Cincinnati N.I.T. basketball preview!

#8o R.P.I. Cincinnati vs. #86 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball is or is not on a roll… or, is it rather… shut yo’ mouf and know your role?

The Hokies are or are not rolling over to Cincinnati, Ohio, to tangle with and attempt to tame the Bearcats of American Conference fame. Cincy however is indeed closer to butter -or on a lowercase roll- and the mercurial Hokies appear to be more or less parts Parkay than parquet on any given nite. The Bearcats however enter this one at a sporting looking -and 4th place in-league in the regular season mind yah- 21 up against 12 down overall. And a reasonably looking .611 in American Athletic Conference league works, (11-7, A.a.c.). Salty team in defense of their homecourt too… at an American 2nd-best 15 vs. 3 over in N.f.l. Kenny Anderson or Riverfront terms. Nevertheless, and any attempts at Nick Van Exel eats big-O’s off of o.Roberterson’s head satirical relief aside… what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to find, out!

Cincinnati Head Coach: Warren Weston Miller: age=4o,  224–162 (.58o) overall,  and 39–27 (.591) at Cincy.
$1,250,000.oo rep for building. Grooming. Gestalt.

Shortie Miller came up in Greensboro, North Carolina, and grew into a reasonable Qb1 in hoops terms along the way. Miller was a prep standout at the New Hampton School in New Hampshire. He earned a scholarship to James Madison University, where he played one season before transferring to North Carolina to become a walk-on for Coach Williams’ squad.

Baller Miller played one year at James Madison before transferring to North Carolina to play for Roy Williams, where he successfully walked on to the basketball team. Did Eye mention he hoops factory walked on, yet? This is rare… very! He was redshirted for the 2oo3–2oo4 season. Miller played on the Tar Heel team that won the 2oo5 National Championship. He keeps a Natty Title ring while coaching @The ‘Nati. Too; preview, soon? He was team captain as a senior in 2oo6-o7, leading UNC to 31 wins and the NCAA Elite 8 as well as the A.c.c. regular-season and tournament titles, and a final No. 3 national ranking with an A.c.c. bling.

After that, graduated in 2oo7 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and after graduation, he wrote a book titled The Road to Blue Heaven about his road to the University of North Carolina and his years playing there. Curious… as you gotta wonder how ‘soon’ that one was too? After graduation, Pt.Gurad1 Miller played one season for the London Capitals of the British Basketball League. where he averaged 19.6 points per game to rank eighth in the league.

M(r)s. A.Miller.

After playing professionally in England for a year, Miller was hired as an assistant coach at Elon University to join the staff of head coach Ernie Nestor. Elon had a record of 12–19 in the 2oo8–2oo9 season and Nestor stepped down as head coach at the end of the year. Miller was hired at High Point University and joined the staff of their new head coach, Scott Cherry, the next season.

For the 2o1o-11 basketball season, Miller became an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro under Mike Dement. That team finished the season 7-24, in fifth place in the Southern Conference.

The next year Dement retired mid-season and Miller became interim head coach. At the time, the Spartans had a record of 2-8 and were in the midst of an eleven-game losing streak. Under Miller, the team finished Southern Conference play with a 1o–8 record, 13-19 overall, winning first place in the Southern Conference North Division. Miller was named the 2o12 Southern Conference Coach of the Year and was hired officially as head coach.

Miller spent the following ten seasons as the UNCG men’s basketball coach. During his tenure UNCG saw an unprecedented run of success, reaching 25 wins for three successive seasons between 2o16 and 2o19, winning three Southern Conference championships, reaching the NCAA tournament in 2o18 and 2o21, and recording the program’s first postseason victory in 2019. Miller is the winningest coach in UNC Greensboro history, with 185 victories! Alpha big-whistle 1o1.

Coach Miller fields 3 regular-season Southern Conference titles and 2 mo’ post-season So.Co. tourney titles. As 5 of his last 6 UNC-Gee seasons hit just the right post-season spot. As he clearly had his hometown heading on up.

