not quite great numbers; however. *** or three-star guy everywhere you look. 7.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg and 1.3 assists on 39% from downtown is not too bad for a G in their entry A.c.c. year. Yet 36.9% overall needs some maintenance or seasoning itself.
#0 Codi Miller-McIntyre: 6’3” 2o5 lb. third year baller by way of Hargrave Academy of Va. fame. Looks just a bit like D.Wade and is something of a bankrupt man’s scoring lead-G per the same. Does lack range on his J (24% on 3’s), nevertheless, still manages to drop a team leading 14.3 ppg for Wake. Likewise champions Wake in assists with 4.1 and is second in boards at a downright noticeable 4.8 rpg. 44% from the field is steady enough; second in steals (1) in addition to that. Codi has a rep’ for strength based quicks, which reminds you even more of a younger or Marquette version of “flash”. Versatile G, can play both backcourt spots in a pinch. 66th ranked baller according to Rivals; almost choose Virginia Tech three years ago. Will dunk on you, gets to the FT-stripe with 168 FTA’s this season (63.7% on FT’s could be a bit better however). Prolly appoints himself best as an overseas Pro’ at the moment. NTTAWWT.
Forest Frontcourt: (starters back=1 of 3)
Cornelius Hudson: 6-6 180 lb. string-bean first year Swing from Dallas Texas. Actually, already 21 years of age, known for his wingspan and pure athleticism. Brother of San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree! Has a history of knee tendinitis on both sides. Utility guy, fluid enough to slide between the 1, 2 and 3 traditional line-up spots. Nimble, agile slicing kinda baller right now; can be overpowered on the low-blocks however. 7.3 ppg with 3.1 boards on 35% from the floor and 31% from 3-point land; both of which need some D-1 power-conference matriculation.
Darius Leonard: 6/9 215 lb. graduate-Senior year transfer from Campbell who mans the Four spot after starting out at Jack Lambert’s old stomping ground up at Kent State. A long athletic big who has a girding worker-bee mentality. Plays stronger than his listed weight thanks to a high-octane fueled red-line R.P.M. motor. 5.8 ppg and 2.5 rpg at 39% overall with a masonic or bricky 47% from the FT-line; as something of a defensive rim protector. Leonard’s shooting however has dropped almost a full 10% since his third year @Campbell. He has worked and efforted his way to where he is, after only being the 118th ranked Power Forward (not overall, positionally) outta high school according to ESPN. Did pocket a M.A.C. ring at Kent State and has his undergraduate degree on the way to his second. There are worse things in the game of life men, good for Darius.
Devin Thomas: 6’9” 255 lb. banger of an old-school Power-Forward. Third year baller from my hometown state’s capital city (Harrisonburg, Pa.) Southpaw, Koufax, or lefty which gives him a natural shot-contesting defensive edge circa Bill Russell. Great rebounder historically who pulls down 8.8 caroms to lead Wake. Second in scoring at 11.7 ppg. Will block a shot, does need FT work at 58% on his 15′ uncontested with 10 seconds to shoot set-shot’s. Bit turnover prone, does attack the rack however, aggressive finisher who leads the Dec’s in FTA’s at 177. Thomas and Miller-McIntyre are finishing foul-trouble just waiting to happen. Famous for backboard shattering dunks that made SportsCenter’s highlight reel in high school. Entire family played hoops, has one sister who currently balls for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. 36th ranked P/F scholastically.
Dec’s Bench: ( depth~3 players )
- Aaron Rountree III: 6’8” 220 lb. ‘tweener Forward in his junior year campaign. Aaron did start the last couple of games, although I’ll list him here as he has been a substitute for the balance of the year. Extremely versatile baller, a defensive Magic Johnson who can check or guard every single spot on the floor. Aggressive hustling rebounder, solid old-school screen setter, who’s contributions underscore his 2.7 ppg and 2.3 rebounds. (59% FT shooter however) Biography lists a bunch salutatory community service and goodwill type awards. Great on him!
