Syracuse basketball preview!

 #62 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #142 R.P.I. Syracuse: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball is gettin’… (say it wif me now): …” rolled!”

The Hokies are on a four, that’s a (4) game schneid and me and Chicken Little are forecasting ‘mostly cloudy’ head games for O&M messages boards, everywhere! We are not (even) a basketball school, we are now officially a basket-case(s) school!!! LOL… give me, yourself, V.P.Eye, TOS everywhere, and Will & Chris a freakin’ break. Ginkgo… we have all seen this Yonngling movie before folks. Recall my last two articles… they went 2 for 8 last year and all of you selfie-centric nag’s flipped out— then they flipped the switch, flipped the script, and won the whole damn A.c.c. So, take the O&M chill pill and let this one full-roster unfold. Next in the All-Coaching Conference fold however are the zoned-out Syracuse Orangemen. ‘Cuse comes at yah at a post-season qualifying 1o up against 6 down overall and a useful .6oo in A.c.c. play (3-2). Nevertheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to find, out!

Syracuse Head CoachJames Arthur Boeheim: Age=78, 1,oo8*–431 (.7oo)*** overall and at Syracuse, alike. Jimmy -of course- enjoys the Dean of 2-3 Zoning reputation and for playing
old-school early Big East big-ball down-low.

$2,695,375.oo (with: $130,000 every time Syracuse qualifies for the NCAA Tournament.
He also gets $77,000 in insurance/vehicle allowance and $40,000 in deferred
compensation | i.e. a steal at this level

New(er), wife 1o1…

Baller Boeheim was a walk-on 6′3″ Pt.Guard with the freshman basketball team at Syracuse. By his Sr. year, he was the team captain and a teammate of all-American and future Mayor (of Detroit) Dave Bing. Dave was his freshman roommate, and Dave is only in the Basketball Hall of fame himself for his work with the Detroit Pistons. The pair led Coach Fred Lewis’s Orange to a 22–6 overall win-loss record that earned the team’s second-ever N.C.A.A. tournament berth. After graduating from Syracuse, Boeheim played professional basketball with the Scranton Miners of the American Basketball League, during which he won two A.B.L. championships.

Coach Boeheim has only guided the Orange to nine Big East regular-season championships, five Big East Tournament championships, 28 NC2A Tournament appearances, and one National Championship (2oo3 with ‘Melo Anthony). He only has 13 conference titles, six National Coach of the Year awards, and four Conference Coach of the Year awards. He is only a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame as well. He has only won six International Gold Medals three of which are Olympic. He sucks; fire him, now! Nevertheless, coach B was forced to vacate a backbreaking 1o1 total wins from the 2004–2005, 2005–2006, 2006–2007, 2010–2011, and 2011–2012 seasons due to recruiting violations. He is also down eight schollies over the next year and was suspended for the first nine games of 2016.

Boeheim had prostate cancer in 2oo1, and subsequently became a major fund-raiser for Coaches vs. Cancer, he and his wife also inaugurated the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation to help kids from Central New York; God Bless.

Coach Boeheim had previously stated that he would retire in April 2018. However, in March 2o17 he extended his contract to beyond the 2o17-18 season.

*(yes, Jimmy’s win total wears an asterisk for his (alleged) brushes/scrapes with the KayCee (Kansas City) suits rulebook(s), quite plural).

Boeheim and his wife, Juli, have three children together: Jimmy and twins, Buddy and Jamie;
he has a daughter, Elizabeth, with his ex-wife Elaine.

Quickie 2–3 tutorial:
The zone-defense concept was invented due to a leaky basketball gym roof vs. … freakin’ w.v.u. back in 1914 during WWI! (Of all the things!?!)

strengths: The 2-3 is a zone designed to: force outside shots, hide weak(er) man defenders, slow/control the tempo, and allow fewer offensive shots, period.

weaknesses: The 2-3 zone defense is (in theory) … susceptible to: 3-point shooting (due to packing/sagging) the key) and to High-Post/wing shooting mid-range or 3-ball shots in particular. It is also known to be a so-so rebounding set (surprisingly); due to defending a spot on the floor and not blocking out a man naturalistically. Although it slows a game it is not a good D to play when giving chase on the scoreboard accordingly. And the degree of difficulty° or learning-curve effects effectively takes a minute or three to gel and get the timing/spacing of the 2-3 zone down pat.

