Virginia Tech Duke basketball preview

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

Virginia Tech men’s basketball sojourns southward down to Tobacco Row to take on all-world Duke this Wednesday night at 7pm on ESPN2/ESPN3 (stream).

The Hokies are coming off of a truly MASSIVE 14 point massively upsetting “hoo’s your daddy” Commonwealth thrilling single overtime triumph over at hateful uva. As try as you S.A.T. might uva, you still can not spell VicTory without your very own Vee to the Tee! Nevertheless, that victory O&M flavored drunkenness aside, we have a very tough game up next @Duke vs. a reloading Dukie roundball team that everyone woulda rather played early and that nobody will wanna play late. As 20 up and 5 down Coach-K has a metric tone of first year stars on his hands and yet they do want for experience itself. So what type of game do we expect Virginia Tech hoops to experience here? Read on, to find… out!

Duke Head CoachMichael William Krzyzewski: Age=70 1,090–334 (.765) overall, 1017–275 (.787) at Duke.

Coach K is pretty good, and this just in, rain is rumored to be, wet. As this is about as well preserved of a seven decade year old gentlemen as you will ever ever see. And his resume is about as well heeled as any you will ever sporting read.

Among them {sic: accolades}: Baller K Played at West Point under Bob Knight as a 5′10″ combo Pt.G/Shooting-G. He was captain of the Army basketball team in his senior season, 1968–69, leading his team to the N.I.T. as Vietnam era West Point finished fourth in the tournament. From 1969 to 1974, Krzyzewski served in the United States Army and directed service teams for three years. In 2005 he was presented West Point’s Distinguished Graduate Award. And thank you for serving –after that Mike has not really done much of anything as a coach…

…he has only won nine, that’s (9) Gold Medals for the USofA! He has only won five, that’s (5) National championships in men’s hoops (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)! He has only won thirteen that’s (13) Atlantic Coast Tourneys. And is only a six time national coach of the year and a five time A.c.c. coach of the year; that’s all. And he is already in the College Basketball Hall of Fame (2oo6). And God Bless the Emily Krzyzewski Center (charity) that he and his wife (Carol “Mickie” Marsh) founded to honor his reposed mum. Daddy K and Carol have three daughters and nine grandchildren

Duke at a glance:

  • 1st in scoring O (89.1 ppg)!
  • 4th best in Rebounding Margin (+9.7 rpg)!
  • 4th in assists (18.5 apg)!
  • 8th in FG percentage O (50.7%)!
  • 15th in swats (5.4 bpg).
  • 35th in FG percentage D (40.9% allowed).
  • 38th in 3-point percentage (38.8%).
  • (no below ave. rankings; not; one)

Duke Returning Starters=1

Duke Strengths:

  • One #3, Grayson Allen: (formerly suspended) after having tripped, out; several times tripped out at that; Duke’s third leading scorer is hot-n-cold love him or leave him; and so are his 6′5″ , 206 lb. final year 14.6 ppg. Upvote or downvote him… though he does have insatiable heart and punji stick like competitiveness. He can shoot (86% FTA’s), he can defense (1.3 spg), he is a threat anyone on the court; and Lindy’s did tab Grayson: 1st-string all-A.c.c. and Most Entertaining A.c.c. Grayson had All-America and Academic All-America honors bestowed in the same season (2o16), that does not suck; neither does his mutually surprising and impressive ability to finish north of the rim, and nor does his passing acumen, in spite of having something of a self-centric label. As it is true that Grayson never meet a shoot he would not take (42% overall | 37% long); or one he did not think that he (would) make. That being said, being the first Dukie to ever win a slam dunk contest (the Powerade Jam Fest) is pretty damn trippy; and his 3.5 rpg and team penultimate 4.6 apg are missed here as well. Not to mention his psychedelic pterodactylus looking 7′ wingspan; which prolly don’t hurt 1ι (one iota) either. Did have off-season ankle surgery and does need turnover/playing in-control work… though still… a lotta teams wish they had his problems. As this is the kinda kid you cheer for on your side, and that you want want want to foul hard -very hard- when he is your opponent –although make no mistake sports-fans, this is a very experienced balled who has cooled his heels a bit and prolly does have at least overseas $wagg. And he is the only baller I’ve ever seen flash an A.P. high school diploma.

