Virginia Tech basketball preview Florida State

#43 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #13 R.P.I. Florida State:

Virginia Tech basketball remains road-tripping after getting basically poleaxed by Nc.State after finally cracking the Top-25 in an embarrassing, routing, of a total L on Wednesday night down in Raleigh (Nc.).fsu-logo

Things may not get much easier with the always defensively durable Florida State Seminoles on tap Saturday afternoon at 2pm in Atlantic Coast play. The 2016-2017 Seminoles are a shinny looking 14 up and a mere one down (14-1) on the year thus far. Having only been beaten by Temple by one shot (86-89) this season. And in case you had not heard, Florida State is towering; I mean big, bigger, biggest, making this emotional rebound game a mightily tall order for coach Buzz and orange and maroon company as this 615 mile roadie may seem larger than that.

Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton: age=68, 492–398 (.553) overall, 292–188 (.6o8) at Florida State.

Baller Hamilton played college basketball at the University of Tennessee at Martin. After this Leo’ went into coaching and won the 1978 NCAA Championship under old-school Coach Joe B. Hall at Kentucky. He is a two-time A.c.c. Coach of the Year (2oo9, 2o12) and he is also the is the first coach to be named coach of the year in both the Big East (Miami Hurricane, 1995, 1999), and the A.c.c. His teams have qualified for seven NCAA tournaments and eight N.I.T.’s. He was the old-school U.P.I. National Coach of the Year in 1995 for da U; and he has won two conference championships (1 B.E., 1 A.c.c.). Leo’ is the Winningest Coach in Florida State History (27o wins) and the
8th all-Time Winningest Coach in A.c.c. History (27o wins). He also coached one season for the Washington Bullet’s, though was un-retained by #45 M.J. himself. Leo -a Master’s degree holder his ownself- is an ace coach in the and former classrooms as more than 94%t of his players have earned their degrees. Bravo Leo! And the Coach Hamilton coaching tree has already sired eight other D-1 men’s head coaches. Very Pat Riley ‘esque; as Coach Hamilton teams’ have enjoyed a stinging defensive rep’ for many years.

Florida State at a glance:

  • 7th in FG percentage O (50.7%)!
  • 14th in scoring O (86.2 ppg)!
  • 14th in scoring margin (+18.1 ppg)!
  • 23rd in FG percentage defense allowed (38.5%).
  • 26th in FTA’s (374 FTA’s so far).
  • 42nd in blocks (5.1 bpg).
  • 57th in rebounding margin (+5.3 rpg).
  • Nothing less than 2o6th best (3-point makes per game).
  • no injuries listed.

F.S.U. Returning Starters=2

Florida State Strengths:

  • Fighting these ‘noles is like fighting China; they just send wave after wave of sunshine state ballers to run at you. As this is a very deep roundball squad.
  • That being rightfully said, the chief Seminole is clearly all-A.c.c. Academic Team member: Dwayne Bacon. Bacon is a 6’7”, 221 lb. critical over-match at the Shooting-G spot. And his hype job from the F.s.u. wrap was, phenomenal. They have him listed as a honors candidate for all-everything, this side of all-Earth and all-N.b.a. Though he is pretty dang good and so is is team leading 18.1 ppg, his 49% from the floor and his second-best 38.8% from 3-point land. Such is up a very healthy looking 10% from last season from range and that was the one pre-season knock to Bacon’s game; that his J lacked true 3-point range and that you could sag off of this now multi dimensional scorer accordingly. The other Bacon rub being that Dwayne is said to try to do too much at times and therefore needs to tighten up a bit on his handles (turnovers, 2.2 last year; now down to 1.4). So it looks like this Bacon has gone Sizzlean on most of his off-season spreadsheet. Bacon leads F.s.u. in FTA’s (78) on 75%, and gets you 1.1. swipes (steals) per game to boot. Or in other words, for whatever oversold foibles Bacon still has, Bacon is still good for you, and a lot of other teams would welcome Bacon’s, problems. As this second year flavor of Bacon is easily the most heralded and anticipated recruit in the history of the Florida State basketball program; and he was merely the #1 ranked scholastic baller in the nation after his junior season and he only won McDonald’s Slam Dunk Contest after his senior H.S. year!
  • Lindy’s pre-season magazine Most Versatile baller award winner for the whole darn A.c.c. is… 6’4”, 2o8 lb, Jr. year off-G: Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Xavier is third in scoring (10.1 ppg), he runs down 3.5 caroms for you and he sets the Seminole pace in dropping dimes with 4.5 assists. 47% overall and 35% from distance is useful enough, nevertheless, Xavier -strangely enough- is down in scoring (and shooting) for his third consecutive season in a row. That’s not a trend, that’s not a slump; that’s, outright regression off of nearly 15 ppg as rookie 2.4 seasons ago. His pops, Tharon Mayes, is a legacy ‘nole and ran for the Clips and 76’ers and put in 20 total years of professional ball when you include overseas deployments. So the hardcourt sporting Human Genome Project would seem wiling enough. And least we forget, Xavier is the only, A.c.c. rookie to go for 30 or more three times in a season! You do not do that, just because you suck, nonetheless, his overall game has been unselfish to a fault, in decline, or both; take thy pick.

