#165 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #168 R.P.I. Wake Forest:
TV coverage: 2pm, ACCN
Vegas line: VT+6
$-line: bet $1 on VT to win $2.2o, bet $2.6o on Wake to win $1
Coach J’s boys hung around and messed around with Duke for a very solid looking first-half on Tuesday night. Coach J’s boys have won two of their last four when not playing a team ranked sixth best in the nation; or higher. Coach J’s and his boys have been experiencing some measure of betterment for weeks. Improvement, progression, development, enhancement, call it what you will, though do call it the close to the 2012-2013 Virginia Tech men’s basketball regular season. This from a team that damn sure could have easily let go the 9 game L streak rope; and they could have let go easily at that.
That brings us to today’s word. Today’s word is: confidence…
- full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed.
- belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance: His lack of confidence defeated him.
- certitude; assurance:
- a .6oo finish to the VT men’s basketball season over its final five games!
As I for one am entirely confident that there is a world of difference in a 3 up and 2 down finish; when compared to the obverse of the same. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Atlantic Coast Conference tourney game no.1
Wake Forest at a glance:
- 73rd in blocks (4.4)
- 258th in rebounding margin (-2.1)
- 272nd in 3-point FG percentage defense allowed (272%)
- 289th in FG percentage defense allowed (45.3%)
- 299th in Assist to Turnover ratio (0.76)
Wake Forest Frontcourt:
N.B.A. pros= 1, (Forward, 6`7“ 210 lb. Travis McKie, might slot overseas, though this guy is a skilful big and there is always room for that on somebodies court home or abroad)
Injuries= 1, (Daniel Green, out for the year, torn right-A.c.l., God bless! Danny was a 6`10, long, athletic, bouncy gazelle of a over-sized Wing now listed as a P.F/C combo. Real match-up problem if he could have ever added some right-mass at a mere 21o lbs., worker-bee and offensive rebounding machine; first team all-AAAAAA Texas as a scholastic senior)
Wake returns the Top-2, well, returning scores in the whole entire A.c.c. At least in 2012 close of business terms. #30 Mr. McKie who’s metrics are listed above, is a third year swap-meet forward who can play the three (Small-Forward) just as easily as he can man the four (Power-Forward). McKie is a Richmond Va. high school (John Marshall) Commonwealth escapee who is very good at Wake and likely would have been a frontcourt star at Vah.Tech. Travis is a long athletic Wing who can finish, and who can shoot at least a little bit on top of that at 33.7% from range. If you don’t believe my all-‘round vibe, check out Travis’ stat-line down at Wake. Right now he is barely second in scoring (13.9 ppg), second in boards with 7.2, first in steals with 1.3, second in blocks at 1, and second in FTA’s for the Dec’s with 141 FTA’s. 78% from the FT-stripe may not be A+++ epic, though it ain’t much below a B+ in today’s game either. Travis is also durable, having started every single collegiate game since he arrived on campus three autumns ago. Right now he is on pace to bust 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds this year! That does not suck and neither does one of the more dependable frontcourter’s in the A.c.c. right about now. Not bad for the 12th ranked small-forward outta high school; even if he is a Va.H.S. refugee.
Arnaud William Adala Moto -whose full name is pronounced “ar-NO ah-DAH-luh MO-toe”- is a Scrabble bonus points or Wheel of Forturne “I’d like to buy a vowel” 6`6“ 225 lb. rookie year Yaounde Cameroon native by trade who prep at Va.Episcopal on his way up. Mr. Moto’s game is about as diverse as his name; and that’s a pretty cool thing by Coach Jeff Bzdelik and me alike. Moto is a springy athlete who is considerably well muscled to be in his debut power conference season. Right now Mr. Moto is getting you 5.3 ppg and 4.o boards in a mere 16 minutes of starting line-up play. His shooting stat-line may be a little raw: what with 38% from the floor, 57% from the FT-stripe and 165% from downtown; however, this kids defense is anything less undercooked. In fact his 7`1“ wingspan as a Small-Forward is pretty well-done if you ask me. That means Mr. Moto can guard multiple positions and that means he is versatile to be sure. Recall that this kid was a Greenberg recruit just last year; and he prolly could have played soccer in college in addition to hoops. Lindy’s magazine is pretty high on this kid (and the likewise debut year McIntyre kid below) and that suggest that Wake is gonna be pretty good in 2-3 years time when this big ole freshman class cuts its baby-teeth and grows into some choppers that will really pack some 2016 bite. Devin Thomas the other frontcourt starter at 6`9“ and 24o lbs. and no, he is not to be confused with the Detroit Lions wide receiver. Devin is also a t-freshman and he is only leading the Deacons in rebounds with 7.7 boards and is already third in scoring at 8.7 ppg. To put it plain and simple, Devin is a energy player who brings toughs to the frontcourt down in Winston-Salem. This kid is something of a cross between an enforcer and a worker-bee and that’s quite a frontcourt cross-pollination in my book. Don’t believe that? Just ask his Keystone State (Pa.) high-light reel and his signature backboard shattering dunk (see: above pic)! Devin is a Koufax (lefty) and that gives him a natural shot-blocking defensive advantage vs. any right-handed shooter. Hence his team leadership in blocks 1.4 and his second best 1.o swipes per contest. Devin is a powerhouse low-post player whose strength and surprisingly keen footwork thrives in the paint and will be a match-up problem for the rest of the A.c.c. for years to come.
