NCAA Tournament preview!

#52 R.P.I. Texas #57 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball is… DANCING! Electric boogaloo! Hic-Hop! Twinkletoes! Cut-a-rug! Squares… whatever you deign to call it… call it… DANCING, baa-bee!

The Hokies are Marching on, regular-season Madness aside. Thus, into the: NC2A’s, The Big Dance, the Round-of-64. Again, call it what you will… “(Call me anything), just call me often.” —Coach Mae West. As the Hokies now head 725-miles Nor-by-Nor-West for a pseudo-Eastern Region opening-round get-down vs. the mighty Texas Longhorns where indeed… “everything is, bigger”. Size does matter, just as the wimminz species… and there is a LOT of big tree size in this weekend’s bracketology for the Hokies here. As we now battle (dance term, get it?) vs. 21 up against 11 down and a useful looking 1o-8, good enuff for 4th-place in the Big-8 now gone Big-12 Texas. As Texas is the 25th ranked team in national terms of both National Polls. (With little ole V.P.I. being ranked 1-spot ahead: in the Coach’s poll and 1-spot behind in the A.P.). Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win this Round-of-64 soiree and by how much, rights? So, read on… to find, out!

Texas Head Coach: Christopher Michael Beard: Age=49, 229–96 (.7o5) overall, and 21–11 (.656) @Texas. Has a rep’ for program turnarounds, if not mini-me savior (lowercase).
$5,200,000.oo

volley(H)er 1o1…

Coach Beard previously coached at Texas Tech, Little Rock, Angelo State, and McMurry. Beard graduated from high school from McCullough High School in The Woodlands, Texas. Baller Beard never wore a collegiate jock. He did wash the same as a manager at Texas under former Longhorn’s coach Tom Penders, graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology. Tho’ baller Beard did run scholastic ball. As Beard played his high school basketball for Mike Kunstadt at Irving High School (Irving, Texas) and for Terry Priest at McCullough High School (The Woodlands, Texas). After managing things… he received a Masters of Education from Abilene Christian University where he served as a graduate assistant in 1998. Twice .edu PROPs inserted (here &, here)! Tho’… never read this way up {sic: manager to coach} before. And you read of a non-college-baller going big-coaching-ballers maybe ~5% of the time give/take. This is a very rare row to hoe… nearly, unique; in a word. (Just ask… Buzz!)

Under Beard’s watch, the Texas Tech Red Raiders made the deepest NCAA Tournament runs in school history. In 2019, the Red Raiders won a school-record 31 games on the way to the 2o19 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Game against the virginia cavaliers. He was recognized as the 2o19 AP National Coach of the Year! That’s all. This beard sucks, cut him, now!

Among other résumé wizardry, you asks? Well, Coach-B scored the only winning season @Fort Scott Community College in virtually a decade. His 1st-season @Ft.S.C.C. mind yah! After which in his one season @Seminole State College? He only took them to a 14th National Ranking! Both Bobby and Pat’ Knighted him after that. After which Coach-B only got beat twice, that’s two as in only (2) L’s for the South Carolina Warriors in the American Basketball Association. Then he only won nearly fiddy, that’s (5o) games in less than two seasons @Angelo State! Do you see a trend here?

As Eye sees… two. First up, Coach Beard is a near miracle-worker or Mister Scott -esque coach. That, and he don’t stay anywhere for very long… vagabond or itinerate coach per 14-teams since 1995! Gotta be a reason(s) for dat. And oh yes… Coach Beard is one final thing… he’s a post-season damn-dog! As his .75o win-percentage when the chips get big-n-blue is positively Riley or Auerbach territory! Now mix in 3-conference titles since just 2o16, and four conference Coach of the Year Awards and then trump that with two National Coach of the Year Awards and you begin to see what I mean, rights?

Big Whistle Chris Beard comes from the Bobby Knight coaching tree and has already pruned four, that’s (4) different head-coaches from his very own Arbor Day in his own right. Impressive for south of fiddy years young; very, actually! And the Knight demeanor… it fits. As this guy came off as a stickler, extra-starchy guy upon breaking-tape.

