Virginia Tech basketball preview Clemson

#6o R.P.I. Clemson @ #35 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech basketball hosts the South Carolina native Clemson Tigers on Tuesday evening at 7pm on ESPNU.

Tech hoops just played and beat Clemson -albeit very narrowly- on a nail biter of an 82-81 VicTorius night just a few weeks ago. In the meantime Clemson has gone 3-4 in their last seven contests to tally a 14-12 and very post season desperation flavored overall mark, while checking in at 4-1o inside the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tigers have tamed: Pitt, Georgia Tech and Wake and been beaten by everyone else who is a class above the A.c.c.’s bottom-4. That being said, these Tigers did play Syracuse and Duke to within one single solitary shot each. So this Clemson team may be tougher to catch by the tail than you think at first blush. However, who will win this Virginia Tech basketball game is another tale however indeed; read on to find, out…

Clemson Head Coach: Brad Brownell: age=48, 288–182  (.615) overall, 121–97 (.557) at Clemson.

Baller Brownell only balled up through the scholastic or high school ranks. Brownell played high school basketball at William Henry Harrison High School (Evansville Indiana) with current Saint Louis University assistant coach and Indiana University legend Calbert Cheaney. Brownell graduated from DePauw University in 1991, thereafter Brownell immediately went into discipleship (i.e. assistant) coaching after graduation.

Coach Brownell was named the U.N.C. Wilmington head coach in 2oo2, after having won a master’s degree and been an assistant coach from 1991 to 2oo2. Brownell’s U.n.c.-Wil’ teams made the big dance 50% of the time. After that he went to Wright State and amassed nothing less than a 21 win season before eventually snagging the Clemson job -in something of a surprising hire- in 2o1o. At Clemson Brownell went dancing his very first season though he has only made the N.I.T. once in the other six years down in South Carolina. Coach Brownell teams have won six conference championships and he has won two conference coach of the year award’s himself. All of which were mid-major caliber and therefore all of which were prior to his power conference admission at Clemson. Ergo, therefore, to wit, some would say that Brad is sitting on something of at least a warm seat at the sporting moment. Coach Brownell has already spawned four D-1 coaching tree mid-major disciples; and his teams come with a defensive first reputation.

Clemson at a glance:

  • 7th fewest fouls (∑=4o1 pf’s).
  • 15th in Turnover Margin (+3.5 tpg).
  • 45th Steals (7.6 spg).
  • 71st in blocks (4.3 bpg).
  • 82nd down to 162nd best in scoring D allowed (67.8 to 71.5 ppg)!
  • 3o6th in defensive rebounding (22.96 d-rpg).
  • no injuries listed | thank Coach God.

Tiger Returning Starters=3

Clemson Strengths:

  • 6’7”, 22o lb. r-senior year and one #5, Jaron Blossomgame is hands down the alpha-Tiger on the hooping prowl here. Jaron is projected as a late 1st round N.b.a. draft choice in four months time. This after he declared for the 2o16 NBA Draft but did not sign with an agent; having gone through the NBA Draft Combine as a standout player, yet Jaron opted to return for senior season at Clemson. At Clemson he only leads the Tigers in scoring (17.3 ppg) and is second in board work (5.9 rpg) on a likewise second best 52% overall and the silver medal in blocks (1.o bpg). However, his 25.3% 3-point shooting could (still) use some work and his game could use some range if he wants to be more than the exported athletic American overseas Pro’. Jaron does get to the FT-stripe, a lot (128 FTA’s) on a middleocore 66.4% thus far. This all on a thrice surgically repaired left-leg after what was described as a: “Horrific compound fracture” leg injury his senior year in high school –Lord have mercy. This after a standout Georgia high school circuit career and being the 74th nationally ranked baller outta of high school (including the leg snap). So as good as Jaron is, you have to wonder what Jaron’s all-conference level all-around game would be on two good sticks. (UPDATE: everything is down less Jaron’s 3-point shooting which has basically doubled!)

    Bonus points for sporting a Shaft, beard!

    Bonus points for sporting a Shaft, beard!