Miller’s father, Kenneth D. Miller, is a prominent alumnus and trustee of Wake Forest University. Wes’s younger brother Walker Miller also played basketball for North Carolina before transferring
to Monmouth for his final year of eligibility.
With NO personal or social bio’ 411 anywhere I could find. (Tho’ he was hitched (Ashley) 2 years ago…) Godspeed there. Tho’ snaps for the highest team GPA in program history
@Cincy (3.484 for a team does not suck).

Cincinnati at a glance:

  • 15th best in Assist:Turnover ratio!!
  • 35th most in 3-point attempts/game!!
  • 71st best in S.W.A.T.’s.
  • 74th in Fastbreak ppg. (Will tempo a bit here-n-there).
  • 125th best in Rebounding Margin overall. (Good on D-glass, 85th best).
  • 280th in FT-makes/game. (i.e., a perimeter team).
  • NO injuries reported. (“thx” @Coach God!)
  • ONLY scratched three, that’s (3) National Rankings south of 2o4th best! (All FT-metrics FWIW). As this is a very solid hoops team all around. Not epic, very very solid, however.

Returning Starters=4, (8o%)!

Cincinnati Strengths:

  • (3rd-string Lindy’s All-A.a.c.!) Hmmmmmm, now stop me if this one rings a War Memorial Chapel bell… as this one seems a mite familiar… Landers Nolley II G. 6′7″, 22o lbs. worth of ex-what-the-heck, Tech? Seems a bit stronger to me upon breaking tape. r-Senior year Swing or kinda heighty/strengthy S/F or Three if you will. Nolley attended Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, Ga., where he claimed the school’s scoring record in just two years. He led the team to two state titles, in addition to one as a sophomore at Curie HS in Chicago. So there is tri-bling that. There is also Nolley2’s 67th 247Sports National Ranking. Then, he went to somewhere named: “Vah.Tech”, then he left and went over to Memphis and now up to Cincinnati. That’s 3 high schools and likewise 3 colleges. Does not seem the most settled kid, do he? Anywho… at this hexagonal career stAGE… Nolley II gets you: a team pacing 16.6 ppg with a 2nd-best 5.6 rpg and a 3rd-best 2.6 apg. Not a bad box scorer straight across. Though… and most curiously, this is only about 1 point ahead of his debut year in the 24o6o as he took a serious career dip everywhere and every year in between that. That said, it is likewise fair to say… his 45.5% from the floor is a career-high and the same to say career best on 3’s this year at: 42.2% long. He is a reliable career free-thrower at ~78%. So, there is that too. He kinda reminds me of the Dayton kid we faced over in Hawaii a few years back. Albeit a Tennessee Ave. man’s version of Obi Toppin if you will. This is a good all-round baller men— make no misQ on that. Appears to be on something of a selfie Next Level audition since early February as well. As Landers’ ppg digits and production are on the hike. Lindy’s called Landers a ‘balanced scorer’ and that seems ’bout right by me. Prolly is an overseas-caliber baller when he locks himself down/in on the game itself. As he can defend a bit (1.3 spg) when he dedicates himself to doing so. Where is next year is basically up to this Three’s committee of one… happy landings here…
  • (2nd-string Lindy’s All-A.a.c.!) 6′, 2oo lbs., graduate-year, Qb1 David DeJulius helms the Cincy O. ex-of the Red Dawn (Michigan) “Wolverines!”. Said to be an “ignition scorer.” Kinda a lead-G playing the One. A 2nd-best 14.5 ppg with 2.1 rpg on a blue-ribbon 5.2 apg. And he can and does score from all three levels. Penetration (team alpha at: 84.7% FTA’s), mid-range (42.7% overall), and deeper (35.7%). Has some can’t-miss nites in him as near outburst slayer here-n-there as well. Did okay over @Michigan and then nearly doubled his digits @the ‘Nati (+232% on scoring). That being squarely struck, DeJ’ has been off in the last couple of weeks with only 3-makes to his name. This after being on a late-season tear on O hovering closer to 20 ppg in the last month give/take. This is a key cog here, nearly a wildcard if David suddenly pops clean it will take some Goliath pointS (plural) to put these ‘cats down.’s 82nd baller overall; substantial inner-city scorer in the Motor City (26 ppg in H.S.). Might be a fringe export baller or a really tough cover at your local Y.M.C.A. this time next year.
  • One #3o, r-Soph’ Viktor Lakhin is your one BIG man here. Vik’ goes: a P/F, 6′1o″, and 24o lbs. by way of: Anapa, Russia / CSKA-2. May St.Viktor bless. Has a history of dings/dents (right ankle, St.Philip bless). Seems a bit lean to me on footage. Tho’ still yet, 11.6 ppg with a team-best 6.9 rpg, a team-best 1.2 spg, and another team-best 1.4 bpg are pretty fair to middling work if you can get it. 63% from the floor and a nifty fiddy (5o%) from 3-point-land is efficacious enuff. The 54% on FTA’s however is not commiserated with this commissar’s else wise skillset. Maybe Philip and Elizabeth should investigate that? Resources say he is not your typical Euro-4 or Stretch-P/F. Will play physically, one even called him a: ‘bruiser’. Not sure Eye saw that. Is well-honed… does dot  FIBA, Moscow, and Euro Championship team experiences. Tho’ he is at least a bit willing to mix it up. Could be a return homecoming Pro’ for his overall game and defending if he fixes those FTAs to fully fill his game out. Curious guy… as the only measurement here is headroom itself? Ask 2o25 how much or how little there was of that.

