#72 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #73 R.P.I. Boston College:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns to the other parquet non-Keltic Beantowne basketball court on Wednesday night @Boston College up on Chestnut Hill at 9pm on RaycomSportsNetwork/AccESPN.com.
The Hokies travel after two sharp BIG name wins (U.n.c. and @Notre Dame) and the Hokies needed those two VicTories like a dead man needs a coffin; as any R.A.T.T. O&M NC2A dancing with the stars chances go. And chances are this is the most winnable remaining visiting Atlantic Coast game left on the 2018 docket until December and next season rolls around. The 13 up and 8 down Flying Eagles are pretty clipped (injury wise) at the moment —although BeeCee has finally improved and the A.c.c. road is typically a damn tough row to hoe. Though who will win? Read on, to find… out!
Boston College Head Coach: James Patrick Christian: Age=52, 284–229 (.554) overall, and yet 42–75 (.359) at Boston College.
$1,140,225.oo, (lowest in the A.c.c.)
Baller Christian was born in Bethpage, New York. He was an all-state Guard at St. Dominic High School in nearby Oyster Bay. Following his prep career, Christian was recruited by current Louisville coach Rick Pitino (then) at Boston University where he played two seasons before transferring to the University of Rhode Island. Christian played his final two seasons under Tom Penders at the University of Rhode Island, where he helped the Rams reach the Sweet Sixteen of the 1988 NC2A Tournament. After earning his bachelor’s degree in consumer affairs from the University of Rhode Island in 1988, Christian spent one season playing professionally in the Australian Basketball Association for the Sydney City Comets.
After that Baller Christian became Coach Christian with numerous apprenticeship assistant coaching stops along the way, including: Western Kentucky, St. Francis (Pa.), W.K.U. (again), Miami (Oh.), Pitt, and Kent State; where he finally won his first job as a big whistle. Coach Christian had an impressive run of six seasons at 20 wins or more, five M.A.C. titles and six post-seasons. T.C.U. then came a calling and Coach Christian lead them to their first winning record in seven years and the N.I.T. After one year there he was off to a two year hitch at Ohio U where he rang up 49 wins, one M.A.C. championship and two post-season bids in two years. Then Coach Christian climbed up Chestnut Hill and entered the big leagues of A.c.c. power conference play for the Eagles.
Coach Christian has won seven total conference crowns and has two mid-major Coach of the Year Awards to show for it. He is somewhat itinerant, or a modern day Larry Brown with 10 coaching notches already carved in his resume` belt. Coach Christian teams come with a rep’ for lower scoring, tempo curtailing offense and defense alike. He is very friendly to the JuCo and/or transfer circuit finding/soliciting talent as and wherever he can.
Daddy Christian and his wife, Patty, were married in the summer of 2005, and have three children, MacKenzie, Zach and Jay.
Flying Eagles at a glance:
- 56th in defensive rebounding (24.27 d-rpg).
- 95th in 3-point shooting (37% makes on 3’s).
- 96th in FG percentage D (41% allowed).
- 323rd in swipes (plays man | not ball, 4.7 spg)!
- (also: 35th fewest fouls whistled against; makes sense; n’est-ce pas?)
- Everything else on the dullest average to D+++/C— fence.
BeeCee Returning Starters=1 (was, 2)
Boston College Strengths:
- Jerome Robinson is the 6′5″, 19o lb. alpha-Eagle here by far hands down. 18.3 ppg on 3.5 boards and 3.2 assists with 48% shooting overall and 45% from deep is pretty fair to middling if you ask me. It is also 6% and 13% improved from last year and that sum pretty dang well done third year work from a guy who was not anything beyond a two or three star prospect in scholastic terms. Robinson carries the rep’ of a slasher off the dribble from the Wing that you can sag off of –as his range is shorter than his drives. However, don’t tell him that, as he has a team leading 90 FTA’s (82.2%, up 10% from ’17). So this is clearly a kid who never met a shot he did not like; or would not, take. And to his credit– Robinson has virtually doubled his scoring from his first year (+177%). Accordingly, Robinson is basically a hooping Adonis, having to carry the Boston College basketball world upon his back. Robinson’s father played basketball at So.Florida and played professionally overseas for nine years; so this (Swiss) Family Robinson Genome Project does have some Gregor Johann Mendel double-double game. And Robinson is enough of an athlete that he could have played college baseball; still yet, he had been on a tear of late with three of his last five games posting 63% shooting or better. Robinson is the best pure backcourt defender in the Eagles nest (1.1 spg) and if his offense continues to deepen and expand, that might just make him at least an overseas like father like son Pro’ in another year or two. And make no mistake here; Boston College goes only as far as Robinson can carry them. We stop #1 and our odds to win go way way up.
- 6′1″, 182 lb. nugget (rookie) year Pt.Guard Ky Bowman is the only other Eagle even in double digits at the moment. That’s how parsimonious the Bee Cee O is this season folks. Ky was a scoring One in high school ball down in (Nor.) Carolina (25 ppg); and he actually double committed; to Boston College for hoops and to U.n.c. to play Wr. So this kid is a pretty strong cross-sport athlete, who currently nets you a second best 16.6 ppg, with 6.9 rpg, 4.9 apg on a down 9% from last year 42% from the floor and a moderate 34% from distance. Thus is pretty decent productivity for a kid who is just 2.4 seasons into his hoops career when he could just as easily be 20+ games into his gridiron matrix. Lindy’s pre-season magazine does not even list Mister Bowman last year, which tells you what oblong spheroid sport they thought he’d be playing and it also tells you just how much he is doing for coach Christian and B.C. in roundball terms. This season Lindy’s does praise his 3-point range and ability to score off the dribble; though did nitpick his giveaways or handles. Although Bo’ can be an outburst scorer from time-to-time. No word from Lindy’s on his new red-frosted twist-top new hairdo; wow!