Syracuse at a glance:

  • 6th most in S.W.A.T. team work!!!
  • 16th most personal fouls ‘whistled’ against!!
  • 54th best in FG-percentage D allowed!
  • 6oth best in Swipes/game.
  • 71st best in Turnover Margin.
  • 76th in FT-percentage makes.
  • 321st most 3-point attempts/game! (Inside playing team).
  • (1 injury listed, Coach God Bless).

Returning Starters=2*

Syracuse Strengths:

  • * Rivals 2o2nd ranked: Joseph Girard III is a 6′1″, 19o lb., lifer backup utility G for the Orange. Who is your starting One or Pt.Guard1/Qb1, now. For it… JG3 nets you: (a surprising and team-leading) 16.9 ppg on 2.9 rpg while pacing you with a serviceable 2.9 apg and a downright handsy 1.1 spg. The fourth-season Girard III is one of those gym-rat self-made kids who comes to practice early, often, and late. He also (somehow) cut over 5-lbs. that he mighta been best off to keeps. He also sports a whopping three that’s (3) New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Class B state titles blings! And he sports them in: football (2016, 2018) and basketball (2019). Girard III was second to “no, no, no, no, noooooo-body” in New York scoring. Nearly averaging 40 ppg in High School play with a career-high of 69 scholastic points if you need ’em. A pure blowtorch of offensive output in senior prom terms. Thus, Girard III was the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, and The Basketball Coaches Association of New York picked him as its Mr. Basketball. Which is a lotta production for the mere 221st (247Sports) ranked kid in the country. Some did knock his shot selection (34.4% total and 36.3% from 3-point land… last year); tho’ this kid can flat-out put the biscuit in the basket when he gets it going on. As this year JG3 is netting you a Most Improved flavored: 39.0% overall, the team FTA lead at 87.8%, and a gotta guard him 38.6% from deep. That is respectful netting in my book. As this is prolly something of a worker bee Pedulla if that helps you peg him any? As this pseudo-One can score and distribute; tho’ he has a peg that notches turnovers (2.8 tpg historically) when he tries or is output forced to do too much. Girard III is an overseas pro’. And that’s not the worst Dale Solomon life, is it? (Albeit the pasty buzz or Lurch hair-swagg may or may not be his best, cut).
  • * Parttime previously now full-time, finally; starter, final-year, 6′11″, (now ~15 lbs. to) 23o lb. true-C by way of Amsterdam, NLD, (1 rpg, 1 bpg, 1.4 ppg on 43% shooting) Jesse Edwards has a history of bum ankle turns | St.Philip bless). Tho’… look what his two better wheels are doing this year? 13.3 ppg with a team and near A.c.c. leading 1o.9 rpg and the team/A.c.c. lead with 3.o bpg! All on a nifty twine-ticking 6o.9% overall! wow… ‘nother Most Improved (league-wise on this scaling) candidate right here men. His older brother (Kenneth) is a star out at Nor.Iowa so the family tree blossoms round-balls here. Jesse is said to be a skillful low-post baller with legit low-post moves and yet another metrics-based tough match-up for us in the key. Does look stronger in the film room, arms in particular. Although, does not seem to love physical play just the same. Has international experiences in Italian and Netherlands play alike. Also went and got dat 2o22 FIBA Eurobasket. Whereby, Edwards was a member of the Dutch National Team that competed in the 2022 FIBA Eurobasket and was said to impress the scouts on the rim-protection board-work sides. Is a Dutch-boy import technically. A technically sound Five with really good footwork/low-post training. Curious kid if he can keep this pace of upward mobility, up? As he keeps a Ric Flair streak in his ‘fro and you needs to be keepin’ it real to be keepin’ dat! Last year, however, Edwards was sidelined for a bad part of the 2o22 season due to a fractured left wrist. Goodness, St.Julia bless! This year however he is making a Euro play-check push. Biotechnology major to boot, so he should have that to fall back on if there is another injurious stone in his ‘, shoe. And frankly, he is springer than I expected medical-jacket-wise on film, even if Winter Has Come. (UPDATE: cooler baller of late; one that coach Jimmy just took a “mystery” dig at due to his hard to ‘splain semi-slump in recent terms. If said ‘dig’ strikes Orange-gold, ‘cuse will be noticeably harder to coach-speak mine in their very own backyard).

