#28 R.P.I. Miami @ #122 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns home from a make-up tacked on a 3-game roadie to host the Miami Hurricanes on Hump Day nite over in the chilling-out again New River Valley.
The Hokies now draw 1st place in the All Championship Conference whole shebang, Miami. Miami enters the contest at a very on-trend 14 up against 5 down and a downright useful looking 6-2 or .75o in inter-league play. As the ‘Canes were one of the very few A.c.c. teams to go undefeated this past December; which added to a near 6-week span without suffering a single solitary L. And although not (entirely) sure if this is a great basketball crew? I am (pretty) sure that this is not less than a dang good Da U hoops crew gentlemen. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to finds… out!
Miami Head Coach: James Joseph Larrañaga: Age=72, 684–469 (.593) overall, and
214–135 (.613) at Miami.
$1,300,000.oo base (w/ $700k for retention)
6′3″ baller Larrañaga came up in the hard-hitting Bronx ‘hood of N.Y.C, as one of six children; Larrañaga attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, where he starred under Coach Jack Curran, graduating in 1967. He went on to play basketball at Providence College. He was the basketball team captain as a senior in 1971, leading Providence College to a 2o–8 record and an N.I.T. birth. He graduated as the school’s 5th all-time leading scorer with 1,258 points and was the team’s top scorer as a sophomore and junior, being named New England’s Division I Sophomore of the Year in 1969. After Providence, baller Larrañaga was 5th round of the 1971 N.b.a. Draft by the Detroit Pistons. However, baller Larrañaga never sought an NBA career, tho’ he did ball overseas for Geronemo Basketball Club (Belgium), 1976; then he opted instead to go into coaching. Jim’s grandfather was born in Cuba of Basque parents and was part of the Por Larrañaga cigar company in that country.
Coach Larrañaga prior to his time at Miami, he served as head coach at Bowling Green (1986-1997) and more notably at George Mason University (1997-2011), where he coached the Patriots to 13 consecutive winning seasons and became a media sensation during the Patriots’ improbable run to the Final-4 in 2006. Coach Larrañaga has ten conference titles to his claim and he won four different National Coach of the Year awards in 2o13) to pair with one other in 2oo6, and five conference Coach of the Year awards -from three conferences (A.c.c., C.A.A., and M.A.C.) along the way. Coach Larrañaga is a man who reads books by the Dalai Lama, quotes Confucius, Aristotle and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the locker room, starts practices by giving players a “Thought of the Day” and uses quotes and themes from movies such as “Drumline” and “You Got Served” for his pregame speeches. He has a butterfly release program for his baller’s each pre-season and is a quiet and highly mercurial sort. He is known for being meticulous -he carries his very own: 1o8-page coaching guide compiled from years of taking notes- and industrious in his approach to hard-nosed defense and rebounding, with a slashing attacking O on-court. Coach Larrañaga took Sun Tzu’s Art of War apart and re-wrote it for basketball purposes, turning it into what he calls “The Art of War for hoops. WOW, and far out, alike!
Professor Larrañaga was appointed as an associate professor in the George Mason School of Management (2oo6); specifically, in the school’s Executive M.B.A. program. Although his basketball schedule only allows him to teach part-time, he is a frequent presenter in classes on leadership, management, and team development, and also often speaks at Management School sponsored seminars. He had been a guest lecturer in the field of Management since arriving at Mason in 1997.
There were i-net whispers that Larrañaga is “coach-3” in the college basketball corruption probe earlier last year (per: USA Today).
And as much as I do like Professor-J, this seemed to be twilight coach folks… as his last winning season was 2o18. (And yet 2o22 wants a word -thus far- with dat).
Daddy Larrañaga is married to Liz’ and they have two sons and four grandchildren. Their son Jay played for his father at Bowling Green, was the head coach of the NBDL’s Erie Bayhawks,
and his now the top assistant coach with the Boston Celtics. Jon was a member
of his father’s George Mason teams from 1999-2003, earning first-team
academic all-American honors for NCAA Division I-AA school
Miami at a glance:
- 15th in Turnover Margin!!
- 40th most FT-makes! (Gets to the FT-line, a lot).
