Virginia Tech basketball Wake Forest preview

#86 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #119 R.P.I. Wake Forest:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball got up off the harsh looking rivalry L schnide to dump 2018 Atlantic Coast doormat Pittsburgh with a much needed W at home last Saturday afternoon down in the now slightly warming New River Valley.

The Hokies however did not shoot very well from 3-point land, (again); and now they must take to the the A.c.c. road where visitors win about three times in 10 historically. Hosting Wake Forest checks in at a middleocore looking 8 up and 7 down thus far; although this after a disappointing opening 1-4 start to out-of-conference play prior to Christmas. Though who will win here? Read on, to find… out.

Wake Forest Head Coach: Daniel Ricardo “Danny” Manning: age=51, 86–85 (.503) overall, 48–56 (.44) at Wake Forest.
$1,302,019.oo (+another 1mill deferred from Tulsa!)

Baller Manning is the son of the late Ed Manning (R.I.P.), who was a longtime N.B.A. and red, white and blue; ball; A.B.A. player then a professional and college coach. As a junior at Page High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, Danny averaged 18.8 points and nine rebounds per game, leading the Pirates to a 26-0 record and the North Carolina state title. Baller Danny Manning also won the national championship with the Larry Brown led Jayhawks in 1988 as a player. Danny left Kansas as the all-time leading scorer in Kansas basketball history with a mere 2,951 points! He was also the all-time leading scorer in Big-8 Conference history with 2,951 career points. Danny won the Wooden, Naismith, and Eastman Awards as the college player of the year in 1988. And K.U.’s 11 L’s that national championship year is still the most L’s of any crowned D-1 men’s hoops titlist, ever! Manning was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame with the 2oo8 class.

He was then the #1 draft pick overall in the 1988 N.B.A. Draft by the L.a. Clippers. Baller Manning spent 15 seasons in the Association. During his N.b.a. career Manning scored 12,367 points and averaged 14.o points per game. He was a two time all-star, once the Sixth Many of the Year and a three time A.c.l. victim who some say had a Hall of Fame ceiling if not for such ruinous knee knocks throughout his gimpy professional career (Godspeed).

(Assistant) Coach Manning won another National Championship Jayhawker ring again on the K.U. coaching staff in 2oo8. After which he spent two successful years as the big whistle at Tulsa, garnering a post-season bid each time and an N.C.A.A. bid for his 21 win C-USA crowning second season. After which he inked with the Dec’s and posted two initial negative (<.5oo) seasons before landing five games above .5oo this year as I type. Coach Manning team’s have a rep’ for free-flowing, skillful; finesse based inside-out offense first, second and defense third; (if that). He is also thought to be something of a program-builder and a pretty decent recruiter by-the-bye.

Manning.edu earned his degree in communication from the University of Kansas in 1991.

Danny and his wife, Julie, have two children — daughter Taylor, who played volleyball at Kansas, and son Evan, who played basketball at Kansas and is currently a basketball program assistant with the Demon Deacons.

Wake at a glance:

  • 30th in 3-point shooting 39.8%.
  • 59th in FT percentage (74.4%).
  • 119th in rebounding margin (+2.3 rpg).
  • 335th in 3-point defense (39.4% allowed)!
  • (everything else dull to shiny average give/take).

Deacon Returning Starters=2

Wake Forest Strengths:

  • 3 of the Top-5 Deacon are netting 87.5% or more of their FTA’s!
  • Mario Van Peoples, I mean… Bryant Crawford is a 6′3″, 2o1 lb. junior season alpha scorer for Wake at 16.3 ppg. Crawford also leads Wake in swipes at 2.3 spg, and in FTA’s with 72. Although he only slots as the silver medalist from the charity-stripe at 91%– if you can believe that. 38% from downtown and the team pace setter in dimes dropped at 4.9 apg; thereby making Bryant the first Dec’ with 500 points and 150 assists in a season since Randolph Childress in 1995. He was also named Lindy’s per-season Top Playmaker in the A.c.c. Prior to all of that, Crawford was the 2014-15 District of Columbia Gatorade Player of the Year and he was the no.74 baller in America according to Scout. Only knock I could find here to his all-’round game was his shooting depth; and yah 40.7% overall is a bit clanky. Nevertheless, Bryant brings a top kick rep’ for penetration-scoring, defending, distributing; and that sure reads like an easy WF.M.V.P. vote to me.

    do…Moore!
  • 7′2″, 288 lb. third year Lurch type true Center, one #4, Doral Lamont Larod Moore and his team leading 7.3 rpg do not suck. And neither does his absurd 78% shooting and gold medal in swats at 2.2 bpg! His downright bricky looking 47% free-throwing does; although he does so much for you that is hard to ascribe to a box score that most coaches will live with that. As Doral was a consensus quad Top-100 recruit from all four recruiting services; with a high point of 72nd in the nation by ESPN. He won the national championship in high school hoops ( Montverde Academy, Florida) and oh yes… 67% of his shots are… dunks! No joke, this kid throws it down whenever he can; the Greg Drilling of Kansas fame with a tan and a probably higher ceiling. As he was primarily a rim-protector winning that National ring and if Doral’s overall game ever evolves Doral is gonna corral some major bucks abroad; possibly even domestically if all goes well. And oh yes, Fred G. and I cheers hard for anyone named: Lamont; no word yet on Grady.
  •  6′2″, 180 lb. Miami Vice looking final year Mitchell Wilbekin is a S/G from The Rock. Yes, that’s the name of his high school; where he earned six letters in basketball after joining the varsity team as a seventh-grader and was a four-time all-state honoree! Mitch’ is currently owns the 8th most 3-point makes in Wake Forest history as his marksmanship from down rage is his Creed; if you will. 9.7 ppg as a third-option on a very sporty looking 46% beyond the arc is good work if you can get it. Though his FT-shooting is down by 14% this year to 74%; go fig’ on that?

