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#30 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #53 R.P.I. Clemson: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball takes to the road to take on Atlantic division Clemson for this Saturday high noon ESPN2 matinee kickoff.

The Hokies are hobbled, lame and limping/gimping 306 miles so-by-so-west into this one to put it mildly (may Coach God Bless). Whereas the Tigers check in at 14 up and 8 down in Atlantic Coast Club play this campaign. As Clemson has yo-yo’ed all year though has been a little bit more sprite of late. Nevertheless, what you wanna know is who is gonna win this game, right? Read on, to find… out!

Clemson Head CoachBradley Robert Brownell: age=50, 327–206 (.614) overall,
160–121 (.569) at Clemson.

Baller Brownell played high school basketball at William Henry Harrison High School (Evansville Indiana) with current Saint Louis University assistant coach and Indiana University legend Calbert Cheaney. Backcourt baller Brownell balled and graduated from DePauw University in 1991, he earned three letters at DePauw University, a Division III school in Greencastle, Ind. He ranks seventh in school history with 332 career assists. He led the Tigers in dimes three straight seasons, while also leading DePauw in steals as a junior in 1989-90. Then completed his degree at the University of Indianapolis in 1994. Thereafter Brownell immediately went into apprenticeship (i.e. assistant) coaching after graduation.

Coach Brownell was named the U.N.C. Wilmington head coach in 2002, after having won a master’s degree and having been a U.N.C.-W. an assistant coach from 1991 to 2002. Brownell’s U.n.c.-Wil’ teams made the big dance 50% of the time.

After that, he went to Wright State and amassed nothing less than a 21 win season before eventually snagging the Clemson job -in something of a surprising hire- in 2010.

At Clemson Brownell went dancing his very first season though he has only made the N.I.T. twice in the other seven years down in South Carolina. Coach Brownell teams have won six conference championships and he has won two conference coach of the year award’s himself. All of which were mid-major caliber and therefore all of which were prior to his power conference admission at Clemson. Ergo, therefore, to wit, some would say that Brad is sitting on something of at least a warm seat at the sporting moment. Coach Brownell has already spawned four D-1 coaching tree mid-major disciples, and his teams come with a defensive first reputation.

Daddy Brownell and his wife, Paula, have two daughters,
Abby (18), a student at Clemson; and Kate (16).

Clemson at a glance:

  • 44th in scoring D (65.7 ppg allowed).
  • 67th in FG percentage O (46.9%).
  • 77th in Rebounding Margin (+3.8 rpg).
  • 83rd in swats (4.1 bpg).
  • 97th in FG percentage D (42.1% allowed).
  • 315th in 3-point attempts (∑=405) (i.e. G.State this, ain’t).
  • (most) everything else C+++ to D+++. Pretty vanilla after ^that^.
  • 2 injuries listed (twice Coach God bless)!

Tiger Returning Starters=3

Clemson Strengths:

  • NOTICEABLY, more physical, stronger, strengthier team this year. Really hit the weight-room S&C off-season gains. As the Hilgirth of hoops lives, here!
  • One #2, Marcquise Reed is a 6′3″, 188 lb., r-Sr., Robert Morris transfer Wing who is said to be a pure outside shooter and not a whole whole lot beyond that. However, he is enough beyond that for this no.2 to be no.1 in scoring (19.1 ppg) as a lotta teams wish they were dealing with Mister Reed’s (semi) incomplete all-around game problems. Because last year this said to be just a pure shooter… became just the first Tiger since Billy Williams in 1980 to post 500 points, 100 rebounds, 50 assists, and 50 steals in the same season. Yah; I’d say that at least all-’round mini-me counts as big things were expected of a Ro.Morris rookie who sat two years ago after transferring after dropping almost 16 ppg as a nugget or rookie year baller at Robert Morris. Improving things have been delivered at Clemson; as his now near 20 ppg on a serviceable 33% from downtown really ain’t too dang bad; this after being well known as a high school blowtorch scorer routinely averaging 30’s and 40’s in a smaller part of Maryland H.S. ball. Now mix in 5.2 rpg and 3.3 apg and that’s just outright solid efforting from the North Eastern Conference rookie of the year two seasons ago. Nevertheless, Clemson could use more of Reed’s high scoring scholastic showcase offensively ballistic ways; and sooner=better, here. Still yet, make no misQ, this is not half-bad work from a kid with a degree as a self-made man and a kid who only had a Drexel and a Florida Gulf Coast offer coming outta high school (+Ro.Morris of course). And who has a rap for not having the best handles in the game (2.9 tpg).

