#25 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #17 R.P.I. Florida State:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball sojourns a long’ish 620 miles nearly due south for some welcome pre-Spring Break 2019 sunshine and a mutual Top-20 made for telly (ESPNU, 7 pm) kickoff match-up on Tuesday night.
The Hokies face the Seminoles of Florida State who check in at a rather useful looking 23 up and 6 down overall and a likewise mutual -or tied for 4th place with VeeTee- inside the A.c.c. with equal 11-5 intra-league marks. So this Atlantic Coast Combat game is likely the de facto tie break between having to play on Wednesday or getting the full double-bye until Thursday for both teams. As the 4 seed is code for less wear-n-tear for the whispered to be close to (attempting) to return “5” or J.Rob’ of hurrying Hokies fame. Because three A.c.c. Tournament games in three days is a lot and yet four A.c.c. Tournament games in four days is a damn load. As in overload for most A.c.c. no.5 seeded team’s most years. Although and nevertheless, someone has gotta break this fourth place tie come ~10 pm Tuesday night and you wanna know who. Read on, to find… out!
Florida State Head Coach: James Leonard Hamilton: age=70, 550–424 (.565) overall, 350–214 (.621) at Florida State.
Baller Hamilton played college basketball at the University of Tennessee at Martin; where he had the tag of an outburst scorer (55 max’, their all-time single-game mark).
After this Leo’ went into coaching and won the 1978 NCAA Championship under old-school Coach Joe B. Hall at Kentucky. He is a two-time A.c.c. Coach of the Year (2oo9, 2o12) and he is also the first coach to be named coach of the year in both the Big East (Miami Hurricane, 1995, 1999), and the A.c.c. His teams have qualified for seven NCAA tournaments and eight N.I.T.’s. He was the old-school U.P.I. National Coach of the Year in 1995 for da U; and he has won two conference championships (1 B.E., 1 A.c.c.).
Coach Leo’ is the Winningest Coach in Florida State History (27o wins) and the 8th all-time Winningest Coach in A.c.c. History (27o wins). He also coached one season for the Washington Bullet’s, though was un-retained by #45 M.J. himself. Leo -a Master’s degree holder his ownself- is an ace coach in the FSU.edu and former classrooms as more than 94%t of his players have earned their degrees. Bravo Leo! And the Coach Hamilton coaching tree has already sired eight other D-1 men’s head coaches. Very Pat Riley ‘esque; as Coach Hamilton teams’ have enjoyed a stinging defensive rep’ for many years.
Hamilton’s induction into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame marks the fifth Hall of Fame he will be a member of during his illustrious career. He is also a member of the Austin Peay State University, the University of Tennessee at Martin and University of Miami Athletic Hall of Fames. Hamilton received the 2015 Alumnus of Distinction award from Gaston (N.C.) College at its 50th Anniversary Gala on May 16, 2015.
Leo.edu earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Tennessee-Martin in 1971 and received his Master’s Degree in Physical and Health Education from Austin Peay State in 1973.
Daddy Leo’ is married to Claudette Hamilton. Claudette is a volunteer tutor, and they have two children: Lenny, 23, a musician; and daughter Allison, 8.
Florida State at a glance:
- 38th most FT-makes (∑=469).
- 39th in Rebounding Margin (+4.9 rpg).
- 48th in FG percentage D (41.1% allowed).
- 54th in swats (4.4 bpg).
- 70th in offensive boarding (11.66 o-rpg).
- 73rd in Swipes (7.3 spg).
- 297th most personal-fouls “whistled” against (19.4 pfg).
- (everything else 254th or better, C— at least).
- NO injuries listed. THX @Coach God!
- LOVED the team photogs in old-school 1950’s matching suits and ties. Very trig, very classy.
- DEPTH. There is a metric ton of it here.