    G. P(oints). A.!
  • 6′11″, 235 lb. virtually N.b.a. ready-made, prefab, turnkey; P/F Marvin Bagley III, is the truth. Nobody enters the Atlantic Coast waters in their nugget year of voting with a whopping 22.1 ppg on 11.4 rpg sans truly splashy talent(s). Now mix in 1.1 bpg on 59% shooting and a decent 36% from downtown and you have to wonder out-loud just how many more Duke games Bagley III is gonna play? Or to put it another way… no matter how high my preview mag’s were on this kid -and they were pretty stratospheric- he pulled Danny Ferry’s retired #35 outta the rafters! That’s how high Duke was/is on Marv’ as they unceremoniously (un)-retired Danny’s three-five just for Bag’s. WOW! Don’t often -if ever- get to type that. This late (recruiting) commit is legit folks; so is the fact he was the consensus #1 recruit in back-to-back national recruiting classes (did a year of prep’ school). Likewise being the (L.a. based) 2017 California Gatorade High School Player of the Year with a 3.4 G.P.A. This after being named Player of the Year by the Arizona Republic in 2015 after leading Corona del Sol High School (Ariz.) to a state championship as a freshman. A double state player of the year two states over 1,000 miles apart? Never read that one; either. Though suffice it to say that Marvin is a Pro’. Only question is do the Lakers (or whomever) get him… and, when? (UPDATE: Bags III is said to have a trick-right-knee; (may St.Nikon bless); and is probable for St.Valentine’s day night)
  • Gary Trent Jr. is a 6′6″, 2o9 lb. rook’ off-Guard who is dropping a second best 15.1 ppg (already) with 4.2 caroms on a sizzling 46% from range (already)! Now mix in 44% overall and 87% on his FTA’s and you can see why coach-K says he has another pure shooter on his hands. GeeTee was only the no.7 kid outta high school, and the vibe here says that he as the ability to score at all three levels (down-low, mid-range, and long); however, he does come with the warning tag that reads: needs to be more of a team player. And that makes Gary an interesting coach-K take; as coach-K selects and he (M.K.) typically does not select warning labels, none whatsoever. That being said, even if the mind-game needs some sculpting, methinks the Rodin or body-game is wiling indeed. As Trent Jr. was only the Allen Iverson National Player of the Year in 2017 and his first-step is said to be extremely explosive. As Gary was not an outburst scholastic scorer; he was a Snow Ball blowtorch this time of year a year ago. Nevertheless, four high schools in four seasons is at least two too many and that too is part of the red-flag(s) here. Those caveats in place… Trent plays with a smile on his face, and frankly he seems more likeable to me than most others are opining. Gary is something a North Carolina Avenue man’s Vinsanity; and yah; you can see why some might jade eyes that green property for a monopoly confidence based scorer.
  • Wendell Carter Jr. was actually the alpha nominee -even ahead of latent signee Bagley III above- as the kid calling “next” on being the next big hopping Dukie thing. At least according to all my pre-season magazines less one (Lindy’s); as most every one anointed this kid the chosen one; and yet his 14.4 ppg and 9.8 rpg might be considered a quantum disappointed by some. And yet again this is a 6′10″, 259 lb. micro disappointed that basically all other 351 D-1 men’s hoops schools wish they had. As you could not cookie-cutter a better frame for a power-conference Four who puts the emphasis on the word: “power” itself. The book here reads well, like Catch-22 well, as Carter Jr. is said to have… a bevy of post-moves, a very soft-touch on his short-range in the key J, an appetite for backboards, a 7-3 wingspan himself and did I mention he’s really burly or G.N.C. strong as a t-freshman yet? He keeps no less than 3 amateur Internationale gold medals, already; he was only no.4 in America last year per; he was only the Georgia Player of the Year last season; and the year before; and the year before that! All while only winning 2 Georgia State titles. Wendell’s old-man was an overseas (Dominican Republic) pro’, momma-bear ran ball at Old Miss. and yah; this kid is pretty well, can’t, miss. And to be quite honest, he does not look his two-five-nine in listed weight; he looks like he could even add a few lbs. of right-mass as is. As this kid is an Association pro’, when, not if.
  • VERY tall team; tallest all year ¦ as only six guys go 6′10″ or mo’ and only three guys go 6′5″, or less.
  • NO injuries reported (thanks @Coach God)!

Duke Weaknesses:

  • A staggering nearly 68 ppg and ~30 rpg left the Cameron Indoor Arena building since we last saw Duke; (be that via class-rank, N.b.a. or just plain, left).
  • Ergo, therefore, to wit… not the most seasoned/experienced Duke roundball team of all-time.
  • FT shooting is down a bit at Duke this campaign (257th best @69%; file that one away if this one is tight; late).

Dukie Bench: (depth=2’ish)
Oddly enough, for being riddle with McDonald’s all-Americans, and enough recruiting stars to form their very own constellation… the Duke bench is rather unproductive for so many blue-chip VHT’s by-the-bye. As no substitute Dukie nets more than 4.6 ppg or hauls down more than 3.9 boards ⋅ go fig’ on this?

