#313 R.P.I. Old Dominion vs. #14o R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball be butter!
The Hokies are on a roll. Tho’ there I go again… always putting the cart in front of the horse. As Coach Popcorn and Company are still tinkering and puttering and sorting out their 2o22-2o23 -looking good so far- roles. The Hokies are looking about 2 to 4 deep at the moment, depending upon opposing match-ups. Hopefully, that goes pine-squad +1 once we learn how to cook with Rice. That being said, now is a grand time to mess around with this/that as your Top-9’ish goes. What with 2 up and 1 down (Old Dominion) coming to town. The Monarchs are okay as mid-majors go. They beat Maryland Eastern Shore and poor little ole VA Wesleyan ‘okay’ enuff. Before getting done by Drexel themselves. So, we are the rightful hardwood favorite here. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on; to find… out!
Old Dominion Head Coach: Jeffrey Allen Jones: Age=62, 538–400 (.574) overall, and 181–113 (.616) @O.d.u. Has a rep’ for: frontcourt play and discipline.
Baller Jones graduated from Apollo High School in Owensboro, Kentucky. He was inducted into the Apollo High School Hall of Fame. His father, Bob, is a former coach of Kentucky Wesleyan, which he led to the 1973 NCAA College Division title. That does not inherit a Natty Championship ring suck.
Collegiate baller Joes you may recall… as he played point guard at the University of Virginia from 1978 to 1982. As a four-year starter at Virginia, Jones was known as a leader and prolific passer. During his playing career, the Cavaliers compiled an overall record of 102-28 (.785), while he led the Cavaliers to two NCAA Tournaments and two NITs during his career. Virginia captured the 198o NIT title and advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1981.
Jones finished his career as Virginia’s all-time assists leader (598), and his 200 assists during the 1979–80 season were UVa’s single-season record. Despite being drafted by the NBA’s Indiana Pacers in 1982, Jones never played as a professional. He graduated from Virginia in the same year with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.
Coach Jones is a streaky College men’s coach. As you can see at the right, he streaks high-side well; then he ways-n-means appear to wear a bit thin. Kinda seems to have a bit of a tolerant shelf-life be that @u.Va. (God Bless them), @American or now @O.d.u. Reminds a bit of our very own s.Greenberg for it too. Tho’ the high side is smart enuff. Check it out… 6 of 8 post-seasons hit for the Cavs, 3 post-seasons notched in his final 6 years for the mended Eagles (AmericanU), and now 3 post-seasons at the start of his current Monarch tenure. Big Whistle Jones has crests and vales alike. He carries a Terry Holland pedigree remember as well. He is a non-Steph’ Curry era or non-backcourt guy; (in spite of having been a star One his ownself). Very inside-out play-caller philosophically. Hence, his roster(s) craves bigs, of which he only has 3 currently @O.d.u.
Daddy Jones is married to the former Danielle Decker of Virginia Beach and is the father of three children, Meghann, Madison Perry, and Jeffrey. Jones is a Past President (2o16-17) of the NABC.
O.d.u. at a glance:
- 19th best on the offensive glass!!
- 32nd best in Turnovers per game!
- 62nd in Rebounding Margin.
- 66th most F.T.A.’s per game.
- 3o4th in Effective FG%!
- 341st most 3-point attempts/game!!! (A rarefied non-outside team).
- NO injuries listed (“thx” @Coach God!)
Old Dominion Strengths:
- One #12, 6′7″, 239 lb., 5th-r-Sr., transfer Ben Stanley F, looks the part. Strapping transfer 4/3 ‘tweener by way of Xavier. Who is coming off of a blown-A.c.l. (left) @Xavier just the same. St.Nikon bless. This after being a starting P/F over for lowercase Hampton, Va. This is from a kid with not big high school digits (12.5 ppg married to 5.5 rpg) over in B’more, Maryland. That said… 22 ppg with 8 rpg on 59% in his second season at Hampton made this Stanley all about the Colonial Athletic Association Benjamins. That however was nearly 3-years back and a mere 11-games played in over two seasons of extremely dinged and dented ‘ball. Coach God Bless as this has been one beat-up and sat-down career for poor Mister Stanley. As this Benny was prolly closing in on being at least an overseas export Pro’ back in 2o2o. 34% range with 1.5 bpg and just a dawgg on the offensive glass ago health-wise to boot. Still yet, 2nd-string (now) All-Sun Belt preseason hopefully is an in-season encouragement. As this kid (when healthy) could very possibly start @Virginia Tech. And you gotta wonder where poor B.S. would be on 2 good knees.
- Lone returning starter and third-year, Mekhi Long, off-G, 6′7″, 239 lb., Lindy’s calls Mekhi a: “versatile swingman who needs to develop into a consistent double-digit scorer”. I’d have to echo that as there is upside here every bit as there is off or just plain lowercase nites outta the Talented tho’ mercurial, Long. Long is 3rd in scoring (1o.3 ppg) and 1st in rebounding (9.3 rpg). Mekhi is a Rhode Island ex-Ram who has improved his ppg, his rpg, and his free-throwing each and every season. The oddball part is his 3-point shooting has cropped itself each and every season. Go worker bee fig’ on dat? Additionally, go fig’ on his not playing senior season scholastic ball. There are a few at least light-red flags here. And this is a pretty streety physically hard looking ‘tweener down low same as Mr. Stanley up above.
