#40 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #145 R.P.I. Georgia Tech:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball must be butter. Because the no.9 nationally ranked Virginia Tech’s men’s basketball team is on a… roll!
The Hokies must visit the other Atlantic Coast Tech and therefore suffice it to say that no matter how butter V.Tech may be, I for one am happy this one is not being played on the… parquet. That marginalized attempt at satire aside… our beloved Gobblers visit Gah.Tech down in the ATL. A 327-mile roadie or our first visiting announced pop-quiz of this A.c.c.edu.hoops spring semester. As the Jackets check in at 9 up and 5 down and they are technically tied for 1st-place in the A.c.c. right now (1-o). They have beaten who they are supposed to beat, and yet they have been stung by nearly everyone with any real live name-recognition cachet. Nevertheless, as you will read below, this one is about to get defensive indeed… although you wanna know who will ultimately offend who in the end? Read on, to find… out!
Georgia Tech Head Coach: Joshua Paul Pastner: Age=41, 208–113 (.649) overall, first year 41–40 (.506) so far at Georgia Tech.
Kid, Josh Pastner, is a Glen Dale, Wv., native and the son of Marla and Hal Pastner. Hal is a high school/A.A.U. coach and basketball promoter in the Houston (Tx.) area. Josh Pastner knew he wanted to be a coach since he was in the 5th grade. By the age of 13, he was publishing the Josh Pastner Scouting Report of local high school talent in the Houston metro’ area | at the age of 16, the Houston Hoops A.A.U. squad was turned over to Josh Pastner by his father/coach Hal; as this was Josh’s first job as a head coach! While a teenage A.A.U. coach, Josh Pastner coached future NBA players such as Emeka Okafor, T. J. Ford, and Daniel Gibson. WOW!
Baller Josh Pastner was a walk-on freshman on the 1997 N.C.A.A. Championship University of Arizona basketball team. After winning the NC2A title, Pastner was able to finish his degree in only two and a half years, taking as many as 33 credit hours per semester. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from Arizona in December 1998. He finished his master’s in Teaching and Teacher Education in December 1999 before beginning work on his doctorate and starting his coaching career in 2000 as a graduate-assistant under Lute Olson at Arizona and later at the University of Memphis under John Calipari.
On April 6, 2009, Josh Pastner was selected to replace John Calipari as head coach at the University of Memphis. At Memphis Coach Josh Pastner only won five conference titles in his seven years as the big whistle; including one C-U.S.A. Coach of the Year award in 2o13. Josh made the March Madness big dance at Memphis his first five seasons; then declined lesser post-season invites in his final two shotgun to Coach-Fu tenured years. Josh is known to be one of the best young hotshot recruiters in the land, including inking the #1 recruiting class nationally for Memphis in 2010. To put it mildly, Josh Pastner is a basketball coach and nothing other than a basketball coach. Coach Josh Pastner also courts a rep’ for lack of post-season success with a lot of one-n-done high roster turnover early entry type talents.
Then we see that… Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner filed a civil lawsuit last year in Arizona against Ron Bell and Jennifer Pendley, alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting and injurious falsehoods and attempts to blackmail and extort. WoW!
Then “wow” some more… as a counterclaim has been filed against Georgia Tech head men’s basketball coach Josh Pastner in Tucson, Ariz., where he’s accused of sexual assault (14 times in 10 months).
The alleged incident happened in February of 2016 while Pastner was still the men’s basketball head coach at Memphis. The counterclaim comes after Pastner filed a civil suit against former booster Ron Bell, who provided impermissible benefits to Yellow Jacket basketball players Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie, who were both suspended three and six games respectively by the NCAA for the violations. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pastner’s suit alleges that Bell and his girlfriend “defamed him and attempted to extort and blackmail Pastner and his family.”
(UPDATE: An independent Title IX investigation of Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner over allegations of sexual misconduct found the claims to be false and “concocted” as part of an extortion scheme. The 29-page report from the law firm Fisher & Phillips, obtained by USA TODAY Sports this summer, detailed numerous attempts by former Pastner friend Ronald Bell to blackmail Pastner, including apparently fabricating allegations that Pastner sexually assaulted Bell’s girlfriend, Jennifer Pendley.)
Mmmmmm-k, and if I knew what all that meant?
I’d know what all of that… meant.
Still yet, may St.Joshua & St.Paul bless and sing: “kum-ba-ya”
Six of Pastner’s former assistant coaches have (already) gone on to their own careers as head coaches.
Daddy Josh’ is (still) married to Kerri Lamas; they have three daughter’s: Payten, Sydney, Pastner, and one stepson (Ethan); Lord have mercy.
Gah.Tech at a glance:
- 10th BEST in 3-point FG defense (27.3% allowed)!!!
- 19th in FG percentage allowed (38.2%).
- 21st in scoring D (61.7 ppg allowed).
- 22nd in swats action (5.2 bpg).
- 72nd most turnover forced (15.45 tpg).
- 292nd in offensive rebounding (8.77 o-rpg).