Daddy Beard has three daughters, Avery, Ella, and Margo.
He is engaged to (Volleyball coach), Randi Trew. #CONGRATS!

Texas at a glance:

  • 6th best in Scoring-D (allowed)!!!
  • 21st thriftiest in Turnover Margin!!
  • 39th in Turnovers forced!
  • 250th in 3-point percentage.
  • 314th in Defensive Rebounding!!
  • So, Texas basically does nothing really badly… tho’ in surveying their rankings, it was clear they are frontcourt heavy, and a little bit backcourt shy. (That’s our lifeline here!)
  • 1 injury listed; Coach God bless!

Returning Starters=2

Texas Strengths:

  • A LOT of guys are suborning themselves to this system here, ‘bending the (TX.) knee” if you will; and Coach B must be doing something right to get this many to buy in that much when they have already done *that* much somewhere(s), else!
  • Timmy Allen, S/F, 6′6″, 210 lbs., transfer (Utah Ute) baller who be keepin’ a very Baltic Ave. man’s Mario Van Peoples look, sorta… well, kinda. He be tryin’ anywho… and he be leading the Longhorns in scoring along the way. 12.3 ppg with 6.5 rpg on 2.1 apg and an also pacing 1.3 spg is no bad work if you can get it. The caveat being, this is mo’ parts pure scorer (~18 ppg @Utah) way mo’ so than he is less parts pure, shooter. As he parted with his stellar rookie-year netting of a staggering 57% from 3-point land out in Utah and has never busted 26% ever since from deep! Kra-kra in the head-head, ain’t it? I looked it up thrice just to triple-double, check. Been a real yo-yo or Smoothers Brothers (onstage) routine of a baller all year. Up-down, down-down, back-up, and down again. Can pop clean for mid to high-20s at times and nearly disappear at others. The even mo’ kra-kra part you asks? Well, they only get their best netter between 6 and 9 looks in basically 2 of his 3 contests’. So, this is one of those few kids who literally does need to shoot, mo’. He is Texas’ most electric baller, north of household or domestic 11ov in circuiting terms. Lindy’s listed him as 3rd-string All-Big-8 pre-season, tho’ they also listed him as the: Big-12’s Most Versatile. You want a kid like that to exhibit (not inhibit) his versatility per such a low touch count. Trust the Pt.Guard in me; or, trust the near 7 rpg and near 4 apg as 1st-string All-P.A.C.-10 honors last year, here. This is a good all-’round baller who can put in ‘take the game over’ work if you need him too… tho’ you need him on the ball in order to enable him, to do so! As he was the only P..A.C.-12 baller to: rank in the Top-1o in the league in scoring (fifth), rebounding (seventh), assists (fifth), and steals (10th) … AND, he was also one of just six players in NCAA Division I (and one of just two Power 6 players, to average at least 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game last year. As Timmy is prolly an overseas guy for all of this… tho’ he does have a history of dings, and he does need mo’ range on his maximum J to be sure. This Tim Allen finds just one mo’ tool from distance and this 101st overall prospect in the nation by 247Sports might just next level, surprise! (Godspeed to the soul of his reposed momma-bear: as Elise passed away after a seven-year battle with breast cancer, dang. St.Nektarios bless!!!)