Javin DeLaurier is yet another Commonwealth (Shipman, Va) backyard escapee, and this 6′10″, 231 lb. sophomoric baller has the physical build of a mini-me Dwight Howard. As this Javin is a strapping strong kid upstairs across the shoulders when he posts-up down low. Javin only comes with the tags of being the “most athletic” and “most electric” finisher on the entire Duke roster. As he runs the court thoroughbred well and is a strong internal baller on both ends; all that on 3.6 ppg, with 3.9 boards and a block on 61% in relief if you need him.

6′6″ and stringbean 177 lb. Alex O’Connell kinda looks like he walked off The Outsiders set as an underfed “greaser” who put on some kayoed “soc’s” Jordache threads and effortless acted the part. Seriously, Alex looks the L.L. Bean boy-model part and he’s basically the lowest ranked (no.80) national recruit in the Duke rotation— poor Duke! Alex and his 4.6 pine-squad ppg are said to be dynamite in the open-court and he can dial a floor spreading long-distance at a mere A.c.c. leading 54% on his 3’s! (This kid may be a Pro’ just on his deep’s alone). Plus he Alex courts one of the rare stop-on-a-dime pull-up games this side of the Virginia Squires and a certain Dr. who made a lotta “J”‘s the very same way.

Upsetting all-everything Duke @Duke is all about... what???

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Dukies who could start @Tech=7.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… after a helluva a VicTory over in TeeJay’s home gym run; Buzz and company have likely punched their Big Dance tix with Will’s “dilly-dilly” monumental upset of homesteading uva in C’ville Va. on Saturday evening.

As someone surely forgot to tell the Hokies they were a massive Vegas big-board betting underdog and likewise a pretty suspect underdog match-up wise to the much vaunted Pack-Line defense of Tony Bennett fame.

Yet spies say that Buzz and company eschewed practicing any and all offense the week prior to hosting NC.State. As inserting Wilson into the starting line-up and the growing emergence of “five” or J.Rob’ (Robinson) as the alpha swagg Hokie hoopster is everything Wally Lancaster ever wanted to be— or finesse team applied sports psych mastermind insert Buzz here (___)! And at least a sporting slice enough of exactly what “bimbo” Coles O&M was. As it has been a while since I’ve seen a Gobbler One (i.e. Pt.Guard) who truly could take a basketball game over -the right way- with some love for E.Green and M.Delaney. Further, I am remiss on my O&M Ginko -whatever it is called, I forget- funded recall to nominate a better in-year backcourt swap this side of Charlie Moir starting someone named D.Curry that has done more Hokie perimeter good —at both ends no less. So mega PROPs @Buzz and his Staff, as same as coach-Fu’, this is coaching, the verb.


I just hope we handle it in the right way. The margin in this league is unlike any time since I’ve been here. Everybody is beating up everybody. … We’ll have to be very mature in how we handle it going forward.
-coach Buzz-

the skinny...
Duke is .916 as the host and Virginia Tech is .625 as the visitor. The seasonal stats are a +/-1% awash everywhere except Rebounding Margin where Duke is up +10 boards. The Home/Away splits pit Duke up by a sizey +14% from the floor and +7% from beyond the arc with a truly staggering +20 rebounding margin edge! The last 5-games say that overall shooting is nearly even; 3-point shooting however favors Duke by +7% and Duke owns the glass at +16 boards. The Dukie A.c.c. margin is a brutal +108 points to the great and the Hokie A.c.c. margin is still trading underwater -although improving- at 21 points. Tech is however up +2 on rests in the last 10 days; and 2% better from the charity-stripe for the duration.

Hope I look this young at 65; never mind seveno.

the call
Aye, it is true, Duke has dropped 3 of their last 5 contests; and yah; that’s about as slumped as Duke gets. Nonetheless, Duke has been beaten by 10 points combined or by not more than two shots as the crow flies.

And yet, aye again; Duke does favor a very favorable Buzzketball tempo; as the Dukies are not adverse to running and gunning Doug Moe style at a much heightened sense of fun-ball tempo. This does play right into Buzz’s Wing basked offensive sets; although Hokie wingspan itself is found, wanting. As we are well south of skyscraping Duke Three through Four/Five. And that makes this one a tough one to get a handle, on.

And yet then we see that each team is averaging precisely 77.2 ppg in their last five. Or in other words -even with the VT+12 Vegas line- this one pegs pretty dang close to dead even; if not on to extra innings.

So flip that coin once again and if you do not like the results flip it best two outta three. Though if you ask me? I do know it is next to umpossible to beat Duke @Duke.

Tho’ I’ve flipped for my hommie J.Rob’ at the One and Wilson as a bankrupt man’s Norman Nixon riding shotgun and roughshod down @Duke!

(68% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=88, Duke=85







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