- 43rd most Swipes/game!
- 63rd in FG-percentage O.
- 291st in FG-percentage D allow!
- 328th best in Rebounding Margin!!! (312th on D-glass and 318th on O-glass; w0w!)
- 2 hurts listed… Coach God twice bless!
- Pretty decent backcourt team… with incredible 1 through 3/Wing hands! 31st to 5th best nationwide in every metric that involves backcourt: hands, handles, or the ilk. Never seen this before; either!?!
- VERY Coach Jimi Hendrix or highly seasoned hoops club.
- Did Eye mention the; experience, yets?
- 8-deep backcourt rotation! wow^8th.
- See: below…
- One #23, Oklahoma transfer, Kameron McGusty is a pretty useful looking 6′5″, 19o lb., r-6th-Sr. off-G by way of Katy, Tx. He of 11.6 ppg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg, and 3 rpg last year. Now up smartly to: 17.8 ppg, with 6.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, and 1.7 spg this year! Half-decade into collegiate hoops+1 and that’s pretty much code for garnering some A.c.c. Most Improve voting in my book. Prolly code for outright roofing itself too; as there won’t be much headroom remaining here. McGusty has some scoring gusto indeed… 48.7% overall, on 82.1 free-throwing and 34.6% long-range and formerly being ranked as the no. 46 prospect, including the No. 10 Shooting Guard, by ESPN says so. As does Kameron’s sporting-family tree which blossoms roundballs this time of year. McGusty is whispered to have snubbed V.Tech who (seemed) to have a fair-to-middling shot at him at the last minute. As this kid was a 40% boomer-bomber from deep for OK-U. So, he can make it rain from 3-point-land once he gets it going— (although when studying his game-log, I was left wondering if this is the rarefied Michael Cooper kinda kid who is more comfortable in relief as a highly-coveted 6th-man type role? As his 3-pointer digits have noticeably regressed per starting minutes in progress). Does have a jacket with a med.label that reads: right ‘leg-injury’ that has sat him for several games each year; St.Nikon bless! Is however one of the Top-3 or so ballers on the court most nites when he logs in leg-free and at or near 100% downstairs. Which is only 85-90% of the time historically. Or something of a Sex Panther playar… 60% of the time he is southern hemisphere weapons-free every time. Momma-bear is a talent acquisition manager… and you can go there if you wanna… me? Not poking da she-bear(s) here(s). Kam’ gets to the FT-line, a lot. Penetrating/slashing Off-G or Wingman of sorts. Has been a bit mo’ consistent of late… seems to stay within himself on O better this year than before as well. PROPS on dat and on getting his 2nd-full u.Grad’ diploma this upcoming spring commencement from Da.U.edu.
- (ONLY Lindy’s pre-season All-A.c.c. honoree, 3rd-string): Isaiah Wong (now) only Wangs Miami’s Chung… what with being the gold-medal scorer at 17.3 ppg and a nifty looking 5.4 rpg to top-shelf all of that. Or he did. This year he is close enuff, with: 16.7 ppg with 3.9 rpg on 2.3 apg and 1.1 spg. This Wong goes 6′3″, 185 lbs., as a twice-r-Soph breakout Two or off-G. Isaiah was the 78th Rivals kid nationally two years back and Wong’sanity may or may not be sweeping So.Beach as I type. That said, he went to the same H.S. as 1973 Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti; so, there is that. And he was something of an outburst scholastic scorer in/around Philly then over in Jersey. “Zay” as he likes to be called… is living at the charity stripe and he lives okay enuff there at 73%. Lindy’s calls this kid a: “dynamic scorer” and thus far 2022 is calling that bet square enough. As Wong did have a histrionic of late-game scholastic heroics, he was said to be a ‘breakout’ scorer by several other mag’s and if/when he lengthens his range and tickles the twine fo’ mo’ than 33% long? Look out! As this kid can put the mid to short-range biscuit in the basket. Has added a little bit of right-mass or sinew since we saw him last… (needed it too). A bit streaky this Wong… tho’ streaking hotter of late by-the-bye. Could prolly put in 31st.Oct. has Will Smith costume party lookalike work if he wanted it as well.
