#29 (⇑ 20 spots) R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #142 (⇓ 17 spots) R.P.I. Notre Dame:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball sojourns just under ~550 miles to play a New Year’s Day rematch vs. the always totally big-name neon-lit up Notre Dame Irish over at the round ball version of South Bend.
The Hokies vie vs. the now slippy or .5oo and fighting for their post-season lives 13 up and 13 down Notre Dame Irish hoops squad. N.Dame is a pretty lowly looking 3-10 or .231 in Atlantic Coast Competition. And yet sure as Coach God made timeouts and, cheerleaders… alike; someone would take an even a .5oo Irish hardwood squad even during a hard, year. (pardon the pun(s)). Nevertheless, what you wanna know is who is gonna win this fading February Atlantic Coast Clubing regular-season scrum, right? Read on, to find… out!
Notre Dame Head Coach: Michael Paul Brey: Age=59, 515–263 (.668) overall, 514–265 (.664) at Notre Dame.
Baller Brey graduated from legendary scholastic hoops factory DeMatha Catholic High School in 1977. As a two-year letter winner under all-everything coach Morgan Wootten, Brey helped the team to a 55–9 mark. He enrolled at Northwestern State University, where he played varsity basketball -as a Forward- for three years (1977–1980). Brey was a standout guard in his collegiate playing days, competing for three seasons at Northwestern Louisiana State (now Northwestern State) from 1977-80. He led the team in assists and steals all three years and still ranks among the top 10 in career assists at Northwestern State. He played his final collegiate season at George Washington in 1980-81 after sitting out the 1979-80 season as a transfer. He averaged 5.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Colonials, serving as team captain and eventually earning the team’s Most Valuable Player Award.
Coach Brey returned to his former high school, becoming an assistant coach under Morgan Wootten. In 1987, he was hired by Duke to assist under coach K, and in 1995 he took over his first head coaching job at Delaware. Brey guided the Fightin’ Blue Hens to a pretty flighty looking 99–51 record over five years | leading Delaware to two America East Conference Championships and subsequently two trips to the NCAA Tournament. After that, in 2ooo, he got the big whistle job for the Notre Dame Irish. Notre Dame had not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1990.
Brey led the Irish to the NCAA tournament in his first three years as head coach (2001–2003), notching a Sweet-16 appearance in 2003. He has led his team’s to tournament appearances in 13 different seasons at two different schools. He has won six conference championships, four Conference Coach of the Year awards and five National Coach of the year awards (all for the same season: 2o11). Good for two Elite-8’s and three Sweet-16’s overall. Coach Brey has only suffered one negative (<.5oo) L’ing season in 21 years. And his teams have enjoyed a post-season in all less three months of March. Coach Brey teams attend with an overall skillful, offensive and a shooters marksmanship rep’.
Brey serves on the Coaches vs. Cancer National Council and has helped raise over two million dollars for the organization; felicitations on that.
Peep Brey was born March 22, 1959, Brey is a 1982 graduate of George Washington with a degree in physical education.
Daddy Brey has two children – Kyle and Callie – and a granddaughter, Olivia Marie. Kyle was a Te/Fb for the University of Buffalo from 2006-09. Brey’s late mum (Betty) only held the world record in the butterfly events and competed for the United States at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. God Bless.
N.Dame at a glance:
- 2nd in fewest personal fouls “whistled” against (13.9 pf/g). (⇑, better)
- 5th fewest turnovers (9.5 tpg). (⇔, moved 1 spot down)
- 18th in swats (5 bpg). (⇓, dropped 1.4 bpg)
- 26th in FT-shooting (75.6%). (⇑, 15 spots better)
- 80th in defensive rebounding (11.58 d-rpg). (⇓, dropped 16 spots).
- 129th in FG percentage D allowed (42.8%). (⇓, dropped almost 50 spots on D)!
- Everything else 281st or better. Tho’ no real superstar team metrics on the main.
Irish Returning Starters=was 2, now, 1.
