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#1 R.P.I. Duke #29 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns from (successfully) going ’round (the South) Bend to merely host the #1 team in all the land on Tuesday night at 7 pm on ESPN. That’s, all.

The Hokies play the homesteading Game of the Year vs. the very likely team to beat this year as field-of-64/68 bracketology goes. Although there Eye goes again putting the fleeting February cart before the Marching on horse. Because in this one we see a no.1 team and a fellow Top-20 team with ~3 or 4 significant injuries between ’em. That means we won’t be seeing either squad at their best nor at full strength in this Atlantic Coast Competition tussle. That also means that the deeper team really should have the advantage here. Nevertheless, you wanna know what you will see from who’s left and who will win. So read on, to find… out!

Duke Head CoachMichael William Krzyzewski: Age=72, 1,124–341 (.767) overall, 1,051–282 (.788) at Duke. 

Coach K is pretty good, and this just in, rain is rumored to be, wet. As this is about as well preserved of a seven-decade-years-old gentlemen as you will ever ever see. And his resumè is about as well-heeled as any you will ever sporting read.

Would that we all could age this, well!

Among them {sic: accolades}: Baller K Played at West Point under Bob Knight as a 5′10″ combo Pt.G/Shooting-G. He was captain of the Army basketball team in his senior season, 1968–69, leading his team to the N.I.T. as Vietnam era West Point finished fourth in the tournament. From 1969 to 1974, Krzyzewski served in the United States Army and directed service teams for three years. In 2005 he was presented West Point’s Distinguished Graduate Award. And thank you for serving –after that Mike has not really done much of anything as a coach…

…he has only won nine, that’s (9) Gold Medals for the USofA! He has only won five, that’s (5) National Championships in men’s hoops (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)! He has only won thirteen that’s (14) Atlantic Coast Tourneys. Among men’s college basketball coaches, only U.C.L.A.’s John Wooden, with 10, has won more NCAA Championships than Coach-K.

Coach Krzyzewski has the most wins of any coach in college basketball history. Coach-K became the first Division I men’s basketball coach to reach 1,000 wins. And is only a six-time national coach of the year and a five-time A.c.c. coach of the year; that’s all. He is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in 2001 for his individual coaching career and in 2010 as part of the collective induction of the “Dream Team.

Additionally… Coach-K has only won 24 (varying) Coaching Awards, he is National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame inductee (class of 1991), he was the 2011: Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year”, the United States Military Academy named the “Coach Krzyzewski Teaching Character Through Sports Award for him, and he was merely inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2014 in the area of sports. That’s, it!

And God Bless the Emily Krzyzewski Center (charity) that he and his wife (Carol “Mickie” Marsh) founded to honor his reposed mum. Daddy K and Carol have
three daughters and nine grandchildren

Duke at a glance:

  • 1st in swats (7.1 bpg)!
  • 3rd in swipes (10.3 spg)!
  • 6th in 3-point defense (28.7% allowed)!
  • 16th in defensive FG percentage (39.5% allowed).
  • 18th in rebounding margin (+6.6 rpg).
  • 31st in shooting overall (37.9% made).
  • 39th most personal-fouls (15.9 pf/g) (i.e. far more physical this campaign).
  • 330th in 3-point shooting (30.6% makes).
  • Everything else is 230th (FT-shooting=69%), or better.
  • 2 injuries listed (Godspeed).

Duke Returning Starters=zero! (o)

Duke Strengths:

  • Cam Reddish is a 6′8″, 218 lb. Norristown, Pa. (i.e. Philly) native who is prolly a team-leading scorer (15 ppg @Duke) for at least 300 other D-1 men’s hoops teams if he was getting first-look opp’s. Reddish, however, does need a scope as his marksmanship marks are a bit too low from a raw talent of this caliber (35% from the floor and 33% from range). Still, yet, being the team alpha in swipes (1.9 spg) and being the leading FT-shooter (78%) from the starters out on the floor does do some little things, right as rain. Reddish is said to be a versatile Wing who can: handle, distribute and shoot. So two outta a still-developing three (3.6 rpg with 3.2 apg) ain’t ½-bad work if you can get it. As Cam can play all three backcourt spots, although the vibes say he slots best as a Three or S/F, eventually. Cam does have a history of groin injuries (St.Margret bless) and that may be holding him back a bit here. He was only the no.2 or no.3 recruit no matter where you looked last year and this kid is a Pro’ of some measure. Only needs a bit more range/touch to his game. Such is the life of a pretty fair to middling third-option to have, isn’t it?