- Former reservist and New Zealander Sam Waardenburg was done for the duration with a ‘substantial’ left-foot injury last time we checked. St.Sebastian help! As the 6′10″, 225 lb., 6th-r-Sr. year Kiwi was only Miami’s leading rebounder two yarns ago. This year he is getting you: 7.9 ppg with 3.6 rpg on 1.9 and leads the way with 1.3 bpg to boot. 52.7% from the floor and a marksmanship looking 44.2% from deep almost give the likable Sammy a Point-F or Euro’ stretch-F look-n-feel. Auckland, New Zealand imported Four from Rangitoto College (which is code for: high school from some of them). Does field 1 mo’ SAS Secondary Schools National Championship bling than you and I do combined. So that does not suck. Neither does keeping-it-real and representing New Zealand in the various FIBA tourneys overseas. Lotta international experience(s) live here. For all of that… Mr. Waardenburg was only named: Named the most outstanding player at both the Nike All Asia Camp in Beijing and the Basketball Without Borders Camp in Australia. That has to count, rights? Has one Miami B.S. and M.S. alike, already. Getting his 2nd-Masters swagg as I type… and I’ve never typed that… b4. Props.edu.cubed! Dejan Vasiljevic and current teammate Deng Gak are both from the same Adidas touring team… so someone must have some Steinlager connections/juice from Miami here.
- Charlie Moore, Point.G., (another) 6th-r-Senior season returnee! Wild… 5′11″, 18o lb., One who gets you: a pretty dang improved: 12.5 ppg with 2.8 rpg on the team lead at: 3.8 apg and the team blue-ribbon for 1.9 spg alike. Glue-guy 1o1… could Co-Op at Elmer’s if given the chance. Inner-city Chi-Town or Windy-City worker bee who drones on by way of: DePaul then by way of Kansas then by way of California Berkley and now by way of… Miami. 4 teams in 6 seasons if you are keeping D-1 score @home. wowzo! Never read that one before, either. Anywho… 1st-team All-Big East last year at DePaul does not suck; and neither does 39% from 3-point-land; and neither did 16 ppg a couple of teams back @Kansas U. Consensus #1 baller in Illinois H.S. ball and 56th baller overall per Rivals way back when. Named Illinois Mr. Basketball, Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year, and Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year. Two-time back-to-back (Fr. and Soph. seasons in H.S.) AAA titlist for the state of Illinois itself. Does enjoy a DePaul diploma already, and his nickname is “CMo”. Good overall baller here men, mighta had a little mo’ expected of CMo coming outta high school tho’.
- LOVE of Miami and Coach Jim MUST be strong for this many guys to still want work and come-hexa-back for the 6th-time (again); here!
Da U Weaknesses:
- …as you will read below and have read above… a pretty porous rebounding program.
- 6′9″, 215 lb. (alledged) super-Soph., Anthony Walker F, and his 5 ppg and 2 rpg have been a big disappointment to a vertically challenged Da U team thus far. Mo’ below…
- A.c.c.ordingly, frontcourt depth is virtually nonexistent here… “so thin a to be damn near invisible.” *****, Adm., Chester William Nimitz, pre-Midway.
‘Cane Bench: (depth=4 to 6 most nites)
True-C, Rodney Miller Jr., is a bulked-up looking 6′12″, 225 lb., a space-eater by way of basketball factory Oak Hill Academy who decided to finally wear his r-Shirt last season. Or at least he was… as the updated roster(s) say he has cut 25+ odd lbs. this off-season? Also, haberdashering (this is a slick-dressing kid) would be a lotta size, and his career averages of: 6.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, and greater expectations to finally step forward per his 6o% shooting in the paint (pardon the frontcourt, pun). As said, the whispers say that Rod’ cut nearly 25 lbs. during off-season workouts, (again), this summer and looks the better/fitter man for it. More active on D what with 1.o bpg to boot. That said, being on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll (3.2+ G.P.A.) is a non-issue in this case so hopefully, 6th-r-Sr. year Mister Miller figures things out this year. As he was first seen dunking at a downright nutty age 12 and he was only the 90th ranked scholastic hardwood baller from Scout. Tho’ the 66% Free-Throwing is orange paint chip friendly. So, more has been expected from this likable student-athlete athletically speaking to be sure. doghouse? (UPDATE: was out fo’ the 2o21 year: right-knee-rip, St.Nikon bless!!! To end last year… this year he is down by nearly ¾’ers in most metrics straight across… as he just don’t look right on film to me. Did he cut good-mass this time out? Coach God Bless sum, mo’).