Notre Dame Strengths:
- 2017 all-A.c.c. Academic Honor Roll winner, one #10, TJ Gibbs is a 6′3″, 195 lb. third-year lead-G for the Irish with a rep’ as an energizer bunny or (hardest)-worker-bee mentality that drones on when others wanna nest. Gibbo was the no.62 baller in all the land according to scout.com as TeeJay gives you 13.9 ppg; which has dropped into second place in scoring since we saw him last. T.J. however is only netting 33% long and 36% from the floor so you have to wonder about his workload here? (both have remained virtually perfectly flat since o1.o1.19). Still yet. Gibbs is now second in apg (3.6) and first in spg (1.2); so he is rounding out a bit. Now, and as the next section will inform… N.Dame is very backcourt needy at the moment. Poppa Gibbs balled football for the Pitt Panthers and older bro’ (Ashton) is an export hoopster for the Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen in the Belgium Basketball League. The other older bro’ (Sterling), only played basketball at Texas, Seton Hall, and Connecticut and was a member of the Washington Wizards NBA Summer League team in 2016. He played professionally in Russia and in the Hungary A League in 2017-18. So the Gibbs Sporting Genome Project has game indeed. And oh yes, TeeJay refuses to take <18 credit hours so he and his handsome academic standing are on their heady way. And you’d have to figure that little bro T.J. is quite possibly on his way to an overseas career in his own right. Making this a pretty cool fam’ if you ask me. Even if Gibbo has been a bit early-winter chilly on O of late. (UPDATE: ⇓ just a smidgeon since we saw T.J. in January).
- 6′9″, 249 lb. John Mooney is a strong arse horse or equine like P/F in the paint down on the low-blocks who actually prefers more of a Dirk looking stretch-4 style of game. As Mooney can fadeaway and his former 56% from beyond the arc were threating to become leading-man great. However, he’s down to a now more centrist -though still useful- 37.7% long. As in he would have been the leading 3-point man in all of D-1 basketball nation if John had kept that kinda distancing up! I’d have to say that counts, as do his now alpha 14.1 pointing and his team-leading newfound rebounding acumen at 10.9 boards. All that with a swipe and a swat and with a virtual team-leading 80.2% free-throwing. Which is what you’d third-year expect from the AAAAAAAA (that’s octo-A) Florida Player of the Year. (UPDATE: only down on 3-point netting, everything else went up, so we’ll call that ⇔ neutral, Swiss, or on the level).
- D.J. Harvey is a green-shoe wearing 6′6″, 225 lb. semi-strong looking lead-G. Poor DeeJay -may St.Nikhon really bless- is playing while recovering from microfracture surgery, and that’s a real career enemy in this particular knee’dy sport. So 10.8 points with 4.3 rebounds and 29% range are no bad thing— all things considered. This in addition to a blown left-knee two years ago and you have to wonder what this kid would be doing on just one good knee; much less on the full two? Harvey is from the high school hoops factory otherwise known as: DeMatha; and he was only the no.21 recruit outta the District per MaxPreps. Accordingly, D.J. joined former Irish all-American Adrian Dantley as the only DeMatha players to start a varsity game as a true freshman; and he is one of not less than nine different DeMatha ballers to go Irish along the way. As is Harvey is still potentially an overseas baller, and he prolly was an Association baller had knee(s) health been permitting. (UPDATE: ⇓, nearly across the board, in particular, ~11% down beyond the arc).
- r-Jr., Juwan Durham is a virtually 7′, 223 lb. P/F defensive specialist who swats a nifty 2.7 bpg and then chips in-and-around the rim with 5.7 ppg, with 3.9 rpg on 58% bunny or putback type shooting. The UConn Husky transfer baller is doing all that after an ugly scholastic right-knee blow-out (may St.Nikhon help) and you have to wonder what he’d be doing on two good wheels as well? (UPDATE: ⇓, on every single metric I track)
Notre Dame Weaknesses:
- This is not the most offensive N.Dame team I’ve ever scouted as Kelly Tripucka made for telly type of scoring this just ain’t.
- Neither is this A.c.c. team A.c.c. deep. The starters are not half-bad and yet the bench is pretty dang thin. And backcourt depth is even mo’ hurting than that, as you are about to read.