- 309th in 3-point shooting (30.5% makes).
- No injuries listed (Thx @Coach God).
Jackets Returning Starters=3
Georgia Tech Strengths:
- This is what I wrote about one #10, and now leading Jacket scorer Jose Alvarado last year. “Georgia Tech Pt.Guard Jose Alvarado is variously listed as: “out indefinitely” and: “out for the year”. Either way, he seems highly unlikely to run ball vs. us on Saturday with a fractured left elbow. Gone away are Jose’s second-leading 12.2 ppg (now 13.1 ppg) and his classic penetrating and distributing game at the Point. Jose’ is said to be a tough (little) 6′, 160 lb. wiry, sharp-elbowed kinda One that is NO fun to guard. Gone as well are his well-hewn winning attitude and perhaps some minor lack of shooting range. 45% overall (now 42%) 80% FT’s (now 77%), and 38% deep (now 24%), with 3.7 boards (now 3.9 rpg) and the team lead in dimes dropped (3.9 apg) (now 3.3 apg), and in swipes (1.7 spg) (now 1.9 spg); all done for a while– if not for the year… may St.Jose bless!” This year it finally occurred to me -after I updated the above numbers, Jose Alvarado is not related to the T.Bay Ray’s star major league pitcher. This Jose -may or may not know the way to San Jose- although he is known to be a tough, gritty, high motor Pt.Guard who became an Ironman running the Jackets’ offense until the above-aforementioned elbow blowout (may St.Julia bless). Or in other words… most everything has regressed when most expected Jose to progress. And/or elevate his flat or somewhat negatively slopped game this campaign. And G.Tech surely needed the ESPN no.33 baller to do so— in particular on the offensive end. As Alvarado put up rarefied quadruple-doubles in high school and was thought to be the latest/greatest inner-city NYC thang. Or the next Steph’ Marbury or Kenny Anderson of G.Tech fame his ownself. Though he did beef-up to a now 178 sophomoric lbs. So one would think that would only help. This from a kid with a well-hewn slickster rep’ for: scoring, distributing and defending. Well, 1.75 outta three ain’t sad.
- 6′3″, 203 lb., grad-Sr’, Shooting-Guard Brandon Alston is a passer, a shooter, a shooter, more shooting and not a lot much else. A second best 10.4 ppg on 48% overall and 41% long is decent enough. Although the book here reads: does not like to go to the basket; a perimeter player only. The Vienna, Va. native/escapee is formerly of Leigh.edu where he plucked an undergrad (already) in Economics (in just six semesters)! Alacrity and erudite Props on dat. As his shooting acumen is indeed in demand, although the rest of a classical three-layer offensive game, Alston thus far has been unable to… supply. Though Alston is said to be a 3-n-D, newfangled specialist type Wing-Guard. i.e. he’s a shooter and a stopper at the 45° elbow extension bend. And that’s it. Now mix in 81% on 15′ unguarded set-shots with 10 seconds to shoot (A.K.A. FTA’s), 2.1 rpg and 1.5 apg and you wish this shooter brought a higher caliber, gun. Although he does bring you a sometimes blonde… ‘fro.
- James Banks III is a “carved outta wood”, 6′9″, 243 lb., P/F-C frontcourt combo’-swing from Texas with a smile as big as his, state. The third-year Post is leading G.Tech at 8.2 rpg and chips in with 9.8 ppg on a likewise team-pacing 62% shooting from the floor. And he does have 2.8 send-backs (bpg) thus far this year. J.Banks.III is a rarefied “immediately eligible” transfer baller from the Longhorns where he had a tag of being a baller who was a hard-grinding defender and rebounder or a perspiration industry type guy down-low. Then he and Team U.S.A. went and got a gold medal at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Valdivia, Chile. Then he got P.T. (playing-time) claustrophobic in “everything’s bigger Texas” and up and left. Jay Bee is from Decatur, Ga., so the ATL is something of a homecoming for him and he got to the Delta hub’ so late he is not even listed in any of my G.Tech preseason magazines. Still yet, Lindy’s preview of Texas says that he was expected to be: “a big factor” in the paint for Bevo and company. This from the no.49 kid in America three years ago according to Scout and a kid with a national title ring to back it up. However, you almost have to be wondering if he could be doing more, accordingly…
Georgia Tech Weaknesses:
- human double-double Ben Lammers is gonzo and that hurts any frontcourt. G, Josh Okogie and lefty shooter Tadric Jackson are finished as well and 42 ppp and 19 rpg all went with ’em.
- Likewise the fact that Lindy’s listed this team last on A.c.c., depth.
- Ditto the fact that this squad has not been to the NC2A’s in nearly coming on a decade.
- Tritto the fact that this club is hard-trying, although soft on experience or Mountain Dew been there done it (successfully) late in games type of ball.