(UPDATE2: …the latest scuttlebutt is… Miller is (now) sidelined with a: ‘left-groan’, or groin, injury! St.Elmo’ help… yikes!)
Anthony Walker: 6′9″, 216 lb., Four or P/F by way of localized B’More, Maryland fame. 3rd-year-Soph. on the dead period of a year. Has a history of dings and dents, in-and-out of the line-up at times (Godspeed). When he is in, he is a utility frontcourt guy who can match up multiple position(s) if need be. 5.1 ppg with 2.1 rpg and 0.5 apg in relief is ‘K enuff. The 39% overall and 22% from long-range need some tinkering and puttering, however. Did win win win the National Prep Championships and a region championship, as well the NEPSAC AAA title game, during his lone year with the Brewster Academy team. I’d have to say that counts counts counts. Cut d0wn two back-to-back AAAA rings behind all of dat. Kinda a mini-me Bill Russell as scholastic hardware goes. He’s got five rings in fo’ years, yo’. Honor Roll student the whole time on top of that. Which is not ½-bad work; considering, Walker only took up basketball at age 15! wowow!!! 256th hommie nationally by 247Sports, although consensus **** or quad-star recruit by everyone. Did not rate as high due to the late-adaptor (to hoops) as product life cycles go. Curious kid; if/when the reps/sweat all come together… gotta be some late-bloomer headroom here.
r-5th-Jr., 6′10″, 22o lb. P/F and Foster’s Beer by way of Cairo, Egypt hommie, Deng Gak, and his surgically repaired left knee (St.Nikhon help); were done for the year last time we saw Miami. Also done for the year were his just south of 3 points, 4 boards, on 64% with and a swat as a back-up Four or frontcourt sub’. This is from a protein shake guzzling kid who got to Miami at 195 lbs. as the no.91 ranked recruit in America per ESPN.com. Gone also were his absurd 7′5″ wingspan, his gazelle floor running game, and his defensive acumen. As this is a name to remember, as this rare P/F mid-range oriented Gak kid (appears) to have a pretty high ceiling with some headroom to grow through indeed. Or at least it seemed he did… as Gak got 2o21 back after a torn right meniscus in his knee last season. St.Nikon help! Tho’ he was down to 2.6 ppg and 3.o rpg on 50% last year. This year Gak has gone out and found himself 11 lbs. of sinew and some better shooting: 54.5% overall and 87.5% from the charity stripe. As you gotta wonder what this kid could be on 2-good-wheels? He and his fam’ are swampers… per: Dinka descent (Africa). Tallest tribe in Africa, and spearmen to this very day. (Plus all the ash-raised skin tattoos… great luck on wanting to ruble with this bunch).
Harlond Beverly is a 6′5″, 196 lb. nugget or rookie year voter from the Motor City. He was only the 42nd recruiting in America and 9th best S/G according to rivals last year. During which he was a Michigan Class D state champion while his team merely finished 4th in the whole dang USofA. That’s “Wolverines!” all… in the meantime whoever… Beverly was hilling his way to 7.2 ppg, a somewhat improved 4.8 rpg, and likewise uppity 3.4 apg. Although his 15.6% from behind the arc is less than tempting, the book here says that Beverly is more of a Combo-G who can lead a team and penetrate to the basket. He is known for his versatility and his freaky athletics as well. Full name is Harlond Terrill Beverly… and he likes to go by “H”. So “H” it is as “H” is from one of the rarefied really good-looking full family homes. Really wish I could type that out mo’ often too— I really do. Tho’ this is not your typical recruit… something of a 2020 G.Hill playing lead-G. “Thanks” @Coach God on that. Has been off this year, however, even if he found 1″ and about a 10-lb. plate this off-season. His in-season numbers are halved (or mo’) straight across. Seems like he could be doing a bit mo here…
(UPDATE: …listed as ‘out indefinitely with a bad-bad… St.Wolfgang bless! As nothing I found read any good here… dang…)
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of 'Canes who could categorize @Tech=5 or 6.
