#228 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #39 R.P.I.
Florida State is 13 up and 8 down on the year; and yet a pretty dang nifty 7-2 at home in Tallahassee. Virginia Tech is 1 for the year as the visitor and riding an o for 2014 L streak into tonight’s cross-Divisional Atlantic Coast match-up.
Although Florida State has dropped 4 of their last 5 for a reason; as this is not quite your momm’a F.S.U. defensive juggernaut hoops club as well. Though make no mistake, it is pretty dang close, just a little smaller upfront and a bit beat-up all around.
F.S.U. Backcourt: (returning starters=1 or 2)
- Devon Bookert: sharpshooting Point who is on some pre-season watch lists as Point-G’s go. 8.3 ppg., 2.9 assists and virtually 40% from the 3-point line; this after only being 52.5% from downtown last season! Bookert is an Alaskan refugee gone lower-48 baller where the indoor heated aspects of roundball had its advantages/attractions. No word on his pipeline stipend; though he is said to be rich in a pass-first mentality, and he was the Gatorade Alaskan Player of the Year.
- Montay Brandon: tallish (6/7) well hewn (219 lb.) 2-guard; thus making him a natural for F.s.u.’s best backcourt defender; generates a buncha deflections on opponents passes. Can slide over and play the 1 in a pinch. Real match-up problem at the Two for most opponents; knocks down 8.9 ppg with a second-best 5.1 rebounds. Has been a bit off from 3-point land at a mere 27%; this after adding 20 lbs. of sinew and that may have had a bulked up effect on his smooth. Almost more of a Wing than he is a Two according to Lindy’s magazine.
- Star G and leading scorer (Ian Miller) is a game-time decision with a rolled ankle and a history of the same. He is F.s.u.’s Alpha in points (12.4 ppg), 3.2 dimes, and in FT shooting at 87% alike. Early word says he was still on crutches yesterday and that he (now) may have to indeed sit this one out. This now on top of a history of podiatry (or feet) injuries and of FSU.edu classroom eligibility issues; as this Miller-time can play the game unless his grades and/or health say he can not
F.S.U. Frontcourt: (starters back=1 (Turpin is doneski) of 3)
- Boris Bojanovsky is a Slovak by nationally and a reduncklus near 7’4’’ 240 lb. Center by trade. Does have some legitimate quicks and yet he does need some legitimate technique work as well. Tallest basketball player, ever, in the history of Seminole hoops; so there is that! 5.9 ppg, 3.1 rebounds and virtually a pure 2 blocks per contest paint a development picture; though this simply a towering Center and another nightmarish match-up for coach J’s to negotiate
- Robert Gilchrist, high energy baller, with some stretch-Forward dimensions to his game. 7’3’’ wingspan is not hurting anything either; nor is his exception speed as this long-armed 4.3 ppg scorer who can run like a gazelle. Gilchrist hails from jolly ole London England and he does find his way to 2.5 rpg despite his nearly A.c.c. low 31% from the FT-stripe. Polk State College graduate, and therefore JuCo transfer, now pursuing his “seconds” as they say across the pond and in my late mum’s family.
- Okaro White, Clearwater native, who does a little bit of everything as the inherited team leader and he does pretty much everything rather well. Okaro is currently second in scoring at 12.6 ppg, first in board-work at 6.7 rebounds per. Can dominate the game at both ends; at times; and is said to be true athletic freak via coach God’s Intelligent Design; as not everyone has this kids raw testing Attributes with a capital “A”. Strength, size, speed, quicks and an impressive basketball acumen. Seems to enjoy the intensity of the big game spot-light and thrive accordingly.
p.s. F.S.U.’s third 7’ warhorse (Kyle Turpin; no relation) is out for the year with chronic knee issues; so as big and nasty big at that, as Coach Hamilton’s crew is, they could easily be even larger; and this guy was the starting C last campaign
Jarquez Smith, Michael Ojo, Aaron Thomas, a Forward, a Center and a G off the F.s.u. pine are a pretty balanced substituted rotation to me.
- Smith is a 2-Guard turned P/F thanks to a 6’’ growth explosion his last year in high school; so this one truly is a stretch-Forward who gets shooting the rock. He was also a consensus top-75 pick outta high school and nets you 3.1 ppg and scrapes up 1.8 boards while he is at it. Quite the competitor, with a Dan Marion cross-sport quick-release, and more mobility than the Four position would traditionally suggest.
- #50 Ojo: 7’1 296 lbs. of true-center is a pretty damn big big-man indeed; and a match-up near impossibly for coach J’s. Ojo needs pulmonary or lung-work, needs quickness and agility drilling as well. Though Ojo does not want for strength; as dude is said to be strong like Nigerian bull! 3 ppg, 3.8 boards and 1 block really does not suck in only 12 minutes of play; and you have to wonder why Ojo was removed from the starting line-up in the first place? As how often do you sit a 7’9’’ wingspan down???
- Thomas: is actually third in scoring at 12.5 ppg and first from beyond the arc at 40% from downtown. That’s fair to middling A.c.c. starting production, never mind from a sub’. Thomas may well be the most talented backcourter on the court for either team, and some say he has a Professional future in the making. Thomas attacks the basket while simultaneously employing a ‘feathery” touch from the outside. Very keen looking combo player who is therefore tough to shade or over-play in terms of tendencies.
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
Florida State is a bigger hoops team than I had thought on film, and they are less athletic than they once were as well. A bit plodding in their rotations at times; though so much north-south skyscraping verticality tends to work out just like that. Eight best in FG-percentage defense allowed (@ 37.9%) says so!
This team also ambushed me by being 47th best in FG-percentage from the floor (47.2% overall). That’s not a traditional Hamilton team either; not so far as history teaches us anywho. And yet there is still something very Georgetown about F.S.U. As the ‘noles still employ the industry of legitimate 7’ plus dinosaurs otherwise known as true-Centers down in the post. That may be a bit Big East of them, though it damn sure is a touch A.c.c. match-up for coach J’s and Vah.Tech.
Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide is only (so to speak) only predicting a 10.5 point Seminole victory in this one folks. And yet VT averages 55 away points per game on 38% shooting and F.s.u. allows 38% shooting at home. I’d call that ominous indeed; as try as I might; I could not synthesize a credible reason to pick Virginia Tech for the upset in this one.
(89% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=49, Florida State=68