- Last year Terance Mann was da main-man down in Tallahassee; as Terance paced the ‘Noles in three different major categories. The 6′7″, 215 lb., senior season Wing is now second in scoring down four points to 11.5 ppg, on a Sizzlean team and nearly A.c.c. leading 3-point FG percentage (47%), and then he mixes in 6.3 rpg in board-work on the fiberglass. That’s all; no big deal, nothing to see here— and that’s not half bad from a kid with a needs “to expand his offensive game” tag. Now mix in virtually a teamwide first-best 79.9% FT-shooting and 52% overall and you have just that, an expanding game that might just expand all the way into an overseas pay-$tub. As this Mann can get to the basket; he’s equal parts Two and/or Three; he can offensively rebound. This Mann is also durable (119 consecutive game streak); he’s a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) at Florida State; and said to be a tremendous character off-court for it. Mann was ranked no.43 in America outta high school according to ESPN; the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year in the state of New Hampshire in 2015; and said to field a very high basketball I.Q. to boot. Terance is named after his grandmother, Terancia…his dad, Eustace (never ever read that one anywhere else, before my reposed V.P.I. ’52 pop’s), was an avid soccer player in his prime. May St.Eustace (the Jägermeister emblem inspiration) super bless!!! Neat kid; mix in being third in steals (.7 spg) and dropping 2.4 apg and it kinda reads like someone ran a sporting set of Excel crosstabs on a box score and Terance was the, output. (Though he does have a history of concussions; Lord have Mercy!)
- If Big East yesteryear Big basketball is your thang you’ve come to the right skyscraper, place; as 14′2″ and 518 lbs. says so! That’s what the Center rotation of: r-Soph. Mfiondu Kabengele and r-Jr. year Christ Koumadje bring to the Seminole Pivotal table down-low. Length, size, stretch… in the G.State.shoot fb.com backcourt selfie era; this is the answer to: “where’s the beef?” As nearly, ~29 ppg, ~13 rpg and ~4 bpg (combined) do not middle-work suck. One #21, 7′4″, 268 lb. Sr. year -and nearly 30 lbs. filled-in or filled-out since we opposed him last- Christ Koumadje is a scrabble point triple-double surname and very fitting for any imported true-Five from N’Djamena, Chad. Cee.K’ is said to be a shot blocking machine. Koumadje’s shooting is down from last year by ~5%, all the way to 62% from the floor. Although Kou’ has added about ~40 lbs. of right mass since he got to Tally as he was still kinda string-bean looking two years ago. And yet he still looks like he could (easily) add another 10 lbs. of sinew this year. Same as a couple of previews ago… Koumadje won a national championship at Montverde Academy a few years back. Height runs in his family with a 6′4″ mum and a 7′3″, uncle; wow! And Coach Ham’ says Koumadje has improved on offense as much as anyone he’s ever coached; although he has been dinged up for most of 2017 and off/on earlier this season. Hence the most modest 2019 stat-line of: 6.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg and a mere 2 bpg on 56% FTA’s. And Christ has Risen up indeed of late… what with: 10.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks over the last six contests.
- All world recruit M.J. Walker and his 8 ppg on 35% may not be entirely disappointing; technically speaking; nonetheless, they are not entirely, appointing; either. As this chiseled 6′5″, 213 lb. soaring, scoring, leaping athletic freak was said to be 1-n-done by every one of my preview mag’s. A legit ***** (5-star) specimen type recruit; with a high school’ rep’ for being a bullying type scorer just two years ago. (sky)-Walker was the no.8 baller in the nation in hoops (ESPN); and only had football scholarship offers from Clemson, Miami (Fla.) and Michigan… as he was an outstanding dual-threat athlete as an Fs and as a Wr. Kinda a ‘bron’bron with more of a finishing ‘tude; and yah; mum’s won the national (hoops) title at Hampton whereas her baby-boy only won 4-Georgia States’. The sky’s prolly still the limit here; even if M.J.’s early start has not been quite so stratospheric… just yet. As 35% deep and 78% from the charity-stripe are serviceable enough. As his very hyped-up game really only wants for: “consistency” at the moment.
- One #25, 6′10″, 250 lb. “man’s game, son!” Mfiondu Kabengele is, legit. As in very, as in a very difficult very industrious frontcourt match-up. This from a kid who sources said: “rededicated himself to the weight-room” this past off-season and went out and found 22 lbs. of right-mass if you need him. He’s also a 2018 all-A.c.c. Academic Basketball Team member so FSU.edu props insert (____) here, check. As clearly an imported version of ‘fiondu is a worker-bee delicacy who drones on, on-court and off. Per numerous off-season Dribbling drills, taking the ball to the rack and film-study on the game itself. This plus cutting bad-flab-mass before tightening-up his quick-first-jump 7′2″ wingspan flight-shool game. This from the 65th ranked prospect in America (247Sports), this from a kid who entered his senior scholastic season of hoops at: 6′7″or S/F in traditional 1 through 5 positional assignment basis, height. So yah; Mister Kabengele is still figuring this thing called roundball -not to mention… he’s still figuring his sudden growth spurt body- out. He figures on being a six or seven digit Pro’ if he’s not real careful… as leading F.s.u. in scoring (13.2 ppg), second in rebounding (5.5 rpg) and second again in swatting (1.3 bpg) does not suck. In particular, it does not suck for a still undercooked or at least medium-rare baller. Now mix in a very sporty 40% from downtown, 77% from the charity-stripe on 52% overall and you have to wonder just how talented this south of his apparent basketball developmental ceiling this kid truly is? As not one, (n)one of my preview magazines spent more than two sentences on this Seminole or alpha scorer pre-season. I’d call that Most Improved A.c.c. and former NBA standout Dikembe Mutombo calls Mfiondu Kabengele: “nephew”. Although you should call him “sir”. And you’ll prolly be calling him an overseas pro’ or maybe even an N.b.a. ballar come 2020 or 2021.
