#75 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #12 R.P.I. Syracuse:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball officially opens Atlantic Coast conference play with mere hours to spare in closing 2017 A.D. terms.
The Hokies travel to Will’s so-called: “Jiffy Pop Dome” to take on the Orange on New Year’s Eve at 6pm on ESPNU this Sunday evening. This year the Orangemen are 11 up and 2 down overall same as we/Virginia Tech are. Although most pre-season magazines tabbed both Virginia Tech, and much more historically vaunted Syracuse as middle of the pack Atlantic Coast teams. To put that another way, there is a chance that a game like this could wind up being the NC2A eliminator for one of these two squads. Nonetheless, who will win? Read on, to find… out…
Syracuse Head Coach: James Arthur Boeheim : 912–355 (.72) overall and at Syracuse, alike.
$1,900,00.oo (with: $130,000 every time Syracuse qualifies for the NCAA Tournament. He also gets $77,000 in insurance/vehicle allowance and $40,000 in deferred compensation | i.e. a steal at this level)
Baller Boeheim was a walk-on 6′3″ Pt.Guard with the freshman basketball team at Syracuse. By his Sr. year he was the team captain and a teammate of all-American and future Mayor (of Detroit) Dave Bing. Dave was his freshman roommate; and Dave is only in the Basketball Hall of fame himself for his work with the Detroit Pistons. The pair led Coach Fred Lewis’s Orange to a 22–6 overall win-loss record that earned the team’s second-ever N.C.A.A. tournament berth. After graduating from Syracuse, Boeheim played professional basketball with the Scranton Miners of the American Basketball League, during which he won two A.B.L. championships.
Coach Boeheim has only guided the Orange to nine Big East regular season championships, five Big East Tournament championships, and 28 NC2A Tournament appearances and one National Championship (2oo3 with ‘Melo Anthony). He only has 13 conference titles, six National Coach of the Year awards, and four Conference Coach of the Year awards. He is only a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame as well. He has only won six International Gold Medals three of which are Olympic. He sucks; fire him, now! Nevertheless, coach B was forced to vacate a backbreaking 1o1 total wins from the 2004–2005, 2005–2006, 2006–2007, 2010–2011, and 2011–2012 seasons due to recruiting violations. He is also down eight schollies over the next two years and was suspended the first nine games of last year.
Boeheim had prostate cancer in 2oo1, and subsequently became a major fund-raiser for Coaches vs. Cancer, he and his wife also inaugurated the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation to help kids from Central New York; God Bless.
Coach Boeheim had previously stated that he would retire in April 2018. However, in March 2o17 he extended his contract to beyond the 2o17-18 season.
Boeheim and his wife, Juli, have three children together: Jimmy and twins, Buddy and Jamie; he has a daughter, Elizabeth, with his ex-wife Elaine.
Syracuse at a glance:
- 5th best in Rebounding Margin (+10.1 rpg)!
- 11th in swats (6.3 bpg)!
- 2oth in steals (8.9 spg).
- 30th in scoring D allowed (64 ppg).
- 60th most FT’s attempted (3o9 FTA’s).
- 321st in 3-point shooting (29.8%).
Orangemen Returning Starters=2
- The ‘cuse is a three-headed monsta that would be even mo’ dangerous if it were only quadratic, (and/or deeper), indeed.
- Tyus Battle has been in something of a mini-me slump of late; although the leading Syracuse point getter (20.1 ppg) did breakout with 17 in the first-half last timeout. Tyus goes 6′6″, 2o5 lb., he is a almost skinny looking second year off-Guard is also a member of the all-A.c.c. Academic Men’s Basketball Team; SU.edu props insert here (_____), check. Battle was named the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year (2o16) and he was 25th overall coming outta high school. Battle is basically just a scorer (2.8 rpg) on 84% FT-shooting and 34% from range. And even at 42% overall he can put the biscuit in the basket. He is also said to be mainly perimeter player, with a solid all-’round skill set (offense, defense, passing), and he is said to be a 1st-option caliber talent. He does have a history of foot injuries (Godspeed), and some say his handles need work as well.
- Imported 6′8″, 21o lb. rookie year Oshae Brissett is a lean though springy looking 3/4 ‘tweener who is second in scoring for the ‘Cuse (15.4 ppg) and setting the pace in rebounding (1o rpg). That’s not half bad work for a kid who is merely a triskaidekaphobic 13 games deeper into his whole entire collegiate career than you or I. The book here reads that Oshae is more parts S/F, and a long, lean, rangy Three at that. He is said to be solid defender and a strong finisher in/around the hoop. His defense is said to be ahead of his offense, though 15.4 ppg already, on 34% from the floor and an off-kilter 23% from deep prolly do speak to this. Still yet, a lotta teams would love to have his lively and athletic all-Canadian High School Player of the Yea offensive problems; eh. As Oshae has been rounding into form in the last couple of weeks.