    Not 1stbase, shy; is he?
  • 6′3″, 18o lbs. Mika Adams-Woods is your off-G here. Koufax or southpaw baller -which can only help on D- as his 1.1 spg asserts. 9.3 ppg with 2.4 rpg on a second-best 3.3 apg is not the worst look from your 5th offensive option. 35.6% from behind the arc indicates a bit of range. Lindy’s calls Mika a kid who needs to improve his outside shot. More of an ATH, and prolly woulda made a fair to middling Fs in football terms. Had nice tho’ not great New Hampshire scholastic digits. Does list 2-parents and 1-guardian. Tri-God Bless on dats. As this is a good complimentary baller or one of those that does nothing to hurt you. His nickname is: ‘shoey’. Has improved his scoring each and every year and not everyone can say that. Prolly pretty close to a ceiling guy at this stAGE of work.

Nati Weaknesses:

  • the ‘whispers’ ’round the campfire here say… not a good shooting team overall. Mo’ parts takers and less parts… makers. Less filling or Miller High Lyte if you will.
  • They also seemed to hint that this might not be the best slope as the programming trajectory go. Maybe a mite run over rise or on a modest descent. Maybe?
  • Not saying Eye fully agry… am saying those are the two takes I was asking/getting FYI.

Bearcat den: (depth=)

ex-Wake Forester, Ody Oguama, P/F, 6′9″, 225 lbs. is your main benching frontcourt sub’ here. Ody gets you: 5.2 ppg and a third-best 5.1 rpg on 55.1% in relief. Said to be able to provide ‘toughness’ tho’ it was also said of him that he has struggled at times in conference play. Or, may have gone a Bridge Too Far in D-1 leveling terms. As O2 had serviceable H.S. numbers (Raleigh, Nc. area) mo’ so than even good high school calculus. Has a history of dings that may have hampered him a bit— Coach God bless. Tho’ his apex was his second season sermonizing for the Dec’s to be sure. This is a reasonable P/F2 and not a starter up front. That, and Ody has recently cooled considerably after a truly sudden February tear on O of sorts.

