Virginia Tech basketball preview Maryland Baltimore County

#224 R.P.I. University of Maryland Baltimore County @ #64 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech basketball returns to play surprisingly 9 up and 3 down University of Maryland Baltimore Count on Belk Bowl Eve, at 7pm, down in the late 2016 A.D. New River Valley.umbc-logo

The Hokies host the Retrievers on ESPN Extra in what we all hope is nothing more than a glorified scrimmage or a Duke warm-up game this Wednesday night in Cassell Coliseum. That being said, Virginia Tech basketball and coach Buzz may not encounter a bigger textbook look-ahead trap game all year. And as we have recently seen, stranger Radford and Alabama State things have happened before. The students are gone, the sporting foci is certainly Razor-backed, and these Holiday Retrievers may or may not be wiling to just roll over for A.c.c. VeeTee and simply play dead. As Baltimore Maryland has a couple of kids that just may surprise you. Will they surprise -or even ambush- coach Buzz and company being another mater… read on to find, out.

Head coach: Ryan Odom: (age=42) 36-24 overall: and 7-1 at M.B.C.

Baller Ryan Odom you may not recall… as Odom was a four-year starter at Hampden-Sydney, serving as team captain his senior year. He left the Tigers as the school’s all-time leader in three-point field goals, and fourth all-time in assists.

Coach Ryan Odom you may recall… as Coach Odom began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at South Florida. He also had stops as an assistant coach with Furman, UNC Asheville, and American, before spending seven years on Seth Greenberg’s staff at Virginia Tech. In 2010, he joined the coaching staff of Charlotte, serving as an assistant coach for five years, including eventually being interim head coach. Odom was relieved of his interim coaching duties on March 16, 2015 when Coach Allen Major -who he replaced when Allen went on: Medical Leave- and the university mutually agreed to part ways, and his staff (including Odom) was not retained. Odom compiled an overall record of 8-11 as Charlotte’s interim coach. After Charlotte, Odom accepted the job at Lenoir-Rhyne, leading the Bears to the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II tournament in his only season at the helml for the first time in school history and Lenoir-Rhyne won 20 games in a season for the first time in eight years. This before accepting the head coaching position at D-1 U.M.B.C., replacing ex Coach Aki Thomas. His dad, the other Coach Odom (Dave), you may or may not recall, as Ryan Odom is the son of former E.C.U., Wake Forest, and South Carolina big whistle Dave Odom. So coaching is in his blood and all over his family-tree. His dad only won four total Conferences (S.e.c. and Ac.c.) Coach of the Year Award’s. Coach Odom’s rep’ is for high scoring O’s that are Guard oriented and Guard heavy. (i.e. three or four G sets).

Maryland Baltimore County at a glance:

  • 10th in 3-point shooting (41.6%)!
  • 26th in FG percentage overall (49%).
  • 31st in Scoring O (83.7 ppg).
  • 42nd fewest fouls whistled against (196 ∑)
  • 74th fewest turnovers (146)

Retrievers Returning Starters=all 5

U.M.B.C. Strengths:

  • One #10, Jairus Lyles hails from the High School basketball factory otherwise known as DeMatha and Jairus Lyles can flat out score that rock. The 6’2” 170 lb. V.c.u. super-soph. transfer lead-G is a whizzbang instant offense machine; just add P.T. (playing time). 23 ppg on 47.3% from the floor and 34.2% is good work if you can get it; and on top of that Jairus leads rebounding with a nearly astonishing 6.9 rpg! Such is the nature of outstanding work; if you can get it. Jairus is an aggressive perimeter skinny looking though sharp-elbowed 1.5 spg defender that nobody enjoys being checked by; although his 69.8% FT shooting could stand to improve; at least a scosche. As Jairus has gotten to the FT-line 80 times already. However, due to a curious freshman to sophomore course completion matriculation eligibility ruling, Jairus has 2.5 seasons remaining to play. So you have to wonder when he sits the necessary ½ season out? He also lists The Great Gatsby as his favorite book in his bio’ and the last time East Egg and I read that in any ballers bio’ is basically code for: half past never. Proppers on that; and his 3-point shooting jumps by ~7% on the road; Hokie defenders be warned.