- Konstantinos Mitoglou: 6’10” 225 lb. stretch-Forward from the: Aristoteleio College of Thessaloniki. And how many of our resume’s get to say that? Imported Big based on post size need alone. Had very modest looking Greek league numbers. Nickname is “Dinos”. Did turn down a Greek Pro league contract to come overseas to Wake. Skilled Big, who has extended range on his deep J at 38% on 3’s. Something of a surprise at 9.8 ppg and 4.5 rebounds for a first year baller who was expected to need at least a year to acclimate then to adjust. Curios discovery type baller going forth, every program should find such a golden fleece.
- Madison Jones: 6.1 165 lb. junior year Guard. A true old-school point guard with a high basketball I.Q. Quarterback or pass-first type One who can also finish at the rim; known for elite track-n-field end-to-end quality racehorse speed. Said to be the best perimeter defender on the team. 4.2 ppg, 3.1 assists and 2.1 boards with the team lead in swipes at 1.1. spg. Honor Roll student who did pick up 1 state title belt in high school. Has a tendency to palm the ball at times that coach Buzz should pick up on that and quick. 42% shooter from the floor with limited long-ball range. (o for the season on 3’s).
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
The 115 spot difference in the real-time R.P.I. marker is so surprising as to be, blaring! Is it possibly blaring a warning shot regarding just how ugly this one might just get? Or is this merely a sporting F5 keystroke or a refreshing post-season chance -if only in theory- just precisely what coach Buzz and Virginia Tech need?
Well, for starters, Wake Forest may deploy the very same penta or 5-man starting line-up as Tech; and yet these Dec’s have a roster that numbers at 18 full-time ballers. Or in other words, this is the largest roster I’ve seen this season, and this demonstrates -if nothing else- Wake’s willingness to spend what it takes to get where Wake wants to go.
One of the two main repetitious things you saw above in the player rotational break-down was a lack of shooting and a lack of shooting from these 2015 Dec’s. Be that from the FT-line, from the field or at range. There are defensive rebounds to be gobbled up here men. And Wake’s ability to win a close game at the charity-stripe is less than charitable indeed.
Virginia Tech has scored outside (higher than) a 52-61 point band, once since early February. Wake has been similarly been marooned on a 58 ppg average since mid-February. Or in other words … if offense is your college basketball thing? You might wanna look somewhere else. Because this one has made for ESPN3 written all over it. As it prolly won’t take much more than those very same 58 points for either team to advance. Although that could very well have close game written all over it as well. And that means that the team that does the little things well will prolly eek this one out.
““It’s extremely hard to win when you’re accustomed to losing,”
-Jr. VT G, Devin Wilson-
This is exactly what someone was trying to tell Will on the pay side message board a few weeks ago; when someone hinted that “improvements” and so forth are nice, even downright welcome. Although they do not buy time. W’s make purchase on that like NOTHING else. Does not matter if you stole the game, if the Ref(s) made a bad call –in your favor; or if that miracle half-court shot suddenly went -of all things- …in. You won! The world is an applied sports psych happier place for it. Social media placebos or almost’s, or the word close need not apply.
The takeaway here is thus… no human being can live on a diet of (classical reinforcement) sticks. Termites? Maybe. Humans? Humans need a carrot here and there.
And right now?
We ain’t very vegan.
As it sure looks to me like “some” of these guys have tuned 2014-2015, out. “Some” may not be code for all, though some can be enough; (or even two many | and this is how many more I expect are yet to go). That and our defensive industry is on strike; 52.4% allowed overall and 44.9% allowed on 3’s in our last five games is not user-friendly; it is, a Buzz kill.
Oh well, at least our ballers don’t have to worry about… walking in the snow.
(73% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=55, Wake Forest=63
THANKS @Will and SportsWar.com for another season!!! God Bless!