virginia basketball preview!

#117 R.P.I. Virginia Tech #1o5 R.P.I.  virginia

Virginia Tech men’s basketball travels (pardon the hardwood, pun) one-hundred-fiddy (15o-miles) nor-by-nor-east to face you know… hoo!

The Hokies now face a somewhat nonnormative looking 9 up and 6 down u.V.a. cavaliers over in C’ville, Va. hooVa is 3-2 in inter-league play thus far this season and has been a little bit better of late. Even if they have been A.c.c. green-light or red-light in conferencial terms. This is a pretty good 2o22 hoo roundball squadron. Tho’ it may not be filled with 2o19 NC2A championship aces all-around. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to finds, out!

CroonerAnthony Dominick Benedettoage=94, 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 CoachAnthony Guy “Tony” Bennett: Age=52, 371–141 (.725) overall,
and 302–108 (.737) @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. Thereby 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.

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…)

virginia at a glance:

  • 15th best in Scoring D allowed!!! (VT is 14th FYI).
  • 21st in S.W.A.T. team work!!
  • 25th fewest personal fouls “whistled” against!
  • 51st fewest Turnovers on O.
  • 67th in FG% allowed D.
  • 310th fewest 3-point makes!!!
  • 314th best in Defensive Rebounding!!!
  • 318th best in Offensive Rebounding!!!
  • NO injuries listed. (“merci” @Entraîneur Dieu !!!)

Returning Starters=2

French Strengths:

  • Lindy’s preseason wrap rated virginia as the transferring/portaling A.c.c. winner this off-season; hard to say that would hurt.
  • One #o, 5′9″, 175 lb. mighty-mite former caddying now starting and three years ago the former alpha-recruit, Pt.Guard, fourth-year 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 “look@me” jab being rightfully placed… Lindy’s says Clark has: “extreme quickness” and is a dangerous open-court player for it. Kihei is your Pt.Guard du jour for the french here. Cali’ Private School (Taft, not the New England Kennedy one); as a scrapper who has willed/worked his way into some bonus A.c.c. play. Although the book reads that he must improve his shooting depth (9.9 ppg on 21.4% deep last year, up to a now a sporty 42.6% this season) 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 ∼15 lbs. So there is that, and the Senior-year 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 a nearly doubled since last year 3.1 rpg and a franchise-best 4.1 dimes-dropped (apg) with sharp-looking 82.6% FT-shooting and you get a well-rounded albeit sawed-off baller. Albeit again, one who has significantly improved in rebounding, assisting, and both 3-point & FT-shooting alike since we saw him last. So, this Clark kid is not shy about tasty development at this late/exiting career stage. And apparently, he has now recovered from the broken left wrist (his off-hand as an orthodox shooter) surgery; may St.Julia bless. That all said, this Clark bar has only taken 1 single solitary bite outta anyone in the last few weeks; and seems slumped and/or dinged-up 1o1. Finally, Clark is the only real perimeter penetrator that uva enjoys, as he did enjoy nearly 180% more FTA’s than anyone wahoo else backcourt does to this… point. (Get it?) Although that keying you up was last year… this year he is only 3rd in FTA’s or again, a bit contact adverse or trying to preserve what he still has physically left. His Old-Man (Malik), played Division II basketball at the University of Hawaii at Hilo; so that does not hurt. His resumé courts about as many goodwill or volunteerism thingys as you can count. That does not hurt, either. Really came on his final senior season in H.S. terms; may have been a bit overlooked for it. Said to be a fair-to-middling defender. And Lindy’s had him on their 2nd-string All-A.c.c. team pre-season. As this is a savvy, seasoned, gritty, gamey kinda One; and prolly one who is pretty close to being a fringe overseas Pro’. Plus he keeps mo‘ hairstyles than you!!! LOL…
  • t-Fr., Kadin Shedrick is a 6′11″, 217 lb. raily looking C-P/F from Raleigh, Nc. last year. hoo has now gone out and weight-room recruited all the way up to a useful-looking 231 lbs. this year. Po’ Kadin was out with an: “Illness“ for parts of last year, God Help.  (Tho’ one vibe did say nothing 2020-2021 or cv19 related). All-A.c.c. Honor Roll member does not hurt. Propper’s a.c.c.ordingly. Now back this year would-be Kadin’s 6.3 ppg, his 5.3 rpg, and his 57% r-sophomoric season relief frontcourt pitching from the bullpen. Which has now morphed into starting minutes of late. Godspeed to 247Sports 68th nationally ranked rim-protecting rebounder here; as his 2o22 digits are flirting with being at or about ≈200% up since this time last year. And a 2:1 betterment per season really does put in work long-term. Said to be a pretty fair seamstress or baseballer in H.S. (albeit one with a Goliath type strike-zone). Seems to be developing and feeling his way out on tape to me. Tho’ again, doubling your previous years’ vitals is trending in the right direction. And for a kid with a finesse tag that’s “it” strategically speaking. And do recall, Mr. Shedrick only took up hoops (full-time) at age 16… so, hoo knows where he is come 2o24? As Lindy’s describes him as a very ‘skillful’ baller.
  • Jayden David Darrel Gardner is a 6′6″, 246 lb., true-Sr., final year transfer whom uva Pirated from East Carolina University this off-season. Big ole, meaty-looking P/F trapped in more of a S/F’s body; at least height/reach wise. American Athletic Conference First Team last year for E.c.u., where he was averaging 18.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 35.2 minutes per game. This year for hooVa Mister Gardner is netting you a team pacing: 15.0 ppg on a mutual team pacing: 7.5 rpg with a nifty looking and also team pacing: 57.4% overall. Now mix in a decent enuff 75.9% on free-throwing and a useful enuff 37.5% on 3-pointing and you have a pretty complete baller on your hands with no real weakness to his tradecraft. Did Eye mention the meatiness, yet? As Jayden is a Jay-Z or real overload for most any modern era Wings or Threes down-low. A.A.C. Player of the Year for the Pirates two years back. A.A.C. Conference All-Academic Team to boot, so his Buccaneer G.P.A. does not have to walk the… plank. Where he set several Fr. year rec’s for E.c.u. and frankly stayed pretty much on his Fr. year level for the duration. This is better than backtracking— and less than progressing as well. Big-time scholastic rebounder (nearly 15 rpg, with 24 ppg). Curiously has shrunk 2″ and found ≅25 lbs. since high school. Where he had good North Carolina numbers, on a not exactly good team. Takes contact very well, gets to the charity stripe often enough for it too. Did Eye mention the mini-me Anthony Mason look, yet? Has run a bit hawt-n-cold of late… what with single-digits or mid to uppercase 20’s as scoring output goes. Is a little bit foul-prone due to the use of said chunkiness. Willing, bulky guy, prolly a De in American football terms in another life. Prolly an overseas Pro’ too… as his heft will give their finesse/Euro looks a hard way to go.

    …mmmmm-k, accessorize, much?
  • Armaan Franklin is a 6′4″, 2o4 lb., third-year off-G by way of home-spun Indiana U. Where Franky was named to Academic All-Big Ten honors. And said to be a 3-n-D baller (3-point range married to good defensive looks). Before that, he was the 151st or a rummy of a baller nationally per Stayed dinged-up at Eye-U off/on and missed multi-week span(s) of time. 12.0 ppg with 2.7 rpg on 1.5 apg and an orange-paint chippy looking 22% from behind the arc is prolly not overachieving here. In particular, after netting just under 43% from deep for Indiana the last term. Has been better or more consistent of late… could be rounding into 2o22 forum after a chilly-looking 2o21 start. Pretty good defensive baller though (1.4 spg). Seems to play to his level of competition some nites (pro or con) as well.

French Weaknesses:

  • Lotta Talent(s) and experience went Exit Stage Left here. And uVa does better at retention under TeeBee than most— to their credit.
  • Break-ups are hard here; Rebounding is even harder… as this is a surprisingly un-spry team on the ‘Glass.
  • ONLY eight, that’s (8) guys were listed by Lindy’s pre-season Roster count. Ergo, therefore, to wit, this is NOT an exceptionally deep Jacqueline Bisset club. Nor is it deep on experience itself.