- 6′5″, 181 lb., Tyreek Scott-Grayson, (heighty) Pt.Guard by way of: Brick, N.J. Although not masonic, this is a lead-G who is mo’ parts scorer (twice at 14 ppg) and less part pure shooter (twice in the 20’s as 3-point shooting percentage annually goes). T.S.G. is from Northeastern and prior to that, he was from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Again, this is a roster very much in flux. G.Scott does have national team experience (USA U17) and his older sis’ is an all-American hoopstHer down at Auburn. ‘reek did prep at: Suffield Academy for a year and made a scoring (19 ppg) name for himself. So, experience is not wanting for this last ran high school ball way back in 2o17 baller. Hopefully, maturity is not wanting either. Grayson led Northeastern in FT-shooting last year (86%) and that is always a nice checkbox to late-game have. Ditto his on-the-ball defensive prowess (2 spg). Good overall player tho’ not a great one, needs just a bit more purity to his stroke.
Old Dominion Weaknesses:
- Experience is not super high and familiarity is nearly super low… as this roster is an off-season merry-go-round. This early 2o22 season may need a moment to cook and a moment or three to actually finalize and gel.
- Shooting -in particular from 3-point range- has not been a Coach Jeff Jones signature.
Monarchs Bench: (depth=4’ish)
Jr. year, 6′7″, 222 lb., Dericko Williams F, is described as a: “phenomenal athlete”, this kid can and will posterize dunk on your azz if you let him challenge at or near the rack. Tho’ that plus 7 ppg with 5 rpg and a close to the said rack 57% in relief is not the worst frontcourt sub’ work if you can get it.
Imo Essien is your backup Pt.Guard or One off the bench. Imo goes 5′11″ and 177 lbs. by way of big-D or Dallas, Texas. Essien is a jitterbug quickster, tho’ not a textbook sharpshooter (25% when dialing long-distance).
6′5″, 185 lb., Charles Smith IV is considered the best 3-ball man on the squadron and one of the mo’ stellar marksmen in Sun Belt terms. He too is a transferring in: (Southern Methodist U) Two or shooting-G by trade. 46% over at Eric Dickerson and Craig James fame U from behind the arc would seem to be a: you do need to check him behind the same, hint. Charles was only a (****) or four-star recruit by ESPN and the No. 31 ranked wing in the country according to ESPN. He really helped his recruitment stock go bull-market with a sensation 63.6% shooting marker from deep while out on the made-to-showcase circuiting/touring teams. This kids’ range is the gym… if he is in it? He is… open.
Faizon Fields, P/F, 6′1o″, 22o lb., second-season Four from Memphis, who some thought to be a sleeper get of sorts. He is your only other big here… 3.3 ppg with 3 rpg and a swat is how developed he currently is. Chipola (Jr.College) come-up baller, who had solid defensive/rim-protector digits last year at an obviously lowercase level (9.7 ppg with 8.7 rpg tho’ on an eye-poppin’ 70% from the floor).
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Monarchs who could crown @Tech=1'ish.
The takeaway here is...
…O.d.u. is a middlecase Sun Belt team in most of my magazines.
Although they sag just a mite and rise not at all in a couple of the partly-cloudy Sun Belt ones. They are ex-of-Conference U.S.A. this season to boot. And the jury is still out on all these changes and movements inside the coaching hoops sewing circles over in/around Norfolk, Va will ultimately pan out.
Meaning this is a team in transition… albeit one that prefers a serially slower, pace.
Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a December round-robin A.c.c. ask back.
The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… VeeTee is up ~+10% in shooting percentage margin (O is big-O hollar back good here); with V.P.I. up a sharp looking +16% in 3-point percentage margin (thanks to: a chilly O.d.u. on O and very warm O&M shooting with decent Cassell defense of the 3-ball), and yet O.d.u. is up +4 caroms in rebounding margin for the year-to-date. (O.d.u. is mo’ positive than we are tho’ +7 on the O&M glass is solid enuff in Windex Wipes).
The most recent 5-game metrics say that… in shooting percentage margin, in 3-point percentage margin, and in rebounding margin; nobody is up anything just yet on game #4 for us and for them.
VeeTee is up a whopping +14% at the charity stripe for the year.
VeeTee is a 1.oo host; whereas O.d.u. is .ooo as a guest.
VeeTee is actually up +2 in R&R.
No.277 Net Ranking Old Dominion vs. no.53 Net Ranking Virginia Tech:
“Just, like; foot-ball!” (clap-clap-clapclapclap)
So, they hope.
So, we hopes not!
O.d.u. has a couple of keeper pieces and not much behind that.
Stanley being the alpha among ”em— he could help us @Tech. And maybe one or two others could fill out the Youngster bench or hint at rotational minutes.
The coaching sewing circle vibe here is… that they also field several individual pieces in lieu of Together Everyone Achieves, Mo’. The additional vibe is that Coach Jones is additionally unhappy per the same.
O&M sourcing seems to vibe that Mr. Popcorn sees this as his sternest test so far. (We woulda said, Lehigh). Tho’ and either way… 4o-minutes worth of time=tell there…
Nevertheless, Stanley notwithstanding… after that?
Not so much.
The Hokies lead the series 14-1o; although, the Monarchs have won four of the last five meetings. They also have hauled in 33-offensive-boards in their last two games. So, that is worth monitoring here. Even if we appear to be: A (Torgy) Bridge Too Far for them overall.
Our only bother is… is there any lookahead trap in play here with a (seemingly) loftier Charleston Classic Tourney set of Bigger named team(s) on tap next?
We get our revenue sporting revenge here folks.
The only calculus is… by just how much?
We calculate solidly enuff…
(82% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=83, Old Dominion=65