Wake Forest Backcourt:
Association pros=1, (Harris has some next level game)
C.J. Harris is a 6`3“ 190 lb. senior year baller homegrown from Winston-Salem itself. Cee.Jay is the extremely rare three-year team Captain and that right there tells you all you need to know about his leadership attributes in and of itself. C.J. is sixt in the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring and first on the Dec’s in the same at 14.8 ppg. Mr. Harris also gets you a couple of boards (2.2) and a couple of assists (1.9) and he is lighting it up from downtown at 40.7% on the 3-ball this year. C.J. is known for his defense, his ability to play both backcourt spots and his high basketball Intelligence Quotient. C.J. likewise pockets 45% from the floor and 86% from the FT-line. That’s borderline superlative for a baller who routinely plays so far away from the basket that he only has eight offensive rebounds on the year! C.J. is another former big-time V.P.I. recruit who is a national honor society member, a quad-A state champion and the 19th ranked point-guard coming outta the same a few years back. (READERs note: Mr. Harris’ numbers have truly declined since we saw him last; as he has been completely hit or miss with precious little in between. And that’s your in-game barometer right there sports-fans; the on Cee.Jay is gonna be a tough out; the off C.J. nearly does favor Vah.Tech)
Codi Miller-McIntyre stands in at 6`2“ and tips the Toledo’s at a bantamweight 17o freshmenic pounds. Codi is also the star of a very starry-eyed looking 2012 recruiting class down in Winston-Salem. Codi’s game is part strength, part raw talent, part athleticism and part leadership; and it is mighty hard to part company with all of that. McIntyre is also far more than an adequate and sharp-elbowed defender and that makes him rather complete at a rather precocious 18 years of Atlantic Coast age. Codi can play both the Point and the Shooting-Guard slots; although he is a Pt.Guard by trade. Right now Codi is said to have found a staggering 25 lbs. since high school and he appears to have also come up a full inch in stature. Coming into this one, Codi is posting 8.1 ppg and about half a handful of everything else. Miller-McIntyle can dribble-drive, he can shoot and he can dish; that makes him no less than well-rounded even if his first-year numbers might just be a scosche off the pace that some had speculated he would initially set. Some of you may recall that Codi is a Hargrave Military Academy kid, who was only the 9th ranked point-guard outta high school; and like so many others on this Wake Forest roster, he too said “no thanks” to his offer from deal ole V.P.I.Wake Forest Bench: (2 regulars, 2 spot minute players)
- Freshman Madison Jones is a 6’1” 170 lb. bantamweight true point-guard with a high basketball I.Q. Madison nets you 3.5 ppg, gets you 2.2 assists and is a starchy looking second best in steals with 1.3 part in thanks to his 6 and a half foot long arms (wingspan). He is also an honor roll student even if his hops (vertical leap) leaves something to be desired.
- Freshman Tyler Cavanaugh is a 6’9” 230 lb. right-sized power-forward outta New York. Ty’ is coming off of a summertime hairline fracture of his right-foot which has limited his Stretch-Forward shooting range. Even though he is still contributing with 5.5 ppg and 2.4 boards on a still somewhat lame looking 32% from the field. Ty’ was pegged as a Mid-Major D-1 caliber player by most and some considered this to be a stretch pick by Wake in terms of balling in the A.c.c.
- Freshman Aaron Roundtree III goes a string-bean 6’8” and a mere 19o lbs. Aaron is a versatile Forward in college who was a Magic Johnson sized pt.guard in scholastic terms. Aaron is long, he is lean and he is getting you 2.3 ppg and 1.8 boards and an assist in about 10 minutes per game. If his handles really are all that; I for one would love to see him creating match-up migraines as a 6’8” collegiate One (or pt.guard).
- Sophomore Chase Fischer is none other than a 3o4 native from Ripley West -by God- Virginia ! Chase is a 6’3” 195 lb. former Parade all-American and Dub.Vee (Wv.) player of the year. Chase is a smart looking outsider shooter who provides sniper savvy range at 44% from beyond the arc which is good for 4.3 ppg in about 7 minutes per half all the while nearly never turning the ball over.
Conclusion(s), illation, OPT digits:
Couple of things leap right out at when when studying up on this one folks…
- 1st: Wake has o-n-e, that’s 1 road win all year long!
- 2nd: however, Wake has won t-e-n @ home!
- 3rd: why? Wake is extremely young. S-i-x freshman in your top-8 or 9 playing rotation will do that.
- 4th: VT is actually plus o-n-e (+1) in rest for a change!
Now we come to the fact that Wake is a better basketball team when running at home. +6% in FG margin from the floor says so, as does an even smarter +8% FG margin from beyond the arc. Wake is however a couple of other things as well; namely, these Dec’s are only shooting 39% from the floor in their last 5 games, and they are getting pumped good and hard on the glass what with a -8 rebounding margin over the same time frame. That’s where that bonus 24 (hours) of rest may just come in handy in terms of helping Virginia Tech get its late-season legs back. And yes, that was a triple-double of an entendre indeed.
Accordingly, and right now, I have coach J’s and his boys as a minor underdog in this one as this one is being played out on the road down in Winston Salem North Carolina. However, late sources say that McIntyre is sick and will not play for Wake. That makes the Deacon rotation effectively -1 and that makes the +1 late-season rest advantage of Virginia Tech even bigger.
Now we arrive at the fact that the Forum Guide is predicting a Virginia Tech when for the first time in nearly t-h-r-e-e months! That’s pretty damn hard for me and Graham Houston (epic British boxing writer who invented the Forum Guide) to resist. This is a game set to be played between two middleocre teams. That makes for middleocre viewing and a middleocre win with Wake on a bit of a schnide of late; and Virginia Tech conversely on a bit of a rise of late as well; and in this one I’ll simply side with the better play who just so happens to play for Virginia Tech. Same score as last time; as last time worked well enough.
Virginia Tech=66, Wake Forest=65