  • 6′7″, 202 lb. RJ Barrett is rookie or nugget year baller who -believe it or not- nearly all recruiting services had listed as the signature Dukie get (ahead of Zion down below)! That’s pretty legit in my book… and so is leading Duke in scoring at a sizzling 23.2 ppg after playing precisely 27 more college basketball games than you and I have played, combined. Not to mention leading the A.c.c. in point-production to boot. Did I mention that, yet? As not many can say that, that early at Duke, or that early in the A.c.c. for that matter; although that does make you wanna ask just how long he Durham, stays? As this north of the boarder, N.A.F.T.A. imported S/F from Mississauga, Ontario, was only the consensus #1 recruit in all the land(s) last year! ESPN, Scout, Rivals, and 247Sports all quad-crown agreed. And they cannot agree what time it is looking at the same stopped-watch; twice. R.J. was selected as the 2017-18 National Gatorade Player of the Year; once. And he’s (actually) a year ahead of schedule after reclassifying downward in class rank. props at Barrett. His pops (Rowan) only balled at St.John’s back in the sweater-day, and then; overseas. Daddy Barrett is the Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Canada Basketball; now. The whispers say that young Barrett has excellent “offensive instincts”, he’s best in the open court and that he added a 3-point shot (33.3%, now) late in his scholastic game. Another source says he’s: “an offensive weapon” and even went so far as to wonder out loud if R.J. is the #1 N.b.a. Draft pick come June? A second best 7.5 caroms, with a likewise second best 5.1 dimes from a kid who is not a point-F is no small get. Now mix in a steal and a swat and you suddenly have a more complete or a more professionally ready kid than (some) had forecast. Five seasons of Canadian National teams global hoops ain’t hurting his development either; “eh“, as you do have to wonder just how many games this (jersey) #5, pretty cut-up looking former unanimous no.1 recruit; has?

Duke Weaknesses:

  • If Duke only had a couple more 3-point makers? It would be downright, crimnal.
  • Talent rich? Dah. Experienced? Nyet. As lu¢rative as this Duke roster may be, it just departed: a phenomenal five, that’s (5) different guys averaging between 11 and 21 ppg, right at 30 rpg and just south of 16 apg! As Allen, Trent, Bag’s, Carter and Doval all left and just over 20 years worth of work left with them as well.
  • 6′12″, 259 lb. final year Antonio Vrankovic has been dinged-up (leg) for weeks. He did ball a few minutes on Saturday and is: PROBABLE now. As I for one thought/expected a bit more here from Larry Bird’s 3rd-string Center’s, son. (Stojko Vrankovic, with the latent C’s, remember him?) Still yet, this is a big big ole boy and a true-C in a G.State backcourt frenetic era of hoops who you just gotta hope has a back-up career ahead of him overseas— if/when he wants the work. Fun easy to pull for guy. As legacy Vrankovic put up very handsome looking: 27.5 points, 16.1 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game in high school. Who never quite collegiately (2.5 ppg with 2.6 rpg on 45%) big time power-conference panned out.

