Miami basketball preview!

(was #49) NOW #69 R.P.I. Virginia Tech vs. (was: #25) NOW #12 R.P.I. Miami:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball is close to gettin’ it Rollin’, again.

The Hokies just played one of their best 20-minute spans in dispatching and then keeping their foot down on Nationally Ranked (no.3o A.P.) Pitt. To mix my metaphor… now another Cat’-V orange-(n-green) clad team offers opposition. As we now go hostess with the mostess on a semi-quick Association -esque 48-hour turn to face the hooping version of Da U. Miami enters the fray at: a sweet-22 up vs. only 5 down; (.767, or thirteen vs. four along the Atlantic shore or in-league play). Miami -as you will briefly read- has changed a lot since we saw them last. Which is to say… their winning streak that began with us has remained, unchanged. As Miami must be butter ’cause they are truly on a roll… both, each; alike! Nevertheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna go parquet Parkay and win this one and by how much, rights? So, read on, to find… out!

Miami Head Coach: James Joseph Larrañaga: Age=73, 718–479 (.599) overall, and
248–145 (.629) at Miami.
$1,300,000.oo base (w/ $700k for retention); i.e., pretty much a steal at this level.

(antediluvian) swagg.

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), in 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, 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 ballers 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 2o23 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 is 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:

  • 11th best in FT percentage!!! (Actually, improved here, 11-spots, wow, )
  • 19th in Showtime or fast-break ppg!! (Actually, playing even faster! wow, )
  • 14th in FG percentage itself! (Again, actually improved here, 21 spots, wowow,!)
  • 26th most fouls/game ‘whistled’ against! (A few mo’ ‘whistles’ blown here, )
  • 23rd best Effective FG percentage! (Again, actually improved here another 21 spots, wowzo! )
  • NOW up to 47th best in 3-point percentage!! (NOT listed before— wowowowow! )
  • 326th in bench scoring!!! (VT is 332nd here, so a pine spark could go a long way for either club).
    (Miami is entirely/exactly the same here, , go fig’?)
  • MEMO: notice that everything else was 22oth (D-rebounding is C-) or better. Lottsa uppercase double-digit or lowercase triple-digit rankings. Not epic, tho’ very very solid to downright good everywhere you look).
  • NO injuries reported! (“THX” @Coach God).
MEMO to readers… never seen this before and this is my 7th decade of hooping…
Miami is virtually better every, single; where… I… looked! w0w!!!

Returning Starters=2*

Miami Strengths:

  • (Lindy’s pre-season All-A.c.c. honoree, 1st-string): Isaiah Wong (now) only Wangs Miami’s Chung… what with being the gold-medal scorer at 16.4 ppg and a solid looking 4.4 rpg. This is with the team pacing at 3.5 apg and 1.6 spg. This Wong goes 6′4″, 184 lbs., as a twice-r-Juniorific breakout Two or off-G. Isaiah was the 78th Rivals **** or 4-star kid nationally three 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 team-wide 2nd-best enuff at 83.3%. Lindy’s calls this kid a: “dynamic scorer” and thus far 2023 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 28.9% career-long. As well, he 2023 has now, what with a highly respectful 38% on his 3-ball this season. Look out! As this kid can put the mid to short-range biscuit in the basket. And his 45.3% from the floor is getting mo’ consistent/reliable as Eye type. Has added a little bit of right mass or sinew since we saw him last… (needed it too). And somehow found 1-inch in height to boot (pun, intended). A bit streaky this Wong… tho’ streaking hotter Wong will wok you up. Could prolly put in 31st.Oct. has Will Smith costume party lookalike work if he wanted it as well. (UPDATE: this Wong be flaccid when ballin’ on the road… 7% overall and 11% from range). Still yet, since late January he has been cooking with CH4 or natural gas and basically grilling peeps. Will the now warming back-up New River Valley cool his on-trend So.Beach high heels a bit? You’d better hope so; as this is an export baller, and that is not the worst Dale Solomon earning thing. (UPDATE2: kinda mixed, some yin some yang, a little warmer on O tho, so, grade here).
  • * Jordan Miller is a: 6′7″, 194 lb., transfer Off-G from: Middleburg, Va. This is by way of being a Middleburg, Va., escapee. Did Eye mention his Middleburg non-Blacksburg Va., roots; yet? Jordan nets you: a 2nd-best 15.0 ppg with 5.9 rpg on 2.6 apg and 1.3 spg to help fill in your box score straight across. Not an epic guy, a good one with a lotta ‘good’-sized checks in a lotta veteran highly experienced boxes. Lindy’s says that j.Mill’ is an: “…inside-out scorer with rebounding chops.” Do not read that too often either. Good all ’round egg here folks. 35.1% long paired to a well above average ~54% overall shows you that this fourth-year baller may have taken the proverbial efficacious ‘next step’. 3rd strung all A-10 (16 ppg) prior to Miami and he did finish 2o22 on something of a tear. Does have a history of knee (right) dings (St.Nikon help). Named the VHSL 4A Player of the Year along the way to a State Title Commonwealth bling as a Junior. And was a 2oom track-n-field star to boot. So, you know this athlete has the speed to burn. Seems to enjoy a closer or clutch-knack in tourney games and that never hurt anyone anything at all. Also seemed a mite bigger -or at least, stronger- to me upon breaking tape. This is a good Wing or quasi 2-3 hybrid get and he is a real overload with those quicks/speeds for most larger 3’s who try to check him. Prolly is a fringe overseas-caliber guy at the moment. (UPDATE: moderate ups here, nothing kra-kra, tho’ enuff for the -vote itself).
    NO weak sauce here!
  • Arkansas State transfer and Bluefields, Nicaragua imported 6′7″, 249 lb., Norchad Omier; is a real thumper of a four or the ‘power’ in P/F itself. This #15, too (same as Jordan above) is a really getting Miami Portal get. As in… Mr. Omier is getting you: a third-best 13.9 ppg married to a first-best 9.8 rpg. This on: ~6o.7% from overall and nearly 71.1% from the FT-line. The only thing lacking or wanting here is range (11% from 3-ball-land; NOW a surging 28.6!!!); tho’ that is not how he impregnates his… ‘chad. As the: (2s21-22): Sun Belt Player of the Year and the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year awards mighta been a game-flavor clue. This is from a crusher who has actually added right at a 15-lb. weight plate to his already physically clad game since he got down to Miami, FLA. Nicaraguan National Team member (16 ppg with 10-boards); so, he has global gym résumé work in tow. A strong kid who is willing (to work) on film. Kinda has a very impoverished man’s Barkley with more of a Bias framed vibe to him upon breaking tape. I did say “impoverished” tho’ that is some pretty clique company to keep. (UPDATE: was slayin’ misses off the glass of late, almost 14 rpg in the last couple of fortnights of banging, NOW back to normal good). And frankly, that much back-boarding makes you a pro’ somewhere be that domestic or export. As how many can say they tallied a double-double in every single high-school game? (26.7 points and 2o.3 rebounds per game scholastically, wowow!) Honor Roll student, and only won a National Championship (Miami, Prep’) as a junior. Plus, the much-vaunted: Nicaraguan national championship in hoops the year before that. 15th ranked Transferer, and yet N/A ranking from high school. Wild, ain’t it? (UPDATE: the 3-point binge-watching is nearly unique, that’s an absurd boost in-year, and a couple of other things knickknacks rise over run to boot, one here, nearly two ups on his threeing alone!)
  • (Lindy’s 3rd-string All-A.c.c.): Nijel Pack is your Qb1 or Pt.Guard for Miami. Nijel packs it on at: 6′, 184 lbs., as a Kansas State transfer One, third-year Sophomoric baller. Pack drops you: 13.5 ppg with 2.7 rpg and 2.6 apg. This is from a team alpha of 41.8% long. So, this Pack’er has ranged from deep.  He also paces Miami at 86.5% from the charity stripe, so the reasonable 44.1% from the floor is a bit tricky to discern here. As Nijel appears to be a better pure netter than that. Oh well, and either way… he is also said to be one of the Top transfers last year in all of the nation. Top-5 or better everywhere I looked. So, this too is a rather fetching get for coach Larrañaga. As Pack was only voted All-Big-10 (One/Pt.Guard) last year. And Lindy’s only went so far as to call him an: “explosive” scorer. 9oth baller in all the land from outta high school does not suck. Neither was his 45% overall or 43.6% from behind the arc for the Wildcats. So, more was expected here— and Nigel has been scoring a bit more of late. If he finds his ceiling output-wise on O the Miami starting-5 is gonna be a seriously hard out. As Pack made a name for himself out on the Nike tour, so he appears to be able to elevate his game vs. elevated competition just the same. And he has connected with several D-1 game-winners. And he also does have a history of minor dings that have expensed him about ⅓ of a season in his career thus far. This one could mature into an international Pro’, time=tell here. (UPDATE: every single metric is keepin’ it totally swole here. Two ⇑⇑ ups as Mr. Nijel moved all markers northward, wow!).