The takeaway here is…
…there are some very very very hard Hokies to be taken with, at the moment.
Miami on the other hand is a very sporting or downright pleasant Coastal Division surprise and easy to take too for it.
As basically all of my pre-season magazines had us/VeeTee A.c.c. Top-handful at worst. And they also had the Hurricanes charted right at double-A.c.c.-digits or not any better than 10th best A.c.c. overall!
Go fig’ on all of dat?
Though do fig’ on this one being a much harder out than we all figured on September last.
Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a needs drug-testing help of a 91-point, VomiT!!! No joke, perfect correlation here, Miami swept everyone who Electroluxed us. Or we/VeeTee sucked vs. the very same round-robin roundball head-to-head teams! Even when taken per diem, it still works out to a curb-stopping 22.75-point total shellacking. wowowow!
The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… VeeTee is up nearly ≅4% in shooting percentage margin (all on D, nearly a dead-heat on O); V.P.I. is then up a sharp-looking +11% in 3-point percentage margin (bit mo’ on D tho’ up nicely on O as well), and Vah.Tech is up a downright useful looking +7 in rebounding margin of Windex Wipes year-to-date! (Mostly per Miami being down or at a negative —6 rpg for the duration, wow!)
The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Hokies are now up +5% in shooting percentage margin (80% of which was on O, crazily enuff); and yet the Gobblers are now only up +1% in 3-point percentage margin (O nearly=D here), and the Techmen are |absolute value| up +8 in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of fiberglass caroms. (With both squadrons being negative of late, Miami was 500% mo’ negative pro-rata and vis-à-vis! –10 vs. –2!!!)
🎼”ARE YOU, EXPERIENCED?“🎵
Miami’s five starters have a combined 531 college games, including 375 starts. wow!
OBSIDIAN or DRAGONGLASS?
Miami has been outrebounded by all 1o of their Power Five foes this year, but the Canes have still somehow managed to win seven of those contests. Dang!
VeeTee is a .75o host; whereas Miami is likewise a .75o guest.
74.1% apiece! Deadlocked at the charity stripe for the year.
Miami is up a massive +13 in R&R in the last few weeks!
No.69 Net Ranking Miami @ no. Net Ranking Virginia Tech:
Not a whole whole lot to cover or say here, is there?
Eye mean… we went from the apologist telling you that we were just a rusty/oxidized team after the (St.Nikephoros bless) cv19 sit-down… to their now telling you that we are just a tired team due to cramming for cv19 scheduling exams.
Well, which one is it P.A.T.T.y-cake P.A.T.T.y-cake bakers menz?
’cause it sure as hell cannot be both, and certainly not back-to-back.
That’s a Tom Selleck movie or:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Now we catch at least a pretty fair-to-middling or totally Gestalt overloaded hoops club right in the storming our Cassell mean-mug.
As Miami is just 2-points, not two shots of whatever variety, 2-points removed from being perfected since nearly… Thanksgiving! Think about that one folks…
••• ——— •••
While we are clearly the anti-Gestalt hoops squad— or, one that needs to get its one single solitary game north of .5oo N.I.T. or C.B.I./C.I.T. butt in Hokiemobile gear!
As in… 1o up against 9 down and just .333 in the A.c.c. is prolly code for Spring Broke and home watching March Madness on the… O&M Shanks Hall B&W telly.
Now, if you ask me personally -and you did via reading these very words-?
Eye do not (quite) think Miami is subjectively dat great; and I hope we/VeeTee are not *that* bad…
…nevertheless, the objective evidence is mounting— in both directions mind yah.
Yet again making this one my pet phrase of…
“Two ships passing in the night…“
(and only 1 ship is shipping, h2o)
And it is just plum hard to not be R.A.T.T. mindful of, dat.
🌀 >>> 🏀 >>> 🦃
(61% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=74, Miami=79