- 6′6″, 201 lb. Rex Pflueger
is, well, was; he was the N.Dame starting One and he his blown knee (may St.Nikhon bless again) are both now done. Also done are his team pacing 4.1 dimes dropped per contest (apg), his 8.1 ppg, his impressive 4.7 rpg, and 39% long. Additionally gone is the Irish Team Captain for this campaign and his final year leadership plus a ton of backcourt experience Rex took with him as well. Rex was the Irish defensive player of the year on-team for two seasons running, and he too was all-A.c.c.edu. Now mix in two full tournament clutch-ass game-winning shots and a lotta late-game trust just left the Irish building. As Pflueger is a Gestalt baller or a super-glue guy who you hope does even better in the game of… life.
- Robby Carmody is a 6′4″, 2o4 lb. back-up off-G nugget or rookie year baller who was netting you 4 in relief along with 2 caroms even if his shooting (9% deep) was still Sr.Prom home alone busy. Robby, however, nuked his shoulder (may St.Christopher bless); and this from an interesting Levis Strauss & Co. poster boy looking kid who was actually know for his transition game and for scoring from all three levels. Daddy Carmody is really coach Carmody who has only been the head coach at Mars Area for 20 years and was the Pennsylvania AAA Coach of the Year in 2016. So hoops are in Robby’s blood and he knew the 1 through 5 whiteboard game well enough. As Rob’ was merely the 2018 Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year and the no.81 national recruit per ESPN.com. So this is a major backcourt injury for Notre Dame.
Irish Bench: (depth=2’ish)
6′3″, 167 lb. Prentiss Hubb is a debut season as a protein shake kegger just looking for a headstand weight-room party-animal funnel to happen. As this is one lean kid who on a lb. for lb. basis is about as confident as they come. 7.8 ppg is not bad for being this young, although 32% overall and 26% do need to Raman noodle microwave oven dorm’ warm-up more than a bit. Hubb was a top-40 high school recruit consensus wise prior to a senior year knee whammy (may St.Nikhon help some more)— whereafter Prentiss only finished ranked no.83 in one national recruiting service. So here again, what would this cocksure One be doing on two good twigs? (UPDATE: shooting was poor and is actually, worse, now; although getting to the FT-line has increased the point-total here, so ⇔, or neutral for it)
Fr. year Nate Laszewski is a 6′10″, 199 lb. string-bean springy P/F frontcourt baller from Jupiter, Fla. Nate nets you 6.4 points with nearly 3.9 rebounds and a swat in relief and you have to be intrigued by what this rail-thin big man can be if his body every big-baller fills out? As he already leads N.Dame in FT-shooting at 76% and 31% overall is never a bad thing. Lasze’ was ESPN’s no.51 baller nationally and he sure set a buncha New Hampshire scholastic 3-point shooting marks as a Euro type Four. (UPDATE: shooting is really off, nearly 10% more clanky at charity-stripe and then right at 13% off from dialing long-distance only merits a lowercase or ⇓, (down)grade)
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Irish who could Dublin @Tech=1 to 3.
The takeaway here is… Notre Dame basketball has won exactly three games since we saw and beat them last time out by 15 points (81-66, favor… the good guys).
Accordingly, -N.Dame and any post-season chances they still entertain- need this one, as my late V.P.I. VTCC and footballing pops put it: “Like a dead man needs a coffin.”
I still don’t know if that means you only need a coffin once you are, dead? Or if you don’t really need anything -coffins included- as you are, dead?
Tho’ Eye preview, tangent; again… returning to N.Dame, the Irish really are four shots removed from being 1-12 in the A.c.c. as all the Irish have done is car bomb this year’s mutual intra-conference doormats (G.Tech once and BeeCee twice). And the Irish have barely beat them in two outta those three cellar-dwelling contests mind yah.
That overall broad-brush reality in place, if N.Dame were to Penn.State us and slow this pace down to where their heighty and therefore favorable post-match-ups can clog the lane and clog the O&M draining of long-distance tempo friendly shots?