  • Sidy Djitte does a lotta heavy lifting work down low on the paint for Clemson and this Senegalese well suited to such. As 6’11”, 24o lbs. of willing and able to do work true Centers typically do just that. Sidy is known to be a rim-protecting, hard rebounding hard nosed defender who’s O never quite caught up to his aggressive D. 6.o ppg, the team pace setter at 7.4 rpg and a block on 53% all conspire to say so. After a pretty fair to middling scholastic soccer career, Sidy finally choose basketball and touched off a pretty good D-1 recruiting tussle. Sidy has never quite lived up to all of that; although he’s getting his degree, he’s played a buncha back-up minutes, stayed healthy, has stories to tell and we could all do worse than that in collegiate terms. (UPDATE: Dijtte’s returns  mixed so we’ll call that or level since we last saw him)
  • Avry Holmes is a 6’2”, 195 lb. red-grad’ combo G who can create opportunities for himself and for his teammates as well. Holmes comes to Clemson by way Bill Russell college or the University of San Francisco. The book on Avry says he’s a versatile, experienced 1-2 ‘tweener who does nothing bad; beyond still needing some range on his J. Right now he is second in scoring for Clemson at a middleocore 11.2 ppg with 2.1 rpg, 1.4 dimes (apg) dropped on a nearly decent 43% overall. A sporty looking 45% from range is actually his career best, though still, this is not exactly an offensive zapper or a major scoring threat as your silver medal scorer. He is however a solid defender with some stop-unit strength; as this medium Holmes may have been a better footballer (Wr with a buncha offers), had he humped the gridiron path as opposed to balling on the hardwood. (UPDATE: Avry has come up, a couple of points on overall shooting and a firey 7% from deep!)
  • Donte Grantham is a West Virginia escapee P/F at 6’8” and 21o lean though stronghold third year lbs. Donte drops 8.3 ppg for you and collects 5.o caroms although his boorish 38% shooting only adds to his very own rebounding metrics. Oddly enough, Donte was a home position Pt.G. until he suffered a 6” growth spurt his final couple of scholastic seasons. So he does bring a smooth set of handles and all around floor game each and every night. The one knock here from Lindy’s is that Donte is not exactly an inferno as a finisher goes, having been a backcourt for so long coming up. (UPDATE:  Donte has dropped, just a bit since we faced him)

Clemson Weaknesses:

  • This just ain’t a great offensive team, in point of fact, it might not even be good on O. That narrows Clemons’ margin of error as points are at a premium; here.
  • Likewise, this team lack deep shooting range in G.State S.Curry Guards Gone Wild era of modern day hoops.
  • Relying on this many Transfer ballers, to have to do this much work, is a flag to me. As something is just not right in-house, or recruiting wise when you are riding with this few of you very own homegrown self matriculated kids.
  • As said, there is some coaching pressure brewing or heating up down in South Carolina and the Tigers have not won since last, year (2o16 A.D.).

Tiger Bench: (depth=3’ish)
6’2”, 21o lb. t-junior year Gabe DeVoe is another Wing who needs to improve his shooting eye just a scosche. 41% overall speaks to this as Gabe has what most are calling an off year last season. Right now he nets you 8.1 ppg with nearly 3.2 boards and yet a mere 62% from the charity stripe. This after a Parade all-American listing as a high school senior, only the fifth such honor for a Clemson signee; as Gabe was one of the top scorers in all of high school basketball in 2013-14 when he led the state of North Carolina in scoring average as a senior right at 35 ppg and was known to bust the 50 and 60 point plateaus from time-to-time –making this another Tiger who seems like he could/should be doing more on O. (UPDATE:  down just a bit here as well)

Marcquise Reed is a 6’4”, 18o lb., r-Soph., Robert Morris transfer Wing who is said to be a pure outside shooter and not a whole whole lot beyond that. As big things were expected of a Ro.Morris rookie who sat last year after transferring after dropping almost 16 ppg as a nugget or rookie year baller at Robert Morris. Medium things have been delivered at Clemson however; per a third best 10.o ppg on a very sporty 42% from deep; this after being well known as a high school blowtorch scorer averaging 30’s and 40’s in a smaller part of Maryland H.S. ball. Now mix in 2.4 boards and 1.7 apg and that’s not half bad from the North Eastern Conference rookie of the year two seasons ago. Nevertheless, Clemson could use more of his high scoring ways; and sooner=better, here. (UPDATE: about even in the last few weeks)

