Virginia Tech Clemson basketball preview

#10 R.P.I. Clemson @ #55 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns home after a rarefied A.c.c. road blowout win vs. off-court controversy ridden Gah.Tech, to host a possible Sweet-16 level Clemson Tiger squad at 7pm on Raycom SportsNetwork and ESPN3/ACC streaming. Still yet, will the real Buzz and company: “please stand up, please stand up“?

Personally methinks the Hokies are what they are and what they are is a finicky -in lieu of the lass or less masculine sounding: “finesse” tag- they are a finicky hoops team through and through or frue and frue. (i.e. mostly true).

I therefore am (prolly) done gar-ron-damn-tee-ing any VicTory this side of men’s football opening up its home 2018 docket vs. Bill & Mary. As these 20 up and 6 down tigercats look pretty hard to tame. Although someone does have to be a thorn in their paw… accordingly, could Buzz and Co. prove thorny enough? Read on, to find, out!

Clemson Head Coach: Bradley Robert Brownell: age=49, 310–193  (.616) overall, 144–108 (.571) at Clemson.

Baller Brownell played high school basketball at William Henry Harrison High School (Evansville Indiana) with current Saint Louis University assistant coach and Indiana University legend Calbert Cheaney. Backcourt baller Brownell balled and graduated from DePauw University in 1991, he earned three letters at DePauw University, a Division III school in Greencastle, Ind. He ranks seventh in school history with 332 career assists. He led the Tigers in dimes three straight seasons, while also leading DePauw in steals as a junior in 1989-90. Then completed his degree at the University of Indianapolis in 1994. Thereafter Brownell immediately went into apprenticeship (i.e. assistant) coaching after graduation.

Coach Brownell was named the U.N.C. Wilmington head coach in 2002, after having won a master’s degree and having been a U.N.C.-W. assistant coach from 1991 to 2002. Brownell’s U.n.c.-Wil’ teams made the big dance 50% of the time.

After that he went to Wright State and amassed nothing less than a 21 win season before eventually snagging the Clemson job -in something of a surprising hire- in 2010.

At Clemson Brownell went dancing his very first season though he has only made the N.I.T. twice in the other seven years down in South Carolina. Coach Brownell teams have won six conference championships and he has won two conference coach of the year award’s himself. All of which were mid-major caliber and therefore all of which were prior to his power conference admission at Clemson. Ergo, therefore, to wit, some would say that Brad is sitting on something of at least a warm seat at the sporting moment. Coach Brownell has already spawned four D-1 coaching tree mid-major disciples; and his teams come with a defensive first reputation.

Daddy Brownell and his wife, Paula, have two daughters, Abby (18), a student at Clemson; and Kate (16).

Clemson at a glance:

  • 7th fewest fouls “whistled’ against!
  • 20th in swats (5.3 bpg).
  • 32nd in scoring D (65.8 ppg allowed).
  • 51st in 3-point shooting O (38.2%).
  • 53rd in FG percentage D (41.6% allowed).
  • (only 2 metrics ranked below 276th outta 32 ¦ a very solid team overall)

Returning Starters=2

Clemson Strengths:

  • One #15, Donte Grantham is a West Virginia escapee P/F at 6′8″ and 215 lean though stronghold and pretty cut-up looking final-year Four pounds. Donte drops 14.3 ppg for you and collects 6.9 boards. Although his sub-par 39% shooting only adds to his very own rebounding metrics. Oddly enough, Donte was a home position Pt.G. until he suffered a 6″ growth spurt his final couple scholastic seasons. So he does bring a smooth set of handles and all around floor game each and every night. The one knock here from Lindy’s is that Donte is not exactly an inferno as a finisher goes, having been a backcourter for so long coming up. That said, St.Nikon bless as Donte blew out his knee last year and was done for the 2017 duration. Godspeed to this previous moderate 3o4 baller; who has come up pretty dang smartly across the stat-sheet this campaign; in particular for a guy who previously did not enjoy a rebounder or marksman rep’. As Donte’ can make a sleeper case for A.c.c. Most Improved; if he keeps this up.

