#36 R.P.I. virginia @ #142 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball now hosts archrival in-state and potential Commonwealth Cup revenue sport sweeping -and hateful- uva on Wednesday night at 7 PM on nationally televised ESPN2.
The Hokies face the defending National Titlist who enters the fray at 19 up and 7 down overall, (or: .688, 11-5 and 4th place in the A.c.c.). The Hokies have entirely and precisely one, that’s (1) VicTory in their last 66-days of hardwood hard-luck. The booHoos of uva hooever have logged no less than eight that’s (8) wins in their last 68-days of round-balls… and wee-wee, I know the punchline already folks. “We owe them one!” Nonetheless, what you wanna know is hoo is gonna win and by how much; right? So read on, to find… outs!
Crooner: Anthony Dominick Benedetto: age=93, with 19 Grammy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in 2001) and two Emmy Awards, and was named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree. Bennett has sold over 50 million records worldwide.
$200,000,000.oo (est. net worth)
This Tony, known professionally as Tony Bennett, is an American singer of traditional pop standards, big band, show tunes, and jazz. He is also a painter and the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, New York.
Virginia Head Coach: Anthony Guy “Tony” Bennett: Age=5o, 342–129 (.726) overall, and 273–96 (.740) @uVa.
The other Tony Bennett is also a pretty fair to middling basketball coach up at uva. In point of fact, he is basically the Bud Foster of D-1 men’s hoops in defensive terms. His motion-offense is about an efficacious as can be, albeit overshadowed a bit by his much-ballyhooed pack-line defense. Coach Bennett is the only A.c.c. coach to win 16 conference games in consecutive seasons, and one of three in A.c.c. history to enjoy back-to-back 30-win seasons overall.
Coach Bennett is known as a rapport annexing basketball player developer or the coaching (verb) in the truest sense. He has only won (an updated) 16 Coach of the Year Awards (national+conference) at Washington State and uVa combined, and yet curiously enough Coach Bennett only wears six conference crowns to show for it. He does own the single-season win records at both Virginia (35) and Washington State (26, twice). And he does sport a: FIBA Under-19 World Championship gold medal to boot. As a Christian, coach Bennett is known for the use of his father’s “Five Pillars”: humility, passion, unity, servanthood, and thankfulness.
Baller Bennett, one (retired #25), was a 6′, 175 lb. lowercase shooting man’s Jeff Hornacek/Jonny Stockton hybrid type of player of a Green Bay Wisconsin Pt.Guard who balled for coach Dick Bennett (his pop’s); and oh yes… Tony Bennet the now elite coach, and formerly ex-baller, is merely the #1, as in first-best all-time in college basketball history for career three-point field goal accuracy, at 49.7%, peaking at 53.3% in 1990–91; wow! i.e. baller Bennett is the best shooter in college basketball history; all-time; ever! He was awarded the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award in 1992 as the nation’s top player under 6′ in height and was twice an Academic all-American in ’92 on top of all of that. While merely being the 2x M.c.c. (today’s Summit League) Player of the Year; mind yah! When Bennett left college, he was the Mid-Continent Conference’s all-time leader in both points and assists before being drafted 35th overall in the 1992 NBA draft.
Then playing three years for the Charlotte Hornets and several more in Australia and New Zealand, where he started coaching after foot and knee injuries forced the now highly esteemed coach Bennett to suit-n-tie, up.
And oui-oui oh by the way… he just won a National Championship on a magical 35-3 2019 maddening title run. Whereby thereafter Coach Bennett declined a raise when extending his contract before the season, leading hooVa President James Ryan to call him “one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met.” (as inside this hoo there is a Hokie screaming to get out!)
Daddy Bennett and his wife, Laurel, have two children
—a daughter, Anna, and a son, Eli.
u.v.a. at a glance:
- 1st best in Scoring D!!! (⇔, still, has NOT moved 1ι or one iota)!
