Virginia Tech basketball ACC Tournament preview Wake Forest

#32 R.P.I. Wake Forest vs. #45 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech basketball opens post-season play Wednesday night up in the ill placed Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament vs. The Deacons of Wake Forest.

The Deacons of Wake Forest are coming to attempt evangelize our Hokies at the Barclays Center (Brooklyn NYC borough homecourt of the: New Jersey Nets) or basically win two outta their last three. Because if courting Wake Forest seems (very) familiar that would only be because they are. As we just faced -and got upset by 3.5 point underdog- Wake Forest on a L’ing senior day afternoon last Saturday down in the New River Valley.  “As in don’t sleep on this one or pencil this one into the O&M W column as a triumph just yet… and {sic: Wake} is a conference tourney sleeper” That’s what I said last time in this very space and now we see that Wake checks in at 19 up and 12 down (1o-9 A.c.c.) and hot off of a nifty looking round#1 opening day VicTory vs. Boston College 92-78 . As our hooping Hokies need to set their 7pm alarm clock for this bubbly Deacon basketball club that is peaking at just the right time. If not, 10pm may prove to be a rude awakening indeed. Tho’ who will win Wednesday night on ESPN2? Read on, to find, out…

Wake Forest Head Coach: Daniel Ricardo “Danny” Manning: 79–77 (.5o6) overall, 41–48 (.461) at Wake Forest.

Baller Manning is the son of the late Ed Manning (R.I.P.), who was a longtime N.b.a. and red, white and blue; ball; A.b.a. player then a professional and college coach. As a junior at Page High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, Danny averaged 18.8 points and nine rebounds per game, leading the Pirates to a 26-0 record and the North Carolina state title. Baller Danny Manning also won the national championship with the Larry Brown led Jayhawks in 1988 as a player. Danny left Kansas as the all-time leading scorer in Kansas basketball history with a mere 2,951 points! He was also the all-time leading scorer in Big-8 Conference history with 2,951 career points. Danny won the Wooden, Naismith, and Eastman Awards as the college player of the year in 1988. And K.U.’s 11 L’s that national championship year is still the most L’s of any crowned D-1 men’s hoops titlist, ever! Manning was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame with the 2oo8 class.

He was then the #1 draft pick overall in the 1988 N.B.A. Draft by the L.a. Clippers. Baller Manning spent 15 seasons in the Association. During his N.b.a. career Manning scored 12,367 points and averaged 14.o points per game. He was a two time all-star, once the Sixth Many of the Year and a three time A.c.l. victim who some say had a Hall of Fame ceiling if not for such ruinous knee knocks throughout his gimpy professional career (Godspeed).

(Assistant) Coach Manning won another National Championship Jayhawker ring again on the K.U. coaching staff in 2oo8. After which he spent two successful years as the big whistle at Tulsa, garnering a post-season bid each time and an N.c.a.a. bid for his 21 win C-USA crowning second season. After which he inked with the Dec’s and posted two initial negative (<.5oo) seasons before landing five games above .5oo this year as I type. Coach Manning team’s have a rep’ for free-flowing, skillful; finesse based inside-out offense first, second and defense third; (if that). He is also thought to be something of a program-builder and a pretty decent recruiter by-the-bye.

Dec’s at a glance:

  • 13th best in FT-percentage (77.1%).
  • 21st in scoring O (82.1 ppg).
  • 32nd in assist:turnover ratio (+1.32).
  • 45th in 3-point shooting (38.3%).
  • 51st in FG shooting (47)%.
  • 83rd in rebounding margin (+3.3 rpg).
  • 291st in scoring D (77.2 ppg allowed).
  • ALL offensive metrics moved upward (i.e. improved) in just two games!
    ^this^ is unusual, if not outright hard to do that late in the data-point year)

Wake Returning Starters=3

Wake Forrest Strengths:

