Your Florida Gator NCAA Tournament preview is, up!

#55 R.P.I. Florida vs. #59 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball is (BIG) dancin’, (BIG) dancin’, (BIG) dancin’!

Personally, compared to where we were September picked? Plus, an opt-out, then a Coning (ankle), plus a bad Radford night, plus some dings/dents, then minus two different messy/mandatory testing protocol sit-downs; and plus/minus everything else?

I could not be happier for Mike Young and Co. As The Hokies and Ren MacCormack (A.K.A.: Kevin Bacon) and Aerial are gonna get that ho-down (pardon the pun), work! Vs. the 14 up and 9 down Florida Gators. Who went .563 inside the S.e.c. or good enough for 5th place in-conference. Florida also (ultimately) went o-o-4 vs. all things 2020-2021 as postponement and cancellations go. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna Round-of-64 win and by how much, rights? So, read on; to find… outs!

Florida Head CoachMichael Emerson White: Age=44, 222–113 (.663) overall, and 122–74 (.622) @Florida. Has a rep’ for: recruiting and for heavy backcourt work. With an old-school switching-man-to-man D.

Baller White played at Ole Miss from 1995 to 1999. Where he became a starter in the eighth game of his freshman year and remained a starter for the remainder of his four years at Ole Miss. During White’s college career, he finished with the 6th highest assisting total in Ole Miss history. He also led his team to two SEC Western Division Titles, three consecutive NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments (1997, 1998, and 1999), and the first NCAA Tournament victory in the history of Ole Miss. He played professional basketball with the I.B.L.’s New Mexico Slam and then “over there” internationally in England.

good looking fam’… 1o1!

After earning his bachelor’s degree at Ole Miss, White joined the men’s basketball coaching staff at Jacksonville State in 2000. At Artis Gilmore State, Coach Mike earned a rep’ as a recruiting earner itself.

Afterwards, Coach White spent seven seasons (2oo5–2o11) on the Ole Miss coaching staff and developed a reputation as one of the top assistant coaches in the country.

After that Coach White got his first Big-Whistle gig at non-basketball factory La.Tech. At the 1oo-game mark, he had the highest winning percentage and the most wins of any coach in Louisiana Tech history. Fielding a winning team every single time and making and advancing into the post-season (N.I.T’s all) every post-season less turning-over/rebuilding year no.1.

Subsequent to that… Coach White got the Sunshine State namesake nod @Gainsville. Where he has only made the post-season 100% of the time and the NCAA’s 83.3% of the time. Including one Elite-8 shocking run and two shiny enough Round-of-32 looks.

Coach White has only been awarded the following awards— all inside of five years of work: USBWA District VII Coach of the Year (2013), NABC District 6 Coach of the Year (2013), WAC Don Haskins Coach of the Year (2013), LABC Major College Coach of the Year (2014), C-USA Gene Bartow Coach of the Year (2015), NABC District 11 Coach of the Year (2015), SEC Coach of the Year (2017).

As you can see… there is a handsome escalation in the level of competition and likewise an ascendency in the level of award(s) here. Hand-n-hand; and that tends to be a validating sign. As careerist high-anxiety or professional apoxia has not bothered Coach Mike on his roundball ladder-climbing come-up-ins. Additionally… coach Mike knows how to post-season put-in-work… as his sporty looking .65o Tourney metrics firmly attest.

White has four siblings, three of whom work in college athletics: Danny, who serves as the athletic director for the Tennessee Volunteers; Brian, the athletic director for the Florida Atlantic Owls;
and Mariah Chappell, assistant athletic director for the SMU Mustangs.
White is married to the former Kira Zschau, an All-SEC volleyball player at Ole Miss, who also
has a J.D. degree from the university. The couple has two daughters, Rylee and Maggie,
twin boys, Collin and Keegan, and a son, Dillon.