    Mid-20's is not a problem,here.
    Mid-20’s is not a problem,here.
  • 6’6” 217 lb. Thee (S/F), Joe Sherburne is a sophomore year baller who nets you a nifty and second best 15.2 ppg to go with 4.6 caroms (rpg) hauled down. This on a sizzling hawt like the Sun 56.6% shooting from range, 56% from the floor, and 82.1% from the charity-stripe. Did I mention that this Joe can flat out shoot that rock? Because this is one of the best pure sharpshooters we’ve seen, in years; plural. Joe is also an America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll member; and Joe merely won back-to-back National Prep School championships and a state title in high school at Whitefish Bay (Wisconsin). Joe also lettered in football at Whitefish Bay and earned all-N.S.C. and all-Area honors as a Wr and Db. So this clearly is no ordinary Joe, as this is a multi-sport star athlete who just so happens to be able to dial long-distance even better than AT&T.
  • Yah; I’d have to say that any legit 6’8” 21o lb. senior shooting-G such as: Will Darley; is a big time over-match on the perimeter. Will has won the Most Improve Athlete award for U.M.B.C. three straight years, so you know he regards no phobia as perspiration and raw hard-work go. This all conspires to show itself out with: 13 ppg with 4.3 boards on 48.6% overall, 38.4% from deep and 82.9% from the FT-line. Will does have a history of missing a few games per season with a series of minor to modest dings and dents. Although when he is healthy; this guy is a real problematic match-up out on the edge.
  • Sophomore Nolan Gerrity is about as close as U.M.B.C. gets to industrializing a true BIG. As a combo P/F-C he gives coach Odom a 4 G and 1 legit post offensive set. 6’10”, 235 lbs. worth of big, at that. 6.8 ppg from 61.8% shooting with 6.1 rpg and a team leading 1.2 bpg is serviceable efforting from a strapping looking kid who makes his living off of put-backs and bunny’s near the rim.

U.M.B.C. Weaknesses:

  • The Retrievers are still in the sunrise games of coach Odom’s new offensive emphasis sets in terms of experience and learning-curves alike.
  • Clearly a 4-G set does not match-up or cover well vs. anything more than one useful opposing post. (Although that prolly makes no never mind vs. Buzz and Co.)
  • As you will see below, this team can not afford or subsidize any foul-trouble or injury; as this Retriever team is thin on depth.

Retrievers Bench: (depth= 2 and spot minute change)
6’5”, 21o lb. swing Arkel Lamar gives you 4.6 relief ppg and some defense as well. 6’2” 19o lb. third year combo-G Jourdan Grant is the best B-side scorer off the Retriever’s pine as he fetches you 6.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg as a sub’.  Coach Odom does stock two 6’9” legit P/F match-up Bigs on his bench -with the beefy 235 lb. Sam Schwietz and string bean 189 lb. though springy Max Curran- although neither of these underclassmen appear ready for major minutes just yet.


Our final O.O.C. (out of conference) hoops game is really all about ... what???

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

Number of Retrievers who could start @Tech=2

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… don’t look too too far ahead here Coach Buzz and company, because if you do, and if these Retrieves experience a sudden hot night of shooting? The University of Baltimore Maryland County has just enough (s)wag to take a bite out of your look ahead textbook trap game with all-world Duke on tap and up next.

...said to be a high energy coach.
…said to be a high energy coach.

I’m not quite saying that the upset happens; so much as I am saying I would not die of shock if it does | as you just have to know that we/Virginia Tech basketball will be the N.b.a. Finals for these Retrievers and we will be taking their g.State and c’Town best shot alike.

And if we really are playing Duke; already; that could prove disagreeable indeed. Virginia Tech is +3 on rest here, and here is hoping that plus some really fresh O&M legs is all that we need; vs. what I foresee to be a testy and pesky set of Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers in this one.


Upon season and most recent five game trend(s) review; we see that seasonally speaking, Virginia Tech is the slightly better offensive team (1.5% overall) and 3.1% better for the year on D. However, in the most recent 5-game trends, these Retrievers have tightened their grip on the defensive bone, having improved their defensive FG percentage allowed by virtually 4% and that really narrows the stop unit gap. The U.M.B.C. is rebounding better and shooting better from three in the last two weeks as well.

Nevertheless, if they (U.M.B.C.) can not win home for Towson and at Richmond or at Annapolis (Navy); I’m hoping they can not with at Virginia Tech; either.

Although this one has a lot more to do with Duke than it does Virginia Tech or Maryland Baltimore County.

(82% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=86Maryland Baltimore County =69




V.A.D.A. approved