Virginia Tech basketball Kentucky preview

#1o1 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #35 R.P.I. Kentucky:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball travels to well fabled Rupp Arena for the out-of-conference (OOC) match-up of the decade for Hokie hoops thus far.

The Hokies sojourn 281.7 miles, give/take to find out if this up-n-coming Atlantic Coast medium-boy can take what a eight -that’s an 8- time national champion S.E.C. big-boy has to give. Tune in at 2pm on the ESPN2 telecast/or ESPN3 streaming Saturday afternoon to find out. Or enjoy this FREE-view preview right here… as I’m here to tell you that no matter how reloaded this Wildcat squad may be, the time to play them is now, if not sooner. As these Wildcats are loaded for bear; once again. Nevertheless, who will win? Read on to find, out…

Kentucky Head Coach: John Vincent Calipari: age=58, 659-192 overall, 256-54 at KU. Has a rep’ for: recruiting, lack of retention, offense, mo’ offense; a facilities builder; and offenses be they real or alleged off-court.
$800,000.oo +bonus/incentives!

Peep Calipari was born in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is of Italian descent.

Baller Calipari Calipari lettered two years at U.N.C. Wilmington before transferring to Clarion University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He played Pt.Guard at Clarion during the 1981 and 1982 seasons, leading the team in assists and free throw percentage each time.

As a college coach, Calipari has 21 2o-win seasons, eight 3o-win seasons, and three 35-win seasons. He has been named Naismith College Coach of the Year three times (1996, 2oo8 and 2o15) and led Kentucky to its eighth NCAA Championship in 2o12. Coach Cal’ is a nine time conference Coach of the Year (A-10, C-USA, S.E.C.) award winner, he has also won a staggering 11 different national Coach of the Year awards! His tenure includes #1 ranked tour-stops at: Massachusetts, then the New Jersey Nets (N.b.a.), then to Memphis and now on to the Rupp, Riley, Joe B. Hall, Tubby; bluegrass hooping mecca of Kentucky.

Coach Calipari has been to six Final-4’s —even if you do/don’t count the two vacated ones. Thereby making Coach Cal’ the only head coach to have Final Four appearances vacated at more than one school; damn. As his tenure is also known for handouts (Marcus Camby), S.A.T. admission wavers (D.Rose), racial insults (N.b.a./Nets Hispanic reporter), and those are the officially know, troubles. Still yet, coach Cal’ can and has coached his ass off. Coming up on being an astonishing 475 games > .5oo, a gold medal, one N.C.A.A. championship and being already inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame (2o15); does, not; suck.

Kentucky at a glance:

  • 7th in swats (6.7 bpg)!
  • 22nd in FG percentage O (5o.6% makes).
  • 28th in FG percentage D (38.1% allowed).
  • 31st in rebounding margin +8 rpg.
  • 57th in 3-point defense (3o.2% allowed).
  • 289th in turnover margin (2.3 tpg).
  • 347th most 3-pointers attempted/game (4.6; i.e. the drive to the hoop)!

Returning Starters=0

KU Strengths:

  • UK showcases the Pepperdine Coach Walberg so-called: dribble drive motion offense. Similar to the Princeton backdoor 4-out offense (only the C plays near the hoop with four full-time perimeter guys); the dribble drive motion offense focuses on spreading the offensive players in the half court, so that helping on dribble penetration or skip {sic: passes} becomes difficult for the defense, because any help will leave an offensive player open without any defender(s) near him. As an example: a guard can drive through the defensive gaps for a layup or dunk, or pass out to the perimeter if the defense collapses onto him.
  • If you are into The Last Jedi, astrophysics or astronomy, you’ve come to the right place, as this is a recruiting service constellation style roster… i.e. it truly is, full of stars.
  • Kevin Knox is a 6′ 9″ 215 lb. string-bean freshman springy P/F who leads UK in scoring (15.2 ppg), is second in board work (5.8 rpg), and second in steals (1.1 spg). All on 45% from the floor and 33% from downtown at 18 years of age and nine more games than you or I as a collegiate. Kevin was only a unanimous Top-10 national ranker by all four major scouting services. He was only The 2o17 Mr. Florida winner averaged 28.5 points and 11.3 rebounds in high school. He only wears 2 F.I.B.A. gold medals. Kev’ is only an honor roll student. He only started both ways on the football team as well. Kevin does have a history of hamstring injuries, and I suppose his 69% FT shooting could use a little polish. Nonetheless, being a versatile Four who can play the Three in a big line-up spot is no bad thing and neither is being the UK’s annual leading scorer. As a lotta kids who have done that have gone on to do a lotta, things.

