Virginia Tech Iowa basketball preview

#267 R.P.I. Iowa  @ #138 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball hosts the Iowa Hawkeyes for the annual made for TV Big-10/A.c.c. Challenge this Tuesday night in Cassell Coliseum at 9 PM, on ESPN2/ESPN3.

The Hokies have dropped one and the Hawkeyes have dropped two: (Louisiana and U.A.B.). Iowa brings some smart Power Conference name pop to the table, and there is no way a W here hurts our March Madness chances one iota. As the Hawkeyes are a post season team; same as Virginia Tech; and that makes this one a sorting kinda game. As each side may just help the other sort their March 2018 plans out in a game such as this —as this is something of a selection committee contest. Read on to find out who sorts whom…

Iowa Head Coach: Francis John McCaffery: age=58, 389–278 overall, 138–1o1 at Iowa. Has a rep’ for: Guard heavy backcourt play and scoring; red-shirting to build age/experience up; courting fairly Caucasian teams; and doing more with less.
$1,800,000.oo (with $50-200k in bonuses)

Baller McCaffery played college basketball for one season at Wake Forest before transferring to Ivy League Penn. In his playing days, he acquired the nickname of “White Magic” as a slick passing Pt.Guard for the Quakers; deeyam and +several.

Coach McCaffery began his college coaching career with a stint at Penn as an assistant coach. McCaffery became an assistant coach at Lehigh in 1983. He was the youngest head coach in D-I when he was promoted to head coach in 1985. Following his career at Lehigh, McCaffery spent 11 years as an assistant at Notre Dame. In 1999, he became the head coach of the U.n.c. Greensboro Spartans. McCaffery had a 9o–87 record through six seasons. He led the Spartans to the Southern Conference Championship and the NCAA Tournament in 2oo1.

In his five seasons at Siena, McCaffery guided the Saints to four 20-win seasons, including three consecutive M.A.A.C. Regular-Season and Conference Tournament Championships. These resulted in three consecutive berths to the N.C.A.A. Tournament, in which the Saints defeated both Vanderbilt and Ohio State in the first rounds. McCaffery’s tenure at Siena is considered the greatest in program history as he revived a program that had a record of 6–24 prior to his arrival. He also maintained a 100% graduation rate for players completing their NCAA eligibility. McCaffery was introduced as the head coach of the Iowa Hawkeye’s on March 29, 201o. He has won 7 conference titles and was named the M.A.A.C. Coach of the Year in 2oo9. He has taken Iowa to the post-season every season except his first. And he has been to the post-season 12 times, including at least one NC2A bid at each school —not half bad.

McCaffery and his wife Margaret have four children: Sons Connor, Patrick and Jonathan, and a daughter, Marit. May St.Patrick bless (thyroid cancer); although Connor (red-shirting); was a 2o17 Top-100 recruiting class commit to dear old dad last spring.

Hawkeyes at a glance:

  • 12th most FTA’s (18o).
  • 24th in assists (18.7 apg).
  • 25th in 3-point shooting (42.7%).
  • 35th in shooting (5o.8%).
  • 47th in scoring O (85 ppg).
  • 71st in swats (4.7 bpg).
  • Only one stat (FT-shooting, 67.2%) was worse than 220th outta 351.

Hawkeye Returning Starters=4

Iowa Strengths:

  • There is experience here as said above, 80% of the Hawkeye’s 2o17 starters do return (less a 19 ppg scorer). Though it is still youthful experience as 2o17 was nearly a total rebuild.
  • Isaiah Moss is a 6′5″, 2o5 lb. lead-G or Wing who is pacing the Hawkeyes with a decent 15.8 ppg scoring lead. In his red-shirt second season from the streets of Chi-town; Isaiah is more parts shooter who can defender than he is pure alpha or lead scorer. Nearly being the national leader at 95% FTA’s and second on the team at 45% on his three’s and being second in swipes (1.1 spg) says so. The book on Isaiah says he’s been encouraged to go into: “attack mode” more this year; although he is merely 6th in FTA’s which tells you where he prefers to play; (i.e. outside). Though still yet, ~16 per from a kid who can shoot and defense with a solid all-around box score friendly game is never a bad thing.
  • 6′, 18o lb. Soph. year Pt.Guard and Jordan Bohannon and his second best 14.5 ppg on a team best 49% from deep do not suck. Neither did being named: 2o16 Iowa Mr. Basketball and Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year playing for Linn-Mar High School. Jordan is an Academic all-Conference baller who is a shooter by trade (88% FTA’s); although he does lead Iowa in dimes at 5.2 apg. All three older bro’s either played D-1 Qb or Pt.Guard and his dad was an old-school Hayden Fry Qb at Iowa once upon a time. Jordan was 1st-string all-Freshmen Big-10 last year and easily has the look and feel of a four year starting One who will only matriculate his overall numbers and never forget how to shoot. And he was a very sporty high school golfer if his weekends need something to do later on in the game of, Life.

    Luka is a BIG boy with some pretty big H.S. numbers.
  • Tyler Cook is a 6′9″, 255 lb. sophomoric banger who third in scoring at 13.8 ppg and second in board-work at 5.8 rpg. Tyler was set back and then set in a splint last year after fracturing his right index finger in practice. Nevertheless, he basically started every single game when he was healthy as a Big-10 rookie and not many can say that. Lindy’s calls Tyler a: “rim defender and defensive leader”; he is also a decent enough post-scorer who nets a sharp looking 59% of his shots. He was a 2o16 Missouri Class 5 state champion and he does have a few outburst scoring moments here and there.
  • One #55, Luka Garza leads Iowa in rebounding at 8.2 caroms and is forth in scoring with 9.8 ppg. Luka is a 6′11″, 238 lb. P/F-C who is a first year baller with Slovakian family ties if his Christian name has you wondering. He was just named as the 2o17 Gatorade D.C. Boys Basketball player of the Year which is no small feat, considering the numbers game in/around our nation’s Capitol. The book on Luka says he’s versatile at both ends of the floor and his team leading 2.0 bpg on 56% shooting are nice additions/fillers to a solid overall game. This Garza kid and Bohannon both put up some sharp looking scholastic digits and are worth watching for come 2o2o.
  • The four game European Tour allowance this past summer did not hurt Iowa’s 2o18 development here.

Iowa Weaknesses:

  • Three injuries already and a trinary God Bless.
  • 6′7″, 235 lb. muscular S/F Amhad Wagner (shoulder) is listed as: “Questionable” for this one. He’s a reserve who brings 5 ppg and almost 4 boards worth of pine-squad help. Wagner has great Swing defensive length and athleticism; as this guys a stopper and any O is leftover Turkey day gravy here.
  • Connor McCaffry is a 6′5″, 200 lb. reserve off-G who is the rarefied 2-sport star double-dipping in seams or baseball on the side. Yes he is the coach’s son and Connor is said to be very close to being a Top-100 recruit (for hoops) who is a big back-up Pt.G and S/F combo. (That’s not a typo, Connor does not play the 2). Although there seems to be some r-shirt tug-a-war (between the two sports) or disagreement here. That and one sprained ankle and his shooting, ball-handling and his hitting for power are all on the sideline or in the dugout as the case my be at least for the moment.
  • 6′7″, 210 lb. string-bean PF, Nicholas Baer (finger, back in a few weeks); was last years Big-10 Sixth Man of the Year award winner. 9 ppg, 6 caroms, and virtually 40% shooting from deep all gone; plus a lotta r-Sr. final-year leadership and lockeroom glue.
  • Iowa is not a bad defensive team, although they are not a great one either. As its more like the Hawkeye’s best defense is a pretty dang flowing offense.
  • Iowa has one that’s (1) senior baller (Dom Uhl, deutchsland) and he’s netting you a mere .8 ppg; i.e a super experienced club this, ain’t.