La Bench: (depth=5 sometimes 6 deep)

Taine Murray, is a chalky-looking Shooting-G, from Auckland, New Zealand. (Some of the most U.S.M.C. grateful peeps in the World you will ever meet).  6′7″, 2o7 lb., rookie or nugget-year voter. Well, not here of course, though Eye tangent. Steinlagers for all… oh wait, back to the preview… Anyhoo… this hoo only fields two, that’s (2) National Championship blings, by way of Kiwi clubbing itself. Played for the: New Zealand Tall Blacks (hilarious rugby satire), in 2019-20 and was selected for the 2020 FIBA Asia Cup team. Competed for the Auckland Huskies of the New Zealand National Basketball League in 2019-20. Also, a member of the New Zealand Breakers on the Australian National Basketball League in 2021 So, experience and/or matriculation are not wanting here. T.Mur’ was only named College Sport Male Sports Person of the Year in 2o19 and only won the Earned Rosmini College Sports Person of the Year honors in 2o19. I may not know what that means… tho’ I do know you and I have combined to win that not, once. Said to have been discovered (of sorts) at the Nike Asian Basketball Camp. 4.o G.P.A. in high school and his poppa-bear (Carl), played professional rugby in New Zealand for Counties and Waikato (1987-95) and the All Blacks. Dang, mo’ Steinlagers here we comes. Said to be a marksman from 3-point-land (∼42% already) good for right at 3 ppg in backcourt relief. A curious kid who has lived a neat-O life Globetrotting wise (born in: Hong Kong) already.

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-Jr. debut at 6′13″, 242 lbs. of him— as ‘cisco has thoughtfully cut right at a 10-plate and a cuff as sinew or right-mass goes. And yet somehow found 1″ of verticality? As the second-third 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 (3.2 ppg and 2.9 rpg alike on 57.1% for his career) 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… and so will leg-health. As f.Caffaro actually, is just starting to contribute this term, as all his numbers are up, nicely on a percentage basis recently… maybe he will make a springtime forward facing move?

Kody Stattmann (6′8″ and 2oo lb., Seniorfic Swing). Kody is said to be inconsistent and in need of improving the range on his J (25% to start 2020 now all the way ZOOM chatting you up to a nifty 39% thus far from 3-point-land) 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 had been sick/illness off/on last year, Godspeed on that. So, his development or percolation has trickled or been cupped for it. As Stattmann is an interesting kid to watch come latent 2022; as some say he has the potential to weaponize the Wing position for Tee.Bee. We will see here… as I’m not seeing a metric ton at: 2.6 ppg and 1.0 rpg subbin’ in thus far.

Calling this in-state Rivalry is all about calling for what(s)???

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of cavaliers who could hooty-hoo @Tech=at least four, maybe five?

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is... it is not so easy to be taken with this T.B. hoops club as it was before.

They are still pretty good. To be sure.

Though prolly a few bricks shy of a greatness load (pardon the roundball pun).

As this is (still) likely some caliber of a post-season squad for well-esteemed Coach Bennett, granted.

It remains to be seen if this is a March Madness kinda club
or may more parts N.I.T. or C.B.I.?


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a nearly umpossible O.C.C. (out-of-conference) Victory Dance of +26-points to the good guys here. Even when taken pro-rata this still connotes, posits, and avers a pretty lopsided road-win of 13-points for the Techsters here. (As in… VeeTee’s sinking of the Midshipmen really skewed this marker statistically). Unless of course, it is, correct?

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… hooVa is up a modest +1% in shooting percentage margin (all on D, with both O’s separated by one single solitary tenth of shooting); VeeTee us up +13% in 3-point percentage margin (just a little mo’ on D, tho’ with a reasonable advantage in O as well), and yet VeeTee is only up +1 board in Windex Wipes in rebounding margin year-to-date.

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the cavs are now up +5% in shooting percentage margin (nearly all on marksmanship or O of late): although the Gobblers are up a decent 4% in 3-point percentage margin (more so over on D here), and the Hokies are now up right at +4 caroms in rebounding margin on the fiberglass in the last fortnight of boarding.