    Varoooomvaroom!
  • One #2, 6′2″, 19o lb., Marcus Carr, is a Pt.Guard by way of N.A.F.T.A. or the Great White North of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, “eh“! He is also by the way of: Pittsburgh, then by the way of Minnesota; and you know how I feels about 3+ schools in ever how many years. That non-Purely Chicken struck… Carr’s 5.8 assists-per-game mark is tops in Minnesota program history. So, there is that. There is also his 10.9 ppg, with 2.0 rpg and his 3.2 apg. Not bad. And yet there is also his: 38% overall; not, good. As this kid is highly experienced (grad-transfer, 5th-Senior) and that never hurt; tho’ he is a really mixed bag of a One. 20 ppg last year @’Sota really eye-pops things here— ditto well over 6 apg. As this kid has some talent(s) somewheres. Pretty durable kid, having only missed four games in as many years, so, the training room is not it. And Lindy’s says he is only 1st-string All-Big-8 skate-eight and Pt.Guard donate good. So, there is that too. Likewise, being Lindy’s Conference Newcomer of the Year pre-season. Did blow his left knee (A.c.l., St.Nikon help) out in H.S. ball up north. Did get a silver medal for the National Team before that. So, experience internationally and collegiately this kid surely gots. All-A.c.c. Academic Team @Pitt.edu is an encouragement as well. As this Carr can likely export motor into a nice career somewhere else.
  • (6th-year, hardship, God Bless!!!) r-Sr., Andrew Jones: off-G, 6′4″, 19o lb., baller from J.R. Ewing’s hometown… with no word from Victoria on just how Principally centered this lead-G may be. That attempt at mixed metaphor aside… ‘drew is… ALIVE! As his battle with hateful leukemia is just heart-rending to read. Godspeed/Coach God Bless bro’. That’s righteously in place… the survivor Andrew Jones was your leading Longhorn scorer last year (~15 ppg). Now he hits you up for: 10.7 ppg, with 2.8 rpg on 1.6 apg and a neat-looking 1.1 spg to boot this year. As the all-important Game of Life goes, ‘drew was merely named the: 2o19-2o Big 12 Conference Male Sportsperson of the Year, recognizing an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship, community service, and academic achievement. This after he was diagnosed with leukemia in January 2o18 and yet underwent successful treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Goodness, scary as can be, ain’t it? As this ‘drew be Jonesing for leading you in A, I, R, breathed in-and-out. Presuming he continues on right-as-rain, he too is prolly flirting with overseas Pro’ status. Although he three, really runs hawt-n-cold on O. And he (same as: T.Allen up above) has been a bit chilly of lates. No.19 baller in America per Scout and consensus Top-30 by everyone who we all hope/Pray ranks #1 in… health. (Does lead the Tx.-rotation in free-throwing at 81%, tho’ the 40% from the floor needs some spit-shine in voted ON the island all candor).
  • 6′9″, 22o lb., Tre Mitchell P/F (See: BELOW) and final-year, 6′3″, 18o lb., Courtney Ramey, G, round out the Texas starting-5 in a 2-G, and 2-F with 1-Wing/’tweener set. Ramey gets you: 9.5 ppg with 3.5 rpg on 1.6 apg. Ramsey was also: All-Big 12 Third Team selection last season. So, the kid can play a bit… and he can shoot a little too; as his 35%-n-change leads the way in the not-so-hot-to-trot Longhorn target practice from behind the arc. That said, unlike a lotta the other ‘horns, this Horn has been horny on O of late, dropping some big O-face digits recently enough. This from the no. 34 overall prospect in the nation according to: 247Sports. As Ramey is one of the few Longhorns to get a scholastic State Championship bling (2-n-fact, back-to-back) up in St.Louis. Also garnered The Missouri Player of the Year honors by USA TODAY High School Sports. Where Court’ enjoyed something of an H.S. high-scoring rep’ on the court. T&F star as well, so this is a quick/speedy one when he wants to hit the go-juice and fly. This kid is pretty good, and this kid is a winner, and that could be a late-game, hint.

Texas Weaknesses:

  • There was some turnover here from last year… as one dang good Pt.Guard (14 ppg, m.Coleman III) and three frontcourters worth nearly 20′ and over 30 ppg and over 15 rpg all kicked rocks and made like a baby and headed out. Tho’ still… Coach Beard is a funneling, portaling, and recruiting/reloading machine. The Matrix and most of D-1 would love to have his problems… as the (seemingly) better time to have faced Texas was early on… before these new faces in new places settled down then settled in.
  • Tre Mitchell, big-ole handsome retro/throwback undersized (6′9″, 22o lb.) true-C from my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa., has taken “an extended leave of absence”. That’s the official party-line here. Springy, plays longer than he looks kid, said to have: great hands and likewise-touch around the basket. Did dig the lengthy twist-top gone… Ric Flair. Seemed small (mo’ Jenny Craig’ed or thinner) upon film to me. Tho’ he seemed to spark Massachusetts hoops up last year with 19 ppg with 7.2 rpg and 1.5 bpg. Really interesting painter or keyer here folks. Prolly is an overseas Pro’ already. There are whispers he is Texas cooked too; I’ll leave the rest alone per my IV Commandments of publishing. Coach God Bless Tre! Though either way… this is a big subtraction from the Texas line-up (Even at: 10 ppg and 5 rpg @Austin). Make no misQ on that. I’d take him and his 74th in America ESPN.com ranking; presuming all things are piously dealt with erstwhile.

