Virginia Tech basketball preview Duke

#8 R.P.I. Duke @ #55 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:duke-logo

Virginia Tech basketball takes to the court vs. *the* Atlantic Coast barometer or inches of hooping mercury this Saturday afternoon down in the New River Valley.

The Dukies -or the alpha team that everyone loves to hate- is coming to town and Virginia Tech roundball is about to find out just how good Virginia Tech basketball truly is. Or not; as this years Duke incarnation sure looks loaded for bear to me. Yes, the Plumlee era is finally over, my Lakers have Ingram, and yet don’t cry for me Argentina or anything Cameron. As the incoming crop of Duke recruit’s only amassed a hardwood constellation or twenty-seven, that’s (27) stars among them! Duke storms our Cassell at 12 up and 1 down have having been upset by a single shot by #7 Kansas. In what will be the A.c.c. regular season opener for each team; nonetheless who will win? Read on to find, out…

Head CoachMichael William Krzyzewski: Age=69 1,o55–322 (.766) overall, 982–263 (.789) at Duke. $9,682,032.oo

Coach K is pretty good, and this just in, rain is rumored to be, wet. As this is about as well preserved of a 69 year old gentlemen as you will ever ever see. And his resume is about as well heeled as any you will ever sporting read. Among them {sic: accolades}: Baller K Played at West Point under Bob Knight as a combo Pt.G/Shooting-G. He was captain of the Army basketball team in his senior season, 1968–69, leading his team to the N.I.T. as Vietnam era West Point finished fourth in the tournament. From 1969 to 1974, Krzyzewski served in the United States Army and directed service teams for three years. In 2005 he was presented West Point’s Distinguished Graduate Award. And thank you for serving –after that Mike has not really done much of anything as a coach…

…he has only won nine, that’s (9) Gold Medals for the USofA! He has only won five, that’s (5) National championships in men’s hoops (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)! He has only won thirteen that’s (13) Atlantic Coast Tourneys. And is only a six time national coach of the year and a five time A.c.c. coach of the year; that’s all. And he is already in the College Basketball Hall of Fame (2oo6). And God Bless the Emily Krzyzewski Center (charity) that he and his wife founded to honor his reposed mum.

Duke at a glance:

  • 11th best in 3-point D (28.3%)
  • 22nd in scoring D (61.8 ppg allowed)
  • 29th in rebounding margin (+7.3 rpg)
  • 29th in FT makes (234)
  • 32nd in scoring O (83.5 ppg)
  • 34th in turnover margin (+3.4 tpg)
  • 34th in blocks (5 bpg)

Dukie Returning Starters=3

Duke Strengths:

  • Luke Kennard is the alpha Dukie at 6’6”, 2o2 lbs. as a t-sophomore Swing from Franklin, Oh. “Luke”, is a dynamic offensive force who can score from all-three levels: inside, mid-range and outside alike; and that makes Luke a complete baller; already. He has hung 18 lbs. of right-mass since arriving in Durham and grown an inch on top of that. Right now he nets you a Cameron pace setting 20.5 ppg on 52% from the floor and 43% from downtown. In high school he was merely the Powerade Jam Fest three-point shooting contest champion; and only the National Player of the Year; that’s all. He was also a 3-year staring Qb; so he may be a bit tougher than his boy next door looks connote. As Mister Kennard was named the Ohio Offensive Player of the Year in 2o13 after throwing for 2,331 yards and 26 touchdowns; and he also ran for 214 yards and four more TD’s his ownself. I’ve been doing this a long time and I can not say I recall a statewide and nationalistic Player of the Year double-revenue-sport-dip; like that before (now). He is a National Honor Society member and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and he only won the gold at the 2o14 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for the good ole USofA! Yah; this kid pretty much sucks, you should bench him and rip his schollie, pronto, if not, sooner. Though you will prolly miss his 6 boards, 3 dimes, 1.1 spg, and team leading 89% FT-shooting if you do. All that from a Wing scorer who was (initially) said to lack range on his J, …go fig’ on that?!?

    ...dood does have, mad, game!
    …dood does have, mad, game!
  • #3, Grayson Allen: (SUSPENDED) after having tripped, out; Duke’s second leading scorer is suspended from Duke indefinitely; and so are his 6’5”, 2o2 lb. Jr. year 16 ppg. Gone also are his love him or hate him -and many, do- gone also are his insatiable heart and punji stick like competitiveness. All-America and Academic All-America honors bestowed in the same season (2o16), does not suck; neither does his mutually surprising and impressive ability to finish north of the rim, and nor does his passing acumen, in spite of having something of a self-centric label. As it is true that Grayson never meet a shoot he would not take (38% overall); or one he did not think that he (would) make. That being said, being the first Dukie to ever win a slam dunk contest (the Powerade Jam Fest) is pretty damn trippy; and his 4.8 rpg and team leading 3.9 apg are missed here as well. As this is the kinda kid you cheer for on your side, and that you want want want to foul hard when he is your opponent –although make no mistake, this is a sizey subtraction for coach K and for Duke hoops for as long as coach K has Grayson cool his heels.
  • 6’9” 224 lb. graduate 5th-year Sr., Amile Jefferson is a Philly disciple who puts up a very industrial 14.2 ppg and 10.8 rpg to go with 1.9 bpg per night. That’s a very efficacious box score stuffing night; if you can get it; and he is a beast on the offensive glass with a staggering 1o4 offensive rebounds hauled in thus far. He is also the only Dukie in the history of Duke itself to be named to the all-A.c.c. Academic Team four times; that’s heady enough for me. And you have to wonder just what he’d be doing if not for a ugly right-foot-fracture last year (Godspeed); like maybe drawing a Pro’ paycheck right now? As the twice Pennsylvania Player of the Year award winner and his team leading 65% shooting plays bigger and stronger than he looks. Only thing that needs love is his impoverished 58.7% charity-stripe mark.
  • Matt Jones is the fifth Duke starter or a glue-guy at 6’5” 2o5 lb. Jr. year Wing who can flat out drain 3’s from range. 8 ppg and the team lead with 2.1 spg tells you the other reason(s) why he’s in the starting line-up as he is probably Duke’s best perimeter defensor at the moment; although his shooting has been a bit off of his career norm’s so far in 2o16. A.D. terms.