    The Terran E.T.
  • 6′9″, 245 lb. turnkey senior year physically ready Dallas Tx., native P/F Elijah Thomas (pic) is back as the prime frontcourt baller for coach Brownell. This after missing the first nine games of the 2016 campaign due to a curious half a calendar year NC2A eligibility ruling after transferring post some off-court trouble at aTm. Thomas was a unanimous Top-50 recruit who currently antes you an improving 13.5 ppg with a team pacing 7.8 rpg, 2 swats (1.9 bpg) and he is up eleven-percent this campaign to virtually 66% overall— good or should I type: “great” for second-best in shooting in the A.c.c. This from the #2 Texas roundballer in scholastic terms just three seasons ago, who was was Rivals’ no.29 overall, who went for nearly 30/15 per game along the way to picking up a AAAAA (penta-A) everything is bigger championship ring in Dallas his senior year –as this Elijah kid is supposed to be Prophetically good, even if he has collegiality yo-yo’ed a bit prior to this season so far. As he did add nearly 12 lbs. of right-mass this offseason and that makes his interior game even more reliable/forceful than ever.
  • Vandy transfer and dynamic Pt.Guard, the 6′4″, 200 lb., r-Sr. year Shelton Mitchell is back after several brushes with and having been hospitalized due to concussion protocol; yikes; and may St.Demas bless and intercede. As his 11.2 ppg and near team-leading, 3.1 dimes are solid enough although his 3-point netting has dropped nearly ten-percent this year and is now down to 28% from beyond the arc. Even if some 3-point shooting has been L some 15 odd lbs. of sinew has been found and that leaves you wondering out loud if this finesse shooter type baller bulked up too much? As Shelly is an inside-out type scoring One who is said to want for the mid-range game and a little defense to boot. Now mix in 38% overall and the term: “senior slump” does spring to mind here. Godspeed @Shelly as the no.76 overall ESPN recruit does have a history of torn meniscus’ and that plus the extra mass may be a kinetic-linking Bridge Too Far.
  • Sophmoric Aamir Simms is a 6′7″, 248 lb. former lean-bean P/F or S/F ‘tweener who somehow gave back an inch and found a staggering 45 pounds. since inking with Clemson! The tag here reads that Simms is a springy internal baller who can defense and rebound and finish close on the ring (rulebook for: rim). That said, in spite of his seeming lack of offensive polish (9.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg with 34% deep); Lindy’s did rate Simms the alpha recruit in Clemson’s recruiting class two years ago and that does not suck. However, Simms is yet another Commonwealth (Palmyra, Va.) escapee; who sure (now) looks the physical part on film. Aamir was the no.89 baller outta high school per Rivals; and penultimate Va. H.S. baller a year ago; who won two Va. state titles in three years. And did I mention the sinew gain yet? As this kid (now) looks like a mini-me LeBron; or at least a Baltic Avenue one.

Clemson Weaknesses:

  • 3o4 native Donte Grantham, Gabe DeVoe, Mark Donnell, and David Skara and their combined 40 ppg and 13 rpg are all gone.
  • 6′10″, 244 lb. r-Jr. year P/F and UNC-Ashville transfer baller Jonathan Baehre is done for the duration due to “eligibility” concerns. Likewise done are his shot-blocking (1.9 bpg) his 7.4 ppg and his 5.6 rpg in low-post relief.
  • Malik William is a 6′8″, 226 lb. out “indefinitely” with a concussion. God help. Malik is an elite Point-Forward passing high-post kinda Bird/Dirk hybrid baller who can Qb an O from the frontcourt down-low or on the high-elbow. A most useful facilitator type of baller in a most unusual spot.
  • i.e. Clemson is now shorthanded on big-man depth.

Tiger Bench: (depth=~4 ballers)

Clyde Trapp 6′4″, 196 lb. sophomoric and rather animated sideline showman extraordinaire. As “all the world’s a stage” and Trapp plays many roles here. As an athletic combo-G who nets you 6.8 ppg with 3.3 caroms and a couple of dimes (1.7 apg) dropped. This with 33% when dialing long-distance and adding more and more distance to the same (length on his J). Trapp does enjoy an AAAA So.Carolina state championship bling though he had more of a distributing scholastic rep’ and a tag for stepping it up in his bigger H.S. games.

