virginia basketball preview!!!

#63 R.P.I. virginia vs. #112 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s hoops just split two at home going one-n-one vs. two (possibly) superior teams alike. Such is not perfect; though such is not the worst shakes…

The Hokies are now primed to face lé team that you love to hate. As the F’n Gobblers look to Foxtrot virginia up on Wednesday nite over in Charlottesville, Va. virginia enters this rivalry contest after posting a nice enuff 11 up against 5 down overall record. Hooever, the cavaliers are only a .4oo (2-3) team at the moment in intra-league play. Thus, leaving them tied with the Hokies for a middleocore looking 7th-place in All-Championship Conference 2o24 sweepstakes. As one could fair-to-middling make a fair-to-middling argument for either side, either way, in this one here. Nevertheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to find, out!

CroonerAnthony Dominick Benedettoage=96, 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=54, 421–162 (.722) overall,
and 352–129 (.732) @uVa.

The other Tony Bennett is also a pretty, kinda, sorta, decent 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 as 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.

france at a glance:

  • 2nd highest in Scoring-D ppg allowed!!!
  • 5th best in Assist:Turnover ratio!!!
  • 9th fewest fouls/game ‘whistled’ against!!! (Do not expect any calls in gay-Paris here).
  • 25th best in FG-percentage D allowed!!
  • 33rd most in Swats!!
  • 52nd most in Swipes.
  • 294th best in Rebounding Margin.
  • 319th best in FT percentage!!!
  • 327th most in Fastbreak points O!!!
  • 333rd most FTA’s/game!!! (not a penetrating team, contrary to memes/rumors du jour).

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…)

Returning Starters=un*.

virginia Strengths:

  • Good team here… B— to a solid B caliber.
  • Better than good on D, good G play… tho’ missing a few things and some panachè here-n-there to me…
  • * (Lindy’s 1st-string All-A.c.c., Lindy’s A.c.c. Top Defender): Reece Beekman, who is a 6′3″, 194 lb., super-Senior year Pt.Guard who has the look-n-feel of more of a Lead-G; or of an outright leader his ownself. He has added some Joe Burrow-esque swagg to this team of late. Helping hooVa actually cop a bit of a ‘tude. Netting game-winners this year could be a sign; here, as well… the: now leading 12.7 ppg with 3.1 rpg on a 1st-best 5.9 apg could also be a clue. The sweltering (team alpha) 44.9% long though yield-curve inverting 43.8% from da floor did not paint the total picture for this kid. As this year his 3-balls are down to 28.9% and his flooring is up to 46.7%. This year the blue-ribbon 2.1 Swipes or 5-finger-discounts count enough; as do recall this reecey-cup was ranked #1 in spg for the entire A.c.c. in 2o22. This is from a kid that the only incoming (2o21-2o22) knock from my preseason magazines was: ‘range’ on his J. Although the fact that Mr. Beekman only pocked four, that’s (4) Louisiana High School Athletic Associate (LHSAA) AAAAA or penta-A state championship blings in a row-row-row-row, mighta been a can-ride clutch hint as well. Ditto Reecey being named the: 2o19-2o Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year. This is from an: Afro-American who lists: Game of Thrones as his favorite show… do not read that too much. Tho’ does also list an already reposed older bro (Bryce), do read that (sadly) from time to time (may St.Julia (momma-bear’s name) bless!). Dean’s List honoree, that counts too. 51st ranked recruit nationally with improving high school digits each and every year counts as well. Ergo, therefore, to Whit; I fear this kid is a keeper… he has that *it* factor to his courtship look-n-feel. Has found a little sinew since the last time out and yet seems quicker to me upon breaking tape; best of both worlds. That and from what I could see? I was kinda left wondering if Beeker is trying (or, being forced) to do too much this year and if said necessary expenses are wearing him down a notch or notch-point-something. As he seems a bit ’24 off to me. (Tho’ most of his metrics not named shooting are up just a scosche, F.Y.I.).
  • Isaac McKneely: see below… starts sometimes, bullpens others… neat (localized) kid with a BIGtime small-State rep’. See: ‘dot-matrix pic.
  • 6′8″, 216 lb., Ryan Dunn, off-G/’tweener, second-season by way of: Perkiomen School. Rivals **** and 112th ranked. And he has glossed himself: “the Almighty-Ry'”. LOL! What??? As you needs mo’ than: 9.8 ppg with 6.6 rpg and coming up short on the long-ball of 21.7% on thy 3’s it rock it out like dat.. Chicks dig the long ball bro’. Trust Pt.G1, me. You can also trust me on he, off-court, and in the classroom: as the: All-A.c.c. Academic Team and A.c.c. Honor Roll accolades would seem to suggest. The kid is a hard/willing finisher at the rack; he has rises and will dunk on you. Keeps a: ‘body bag’ count on his very own slams. LOL… again… take a deep breath bro’… breeeeathe… innnnn-oooooout. Does play (even overplay) the ball well always looking for the breakaway steal; (2.1 swipes is tight). Most FTA’s on the team and 54.1% from the floor tells you he does succeed in getting to the basket. The ~59.6% FTs tells you he could succeed even mo’ if/when he gets to the practice court on 15′ set-shots too. Does have something of some caliber of headroom remaining to his game it would appear. Played for 3 high schools in his final 4 years; you know how I feels about thats… 44% scholastic netting from behind the (shorter) arc is a rangy clue. As Dunn done won several skill competitions and a dunk-off in touring H.S. terms to boot. Again, there is some measure of headroom here… the only abacus is just how much? Brother Justin is a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds; so, there is that too.

