#119 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #5 R.P.I. virginia:
And I’m pretty sure they are none to happy regarding what happened in the New River Valley last time out.
As last time it was virginia that took the hurt end of the 7o-68 very upsetting sized O&M flavored stick.
And ouch some mo’, as #7 nationally ranked uva is the real deal. 19 up and 4 down overall and 8-3 in Atlantic Coast terms.
As Tony Bennett and uva don’t make many -if any- mistakes. You want this one you had better go on and take it. Carpe le` hoo.
Although taking this one in the hoo-house is a different animal, entirely…
virginia at a glance:
- 5th in scoring defense (60.1 ppg allowed)
- 8th in overall FG percentage (49.4% makes)
- 15th in Assist:Turnover ratio (+1.52)
- 29th in FT percentage (74.5%)
- 252nd in blocks (2.8 swats)
- 3ooth in Defensive Rebounding (23.52 drpg)
- no injuries listed (thank God)
cavalier Returning Starters=3
- #15 Malcolm Brogdon: 6’5” 215 lb. r-senior lead-G and no doubt the alpha-hoo. 1st team all-A.c.c. last year. This year Malc’ is netting you a team leading 17.9 ppg on 4o.7% shooting from downtown. As Malcolm has raised his game up in points and in shooting since I last opined this section. Now mix in 4.4 rpg and 2.8 assists and you have a complete baller on your hands. Did have left or push-off foot surgery back in 2012 (hence the r-shirt) although he has started every game ever since so that puts the kibosh on any lingering podiatry concern(s). Put up some really big scholastic numbers down in Georgia, which makes you wonder if he could not be doing more work on the stat-sheet in a more open-ended system? Know for his versatility on O, and is listed by a couple of pre-season magazines as a sleeper Player of the Year pick for the whole entire A.c.c. Defends well, has an inside and outside game; might just be a really solid overseas Pro’, with a mild to medium Association shot. And as I said, above, he has come up a notch, and is currently playing his best ball of the season. What with shooting >63% in all three of his last three games and dropping at least 27 points in two of his last four; and netting a sizzling 80% from distance in the last week plus!
- Anthony Gill: 6’8” 230 lb. r-senior year P/F transfer from South Carolina, who has slowly yet surely gotten better each and every year. Second best in scoring (14.2 ppg) and first best in rebounding (6.1 rpg) is prolly good enough for third team all-A.c.c. honors. A 59% shooter who makes his offensive mark near the basket; could add some range to his J if he wants to keep playing on some level or another after this campaign. Not a dazzling athlete, a strong willed finisher who goes to the hoop, and strong, and therefore gets a lotta FTA’s (team leading 124 FTA’s on a now reduced 70.2% FT rate that has fallen from 79% the last time we saw him). Needed to take a contributory step forward (pardon the pun) for coach Bennett this year; and Gill has done just that.
- London Perrantes: 6’2” 192 lb. third year Pt.Guard from La-La-Land out in the Lakers backyard of L.a. The book here says that London could stand to be more aggressive on offense (for himself) although he sets the table and smartly for others. Has a history of concussions and broken-noses which may have hamstrung some of that aforementioned aggression. Strong personal defender, was said to need some shooting work; however, a team leading 53% from beyond the arc and 47.2% overall reads like he sure improved his stroke to me. Albeit London’s shooting has diminished overall and from the arc since our game in January. Second in steals (1.1 spg) and first in assists (4.3 dimes) does not suck. Neither does his 11.4 ppg and 3.1 rpg to go with his 8o% free-throwing. Pretty solid high school Qb to boot. And IF, London’s shooting acumen truly has increased, this is now suddenly a very well rounded hoopster with no want(s) left in his game.
- #10, Mike Tobey: the signature much vaunted Pack-Line D’s anchoring Center. 7′, 26o lb. senior who protects the rim well enough, despite NOT being a natural 6’12” shot blocker (o.6 bpg). Mike does net you 7 ppg and pull down 4.1 boards on a team leading 57.5% shooting. Stiff looking big who has found almost precisely 37 lbs. since he arrived and added a good 10-15 since last year. 6th Man of the Year for the A.c.c. last year, knows his job, does the same, and Tobey does it well enough. Already runs his very own summer basketball camp! (now just imagine the Pack-Line if coach Bennett ever finds a true studly ***** chip Center?!?)
- always seems like uva could use just about 1 more scorer, just in case they get behind in Tourney time play and need an offensive outburst to win.
- IF, Justin Anderson had stuck around, you might have a legit M.N.C. pick on your hands. As is you have a #7 and a possible Final-4 pick right now.
- see: the 1st bullet, although the (new) 30 second clock gives the Pack Line 5 seconds of rest, that makes the hoo D even nastier.
- not much else! This is a very very very solid hoops club. V-e-r-y.
hoo’s Bench: (depth=3 to 5 deep, depending upon the situational match-ups)
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
The takeaway here is… there is one thing I’ve noticed –being privileged to do this for a while now. Two things happen as the Tony Bennett season wears on…
First of all, Tony’s ballers find their individual stats in contraction, and sometimes in a modest retreat as the season grows long in the tooth; and that can be misleading. As it surely gives the look-n-feel of an individual baller who is playing worse as the campaign draws to a close. However, the second thing I know; and upon closer inspection, a keen hooping scientist will indeed observe that the Tony Bennett team metrics slowly -yet surely- improve, or tighten up or become more parsimonious as the season enters the championship rounds.
In a word? In a word they become more efficient, and more efficacious, in particular at the offensive end where the individual is subsumed for the greater collective good.
And in 2016 every single human-being is “pretty” or “beautiful” on facebook.com (even when they most certainly are not)? I for one find that to be a sporting F5 keystroke or very refreshing indeed. This is a greater good approach that banishes the “me” in team, and that is far more attractive to me.
So, oui-oui, even if some of the cavalier solo stats did back-up a bit since I wrote the player section up above, uva is playing some very fine strategic ball; even if that falsely appears to have come at the singles tactical expense.
Then we come to all of this, uva is is perfect at home thus far this season (11-zip) | whereas Virginia Tech is .333 as the visitor this year. The good news is that the Forum Guide is predicting a relatively mere 11.75 point hooVa win. The bad news is that uva has a 14% overall FG percentage margin in their favor in both teams’ most recent five games. uva also enjoys a 7% 3-point percentage margin, and a +8 rebounding margin advantage as well.
That’s a lot to overcome in terms of not getting flushed up in The John, and the boohoos have held their last three opponents to 5o, 47 and 47 ppg again for reason. Buzz’s O has been in reverse for five straight games. That’s just not a “beautiful” trend out on the road in an Atlantic Coast arch-rival retaliation type game.
Hate to have to type it gents, although I’m “pretty” sure uva wins this one; and I’m likewise entirely sure that uva can do no better than split with Virginia Tech this season.
I like that… I do not hooever like the fact that Virginia Tech has dropped 21 of their last A.c.c. 22 road dates for a reason.
(89% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=49, uva=67