    O.G. Testament caliber high-flyer!
  • One #3, 6′3″, 172 lb., Judah Mintz, combo-G, and he of some very fly game scoots. (Seriously, he must know podiatry huggy-bear to roll what he rolls). He be coming at you by way of: Gonzaga College H.S. and by way of basketball factory famed Oak Hill Academy, Va. So, you know coaching the verb and his pedigree is likely pretty dang tight here. Thingy is, Mintz got minted for a whopping and entirely unexpected un-sweet-16 L’s in his two varsity seasons for these nationally named scholastic squadrons. His younger bro’ (Wisdom) is said to be pretty roundball smart in his own right. Tho’ Mintz is a curiosity to me, really good H.S. scoring digits. May have paired some “e” and “m” in his tEaM. Still yet… for only 16 games into his collegiate career? 15.9 ppg with 2.3 rpg and 4.1 apg does not suck. Neither did being tabbed 36th in the Nation by There is Talent here folks… maybe he is only scratching the surface… maybe he gets an Associative itch’? Lindy’s calls Judah a ‘3-level’ scorer (close, mid, and long-range) and an “exciting” player. I’ma not inclined to disagry. I would however not decline to see him ground himself a bit mo’ and worry about all the off-court things less. The 20% 3-pointing is not commiserating with his résumé, and you would have to think that, that thaws and solves itself at his Level. VERY loquacious baller upon breaking tape, who might just have some hint of Leadership in him for it— as his ‘Cuse teammates already seem to look to him at times. Stronger than his metrics look, streety, and pointy-elbowed nobody wants to have to guard him in shirts vs. skins terms. This Judah is a keeper; well-‘praised’ per his name meaning. The only question is where does he mean to draw his paystub? Domestic or, export? And yes, this kid will dunk on you if you allow the same.

Syracuse Weaknesses:

  • Gone are all the lil’ Boeheim’s. And you gotta wonder what that does to (not yet) Grandpaw-aged poppa Boeheim’s chi or energy level just a skulled-putt removed from eight-o. (8o). Not quite as: Bo.ho. as b4.
  • Ergo, therefore, to wit… Lindy’s and others have panned the ‘inexperience’ of this squad as it rebuilds/reloads a bit this season.
  • Benny Williams is out indefinitely with a non-cv19 “illness”. Tho’, he was actually upgraded to: “QUESTIONABLE” for this on Sunday. Also ‘questionable’ would be his: 6′8″, 2o8 super-soph’ season lbs. Likewise, his decent looking 8 ppg married to 4.7 rpg on 38.9% 3-pointing when subbin’ scorer’s table in. Ditto his younger-mans Yannick Noah (tennis star) looks. This from the no.15 baller in America per Rivals after his stints at: IMG Academy and St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (Md.) prior to that. Where he was a ***** or 5-star consensus recruit. Had good scholastic/prep numbers on epic (there is only one roundball to go around) teams. Ben’ can shoot/finish with both hands, an amphibious and ambidextrous baller for it. Has mo’ of a defensive-stopper and rebounding tag than he does pure O itself. Tho’ everyone needs/wants a halter who is developing a 3-n-D game off the pine-like b.Will’. Godspeed here.
  • Finally, zero, that’s (o) All-A.c.c. pre-season nominees (1st-2nd-3rd-string) are a conference-calling rarity for any Big East or Atlantic Coast Jim-Bo-coached clubs.

Orange (pine) Tree: (depth=6’ish)

P/F-Center combo’, 6′10″, 216 lb., Natinga, So.Sudanese John Bol Ajak had (self)-elected to use his r-shirt season two years back and has NO stats accordingly last season. The now r-Junior J.B.A., who is an artist on the side— is said to be less than artistic and downright “raw” on O, although a pure Windex-wiper and defender, and this typically makes for a good anchoring middleman in Jimmy’s 2-3 (match-up) zone. And he is supposed to be still trying to: “bulk up” to get physically ready for the stateside game. And he found one lb. in doing so. 1.3 ppg and 2.3 rpg later and this year we find at an actually +17% improvement from the flooring now up to a very reasonable 5o% overall. Although, there is a lotta ‘moo’ left in this kid’s offensive steak; a Center to be sure. Very. Not to mention, that in H.S. poooooor Ajak, back in 2017-18, he was slowed for most of the season by an Achilles injury. Yikes, and Coach God Help! 480th guy from 247Sports in the nation. Tho’ ESPN and others did have him as a **** latent (upgraded) quad-star guy. Had mid-range scoring and upper-range rebounding/defending scholastic digits to his name. Project… who may or may not project beyond part-time rim-protector in collegiate terms. Time=tell here as well… St.Nikēphóros bless! As poor Ajak struggled last season with getting through COVID-19 protocol and that did not spread his offensive development one iota (1ι).

