#239 R.P.I. North Carolina A&T @ #42 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns home after a most excellent first-half and a good enough post-intermission effort vs. Washington over in A.C., to host North Carolina A&T on a midweek pre-Christmas O.O.C. (out of conference) date.
The Hokies are season-one-point, or
(9-1) and ranked right at the bottom-teens give/take in national terms. The Aggies from NCA&T? Not so much at 4 up and 6 down in what can be called a gentrification or rebuilding year for the so-so or typically middleocore Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (M.E.A.C.) visiting club. And as we all know, as a 3-time Bulldog owner my ownself, I am predisposed to bias NCA&T here. However, the Aggies are a C.Dickens of a team or a Tale of Two Cities. On the road and they have been poleaxed, at yet @home in their G-boro borough or backyard crib and they have been actually pretty decent by-the-bye. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is who is gonna win here? Read on… to find, out!
North Carolina A&T Head Coach: Jay Joyner: age=45, 93-78 overall and 32-55 at NCA&T.
Has a rep’ for: players-coach, shooting/G-play and a little recruiting.
Jay was born in the… Amityville, Ny. Baller Joyner played college basketball at South Carolina State under Cy Alexander and was a part of the Bulldogs 1996 NCAA Tournament squad. After college, he played for the CB 1939 Canarias in Spain’s Liga ACB, but retired due to nagging knee problems and due to having his first child on the way.
Joyner’s college coaching career began under Alexander at Tennessee State, where he served as an assistant coach. He’d then move on to assistant coaching jobs at Columbia State, Rutgers, and Cumberland before returning to Columbia State as head coach. In three seasons with the Chargers, he compiled a 61-23 record and two Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association regular-season titles.
When Alexander was named the head coach at North Carolina A&T, Joyner joined his staff as an assistant coach. He was elevated to the head coaching position on March 7, 2016, after Alexander resigned.
Under Joyner, the Aggies closed out the 2015-16 regular season with a 5-4 record overall and a 5-3 mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. After a tough season in his first full season as the Aggies head coach, Joyner spearheaded one of the best turnarounds in Division I history.
For his efforts, Coach J’ became the first N.C. A&T men’s basketball coach to win M.E.A.C. coach of the year since Don Corbett did it after the 1987-88 season. Joyner led the Aggies to their first M.E.A.C. tournament win in five seasons when the Aggies won twice in the 2017-18 conference tournament. N.C. A&T’s run to the semifinals was just the school’s fourth semifinal appearance in 20 seasons. Their No. 4 seed in the tournament was the school’s highest seeding since 2009. Also in 2017-18, Joyner led the Aggies to their first undefeated season at home in 30 seasons as the Aggies went 12-0 at Corbett Sports Center last year.
Joyner.edu holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Middle Tennessee State.
Poppa J’ and his wife have three children.
NCA&T at a glance:
- 26th in 3-point shooting (39.1%).
- 74th in FG percentage (47.6%).
- 283rd in swats (2.3 bpg).
- 336th in total rebounding. (–4.1 rpg ∑).
- 18 team rankings 201st or worse outta 31 total team metrics I track. i.e. …ungood.
- no injuries listed thx @Coach God!
North Carolina A&T Strengths:
- If this section seems, word-count or baller thrifty, parsimonious, or downright listing… sparse, that’s only because so is talent right now down at N.C.A&T. As this is the first team we’ve faced all year that does not have at least one alpha-scorer or alaph-anything-else. This team plays hard for their coach, they shoot pretty well when dialing long-distance; and after that things are pretty thin on being phat here.
- Middle Tennessee State transfer, Jr. year, Pt.-G. or lead-G, one #3, Quavius -great name- Copeland, is a 6′1″, 176 lb. energizer bunny at the One. He enjoys eating soul-food and collecting #23 M.J.’s sneaks. He also leads N.C.A&T in scoring (12.2 ppg) and “Qua” -as he likes to be called- nets 40% of his 3-point attempts with a very sporty 81% at the charity stripe. At Mid.Tenn.St. “Qua” had a tag as a slashing-One; although he’s added shooting length to his A&T game and he’s more parts perimeter than paint at the moment. The book on Quavius says he’s a good leader and has nice handles on the rock and that he can score the ball —at least at times. As Mr. Copeland is as close as the Aggies will get to all-conference for at least a year; possibly; mo’.
- Ibrahim Sylla is a true-C who goes 6′8″, 220 lbs. as a Northern Colorado, by way of Harlem, Ny., r-shirt and grad-transfer Five. Nor.Col.edu props insert (____) here, check! Ibrahim has been dinged and/or dented off and on his college career so far. Though he has started a decent amount of games when healthy for Nor.Col. and for N.C.A&T. Sylla is a physically willing frontcourt finisher who will go hard with 2-hands to the rack. He did come up on the Chauncey Billups club team for three seasons so his schooling both on and off-court is solid enough. Right now Sylla antes up and kicks in with 8.2 ppg, and a team-leading effort on the glass (5 rpg) and in send-backs (1.o bpg). Sylla also paces A&T in shooting from the floor (64%) although his FT-shooting is downright masonic or bricklaying at a beleaguered 34%. If you have to foul someone late? #10 is the one to hack-a-Shaq’.
