#3o1 R.P.I. Longwood @ #25 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns to the court on a quick looking Association ~48-hour turn after dispatching and chompping down on overmatched Coppin State on Saturday night over in a crispy-air flavored New River Valley.
The Hokies now host the 1 up and 6 down Longwood Lancers just hours after the 2020 A.D. Winter Solstice itself. And just days before Christmas breaking and Holidaying and Grinching and mistletoes and eggnog and Chris Kringling. As this is our final O.O.C. (out of conference) contest before 8-days off and then into Atlantic Coast Conflicting for the duration. Nonetheless, you wanna know who is gonna win here and by how much, right? So, read on to find… out!
Longwood Head Coach: And Lawyer: Scott Griffith “Griff” Aldrich: Age=45, 30–36 (.455) overall, and @Longwood. Has a rep’ for being trifecta nutty. As this team has the greenlight to gasthaus 3’s from nearly anywhere beyond halfcourt.
Baller Aldrich played at Hampden–Sydney under Tony Shaver, where he was team captain his senior year and a part of two NC2A Tournament qualifying squads for the Tigers. Aldrich also was a member of the Chi Phi fraternity and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa honors societies.
After graduation from the University of Virginia School of Law, Aldrich returned to Hampden–Sydney for the 1999–2000 season as an assistant coach, where he assisted in the Tigers’ perfect 24-0 regular season, and No. 1 national ranking overall in Division III.
Aldrich then entered the private sector for 16 years, while also coaching AAU basketball on the side in the greater Houston, Texas area. Among the players Aldrich coached in AAU include DeAndre Jordan and Orie Lemon. He returned to college coaching in 2016, joining Hampden Sydney classmate Ryan Odom’s staff at UMBC as the director of basketball operations, and Director of Recruiting/Program Development. Aldrich was part of the Retrievers’ historic upset over top-ranked Virginia in the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
On March 22, 2018, Aldrich was named the ninth head coach in Longwood University program history, replacing Jayson Gee. In his first season, he led the Lancers to their first-ever Division I postseason appearance in the 2019 College Basketball Invitational and was named a finalist for the Joe B. Hall Award (given for most outstanding first-year head basketball coach), which had been won by Odom in 2017. His second season saw Longwood reach fourth place in the Big South Conference, their highest finish in the league since joining in 2012.
Lawdog/scrivener Aldrich was a partner at Vinson & Elkins law firm, and also was the founder of an oil and gas company in Texas, as well as a managing director and chief financial officer at a private investment firm. Yah; Bartleby and me say that counts!
Daddy Aldrich is married to Julie Aldrich. They have three adopted children.
Aldrich is a devout Christian. (may St.Julia bless, thrice!!!)
Longwood at a glance:
- 69th in 3-point makes/game.
- 282nd in personal fouls (very hacky team).
- 288th most turnovers on O committed.
- 289th in FT%.
- 19 outta the 32 D-1 men’s team rankings I track are 218th to 289th worst. Not a hideous team, tho’ C— to D+++ nearly all over.
Log.Dub. Returning Starters=2
- r-Junior, 6′, 170 lb. Pt.Guard Juan Muñoz is about as good as Longwood, gets. The tag here reads: ‘turnover-prone’ as this kid can distribute, he can shoot a bit; when he’s not going butterfingers and getting sloppy or doing too much wif the rock. And Mister Muñoz does pace Longwood in scoring with 15.1 ppg, he does collect 4.0 rpg and handout 3.3 apg. All on a respectable 38.3% long. And that’s none too shabby as production goes at a small-school. Except fo’ one thing… he’s 38.7%… overall. You do the maths here… tho’ if the maths ain’t your thang… the curious thing you ask? Well, the quixotic thing is that this (Don) Juan only hoists ~19% of his shots from long-distance! Or, maybe he should only shoot long-distance shots? Either way… 1.1 spg does not hurt, tho’ as said, the 3.3 tpg are just not a good looksee. And the double earing (1 per side) look is not something I’ma-gonna Urban Dictionary bother to look up. Juan.edu is easy to look up to, at “A” 3.9-grade point average; and he already has his bachelor’s in hand. Godspeed.grad.school! He was a scholastic scoring Pt.Guard and the #6 baller outta North Carolina a few years back. And something of a mini-me recruiting coup for it too. And you have to wonder what he’d be… as he’s missed two years of collegiate ball already (1 blown right-knee, St.Nikon bless; and then a hardship mercifully granting knee-on-knee-knock that tore the very same A.c.l., again; twice!). Dangnation… tough kid and what would he be averaging on even 1.75 good knees?