Mounir Hima C, Peter Carey C, and Maliq Brown F-C all conspire to give you 20′ and 7″ with ≅65o lbs. worth of substitute froncourters in relief off of the Syracuse pine. As you can take the (towering, yesteryear) Big East Coach out of the Big East, tho’ you cannot take the (towering, yesteryear) Big East outta the Coach. And guess what? At least ⅔’s of ’em could stand to down 3/3’rds of a protein shake or two. As they needs to weight-room P5 conference bulk-up a bit. Still yet, try as you might: “…you kan’t coach, height”. (Or, Hite for that matter— though I tangent) … and that they gots.

Hima (a: towering 6′11″, 233 lb., true-Soph’, Tillaberi, Niger import with an obscene 7-8 flippin’ pterodactyl -esque wingspan, could be a syntax or accountancy major on the side, per his: quad-lingual 4-way game. This by way of portaling: Duquesne Duke fame. Carey (6′11″, 2oo lb., freshman), who Lindy’s listed as a major sleeper recruit per his near S.A.T. Ivy League acceptance to go student over NC2A athlete itself. A tough nasty defensive match-up, maybe the O will eventually come?

Brown (a: P/F-C, 6′9″, 213 lb., rookie/nugget year Culpeper, Va. Blue Ridge H.S. escapee). 4-rings. That’s (4) blings. As in… the Barons only won the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Division II championship in each of Brown’s four seasons. That’s all. The Bill Rus’ (R.I.P.) of uncommon CommonWEALTH finger-game. VISAA Division II Player of the Year and first-team All-VISAA, unsurprisingly. Tho’ only *** or 3-stars and only the 43rd ranked P/F nationally ( (Gettin’ a bit mo’ P.T. of late of note as well).

Triune BIG-men combined, these three net you: ~6 ppg, they haul in ~8 rpg and they reject ~4 bpg). Granted, these are not Wilt 100-point game offensive wonders, tho’ you gotta wonder how well you match up with them unless you have a true dinosaur-era Center in tow. As they surely toe the baseline well and very actively discourage farriers to the hoop.

Three or S/F, 6′6″, 2o5 lb., t-Fr., Justin Taylor is a double D-1 Commonwealth signature program(s) truantee. Team Captain and much vaunted IMG Academy is not an unsharp look. Nor is being listed as the 126th baller in America from: 247Sports. Nor is being begotten of a hoopology star-mum (Kerri) from J.m.u. wimminz hoops fame. The book here reads that JayTee skipped out on being a homespun T.J. or even 24o6o as he did come up in: Charlottesville, Va. He also is said to be a: ‘tough Wing’ who can shoot and will surprise you with his white-bread athletics by-the-bye. 4.6 ppg with 2.o rpg on 35.5% long is not the worst shortstop or short-start at this nubile career stAGE.

…now, this may not be a Stary-eyed ‘cuse bench; granted.

It is however a very deep bench (with six guys logging 9 to 17 mpg in relief), and it is a very solid role-knowing and likewise role-playing bench as well. (And this much depth does bring your
fatigue factor into 1’s or starters’ consideration when finishing late).


R.A.T.T: ...the key to calling this one up in Syracuse is, what(s)?

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Orange who could juice @Tech=7 or so.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is
that it is getting harder and harder to be taken with, Tech.

Or at least that seems to be the signature and highly social needia predictable order of the done put the cart out in front of the horse, day.

Me personally?

I find that to be a bit premature. What with V.Tech having only been done out by a whopping Σ of ten points or a total of six shots (one game was OT) in the last four L’ing O&M efforts.

Nonetheless, that would not stop any/all armchair Pt.Guards from digging their 3-Mile Island gone Blacksburg campus steam-tunnel Love Canal fingernails into all things Hokie hoops.

Cat-scratch-fever typically cycles into heat just like dats.
So, and in lieu of getting your O&M knickers in a deeper ride-up twist?

Why not see where this team is once we are cooking with a very alluring Rice-a-Roni (St.Philip bless) on O and once Hunter gets his elbow (St.Julia bless) un-humorous?

…or did that just make too much (non-pot-stirring), meow-mix; sense?