    Father‘s Day?!?
  • Don’t wanna hit this too hard -don’t wanna omit it, either- however, there are ‘whispers’ that this is an automatic team. i.e., … or a team that is not, clutch.

Horny Bench: (depth=5 to 7’ish, pretty deep rotation rotates in, here!)

Christian Bishop is an S/F, checking-in at: 6′7″, 22o lbs., in his final season of ball. Well, when he is not auditioning to reprise “Kid” from Kid ‘n Play from Class Act (1992). Seriously yo’… I mean, is he really Duncan Pinderhughes (done by: Christopher “Kid” Reid) long, L, son?!? Truly, the resemblance is nearly umpossible… tho’ the maths would fit, and Eye’ma jus’ sayin’… (see: above pic). Anywho… this Bishop and his See play a pretty fair-to-middling lb. for lb. game of relief. As Chris’ is a pretty physically strong kid to be playing the Three. 6.8 ppg and a noticeable 5.6 rpg on a grifting 59.3% would all agry. Creighton transfer baller where Bishop got you 11 & 7 (ppg and rpg) and never shot ≤59%! In point of fact, he has shot ≥67.1% in college per year, twice! As there is efficaciousness and then there is… Chris’. Accordingly, this Bishop rules… per his ranking fourth nationally among active NCAA Division I players (min. 24o field goals made) in career field goal percentage (.645). And this Bishop only preached second in Creighton program history in career field goal percentage, ever! wow! Never seen that one before… also said to be a pretty solid defensive specialist. An Italian-born kid who was only the 103rd overall prospect in the nation by Rivals. This was after an H.S. career that was known for notching triple-doubles. Most of his fam’ (including pops) has played collegiate ball at some level or another. Plays a head-strong way, has some toughs to his game, and will dunk on you (the reverse is his preference). You could do 6th-man all-’round game worse than this kid here. As Chris is prolly fringe overseas good for the numerous things he can bring.

Hook shot 1o1…

6′9″, 22o lb, Dylan Disu is a frontcourt back-up with 2-years left from Vandy’ in Nashville, Tenn. Likes to flex, pose, and stare down on tape. Not a kid who guzzles physical weak-sauce, and does employ some measure of physical strength to his game. Got you 15 ppg and lead the S.E.C. with 9.2 rpg as the alpha Commodore down-low last campaign. This season d.Disu is netting you 3.8 ppg with 3.2 rpg, a block and the team lead at: 84.6% from the charity stripe. Shoots okay from the floor (49% Vandy and 48% Texas) tho’ not off the charts for where he plays relative to the rack. Then there is his head game… which one could dare to observe is heady-enuff. What with only being named: the 2o21 S.e.c. Scholar-Athlete of the Year (all-sports, all-year)!!! And being named: the 2o21 CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, a 2o21 S.e.c. Academic Honor Roll selection and a 2021 Second-Team Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar winner as well. SHAZAM! Pflugerville, Tx., native… so this is a homecoming of sorts. No. 128 in the USofA per Rivals, and had a rep’ for fiddy or (5o) point high school games. Fam’ is a Volleyball fam’ what with: two younger twin sisters, Megan and Madison. Clearly, this Disu has ‘multiple’ ways to beat you! As he runs the floor well and gives rather insightful antithetical to the typical ‘dum’-jock’ moniker post-game interviews. Good on Dylan.I.Q.edu, a studious student-athlete.