(2nd-string Lindy’s All-A.a.c.!) Jeremiah Davenport is a Swing or ‘tweener or sorts as a: 6′7″, 215 lb. final year former/part-time starter. Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) escapee as well as his: 9.5 ppg with 4.2 rpg and 1.6 apg. Lindy’s is pretty high on Jeremiah and prophesizes his athletic tall/lean Wing-game. In point of fact; Mister Davenport just finished ’22 itself Top-7 in all Top-7 A.a.c. advanced offensive-metrics! The only bugbear is the tpg or trying to do too much at times (2.5 tpg last year tho’ down to a handling-his-buziness .9 tpg this year). The orange/red frosted twist-top is interesting; the ~34% when dialing long-distance paired with the nifty and (virtually) team-leading 84.3% free-throwing is alluring. The 35.5% overall and the near 5.5 ppg drop from ’22 tells you that this is a pretty flighty kid. Though you will flirt with a Yield-Curve inversion when ≈72.29% of your shot attempts are from beyond 20′9″ and you bomb away from 3-point-land at a near 3-in-4 shot attempt rate overall. As JayDee never met a 3-pointer he did not like or would not… take. Been a little cooler of late and has been a Smothers Brothers yo-yo’ routine guy on the reg’ all campaign long. That being said, the back-to-back National football factory Hoopz blings at Moller H.S. (Cincy, Oh.) are a strong revenue sports look. As it pays to try to stop this one before this one gets it started. Davenport on a high side high-teens scoring nite makes Cincy a much tougher team to take. F.Gump baller… never know what you are gonna get?

Dan Skillings Jr. is a 6′6″, 2o5 lb., debut, or nugget year voter for Cincy. Kinda a handyman who does all the little things well for you. 5.3 ppg with 3.3 rpg and 26.8% from long-range. VHT (very highly touted) **** or quad-stellar baller from New Jersey who was a big recruiting class get for Coach Miller last year. More was expected here. Time=tell. 41st Rivals recruit and a real live Philly A.A.U. blossoming star. Said to be able to get (and net) his own shot. Pure scorer. Brave enuff to don the zero or “0” in historic tribute BIG-Oscar terms. Though (still) inconsistent overall, has been showcasing heavy offensive pop about every third game or so. ‘nother Fox and Dana X-factor baller if he goes offensively off. Good ’26 ask back; as you’d have to think this one is gonna professionally answer somewhere at some point. Time=tell.

m.s. (mid-script): …is our Rice-a-Roni Owens Dining Hall baller our very own
O&M X-factor Wednesday nite???

The R.A.T.T. key to discerning this one here is, what(s)???

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of 'cats who could bear it @Tech=an easy four maybe five.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is

not to be too taken, too down taken, or even too overtaken here.

Where you stand is where you sit and we sit in the upper-bottom third or so of Atlantic Conference Clubs at this very moment.

Sometimes you just are who your record says you are. Our record -and Cincy’s- both conspire to say… “good to pretty-good teams” albeit a few bricks shy of… great.

This ain’t Tony the Tiger talent, and yet it ain’t Daffy Dunk either.

Things could be worse… and about ~300 odd other D-1 menz hoops programs
wish they had our troubles.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a no dice out-of-conference head-to-head roundball round-robin, call. These are hard to post-season come by. Then, however, Eye saw the Louisville game… which posits, connotes, and avers a triune-point or one 3-ball splashing home VomiT in this one here.
Albeit on only one data point.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… nobody was up much of anything in shooting percentage margin (from: both being right at +3% seasonally; tho’ VeeTee is better on O and Cincy is superior on D); with Cincy up a nominal looking +1% in 3-point percentage margin (per: both are positive here, the ‘Nati is just a bit better in 3-D terms than VeeTee), and Cincinnati is up +3 caroms corralled in rebounding margin for the duration. (Note: V.P.I. is breaking even in ‘glassing, although, Cincy is above average on the O-glass and even mo’ above that off the D-backboard).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Bearcats are now up a noticeable +6% in shooting percentage margin (seeing: the Hokies have declined mo’ than a little on D and have cooled a little on O; whereas Cincy is pretty close to their seasonal markers here), with the ‘cats now up +3% in 3-point percentage margin (noticing: VeeTee is netting 3-balls tho’ not defending the same; whilst Cincy has improved a little on 3-O and 3-D alike of late, though more so on 3-halting itself), and the b.cats are now up ~+3 in rebounding margin. (Pur: V.Tech is wilting here recently and yet Cincinnati is still pretty consistent here in Recency Effect terms).