6’9”, 233 lb. turnkey sophomore year physically ready Dallas Tx., native P/F Elijah Thomas is back as the prime frontcourt sub’ for coach Brownell. This after missing the first nine games of the 2016 campaign due to a curious half a calendar year NC2A eligibility ruling after transferring post-some-trouble at aTm. Thomas was a unanimous Top-50 recruit who currently offers you 7.8 ppg with 4.3 rpg, a swat and up to virtually 60% overall! This from the #2 Texas roundballer in scholastic terms just two seasons ago, who went for nearly 30/15 per game along the way to picking up a AAAAA (penta-A) everything is bigger championship ring in Dallas his senior year –as this Elijah kid is supposed to be Prophetically good, even if he is yo-yo’ing a bit thus far. (UPDATE: much better since we last played Elijah)


The key to holding serve and beating Clemson as the fave @home is... what???

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

Number of Tigers who could start @Tech=1, possibly, 2.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… you stop Jaron Blossomgame and -at least to me- you stop Clemson. (Almost), as simple as ^that^; as Clemson lacks sustainable offensive firepower behind Blossomgame’s A-game, when he does bring it. And this makes the opening line of the Tigers staked as a seven point home fave (Clemson-7) all the more baffling to me?

Looks just a smidgen like B.Clinton,don't he?

Looks just a smidgen like B.Clinton,don’t he?

^That’s^ what I wrote as an opener when coach Buzz and company were nearly a 4:1 money-line road dog last timeout as you did not even need any of those seven to eight Hokie points on the spot.

(Readers note: money-line is simply who wins, no point spread and the risk/reward reflects such for staking the fave/underdog accordingly).

This time Vegas says that Virginia Tech is the favorite by (VT-3) or three points or a whopping 10 point Away/Home point-spread deca-swing in total. And something’s not kösher in Denmark when that much of a swing (or correction), happens sports-fans. Moreover, the Hokies at -3 are not exactly an overwhelming home fave, is they?


That being rightly said, this game is at home in our very own New River Valley Cassell | and as we all know by now the road team in the A.c.c. only wins 30% of the time in historic terms. Though who claims this one and why? Let us ask our pet analytics to find, out…

  • Clemson is .333 on the road this year and VT is only .932 at home. Noticeable EDGE=VT.
  • For a change, both teams are even on rest. EDGE=push.
  • Clemson has won 3 of their last 12; although six of those L’s were within two shots or less leaving Clemson in emotional Dire Straits: so close “yet so far away”. Accordingly, you have to wonder how many mental splinters are in these Tigers’ paw at the moment. As any Tiger post-season tale may officially be written by just one more L. EDGE=push (due to desperation from CU).
  • Overall, Virginia Tech is better on O by ~4% in FG percentage margin from the floor and from range; whereas only 8/10ths of a FT percentage point separates these two for the season. Both have a negative rebounding margin, although the Tigers are 2 boards less negative than Tech. EDGE=VT, mild.
  • Regarding the Home/Away splits, Virginia Tech does however hold a striking 12% FG percentage margin and +13% on 3-ball percentage. That and VT is +4 on rebounding margin as the host. Neat EDGE=VT.
  • In most recent five game terms: Clemson is +5 in rebounding margin on the glass although VT wins FG percentage margin by +7% on defensive prowess alone, and is just barely ahead on 3-point percentage by +2%. Modest EDGE=VT, as said stop-unit O&M betterment is the peg for my OPT hat.

In their last 10 games the Tigers O has truly yo-yoed in very disparate terms. As the Tigers have rung up a lame looking five games trapped between 6o and 67 points going 1-4 for their parsimonious offense. However, the Tigers have also tallied a handsome three games between 81 and 95 points going two for three here. That, plus, Virginia Tech is the 18th consecutive opponent Clemson has played that is rated among the top-100 in the latest R.P.I., so I’m presuming that too creates a SOS (strength of schedule) wear-n-tear.

Or in other words, that’s your in-game O&M barometer, holding Clemson to <mid-60’s in points and coach Buzz and company should do alright here.

So this Virginia Tech basketball game is likely a race to 67; first one there, wins.

(73% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=78, Clemson=66




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