Virginia Tech Brigham Young NIT basketball preview

#89 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #76 R.P.I. Brigham Young

 This is a damn good basketball team sports-fans.

A very very good no.2 seeded team and it is gonna take landing offense punches in bunches to upset B.Y.U. in their own barn.BYU logo

As it is not umpossible that Brigham Young courts at least three, and possibly four different guys; who could all start for us.

9:30 pm on Friday night is a pretty quick turnaround and a mere 1,970.3 mile roadie –if you are keeping National Invitation g.p.s. score at home. As Virginia Tech and coach Buzz did not exactly draw a soft-touch post-season bracket; …did they?

Still yet… no matter how tough this one looks on O&M paper, Bill Russell and his 11 championship rings said it best…

The game is scheduled – we have to play – might as well win.

B.Y.U. at a glance:

  • 8th in scoring offense (84 ppg)!
  • 8th in defensive rebounding (29 rpg)
  • 17th in assists per game (17.8 apg)
  • 36th in 3-point percentage shooting (38.2%)
  • 57th in FG percentage shooting (46.8%)
  • 67th in defensive FG percentage allowed (41.3%)
  • 85th in blocks (4.2 bpg)
  • NO injuries listed (thank coach God)

Cougar Returning Starters=3

Brigham Young Strengths:

  • Age=23, 6’3” 19o lb., senior, #1, Chase Fischer… from? Ripley, West -by God- Virginia. Dang, wonder if Marshall and w.v.u. think this one is one that got away? As he was the Dub.Vee’s twice Player of the Year. Well, his team leading 18.2 ppg prolly did get away from the 3o4’s medium-two. Likewise his 37% from range and 81% from the Line. As this high energy kid gives, well, Chase and has been a mid-teens steady guy or an outburst guy ever since December; as he did tally some yo-yo’ing up-n-down Smothers brother’s style games early on. Listed as third-string all-W.C.C. by most pre-season wraps and has done nothing less than exacerbate that listing with his 2015-2016 play. The book says that Fisher is a crazy 3-point gunner. His range is the gym, if he is in it, he -at least feels- that he is open. 70% of his collegiate shot attempts are from beyond the arc and this helps explain his lower than expected overall shooting percentage of 41%. Lindy’s calls him: “The W.C.C.’s most prolific three-point shooter“, and I’d be inclined to agree; even if there is something of a gunning element to this former Wake Forest sophomoric team captaincy kids transferring game. p.s. Fischer did just break the all-time N.I.T. mark for 3-point makes in a single game (7) on Wednesday night.

    Dnews 0110bkccougars.spt
    …allowed to wear sleeves to help with circulation.
  • Age=21, and second in scoring (16.4 ppg) would be 6’2” 182 lb. rookie year Nick Emery. And Nick is yet another very credible mid to high 30’s outburst scorer, light you up flavored kinda guy. Nick is also a very feisty guy, and he will throw punches, literally; just ask his suspension for fighting from last year per the same. As Nick has been fighting -God Bless- all, his life. Check it out… Emery has been diagnosed with Thoracic outlet syndrome (T.O.S.), caused by compression of the nerves or blood vessels due to an inadequate passageway through the thoracic outlet between the base of the neck and armpit. Symptoms of TOS include numbness in the hands and fingers, as well as neck, shoulder and arm pain. Nick had corrective surgery after his mission to Germany last year and less 2 ribs later, he and appears to be doing better. Now imagine what the former Mister Utah Basketball and 3-time state champion could do with something other than two numb hands? Dang, though his 39% shooting from downtown is doing pretty well thank you very much as this now healthier and formerly 45th ranked in the nation by kid who has a very bright scoring future out in front of him. Plus he is said to be B.y.u.’s best backcourt defender.
  • Age-24, Kyle Davis: Kyle is forth in scoring for B.y.u. with 12.7 ppg and a surprisingly second best 7.6 rpg as a true 6’8” 220 lb. overgrown S/F or wing. A r-junior after transferring by way of neighboring Utah State by way of Southern Utah  before that. Kyle has a rep’ for generating buckets underneath; though he can dial long-distance indeed, as his second best 46.7% from range posits. Kyle was said to be an instant or impacting guy who has done well enough; though maybe just a scosche short of the pre-season incoming hype. As his play has been very up and down of late.

