Virginia Tech Radford basketball preview:

#145 R.P.I. Radford @ #1o2 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns home after a grim, gamey, gutty looking win in extra innings down in Mississippi on what was nearly a rebellious day indeed.

The Hokies impressed me and reminded me of what Jerry West said best describes truly championship teams at basketball camp way way back when… first, they go ahead beat the damn breaks off of the bad teams they face and they themselves find a way to win when they don’t play their best. As our first-half at Mississippi was not our best; and yet here is another chance to beat the breaks off of a not so good hoops team right before Fall Semester final exams begin. Will Virginia Tech rout fellow D-1 New River Valley neighbor and 4 up and 3 down Radford at 6pm on ACCNetwork Extra this Wednesday night? Read on to find, out…

Radford Head Coach: Michael Ray Jones: age=52, 93-1o3 overall and at Radford. Has a rep’ for: some recruiting and something of a backcourt coach.

Basketball Jones was a four-year standout baller at Howard University in hoops, where he forged a connection with fellow Howard alumnus, (now, Coach) Dennis Felton (’85), who he calls the biggest influence on his coaching career.

Student Jones graduated Howard in 199o; as a Zoology major -of all the never seen on a coaching resume before things- afterwards he began his coaching career as a high school coach at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. before moving to the collegiate ranks at his alma mater in 1994. Then Coach Jones was on to Furman and he also worked under John Beilein at Richmond and at hateful w.v.u. He had stints at V.C.U. with Shaka Smart and later under his mentor coach Felton down at Georgia. So Coach Mike got some quality clipboard come-up tutelage along the way.

Coach Mike twice guided Radford to back-to-back C.B.I. quarter finals in March of 2o14 and again in March of 2o15. Other than that, .5oo has been a struggle at Radford most seasons.

Jones’ father, Jimmy, was a star guard in the A.B.A. from 1967-74. In 1974, Jimmy Jones signed with the Washington Bullets in the N.b.a. where he remained until 1977. Daddy Jones’ married well with Dr. Sharon Blackwell Jones; they have two children: Nate and Miles.

Radford at a glance:

  • 71st most 3-point makes per game (9.1 made 3’s/game).
  • 81st in offensive rebounding (12.3 o-rpg).
  • 1o9th in 3-point shooting (37% makes).
  • 111th in scoring D (68.6 ppg allowed).
  • 278th in scoring O (69.3 ppg).
  • 319th in Steals (3.6 spg).
  • 331st in FT makes (not a penetrating team).

Highlander Returning Starters=5.

Radford Strengths:

  • Experience is not wanting, as not only do the five 2o17 starters return, the entire Top-8 Highlander rotation is back as well.
  • One #24, Ed Polite Jr. is the lowercase alpha Highlander here and as you will see, scoring is something Radford needs in the most impolite way. At 6′5″ and 205 lbs. this third year off-G or Three leads Radford in scoring (12.9 ppg) and in rebounding (8.1 rpg) at a sporty enough 47% from the floor. As Mister Polite also leads Radford in FTA’s (79%), steals (1.3) and with a whopping 1.9 swats per contest. That all reads sharp enough. although he’s also a mere 14% 3-point shooter and suddenly his all-around game takes a dip. Polite has a knack on the offensive-glass, finishing 40th best in American at such last year; and he’s prolly the only kid here who would be a threat to crack Buzz’s rotation. Though that lack of range just sticks out like a sore thumb on this muscular looking glider who is listed 1st-team all-Big South by Lindy’s.

    RU‘s M.J.
  • 6′ and 168 lb. Carlik Jones is a first time r-Fr. Pt.Guard who appears to have surprised a bit as the silver medalist in scoring thus far while netting a respectable 10.4 ppg in his seven game old collegiate career. Though from what little I could find on this kid, scoring is his thang. At least in scholastic terms where he was a Cincy inner-city baller from Ohio who was known as a outburst scorer. As 40’s and even a 57 point games were not uncommon to this basketball Jones coming up. Now mix in 3 boards and the meager looking team lead in dimes dropped at 2.4 apg to go with a very lucrative 48% from downtown and you have to wonder what this shortie who is long on firehouse type numbers is gonna up to come March 2o21?
  • Donald Hicks is a sophomoric 6′3″ and 17o lb. 2-Guard of in-state Oscar Smith fame who was famed for his late game heroics. As this is a clutch kid with the ability to make championship winning shots. 9.3 ppg, with 4 caroms and a very nifty 46% from range on his 3-point J.