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

Conferencing and O.O.C. gaming 1o1:

The Bearcats have gone 11-7 against somewhat softer A.a.c. teams, with a 1o-5 record in non-conference play. The Hokies have gone 8-12 in harder A.c.c. play, with a shiny 1o-1 record in non-conference play.

🎼”Turn, turn, turn, turn….”🎵 –The Byrds
Cincinnati averages 10.2 turnovers per game and is 1o-1 when it turns the ball over less than its opponents.

…licks to get to the, Center?
And least we forgets… Nolley-(pop) led the Memphis Tigers to the 2o21 N.I.T. title. (Tho’… Nolley moved on to Cincinnati this year and helped the Bearcats to their most wins in a season since they last made the NCAA Tournament in 2o18-19.) Gotta score him that round 1o-9.

Cincy is a .833 host; whereas V.P.I. is .181 as a guest.
VeeTee is up +3% at the charity stripe for the year.
VeeTee is +7 in R&R in the last fortnight.

The Call...

No.7o Net Ranking Cincinnati vs. no.76 Net Ranking Virginia Tech:

So, Cincy is not beyond our depth.
They are within our reach.

The mo’ telling ask however is… are they within our visiting, grasp?

As… @Cincy is mo’ of a classical textbook so-called: ‘stretch objective’ to be sure.

And as GBOHokie wondered out loud on the pay side MB… who is ‘happier’ to be here?

Motivation -or the non-NC2A let-down trap thereof- can be a tricky thingy this time of year.

The VerdicT:

Nevertheless, if you ask me… -and you did via reading these very words- if you ask me, it is tough to not prefer the homesteading team to be a bit mo’ jumped up here.

All the mo’ so if the @home team gets off to a swift start and the backing crowd gets rowdy and gets into the contest itself.

…as in Mike and his no longer All Championship Conference defending Younglings need to serially mind the store to begin this one here.

Gotta remains: ‘in contact’ in boxing terms until at least Intermission.


As Cincy is not an epic team same as Vah.Tech.
Both are kinda sorta good and prolly ceiling -if not roofing- for it all to boot.

And this 5-point point-spread prolly goes close to somersaulting over in the suddenly chilly New River Valley had these hosting roles been reversed.

This all conspires to tell us that the start=the finish here.
i.e., do NOT let Cincy finish you off from the jump!

The closer:

Still, yet, we/VeeTee is the one of these two who must sojourn a “Winter is still here” 336 miles Nor-by-Nor-West for this National Invitation Tourney round #1 roadie match-up.

And the same as Eye have recently Associative Property opined before… VeeTee prolly gets a good 2 outta 6 in any seven-game series. Maybe closer to 3 outta 7 itself?

🐻🐈 >>> a 🏀 little >>> 🦃

The caveat being… that does tip the Toledo’s in the Buckeye state teams’ favor more often than not. And more often than that when running at home. Where you’d have to think that their aforementioned three, that’s (3) mercurial ballers would have to tend to pop cleaner than they hardwood would in the 24o6o.

Ergo, therefore, to Whit… this one is gonna take a near A+ efforting to nick as I doubt, we blow Cincy outta the Ohio River waters in their own backyard.

’cause then Eye finally woke up enuff to run the Tourney hosting Home:Away splits…

  • shooting overall favors The ‘Nati by +9% @home. Nothing that fabulous singularity-wise remarkable here; just a ~2’ish-percent gainer everywhere I looked in the b.cats favor.
  • 3-pointing favors Cincy by +6% @home. As the ‘cats are pretty location static, surprisingly enough behind the arc. It was rather Hokiebird shooting that got its 3-O visiting wings, clipped.
  • (Bonus: backbaording moves in Cincinnati’s favor all the way up to +7 mo’ misses gone collection agency gathered-in @home. VeeTee was closer to equilibrium here; although, Cincy really climbs all kinda over the fiberglass over in Ohio).

So, frankly, I do favor The ‘Nati to clip this home-field contest.

That said, I will also predict that if/when VeeTee wins this one…
…VeeTee is not done winning in ’23



(59% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=69, Cincinnati=84

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