- Frank Howard is a 6′5″, 2o5 lb. combo’-Guard who also nets you a second best 15.2 ppg on 41% overall and 31% from long-distance. 81st ranked nationally by high school by Scout, Howard is known to be a third year veteran who can handle the Pt.Guard and Wing spots. The scouting report here says that Howard is the alpha passer (6.2 apg) and defender (2.3 spg); although his shooting takes him off the floor from time-to-time.
- (ex-Providence transfer) Paschal Chukwu (pic) is a whopping 7′3″ send-back-machine at 3.6 bpg. Though he has found a little right-mass (226 lbs.) he is still a few bricks shy of a true-Center load. In his third year, Pascal find you 6 ppg and rpg alike, on a put-back or bunny looking 64%. Although this is a strong anchoring leg to any J.B. zone-defense to be sure; and he is still developing after only having played 6-games due to a eye-injury (may St.Helen, bless). That being said, Chukwu has been noticeably better of late.
- The three A-side Orangemen look more like clementines in terms of their physicality to me.
- Did I mention the ‘Cuse’s thinness, yet? How ’bout their defensive youth movement as this team is not senior on experience.
- Offense itself is not a strength; and although most preview magazines hinted at Syracuse’s deep bench; I did not see it, here.
- Geno Thorpe (6 ppg) and 3rd-string all-A.c.c. Taurea Thompson (withdrew from SU.edu) have been disappointments. God Bless.
Orange Bench: (depth=2, little thin here)
Nugget year Marek Dolezaj is a 6′9″, 19o lb. imported Bratislava, Slovakia; rail thin, poster-child for protein shakes and slices of cow everywhere. I mean there is string-bean and then there is Marek Dolezaj. Marek has been in Euro’ or global competition for five straight seasons; so I doubt that experience is any issue here. Dolezajis said to be a skilled big-man with the ability to score inside and out. His European digits paint the pic’ of a box score stuffer, and right now he is dropping you 5 ppg grabbing a nifty looking 5.8 rpg on 1.1 bpg and 53%. Now imagine him if he just finds a high school body to boot.
Bourama Sidibe 6′1o″, 225 lb. first year C-P/F combo frontcourter who can run the floor, protect the rim and operate pretty adequately enough down low in the post. Sidibe is a defender with a few legit low-block moves. 4 caroms, 3 points on 65% shooting in relief.
Senior back-up S/F, 6′6″, 2o4 lb. Patrick Herlihy hail from the Peoples Republick of the 3o4 (Charleston, Wv.); and so does his one bucket so far this whole entire year.
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
Number of Orangemen who could start @Tech=2 maybe 2.5.
The takeaway here is… man-o-man, is getting good looks paramount in this one. As the Orange basically are disallowing as many as a backbreaking 15 opposing (eventual) shot attempts on Syracuse steals and blocks combined alone.
Now just imagine playing @Syracuse if the ‘cuse could only, shoot?!?
…well the skinny here is that Syracuse, IS skinny. That impoverished attempt at satire aside, it just so happens to be, true. Is there a food rationing campaign going on up in New York that we don’t know about? As you’d have to wonder how such a spindly team will do vs. the legit low-post big boys of the A.c.c.?
As there is at least one NCAA team in this game; the only real question is… are there two? And for a change that ask is not being made of the visitor here.
Thing is, all that svelte’ness really helps Syracuse cover some zoning ground and we ain’t exactly got the aforesaid bigs to muck around with that bikini-season looking frontline down in the paint.
That means that points will be at a premium here folks and that this one is prolly a race to 6o, maybe even to 55 —first team there, wins.
As personnel goes… Bibbs is due to break outta his 13 points in the last 11 days slump. That and as Battle has played every single minute in seven straight games, including a pair of overtime contests– he’s gotta start to wear down soon; right?
Syracuse is +1 on rest and at home. However, my lean right now is Virginia Tech (as a 4 point road dog minds you) on the narrow.
As Buzz and Co. have looked disinterested for a week+ and methinks that our first A.c.c. game of the year is just what Buzz and Co. need to spark back up.
(54% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=7o, Syracuse=63