    A Rick James or a: “Super Freak” baller 1o1!
  • Zion Williamson— everything Anthony Mason+++, ever, wanted, to; be. That’s what this totally diesel Three is. Well, was. As St.Nikhon bless, this overloaded 220v Four has a Grade I right-knee ding (sprain) and is officially listed as: “OUT” for Tuesday night. Also questionable to play would be Zion’s -great name- Zion’s: 6′7″ and entirely whopping 285 lb. S/F industrial sized frame. With the emphasis not, on the word: “small”. As this guy loads about as much as anyone can in terms of dense, denser, densest and thickly packed muscle mass can go. Seriously, this kid is a Foxtrot You up mans-game son Ot on the gridiron in another life. In this life Zion was just the no.1 P/F wherever you looked, unanimously from all four major recruiting services. And merely the no.2 baller in the land per ESPN overall. Zion only threepeated in state hoops championships where he averaged 38 ppg and just under 15 boards. Momma bear (Sharonda) ran track at Livingstone College and she and whoever need to report to the Hoops Genome Dance floor (raised by his stepfather: (Lee Anderson); God Bless) merit mad mating props here. See pic: on sinew and leaps! As there is no doubt, this is the closest thing to ‘bron’bron James of Laker fame going today. The book here says that Zion’s a power-dunker with epic throwdowns. LOL. Highlight reel posterization apply (____) here, now! There are whispers that the Duke backboards had to be reinforced due to such absurd kinetic-linking dunking metrics to boot! No joke, only knock at 18 years young, 22 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 1.8 bpg on 68% shooting is… range. Tho’ 33% long with 68% FTA’s is not the worst look from a compression or vice-like Shaq’-Fu type exploder. Or in other words, there are precisely and entirely 350 other D-1 men’s teams that wish they had Zion’s problems or limitations. And the whispers now say, that he says, he’s… staying. Geez; 2020 in the A.c.c…. look the “bleep” out!

Dukie Bench: (depth=8 or 9 when healthy)

Javin DeLaurier is yet another Commonwealth (Shipman, Va) backyard escapee, and this 6′10″, 234 lb. third-year baller has the physical build of a mini-me Dwight Howard. As this Javin is a strapping strong kid upstairs across the shoulders when he posts-up down low. Javin only comes with the tags of being the “most athletic” and “most electric” finisher on the entire Duke roster. As he runs the court thoroughbred well and is a strong internal baller on both ends; all that on 3.6 ppg, with 3.8 boards, a swipe and a block on an absurd 76% in relief, if you need him.

6′6″ and stringbean 184 lb. Alex O’Connell kinda looks like he walked off The Outsiders set as an underfed “greaser” who put on some kayoed “soc’s” Jordache threads and effortlessly acted the part. Seriously, Alex looks the L.L. Bean boy-model part and he’s basically the lowest ranked (no.80) national recruit in the Duke rotation— poor Duke! Alex and his 4.6 pine-squad ppg are said to be dynamite in the open-court and he can dial a floor spreading long-distance at a mere A.c.c. leading 54% on his 3’s last year (39% this season from deep)! (This kid may be a Pro’ just on his depth alone). Plus he Alex courts one of the rare stop-on-a-dime pull-up games this side of the Virginia Squires and a certain Dr. who made a lotta “J”‘s the very same way. With 2 rpg and 1 spg just ’cause.

Upsetting no.1 Duke @home is all about... what?

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Dukies who could start @Tech=7 or 8.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… Duke really is only two shots from being no.1 with a very high caliber bullet, as only North Carolina has really done anything with their yesteryear 1970’s thump-n-bump Washington Bullets (Wes’, big-E, M.Kupchak Ballard, and Dandridge) looking internal game.

As yah; that’s about what time it is here folks.

Been a minute or three since we’ve seen this much of a team with this much of an inside game, down-low, in the paint.

And that would surely be the key (pardon the pun) to calling this one easy-peasy -IF- the Dukie frontline were fully healthy and internally: locked, cocked and ready to rock.

(…although, they, ain’t)


Duke is a 1.00 (100%, 7-nil) guest in your house this season whereas the Hokies are .857 (12-2) as a host.

Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a 7.7 point Hokie VomiT this time out. As we were closer to Duke than you’d think in round-robin terms for a minute; or right up until they really opened up on fellow Atlantic Coast Club’s and suddenly we, weren’t.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… the Dukies are merely up +1% in shooting percentage margin from the floor, with the Gobblers actually up +5% in 3-point percentage margin and yet the Cameron Crew is +5 boards in rebounding margin vis-à-vis this season.

