Virginia Tech Duke basketball preview

#4 R.P.I. Duke @ #58 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball tries to pick itself back up at home vs. all-world Duke after a rather upsetting Saturday afternoon down in the New River Valley vs. formerly all-North America Louisville.

The Hokies are coming off of the Hokiebird laying a final 20 minute(s) shooting egg vs. the Cardinals and now must make the Association ‘esque short ~53 hour turn to play vs. possibly the best overall offensive unit in the Atlantic Coast Conference. As the 24 up and 5 down Dukies can and will put the biscuit in the basket. Though you want to know how Buzz and company will rebound from the Lville L and what will happen at 7pm on ESPN and streaming on ESPN3; right? Well 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 15.3 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 (1.5 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 (43% 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 3.3 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. (UPDATE: or up slightly since we last faced Allen)
    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 11.2 rpg sans truly splashy talent(s). Now mix in 1.1 bpg on 60% shooting and a decent 35% from downtown with one swipe and one swat 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 37″ whispered vertical 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) per his 4 game presene of his absence; although he is probable for Monday day night and or even since we did not see him last)
  • Gary Trent Jr. is a 6′6″, 2o9 lb. rook’ off-Guard who is dropping a second best 14.7 ppg (already) with 4.2 caroms on a sizzling 44% from range (already)! Now mix in 42% overall and 88% on his FTA’s and you can see why coach-K says he has another pure shooter on his hands. Plus Trent Jr. is almost senior or second in swipes (1.3 spg). 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. And oh yes, he’s a pretty dang clutch, azz, mug’: G.Trent Jr. is 29-of-30 from the foul line in the last five minutes of regulation or overtime; snap! (UPDATE: just a smidgen in the last couple of weeks)
  • 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 14.6 ppg and 9.6 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” at 58% shooting 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. (UPDATE: pretty well flat or in the meantime)
  • 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).
  • Ahhhhhh, errrrrrrr, ahhhhhhh… that’s about all I gots; you?

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 4.4 boards and a block on 61% in relief if you need him. (UPDATE: is rebounding better of late, )

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.o 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 53% 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. (UPDATE: might be down just a scosche, )

The key to upsetting #5 Duke as a 5 point home dog is

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Dukies who could start @Tech=7.

the takeaway:

“S (hooters) happens…”

Yah; Roger that, big 10-4 good buddies and no shoot!

Just ask our nearly 12% second-half shooting from deep vs. Louisville in an erstwhile even ballgame at the intermission if you don’t believe me yet.

The other thing for the Coach Mulder in you to addle your minds upon all the more is the only other thing I know about this 2017-2018 mens hoops team…

…is that I know next to nothing about this 2017-2018 mens hoops team. Or at least nobody this side of Coach God knows when they will start raining 45% 3’s … or when they will experience their next shooting, drought. Ditto when Buzz has gone Philip Jax of “da Bulls” and Lakers fame and zenned his way into a team wide Chi storm or energy zone. Might be this game ¦ might be the next game; might even be the Clemson game. (As it it not umpossible to opine we could be done winning this spring…)

That said, I do know that Duke sets a very friendly offensive pace; that this N.b.a. short turn is at home; and I know that Duke has improved since we last saw them. And if anyone tells you they know anything beyond that? You tell them that even though you are no carpenter, even you know that: “lying is for, rugs.”


the skinny...

Duke is .6oo as the visitor and Virginia Tech is .764 as the host.

The seasonal stats are a +/- 1% awash everywhere except Rebounding Margin where Duke is up +11 boards. The Home/Away splits pit Tech up by a serviceable +4% from the floor, with both teams virtually even from beyond the arc, though sojourning Duke is modestly up +2 rebounding margin edge. The last 5-games say that overall shooting is nearly even (+1% Duke); that 3-point shooting (+1% V.Tech) is nearly even; and Duke owns the glass at +15 boards. The Dukie A.c.c. margin is a now up to a never seen before and downright astoundingly brutal +181 points to the great | and the Hokie A.c.c. margin is still trading underwater -and now regressing again- at 18 points.

Tech is however up +a few traveling hours on rests and +1 off day in the last 10 days; the charity-stripe is nearly even for the duration, however Duke is up a backbreaking +21% on FTA’s in the last five!

And oh yes, our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide is merely calling for a +139 point Duke margin; WOWOW; just, wow.

Hope I look this young at 65; never mind seven–o.

the call

Aye, it is true, #5 Duke has won their last 5 contests; they have nearly won them all running away and yah; that’s about as peaked as Duke gets. Yet, Duke has been beaten by 10 points combined or by not more than two shots as the crow flies on the year— or to put it another way? This is a Final-4 team.

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.

That’s what I wrote last time and it stands no less tall this time around. As Duke is a bad, bad, bad stretch Kentucky match-up; albeit a better coached and more talented one. All the mo’ so with Duke summoning their inner ‘Quse and going (nearly) exclusively with a Zone(s) defense in the last fortnight of scrumming. On top of that, Bag’s III is back; and Buzzketball has allowed at least ten 3-pointers in 12 of our 16 A.c.c. games. Or in other words… Coach Spock and I science-fact know we do not match-up well on the inside, and if we do not cover the outside…

That and than we see that Virginia Tech basketball is down by 17 ppg on average in their last five; whereas Duke is choking peeps out by allowing a mere double-nickel or 55 ppg on 35% shooting in their last penta-contests.

Ballgame folks; and the only remaining Q is… as we are only likely to face more talented teams from here on out… are, we, done, winning?

(86% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=63, Duke=79




8 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Ok, Street….coach a push? Re-read your opening. Buzz is a good coach….but “push” vs. “K”? Credibility, man. Go Hokies! Glad the game is not on a Saturday.

    1. I know.
      The resumes, golds, titles all say so.

      Yah; I may rethink that one.
      (though I have Buzz very high up there, he’s doing more with his, less)


    1. Bobby Knight and Army would prolly think not.
      Though any more? In today’s world?

      …who knows?


    1. That’s what it is gonna take.

      We could (possibly) be their last let-down-trap before A.c.c. Tourney play.


  2. My keys
    cut the missed layups in half…. 8 or 9 uncontested missed last time we played
    take advantage of FT
    KBJ no silly fouls………….. I can handle the ones contesting shots but those ticky tack ones 30 ft from the rim kill me
    hopefully will rain three’s and fast break pts

    1. Yup.
      We need all of that Coach.

      NO real margin of error vs. a pure offensive electric company like Duke.
      i.e. they will get theirs, you must score with them.

      Hook with a hooker, if you will.
      Which is dangerous indeed.


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