Gardner-Webb basketball preview!

#194 R.P.I. GardnerWebb #1o3 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns to Sunday matinee action after a hereby predicted tougher than most expected (winning) run vs. Chattanooga on Wednesday nite.

The Hokies now face Big South penultimate 2019-2020 preseason favorite by most magazines or the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs inside our soon to be wintertime Cassell. Gardner-Webb, however, has looked something less than north of being the Big South favorite, at least so far. As the Bulldogs have lacked bite at a mere 3 up and 7 down for the year to date. As Gardner-Webb opened 2019 on an unexpected o-5 schneid including getting tamed by 16 points vs. fellow A.c.c. North Carolina. As the Bulldogs only have one L checking in at under three-shots on the season. Ergo, therefore, to wit… this is not what most forecast for the G.Webb December hardwood weather back in August itself. Nonetheless, you wanna know who is gonna win this one and by how much? Read on; to find… out!

GardnerWebb Head Coach: Tim Craft: age=42, 111–90 (.555) overall and at G.Webb. Craft has a rep’ for: backcourt play; albeit penetrating backcourt play his case.
$(undisclosed).oo earned his Bachelor of Arts in history with a minor in secondary education from the University of Florida in 2000. Although from the two bios I did read for this article; it does not appear that baller Craft ever existed. And that is an extreme exception to the normalized player turned eventual coach D-1 men’s big-whistle rule.

Does read as being a very strait-laced stand-up guy.

Coach Craft held four different Floridian small-school assistant jobs and a couple of So.Eastern Conference assisting gigs along the way. So, you’d have to think he might just enjoy some recruiting pull down south.

C0ach Craft is only the fourth head coach in Big South Conference history to win at least 15 games in each of his first four seasons in Big South play. Lindy’s says he has a reputation for recruiting and player development and he is also known for being very hard to beat when balling @home.

In six Big South seasons, Tim’s teams have never finished south of 4th place in league play and he has made it to the C.B.I. once and to the NC2A’s just last year. For which Coach Craft merited a 2027 contractual extension and an undisclosed raise pre the school.

Poppa Craft and his wife, Jessica, have four children
–Lola, Macy, Bennett, and Christian.

Gardner-Webb at a glance:

  • 73rd in Blocks.
  • 99th in fewest Turnovers.
  • 124th in 3-point FG percentage on O.
  • 290th in defensive-rebounding.
  • Everything else average to C—/D+++.
  • NO injuries listed: “thx” @Coach God!

Bulldogs Returning Starters=3

GardnerWebb Strengths:

  • 6′6″, 200 lb. Eric Jamison Jr. The tag here reads: EeeJay is a veteran combo forward (S/F undersized P/F). Las year Jamison Jr. more than scotch-taped things together and came on strong as a junior to post career-high totals in several categories; so, he appears to be a baller on the latent careerist move. Eric is a solid rebounder (4.9 rpg) who has been efficient as a finisher around the rim and in the paint (54%). He is also one of the most experienced Bulldog performers. Now mix in a pretty much unexpected and third-best 44.4% long with a first best 82% from the charity-stripe and you have the Bulldogs front-runner for: Most Improved or team M.V.Bulldog or both. And oh ‘yah’ this final-year E.J.Jr. leads G.Webb in scoring at 13.9 ppg; coming up on right at a significant ~200% increase in pointing from last year. As that’s really no bad way for a Sr. to go on and Exit Stage Left for a kid who basically put up the exact same box score digits while pocketing a AA (double-A) Ga.State championship bling.
  • One #5, Dominican Republic native and internationally progressed Jose Perez (no relation to the Zorro actor José Perez) is merely your preseason Big South Conference Player of the Year by Athlon College Basketball Preview and by the Blue-Ribbon Basketball Handbook as well. That’s all. That said, it is curious to me that he is only the silver-medalist in scoring (12.8 ppg) on his own team at this time. As his truly frosty start to this late Autumn of 2019 (29% from the floor & 20% from 3-point land) might just have a little sompthin-sompthin to do with all of dat. As Jo.Perez is down a whopping 14% overall and a backbreaking 18% long coming into this one. As he has only cracked 26% overall once and he has not made better than 1 outta 3 deep; yet! So, clearly something is ‘rong here… and there are unconfirmed interweb whispers of a preseason ankle hurt on Perez (may St.Phillip bless). Other than that, the book on Jose says he is a versatile Wing who is capable of playing anywhere on the floor. Perez is a very savvy offensive player who scores at all three levels; (S, M, L). And he cops a pretty feisty NYC Brox’ ‘tude to boot. Although -the same as last year- Jo.Perze leads G.Webb in board-work (6.7 rpg) and in dimes dropped (4.o apg). So, if this 6′6″, 200 lb., sophomoric Wing with the high-fade lettuce up top can crop his offensive shots on the drop— he’s a pretty dang complete Mid-Major baller who might just have at least a Sergeant at Arms overseas game. As he only won the National Prep School Championship just two years back with what was coined: “an elite scorer’s” vibe to his game.