- One no.double-one: Justin Hill, is a nugget or rookie year 6′, 185 lb., H’town “One” by way of everything’s bigger Texas fame. And a lot is expected here form this said to be: “explosive leaper” who has a family-tree that blossomed roundballs all over. What with his momma-bear (Donna Holt Hill), who was only an All-American and A.c.c. Player of the Year at Virginia ¦ whereas his poppa-bear (Keith Hill), was only an All-Big West first-team honoree at New Mexico State and the program’s assist record-holder all-time wise! That’s all. Younger Hill was a 27 ppg scoring-machine in the hotly contested Houston City scene and this kid to is said to be something of a recruiting coup. As j.Hill is a quick, darty, waterbug looking kid on tape— and he keeps a pretty good flop-‘fro to go with his 12.7 ppg, his team-leading 5.3 rpg, and his likewise team-leading 4.4 apg! As a debut baller that’s not ½-bad work if you can get it. 23% from behind the arc needs a little geometric rounding-out; although the overall game sure looks willing here to me. As this is an interesting prospect who might just develop into a legit 2024, contender.
- 6′6″, 195 lb., Christian Wilson, is an S/F by way of Queens N.Y.City fame. Wilson is said to be a pure scorer… a true swingman who can score at all three levels. He is aggressive in transition and loves to run the floor and get out on the edge. A Dean’s List Longwood.edu baller who says he wants to own his very own real-estate company. And 25 ppg with 7.5 rpg in Queens is indeed: “location, location, location.” Wilson transferred in from: South Plains. Where he only pocketed a mere: 2019 NJCAA National Championship ring! Pretty much been a stud 6th-man so far, and Christian nets you 9.7 ppg with 4.4 rpg in relief.
- VERY outside heavy team… and when all these 3’s ain’t tickling-the-twine? There are long rebounds that lead to run-out hoops against.
- This is said to be a: “reshuffling” year for Longwood.
- This is not a real experienced club nor it is upperclassmen heavy.
- 8 transfer ballers ball here… only 2 of which come from anywhere even a roundball savant would recognize (E.c.u., U.C. Riverside), and well, there you go.
- There are vibes that Coach Griff’ is none too happy with his team’s output effort-wise. Although the ‘why’ remained elusive to me and I expect to Coach-G’ alike.
- East Carolina transfer baler: DeShaun Wade (Eye think) is back for this one as he has played one game this season thus far. And his about 10 ppg career-wise are needed STAT and A.S.A.P. here. The Va.Beach native (same as poor Juan) has a history of really bad right-knee blowouts. (St.Culbreth helps!) As this poor kid has an offensive-lineman sized right-knee-brace in tow. Wade (no Dwayne relation) is said to be a hard-nosed, physical defender who routinely draws the opposing backcourt alpha on a stopper-assignment. A 6′2″, 200 lb., Jr. off-Guard who does sport Va.H.S. AA championship bling. He also sports about 4 rpg and 2 spg and drops mid-30’s from downtown. So, this is an important get back here if his knee-health-holds. Godspeed!