Dukie Weaknesses:

  • ahhhhhhhh,
  • errrrrrrrrr,
  • I suppose you have to list depth here, what with the narrow playing rotation that coach K uses, so far. Though there area a LOT of other D-1 programs that would love to have Duke’s problems.
  • This however does hint at foul-trouble or possible injury concerns. (Coach God forbid(s)).
  • The knee injury to the Nigerian imported 6’8”, P/F and 268 lbs. worth of bruising Sean Obi ain’t helping anything. As dude put up 12 and change on 8.2 rpg a rookie hammerhead shark at Rice for a reason(s) –although he just has not be healthy @Duke. May St.Stephen (in honor of his: “Guardian” in his bio’), Bless.
  • And all-world forecast 6’10”, 240 lb. dunkable nugget season (t-Fr.) Henry Giles checking in at o.5 ppg, with 1 board (all year) on zero, yes, o% shooting has to be a major disappointment. As this kid had bet the under on the number of Duke games he plays before he turns Pro’ written all over him. As a rare consensus #1 ranked recruit last year overall. As Lindy’s says he is an even more explosive version of Chris Webber, and a fabulous interior P/F dynamo. That said, you have to wonder where he and his game and his left-knee are, after having undergone his third knee cutting in three years back in October (A-scope). God Bless on that, as this kid is a stud, if/when he gets his orthodox knee, right. Do note:  H.Giles has now returned; and that only thickens Duke’s bench and post, alike.

Duke Bench: (depth=2 and change)
Giles is back and so is his Newcomer of the Year and Top N.b.a. Prospect listing from Lindy’s pre-season magazine. Likewise his monsta finishing and rebounding ferocity; even if he is curtailed to being a 20 mins. per game baller for the duration. Frank Jackson is a 6’3”, 2o5 lb. rookie year imported Utah combo-Guard who can penetrate and shoot; and looks just a smidge like Mario Van Peoples. Frank was only ranked #4 out of high school and the book says the only thing he has to work on is his distribution. As he only averaged 27 ppg and only won four straight unguardable Utah State titles. Right now, Frank drops you 10.3 ppg on 48% composite and 39% from beyond the arc; and he will only, get, better. 6’10” 230 lb. P/F-C combo big Chase Jetter gives you size and better conditioning this campaign thanks to an ~10 lb. weight cut this off-season with 3.1 ppg and 2.6 caroms.


Upsetting all-everything Duke is really all about ... what???

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

Number of Dukie's who could start @Tech=9'ish, maybe more?

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… just how freakin’ efficacious Duke plays that game and just how responsive coach K has been -to his credit- to the Darwinian or evolving modern era of basketball. As there is no wasted motion in anything this 2017 Duke crew does; none.

Everything time-sheet specific, and it really leapt out to me just how much coach K had done to respond to; and therefore combat all things backcourt in what has become the Stephanie (Curry) or modern day Guard heavy era. Most impressive to see a guy who’s birth certificate says he’s 69, and yet looks 50’somthing, update, modernize and then figure out ways to disable the backcourt minded facebook offensive pathos.


That all rightfully being, said, homesteading Virginia Tech is only a +5 point home dog to Duke, out on the Vegas big board and you could have last say that in hoops oh about half past, when?!?

Me neither; however, and in lieu of all my basketball sourcing -due to the Holiday travels- for the first time all year, here goes…

Best I can see from data mining the Duke and Virginia Tech basketball stats here vis-à-vis…

  1. These teams are nearly identical on O, less the 4% better Hokie 3-point shooting metric.
  2. These teams are close on D; although Duke does get the 1-2% edge in stop-unit acumen.
  3. And Duke is about +4 in rebounding margin when taken head-to-head.

So that would seem to posit a narrow Duke win in a testy game as the visitor in Virginia Tech’s house. Except for one thing, coach Buzz and Virginia Tech hoops will NOT get a better chance to upset Duke than this.

The Dukie’s best baller is suspended; the kid with the highest ceiling just got back from a knee-scope; and another big is out indefinitely. Or in other words, no matter what happens in terms of any potential favored Duke win; Tech has nobody to blame here; as they will never get a better shot at Duke than this.


What with Duke coming in at 10 days off, I’m hoping that’s code for rust, not rest, and that Buzz and Co. get off to a swift start, and then the rest is up to them. So I’ma gonna tab Virginia Tech basketball in a close one that goes right down to the proverbial wire.

(39% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=77, Duke=74




V.A.D.A. approved
Happy New Year!!!
Happy New Year!!!