    "I will always love you" Whitney Houston by Ojo, pre-game; serous!
    “I will always love you” Whitney Houston by Ojo, pre-game; serous!
  • Jonathan Isaac is a 6’10”, 21o lb., human pogo stick of a nugget (Fr.) year Four or P/F. Who same as Fletch, stands in at about 7’3” with the house party ‘fro. Jon’ is a bouncy stretch-Four by trade who has good range on his J and is very comfortable facing up on the wing/perimeter. He is second in scoring (12.2 ppg) and number one in rebounding (7.2 rpg) on 51% from the floor and a reasonable 37% from downtown. This from a kid who was a Guard until he grew a whopping 7” and change in the final ~20 months of his scholastic career! So you can see why/how he is still something of a backcourt player in mind, if no longer so much so in frame. Lindy’s said Isaac needs to add some girth and that his overall game is a little raw; although he is one of the highest ranking Seminole hoops recruits’ of all-time for reason(s); plural; as the #9 kid last year according to As this is a fluid, very talented kid, who nobody really seems to know just how high his eventual ceiling may be? They only seem to agree that Isaac is a ways away from the same {sic: ceiling}, as a t-Fr. starter; and that’s a sobering 2020 thought for the rest of the A.c.c.
  • After that Len’ Hamilton’s team packs depth, size (lots of it), more depth, and a staggering 1o kids who net between 3.5 ppg and just shy of 10 ppg; and most of ’em see minutes most nights.

Florida State Weaknesses:

  • There just ain’t much to list here; all 27 statistical categories I track are basically C— or better.
  • Only caveat I can offer is, Leo’s line-up is not exactly modern era G.State backcourt wizardly savvy. More parts John Thompson and Georgetown savvy –although I for one find that very refreshing indeed; and that’s a real bear of a match-up peccadillo for most 2017 squads.
  • m.s. (mid-script): and it looks like last years moderate defensive lapse is over, too.

Seminole Bench: (depth=7’ish, VERY deep bench )
I’m listing Michael “name that tune” Ojo and Christ Koumadje here as they don’t quite log starting minutes; even at 14’5” and 537 lbs. combined! Ojo, all 7’1”, 3o4 lb. graduate-Sr. Nigerian born of him is back off of a torn left-meniscus. So are his 5.2 ppg, his 4.1 boards, and his 1.1 swats all on 60% from put-back range right at the basket. Even bigger would be the back-up C, 7’4” 233 lb. N’Djamena, Chad native and t-Soph. year Christ Koumadje. Yes, that is his first name and no, I’m not making that up. Koumadje drops 4.3 ppg with 2.4 rpg, on 65% shooting while leading the ‘noles with 1.5 bpg in very limited minutes. This with a stress-fractured left-leg once he got to State’s campus after going 59-1 with a stellar .983 winning percentage in high school- along the way to winning the 2015 high school national championship (Montverde Academy, Florida). Koumadje is raw, he is huge and if he ever gets any semblance of offensive acumen to his exalted Roy Brown game? He’s a Pro’ on rim protecting metrics alone, not if, when. 6’5”, 215 lb. nugget (first year) Trent Forrest logs the most substitute minutes for coach Hamilton and he nets you 6.5 ppg on 57 slashing percent from a driving Two-G who needs to work on his 20% range. The book says Trent is a passing 2-Guard who is a weapon in transition; 47th ranked outta high school to boot. Jarquez Smith is a 6’9” 236 lb. final year thumper at P/F. Smitty scores 3.5 ppg to go with 2.3 rpg and is basically an impoverished man’s Maurice Lucas as an enforcing 1.1 bpg defender down-low. And yes, back-up P/F Mfiondu Kabengele is Dikembe Mutombo’s nephew.


Forecasting this snowy weather escaping game is really all about ... what???

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

Number of 'noles who could start @Tech=3 to 5.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… this is a bad, badder, worst, match-up in frontcourt terms on proverbial and theoretical paper alike.

Has some court-side, pop!
Has some court-side, pop!

As Florida State is ginormous -and what with “Dream’s” (Khadim Sy’s) bad ankle turn (God Bless) pre-game down at NC.State- the little O&M engine that could just became the small, smaller, smallest frontcourt compact Geo’ team in the whole darn A.c.c. Seriously, F.S.U. is a macro low-post team and coach Buzz and company are pretty mirco at least in power conference contemporary line-up terms.


F.S.U. is also +4 in rest having not played since New Year’s Eve of last year. The ‘noles are on a tear of late, having won 10 straight and with Seth Allen’s head bump (Godspeed) listing him as: “Questionable” to play on Saturday afternoon, you’d have to give F.s.u. a sizeable edge in this one. And the Home/Away stat-line(s) in particular would seem to agree…

  • State is 17% better home on D than Tech is defensing away.
  • Homesteading State out-shoots visiting Tech by 5.8%.
  • State defends the 3 in their house 7.6% better than Tech does on the road.
  • The the home ‘nole Rebounding Margin vs. a traveling Tech is only +17.5 rpg in F.s.u.’s favor!

All that, plus Sy’s ankle, Allen’s dome and what could in effect amount to play da Wolfpac; twice; -plus F.State’s major league size edge in the paint; all of that conspires to tell me there is not a lot of Hokie match-up hope, here.

As coach Buzz and Co. need to get home and then they need to get will soon; sooner; A.S.A.P.

(84% confidence interval)

Virginia Tech=6o, Florida State=75




V.A.D.A. approved