    Dood will take the hard-charge for his team.
  • Jaheam Cornwall is a 6′, 175 lb. Brooklyn ball outta Gotham. He shoots an entirely statistically peculiar 45.5% overall and when dialing long-distance alike; (I looked it up, he takes close to twice as many 3’s as he does 2’s). So you know this kid has some marksman to his ship. Jaheam drops you right at 11 ppg with 3.2 rpg and 2.4 apg. Still yet, shooting is this Pt.Guard’s thang in his first two seasons at Boiling Springs, (Sc.). As he did receive some third-string All-Big South attention from a few of my preseason wraps; and this third-year scrapper did a whole lotta youth/AAU working, including netting a ring from the pretty lucrative/coveted Adidas Gauntlet Silver Championship down in the ATL.
  • This isn’t a frontcourt focused squad— although there are three Bigs who log noticeable minutes here (≥13 mpg). Accordingly, this is not the normative mini-me mid-major you can simply run over and truck in the paint.

Gardner-Webb Weaknesses:

  • Only two guys departed; however, they would be last year’s top point-man and possibly the best back-up in the Big South. Both gone, and so there their virtual combined 30 ppg and 8 rpg combined.
  • Not a very good rebounding team… and same as, it nearly seems to be a little middle heavy to me. (i.e. lack/wanting for true Star-power).

Bulldogs Bench: (depth=4-5)

6′8″, 200 lb., second season Ludovic Dufeal is a Saint-Joseph, or Martinique imported S/F. The Caribbean Sea’s Island of Martinique where they run Francophile hoops mind you. Anyhoo… the vibe here is that that is another combo-F. Albeit one with an insane 7′2″ wingspan— and oui-oui, this affords Dufeal a significant reach advantage on the glass and in Windex works as the girls mighta as well be calling this homie: ‘stretch’. Accordingly, 6.8 ppg and 5.4 rpg on 49% with 1.2 blocks and a steal is no bad work in relief.

Lance Terry is a 6′2″, 185 lb. nugget or rookie year voter from Georgia where he was a consensus Top-13 in-state pick by all the major recruiting services or a pretty big get for a little man by mid-Major Gardner-Webb. 3.8 ppg on a team pacing 54% beyond the arc; after nearly 20 ppg in a very productive scholastic career that drew some A.c.c. interests (plural) makes you wonder where this now back-up 2019 Pt.Guard will 2023, be?

The key to beating little ole Mid-Major Gardner-Webb @Home is, what(s)?

View Results

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Bulldogs who could 'bark' @Tech=2 maybe even 3.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… G.Webb just won the Big South last year and additionally inked the alpha or top-rated recruiting class in the Big South this past off-season.

I’d have to call that an upward trend. And I’d also call being picked second or first (in order of frequency) in the Big South by all of my preseason mags a pretty dang sweet thing.

As Gardner-Webb seems like a mid-major with big dreams that are possibly on the come to me.


Gar.Webb is .143 as a visitor and Vah.Tech is .714 as a host.

Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for nothing for another ~3 weeks due to Holiday Season’s schedule spacing. Tho’ fellow Power Conference D-1’s have beaten G.Webb by a relatively competitive looking mere 10 points on average.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… V.Tech is up 5% in shooting percentage margin (all on O); V.Tech is up 4% in 3-point percentage margin (more so on O, tho’ G.Webb is better on 3-point D); and V.Tech is up +4 misses in rebounding margin (mostly due to G.Webb being bad on the glass for the duration).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Bulldogs are now up 1% in shooting percentage margin (most of which is G.Webb better and V.Tech worse on O; tho’ G.Webb is defending a bit better to boot); the Hokies are up 4% in 3-point percentage margin (both teams are shooting and defensing the 3 worse of late compared to the year, although VT is shooting the 3 better than a chilly looking G.Webb has in the last fortnight); and G.Webb is actually now up +4 caroms in rebounding margin (mostly due to G.Webb being better of late on the glass).

G.Webb is up 3% at the charity stripe for 2019.

G.Webb is +3 on fresh-legs here.

G.Webb is the healthier team
3-o on the injury sheet(s).

The call...

IF you look up above and look back to last games match-up(s) chart you see the virtually same basketball.gif placement and the very same identical conclusive rating in V.Tech favor on the bottom-left both times.

I did actually change that as I did (internally) quibbled with giving V.Tech a rarified rebounding non for a change. (as we might just win in caroms on Sunday afternoon).

More or less… Eye view Gardner-Webb as basically being a version of U-Ten.Chattanooga Lyte.

1:3o pm kick-off!

They do field a few similar pieces -which could cause concern- here and there— it is just that they are not as good at doing what Chatty did rather well.

Namely, drain the game, grind things up in a sharp/smart way internal Pinat-shop matrix where they do enjoy post-up advantages.


Nevertheless… you do have to wonder about all those preseason Big South Gold and Silver medal nominations from my competing preview magazines…

…either they were all ‘rong or something is not ‘right’ with a highly expectant Gardner-Webb roundball squad.

And if the latter is the case, you do need to wonder when they are due to ‘snap’ outta their early-preseason funk?

Me personally? I just did not see a mid-Major that merited *that* high of a ranking on breaking tape… tho’ I do know that the Brit’s have a saying… “When 10 men tell you, you’re drunk you had better lie down.

Let’s hope those uppity preseason predictions were indeed short on the truth.

(83% confidence interval)


Virginia Tech=76, GardnerWebb=61




4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Still a novice here in “B. St. speak,” even though we grew up only ten miles apart.
    Always enjoy the effort, but “never trust a Beaver.” (Will leave that cyptic comment to B. St.)


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