- 2nd best in FG percentage D allowed!!! (did move 1ι or one iota, ⇔, as they were, 1st)!
- (and yet) 2nd fewest Personal Fouls ‘whistled’ against!! (go fig’, right?) (1-spot worse, ⇔)
- 28th in Swats. (33 spots ⇑, wow)!
- 77thth in Rebounding Margin. (just a little less, not bad tho’, ⇓)
- 92nd fewest Turnovers on O. (noticeable drop here, nearly 60 spots, ⇓)
- 289th in FG percentage O! (still poor, tho’ 24 spots better, ⇑)
- 310th in 3-point percentage O!! (still poor, tho 30 spots better, ⇑)
- 345th in FTA’s!!! (not listed last time, tho’ they don’t get to the FT-line, much at all).
- 346th in Scoring O!!! (2 spots movement, ⇔)
- 1 eligibility casualty. (St.Catherine help).
cavalier Returning Starters=2.
Tutorial: The Pack–Line 1o1:
The “pack line”, is a defensive strategy that was actually convinced by his father (Dick). The pack line is designed to clog up potential driving lanes to the paint by forcing ball handlers to the middle of the floor where more “help” is concentrated. It forces opposing teams to pass and shoot well while limiting dribble-drive penetration and post play.
(tho’ I do feel our Youngling version of the elbow-high-post Point-Forward set would work well here; if/when Coach Mike can find that very Point-F kinda playar)
- 5′9″, 163 lb. mighty-mite former caddying now starting and two years ago the former alpha-recruit, Pt.Guard, Kihei Clark is a fun little bugger to watch and an instant fan-favorite for it. Ditto, any kid who refuses to sit and balls-out in a left-wrist cast/brace for it. That makes him a tough little bugger as well. Per his bio’, this hawt Cali’ recruit: “spent several hours at the Children’s Hunger Fund in Sylmar, Calif.” whatever that means though “yes” that is more hours than I spent there, admittingly. That jab being rightfully placed… Lindy’s says Clark has: “extreme quickness” and is a dangerous open-court player for it. Although he must improve his shooting depth (10.8. ppg on 34.9% deep) and avoid 1-on-1 facebook type tête-à-tête battles for it. Although he did (somehow) find one-inch (1″) in height (allegedly); and he did grow in the weight-room by a much needed 8 lbs. So there is that, and the sophomoric Clark enjoys a good set-up or Qb tag’ to his Pt.Guard swagg and he did end up starting 20 games last year. Now mix in 4.6 rpg and a franchise-best 6 dimes-dropped (apg) with 86.1% FT-shooting and you get a well-rounded albeit sawed-off baller. So, this Clark bar is not shy about tasty development at this early/premature career stage. And apparently he is now recovered from the broke left-wrist (his off-hand as an orthodox shooter) surgery; may St.Julia bless.
(UPDATE: 3-point shooting is a bit down tho’ most of the rest is a bit up, ⇑, overall)
- The loquacious Braxton Key who is at least an S/F anywhere else is a towering 6′8″, 23o lbs. starting shooting-G at u.Va. And he is your surprise team leader in Windex work swiping the glass for a 7.2 rpg with 10 ppg per a now even clankier 21.1% from long-distance as a lifer back-up until this campaign. The Oak Hill Academy basketball factory heritage kid was rolling the tide at ‘Bama before transferring to hooVa. Still yet, make no mistake, this kid is a real overload for any S/G or Two he faces. And he’s not an easy match-up even for a legit Three or S/F. Even if his debuting ‘Bama numbers (~13 ppg) suggested more longitudinally. As the Key was the no.33 baller coming outta high school nationally and the #2 hoopster in Va.H.S. basketball according to ESPN. Although Braxton has suffered a series of knee-knocks along the way and that has prolly knocked his career down a notch or three; (may St.Nikhon bless). Plus he’s been in a protective cast on his left-wrist since late November (St.Julia help). Yet Braxton does enjoy national Title bling; twice; as he led basketball factory Oak Hill Academy to the national championship and a 45-1 overall record five seasons ago. And Key was merely the two-time Class AA Mr. Basketball in the state of Tennessee (2014-15) prior to that. So that’s not the worst roundball jewelry collection when playing for keeps. (and if there ever was a guy who needs to be less unselfish and shoot more shots… (see: below!))