    Impoverished man's l.Bird less Bird's shot...
    Impoverished man’s L.Bird less Bird‘s shot…
  • Age=22, 6’10” 255 soph. BIG Corbin Kaufusi, is the signature Cougar banger down-low. And if you do not believe that believe the B.y.u. football team who recruited Corbin to play offensive-Tackle for them. As he was a 2-time Utah football state champion, and all-state as a gridiron scrapper his senior year. So this is not a shy kid when it comes to physicality or the imposition of the same. Corbin does all the dirty work and he does it well enough to put up 5.7 ppg, with 4.7 boards and the team pole position with 1.1 swats. 62% from the floor shows you where he shoots from as Corbin makes his garbage time living on put-backs and dunks. A tough, aggressive, high r.p.m. red-line motoring kinda kid. The kind every coach loves.
  • Age=24, the 6’6” 214 lb. human W.C.C. triple-double, #5 Kyle Collinsworth. Top Play-maker, Most Versatile, and… West Coast Conference Player of the Year pre-season, all from Lindy’s magazine! I’d say that counts; and I’d count on this kid lighting up an Oscar Robinson or Magic Johnson looking stat sheet if I were you. As I can say that in my 40+ years of reading pre-season magazines; I’ve never ever seen a kid listed as winning all three pre-season awards at the very same time. Suffice it to say… Collinsworth might just be well-rounded. And this just in: “rain is rumored to be wet.” Yah; this kid is Professionally good, only question is home or abroad. As Lindy’s went so far as to opine: “if he had a 3-point shot, he might be, illegal.” And yah; 25% from downtown is the one nag to an otherwise epic all-around floor game. 15.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg and 7.6 apg all say so. Likewise the conference lead in steals at 2.o spg. As Kyle set the Nc2A record for most triple-doubles last year (6) and had fielded 12 triple-doubles for his career thus far. Not bad work if your senior year Pt.Guard can get it.
  • Cougar maturity! As you can see, these B.y.u. kids are already young-men.

Brigham Young Weaknesses:

  • the book reads that B.y.u. has typically lacked a “defensive identity” under coach Dave Rose.
  • Beyond Fisher and Emery… this is not a very good FT-shooting squad.
  • some say that B.y.u. is not all that athletic, though there is enough motion in the Cougar offense to at least appear to be fluid enough.
  • 18 different Roster transactions since last year. Comings, goings, graduations, transfers… a program on a Mission, indeed.

Cougar Bench: (dept0h=2 to 5, depending upon match-ups; although the rotation has narrowed to 7 in tourney play.  6’7” 215 lb. Fr.  Zac Seljaas, some say is the next multi-skill set Swiss Army Collinsworth, 7.2 ppg with 3 boards and 2 assists in relief may yet agree.  Nate Austin is the pine muscle at 6’11” 255 lbs. Sr. of 4.5 rpg and 2.6 ppg worth of substitution hard banging in the paint)

byu match ups

Upsetting B.Y.U. in Utah is code for ... what???

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… honestly? We/Virginia Tech are prolly looking a needing to crack 80 points to steal this one out on the Provo Utah road. As B.y.u. has already cracked the 90 point plateau 12 times thus far this season; and oh by the way, B.y.u. is 12-zip when tallying >90 points per game… you do the maths.

281-98 or nearly 200 games above .5oo does not suck!
281-98 or nearly 200 games above .5oo does not suck!

As this is a very quality offensively oriented, ball-sharing, ball-moving inside and out’ B.y.u. hoops squad folks. That and B.y.u. is 15-2 or 88% at home, for a reason(s). (whereas Buzz and company are .4oo as visitors, this campaign). Now mix in the fact that B.y.u. had 3 extra days rest prior to N.I.T. play beginning and you have to wonder out loud if/when fatigue will officially become a factor in this one.

As the Princeton extra innings did us/Virginia Tech no favor with 10am flight outta Roanoke, Va. to jet out to Utah. Hate to have to O&M say it, although that’s a lot to ask.


Ditto the Home/Away splits or fact(s) which are as follows…

  • home/away scoring margin favors B.y.u. by +23 ppg!
  • home/away overall shooting favors B.y.u. by +10%
  • home/away 3-point shooting favors B.y.u. by +3%
  • and home/away rebounding margin favors B.y.u. by +16 rpg!

I know this is not what you wanna read, and it sure is hell is not what I wanna type; however lying if for rugs. And I’d be the one lying here if I said I rightfully favor Virginia Tech in this one. In point of fact, I had a hard time finding any match-ups here that I did O&M like, all the more so on such long-distance short-notice; and almost zero praxis time for Buzz and company.

The most recent 5-game splits are pretty dang close however; and as these two have paced themselves rather equivalently across those same above four metrics of late. +2 ppg for B.y.u, +3% shooting overall for Tech, +11% from range for the Hokies, and +4 rpg for the Cougars in each teams’ last five contests head-to-head.

So the most recent trends say this one may yet be pretty dang close; and the Home/Away trends say B.y.u. in a walkover. Take your trendy pick, although I gotta side with the home vitals here, as Buzz really should have been the A.c.c. Coach of the Year for turning this seemingly starless bunch into a 2o win team no matter what happens in Provo on Friday night.