Y.Jacket Bench: (depth=)
Abdoulaye Gueye and Curtis Heyward II at least give you some spot minutes here and there off the Jacket pine. Abdoulaye Gueye by way of Dakar Senegal fame is a 6′9″, 217 lb., r-Sr., 7′ 3” wingspan frontcourt rebounder and defender who is pretty under-cooked everywhere else. 4.8 ppg with 3.6 boards and 1.1 blocks, a steal and an assist on 50% from the floor and now 65% (up from a horrific 25%) on FTA’s says, so; although the book here reads that Gueye is developing and that he is a natural leaper who runs the court well enough. As a 660% improvement in scoring off of a broken wrist (St.Julia bless) makes you wonder what this kid can do with full health/matriculation? Because nobody is wondering about this worker-bee’s heart, that just drones on and on.
Curtis Heyward II s a 6′5″, 202 lb. second-season Wing who looks like he’s at least 30, maybe 33-35 years young. Greg Oden syndrome 1o1 if you will… nevertheless, this Heyward (22 years) has a 6-11 wingspan and a very rough-n-tumble attitude. Bet the under on guys who pick on this Heyward. As this Heyward has a tag for driving hard, a high hoops I.Q. and his bio’ says he: “specializes in: hard-work.” So there you go, a high octane, calorie burner extraordinaire. As every team needs a lead-pipe sparky welder kinda kid such as this. Curt and his blossoming game get you 7.8 ppg, on 2.2 rpg and 1.1 pockets-picked. Mix in 35% deep and 79% on his FTA’s and you have a glue guy who will, will his way to low teens in scoring come 2021. As Curt knows how to win, an Oklahoma state title than a full-fledged scholastic national title upon transfer to the NJ. hoops factory of Brewster Academy both says so. (Apparently no relation to R.I.P. Craig “Ironhead’s” kid who just graduated last year that I could find)
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Jackets who could start @Tech=1'ish.
The takeaway here is… this one is no one’s gimmie or lay-up, a cherry-picking, or breakaway clearpath to the basket game.
The other Tech means to do us, hard. In particular on the halt-unit end. Fortunately for us, points are at a premium for the other Technotronic Atlantic Coast hoops squad this season. As the Jackets can defend, although (offensive) output is just not their long suit at the moment.
Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame should be getting loose over in the statistical bullpen as I type. Next week or two give/take…
Nevertheless, the seasonal trends say that… the Hokies are +5% in shooting overall and +10% from 3-point land with a surprising +3 edge in rebounding margin.
In the most recent five-game set… the Gobblers are +4% in shooting from the floor and +10% again from behind the arc with a now +4 advantage in rebounding margin.
V.Tech is actually +1 on rest, though has to travel and that makes this one an R&R awash for it.
Overall FT-shooting has been virtually deadlocked all-year-long. Although G.Tech is .8oo so far as a not well-receiving 8-2 at home, host.
Well, I’ma gar-ron-damn-teeing that Tech wins this game or I b.street will eat these very, words.
(and lest we forget Lt.Col. “wild” Bill Kilgore and me of Appoclpase Now fame like our crow: “rare yet, warm“). That Ventnor Avenue man’s attempt at satire aside… it would appear to me that the good Tech is just too good on offense for the other Tech. Although, lest we forget Will Stewart’s visiting A.c.c. metric whereby the traveling Atlantic Coast Club wins about 30% of the time historically.
…and either way, we are all about to find out if Buzz’s very own Buzz Foster (defensive-coordinator/coach Jamie McNeilly) is fo’ real in this one, or; not?
- Virginia Tech is off to its best start to a season since 1982-83.
- Sophomore guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker hit 9-of-14 shots from the field Saturday en route to a game-high 25 points and is fifth in the A.c.c in scoring at 18.8 ppg and seventh in field-goal percentage (58.4%).
- The Hokies rank second in the nation in 3-point shooting (44.2%).
- The Hokies are fourth in scoring defense (57.9 ppg allowed).
- Virginia Tech has won the past four meetings in the series and eight of the past 10.
If you ask me -and you did via reading these very words- if you ask me this one wants to act-out as if it has the applied sports psych term of: “trap-game” written all over it.
As in years past several pretty good Vah.Tech hoopsters found themselves in a pickle of an away contest when terms were contested vs. hosting teams such as these (Jackets).
On the road vs. teams with the defensive and/or Post abilities(s) to muddle a game up and win via a version of just enough homesteading offense or what can be called… ugly-duckling basketball.
Though as Jerry West taught us at the traveling basketball all-stars camp as a kid… two things define truly great teams: “great teams go on and beat the heck out of bad teams and great teams find a way to win when they don’t play their best“.
At the very least, one of Mister Clutch’s greatness identifying axioms is surely en vogue here. And it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the other West maxim could prove defining indeed.
As we/Virginia Tech are just too much -even on the A.c.c. road- for Georgia Tech and pull away comfortably enough down the stretch. Or we clap-back and eke out a dogfight type hard-fought and therefore hard-won contest on Wednesday night.
Me? I’ma actually leaning the former, although I would take the later right now
and call the whole shebang, off.
(72% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=74, Georgia Tech=63