- Nik Popovic is a t-freshman 6′11″, 243 lb. imported baller all the way from Bosnia and Herzegovina; who has found a smart looking +14 lbs. worth of right-mass. The book on Nik says that he is something of a stretch-P/F who works best off the dribble away from the basket; though his paint scoring did raise some unexpected Euro’ eyebrows last campaign. Right now Nik is netting 9.4 ppg with nearly 6.o boards on 49% shooting. Nik does sport a bronze world championship medal per Serbia’s third place finish at the F.I.B.A. 2014 Championship; and Nik might just be skillful enough to ask back up in 2020 terms and see where his then fully American credentialed game might just be.
Boston College Weaknesses:
- This Eagle squad has yet to fill out and become a true Atlantic Coast dreadnought from stem to stern, talent wise; still more parts Light Cruiser than Battleship.
- Nugget year 6′8″, 225 lb. Steffon Mitchell (QUESTIONABLE) dealing with elbow injected concussion like symptoms and God Bless on that. As you never just caucasian athletic tape and ProWrap “suck up” something you only have one, of. Like well, the brain. 7 ppg and 8 boards later and Mitch’ was playing better and better back in January to boot. Steffon also brought a big-time Prep’ scorer rep’ to Boston College; just what a thin looking BeeCee hoops club just so did not need.
- Deontae Hawkins (OUT); blown right-knee. May St.Nikon bless. Hawkins is/was a 6′8″, 220 lb grad’-transfer (Illinois State) final year baller who’s career is now (sadly enough) effectively over. Ditto his ~13 ppg and team lead in board-work at 9.1 rpg! Ouch; and ouch sum mo’, because if not for bad luck, B.C. would have no luck at all. 2nd-team all conference (Missouri Valley) last year, and said to be legit: “inside presence” who did work in the paint. Dang, dang, dang…
- Still missing the Ty Graves kid who got away as a nearly decade wide alpha-recruit. (Yes, he and St.Louis beat us).
- Coach Christian teams’ are not exactly known to be offensive juggernauts.
- Boston College was tabbed 14th or 15th outta 15 by every single one of my pre-season magazines –you do the maths.
Eagle Bench: (depth=1 or 2, was 3 to 4)
Nobody off the (remaining) Eagles nest tallies mo’ than 2.7 ppg or 2.3 rpg as this Boston College pine-squad has near been insalubrious stripped bare.
Luka Kraljevic and Vin Baker Jr. do about as much as anyone who still sub’s-in at the scorers table, and they do not do much numerically speaking.
Yes, son Vin is related to the 13 season Association star of Milwaukee Buck fame. This Vin however is a smaller -or at least a thinner- big-dog, or beta sized at 6′9″, 199 rookie year lbs. This Vin is said to be a skillful, versatile combo-F, who gets you 2.1 ppg and 1.7 caroms. Though Junior’s 38% overall and 18% from long really need some work(s); and quite honestly… his scholastic numbers were not all that and a snap. Luka is a Domzale, Slovenia imported 6′10″, 216 lb. rookie year baller who nets you a couple of points and boards alike in relief here. Luka is a finesse type stretch-Four, although he does have some International ball experience and his old-man was a Slovåk hoops legend of sorts; so 2021 patience is the order of the day for this one.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Eagles who could start @Tech=1, woulda been 2.
…the takeaway here is that I sure liked how we started out at Notre Dame. Tech was hooping well, moving well (without the ball); trying to increase the tempo. I did not like how Notre Dame -to their credit- managed to muddy up the game after intermission and slowly crawl back into that one. As Boston College is wounded same as Notre Dame and Boston College therefore has limited -if not “no”- remaining style of play options; same as Notre Dame did.
Further… J.Rob’ has really upped his game of late, K.Blackshear has increased, Clarke even looks a little springier; although Bibbs, Hill and Walker have all yo-yo’ed in the last fortnight+. And Smother’s Brothers yo-yo routines will not hack it when competing in the typically sharky roundball waters off of the Atlantic Coast. (READERS note: tho’ my spies do say that Buzz thinks he has his defense ratcheting things up).
Boston College is a very striking 11-1 @home whereas V.Tech is only .5oo on the road. Our handy-dandy friend the so called Forum Guide is calling for a scrappy, salty, acerbic looking mere 5 point Hokie win. Overall the Hokies are the better offensive team (+6% overall and +3% from range) and defensing is virtually awash. The Home/Away splits are pretty close except for defense; where Boston College seizes a testy 7% edge from the floor overall and by 8% less allowed from deep here. The most recent 5-game trends paint a pretty par for the course offensive picture for both teams. However Boston College is thriftier in 3-point defense by 8% and neither team can rebound in A.c.c. play —it’s just that Vah.Tech rebounds; less.
Be these Flying Eagles medicinally grounded or not(s)… Boston College hoops is entertaining post-season dreams of their own for the first time in several seasons as I type.
I don’t know if these Eagles have enough lift -or enough left- to make even a C.B.I. or C.B.T. bid a reality… although I do know that that makes a slowly ascending Boston College a roadie one where we’d better not fall asleep at the classical textbook let-down-trap-game wheel. As BeeCee has the look and feel of a first step rebuilding or Gentrification type project team… i.e. a team that has figured out how wins at home.
That applied Sports Psych caveat most firmly in place… if you ask me -and you did via reading these very words- methinks Buzz and company have too much O for an improved though hurting Boston College squad.
Same drill as @Notre Dame… the healthier team wins, here:
and gets to one game >.5oo in the A.c.c.
(67% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=77, Boston College=69