    WAR the 3o4’s: Poca Dots!!! (lol).
  • grad’-year: Jacob Groves F 6′11″, 211 lb., beanpole, Boomer-Sooner by the way of: Eastern Washington and before that an: O.G. from the way of Spokane, Washington. “jake” to his friends… with yet another g.Brady moppy-fro’-top. Alice the Maid is soaking wet as Eye types… never done mo’ than 9.3 ppg and 4.2 rpg no matter which/where Eye looked. So, not so sure why Alice has her knickers in such a twist, here? Still yet, Lindy’s says he is: ‘skilled’ and: ‘can hit the three.’ As the 41.9% from 3-point-land would seem to, agry. Jake came from a not-so-hot-to-trot high school, (never won ≥15 games) and yet he social-needia era stuck it out. +several on him. Gathers trash up on the Wash.State highway clean-up crew in the summer. +several there as well. Fam’ has game too. Brother, Tanner played three seasons at Eastern Washington (2o18-21) and one at Oklahoma (2o22-23). Father, Randy, played basketball at Shadle Park HS and Community Colleges of Spokane. Mother, Tara still owns the Whitworth scoring record of 2,o4o points and is in the school’s Hall of Fame. “snap”. Three snaps at thats. Rivals 294th baller in the USofA. Seems like a likable bloke, and a high buy-in guy. Does what he’s coached to do… as every big whistle is appreciated on any given Groves’.

virginia Weaknesses:

  • Honestly? And as we and St.Joseph the Carpenter all know… lying is fo’… rugs. Though in all candor… this team has something of a ‘stale’ feel to me. Like hooVa has ever so slightly been leaking some just detectable measure of Talent itself— ever since their monsta Natty run.
  • Gone as well is nearly 2.8 decades worth of {sic: baller} Experience and Learning Curve ’23 Effects. Which has left ’24 less effective indeed.
  • Additionally gonzo is a whole lotta signature Pack-Line/base-line anchoring… true-C height. 21′11″ here. And as we all (additionally) know… try as you might, you kan’t coach… Hite? ; )
  • This has always been the Bud Foster of hardwood Defense: first, second, third, next, middle, …penultimate, and last… granted. Tho’ this is not even an offense via committee, this is a quorum in… recess.
  • V.H.T.’s: Dante Harris (ex-pat-Georgetown: 6′, 17o lbs. true-Fr., One/lead-G, 12.1 ppg, and 4.6 apg); and Jordan Minor ((no relation), tho’ the: ’23 NorthEast Conference Player of the Year: Merrimack: P/F: 6′8″, 242 lbs., true-Sr. 17.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg, and 2.6 bpg!) both have kra-kra hype-tapes and yet have only conspired to deliver just north of 5.o ppg thus far. Lindy’s and all my mags really serially high on them.
  • Dante Harris: (UPDATE: “OUT INDEFINITELY” due to an ankle-turn right before Christmas. St.Philip bless).
  • and oui-oui boohoos… there is still… this…

lā lawn: (depth=4’ish give/match-ups/take) 23oth most in bench ppg.

Bucups… indeed!

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′5″, 2o8 lb., true-Jr. 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 in 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 (∼44.4%, now) good for right at 2.9 ppg with 1.3 rpg in backcourt relief. A curious kid who has lived a neat-O life Globetrotting-wise (born in: Hong Kong) already. Even mo’ curiously, Taine misplaced 2″ in height and yet found himself a 9 lb. plate in weight. Go fig’ on dat?