- 6′6″, 215 lb. 5th-year grad’-Sr., S/F Terry Harris was an Eastern Michigan baller this time last year. Tho’ he is an unexpected second in scoring for N.C.A&T this year (11.3 ppg). And you’d best not leave him open from 19.75′, as he’s a pure textbook shooter at 53% long and the team gold medal on FTA’s at 83% in addition to that. In further addition to that… the now Aggie formerly Eagle was initially actually rather… Husky. As N.C.A&T is Terry’s third college in four years as he broke in then got broken off from Houston Baptist University back in the 2014 day. Harris’ brother, Tobias, is currently a member of the Detroit Pistons and played collegiately at the University of Tennessee, while another brother, Tyler, finished his collegiate basketball career at the University of Auburn. His sister, Tesia, played basketball at St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y. So the Harris Hooping Genome Project seems willing enough indeed. As Harris was all-New York for his final two scholastic seasons and he was a Jr.High 8th-grade starter on his high school’s varsity team! Ergo, for a guy with really mostly sunny offensive/scoring type H.S. digits, more was next level “make it rain” was forecast here.
North Carolina A&T Weaknesses:
- Well, this is a medium-case team on height and a lowercase team on weight. As only one guy north of 220 lbs. courts here.
- And with not less than n-i-n-e, that’s (9) newcomers one way or the other on the 2018-19 roster… experience is lowercase as well; familiarity is even south of that.
- Gone are both starting frontcourters in this 3-Guard lineup and the third G. Taking with them nearly 44 ppg and 15 rpg to boot.
- Kameron Langley is a 6′2″, 205 lb., sophomoric off-G who is off to a less than expected (6.4 ppg) start. As a good deal more was foretold from the best shooter on the team than 26% beyond the arc. Although the team leading 7 dimes dropped and 3.1 caroms are indeed keeping this misfiring Two on the hardwood for the moment.
- As N.C.A&T may be better for all of this roster turnover come 2021, though 2018 would like a moment with that in the meantime.
Aggies Bench: (depth=6)
There are six guys here who rotate in-n-out, so fatigue is not an issue for these Aggies. Of these six substitutes, they all conspire to average between 2.1 ppg and 4.7 ppg; they also combine to average between o.8 rpg and 3.4 rpg. Do you see a rather “average” trend here?
6′8″, 205 lb., third year, P/F, Ronald Jackson is the semi springy Four even if “…Winter is, coming”. He is the frontcourt low-post back-up who swipes the glass for those aforementioned 3.4 rpg and 4.7 ppg on a surprising 40% from 3-point land.
Aaren Edmead is a mini-me, 5′9″, 165 lb., senior season One who will bring his 4.7 collegiate ppg and fieesty defense each and every night. As his 44% from range won’t be any less rangy vs. guys his own size next year at the local Y.M.C.A. The Wagner transfer One did more for them than he has done (so far) at N.C.A&T. At Wagner, the speedy Pt.G. enjoyed a rep’ as an undersized outburst relief scorer. In high school, Edmead was also a Long Island flash-scorer who became the first Suffolk Falcon player to earn a Division I basketball scholarship in 43 years. So it kinda seems like Aaren was expected to do a bit, more… as he garnered all kinda small to medium sized NY hoopster accolades and awards a handful of years ago.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Aggies who could start @Tech=zero; not, 1.
The takeaway here is… most of my preseason magazines have the N.C.A&T 2019 Aggies tabbed as bottom-1, bottom-2, or bottom-3 at best/most in the M.E.A.C. and quite frankly, I am not inclined to proffer any disagree.
This is not last years rather impressive/intriguing M.E.A.C. semi-finalist 20-win team.
Not at all. As this year’s Aggies are more parts “bark” and less parts bite and these 2018 Bulldog’s barker has a frog in its… throat.
Coach J’ may be okay, eventually; as he’s sure congenial enough, and he does get the modern backcourt centered game. Nevertheless, these Aggies need some help down in the paint and they need at least one or two more uppercase backcourters to emerge in order to, impress.
Our beloved Hokies, on the other hand, are… 4th in 3-point shooting (44.1%), 12th in shooting overall (50.3%). Plus being 37th in swipes (8.5 spg) and 9th in Turnover Margin (+5.4 tpg). This is code for extra shoots for a very sharp-shooting offensive team. Now mix in the 7th best scoring defensive marker (57.9 ppg-allowed) and altogether decent 124th best rebounding margin (+2.4 rpg) which may or very well may not hold up vs. Atlantic Coast Center’s (and/or PF’s). Still yet, that’s way better than a 93.3% less than 6′6″ in height hoops team has any right to expect most often in historic terms.
i.e., Eye am wondering just how close this nifty, sporty and altogether sprite version
of Buzzketball is to its 2019 ceiling, already?
As the overall seasonal stats go… V.Tech is +12% on aggregate FG percentage margin overall, and +25% from 3-point land for the season in marginal terms, to go with +7 in rebounding margin for the year.
The most recent 5-game trends say that… although N.C.A&T is +1 on rest in the last few games, V.Tech is +9% on aggregate FG percentage margin, and +13% from 3-point land in the last fortnight from deep, to go with +7 again in rebounding margin for the last couple of weeks.
- The Hokies have been especially dominant at home, where they’re 5-0 and have held opponents to 49.6 ppg.
- The Gobblers are 32-o against current Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schools, including 6-o versus North Carolina A&T.
- V.P.I. has held three opponents under 45 points for the first time since doing so on four occasions during the 1996-97 campaign.
- Virginia Tech has won 22 consecutive non-conference home games, one shy of the school record set from Metro Conference 1981-84 days and matched again from 2005-09 under S.Greenberg.
Best I can see… I do not foresee much of anything as a 30 point betting fave here.
North Carolina A&T had a little uptick a couple of years ago, although they are playing 2018-2019 for 2020 and beyond. They are down on individual talent(s) and patience will have to be the order of the day 152 miles away down in Greensboro, Nc. As nothing else will do much good here in Aggie terms at all.
Virginia Tech and Buzzketball rolls and then rolls on outta the New River Valley for a few days of Christmas breaking and heads back home for family and friends— coach God willing.
Merry Christmas to Will and Chris and Eric and B.P.
and to all of TSL.com!!!
(97% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=92, North Carolina A&T=49