  • Jay-Cee” or one #20, John Martin Collins III, is: “…as good a college basketball player as there is in the A.c.c.” -Coach Rick Pitino, just three days ago. I’d say that counts as a, strength and so does Collins’ likely all-conference first-teamer run that has seen him net at least 2o points in 11 straight contests averaging 24.2 points and 11.1 boards over that very same time span. Per an increase from his annual digits of 19.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg, and a lowly league-best 62.1% field-goal percentage overall. He sucks, rip his schoolie right now —although the 6’1o”, 239 lb. super-Soph’ is the first Deacon to do so (i.e. be the alpha A.c.c. shooter) since Charlie Davis did so the year I was born (in 1969 A.D.). And this is up from his former merely team leading tally of 54.7% shooting last year; as a back-up; as he was not good enough to start until this previous autumn. This after being named the 2o14-15 Florida Class AAAA Player of the Year as a senior, when Collins was also named Palm Beach Post Player of the Year and the Gatorade Florida Player of the Year as a relatively mere *** or three-star recruit who was only the 36th ranked P/F coming outta high school in the nation. Prior to that he balled for the A.a.u. touring Florida Flash, formally known as e1t1 Flash. Now mix in nearly 70 more defense-boards than any other Dec’, a serviceable 72% on a team leading 171 FTA’s, 1.7 bpg, as a pure post-up old-school back to the basket Four (P/F) who’s only knock would be lack of 3-point range if he was not operating down-low in the paint full time. So it kinda makes you wonder how Wake found what all the national recruiting services clearly; missed. Ditto Lindy’s pre-season magazine which spent exactly one sentence, six whole words, and 29 whole letters/characters on Mister Collins who could be the straw that stirs the 2o18 A.c.c. drink. If he returns that is, as this kid is certifiably an Association Pro’, when; not if. (UPDATE: Collins has be just a little off of late; although he did just issue a quality A.c.c. Tourney game#1)

    This guy is for, real!

    This guy is for, real!

  • Bryant “Bee”Crawford is a 6’3”, 2oo lb. lead-G in his second season from Gonzaga College High School (Wash. D.C.); and yes that confused me as well. However, being named the 2o15 District of Columbia Gatorade Player of the Year accordingly helps to connect a few dots. As this kid was tabbed 2nd or 3rd string all-A.c.c. preseason by all my magazines with good reason(s). Among them would be his ability to distribute (5.4 dimes or apg), defense (1.6 spg), and his ability to hit the 3-pointer (35%). Now mix in a second-best 15.4 ppg and 3.9 rpg and suddenly you’ve got a pretty handsome all-around baller on your Atlantic Coast power-conference hands. 78% from the charity stripe on 129 FTA’s is pretty lucrative as well; although he could cutback on his turnovers (2.3 tpg) and be a bit more picky or judicious on his shot selection (43%). Still yet, this is a real quality overall baller whose foibles to issues most teams would love to have. As Crawford does have something of a tag for clutch-play, fearlessness, and stepping it up come tourney time. NTTAWWT from the 74th ranked baller coming outta high school according to Scout. (UPDATE: Crawford is eñ fuego right now; playing his best ball of the season)
  • 6’3”, 2o5 lb. r-sophomore (transfer) Keyshawn Woods is a pretty fair to middling off-G down in Winston Salem. Woods transferred to Wake during in the summer of 2o15 after playing his freshman season at Charlotte in 2014-15 where he merely led Conference USA in 3-point shooting at 46.6% as a rookie. That sucks, and so do his contemporary 12.7 ppg on 48% from downtown. As this kids range is the gym, if he’s in it, he’s …open. As this is one Wing that can flat out shoot that rock and he sports a bit of a Laurence Fishburne Boyz in da Hood look to boot.  Bonus points hereby awarded to anyone with the 2o17 swag’ to pull that off prior to being able to buy beer (legally). Not half bad for having oxidized a year on the sit from the former North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year in 2o14 who only won two straight states to close out his AA high school career. As Woods has added ~10 lbs. of muscle since Charlotte which only gives his perimeter game more self-getting-open pop. Notice as well that Keyshawn just dropped 2o big points vs. Louisville, and has hit 1o-of-2o 3-point attempts in his past five games. Now drop 4.3 boards and 3.9 dimes and you suddenly have more than just a spot-up-shooter on your hands –as somebody overseas could always use another shooter who can rebound and pass a bit on top of that. (UPDATE: Woods has come up noticeably recently his ownself )

    show me your, I.D.?

    show me your, I.D.?