Jase Febres is a 6′5″, 19o lb., combo-G from H’town Texas. Jase gets you 3.8 ppg with 1.4 rpg and a dime and a swipe as the lead backcourt substitute for Texas. Known to be a streaky 3-point specialist, who can really go supernova hot like the sun from range when he gets it rolling early, (33.9%). Has got you over 9 ppg on average until this year when he graciously accepted fewer P.T. and a lesser role. Also has a history of blown left-knee(s); St.Culbreth blesses here. No. 47 overall prospect overall from Scout. Does not seem the same to me this season, like his J has gone a bit lowercase “j” itself. Down almost ~9% from 3-point land for it on the year. And his poor father (Orlando) has passed (cancer, St.Nektarios help!) Pops did ball at New Mexico and throughout the Caribbean Pro’ circuit for several seasons (per being a: Puerto Rican native). Dang… as this kid is better, he’s just beat-up on-court and off alike. Godspeed in the game of Life to the next Mr. Febres.

Who advances to the NC2A round-of-32, here?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Longhorns who would not come up short @Tech=a handful at least.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is

well, as whack as dis may seem(s)?

If you asks me?

And you did via reading these very -words- if you asks up on me?

Purdue and their looming 21′+++ towering frontline mismatch vs. our long-range spot-up shooters is a better match-up from the O&M P.O.V. (point-of-view) than these backcourt pressuring and even occasionally backcourt physical Tx.Longhorns will be.


Yups… ‘fraid so’s… and in breaking tape you asks? Well, in some of their games the ‘horns at least a little bit, or kinda/sorta gots plum got after peeps on D. When, they wanted to! The queer and hard-to-bum steer thingy or caveat being… they did not always want to. As this is a few bricks shy of Nolan Richardson’s 40-minutes of hell in your shirt like jock-itch pressuring halt-unit, tho’ Texas can give us a hard way out, come Friday evening @8 PM or so.huh?

Again, IF they want to… which they do not always seem to, to me, upon film.
Why although=who know(s)???

***

May St.Patrick beg for you!

Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a… nothing here. As there were zilch, zippo, zero round-robin head-to-head in common opponents to sniff up on Venn Diagram wise for this one here.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… VeeTee is up a whopping +1% in shooting percentage margin (VeeTee a little better on O and Texas a little better on D); with V.P.I. up a decent looking +5% in 3-point percentage margin (the same drill as above, tho’ VeeTee up mo’so on O behind the arc compared to the floor overall), and yet nobody is up much of anything in caroms on rebounding margin. (Both are just tenths off from being up +2 Windex Wipes per team per year).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Hokies are now up +2% in shooting percentage margin (as TX was a little bigger on D and VeeTee a scosche bigger on O from the floor); however, the F’n Gobblers were up a mindboggling +25% in 3-point percentage margin (per: +10% mo’ charitable on O and yet +15% thriftier on D; wowow!!!), and the Techmen are now up a modest-looking +2 misses in rebounding margin of late. (VeeTee is at a near-season best or a very solid C+++ off the glass recently, while Texas has been nearly the same in backboarding all season long, a consistent C to C+ if nothing else).

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

STREAKS:
In spite of an Ag.School laced-up sluggish finish… (.5oo roundball since St.Val’s Day); the l.Horns are okay-enuff on a percentage basis. 44% for and 4o% against from their O and their D-allowed respectively is respectable enuff. So, that’s contrary to published belief(s), and that is not it. What is it however is thus…

 

CLOSE CALLS 1o1…
Texas has a 4-2 record in games decided by less than 4 points. While Virginia Tech has a 3-3 record in games decided by less than 4 points. (Contrarily, Texas has yacked-up four different 1st-half 1o-point+ leads to wet the post-intermission sheets. Including being up 20-big-points late in the first half before spitting the bit in a 6o-65 defeat against TCU in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament most recently).

(mid-script) M.S. FWIW… VeeTee has been rather reasonable of late… what with a +4% edge over opponents from the floor and an even better looking +8% edge over opponents from deep. (Further FYI: Texas is +3% overall and +1% from 3’s over the same Recency Effect timeframe).