(UPDATE: ever so slightly up, technically, tho’ closer to even or ⇔, by me)
- 7′1″, 243 lb., r-Jr., stretch-P/F, Jay Huff -who apparently donated his inch in height to Clark up above- found himself about 10 lbs. this offseason. And then his game found about a 200% increase in all major metrics across the box-score board. With Huff now up to: 8.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.8 bpg, and 57.2% in overall shooting. And he has really been on the come of late; as he’s been doing way more than most of my pre-season wraps expected. Even if his 3-point range has plum plummeted by a very shaky looking 22%↓ thus far. Ditto his bricky or masonic looking Free-Throwing (51.2%). And the book here says that Huff is more parts size and defense/shot-blocking and less parts anything else. Therefore, the offensive betterment (less 3-pointing) is prolly gravy at this stage.
(UPDATE: very mixed guy, some parts up some parts down for a mixed-up looking ⇔ grade since we saw this Huffer and puffer last).
- One #25, or Conakry, Guinea (Africa’s) very own: Mamadi Diakite… all 6′7″, 224 lbs., r-Sr. worth of him is your sudden scoring pacesetter for hooVa at 13.4 ppg. And mind you… there is a noticeable 32% reduction in individual scoring roster wide after Diakite. Mamadi is second in board-work (6.7 rpg), second in swipes (.8 spg), second in swats (1.2 bpg), and yet blue ribbon in 3-point netting at a nifty 47.3% from long-range. I’d say that makes him first in terms of being your early 2020 A.D. uva men’s hoops M.V.P. And this Guinean also fields a history of buzzer-beaters, six thus far. Ergo, you know Diakite is clutch when the chips get big-n-blue. Diakite is from the in-state Blue Ridge School (St. George, Va.), where he pocketed a double-A state ring way back in 2014. He also won the V.I.C. high jump championship in 2014 and 2015! So, you know he can flat out finish with the rock when he soars to the rack for la dunks. As Mister Diakite is a freakin’ french major— of all the things– in all the places. That satire aside, Mamadi can defend, he can rebound and he can jack 3’s from deep and that means he’s prolly an overseas Pro’. His penchant for foul-trouble notwithstanding… (so that foreign language skillz may just pay the bills). And oh oui, he pops something that looks like Ric Flair and Dennis ‘the worm’ Rodman had sex; twice, as his fro’ goes. NTTARWT.
(UPDATE: actually, a bit more succinct of late, which is hard to late-season do, ⇑, and starting to develop a bit of 3-point range as well; bravo!)
- To say a metric ton of experience and production just went c’Ville: “PEACE-out yo’” is an understatement here. 2.2 decades of learning-curves and nearly 50 ppg with 15 rpg and one nasty outside sniper are all mowing someone else lawn right now.
- Sam Hauser is/was a 6′7″, 224 lb. r-Jr., S/F transfer baller by way of Marquette. The Marquette transfer was merely a second-team All-Big East selection last season after averaging 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest. He’ll sit out this season due to NC2A transfer rules— and in general terms, this kid woulda been a major 2020 cavalier help. As he was the 74th ranked baller in America per Scout; and a serious sharpshooter (50.6% in high school) from Wisconsin long-range; (with a mere 48.7% deep collegiately).