  • Imported baller and junior season 6’1o”, 255 lb., Konstantinos Mitoglou by way of Thessaloniki Greece -may the Vlatádon Monastery there bless and intercede- is an imported baller from the land of ouzo and metaxa. Which was a rental agreement for me, as I saw each of ’em twice, once going down and once coming back… anywho, Constantine (in English/Turkish), nets you 9.1 ppg with 5.4 caroms and yet he is curiously still hovering right on 42% overall. Not (quite) what you’d expect from a skillful Euro stretch-Four who hits 82% from the Line and a reasonable 34% from the Aegean (or deep). “Dinos”, courts a lot of national-team, regional, Euro’ and even International playing experience and if you did not know it, roundball is very very keen in Greece— believe it or not. Inconsistency has been the bugbear fly in the ointment here, as Konstanious is said to have all the tools -including inside play- it’s just that his internationally flavored tool-belt is a bit leaky indeed. That said, Dinos will get carded until his 40’s and he probably can still strike an international career be that in hoops or in business as he already has a Greek degree and had Pro’ Greek league offers before electing to come to the States. (UPDATE: Dinos is the only Dec’ I see that is a bit off of his A-game at the moment)
  • Do you see a sophomoric, trend, here? (if this team remains intact, look for Wake and d.Manning to be your next Virginia Tech and coach Buzz A.c.c. climbers)

Wake Forest Weaknesses:

  • This is not the most experienced team I’ve ever previewed; as coach Manning is playing 2o18/2o19, today.
  • This is not the best defensive team I’ve ever previewed, either; as coach Manning is a fluid offensive coach who’s best defense is a: “can you keep up?” question asking O.
  • This is not the best shooting team, from the bench; as you will see below.
  • Newcomers Childress below and 6’6” 23o lb. Milwaukee transfer-senior Austin Arians were penciled in to do more than they have done, thus far. S/F Austin’s 7.1 ppg on 40% long are okay, although he (somehow) found ~30 lbs. and cut nearly 6 ppg off of his average from last year.
  • UPDATE: Austin Arians has been or scorching hawt of late from deep (8 of 13) and if this formerly disappointing transferring kid has found his mid to high-teens ppg offensive stroke? Wake is a noticeably more dangerous team for it!

Dec’s Bench: (depth= 3-4 deep)

6’2” 175 lb. junior Mitchell Wilbekin is a 3-point sniper from long-distance with a nifty looking 42% hit ratio from the same. And the book here says that that is about all he is as his overall FG percentage plummets to a shocking 32% from the floor! As this kid is a pure shooter and not much else at the moment as his 7.4 ppg mostly come from beyond the arc or off of a sizzling 93% from the line; (which makes his overall shooting snide all the more, puzzling). (UDPATE: Mitch’ is just a little down in the last week)

Doral Moore is a 7’1” 265 lb. second year skyscraping monsta sized sub who plays a bit smaller than he looks. Moore is a true-C and he is a back to the basket guy who protects the rim (1.1 bpg) with 3 points and rebounds alike off the pine. Doral’s shooting is down virtually 14% this year and that’s not a good sign from the 72nd ranked ESPN baller who looks a bit and plays a bit like Brad Daugherty once did of C-town Cavalier fame. Same as above/below, (and pardon the pun) Moore was expected here, indeed. (UPDATE: Moore has been very limited on P.T., which casts a vote for the same)

6′, 170 lb. rookie year Point-man Brandon Childress adds his 6.2 ppg on 34% from the floor and his all-American pops (Rudolph, of Portland Trailblazer fame) adds more than just a red-nose as an assistant on coach Manning’s bench.  The bloodlines are clearly willing here, and the whispers say that legacy Childress can pass and net the three (33% so far). That being said, give this kid some room and some time in the weight-room and the cafeteria and then let’s ask back in 2o19 and see if he can sleigh or slay some of his D.n.a. Christmas in March expectations or not. (UPDATE: Childress continues to yo-yo, this kid runs hot or cold leaving his eval’ very, mixed )

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The key to predicting this Conference play-off match-up is... what???

