#344 R.P.I. The Citadel @ #272 R.P.I. Virginia Tech
The 4-7 The Citadel Bulldogs (yes, “the” is part of their official nomenclature title), come a barking at big bad Atlantic Coast Virginia Tech this Saturday afternoon down in a pre-Christmas bustling New River Valley.
The Citadel did play A.c.c. Florida State to within 11 and is really only three shots away from being 6-5 on the year. As this team looks a bit better than their real-time R.P.I. index ranking suggests, at least on paper.
As they have a pretty good G, and a couple of at least serviceable frontcourters down low behind that.
And as we have already seen, nothing comes easy for the 2014-2015 inaugural Buzzing Hokies. Nothing comes easy vs. any Military school who simply brings it on each and every possession of the the game of life. Never mind in an actually fun sidetrack that we civis colloquially refer to as a … sport.
The Citadel is no soft touch, the Citadel is no easy out…
The Citadel at a glance:
- 42nd in 3-point shooting (39.6)
- 58th in points allowed defensively (59.9 ppg)
- 73rd in FG percentage offense (46.7%)
- nothing worse than 228th best beyond that
- no injuries reported
The Citadel Backcourt: (returning starters=1 of 3)
Ashton Moore: senior 6′ 172 lb. Suffolk Va. native in his final year who could easily have helped the O&M, had he only stayed home. Cross country star in high school, so you know endurance is a non-problem here. Neither is his desire to bomb away form the outside, where he is a sporting 33.9% on an almost team doubling 58 3-point attempts thus far this campaign. Which amounts to 16.o points per game (ppg) with 2.2 rebounds per game (rpg) and 2.7 assists per game (apg). Albeit it on only 29% from the floor overall, even if Mr. Moore does lead The Citadel in steals (1.4 steals per game) and in turnovers (2.8 turnover per contest) alike. That being published, I like what this Ashton kid brings to the court, he brings a little strength, a big smile and no small measure of confidence. He can score in bursts and burst into the mid-20’s here and there. Not bad work from a kid who has elevated his scoring by a stunning 280% since he hit Charleston South Carolina. And from a kid who might just be the best lb. for lb. baller on the floor.
Quinton Marshall: 6’5” 2o5 lb. junior year right-sized 2-guard. From an athletic looking family, so the sporting D.n.a. is there. Part time starter last season after having played from the bench from game#1. Nets you 5.4 ppg with 2.6 boards an an assist. This on a team leading 44% from downtown and yet only 36% from the floor, go fig’? Nice looking athlete who plays with a little bit of a edge which seems to whisper that he could be doing a bit more than he currently is.
Warren Sledge: Also tied for the 3-point stroke lead at 44% is the 6′ 3” 180 ‘tweener Guard in his second season outta Texas. Sledge has the look-n-feel of a starting Pt.G to me, less a series of leg injuries. As he has had a stress fracture of the tibia and a series of vulgar ankle rolls that have retarded his collegiate progress. This from a Smith Barney “old-fashioned way” baller who earned his way into college for his defensive acumen and all-around play as opposed to scoring tallies. Right now Sledge get you 3.1 ppg with a near team leading 3.6 dimes (0r assists) while drawing your top-flight backcourt defensive assignment each and every night. This is the signature worker-bee or glue kid who holds a team together.
Citadel Frontcourt: (starters back=1 of 2)
P.J. Horgan: former substitute legit Center –albeit it a scosche undersized at 6’9” 22o lbs. in his final year. P.J. has some ups to his game, when his bad-back allows, as he covers the floor pretty well defensively in the low post. Active guy, willing guy, who has willed his way to a second best 13.8 ppg and a team leading 6.8 rebounds per contest on 62% overall. Pee Jay also leads the Bulldogs in blocks at 1.4 and is the only credible offensive rebounding threat The Citadel has. Gatorade Player of the Year from the state of New Mexico who has had a good if not great college career. Horgan may not be elite, though any kid like this is not who you wanna have to cover in a pick-up game.