REBOUND-DATING, 1o1…
Ever since Tre Mitchell and Texas appear to have told each other to kiss off, you ask?
Well… Texas has been serially hurting/nursing on the ‘glass since Tre went olé ☮️ut on them.

As in… Texas has gotten hooked good off the backboard and finds itself in a whopping 37 rebound hole in their five L’s ever since this m’itch went off. This is your exacta-looking in-game barometer or MBs of O&M mercury here. Potentially, this could (slightly) lifeline us even if we fail to handle their backcourt trapping and pressuring all that well. i.e., Texas does have enuff Talent to close… tho’ Texas lacks just enough leading toughs to force the need to close itself.

LAST 10 GAMES:
Longhorns: 5-5, averaging 61.5 points, 34.o rebounds, 11.1 assists, 6.2 steals, and 3.7 blocks per game while shooting 37.6% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 67.9 points per game.

Hokies: 8-2, averaging 79.9 points, 29.3 rebounds, 14.3 assists, 6.3 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 50.o% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 69.3 points.

Texas is is up +1% at the charity stripe for the year.
VeeTee is a .714 as a Swiss; whereas Texas is .5oo as a neutral.
Texas us up a whooping +9 in the last couple of weeks of in R&R!

The Call

No.16 Net Ranking Texas vs. no.22 Net Ranking Virginia Tech:

4:33 PM kick-off!

So, it is Tuesday nite in the Peoples Republick of the 3o4, as of the keyboarding of this… and I’ve got most of the nuts-n-bolts in situ, film-study completed, statistical surveys (now) data-mined in full.

My best early take is… this one could very well be a race to 60.

And by that Eye means a race to double-nickels (or: a Smokey and the Bandit, 55).
First one there you ask?
Wins.

However, Texas is a peculiar -if not a suspect- match-up for us/VeeTee.
They are backcourt good at muddying the 1-2-3-Wing waters,
whenever they decide to be.

IF, Texas decides to play full? They will give us a full fit.
IF, Texas decides to lollygag? Methinks we win a dinky-looking one.
Either way, one could argue that this one is all about Texas.
Or, rather about: which Texas shows up?

oOo

The closer...

The Fiserv Forum will be rocking.

The key here is will Texas be jocking (our backcourt)?
IF they bring plenty of mustard to their 1-2-3-Wing pressing game?

This one will be a harsher one to haggle a VicTory from than most O&M homers think.

Despite the fact that we are indeed a shiny-looking 32nd best in Assist:Turnover ratio… we do not handle (foreshadowing intended) pressing/trapping and physical backcourt play very well. And no matter the Longhorn frontcourt depletion(s), there will still be backcourt that if/when Texas turns up the get in your shirt defensive heat.

This concerns me and this surely lowers the Total on this game.
As both teams gear down and play at a lower pace in the first place.

And this could ground-chuck this game into a game of stall-ball all the mo’.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5!

That’s the news-news… the good news is that there could be wide-open opportunities at/near the rim or along the Elbows/Wings for 3-point-bombing; if/when our G’s break any press and pop-clean for something off a catch-n-release or P.E.T.A. savvy kinda hoops.

(The curiosity is… how much will Kay.A. and Mutts play— or do you go small-ball and ball-handling and shooting upon breaking the press, max’?) As we are nearly a tricentennial (299th) ranked team in FTAs. And there should be some fast-attack looks— presuming we crack their press northwarly here-n-there.

As Storm and company really do need to forecast as: ‘mostly sunny’ for sunset Friday.
💯

They do that and we win by a shot or three… if we hit our outcome sealing FTAs late.
We do that not and Texas will pitch-a-fit and they could steal this one here.

🦃 <<<>>> 🏀 <<<>>> 🐮

 

(52% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=65, Texas=63

please support the VT F.C.A.!

LETS GO!

Hokies!

 bourbonstreet**

 

 

 

3 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. BIG games piss me off– get my grit up.
      It is what it truly is ALL about.

      …and it shows…

      thank you!
      b.street

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.