The 3o4’s very own: 6′4″, now up to: 188 lb., Isaac McKneely, is a backup Qb1 or Pt.Guard1 for uva. Isaac comes to c-ville via the greatest nicknamed Dub.Vee school of them all… or from the: Poca, Dots! No, I’ma not making that up. Nor am I making it up that this was actually a pretty big border-war recruiting get for the wahoos. As Mr. McKneely only nabbed: The two-time West Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year (2o21 and 2o22). The two-time Bill Evans Award as West Virginia Player of the Year in (2o21 and 2o22). He only led Poca to the West Virginia AA state championship by averaging 22 points, 6.o rebounds, 4.o assists, 1.o steals, and 1.o blocks as a senior in 2o21-22. And he was only named: the West Virginia Small Town Player of the Year by Max Prep. That is all, he Dub.Vee. sucks, cut him now. Tho’ you would also be cutting: 11.6 ppg with 3.1 rpg with 1.5 apg and a sniping 48% netting from beyond the arc. 63rd overall baller from the People’s Republick of the 3o4 in all the land according to 247Sports. Team alpha at 87% FTA’s and Top-5 A.c.c. Did Eye mention that he is from West ‘by God’ Virginia, yets? K… I may have said that already, tho’ he wants to be Coach McKneely someday alrighty enough. Lindy’s says that Isaac is a: “straight-line driver who can shoot and is strong with the ball”. Me says that this pasty kinda slight j.West-looking bullet-headed kid is a big-get over eastside Va. wise as I.M. will be your next k.Guy+++ for hooVa. (UPDATE: this Dub.Vee kid is: ‘on the come’, up everywhere I looked. +3.o4 ⇑‘s!)

(Very Highly Touted, V.H.T. quad or ****): Blake Buchanan, P/F2, (relief baseline anchor), 3.8 ppg with 3.3 rpg, .5 apg, .6 spg and the keeps him playing .9 bpg. Not a lot… tho’ he fits his role. Role-playar or roll-player if you will. A Coach Shakespearean guy… “all the worlds a stage— and one baller in his time plays many, roles?” A plural guy… to be sure… putting Together Everyone Achieves Mo’ ahead of his selfie-self. Prolly (like Fu’); make you a good bringing your garbage cans in for yah neighbor. 38% overall married to a chippy 54% donations from the charity stripe tell you why he is not playin’ mo’. 6′11″, 224 lb., true-Fresh’., so, this may be 72-stroke golf or par for the course at this stAGE in his career. As he is surely an ATH playing ball, nice long/lean tho’ pointy strong kid with hops in his springs. His dunk tape was a surprise… don’t see many peeps with (see: pic) the rim at eye-level (Zima humor insert here_____, check). I was mop-top g.Brady gone slight fly-guy surprised here… mea culpa. Moscow, Idaho native… from big-time Volleyball fam’… fraternally and maternally alike(s). (With a paternal IdahoU pops). Last year was only named Idaho Mr. Basketball, Gatorade Player of the Year, and MaxPreps Player of the Year. And the Idaho H.S. is actually *the* Midwest hoops factory with *the* (former: R.I.P.) alpha Midwest H.S. coach. So, there is that… ESPN’s 63rd baller overall… had a mo’ defensive rep’ in scholastic terms. Hence the baseline gets, no doubt. Did Eye mention the vert’, the brady-fro’, and the defending, yet(s)? K… and either way… there appears to be some upside(s) (possibly plural) here yets. Lindy’s calls him: “a Euro-style Forward with Guard skills.” That counts too; as this Four kinda has a sleeper feel to me…

6′6″, 2o2 lb., Andrew Rohde SG4, from: St.Thomas (D-1aa), or a portaling baller. A pretty fair-to-middling transfer by the look(s) of this… All-Summit League First Team and Summit League Freshman of the Year (’23). That does not suck. Not at all. Neither did ‘drew’s: 17.1 with 3.6 rpg on 3.7 apg debuting digits. The (current) 5.8 ppg with 2.6 rpg on 3.1 apg tell you he could be doin’ mo’ elsewhere as he just, did do mo’ yesteryear. Good talent here, and the T.B. system does not exactly cough big possession metrics up (individually).  316th 247Sports baller for the nation… (#5 in-state: (Whisky)). Only per se *** or three-stars… may have been overlooked just a bit for his TriStar hit too. Has a rep’ for pure scoring; maybe that cooled a few teaming up heels? Not sure here… as he is only listed in one of my preseason mags. Kinda came off with something of a trying to go poser or street-life (as a pasty) and just trying too hard to be jus’ like dat; to me. Though there is Talent(s) here to be sure… prolly was not less than a fringe export baller; had he Horizon League (statistics) stayed put. (Tho’ 1 for the (Dancing with Self) strawberry blonde spiked cropped looked bro’… try that Beatles medium-bowl look and watch thy social game, grow…)

The key to determining hoo wins this one here is, what(s)???

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of hoos who could "boo" @Tech=ocho'ish.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is

not to be too taken with either team just yet(s).

As methinks at least one of these two -if not both of the two- is ’24 post-season due.

The tougher calculus is… at which post-season Tourneying level(s)???