C.J. Bray: 6’7” 239 lb. r-junior burly looking power-forward with the emphasis on the word: power. Kinda an impoverished mans Mark Madsen of dancing L.a. Laker fame. Has fought through numerous foot, ankle and shoulder problems, which required surgical intervention on the final two. Hard-nosed, tough industrial player, who sports the “bimbo” Coles patella knee-bands and just like Horgan, brings it each and every night. Was named one of the top five basketball players in South Carolina scholastically and had a pretty solid looking high school football career as well. Right now Cee Jay crashes his way to 6.2 ppg and 4.6 rpg on a nifty looking 40% from 3-point land. So there is some skill to his will. As this Citadel starting front-line is Bulldog gruff indeed.
Bulldog Bench: (depth=3)
Brian White: 6’8” 195 lb. Richmond Va. native Three who looks more parts model or pass catcher from football than he does P/F or S/F in hoops. Florida State and uva offeree who who more known for his jack of all trades approach despite being a ace of an athlete himself. 5.4 ppg with 4.1 boards on 59% is not real bad effort for a second-year sub’ who is quick, fast and vertical as can be. Seems to me that B.White should do more before his Bulldog career is finished, as he surely has all the physical markers of a elite specimen above the rim baller.
Tim Broom: 6’2” 195 lb. freshman Pt.Guard from Jacksonville. More of a defensive baller, with history of shooting hand pinkie-finger dislocations/breaks. Only recently moved into the pine-squad mix and averages .3 ppg on 0% shooting from the floor, as statistically anomalies go. Does defense well and is a pesky stopper on-the-ball at that.
Jake Wright: 6’4” 195 lbs. G/F swing who will be carded until he turns 40. Has kinda an “opie” from Andy Griffith as opposed to Sons of Anarchy vibe to him. Ranked a niffy looking 49th nationally as a shooting guard by ESPN.com last year in Minnesota high school hoops. Something of a Charleston recruiting coup that he inked with The Citadel as he had a pretty smart looking offer sheet. Was the star of three straight state-champion teams from ‘Sota. Not particular fast, can shoot, though does need help getting open … gets you almost 8 ppg in a mere 13 minutes of play! 43% from distance and you have to wonder just how good this rookie year baller will be come 2018, as he is surely off to a precocious start, and could prolly have played somewhere bigger/better as the general hooping prognosticinti consensus goes.
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
The Citadel is +1 in rest, not that that matters a whole lot at 7 vs. 6 days off this time of year; as each school was breaking for final exams last week. Coach Chuck Driesell was, (somewhat surprisingly), invited back for the fifth year of his five year contract and it is not much of an extension to say that he is prolly coaching for his job, having entered this penta-Bulldog year 63, yes, sixty-three games under .5oo. That”s not good and neither were any of the forecasts I read regarding this 2014-2015 The Citadel men’s hoops team.
That said, near all-Southern Conference Swing and leading scorer (15 ppg) Matt Van Scyoc transferring out did not set a quality or very supportive entry tone regarding the retention odds of coach Chuck Driesell. This from a program who has made nest in the basement or as the perennial doormat of the Southern Conference in roundball terms itself. As I only read one preview that had the Bulldogs tabbed even as high as 9th in a 10 dog race.
Or in other words, what we have is a needy Bulldog team, that is efficacious on offense, semi-tight enough on defense and rebounds pretty dang well in addition to that. That sound like fun to you?
Me neither; and since 1/2 past when am I supposed to be super confident after two homecourt upsets already in our O&M rear-view mirror?
Accordingly, hindsight may be 20-20, so do observe that my confidence interval of a Hokie VicTory is dwindling, and I’ll go ahead and place us on upset alert for the speedy high-scoring Keydets on Monday right now.
Nevertheless, let us not place the cart before the horse and resolve to take first things first, as something tells me these Citadel (under)dogs are gonna be tough to tame indeed.
(51% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=57, The Citadel=58