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a VomitTory-looking 19-point New York curb-stopping here. Yikes, and although this is a single-shot data point; the Forum Guide has yet to outcome miss this year, mind yah.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… nobody is up much of anything in shooting percentage margin (per: both being +6% to the good here, albeit from Tech being a mite better on O and ‘Cuse being the same mite better on D); VeeTee is up a modest +2% in 3-point percentage margin (from: Tech betting 3-D better, tho; ‘Cuse nets 3’s better vis-à-vis on O), yet again, nobody is up much of anything off-the-glass or in rebounding margin annualized terms. (As in: VT is better on the D-glass and yet ‘Cuse is better on the O-glass and something has gotta glass-give in this one here).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Orange is now up ~ +3% in shooting percentage margin (due to: mostly to the Techmen chillin’ out a bit from the floor of late on O); with the o.Men now up a useful looking ~ +4% in 3-point percentage margin (thanks: mostly to ‘cuse being cracking from the outside recent, merely 1st best in the USofA in 3-point% in the last five contests if you are keeping score @home; and the Gobblers have cooled a bit as well), and yet again, same as above, these two are nearly knotted in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of play. (Each at a highly unusual 1 deficit in rebounding margin in the last couple of weeks. Although V.Tech is technically a bit better off the defensive backboard recently to boot. Wild!)

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

Two ships passing in the nite?
VeeTee has logged four defeats by a total of 14 points have the sagging Hokies hoping for a stronger showing late in games. Whereas, the ‘cuse had reeled off 7 wins in 8 contests before getting out-contested by 3-shots by Top-1o ranked hooVa out on the A.c.c. road.

The heat is on?
The ‘Cuse backcourt: (Joe Girard III and Judah Mintz) has been nearly filthy with heat-checks on O of late. Most of ’em have check-marked the other side up to boot.

Syracuse is a .7oo host; whereas V.Tech is .ooo (o’fer 3) as a guest.
Nobody is up any% at the charity stripe for the year.
Syracuse is +2 in R&R in the last fortnight.

The Call

No.49 Net Ranking Virginia Tech @ no.136 Net Ranking Syracuse:

So, and unlike the previous four less-than-successful O&M outings?

This one is not that awful of a match-up for us in pure 1 through 5 or X’s and O’s terms.

IF/when Hunter can go and we get our shooting swagg back on. As now is the time to play these kinda thinner frontcourters for ‘Cuse. Before they really pack it on and really clog the middle up.

As you know… you gotta beat any 2-3 Zone from 45°. There is a natural set-up/line-up gap there if/when you court the zone-busters who can make them pay from the wings.

That being Qb1 of hoops squarely struck, and all other things being equal… Eye’d have to like our outside netting chances better when seining in Duck Pond @home.

As do recall that A.c.c. hoops road warriors get rode all nite and hung-up wet about 7 times in 1o.


The VerdicT:

Enter Will’s yesteryear epic blast of ‘Cuse’s so-called: “Jiffy Pop” Dome!

573 miles away nor-by-nor-(ex-Big)-East if you are keeping pre-G.P.S. AAA-Trip Tix score @home.

Not a historically inviting place for the Revenue Sports Hokies to play.
Is it?

Past may indeed lend itself to prologue here…

…that, and the recent grinding from the Orange from a distance has me admittedly spooked a bit in this one. So, I did what I do best… I whipped my Holden Hall (MINE) u.grad out and dug a bit, deeper.

This year thus far… VeeTee moves by 3% (margin) overall (@Away) from the floor. The Hokies also plum chip trifecta paint on O (9%) out on the 3-pointer road and trifecta soften on D (2%) as well. Syracuse nets +3% better @home overall and +2% better @home behind the arc. (Their D is 1% thriftier @home vs. each).

That is a lot to cumulatively (19%) Home/Away aggregate spits overcome.



(5o% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=7o, Syracuse=79

please support the VT F.C.A.!








4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Sigh… you have been doing well in your predictions. I will watch, root and hope for a VT win but your prediction will be in the back if my mind. Lets cut down on TO’s and improve shot selection with an extra pass – just some heady play on what we look for from a mature team. In the player’s heads it seems they need to believe in the basics and not over extend themselves. We have to trust CMY will “get their heads right.”

  2. They ain’t umbeatable.
    This is a year (maybe 2) away ‘cuse squad.

    Can we (re)find out true measure of ranging from the 2-3 zone splitting, deep?
    As you could dabble in sayin’ we are: “…due”.


  3. B’Street, your final score predictions have been right on! But the funny thing is so have mine, where I’ve correctly predicted loss after loss without the analysis like you do simply based on eye test and gut feelings.

    This team is sadly too predictable at this point in time…hope it changes before the season is ruined.

    I understand very little of what you do and write, but appreciate it just the same!

    1. Recall St.Matthew per Coach God: … “he who ENDURES to the end (shall be saved).”

      Lotta peeps tell me: “It took me a year, 2, 3, (whatever), tho’ I finally got it and I’ma glad I did.”

      Or something akin… and thanks!
      Keep on trucking ToldeoHokie.


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