Lancers Bench: (depth=5’ish)
Helsinki, Finland’s very own: Jesper Granlund, a 6′6″, 210 lb., freshmanic year imported “3”. Jesper is said to be a a high-scoring wing with a strong basketball IQ…a versatile talent who can shoot, drive and pass. He has multi-year International experience on the Finlandize National Team. Where he nearly averaged a stalwart looking 27 ppg with offensive-outbursts as high as 55-points! Making his contemporary 4.9 ppg married to 4.1 rpg on a divorcing 23% from deep and 54% from the charity stripe and only 33% from the floor a bit disappointing this far. This kid is an interesting get for Longwood; once Mr. Jesper finds his shooting touch.
Cornhusking 6′7″, 210 lb., r-Fr., S/G Nate Lliteras is a Nebraskan. He is a long “two” by any standards. He is splashing you 5.3 ppg off the pine and leads the way with a salty 47% from 3-point-land. He is also whispered to be a slasher from the wing when he wants it and his family has back-to-back generational college basketball Genome Projections. Nate had good though not off the charts H.S. numbers; although every team needs a pure stoke it shooter from deep.
Final season, Ilija Stefanovic is from Novi Sad, Serbia; and then he transferred in from Eastern Florida. He is a 6′10″, 210 lb. string bean P/F. Who gets you 1.3 ppg and 1.2 rpg on 100% shooting (so far) substitute here as I.Stef’ does give you some pine-squad vertical size if not much else. All if which is way way down from 13.3 rpg as a Jr.College freshman at someplace named: Southeastern.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Lancers who could Tyrell @Tech=3, maybe even 4?
The takeaway here is…
…last year was Longwood’s best Big-South year since 2010. That’s a good thing. As some might Brit-boxing say they could be a hardwood team: “…on the come”.
Departing as much as they just did however is seldom a good thing.
Although maybe Longwood is showing a pulse and moving the overall programming needle in the right direction?
Still yet, the Lancers were not picked to joust any higher than 8th in a Big South race of 10 in any of my preview mags. So, the needle may be ready to move backward for a year or so give/take.
And frankly, that is a curiosity to me… as they have been recruiting better than I ever expected in the last couple of seasons— to their cred’.
Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a 30-point Tech Triumph in this one. (as both squads have balled vs. V.M.I. already, recall).
The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… VeeTee is only up +2% in shooting percentage margin (per the Hokies being better on D and Landers being better on O); nobody leads in 3-point percentage margin (as this is nearly at equilibrium with the Hokies better on O here and the Lancers better in defense of the “3”), and yet VeeTee is up +6 caroms in rebounding margin (tho’ Longwood was + on the glass in their downright) year-to-date.
The most recent 5-game metrics say that… Longwood is now up +1% in shooting percentage margin (better than us on O); with Longwood up a surprising +7% in 3-point percentage margin (mostly on O), and yet Vah.Tech is now up +7 Windex-wipes in rebounding margin in the last couple of weeks.
V.Tech is up +3% at the FT-line for the year.
V.Tech is up +6 in R&R due to a Big South scheduling quirk in the last fortnight of ball.
V.Tech is a .8oo host; whereas L.wood is .333 as a guest.
No.313 Net Ranking Longwood @ no.55 Net Ranking Virginia Tech:
Tough to the point of umpossible to say that homesteading A.c.c. is not a major favorite over mid-major (Big South) and 140-mile West-by-So.West visiting Longwood in this one.
As it seems asinine to say the Lancers are gonna go Helm’s Deep and rampart our Cassell in this Monday night contest.
Still, yet, I’ma still surprised by the individual roster ratings’ I found for Longwood. This prolly leaves Longwood dysfunctionally disappointed overall.
As Longwood did play fellow A.c.c. Wake to within four-shots. They have been beaten by one-shot, twice; and by 1-point, once.
They also enjoy a team GPA of 3.24.
So, these Lancers may just be longer than you think…
Nevertheless, VeeTee really should smoke Longwood here.
(89% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=84, Longwood=57