Florida at a glance:

  • 5th best S.W.A.T. team in the land!!!
  • 33rd in 3-point FG percentage allowed D!
  • 40th in Free-Throwing!
  • 56th in FG-shooting overall.
  • 78th in Stealing.
  • 79th in 3-point shooting.
  • 291st in Assist:Turnover ratio.
  • BONUS: The Gators led the S.e.c. with a 53% clip inside the arc in league play.
  • Injury: …one real scary one… God Help!
  • MEMO: pretty dang solid team statistically. Only two things were worse than 260th best. i.e., even if not exceptionally great overall… very few weaknesses live here.

Virginia Tech at a glance:

  • 53rd in defensive ppg allowed!
  • 53rd on the defensive glass!
  • 54th in Assist:Turnover ratio.
  • 81st in 3-point percentage.
  • 313th in swipes/game!! (clearly MY coaches stay in front of your man!)
  • 1 injury ¦ 1 0pt-out listed (Coach God thrice bless!)
  • MEMO: strange team… as it lacks superlatives… at each end Eye mean. What with a springtime blizzard of highest possible C— to lowest possible B— national team rankings. (22 outta 32 if you are keeping score @home).

Returning Starters=(was 3); now=2.

Florida Strengths:

  • (lotta Jr. season or less class-rank guys hoop here… if they all return; this is the penultimate pinnacle Gatorade year).
  • 6′5″, 229 strapping lb., Keyontae “red” Johnson, S/F. An alpha 16.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg, 64.1% floor, 78.6% free-throwing and only 42.9% from distance… is an all-’round, well-rounded baller. ALL of which recently free-fall collapsed and the Gator sporting-world held its collective breath on Saturday, 12/12. As their leading baller went down and he did not get back up. There is varying cardiac inflammatory (acute myocarditis) reports that may or may not be virally related as to why. Tho’ and either way… “THX” @Coach God that one #11, Keyontae Johnson is still playing the game of… Life! May St.Barbara (Patroness of Sudden Death) bless and intercede as well. As this is an H.Gathers type ‘uh-oh!’ moment. This from an all-S.e.c. 1st-stringer who had already nabbed several collegiate post-season and/or tournament awards. So, you know Kay-Jay had clutch game. This from a very solid-looking Oak Hill Academy basketball factory scoring prospect. No.69 outta high school per Rivals is swagg like dat. Johnson is also another Commonwealth homespun escapee by way of: Norfolk, Va. Helluva a riser/dunker at a whopping 42″ pure freaky-freak of an athlete leaper. And he had improved: scoring, shooting (overall), FT’s, and 3-pointers in every single season straight across. So, you know he ain’t hard-work scared. The book said he had: speed, defensive-rebounding, and was a pesky defender with underrated play-maker abilities. In closing… no matter how terrifying his collapse may have been… here’s hoping Mister Johnson gets it right. And that this ‘red’ never ever goes code-blue, again. Time=tell, as the only official word is: “OUT for the season” so far. Godspeed @11.
  • 6′11″, 23o lb., Juniorific year Colin Castleton is the one really truly madly deeply legit BIG for Florida. Sans (poor) Mr. Johnson I mean of course. And this is a pretty legit looking: 12.0 ppg, (team-leading) 5.9 rpg, and (team-leading) 2.2 bpg all on just south of 59% overall BIG at that. Not an epic one, tho’ a very legit one. Did I mention his legitimacy as a BIG, yet? ‘K… AAAAAAA (7-A) Sunshine State Player of the Year, who initially kicked-rocks to Michigan. He and Patty Swayze and c.Sheen did not mesh as: “Wolverines” and so he moved back home closer, to; Cuba. That attempt at 80’s levity aside, the 127th (247Sports) national recruit has a soaring wingspan that really stands out on tape (7′2″). As this White Castle’s reach covers a lotta defensive ground (or defensive lapses) in hurry. And oh by the way… Colin is not listed as a Gator in any of my pre-season preview mag’s. Curiously enough, nor is he listed as a Wolverine in any of them to boot. Nevertheless, the 2019-2020 Lindy’s book says that this is an offensively versatile shot-blocker upfront. And his scholastic numbers (nearly 6 bpg) would seem to, agree.
  • Tre Mann (16.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.4 APG 1.5 SPG, 40% from the 3-point line) has done his part to keep this team together and lead on the floor, too. Per Synergy Sports data, he’s made 49% of his shots off screens. Tre is a: 6′5″, 19o lb., sophomoric season baller and he’s now your (remaining) leading-scorer combo-G. Who as ***** (five-star), and 21st in the nation from 247Sports. Tre has good lift on his J and he dyes part of his ‘fro red/orange. So, there is that… and then there is the fact that the vibe incoming to this campaign was that Tre needed to improve his shooting-(range) if he wanted to be a valuable, reserve. Never mind de facto/pro’-temp’ leading scorer. Accordingly, can you say S.e.c. Most Improved? As the case can be made here and it is a salty case indeed. Per a near 300% scoring betterment and nearly 11% ⇑ from behind the arc, right at 10% ⇑ from the floor, nearly 20% ⇑ from the charity-stripe (up to 85% this year). Now mix in the team lead with 1.6 spg and you have a suddenly very complete lead-G on your hands and a possible Team M.V.P. (prolly at least an overseas Pro’ as well). (UPDATE: this is a hawt-hawt-hawt Buster Poindexter baller of late, as you will read mo’ on down below…)