That -at least to me- remains discursive, discussive, and maybe even debative itself.

As each squadron has carved a couple of seemingly likable play-off notches in their respective 2o23-2o24 bed-post-(ups). Every bit as each club has been upset a few times, been inconsistent other times, and been just plain off at times.

The one separator I could I.D. was… the cavs have basically been pretty well/mostly healthy for the duration. Whereas Vah.Tech has been dinged, nearly dented, and knocked about a bit.

Which makes you wonder out loud if the Hokies enjoy mo’ close of ’24 business headroom, here?


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a (seemingly) totally nutty -if not absurd- +24-point Tech Triumph. Although, our population n=2 here. As Eye and my committee of one would like to see at least a couple mo’ data points in order to gain a mite mo’ traction if we please.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… hooVa is up a modest +2% in shooting percentage margin (due to being twice as good in marginal terms on D or ½ as bad in marginal terms on O); with hooVa up an even mo’ modest +1%-n-change in 3-point percentage margin (‘mercis’ to be just a scintilla better in 3-D terms with 3-O terms basically splitting hairs), and yet the Hokies are up a nearly sharp looking +7 caroms collected in rebounding margin year-to-date. (VeeTee is just a scosche better off the offensive backboard; tho’ quite a bit better running down misses off the defensive backboard. As Mike and Co. nearly merit some: “1-n-done” love here).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the F’n Gobblers are now up a near astonishing +11% in shooting percentage margin (1o/11ths of which is on O, and most of that is due to u.V.a. truly chilling out of late, if not icing up a smidgeOn); the Hokies are also up a useful looking +6% in 3-point percentage margin (from: the O&M finding their 3-O range from way-downtown-‘bang’; although, both clubs have softened in 3-D, with u.V.a. being even mo’ user-friendly latterly), and the Techmen completed the Recency Effect(s) sweep, with a near handsome +8 Windex Wides edge in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of play. (Due to: being just a little better on both ends and mutually due to the cavs being just a little worse at both ends. Nothing super-sized, just some small to small+++ O&M love all-around).

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

VeeTee is up a nice +7 in R&R.
VT is up a staggering +18% at the charity stripe for the year.
france is a 1.oo (9-zip) host; whereas V.P.I  is .ooo as a (o-3) guest.

The Call

No.52 Net Ranking virginia vs. no.65 Net Ranking Vah.Tech:

The VerdicT:

So, kinda the same ole refrain here… u.V.a. is not beyond our reach…

…however, Coach Ro.Browning and Eye are wondering… huh?
…are they within our one-fiddy (15o) mile Nor-by-Nor-East, grasp?

As in… yet again… I’d surely like our chances better @home than I do out on the historically none better than three in ten visiting A.c.c. roadie odds historically.

As this is not quite the mud-in-your-eye version of the National winning u.V.a.
They’re still good— however, they are no longer great.

Is that good enuff @home?

The digits:

I say that as in…

  • u.V.a. has slapped the saps they have played by +177 ppg thus far this year. Nearly a 3o-point beatdown on average. And that is as it should be.
  • However, vs. the name teams they have faced, they are actually in a 1o4-point hole. Having been pumped by not less than 17 points at a min’. Or, nearly ≅21 ppg to the ‘rong on average.
  • Do you see(s) what Eye, mean(s)?

    7 pm kick!

What I means is… this is a very disparate hooVa team thus 2o23-2o24 far.
That, or, they are capped. Nearly via a hard Talent cap itself.

’cause… with four straight road L’s, all by at least 17 points, alarm bells are ringing on The Corner.

Still, yet, the cavaliers (11-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) have been as reliable as ever @c’ville; where they have won 19 straight games, including all nine this season. This tailspin, do Ginkgo, has come after lã team won nine of its first 1o games and reached No. 22.

So, there is at least some measure of systematic Talent still in play here… somewhat…

So, there is both and there is that… and guess where this game is being, contested?
We run this, mother!!!

As in… hooVa may be one of the whitest white-color schools… although, this is a middle-class crew. Maybe not blue-collar on the strength of systeming the verb… though not a whole helluva a lot north of that.


Now, if Hunter is medicinally good will hunting come Wednesday nite; we do have a shot to just nick a now available hooVa, even on their very own Jeffersonian homecourt. IF Hunter is mo’ parts gathering texts on his phone in civis along our bench? Our odds of a roundball sweep are not better than split.

Thereby giving new meaning to “headin'” for a big flush over in the John Paul Jones Arena; or, just clinging to the allegorical rim.

Points will be at a premium here— thus making this one a Smokey and the Bandit kinda game.
First one to double-nickles… wins.
i.e., *the* pre-game is the end-game here… see if #0 is binary or naught, 1st.





(5o% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=55, virginia=52

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