Radford Weaknesses:

  • Just not a lotta scoring or O here; and frankly there is not a go-to-guy to rely upon as a numbers getter. Kinda like the Fu’fense at Rb, this is a very limited RU offensive via committee.
  • For all that aforementioned experience in return; there is more experienced takers than makers here. As the Top-4 Radford rotational Guard’s all shot ≤40% from the floor last campaign.
  • Former and potential starting One Devin Cooper’s knee blow-out (God Bless) hurt things last year and the same is not helping anything this year. As this 6′1″ and 179 lb. Pt.Guard was hoped -even expected- to do much more than 6 token minutes and 1.5 ppg.
  • VERY bantamweight looking backcourt here, small team less one back-up C in terms of both height and volume/mass overall.

Highlander Bench: (depth=about 5 deep)

Honestly, there ain’t much to write about here as their ain’t much production to keyboard in for the Highlander pine-squad. As every relief pitcher nets between 1.something and 5.2 ppg; or not much, not much at all as offense goes to be substitute direct.

I suppose the best of the lot is prolly 5′8″ and 15o lb. Old Dominion transfer Pt.Guard Travis Fields Jr. and his second best 3.9 rpg. Travis was indeed a member of the AA dominate threepeat I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Va. triple-header titlist team. Fields Jr. was the Tidewater Player of the Year two seasons ago and yet his 30% from the floor or his 33% beyond the arc could stand some work, not to mention some more Tidewater mending of nets.

Or maybe the best back-up baller it is actually Devonnte Holland, and he at least looks the part with his 6′7″ and 24o lb. frame. Holland, who is not from the Netherlands, is also Martinsville (Va.) high school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder and you have to wonder if Radford was hoping for more from a guy who put up some pretty decent looking high to mid-teen type scholastic double-doubles.

Virginia Tech hoops and Buzz are now honestly... what???

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

Number of Highlanders who could start @Tech=none.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… well, if brevity is your thing you’ve -perhaps for a change- come to the right (closing) place.

As I read my previews here, I was nearly trying, digging, hoping; to find something interesting, enlightening, or something to write about Radford hoops and their potential upset chances here.


Not so much on my attempt(s); as to be quite honest… I could see why Vegas might not line this game and/or list it as being: “OFF”.

As Virginia Tech basketball and coach Buzz would have to be very very off -think multi year offensively frigid shooting night- in order for such an offensive challenged club {sic: RU} to run with such a offensively gifted squad {sic: VT}.

the call

Average coach with at least B+ theatrics…

I suppose Buzz and company could be prepping for final exams and miss this Radford announced pop-quiz, I suppose the Hindenburg could dive-bomb the R.M.S. Titanic, and I suppose if my Aunt Kim and nutz and a bolt she’d be my… Uncle, Tim.

Yah; yah; and beyond that I just do not suppose how these Highlanders can muster enough points to usurp the crown otherwise known as the Atlantic Coast’s potential rising star here.

Not even the ultimate Highlandertrix poster-girl and totally self-uppity Claire Fraser could get Jamie in enough trouble for Virginia Tech to get beat here. Well, actually maybe Claire could as disobedient cattiness goes though I digress…

Suffice it to say that unless we forget when this game kicks off, or can not make a “2” with a pencil we are gonna win here, we are almost surely gonna win going away and that means that the only real ask is… by just how much?

The short answer is… by a lot; if not by many.

(96% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=92, Radford=66




2 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. Well thank you!
      Nicest compliment I’ve got all year.

      Humbled and grateful—–>b.street!

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