(78% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=71, Brigham Young=88





18 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I agree with the match up not looking great, especially with the time change and travel. Add in that Provo is a +4500 ft in elevation (vs ~2K for bburg), just that, travel/timezone are enough to overcome… now factor in BYU’s run and gun tempo… yikes.

    I want the boys to win, but I will feel no shame in double digit loss <20. God that is so loser, but it's also reality. Hopefully I'm wrong, and all of Buzz's practices this year have used elevation training masks.

  2. Big Cougar fan and watched every game this year thanks to ESPN and BYU TV. Cougars can be great and very mediocre from game to game. Consistency has and can be a problem… i.e. two great games in a row. I think your analysis except for the “consistency” issue was on spot. I fear a let down after last nights big win and this will likely be a game one way or the other (pick um) by 3 or less points.

    1. Interesting add-in.

      I’ll take their inconsistent game.
      And I won’t be giving it back; either.

      hope so!

  3. As a Hokie from Colorado; Take plenty of OXYGEN to keep up your energy !!

    1. True true.
      Less o2 in the air over there.
      No way I make purchase on that helping us/VT.


  4. Saw these grown men dismantle UAB last night after our game. They beat us up pretty good when we played out there recently. Looks like some of our players may be hitting the wall at last in energy and shooting at this stage of the season. Would be sweet to win there though! Our bench may give us a chance like it did last night. Go Hokies!

  5. Not familiar with that conference and realize there is a lot of parity in most D1 sports BUT other than 1 or 2 top 25 opponents not a tough BYU schedule. I think we will be better prepared from a competitive standpoint. Buzz loves a challenge. We just beat FSU on a neutral site and the Princeton game let us taste defeat without eating it. As obviously as the travel, lack of prep time and time difference give favorable intangibles to BYU I think VT has the intangibles that count, battle hardened, psycho coach and psycho LeDay plus some guys who want to redeem themselves and felt what elimination would be like. VT by 5.

    1. Top-3 of the West Coast Conference is pretty nasty and in each other’s NC2A way year-in and year-out.

      ‘Zaga, St.Mary’s Ca., and B.y.u.
      Play some fine ball all three.


      1. zaga beat them twice in the last month or so. And, why aren’t any of them highly ranked? Of course I didn’t see Princeton as a world beater either.

        1. I don’t think the national media can stand to rank all 3 –at the same time.
          Musical chairs. only one W.c.c. seat at the table per conference customer.


  6. Loved your analysis. I have read a lot of articles over the years and I just loved your writing. Move to Utah and write for the cougs! My son served a church mission in West Virginia and has been to your beautiful campus. Good luck to the Hokies! Also take it easy on our boy Bronco and the Cavaliers next year.

  7. BYU is well known for losing games it is heavily favored to win. While I love my Cougars, this 2016 team is so unpredictable VaTech fans should be optimistic their very good defensive team can disrupt the shooting rhythm of BYU and keep it close. If BYU’s 3 point shooters get hot, well, enjoy the show. Looking forward to a good game and yes, I’m nervous.

    1. Yah; B.y.u. is cooking with propane and they light a lotta teams up.

      Though he who lives by the 3-point sword can parish by the same.
      We shall see…


  8. I have degrees from both BYU and VT, and follow them both. If BYU is shooting well, BYU wins by ten. However, BYU just shot well against UAB, and they usually don’t do it twice in a row (which is why they lost to Portland and Pacific this season). Also BYU struggles mightly with athletic guards who can penetrate, and BYU’s big men are prone to fouling. Which plays right into Robinson and Allen’s hands.

    Full disclosure, BYU is my first love, and I want them to win tonight. But VT is the kind of team that can give them trouble. I really see it as a toss-up.

    1. VT does penetrate to take advantage of the 2016 rules.


  9. Great analysis. I am a byu fan but I like VT a lot. As others have said, as goes three-point shooting so goes the Cougars. BYU’s problem is that offense is a high risk/high reward proposition. Three point shooting tends to revert back to an average after a run of success. For example, Fischer shoots about 35%. So if he is taking 8 shots he is likely to only make about 2 or 3. But the problem is that he makes several in a row and then goes cold. Players panic when they go cold. You rightly point out that byu doesn’t play defense, which problem only exacerbates byu’s risky offense. If they were a more sound defensive team then their current strategy might be a good long-term plan. Unfortunately for byu, it’s easy to miss 4 or 5 shots in a row from beyond the arc, which can unsettlingly if you feel like you are losing control of the game. Plus, VT has played tougher teams so I think they are up for the challenge.

    1. Thank you!

      3-point bombing can lead to longer rebounds; and potential easy fast-break hoops.
      Not sure that is us, on short legs however…


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