#123 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #13 R.P.I. Duke:
EPIC win over… none other than arch rival uva!
CONGRATs to coach Buzz Williams and his team.
Now will the real 2015-2016 Virginia Tech men’s basketball team: “…please stand-up, please stand-up.” Because which team are we? I don’t know? Do you?
Alabama State, St.Joe’s and wvu?
Or the Team that just upset #4 hooVa?
Once more… I don’t know? Do you?
I do know that this is a pretty good Duke men’s hoops squad and yes, this just in… rain=wet. Read on for our forecast to go 3-o and remain in Atlantic Coast first-place!
Duke at a glance:
- 4th in Scoring (88.4 ppg)!
- 8th in total FT’s made (283 FT makes)
- 10th fewest Turnovers (10.1 tpg)
- 23rd in Blocks (5.6 bpg)
- 36th in 3-point percentage (38.6%)
- 40th in FG-percentage (47.9%)
- 43rd in Rebounding Margin (+6.3 rpg)
- 266th in 3-point defense (36.o% allowed)
- injuries: (1) A.Jefferson (read: below)
Duke Returning Starters=o, n, e! (just, 1)
- ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, let’s see… Lindy’s names you their A.c.c. Newcomer of the Year –and– their Most N.b.a. ready player; and yet you’ve played the same amount of D-1 power conference minutes that I have, never mind any Association P.T.? I’d have to say that you Sir are legit. And so is Mister Brandon Xavier Ingram. He of the bringing the funk dunk last week in a national highlight vs. B.C. Yah; this 6’10” 196 lb. raily looking #14 Wing is a human spring. Coiled for action, ready for lift-off and you’d better enjoy him while you’ve got him if you are a Duke guest reading this preview. 16.4 ppg and 6 boards after only 12 collegiate games, with five of his last seven contests experience outburst scoring of >23 ppg! Yup; this one is freaky good and he is already getting better… IN-SEASON. Yes, Mr. Ingram needs to add some strength, and his free-throwing (62.1%) does need some responsibility; however, he is #2 in nearly all the N.b.a. Draft big-boards, right now! He and his incredible 7’3” wingspan can pass, he can shoot, he has good handles and he appears to be more aggressive than a few temperament naggers said pre-season; as there is some degree of street-swag’ to his game. This guy’s a star, #3 in the nation coming outta high school guys courtesy of ESPN typically, are and stars shine, only question is… when does he eclipse the N.b.a.?
- Leading the way for Duke in scoring is actually #3 Grayson Allen. 20.6 ppg and 6.2 rebounds at Duke typically deciphers as code for… you too are gonna be a rich rich man. 6’5” 2o9 lbs. that have a tight all-’round well rounded game that can -on top of all that- dunk! That does not suck; neither does 49% overall, 87% from the charity-stripe and 42% from downtown. This kid can put the biscuit in the basket, from anywhere on the court! As I’ll confess my Dukie sins right now, I did not (quite) realize that Grayson was this …gifted. This kid can flat out play the game; he’s aggressive, he can shoot, he’s got grit and he’s tougher than most would think. Lindy’s went so far as to even nominate Mr. Allen as a 1st-round Draft Pick, with 4.4 ppg and 1.o rpg last year! That’s pretty damn good men as T.Jones and Q.Cook may have been fortunate to sit this kid for most of the 2014-15 Duke backcourt season. Check it… 2014 Powerade Jam Fest slam dunk champion … jumped over 7′ Duke teammate Jahlil Okafor to clinch the title! Prolly was undervalued what with only being ranked 34th best baller in the nation outta high school. Only shot 73% from 3-point range down in Florida in high school! wow!
- 6/9 255 lb. senior P/F Amile Jefferson … and yes … another Plumlee, Marshall thereof at 7′ 250 lb. Gr. (graduated) –these two man the middle for the Dukies and they man it well enough to allow Grayson, Ingram and all the rest to basically get their offensive freak-on.
Jefferson leads the way with 10.3 rebounds and chips in with 11.3 ppg. That’s prolly draftable in Association terms. Great rebounder, will finish inside (68% shooting); and has almost doubled his boards and points from last year.Prolly an overseas guy same as the final Plumlee. Marshall is a smart, heady, physical true-Center, who nets you 6.7 ppg, a second best 7.1 rpg and a first-best 1.9 bpg. Yah; with the shaved head he looks a little Full Metal Jacket, think: an in-shape Private Pyle. However this Pyle is a legitimate enforcing Sargent-major in the paint, he will give the hard foul and is way more than just a glorified sanitation engineer around the hoop; where he picks up and cleans up a whole lotta misses on offense.
- UPDATE: Jefferson has not played since 12.o5 (right foot fracture) and is listed as Out Indefinitely. Was said to be close to getting back right about now, more/less. However, this appears to be air-cast delayed. Godspeed!
- Matt Jones: a 6’5” 210 lb. off-Guard in his Jr. year is dropping 14 points per night. Here is the kinda guy who is prolly a star for at least 50% of the A.c.c. and yet he’s playing forth or even fifth fiddle down at Duke. The Texas native can deal from range; 42% on three’s says so. Team captain, and a versatile, all-around, fundamentally solid glue-guy who is also Duke’s best shutdown defender and who also does all the little things well. All coaches crave at least one Matt Jones.
- well, returning experience, for; one. (4 starters=gonzo)
- and the One itself. Pt.Guard is thin and it is manned by a total rookie.
- the Dukie pine squad is not real long as rotations go, fatigue could be an issue on quick Tournament turnarounds.
Duke Bench: (depth=Luke Kennard, seriously, Duke for all their McDonald’s all-American’s is about 1 and change deep this campaign; this 6’5” 180 lb. rookie 2-Guard is a 12.5 ppg relief scoring Force, on an A.c.c. leading 93.o% FTA’s)
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
The takeaway here is… ending a 16-game L streak at Cameron Indoor Arena is no small bid.
As any streak of that duration exists for a reason, or reasons, plural. And it took double-OT to do Duke in down in Cameron the last time way back in 1995! Wow! Not an easy place to win, is it? And it is prolly gonna take a lotta points to put Duke down in the Indoor Arena, as Duke has won their last five games by at least 16 points apiece! Now mix in the factoid that Duke is 51-8 all-time vs. Virginia Tech at home, in hoops.
And guess what? Duke gets some favorable calls on their homecourt, as Duke has netted 69 more free throws (3o8) than their opponents have attempted (239) thus far this year! Yikes! As Duke is 9-o at home and averaging 95 ppg on 40.3% shooting from beyond the arc in their own backyard this season. Yikes some more!
Virginia Tech is defending a little better of late than Duke is –both from the field and from downtown. So there is that; and after that? There was not much. As Virginia Tech has quietly slipped into a -7.6 rebounding margin disadvantage in the last five games of late that nobody seems to be talking about primarily because nobody is noticing. As the first baby-steps of program ascendancy are typically taken at home (cue: Nc.State and hateful uva). The truer program wide strides being taken out on the road in years #3 and/or #4. Virgina Tech is better; though we’ve got a reality check ways to go to even mess with Duke down in Durham Nc.
At home I’da at least toyed with this upset pick; as methinks we can and will still sneak up on a few Atlantic Coast’s as a homesteading dog this season. On the road vs. a chip very highly touted team that gets every call in the book?
Not so much…
(89% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=65, Duke=88