- F.s.u. is not totally nubile-juvenile, although they ain’t senior heavy and super-experienced, either.
- Brian Angola-Rodas (15 ppg) left early, and back-ups C.J. Walker and Ike Obiagu (7′1″, C) are gonzo as well.
- Despite being what Lindy’s called: “one of the deepest teams in the land“, superstar or go-to talent may or may not live here. As F.s.u. sure looks like a banded group of B— to B+++ brothers that lacks a true superstar next level take the game over guy.
‘nole Bench: (depth=6’ish, very deep pine-squad, fatigue need not apply; here)
Senior, 6′4″, 210 lb., Vegas native and Sheridan College transfer 2-Guard PJ Savoy has a history of dings-n-dents that make you wonder what he would have been if he had only been 100% good-to-go. As his (right knee) has limited him to 6.4 ppg and 1.5 rpg in relief. Savoy is a long-range specialist who provides air cover for the troops down low. As he is ranked eighth in school history with a .388 mark from the bonusphere. This year however Savoy has taken 159 shot attempts, 132 of which from 20′9″ or beyond— as this guy is a court spreader through and through (on 31.1% long).
6′8″, 230 lb., final year r-Sr., Forward Phil Cofer -who was surprisingly/mercifully granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA on May 25, 2018 giving him a fifth season to play and lead the Seminoles last year as a now fifth-year redshirt senior during the 2018-19 season- P.C. did drop you a steadying 12.7 ppg (now down to 7 ppg) and was actually second in rebounding last season at 5.9 caroms per contest (now down to 3.7 rpg). 34% from beyond the arc is serviceable for a home position Four —this from a kid with an offensive rebounding tag (over 100 in his career) who finishes hard at the rim. His mum (Reba) ran ball at Tennessee for the national champion Lady Vols and his old man (Michael) only played football at Tennessee and then Pops only played 10 seasons in the N.F.L., all with the DET.Lions and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1988. Dang… so yah; the Cofer Genome Athletics Project is most willing here indeed. That and Phil’ (who has a history of ankle surgeries (Godspeed) also has his very own giving back philanthropic video; impressive; may St.Philip bless and intercede as this kid has paid his dues to keep on playing this game.
Trent Forrest is a 6′4″, 210 lb. third-year Wing or off-G who you want to go buy beer for you. As this guy is Robert Parrish syndrome all over again and looks the 30-something part. Already. In addition to that, and in addition to being a part-time starter, Forrest is chipping in with a third-best 9.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg and a team pacing 3.8 apg. Or an all-’round roundball glue-guy if there ever was one. Forrest is also rather quietly just about to crack the Top-10 at F.s.u. in all time swipes (∑=153) and he will give you a five-finger discount and pick a pocket or three if you are not handy enough on the dribble. Trent has a rep’ for clutch play— just ask his ante in the NC2A’s last spring. This from the 45h ranked baller in the nation per ESPN who finishes strong at the rim, has good size and strength for a combo-G and who has an on-floor player-coach vibe to him. Who also won a slew of high school.edu academic awards all while being an outburst scorer down in Georgia. (don’t read that hand-n-hand very often; do yah?) Additionally, Trent has also pocketed several 6th-man-of-the-Year awards from several hoops services in his first two years down in Tally. (UPDATE: whispers say: “PROBABLE” with a toe hurt, here; St.Sebastian bless)
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of 'Noles who could start @Tech=4, maybe; 5.
The takeaway here is… paging Gestlaht Theory, paging Gestlaht Theory please report to the Atlantic Coast Clubing dancefloor.
Because: when I first studied F.s.u. last week?