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Dukies are merely up +1% in shooting percentage margin overall (with V.Tech shooting worse and Duke defensing, better of late), the Dukies are now actually up +5% in 3-point percentage margin (due to Duke defending the 3 mucho better and a bit less Hokie netting) and yet the Hurrying Hokies are now +3 caroms in rebounding margin vis-à-vis in the last two weeks of scrumming. Go fig’ on that vs. this punishing Duke frontline folks?!?

V.Tech is up a surprising+6.4% at the charity stripe for the year compared to, Duke.

  • Fr. RJ Barrett has been on a ≥30 ppg tear since Zion went down— including the 4th ever triple-double in Duke history! (and he has seven 30+ point games this year; an outburst scorer in the truest, sense). As RJB has gone for 20 or more points 20 times thus far this season in addition to all of ^that^.
  • Sophomoric, S/F, 6′6″, 183 lb., string bean Alex’ O’Connell has been very solid in relief of Zion, with a 20 (ppg) and 5 (rpg) on average.
  • Duke is the only remaining unbeaten road team out of 351 D-1 men’s squads this year.
  • Our very own Kerry has carried on since J.Rob’ went down— with 20.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg on a smokin’ hot 61% from the field!
  • VeeTee has won 2 of the last 3; although Duke has won 8 of the last, 10.

the call

Well, as R.A.T.T. said above… when two dinged up teams play, I’ma looking at three things…

  1. Who is the home team and does not have to travel (228 miles in this case) and who has any advantage(s) to R&R? (VT is +2 on R&R, here). Duke will be balling their third game in seven nights as well.
  2. Who is the deeper team and better facilitated to absorb and endure injuries, close ranks, and keep on keepin’ on? (Duke, no doubt here).
  3. Does either team have a difference maker left on the court who can go Atlas and put the rest of his team on his back? (Duke, has two, here).

That and recalling past seasons under Buzz… Buzzketball has surely taken its foot off the throttle and coasted thinner Tech teams through thicker parts of the O&M schedule in years past.

Ergo, to wit, therefore, that is exactly what I am expecting Tuesday —and same again on Saturday vs. no.16 ranked Florida State down @Tally.

As Buzz is just too long-view savvy for burning what calories his talented, though finesse and leg needy 6-man rotation has left in games that prolly won’t R.A.T.T. turn out alright more often than not.

Methinks Buzz pumps the Hokiemobile breaks here, twice; then gears up for an A.c.c. and subsequent NC2A tourney run vs. beatable Miami on Senior Day at home to close.

And as much as I am want to pick an upset or close(r) game, here… Eye just, can’t.
Duke is better, deeper, and deepest yet.

As (bench) size counts… just ask wimminz, everywhere.

(76% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=64, Duke=77




10 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. Well, the one spur to all of that is… Buzz has played coach-K very well.
      Coach-K surely gets Buzz buzzing and all sparked-up.

      (and he goes over and introduces himself afresh each-n-every, time)
      Gotta love, Buzz.


    1. haha.

      Yah; I was wondering if that would come up.
      Brain wise? I disagree.

      Tho’ resume wise?
      You have me over a bucket of water.
      Like the Atlantic sized bucket of water.


  1. Buzz knows he’s a lock into third NCAA bids believe he rolls the dice here and goes for broke as 2/3 games gets a bye and calendar time is much needed for healing.

    Let’s Go… Hokies!!!
    Beat Them Blue Devils!!!

  2. For VT to win
    KB needs to continue his 4-5 game dominance 20+ and 10+ boards
    Hill, Walker and Outlaw need 40+ between them
    Webe, Wilkins Kabongo and Horne need 15+ between them
    lots and I do mean lots of 3’s

  3. This game turns on can VT hang around close or get big early lead that maximizes venue & crowd impact & how that impacts Duke crowd could carry Hokies to win if home frenzy gives extra gas to VT while Duke gets a bit leg tired. Duke does not need this win, with Zion out a loss gets overlooked by committe & they still get #1 seed.

    VT needs to shoot well from 3.

    1. VT needs to shoot well from 3.

      {the uva} “We, agry.” {/game}

      Might have our chance(s) if we do too.


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