Wake Forest Weaknesses:

  • 5 of the top-6 Decs have 3 blocks or less on the year and three of them have, none; thus far.
  • The bulky, burly, and powerful looking Keyshawn Woods, and his 6′3″, 2o5 lbs. and ppg are (apparently) gone with a trick knee. See: “QUESTIONABLE” listing here; so I suppose there a chance he may ball out as he did give Syracuse a 5 minute go. Though this is a very strong looking kid upstairs, who looks like a Fullback who traded in his cleats for sneaks. Woods is a r-Jr. lead-G or Wing in today’s vernacular who sat a year after transferring in from neighborly Charlotte. And as good as Crawford is up above; I’m not so sure that Woods is not better; at least on the offensive end. As he’s the more pure shooter (49% overall and 41% on deeps); and just the smoother looking scorer which belies his gaudy build. Woods is also a nominee for the Allstate NABC Good Works Team for his involvement in the community and he was also the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year in 2014 along the way to two North Carolina state titles. His scholastic digits were solid; although unspectacular; still yet, this kid is a winner and he and Crawford give coach D.Manning a very very solid 1-2 starting backcourt punch; if; healthy. As both guys are at overseas Pro’s; possibly more if they round out a bit more. (UPDATE: Woods is now listed as: “UNKNOWN” as his Wednesday night status goes… God Bless)
  • Very thin upfront, all the more so courtesy of the surprise departure of talented the big Greek Dinos Mitoglou (10 ppg & 6 rpg).
  • Manning is not exactly known as a defensive coach; though he has made the post-season thee times in five seasons; so there is that. Overall? Time well tell here… though I can tell you that Danny is an extremely well liked coach personally; a player’s coach if you will.

Wake Bench: (depth=about 2 deep, now)

Brandon Childress is a legacy 6′, 190 lb. Pt.Guard and “yes” he is the son of associate head coach Randolph Childress, Randolph of bishop level Deacon 1990’s hooping fame. Brandon may not have been carded recently as this is a very mature looking kid; and he does bring you 8.4 ppg on a reasonable 35% from deep. That said, his 38% overall needs a little ironing out and yet this is prolly the most solid back-up Point who can score, pressure-defend and/or set-up in the league.

The key to winning vs. a beatable Wake in Winston-Salem is... what???

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Deacons who could start @Tech=2-3'ish.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… as we saw last time out vs. Pitt; I’m really hoping we might try to play things inside-out i.e. off of Kerry Blackshear getting more and more Blacksburg post-up looks from here on out. As any posting that K.Blackshear can offer is pretty much the only posting that we are gonna get this side of a departed Z.LeDay. And that might be the only version of (interior) toughness we have left this side of Z.LeDay as well.

 ***

the skinny

Interestingly enough– Virginia Tech is a 2 point (VT-2) road dog here.

Or in other words the team with the noticeably lesser record is the betting fave in this one. The team with nearly twice as many L’s; put that way and think about that for a, moment…

…then there is this little scheduling nugget… Wake Forest pretty much comes in to this one desperate for a victory as it embarks on one of the toughest stretches of its schedule. The Deacons play No. 6 Duke twice and host No. 3 Virginia over their next five games. Ouch; and yah; Wake has to be looking to get a post-season chance increasing win here vs. us.

the call
The Dec’s are relatively speaking, only 5-3 at home and yet Buzz’s bunch is even less than that at .333% out on the road this campaign.

At home I prolly would pick us to win hosting Wake, out on the road however and this is a waffling or I.H.O.P. type pick. As the thing is… our 3’s have not been dropping of late… and this one is on the Atlantic Coast road where 3’s typically do not drop a lot.

Along for the, ride?

As our ppg total is down by a staggering 20 ppg in our last five contests, likewise overall shooting retreating by 6% and 3-point shooting recanting by a brutal 16%! (all the way down to 24% on 3’s in our last five games if you are keeping score at home)

And honestly… even with the negating Woods knee injury… this one is still a toss-up pick. As yes, Wake is one of the few A.c.c. hosts that is beatable, though frankly so are we.

Still yet, I’ma gonna go with the healthier team here… and side against my trusty friend the handy dandy Forum Guide… which is predicting a 9 point Deacon win.

And hope that some Hokie 3-pointers start to rain again as the Mid-Atlantic temperature outside finally warms back up.

(57% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=77, Wake Forest=70

LETS GO!

Hokies!

 bourbonstreet**

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