Then there is modest to reasonable shot that an Irish (hardwood) hooping car-bomb might just go off here. As “fat ladies” do not sing all that well out on the A.c.c. road.
N.Dame is .647 as a host whereas V.Tech is a respectable .5oo as a guest.
N.Dame is +2 on R&R in the last fortnight here; that and V.Tech must travel into to the Havard of the Midwest and that pretty much pushes N.Dame closer to +3 on fresh-legs for all of that.
Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide is hailing an 11.2 point Hokie VicTory in this one.
Overall, V.Tech is (still) up +10% in shooting margin or even ⇔ since the start of the year in marginal terms vis-à-vis, V.Tech is up +9% again from deep (⇓ 1% since o1.o1.19) and likewise up the very same +2 boards of (⇔, same since o1.o1.19) advantage in rebounding margin.
In the most recent 5-game trends we see that the Hokies are now only up +2% in shooting from the floor (due mainly to a V.Tech slippage on O); yet now down –2% in shooting margin from downtown (due to chilly Hokie netting and likewise a lessening on Hokie D); and then N.Dame is actually –3 in rebounding margin which makes an even rebounding margin Gobbler squad absolute value superior here on the glass in the last two weeks. (go fig’ on dat…?)
N.Dame is 3/10ths or .3 better at FT-shooting than V.Tech or basically awash at the line.
- Against archrival uva… coach Buzz’s scorecard said: “(of the) 58 balls that we shot, (only) three of them were bad.”
- makers >>> takers
- That being rightfully said… sources say that Buzz has intentionally slowed the tempo to play a K.Black’ centered -pardon the pun- a Kerry centric version of ½-court, high-post inside-out stall ball. Very similar to coach Dunlevely conserving the aging showtime Lakers in Magic’s final south of full-throttle regular season.
- Accordingly… Kerry Blackshear Jr., has embraced the transition (so to speak), averaging 19.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg and virtually three assists in the six games since Robinson suffered his injury Jan. 30. He is our Blackshear’s, Can’t, Jump… facilitating Pt.Forward… at least of sorts.
- Further… Alexander-Walker is second in the A.c.c. with 2.1 swipes (spg).
- The biggest issue for Notre Dame (13-13, 3-10) has been scoring. In A.c.c. play, the Irish have reached 70 points twice outta 13 conference runs.
- Irish F John Mooney is the only player in the A.c.c. averaging a double-double this season (14.1 ppg, 10.9 rpg). (twice) kudos!
- N.Dame has won eight of the last ten in this series.
Virginia Tech-4 is the Vegas opening line four point favorite for this Saturday matinee 4 pm ESPN kickoff over in Indiana.
Aye, we/VeeTee are the rightful favorite to beat the Irish here. Vs. the Bravehearts, Jacobite Rebellions, and Outlandishly enough out on the .3oo visiting winning-percentage Atlantic Coast Combating road notwithstanding.
Nonetheless, Buzzketball really does need to buckle-down and fasten-up for this one here gents; make no misQ on that. What with no.1 (Duke) and then @no.16 (Florida State) looming next. This one could be the one that gets us to twenty-two (22) regular season VicTories and then get one or two W’s in the A.c.c. Tourney and at least try to sniff-up on two-five or 25 total wins before we get “five” or #5 back from our robber ethos at Pt.Guard.
Though there Eye goes again… putting the cart out in front of the, horse…
As seeing N.Dame carting off an upsetting run come ~7 pm would surprise me; although nothing would shock me as the Atlantic Coast visitor anymore. That and Purcell Pavilion has proven to be a tough legacy road out —even during down Domer roundball years.
However, then Eye found this little self-effacing nugget from Coach Brey..
“Getting over the hump is a big hurdle for any group that is (still) developing. We’ve shown no signs of being able to do it. That’s who we are.“
The season needs to hurry up and end much?!?
Ergo, therefore, to wit, although eye do favor Buzzketball to lift this one, or to just nick this one; Eye will find you gents a better one to bet on before March Madness
and the A.c.c. tourney ends.
As Eye am sensing a “flat” or carpenters dream game.
Fugly, in a… word.
(6o% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=66, Notre Dame=6o