    H’town 1980’s Rocket’s Robert Reid‘s long L son?!?
  • Marcquise Reed is a 6′4″, 189 lb., r-Jr., Robert Morris transfer Wing who is said to be a pure outside shooter and not a whole whole lot beyond that. As big things were expected of a Ro.Morris rookie who sat two years ago after transferring after dropping almost 16 ppg as a nugget or rookie year baller at Robert Morris. Improving things have been delivered at Clemson; as his now 1st-best 15.6 ppg on a serviceable 36% from downtown really ain’t too dang bad; this after being well known as a high school blowtorch scorer routinely averaging 30’s and 40’s in a smaller part of Maryland H.S. ball. Now mix in 4.7 rpg and 3.4 apg and that’s just outright solid efforting from the North Eastern Conference rookie of the year two seasons ago. Nevertheless, Clemson could use more of his high scoring scholastic showcase offensively ballistic ways; and sooner=better, here.
  • 6′9″, 237 lb. turnkey junior year physically ready Dallas Tx., native P/F Elijah Thomas is back as the prime frontcourt baller for coach Brownell. This after missing the first nine games of the 2016 campaign due to a curious half a calendar year NC2A eligibility ruling after transferring post some off-court trouble at aTm. Thomas was a unanimous Top-50 recruit who currently antes you 10.3 ppg with a team pacing 7.3 rpg, a swat and he is up to virtually 55% overall. This from the #2 Texas roundballer in scholastic terms just three seasons ago, who went for nearly 30/15 per game along the way to picking up a AAAAA (penta-A) everything is bigger championship ring in Dallas his senior year –as this Elijah kid is supposed to be Prophetically good, even if he has collegiality yo-yo’ed a bit prior to this season so far.
  • 6′3″, 207 lb. t-senior year Gabe DeVoe is another Wing who needs to improve his shooting eye just a scosche. 44% overall speaks to this as Gabe had what most are calling an off year last season. Right now he nets you a bettering 13.1 ppg with nearly 4.5 boards and a nearly ~20% come up (now: 78%) from the charity stripe. This after a Parade all-American listing as a high school senior, only the fifth such honor for a Clemson signee; as Gabe was one of the top scorers in all of high school basketball in 2013-14 when he led the state of North Carolina in scoring average as a senior right at 36 ppg and was known to bust the 50 and 60 point plateaus from time-to-time –making this yet another Tiger who seems like he could/should be doing more on O. The label here also hints that Gabe courts long-distance potential though his long-distance shot-selection had tended to out-distance his mental, range. That being said, he’s now at 41% outside and lotta teams would like to have his rangy -no coaching surname relation- questions.

Clemson Weaknesses:

  • Vandy transfer and dynamic Pt.Guard, the 6′3″, 185 lb., r-Jr. year Shelton Mitchell is “Questionable” after having been hospitalized due to concussion protocol; yikes; and may St.Demas bless and intercede. As his 11.8 ppg and team leading 3.9 dimes dropped on 36% from beyond the arc would be missed here. As Shelly is a inside-out type scoring One who can dish and distribute the rock; though his 3-point game is down by 9% this campaign.
  • (Additionally, the back-up Tiger Qb’s/Pt.Guards are south of all that and a snap)
  • Relying on this many Transfer ballers, to have to do this much work, is a flag to me. As something is just not right in-house, or recruiting wise when you are rolling with this few of you very own homegrown self matriculated kids.
  • On March 20, 2017, the school announced that Brownell would return as head coach for one more year— i.e. is there any heat to this big whistle’s seat? (UPDATE: tho’ coach B’s contract runs until 2020, so there is that.)

Tigers Bench: (depth=1 to 3’ish)

Mark Donnal and Aamir Simms are basically your 1-2 substitute knockout punch here; that statistically looks more like a feint and a pawing jab.

6′9″, 235 lb. red-g-transfer P/F Mark Donnal brings you 4 ppg, with 1.9 caroms on a sizzling 52% long and is what you’d call a spot-up shooter extraordinaire. Mark’s range=the gym; if he is in it, he is… open. The University of Michigan grad’ (sports management) Four is a coach Beilein baller; so yah; you know he can shoot as coach Beilein is a shooting system specific coach. The book says that Mark is a highly seasoned baller -who started off/on parts of three Big Blue seasons in Ann Arbor-, that he can play the Four and even the Five in a pinch; that he’s a trusty baller at this precocious stage of his career; and that he’s not the most athletic baller; ever.

