Virginia Tech basketball preview Clemson

#5o R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #38 R.P.I. Clemson:

Virginia Tech basketball travels down to South Carolina to face the other sporting half of the Clemson Tigers revenue sports tandem on Sunday evening at 6:30pm on ESPNU.

The Tigers just did rather well for themselves in gridiron terms, and unless you live under a rock, or have recently been hit in the head by a rock… CONGRATS to A.c.c. Clemson and Dabo Swinney on their upsetting national championship win! This however is a basketball preview and in hoops the Tigers are a decent looking 11 up and 7 down so far on the year. Although Clemson is a last place 1-5 in Atlantic Coast play; having dropped five in a row after having blazed through nine consecutive wins right before that. That being said, those things happen when you are 1-6 vs. nationally ranked squads as this brutal opening schedule has had these Tigers by the tail. 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, 285–178 (.616) overall, 118–93 (.559) 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:

  • 5th fewest fouls (∑=278 pf’s).
  • 14th in Turnover Margin (+4.2 tpg).
  • 31st in Steals (8.2 spg).
  • 82nd best in scoring D allowed (67.8 ppg).
  • 3o5th in defensive rebounding (23.11 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 (18.5 ppg) and is second in board work (6.7 rpg) on a likewise second best 52% overall and the silver medal in blocks (1.2 bpg). However, his 14.3% 3-point shooting could 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 (95 FTA’s) on a middleocore 69.5% 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.

    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. 6.5 ppg, the team pace setter at 7.8 rpg and a block on 51% 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.
  • 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 on a modest 40% overall. 39% 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. 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.
  • Donte Grantham is a West Virginia escapee P/F at 6’8” and 21o lean though strongish third year lbs. Donte drops 9.2 ppg for you and collects 5.2 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.

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 running ball 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 9.4. ppg with nearly 4 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.

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 9.9 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. Not 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.

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 7.3 ppg with 3 rpg and a swat. 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.

Predicting this hoops game is R.A.T.T. really all about ... 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?

As I got to see some of the blowout L to Louisville with the Tigers being handily tamed over in Kentucky on Thursday night and I did not come away very impressed.

That being said, this game is on the road where the A.c.c. visitor wins 30% of the time in historic terms. And do recalls, Clemson finally back at home (now); as the renovation/construction project on Littlejohn Coliseum with a price tag of of $63.5 million; which is now finally, complete. The cornerstone of the renovation was the new Swann Pavilion, which includes a 13,000 square foot practice gym, team suites, a film room, weight-room and lounges. The renovation also upgraded the stadium entrance, exterior, and added two new LED boards. The stadium capacity was however reduced to 9k seats.


Though how does all of that stack up and short out?

  • Clemson is 7-2 at home this year and VT is only .333% on the road.
  • VT is +1 on rest.
  • Clemson is mired in the midst of a five game snide since New Year’s Eve. Four of those five L’s were within three shots or less until Louisville punked them by 32 on Thursday night. So you have to wonder how many mental splinters are in these Tigers’ paw at the moment.
  • Overall, VT is better on O by ~4% from the floor and from range; whereas only 1/10th of a FG percentage point separates these two on D for the season.
  • Clemson does however hold a striking 11.3% defensive FG percentage allowed at home compared to VT defensing away. That and VT is -5 on rebounding margin as the visitor.
  • In most recent five game terms: both teams are getting killed on the glass (-10 for Clemson and -6 for VT) and both teams are above a user-friendly 50% defensive FG percentage allowed in their last five (VT=50.8% allowed, Clemson=50% allowed). VT is a bit better in defense of the three of late (7.4% better) and beyond that? Both teams are extremely average on O recently and way less than average on D.

So take your pick; either Clemson has just enough juice back at home, and the Tigers squeak by. Or Clemson does not have enough offensive voltage -not even at home- and Virginia Tech nicks this one out on the road.

As Clemson has played five of their last six at 73 ppg tallied or less; whereas Buzz and Co. have been held to 74 on average for their last give.

So this Virginia Tech basketball game is likely a race to 70 (or even 65); first one there, wins.

(63% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=7o, Clemson=65




V.A.D.A. approved