Hawkeye Bench: (depth=5)

Not sure I see any stars here, although this is a pretty deep bench and it is a frontcourt heavy bench at that. Maishe Dailey and Cordell Pemsl are the lead understudies here. Maishe is a 6′7″, 195 lb. springy leaper/finisher as an oversized 2 who will dunk on you if you let him. Dailey’s 5.8 ppg on 90% FT-shooting and 38% from deep are secondary to his athleticism as this kid is a Soph. scorer who is still developing more than just his up’s.

Cordell is a 6′8″, second season, 240 lb. pounder on the inside who is coming off of a summertime sports-hernia surgery (God Bless). 5 ppg on 5 Windex swipes with 55% shooting should only improve after he gutted out (bad pun, inset ____ here, check); after he gutted out not one; he gutted out two full groin tears last season. Yikes and St.Artemius (intestinal Saint); bless and intercede! Cordell is one tough kid to keep on keepin’ on with double-rips like that.

Beating Iowa as an 8 point betting favorite is all about... what?

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

Number of Hawkeyes who could start @Tech=2.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… yah; Virginia Tech hoops and coach Buzz look about ½ a notch or maybe even a full notch above the Iowa Hawkeyes in this one.

That being said, Iowa has had five days off and that should give their backcourt shooter’s fresh legs for Tuesday night as Iowa is not a team you wanna see get off to a crispy offensive start from downtown prior to the first TV timeout.


the skinny
Best I could tell there is not much separating these two power conference foes defensively speaking. As VT is .1% worse in FG defense overall and they are perfectly tied in defense of the 3-ball (32.3% allowed). Or as the Black Knight once put it… “Let’s call it a, draw.

On offensive however coach Buzz and company are a bit more offensive indeed; although, before I detail that, Iowa may not be The Citadel, however; they keeps a smart pace, they can bomb from the outside and don’t be surprised if the Bristol suit’s are slapping W.Disney a high-5 if this one lights-up the scoreboard and goes very entertaining in a hurry.

Now that all being rightfully said… Virginia Tech is the better shooting team from the floor by +7.1% (and yet Iowa shoots >50% themselves); and from beyond the arc by +6.9% (and yet Iowa shoots ~43% on long-distance). Do you see what I mean?

McCaffery’s a pretty good coach who is even better with G‘s.

the call...
What I mean is… this one has the potential to erupt into an A.B.A. Kentucky Colonels vs. New Jersey Nets 1970’s American Basketball Association original-school RW&B basketball shoot-out at the Ok Corral.

And if it does don’t die of shock if he who makes last laughs last because if you like scoring and seeing teams put the biscuit in the basket you’ve assuredly come to the right place.

This all conspires to tell me one of these two offensive juggernauts needs to “dee.dub” or “do work” on defense —or that one of these two scoring pinball wizard offensive-coaches is gonna introduce a new stop-unit wrinkle at just the right time to nick a high-scoring, output heavy contest, late.

I like coach Buzz’s chances to be that coach and I like them even more at home.

(65% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=95, Iowa=85




7 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. This is a must win for the Hokies….well at least this Hokie.

    Over 1/2 my office are part of that annoying black and yellow cult. To be honest, there is almost no difference between a Hawkeye and a Hoo. WE MUST WIN.

    1. Far out.
      You are out there in Iowa Vienna?

      Well, we need this W. No doubt about that.
      As @Mississippi and @Kentucky are quite possibly code for an o-2 look.

      Gotta get while the gettin’ is good as they say.


      1. We win 2/3 of Iowa, Miss., UK, this is one of the 2.

        We’re going to beat a team in blue on the road; question is which one?

      2. Yep, live about 40 mins from Iowa City (that’s where we have to go to Costco). Keep hoping we’ll play out here but best I’ve had was Purdue and ND.

  2. Va Tech’s own Glen Combs bombing away for the Kentucky Colonels-that man could really shoot!!

  3. Thank you sir! Mr. Combs was one of my early Hokie Hero’s growing up! IMO-he was pretty close to Dell Curry as a pure outside shooter….

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