Da U Weaknesses:

  • Da U is, back! Oh wait, ‘rong… sport.
  • Metric Tons of 5th and/or 6th hear guys are gone. Massive Learning & Experience Curve departure Effects are ineffective for it too.
  • Similarly, and nearly likewise, beyond the one Four or P/F banger? This is not a very massive hoops team. Kinda Welterweight if you will in physical terms. A little bit smaller looking team for all of this as well… not mid-Major sized, just P5 bottom shelf.

Beach Bench: (depth=5’ish give/take)

Philly baller, and coolio named: Wooga Poplar is your 6′5″, 195 lb., second-season shooting G or backup Two. A little bit of a 3-n-D baller here folks. What with: 7.8 ppg with 3.1 rpg on 1.3 apg and a team-tying 1st-best 1.3 spg. The 37.5% from downtown is reasonable enough. The 88.2% from the FT-Line is nearly the 1st-best enuff. A kid who Lindy’s called: a: “viable” bench-minutes baller. 78th baller overall from Rivals from Math High School (no joke). Where Wooga only won the Philly Public League title and then cut down the Statie nets after that (in: AA-ball). That counts, and so does his off-court dirt-bike collection. Never read that one before… anywho… this does seem to be a skillful kid at times to me in the film room. Yet then he seems to disappear box-score-wise for a game or two or even for a week. Then he high-teen or low 20’s explodes again and keeps his ppg mean, median, mode, hoopin’. Go fig’ here? As this is an inconsistent one, who plays the Two. Poplar might just be popular if/when he figures it nite-in to nite-out. (UPDATE: ‘nother rarefied ALL northward moving baller, all stats went up, wow, ⇑⇑).

6′2″, 2o7 lb., true-Soph’, Bensley Joseph is your Qb2 or caddying Pt.Guard here. Joseph minds the Hurricane store for: 5.o ppg with 2.o rpg and 2.1 apg in his substitute role. Good outside netter which got him cracked into this preview here. ≅38% from behind the 3-point arc is sharpshooting indeed. No.8o baller from ESPN came up in Haiti; and does have a history of buzzer-beaters at all levels. Did however miss his entire scholastic senior season due to a (left)-ankle hurt. St.Philip bless. As you gotta wonder if this Bensley went Bentley and pegged higher on two good high school wheels?  Soccer star before all of that, so the footwork is prolly pretty tight here. Has been a mite chiller on O of late. Godspeed Haiti. (UPDATE: just a little down overall, , not super bad tho’).

Harlond Beverly is a 6′5″, 2oo lb. 2nd-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 this, 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 3.8 ppg, a somewhat improved 1.2 rpg, and 1.3 apg. Although his 32.1% 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. His 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. As his in-season numbers are halved (or mo’) straight across. Seems like he could be doing a bit mo here… Does have a back history… St.Wolfgang bless! That just sucks/hurts. Maybe that is the glitch? (UPDATE: ‘nother ‘Cane on the come. , slight to modest upticks abound!)