6′5″, 197 lb. rookie voting year or nugget t-Fr. John Newman III is a Wing with a rep’ for soaring type of dunking. J.New’ is said to be a throwback mid-range guy who can get stops as a defensive ace goes to boot. Now mix in 2.4 ppg on 43% long and enjoy the open-court show when #15 breaks windmill dunk from the hipster, free (i.e. he young Kobe dunks from the hip)! And oh “yes”, the no.42 ESPN peg and a threepeat in state titles does, not, suck. As Newman III had so many individual accolades/awards that I got tired of adding them up. (20-something additively when I stopped, counting).

Beating Clemson on the Atlantic Divisional road is all about... what?

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Tigers who could roar @Tech=at least 2, prolly, 3.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… these 2019 Tigers really are a two-headed monster as Reed and Thomas go. Tho’ you do gotta tame ’em both to truly be sure you have a pretty fair to middling chance to catch this Tiger by the tail.

As I gotta say… even though I do wanna favor the (formerly) great Buzzketball backcourt skillset here… even at full O&M strength, Clemson has the look-n-feel of a team that plays well, ugly.

The kind that knows how to go for a roll in the mud and come up lipstick at the end of farmer Brown’s day.

    As both teams are a bit wounded, gimpy and limpy here, this one could be a race to sixty, or even a Smokey and the Bandit type of contest or a race to double-nickels (fifty-five).

First team there, wins!


Clemson is .833 (10-2) at home whereas V.Tech is .5oo (3-3) in your house. The Hokies are (still) up +3 on R&R in the last fortnight of ball.

Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame posits, avers and connotes… and is calling for -a seemingly umpossible- 48 point Hokie VicTory. Though it does clearly state that V.Tech has fared much better head-to-head vs. in common round-robin A.c.c. opponents thus far than Clemson has. (even if the total seems fictional indeed).

The year-to-date annualized trends say that… V.Tech is +3% on shooting percentage margin overall, +13% on 3-point percentage margin, although Clemson is up +3 boards in rebounding margin for the season.

However, the most recent 5-game movements indicate that… Clemson is now up +3% on shooting percentage margin from the floor in the last two weeks, with V.Tech now up +6% on 3-point percentage margin with the Tigers nearly holding steady now up +2 carroms in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of the scrum. (i.e. this is all code for Clemson being a bit more efficacious overall on O of late and a little tighter as a halt-unit as well)

With the Gobblers +4% on FT-percentage for the duration.

the call
The Tigers have been a streaky team thus far this season… they opened with a 5-game win streak, drop two-in-a-row, got to another quad-win-streak, then dropped three more in a row, won one, dropped two more in a row, and now have come back up off the schinde -again- and posted back to back triumphs.

So this Clemson club is either: “resilient” or “inconsistent”; take thy sporting pick.

Upon further inspection, however… we discover the Clemson has only been in tight in two of their L’s. Beaten by multi shots or double-digits in all the rest. Or maybe these Tigers cannot change their… spots.

As their L’ing efforts are generally pretty spotty as they are getting straight beat(en) on the up-n-up. (not woulda, coulda, shoulda type hooping outcomes). Well done. Utensils, plural in ’em.

  • In the last game, the Hokies got 12 entire minutes from their 1-man bench or six-man-rotation. i.e. the starters went for 94% of the duration— i.e. late fatigue and/or fading is a real live concern for just as long as the Buzzketball bench remains this, short.
  • A whopping 10 2nd-half turnovers last time out vs. L’ville spoke to ^this^.
  • the A.c.c. whispers have been praising the “activity level” and “energy” -if not the performance- of the Tigers of late. (meaning: this team plays a mean efforting game W or L)
  • Virginia Tech leads the all-time series 19-15 and has won the last four meetings.

In this one, if healthy I’d be picking us/V.Tech to win, even out on the A.c.c. road where -as Will has schooled us all- where the Atlantic Coast Cost is no better than three dimes on the dollar for the visiting team. Or a .3oo win percentage surcharge when traveling for A.c.c. play.

As frankly speaking… our Top-8 can go and beat their Top-8.

The only kicker is… our Top-8 is much closer to being our rather insalubrious top-4 right now and that brings any hosting/homecourt A-game punch from the Tigers Top-2 (Reid & Thomas) within striking distance indeed.

Just depends if you feel like our revamped Offense pitch-hits or strikes, out.
(to mix my sporting metaphor)

(53% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=65, Clemson=68