  • 6′1″, 17o lb., r-Jr., Tyree Appleby, Pt.; and  6′3″, 2o3 lb., Jr. Noah Locke off-G… make up the rest of what is now a leftover 4-Guard line-up outta necessity more so than via initial idea design. Tyree is a slight David Rivers lookalike at the One. 11.4 ppg with 3.0 rpg, the team blue-ribbon at 3.3 apg all married to 1.5 spg and a reasonable 36.4% deep is not the worst work if you can get it. Solid Pt.Guard who really lit it up Horizon League-wise (@Cleveland State) before transferring down to Tally. His bro’ (Raheem) was only 1st-string all-conference at La.Tech and his sis’ (Shakyla) only tallied two historic Quad-Doubles at Grambling. That’s all… as the family genome projects to mad-game here. B’more, Maryland native Noah Locke nets you 10.4 ppg with 2.3 rpg and antes up and kicks in long at a nice-looking 41% behind the arc. Noah may or may not wear flood-watchers’ downstairs, tho’ I’d wager he and his whopping 6′8″ wingspan don’t wear much on their too short sleeves up top. This makes this ESPN #78 baller a very tough cover out on the perimeter as it prolly takes a “3” or an S/F to deal with this lengthy 3-point shooting “2” here. As his elevating 48% 3-ball vs. So.Eastern foes with nearly no in-conference turnovers last year is truly a coach’s dream.

Florida Weaknesses:

  • There is a lotta balance here… tho’ some would have me say that there is not (quite) a get on my back Atlas type Ronnie Williams (Florida’s all-time leading scorer) here.
  • …that’s about it. This team was picked not less than 3rd or 4th in all of my preview magazines in the S.e.c.
  • Maybe another year if you wanna nitpick cresting itself? Maybe…

Gator Swamp: (depth=2-n-change, a shortening bench in post-season terms)