Anthony Walker F, and his 3 ppg and 1.4 rpg have been a big disappointment to a vertically challenged Da U team thus far.  Anthony Walker goes: 6′9″, 215 lb., Four or P/F by way of localized B’More, Maryland fame. 4th-year-Super Jr. 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 positions if need be. The 35% overall and 25.9% from long-range (career) 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 down two back-to-back AAAA rings behind all of dat. Kinda a mini-me Bill Russell as scholastic hardware goes. He has got five rings in fo’ years, yo’. Honor Roll student the whole time on top of that. This 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. 2.9 ppg and 1.2 rpg curious kid; if/when the reps/sweat all come together… gotta be some late-bloomer headroom here. Now up to 42.9% overall this year even if the 3 (11.1% still needs to add length). That all said… his 2o23 numbers are down and you gotta wonder why? As he has been a versatile and durable Ironman if nothing else. (UPDATE: mixed… some yo-yo effect here, Smother Brothers routine 1o1… )

Stopping streakin' Miami @home is all about... what(s)?

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Canes who could hurri @Tech=handful at least, maybe 6?

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is…

…it is hard not to be taken with Coach Larrañaga and Miami at this point.

’cause they are missing a lotta uber-experienced parts from the last time we saw ’em and that is da point.

Coach L and his small-ball up-tempo style put the damn rock through the ring; and frankly, it will take a hOkie big-O kinda nite to get them on their own backcourt in their own backyard.

As I had kinda -incorrectly- thought Miami may not be all that and a ‘snap’.
Though this is a very tight team in mostly sunny localized Sunshine State terms.

(UPDATE: ^that^ is what Eye opined before and heretofore they have ONLY, improved!

As you read above… nearly to a man or per man and that is virtually in-year umpossible. Miami is growing, spreading, The Last of A.c.c. …Us, wowow!


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a mere 61-point VomiT of a game here. And lest we forget… the Forum Guide is year-hyphen-three 2o22-2o23, thus far! This time… I spliced out only, the roundball round-robin head-to-head common opponents since, we got beat @Miami by Miami. K? Only using those common teams in the meantime and it worked out to a 12.2-point caning per capita by the ‘Canes. As they are even better than they were, before. (Which sure seems mo’ reasonable than the near fiddy or 5o-point differential to me).


The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… nobody is up much of anything in shooting percentage margin (per: both scored +4%, Miami a little better on O and VeeTee a little better on D… this continued nearly unabated from last time FYI); with Miami now up a trending +4% in 3-point percentage margin (from: Miami is moving northward on O and on D alike, VeeTee is down on D and a little up on O), and Miami is creeping upward, now up +2-n-change carroms in rebounding margin for the duration. (Note: Miami is better than VeeTee on the O-glass, and not so much off of the D-backboard).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the ‘canes were now up a useful +5% in shooting percentage margin, NOW however this one is awash. (due to: VeeTee being slightly better on D and Miami Heating on O, tho’ NOBODY is playing any D here of late on either side!); with Da U was up a highly visible +12% in 3-point percentage margin, NOW and they still are (thanks to: mucho stiffer 3-D and somewhat netting very well of late on O), and the Hurricanes were up +1 miss in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of play. NOW and they have increased that to a noteworthy +7 Windex Wipes. (Here: we see the Hokies are negative in backboarding of late and Miami is plum puttin’ in fiber-work; in particular on the O-Glass same as above).

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

Dexys Midnite 1-hit, wonder(s)?:
Virginia Tech has a .333 record in single-possession games.
Miami is .625 facing the same

VeeTee… Vu ja… de?
With the same overall record at this stage as last season, with the same overall record at this stage as last season, with the same overall record at this stage as last season… did you get that yet? Same rec’ in the same dang spotVirginia Tech will need another deep run in the All Championship Conference Tournament to reach the NC2A Tournament. (And this jus’ in… rain is still rumored to be all… wet).