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

Number of Dec's who could peach @Tech=2.5 or so.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… I’m not saying that Wake Forest is gonna upset Virginia Tech in basketball —I am saying that Wake Forest has a shot to upset Virginia Tech. As I just sense a hooping entropy rich game somewhere upon the remaining 2017 March menu.”

A program on the rise, all fingers point to, that.
A program on the rise, all fingers point to, that.

That’s what I said last time out and lo and behold; Wake stormed our Cassell and upset us at home last weekend in the 24o6o when we couldn’t see the forest for the, tree.

Posthumous to this,  if anything, I’m more fenced than I was before when Wake did in point of fact upset us last Saturday at home.

Nonetheless, let’s ask our pet metrics what they have to say before we put the cart out in front of this preacherman’s, horse…

  1. VT is +4  on rest. Smart EDGE=VT.
  2. Wake is .75o% on neutral courts whereas VT is .667. Modest EDGE=Wake.
  3. Overall this year long and VT is now +1 in scoring margin, +3% from the floor, +1% on 3-point margin, -4.4% from the charity-stripe and -5 boards in rebounding margin. So I’ll call this part pretty close to even. EDGE=push.
  4. The Neutral or Swiss splits say that VT is +2 in scoring margin, though Wake is +18% in shooting margin,  with VT +11% from distance, and the Decs at +7 rebounding margin. EDGE=mixed.
  5. In most recent 5-game terms… scoring margin is now +2 to Wake, although VT is +5% in total shooting and a decent +5% from range with Wake however posting a likewise very decent +8 rebounding margin advantage on the glass. Edge=tie.
  6. Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame actually says that Wake wins by 3 &  ½ of a point. EDGE=Wake, small.acc tourney logo

Wake Forest basketball has just taken a staggering 74 FTA’s in its most recent 80 minutes of play. Or basically 1 FTA every 60 seconds (or .925 FTA’s per minute)! That’s a slashing, posting, penetrating and favorable call receiving big big problem when said 74 free-throw attempting team is merely 13th best out of all 347 D-1 men’s basketball clubs at netting the same. On top of all of that Wake is a crispy 52% from the floor and 4o% from beyond the arc in the last week. That sound like a team peaking at just the right time to anyone else? Yah; ditto that, me too.

To take that 15′ unguarded with 10 seconds to shoot calculus a step further, Wake has attempted less than 23 FTA’s just twice in their last 10 contests and has been nearly unbeatable when attempting 25 FTA’s or more in the last two months. As that (and Arinas) are your in-game barometers or forecasters for this one if you are keeping in-game score at home.


As you can see above, this game objectively science-fact posits, avers, or suggests an even-steven contest or even a very narrow Wake Forest triumph. As Wake has tallied between 88 and 92 points for the last fortnight and has dropped 80+ points in ten of its last eleven contest | whereas Virginia Tech basketball and coach Buzz have been between 66 and 91 point over the same time frame.

Or in other-words, one team’s offense has demonstrated greater statistic dispersion or even disparity, whereas the other team has been more predictive indeed.

(UPDATE: sources close to the team say that LeDay and his fellow senior company were none to happy about getting upset in their homecourt finale, even saying Wake may have: “lit a fire” under Virginia Tech)

(55% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=77, Wake Forest=8o




V.A.D.A. approved

2 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. IMO, as a fan with little true tech knowledge or skills here, Buzz and his men will have to find a way to get Wake out of that zone defense they employed in the second have on Saturday. They pushed our shooters out of range way beyond the arch and we could not or did not penetrate. Seemed to be the opposite of the packline. LeDay in foul trouble or ice from beyond the arc = we loose.

    1. True.

      That ruffled our Hokebird zoning feathers.
      We really had some bonehead looking turnovers vs. that look too. Threw several passes right through a Wake defender jumping into the passing lane. We just curtail all of that, that’s 4 or so extra shots, some of those gotta go in.


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