6′5″, 189 lb., Jr. year Scottie Lewis G is your main substitute gun here. ‘nother high-flyer per his signature 2-handed jams from the baseline. Scottie is more parts scorer (9 ppg) and less parts pure shooter (44.4% floor, 66.7% FTA’s, 30% trifectas). Tho’ he is said to be one of the elite bull-pen relief defenders in the So.East’. Kinda/sorta a knockoff Baltic Ave.’s man version of the sharp-elbowed Michael Cooper, albeit per a frosted-top Ric Flair looking afro’, hair. (no joke). Lew’ is another ***** (5-star) prospect who is said to be a ‘smooth Wing’. Tho’ he also appears to drift a bit on tape. As more was surely expected from this no.7 in the national per Rivals recruiting coup playar. As he is well-seasoned what with his scholastic Sportsmanship Award and international game (USA Basketball u17). Likewise, Scottie also stared in T&F… where he only recorded a 10.5 in the 100m, a 21.6 in the 200m, and then sniffed up on a 7′ high jump. Lewis is indeed a freaky-freak, tho’ there are those who thought he’d freaked out {sic: mo’} by now.

Osayi Osifo a 6′7″, 225 lb., S/F plays about 12 mpg. He is an imported baller by way of: Bedworth Park, South Africa. Don’t type that one too often, or often enough. Anywho… Osayi is known for his krazy red-line revving motor. As the hardest worker who is only flexing his 4th season of hoopology overall. As he only took up the hardwood back in 2017. So, the 1.9 ppg and 3.7 rpg in such limited looks make you wonder how he will look if/when he really ever learns this game? As the body kinetic and the heart, itself are most willing indeed.

After him… FU has: Jason Jitoboh, C, 6′ 11″, 285 lb., sophomoric, Abuja, Nigeria native; and Samson Ruzhentsev, S/F, 6′ 7″, 192 lb., rookie year by way of Moscow, Russia; and  Anthony Duruji, Wing, 6′7″, 22o lb., third-year Germantown, Md. Or a pretty eclectic imported end of a global bench to throw at you. Expect for their mpg have been (thrown)-down of late.  Jitoboh gives you an appropriate Post match-up size and defense on 56%. Ruzhentsev gives you Point-F facilitation. Duruji gives you 6 ppg of productive bull-pen work.

NC2A opening round mathematics: ...64-32=advancing, how???

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Gators who could chomp @Tech=5.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… that Vegas says that either team could take this one… and as you will see below… those who do not respect R.O.I. Analysis is gonna feel ‘chippy’ indeed. (if you pay-wind0w punny know what Eye means…)

(as the R.O.I. for the Pt.Spread and the money-line (just pick the winner, no points) was bassackwards earlier for the savvy shopper in you).

Me personally?

Eye’ma not serially inclined to Vegas disagree. As you will see two good and two greatly coached teams here that chart pretty much as a split-vote with 3-starting quality guys out combined across these two Round-of-64 middlecase seeded teams.

The caveat/thingy is… that only one of these two teams is missing 2-starting quality guys.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a double ad-hoc fubar cancellation. As Florida played two A.c.c. foes… (@Boston College: W, 9o-7o and then @Florida State: L, 71-83). And yet we/V.Tech ultimately never got to court either A.c.c. foe during this mucky campaign. St.Nikephoros bless… this is a hard row to hoe of late… That said, BeeCee finished dead A.c.c. last and Florida smoked ’em by 20. F.s.u. was your de facto regular season champ’ and that was also the Keyontae Johnson collapse game. So, all R.A.T.T. analysis eggs were scrambled there. Tough to say what that one means after such a terrifying event?

Still yet, in very limited/truncated extrapolation line-of-best-fit or 4-squares regression theory? Florida would slot not above V.Tech in the A.c.c. standings are the best I can come up with here. I’ll leave it to you dear reader to determine how close to 3rd place V.Tech that puts Florida in R.A.T.T. A.c.c. terms.
~quarter past HighNoon kick-off!