Aamir Simms is a 6′7″, 237 lb. former lean-bean P/F-S/F ‘tweener who somehow gave back an inch and found a staggering 37 pounds. since inking with Clemson! The tag here reads that Simms is a springy internal baller who can defense and rebound and finish close on the ring (rulebook for: rim).  That said, in spite of his seemingly lack of offensive polish (3.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg with 27% deep); Lindy’s did rate Simms the alpha recruit in Clemson’s recruiting class last season and that does not suck. However, Simms is yet another Commonwealth (Palmyra, Va.) escapee; who sure (now) looks the physical part on film. Aamir was the no.89 baller outta high school per Rivals; and the penultimate Va. H.S. baller a year ago; who won two Va. state titles in three years. And did I mention the sinew gain yet? As this kid (now) looks like a mini-me LeBron; or at least a Baltic Avenue one.

Upsetting #17 Clemson at home on Wednesday night is all about... what??

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Tigers who could start @Tech=2 or 3.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… well, Buzz, company and yours truly all got up off the schinde down in the ATL. Buzz and his club scored a much needed feel good back-patting routing VicTory out on the Atlantic Coast typically hard won road; and someone got the Hokie OPT’s digits bull’s-eye 100% perfect. (Thank you Coach God! And the Lounge.)

As J.Rob’ continued his self-Odyssey in Homer’ian status to becoming this teams new alpha or go to baller; and the Walker kid finally bounced after hitting his debuting freshmenic proverbial -though typically real- kinetic applied sports psych wall several weeks back.

Now Buzz’s bunch returns home after what will likely be the final team that we/Virginia Tech are favored to win this season. Or in other words… every single remaining VicTory will likely be considered to be a upsetting win -this side of our NC2A bubble bursting- and therefore our slipping into hosting favorite status this side of the N.I.T.


the skinny

Virginia Tech is a .8oo host whereas Clemson is a .5oo visitor.

As seasonal stats go, the Hokies are +3% better from the floor and +1% up from deep with Clemson +3 rpg superior on the glass. The Home/Away splits say that Tech is ahead by a whopping +17% overall and by +9% from 3-point land (note: most of which was on better Hokie 3-point D); with Buzz’s bunch up one board to boot. In the most recent 5-game metrics we see that the Gobblers are +8 from the floor and +2% from deep (note: CU’s O is 3-point shooting straight fire; it’s just that our/Tech’s 3-point D has tightened back up); although Tech is experiencing a 8 board rebounding deficit.

Tech is +1 on rest; yet Clemson is ~4% better from the FT-line | and a staggering ~17% better from the charity-stripe in the last fortnight.

The Hokies Atlantic Coast margin is still trading underwater at a now improved 21 points. The Tigers A.c.c. margin is a positive +37 points. And the handy dandy so-called Forum Guide is calling for Clemson by 2 buckets (+4 points).

the call
@South Carolina and honestly?

I’d be picking the seemingly stronger team here, as Clemson’s A.c.c. Margin and peculiar -almost closet M.E.A.C. team on P.E.D.’s/’roids- misfit approach to the game is indeed a peculiar match-up to set.

Looks just a smidgen like a younger mo’ playar B.Clinton,don’t he?

Caveat is… this game is at home, and for the fifth time this season Buzz and Co. are catching an otherwise gamey looking fellow A.c.c. team with a (training room) thorn in their paw— or at just the right time.

As the healthier team is the home team here and in the absence of any senior analysis, I’ll ride with the home team with the fresher shooter’s legs from range, on a familiar court, in a familiar gym, here.

i.e the team that is on pace to be the highest-scoring Virginia Tech hoops team since 1988-89.

(Nevertheless, I feel must warn you… I do consider a full-strength Clemson team to be a squirrelly match-up indeed; as it is hard to catch this hard playing Tiger team by the, tail)

(55% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=82, Clemson=77