    Look at his feet from the floor!
  • 1st-team all-S.e.c. pre-season according to Lindy’s sports is Hamidou Diallo. Diallo is a 6′5″, 198 lb. Queens NYC street-baller with a tag of instant offense, just add P.T. and/or sweat. Hamidou was a rarefied mid-year grey-shirt enrollee who did not play that spring (2o16), and accordingly is (somehow) a 50% r-shirt freshman 2-Guard with four full years of eligibility left. Diallo was the #1 shooting-G outta high school and no.11 baller overall. Though his high-teens type scoring numbers do not reflect such; being part of a scholastic basketball factory sometimes partitions statistics just like dat. Diallo was a soccer star and a honor roll student, who only splashes you 14.9 ppg on 48% overall with 4.8 rpg, 1.1 steals and 2.3 apg. And oh yes, I almost forgot, he only notched an insane 45.5″ vertical (see: head at rim pic); at the N.b.a. combine as a walk-in; wowow! Even though Diallo may be a streaky outside shooter, the awesome explosion based tools are all here.
  • Nick Richards is a 7′, 24o lb. Jamaican “mon” big, who has a rep’ for being a physically strong post that can actually still run the floor. Ranked either 15th or 17th by every single service, Nick is netting you 8.8 ppg and holds the alpha-rebounding spot at 6.8 rpg. 1.7 blocks on 68% shooting tells you just how close he plays to the basket; as Nick was the 2o17 winner of the Mr. New Jersey Basketball honor and was listed as the no.2 Center prospect in high school by 247Sports.

KU Weaknesses:

  • Experience, as this is a rookie voting year club in more than a few spots.
  • Familiarity, as no less than eight ‘cats exited stage left last year!
  • (they took with them a whopping 83 ppg and 3o rpg to boot!)
  • VT actually has waaaaay more NC2A roster tournament experience than UK has —just like Ripley’s: believe it or, not. As only Wenyen Gabriel has ever played in an actual UK March Madness game!
  • God Bless, though health is not a Wildcat strength at this moment… 6′ 1o″  23o lb. soph. P/F-C Sacha Killeya-Jones (ankle, may St.Servatius Bless) and his 5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, a block and a lotta most improved pre-season former McDonald’s all-American buzz are: “Questionable”.
  • As is 6′ 1″ 175 lb. nugget year Quade Green (eye injury, may St.Helen bless). Quade is the 3rd leading scoring Wildcat at 10.4 ppg, on 91% FT shooting and 45% from range. Quade is quick, decisive Pt.Guard who shot >50% on the 3-pointer for his entire high school career!
  • Officially listed as: “OUT” are 6′ 4″ 185 lb. first year off-G Jemarl Baker and 6′ 9″ 215 lb. second year Jarred Vanderbilt —who may or may not have gone to the, ‘rong, school. Jemarl is a numbers guy; he gets; numbers. A streaky scorer who can land punches in bunches when he gets hot (second left-knee surgery this year; St.Nikon Bless). Vanderbilt had his foot rebuilt last spring and was supposed to be good-to-go by now. Though his current timetable is listed as: “indefinite” and that’s just not 50% full by any measure. Vandy’ was only the no.9 ranked kid outta high school in America, a 100m and 200m T&F champion with prefab or turnkey James Worthy streak-F comparisons just begging to happen. Averaging 29, 14, and 9 for a near scholastic triple-double average tells you all you need to know.

cat Bench: (depth=3 to 5)