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… Florida is up +1% in shooting percentage margin (with Florida a little better on O and V.Tech a little better on D); Florida is up +3% in 3-point percentage margin (all on D with the O’s in a dead heat draw), and yet V.Tech is up +2 boards-n-change in rebounding margin annualized year-to-date caroms (per: V.Tech better on the D-glass and Florida better on the O-glass).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Gobblers are up a whopping .1% or 1/10th in shooting percentage margin (a sister-kisser here, both shooting/defending pretty well of late); however, Florida is now up nearly +5% in 3-point percentage margin (the Hokies shoot a little better and the Gators defense the “3” mucho better), and yet nobody is up much of anything in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of play (both trading underwater at 1 rebounding margin). (READERS note: only the Florida Gator stats are hardbound here… what with so many gaming date cancellations for the O&M crew). Although Florida has science-fact objectively improved on D recently, that much is crystal clear.

  1. During the regular season, Virginia Tech made 52% of its shots inside the arc with Keve Aluma (15.9 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.4 BPG) on the floor, per
  2. VeeTee is dancing playing in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive time and 12th time overall. The Hokies are 8-11 all-time in the tournament.
  3. VeeTee will be on its 3rd game in 45-days as this one tips-off; (more/less hours-wise).
  4. Tre Mann is on a hot scoring stretch, pouring in more than 20 points in four consecutive games. No Gator has ever had five consecutive games of 20-plus points!
  5. In-game mm’s of Mercury (i.e., your barometer(s)): Florida is o-5 when its offense scores 66 points or fewer. Virginia Tech is a perfect 12-o when it holds opponents to 67 or fewer points and has allowed 65.3 points per game over its last three.
  6. In-game additionally… The Gators are 13-o when holding opponents to 43.1% or worse from the field, and 1-9 when opponents shoot better than that. The Hokies are 14-o when they hold opponents to a field goal percentage of 43.6% or worse, and 1-6 when opponents exceed that percentage.
  7. The Hokies are 5-4 all-time against the Gators and won their last meeting, 79-57, in 1991 down in Orlando, Fla.

Florida is up a useful looking +5 % at the charity stripe for the year.
VeeTee is .667 as a neutral; whereas Florida is .75o as a Swiss.
VeeTee is up multi games or +a fortnight in R&R.

The Call...

No.31 Net Ranking Florida vs. no.48 Net Ranking Virginia Tech:

There are some who say that this team is more parts contender (i.e., better than a prospect. i.e.,2, less than a champion) and that Florida has pretty much reached its hard-cap level.

With the elite services of Mr. Keyontae Johnson now taken away?
I have given that look some thought(s)…

Because whatever this team’s roof really was/really was not… they are surely south of that sans their Key’-note speaker.


The kicker however is… one could very very much say the exact same of beloved Vah.Tech. Are we more parts overachieving prospect or finally met their seasonal level contender?

Are we at our ceiling -or even out on our roof- sans two snappy lead-G’s in this one?


Thus, making this one NOT my pet ‘two ships passing in the night…’ these are two ships shipping water as I type. Making this one all about the pumps. Who can pump-up more and patch-kit a combined 3-7 finish between these two awash decks?


     The other queer thing is… when Florida got beat, they were either within 1 or 2-shots (thrice) or beaten by at least 11-points six, that’s (6) other times. This making this Coach R.Lo’. Stevenson coached squad a bit Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde here. As the only thing, consistent about Florida this year was their inconsistency itself.

Except fo’ one thing… only one team (Florida) is just a little better of late on D.

The most squirrely part is that the other team (V.Tech) just so happens to enjoy the higher defensive (+24 spots) and offensive efficiency ratings (+43 spots) for the 2020-2021 duration.

Ergo, therefore, to Whit; unless one of these two really takes to this new gym’s shooting lines and goes Strange Case and runs away and hide(s), late?

…this one a race to the modern-speed-limit of 65.

First one there?



(43.6% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=7o, Florida=65

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2 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. B’Street,
    Thank you for All of your Analysis Work !

    Did you major in Statistics at Virginia Tech ?

    1. No Sir.

      MINE in Holden Hall.
      (tho’ I’ve got 36-hours of calc’ & stats… all orphans, looking fo’ a good, home)
      ; )


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