Eye saw a good hardwood team, nonetheless, I had no idea how good and how well this team represents the following mathematical expression…
∑ >>> parts
Tru’ dat boy, and F.S.U. is actually something aking to being an uppercase or tall-ball version of our very own Buzzketball right now.
Florida State is .933 as a host (14-1) down in Tally this year whereas the Hokies are a reasonable .555 (5-4) out on the road.
Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a very erratic swing-vote looking 1 point ‘Nole VomiT on Tuesday night or the narrowest of F.s.u. wins. This due to extremely erratic and outlying data points… as V.Tech would smash a team that F.s.u. played-close, and then F.s.u. would turn right around and pump a team that V.Tech just played close. i.e. massive canceling effect in play here gentlemen. So I took this section a step further… -I know, “right?” Imagine me doing that…- So I took the Forum Guide a step further and ran the numbers (only) sans J.Rob, and his lame foot with a “5”-finger-discount (insert Peter Warrick satire attempt(s) (_____) here, check!) and that Forum Guide sans J.Rob’ predicts a 6 point F.s.u. triumph. (which makes a bit more sense, at least to me)
The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… V.Tech is +4% in shooting percentage margin, +7% in 3-point percentage margin with the ‘Noles +4 in rebounding margin.
The most recent 5-game metrics say that… F.s.u. is now +5% in shooting percentage margin (nearly entirely courtesy of totally diesel defense), with V.Tech now only up +4% in 3-point percentage margin (mostly on D) and F.s.u. is now up +3 caroms with little change in rebounding margin.
The Fighting Gobblers are up +2% at the charity stripe for the year.
- The ‘Noles have only been beaten once since o1.2o.2019. Winners of 10 of their last 11 if you are keeping score at home. As Florida State sure has come a long way from starting the A.c.c. season with four L’s in the initial five intra-league games.
- Florida State, which owns a 33-22 all-time record against Virginia Tech, and has beaten the Hokies 11 straight times at home.
- In fact… Virginia Tech last won @Tally in 1990, when both teams played in the now-defunct Metro Conference.
- With J.Rob’ down, Kay.Bee has steeped it up (pardon the podiatry, pun)— logging 24.3 ppg with 11.5 rpg and double-doubles in the past three goes.
- Virginia Tech drops by 9 ppg out on the road, by 6% overall and by 4% from downtown.
- Whilst, Florida State was near +/- just 1% better/wore at home. i.e. an exceptionally regular/consistent club.
So, two things really stood out to me in opining this preview… first of all, Eye kept trying to figure out how F.s.u. was this dang good? (as they do want for a marquee or truly seminal game changer(s) in individual terms).
Well, this is coaching the verb folks, or working the verb if you will. As the up-n-down Coach Leo.Ham’ is having more than a B.L.T. or club sammwich for A.c.c. lunch this year. And in point of fact, he’s prolly a darkhorse candidate for A.c.c. Coach of the Year this campaign. As he sure has these 2019 individuals playing HIS version of team ball like total mothers. (props on that one good Sir).
Secondly, I’m real glad it occurred to me to go back and run the Forum Guide (again); less our Qb or “five” or J.Rob’ rocking the Pt.Guard or One spot for Buzzketball.
And although I do not consider F.s.u. beyond our depth, they are a Mohs Hardness Scale squad …or one tough nut to crack out on the road. As they are playing better on D of late, they have been better on the glass for the duration; they are surely the healthier team here.
Is there a (whole) lot on the line for each Atlantic Coast Club here?
Do we deny this?
Is this the A.c.c. where anything and everything can and (sometimes) does happen?
Do we deny that?
However, even for the rather intriguing +4 on R&R -fresh shooting legs- Hokies sallying forth from the warm and friendly confines of our very own Cassell…
This roadie, in particular, is no small ask men.
As we’d better shoot lights out to have a shot in this one here.
Because the Seminoles fight, contest, and deny anything/everything. Physically. Very. Extra sauce lives here. As F.su. industrializes an amazing defensively strapping/contesting alacrity upon breaking-tape. And actually reminds one of the apex Pat Riley NY.Knickerbockers defensive heyday contesters mind you. And that makes stealing one here quite the contest indeed. As this is a credible Penn.State caliber club, fo’, real.
And in equational form, it should look something like this…
(Thursday) physicality >>> finesse (Wednesday)
g.Patton vs. b.Montgomery if you will…
and that prolly will prove to be…
A Bridge Too Far.
(67% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=59, Florida State=73