Wenyen Gabriel is the only returning ‘cat with any real experience and he’s your de facto elder statesman at age 19. He is also a 6′ 9″, 2o5 lb. beanpole looking sophomoric P/F. Wenyen (sounds ST:DS9, Dominion gamma-quadrant, don’t it?); Wenyen nets you 6 ppg and swipes 5.2 caroms in relief while leading UK in swats (1.7 bpg). Although his 57% charity stripe work is pretty parsimonious on good; and it seems to me the vibe is that more was expected here. Like a double-double from this Sudanese no.12 ranked imported baller.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a ′6 6″ 180 lb. freshman season Canadian, eh. The book on Gil-Alex’ says he to be a crafty, energetic lead-G who can fill out a box score straight across. Shai is a dynamic open-court baller who is already dropping 10.1 ppg with 3.8 boards as a substitute, while leading UK in dimes dropped at 4.4 apg and likewise leading UK in swipes at 2.3 spg. His mum was only a 1992 Canadian Olympic sprinter; Shai won a state title in the Great White North and a 3-point contest too boot. Shai is nobodies’ hoser; and this much N.A.F.T.A. talent off the pine is a problem most of the other 35o D-1 lower-48 clubs wish they had.

In order for +6 point road dog VT to upset UK, what must... happen???

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

Number of Wildcats who could start @Tech=7, maybe 8.

the takeaway:

The takeaway here is… 80 different regular season and tournament conference championships combined! 56 NCAA appearances, 8 NC2A National Championship wins; with 7 Helms National Championships, 2 N.I.T. titles and only a mere 2,237 total program wins.

That’s really all we are up against, here gents.

No biggie; a walk in Jordan’s Point Park, (Lex’, Ky.)


As yah; I’m seeing a lotta talk about Virginia Tech basketball scoring its first signature upset VicTory since the last time knocking off #1 Memphis way way back 1986 when.

Maaaaaybe, and although it’s not quite a quantum maybe, it ain’t a really big maybe either —for a number of reasons…

  1. I am the sports writer Buzz cracked back on -and writefully so- for having the old-school VT Timetable Sporting News looking thingy upside ‘rong. As Fall Semester final exams begin (not end; as I had erroneously wrote), on Friday. Including game-day/Saturday finals exams some kids will have to, skip. Yikes. That’s not exactly code for classing it up while you hold court.
  2. Not that I am want to type this… and not that you wanna read it, still yet; no matter when exams are/are not; it is dubious to me that we/VT even pass/fail UK’s best A-game punch. (if we get it and if they do not overlook little ole VT.hoops that is); as getting popped by them gives new meaning to pop-quiz.
  3. This is not the best match-up line-up wise as yah; I know; Buzz loves his small-ball look and mini-me sets. And Buzz and Co. are shooting lights out just like Remington or Smith and Wesson. Though how will that fare out on the very difficult Rupp Arena road vs. such a vertical reach Wildcat traditional 1-5 shot contesting line-up?

the skinny

Now, do the above Kentucky physical measurements remind any of you of anyone else? As they sure reminded me of a former Wildcat turned Laker baller with Wilt and West and later Laker, Knick and eventual Heat 8 time championship ring baller/coach… or one ex-Wildcat Pat Riley of Laker and Dallas Cowboy draftee fame alike.

As this UK line-up -the very same as Riles Showtime Lakers- only has one guy south of 6′9″ in height and he goes a very reasonable 6′4″. Or in other words this is a very bad match-up wingspan, reach, or northerly metrics wise. As you are not gonna tame these ‘cats in the paint.

Coach Cal’ is not seeing the BIG deal here.

the call...

The purrfect place to mess with these cats however is from downtown; where Kentucky only hardwoods two guys >33%. Whereas Buzz and company’s top-8 scorers’ ALL, that’s 100% of them that all net at least 46% of their 3-point attempts or better.

That’s our one lifeline here folks… Virginia Tech basketball needs to shoot the damn eyes outta the ball from beyond the arc to have a sporting chancing at lifting this one. We do that and we could upset Kentucky | we do that not and the Wildcats size and athleticism is gonna slowly run us off of their bluegrass floor.

And sadly, I’m leaning away from us passing this final OOC, exam… as our shooting overall has dropped by 12% away from Cassell and our 3-point shooting has decreased by 15% when not at home.

That and the fact that Kentucky is shooting nearly 55% in their last five -which says this rookie O is just starting to click- is just too much here to me.

(71% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=73, Kentucky=79







2 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. w0w!

      There is the best (i.e. deepest) reset in here in a long long while.
      I yield to the supremacy of said rest.


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