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

Virginia Tech’s conference L’ing streak stands in at five games. As Virginia Tech’s last A.c.c. win came against the Wake Forest Deacons 84-46 on Feb. 27, 2o21 A.D. Yikes!

While Aluma leads Tech in scoring (15.2 points per game) his numbers are down in virtually every other category from last season. His 3-point accuracy (35.1 percent last season) has dipped to 23.5 percent. Additionally, Nahiem Alleyne is another Hokie struggling with his shooting touch, making just three of 22 shots in Tech’s three A.c.c. defeats. Yikes!

9 pm kickoff!

62: Virginia Tech is o-5 when it allows at least 62 points and 8-1 when it holds opponents to less than 62 ppg this campaign!

Virginia Tech is a perfect 5-0 when the team blocks at least four opposing shots. The Hokies are 3-6 this season when they block fewer than four shots.

VeeTee is up a nominal +1% at the charity stripe for the year.
france is a .625 host; whereas VeeTee is .5oo as a guest.
VeeTee is +13 in R&R in the last fortnight of play.

The Call...

No.37 Net Ranking Virginia Tech @ no.84 Net Ranking virginia:

Beating the hoos over in hooville is not as hopeful/simple as it may (on 1 through 5 paper) sound.

As they are still the rightful homecourt cross-State favorite.

That said, we will NOT be getting or netting a better chance to flush them inside their very own John anytime soon. Still yet, beating them in our very own Cassell is a far mo’ R.A.T.T. wisenheimer pick. Mowing the lawn and turning the visiting trick where the A.c.c. Road Warriors sue for peace about 3 times in 10 is just not a historically favorable Versailles looksee.

On Wednesday night at rival Virginia (9-6, 3-2 A.c.c.), our Hokies (8-6, o-3) hope the fresh start will get their season back on course.

We’ve got an opportunity to get everything back together — our conditioning, get back in the weight room, get our timing squared away,” Tech coach Mike Young said.

So, the party line goes… tho’ this could make for a nice mid-Winter hump-nite parrr-tae.
IF/when we upset the boo-hoos, here?


That all squarely struck… the in-league whispers hint that Tony is not happy with his team’s practice ethos of late. On the other side, Mikie’s practice habits have been shelved of late. And yes, we talkin’ ’bout practice. As frankly, Eye do not see any a.Iverson in-state take the damn rivalry game solo-over and vanguard either side individually unstoppably to imbibing from the Commonwealth Cup at midnight on Hump Day itself on either team.

That means this one is gonna be a: Together Everyone Achieves Mo’ effort.
For which side is for you to decide…


Nevertheless, here we do still see our best chance to nick one in Tee-Jay’s backyard in several years. Hopefully Nc.State was just a lack of practice-court gone O&M oxidization viral glitch. (St.Nikephoros and St.Corona bless).

Or in other words… one of these two home staters is due to pop-clean and break out of their recent funk. 

Or in final words… oui-oui, that prolly does favor the homesteading team here…
…although not this time french-fries. You guys is french, toast!

Now, chant it wif me @home…
Same, as, foot-ball.





(51% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=65, virginia=57

please support the VT F.C.A.!




6 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Love the positive vibes man with that prediction. The team we could be could win by 7 on their court but with the team we’ve been of late … I’ll have a drink of what you are having.

    1. …are we, (proverbially): “due”?

      …and this ain’t the most epic A+++ T.B. team, either.
      That kan’t hurt.


  2. Got all-the-way-to-the-end. Hope you’re right. If all five VT players are “on,” a Tech W. If one or more are icy on O, another L.

    1. Won’t take a bleep-ton of points is the one grace here…
      …race to double-nickles or maybe to 6o?
      First one there?



  3. Unless Coach Young realizes John Ojiako’s value to this team, in the ACC, which has bigs everywhere, VT will continue to lose and Aluma and Mutts will continue to get tired and frustrated.

    1. …his (lack of) P.T.?

      Yah… head-scratcher… don’t have the goods on that???


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