Olivia (Norris Hall) Newtonian, John?
Pitt coach Jeff Capel twice cited Virginia Tech’s “physicality” as a key to disrupting his team’s rhythm.

(Recall: we four, that’s the (4) of us reported from the A.c.c. Tourney nearly this time last year that the Zebras were surprised that VeeTee finally decided to play something other than catty. We turned it up physically at just the right moment on ’22 D.

24o6o streakers strike, out?
The Hokies have shown a knack at home for beating streaking A.c.c. teams. The Pitt win halted the Panthers’ six-game run; the victory over virginia stopped the cavaliers’ seven-game roll.
(Miami is on a hexa or 6-game swagg streak.)

Miami leads the series with Virginia Tech 26-2o.

Miami is up +4% at the charity stripe for the year.
Miami is a .6 guest; whereas VeeTee is .8 in homesteading.
VeeTee was up +3 in R&R tho’ Miami is now up +4 for this one of late.

The Call

(Was: No.51) NOW no.62 Net Ranking Virginia Tech vs. (was no.45) NOW no.31 Net Ranking Miami:

Mike Young has VeeTee looking a mite fresher or refreshed itself of late.

At least as a Castellan of his very own Cassell itself.

7 PM kick!

And it just so happens -curiously enuff- that this very Prez Day+1 (May St.Joseph and St.Donald beg for U.S., alike); that this hardwood contest will be contested in his very own warming back-up New River Valley. That’s the good news.

The news-news is that Miami just matched its most points in regulation in an A.c.c. game since it joined the league in 2oo4-o5. Or, (97); if you are keeping score @home. As Da U is only 7th best in ppg in the whole, dang, entire… Nation!


The VerdicT:

Now Miami brings 10 fine toes to wiggle in the (Slusher Beach) sand.
Or, a So.Beach date 9o1-miles Nor-by-Nor-East up from Coral Gables, Florida.

This one should make the Bristol (ESPN H.Q.) suits pretty dang happy.
As this one has Who hoops written all over it.
Or two scoring pinball, wizards.

And in all candor, it is gonna take a lotta points to put these ‘Canes down.



The Closer:

If you ask me -and you did via reading these very words- if you ask me… this one is made for Telly and this one could very well come down to… he who makes last laughs last, just the same.

🌀🧑‍🦯 <<< >>> 🏀 <<< >>> 🦃

As they say ‘over there’ in jolly ole England… “You do the maths….”
As these are two truly offensive teams. Lotta pop in their O-cans here folks.

Nevertheless, here is the actually defensive Home:Away splits makers-mark I found… ‘aye’, VeeTee does net and halt a little better @home. The shocker part however was that Da U nets nearly the same (only 1% overall and 3’s were nearly a draw) and yet they actually tighten up on D in your house! 3% better overall and in 3-D terms alike. wow! That’s the focus police out committing haterade traveling crimes vs. Jaywalkers everywhere.

Ergo, therefore to Whit… all of that conspires to tell me to tell you that it is fish or get off the pot time.

As it is gonna take a lotta points to put these ‘canes down.
(Did I mention the ‘lotta points part, yet?)

K… and anywho…

1st one to a Philly-looking 76’er of points wins here.
As Miami has been north of that all less one game in the last month and VeeTee has either
hit or allowed that very maker in every game over the exact same time frame.


(5o% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=a lot, or, ’bout 79; Miami=a lot, or ’bout 77

please support the VT F.C.A.!








3 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I always take your picks to Fan Duel for some easy money. What am I supposed to do with this? We don’t pay you the big money to cop out on making a prediction for the game.

  2. We are pretty good at home against and seem to have no chance in away games so victorious will be us. I hope

  3. K.

    my attempt at self-satire drew nil net?

    OPT Calculus underway n o w —–> b.street

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