la` Bench: (depth=2’ish; little thin this year…)
Yet another skyscraping pack-line jamming C, although may St.Nikhon bless this one’s, left-knee and get it all right. As Francisco Caffaro was done for the year last season. Thus, making this his r-Fr. debut at 6′12″, 244 lbs. of him— as ‘cisco has thoughtfully added a 10-plate and a cuff as sinew or right-mass goes. As the r-rookie year El Trebo, Santa Fe, Argentina imported native baller has a wealth of F.I.B.A. international hoops experience having balled for his nation since before he could drive (legally) in the states or since age 15! Averaging 16.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest in doing so and that makes this 2020 big-man addition no small measure indeed. Although his numbers (1.6 ppg and 1.4 rpg alike on 52.9%) have yet to emerge as some had expected from this skilled-big who is supposed to be able to score in close and crash the boards. Time=tell here…
(UPDATE: Frisco’s shooting has plummeted by over 10%, ⇓, more than a little)
7.3 ppg and 2.2 rpg with 38.8% behind the arc belong to third-year Tomas Woldetensae… who is a 6′5″, 196 lb., Bologna, Italy import. And “si”, he has some game… not to mention an Irwin M. Fletcher type 6′9″ looking twist-top ‘fro. As I did not know you could even remotely pull twist-tops out this far? Nonetheless, this pretty swaggy back-up by way of Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa; or the place where “radar” O’Riley used to do work, is said to be: “a strong shooter” who is versatile enough to fill all three traditional perimeter positions. And Tony never takes any Community College lowercase types; so you know he does not have that many doubts re: this Tomas. As this Tomas just earned National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) first-team All-America honors after averaging 17.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 2018-19. The book says he can also defend a bit and he is one of the few peeps to only list his father in his bio’. May St.Thomas bless on dat.
(UPDATE: more than a staggering 200% righteous bump in scoring and over 6% better in shooing is worth (2) ⇑⇑‘s here! bra-vo!!!)
(already cut-up/strong-looking) Casey Morsell (6′3″ and 195 lb. t-Fr., Pt.Guard) and Kody Stattmann (6′7″ and 2oo lb., sophomoric Swing) combined to net you just short of 10 ppg in backcourt relief. With 3 apg and a useful looking 4 boards and a send-back. Which ain’t ½-bad pine-squad G work if you can get it. (Casey is said to be the 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Today Player of the Year for Washington, D.C., and his rap sheet says he is a tough Wing who can handle outside shooting (tho’ only 17.7% this year) and defensive responsibilities. Casey was uva’s alpha-recruit last year and is said to be competitive and smart and that never hurt nothing in my book). (Kody is said to be inconsistent and in need of improving the range on his J (25% thus far. Although this Aussie Wing (Bentley Park, Queensland) has a Greg Brady’s pasty ‘fro met some straightener mop-haircut, he is reported to be a pure scorer and he does dangle a gold medal from the 2017 FIBA Oceania Championships. Tho’ Kody has been sick/illness off/on this year, Godspeed on that. As Stattmann is an interesting kid to watch come 2022; as some say he has the potential to weaponize the Wing position for Tee.Bee. Time=tell, here…)
(THESE two were not included last time… hence no movement tracking up or down, here)
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of hoos who could hoo-haw @Tech=5.
The takeaway here is… do these right-hand ESPN odds make any sense to any of you?
As these State Championship rivals sure seem like my pet proverbial: “…two ships passing in the night” to me.
Not that I like it, or uva, or any such thing… hooever, it is uva who has settled-in to 2020 A.D. Whereas our Younglings have basically settled-down; as in: downward in the standings and are now basically who we all thought they were back in the Fall of 2019.
Or in other words… uva is fighting for A.c.c. Tourney seeding rankings; (with basically one more in-conference Dub-a-u virtually gar-ron-damn-teeing them a first-round and a second-round MUCH coveted A.c.c. double-BYE). Whereas our beloved Hokies are fighting for their C.B.I. or C.I.T. lives as our post-season magic number is prolly 18 wins. Or punching at least one weight-class over our heads with no.11 Louisville up next this weekend. (although Clemson and N.Dame could be within our 2020 finishing grasp after that…)
Or in final words… we need this one like a dead-man needs a coffin, an obituary, the undertaker and a funeral-home all rolled into one.
Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a mere 38-point beat-down overall. This is better than we have seen of late hooever. And when taken pro-rata it settles down even mo’ to a much more respectable looking near 5-point uVa VomiT kinda day. So, then I ran the Fourm Guide for the 8-game isomer series alone and that posits, avers, and connotes a 7.5-point cavalier Tech Triumph per capita. Which I view as much more binding when you study the annual vis-à-vis the most recent 5-game trend movements’. *
*(this is one outlying Forum Guide, as both teams’ have yet to play at least 2-A.c.c. teams; meaning we had fewer data points round-robin wise than the Audubon Statistical Society said we would have this late in the campaign)
The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… uVa is up +3% in shooting percentage margin (¾’ers of which was courtesy of their Pack-Line D), with V.Tech up +2% in 3-point percentage margin (per our being better on O and they’re being less better on D), and then virginia is up a noteworthy 6-boards in rebounding margin for the duration off the glass.
The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the booHoos are up +8% in shooting percentage margin (virtually entirely courtesy of their O), with the cavaliers up a whopping +16% in 3-point percentage margin (12% on their sharpshooting O, tho’ they are defensing tighter as well) and then with the Zima’s up +5 |absolute value| caroms in rebounding margin in the last fortnight. (as both teams are actually trading underwater or –negative in Windex Work of late, tho’ uva is a lot less negative than us)
Free-throwing shooting is a draw —with uva up o.2% on the charity stripe for the year.
Virginia Tech is up +3 in R&R in the last couple of weeks.
VT is a .688 host; whereas uVa is .555 as a guest.
- Cavalier Pt.Guard k.Clark is averaging 15.2 points over his last five games— this is one hawt cookie here folks. (Clark is also third right now in the A.c.c. in assists)!
- Tom.Woldetensae is averaging 14.8 over the most recent five-game stretch; ‘nother hawt hoo here!
- Whereas O&M alpha Landers Nolley II, the Hokies’ leading scorer at 16.7 points per game, is mired in a dismal shooting slump that has seen him net just 8-of-44 shots overall with just 2-of-17 makes from 3-point range!
- The Hokie’s Radford is trending in the other direction and is averaging 16.3 points over his last seven-game span on 57.1% shooting.
- The hooVa’s have now notched six straight wins by ≤7 points during its current 7-1 stretch! (talk about living well on the proverbial razor’s edge, or waxing, or manscaping or whatever TeeJay was into…)
- VeeTee hooever is a perfect isomer of uva over the same timespan at 1-7. : (
- virginia won 13 of the last 16 meetings.
No.51 Net Ranking virginia @ no.83 Net Ranking Virginia Tech:
The Hokies shot a season-low 27.1% from the floor in a 65-39 L while getting flushed 150-miles away nor-by-nor-east over in The John earlier this season.
“oui-oui”… Eye do expect that to improve @home this time out. Granted…
My R.A.T.T. Q @you is… do you expect it to improve, enough?
So, as you can see above… uva is not beating much of anyone by much of anything of late; although they are beating virtually everyone by something.
And as the wimminz species will surely attest, “size matters”; although wins mater mo‘. And be this winning-ugly or not, History will only Ginkgo that the 2019 National Champ’ closed out 2020 on a winning note.
Nevertheless, and if you ask me -and you did via reading these very words- if you ask me? The thing that really hung my OPT digits up is… uva is not just more parsimonious on O overall, they are vastly more efficacious on O with regard to handing the 3-ball.
And that has been our (inherited Buzzketball) Owens Dining Hall bread-n-butter all year. Or our one homesteading lifeline here.
(where we do actually shoot Cassell Coliseum trifectas better by 1.4 whole, entire, and total percent. or i.e. by… not quite enough).
Viva lâ, revenue sports sweep!
(86% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=49, virginia=6o