#125 R.P.I. Notre Dame @ #49 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball day no.1 with 364 for go, Holiday entertains the turnkey prefab marketable dream match-up of the Golden Domers on New Years Day 1 pm matinee down in the warming New River Valley. And may Coach God call all your 2019 A.D., plays.
The Hokies host the 10 up and 3 down Notre Dame Irish hoops squad that comes to ESPNU broadcast town from 551 miles away to visit the Hokies homecourt; although Christmas Break populated Cassell Coliseum. As he is our chance to ring the Revenue Sports dinner bell after fasting on Monday over in Annapolis. Nevertheless, what you wanna know is who is gonna win this 2018-2019 Atlantic Coast regular-season opener, right? Read on, to find… out!
Notre Dame Head Coach: Michael Paul Brey: Age=59, 512–255 (.669) overall, 413–204 (.667) 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.
Born March 22, 1959, Brey is a 1982 graduate of George Washington with a degree in physical education. 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:
- 4th in fewest personal fouls “whistled” against (14.1 pf/g).
- 4th fewest turnovers (9.4 tpg).
- 10th in swats (6.4 bpg).
- 38th in FT-shooting (78.9%).
- 56th in defensive rebounding (28 d-rpg).
- 74th in FG percentage D allowed (40.5%).
- Everything else 274th 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 and he is leading N.Dame at 14.1 ppg right now. T.J. however is only netting 33% long and 36% from the floor so you have to wonder about his workload here? 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.
- 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 56% from beyond the arc are threating to become leading-man great. As in the leading 3-point man in all of D-1 basketball nation if John keeps this kinda distancing up! I’d have to say that counts, as do his 13.1 pointing and his team-leading newfound rebounding acumen at 9.8 boards. Which is what you’d third-year expect from the AAAAAAAA (that’s octo-A) Florida Player of the Year.
- 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 12 points with 5 rebounds and 38% 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.
- r-Jr., Juwan Durham is a virtually 7′, 223 lb. P/F defensive specialist who swats a nifty 3.3 bpg and then chips in-and-around the rim with 7.2 ppg, with 4.1 rpg on 63% 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?
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 an lb. for lb. basis is about as confident as they come. 7.3 ppg is not bad for being this young, although 31% overall and 29% 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?
Fr. year Nate Laszewski is a 6′10″, 199 lb. string-bean springy P/F frontcourt baller from Jupiter, Fla. Nate nets you 6.8 points with nearly 5 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 84% and 47% 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.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Irish who could Dublin @Tech=1 to 3.
The takeaway here is… with neither team at full-strength, is this game merely as a case of who is hurting… least?
Or… rather, is it more like Notre Dame hoops is just good enough to muck around with us if they land their A-game visiting punch; or if we are New Year’s Eve all hungover on this early Gatorade laced with Rolaids and lines of Goody’s Headache Powder early tip’.
Because beyond that I don’t see N.Dame slotting north of the middle of the A.c.c. As their starters can hold it close for a while and at some point it’s it and that’s that.
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.
And insanely in pre-conference play terms, we do have our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame in play for this one as both teams have balled vs. Purdue O.O.C. (out-of-conference).
The Forum Guide is predicting a 2 point Irish victory per a +1 rebounding margin edge, although more significantly enough N.Dame was +6% in FG-percentage margin and a nearly astonishing 22% better in 3-point-percentage margin vs. the Boilermakers than we were. Maybe that’s prior N.Dame health talking, maybe that’s just match-ups/style of play or even a little of both. Although either way that’s a lotta shooting marginality to plum, ignore.
Overall, Tech is up +10% in shooting margin, up +10% again from deep and likewise up an intriguing +2 advantage in rebouding margin. In the most recent 5-game trends we see that the Hokies are up +7% in shooting from the floor, up 5% in shooting from downtown and up an outright astonishing +13 boards in rebounding margin. (go fig’ on dat…?)
Virginia Tech is +1 on rest and balling at home during the close of Holiday seasonal business 2018-2019 and that means that this is closer to a +1.5 or so R&R homecooked, home-slept advantage. Even with the end of year closeout and inventory insurance saving liquidations, that seems pretty lucrative to me.
- The Maryland Eastern Shore VicTory broke a school record for consecutive non-conference wins at home with 24 straight W’s.
- Per opening up 11-1 this season, the Hokies are off to their best start in a centennial 100 years of men’s roundball.
- Virginia Tech is holding opponents to (a 5th best) 56.6 points per game on (a 36th best) 39% shooting allowed.
All that being rightfully said… Nickeil Alexander-Walker and his practice -which is the hardest hardwood court I’ve ever been on- and his practice floor popped left-ankle are: “questionable” for this one and Eye for one would be surprised to see him at this point.
That to me brings Notre Dame into striking distance. To mix my sporting-metaphor… I do not feel like Buzzketball strikes-out here; although this one has the look-n-feel of a foul-tip or three.
(63% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=69, Notre Dame=6o