#89 R.P.I. Saint Francis (Pa.)
@ #14 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball host little ole Saint Francis of Northeastern Conference non-fame. Saint Francis University (S.F.U.) is now a four-year, coeducational Catholic liberal arts university in Loretto, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1847 and conducted under the tradition of the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular. The university is situated on 600 acres (243 ha) in the forests and farmland of Loretto. The Red Flash will be making a 335 mile ~ 7-hour bus trek to Blacksburg, Va. to pick up an OOC (out of conference) ¢heck and a Holiday L for their troubles.
The Hokies will Turkey Day+2 entertain the Red Flash who is 1 up and 3 down on the year and yet were tabbed for alpha-swagg in the little Northeastern Conference by about half of my pre-season mag’s (and as the silver medalist or runner-up on the rest). Yes, playing @U.c.l.a., @U.n.c. and @undefeated Buffalo and then playing a stunning six of your initial eight games on the road can wear you down— if not out. Though same as Northeastern, and Ball State and Gardner-Webb, this team was picked very highly pre-season. (more on that below…) though what you wanna know is who is gonna win? Virginia Tech is gonna win so uva-VicTory hangover fans rejoice. Read on to find out by… how, much!
Saint Francis Head Coach: Rob Krimmel: age=41, 79-108 overall and at St.Francis. Has a rep’ for: gritty Gung Ho’ (Chinese for: “teamwork”) teams that work hard. G-play and some measure of scoring as well.
Baller Krimmel was a tremendous 3-point threat and a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic all-American selection as a four-year Red Flash player, Krimmel was a three-year starter and two-time team co-captain for the Red Flash. He led the N.E.C. in 3-point field goal percentage (43.5) as a senior in 1999-2000, and is fifth on the school’s all-time list with a 39.8 percent 3-point shooting accuracy.
Peep Krimmel reads like the kinda guy you’d want your virtuous daughter to, date… as in addition to his on-court accomplishments, Krimmel received numerous awards as a student leader. He was the first-ever recipient of the Dr. Philip Benham Scholar-Athlete Award, which is given to Saint Francis student-athletes who exhibit outstanding academic and athletic excellence. He attended the NCAA Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla., received a prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship and was the N.E.C. Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2000. He also received the University’s Mr. Frankie Award, which is presented annually to the outstanding male student in the senior class.
Krimmel received his Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and History with a Pre-Law Concentration from Saint Francis in 2000. He then earned his Masters of Education-Leadership from SFU in 2003.
Krimmel is 21st head coach in Saint Francis University men’s basketball program history, succeeding Don Friday who retired after 4 seasons at the helm. Before 2014-15; and coach Krimmel; Saint Francis recorded sub-.5oo records in nine straight seasons dating back to 2004-05. Since 2014-15, the Red Flash has recorded a .5oo or better record in three of the last four seasons.
Rob and his wife, Aileen, reside in Duncansville with their two sons, Alex James, and Thomas. Aileen also graduated from Saint Francis with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and a Masters in Physical Therapy. She works as a Physical Therapist at
Drayer Physical Therapy Institute in Altoona.
Saint Francis at a glance:
- 347th in shooting percentage (35.1%).
- 343rd in Assist:Turnover ratio (+o.58).
- 337th in scoring D allowed (84.5 pp).
- 311th in FG percentage allowed (47.3%).
- 8th on the offensive glass (16.8 o-rpg)!
- Rest are C to D+ kind less than mean, median, mode stats.
Saint Francis Strengths:
- Individually, there are not a lotta strengths here, at least not to my eye. There are however 5-7 semi to pretty interchangeable guys who fit and obey their system rules well enough.
- There is, however, a lotta experience returning here as 93% of the Red Flashes 2018 offense is back!
- One #13, and 14.8 ppg and 10.8 rpg Keith Braxton is clearly the alpha here. He’s pretty legit with a double-double hung on his plays bigger than his listed: 6′5″, 205 lb., third-year, knifey, slicey, slashing type frame. Now mix in the team pace setting in passing (2.5 apg) and in thieving (2.8 spg) and the only thing he needs to work on is his parsimonious 28% range from deep. Hommie ran ball for three different high schools and if you know how I feel ’bout things you know I never feel like that’s a good thing or a good sign. Although I do know this was a very overlooked streety and street-tough kid who has brought a lotta bang for his buck to St.Francis (Pa.). Tough to do more than Keith has when you had precious little run coming off of a high-teens high school scoring career. As twice first-team all-N.E.C. does not suck. Neither does N.E.C. rookie of the year and a reputation for clutch heroics in late game pressure-cookers. As this Braxton kid gets crockpots whereas others crack up. I like what I saw of him, something of a small-schools (crossover) Vince Hall running hard out on the hardwood. And being named Lindy’s conference player of the year and rebounder of the year is dang fine work… if you can get it. And oh yes, Lindy’s merely called Braxton the best player in program, history. That’s all.
- 6′9″, 195 lb., sophomoric, stretch-P/F, Mark Flagg (3.5 ppg) is one of only two real sizey guys on the St.Francis low-blocks; pardon the hooping pun. Though he’s a real stringbean low-post who could mix in a protein shake and a streak, or three. The book here says deft shooting touch and a guy who finishes with 2-hands stronger than you think. Second in rebounding prolly speaks to this with 5.8 rpg gathered in.
- Mighty mite 5′10″, 169 lb., final-year Pt.Guard Jammal King is another red-flash who brings a real live hardened street Aurora to his game. And to extend the celestial metaphor, he has been known to go off on the offensive scoring end and light peeps spark up. As his going off has been “on” of late and he now Flashes the scoring lead at 16.3 ppg. As J.King gives the Red Flash an all-conference backcourt in pre-season terms plus plenty of experience running the One. Jammal is also easily the best shooter on the team and leave this gunner open at your very own peril, as his range is basically the gym. If he is in it, he is open. A sizzling and alpha marksmanship at 48% long-distance and AT&T both said so.
- To be fair, the Red Flash have just made the C.I.T. post-season in three of their last four seasons. So PROPPERS to them on that.
- This small team is pretty much just that… “s, m, all” as Dean Martin used to salt standup routine fellow rat-pack member Sammy Davis Jr. with. At least in rotational terms as a bunch lowercase 6′ not much something guys or 5′ whatevers run most nights here. With a staggering 12 roster guys listed at 190 lbs., or less!
- Norm Van Lier (once) played for St.Francis and was a 3x N.b.a. All-Star Pt.Guard with the ChiTown bulls. Though he’s long (1969) gone as well.
Red Flash Bench: (depth=8 to 11)
Playing time is spread out is the lowercase coach K’ plays a lotta peeps and he plays ’em full throttle hard at both ends.
Isaiah Blackmon is back off of injury (right-knee tear) and is a back-up Pt.Guard at 6′1″, 170 lbs. as a r-Jr. who was something of a recruiting coup for little ole St.Francis three seasons ago. That -St.Nikon help, twice- was two blown knees ago as he was third-team all-conference before he even balled. As Blackmon was something of a Charlotte area hoops scoring phenom’ with nearly 50% 3-point shooting in high school. Unfortunately, he just doesn’t look the same to me, down to 7.3 ppg and 23% near with 22% long is just sad/hard to see. May St.Nikon bless some mo’.
Imported Jr. year Lithuanian big (6′10″, 209 lb.) Deivydas Kuzavas is a P/F-C combo frontcourter who has been an off-n-on starter at St.Francis. He averaged 6 ppg in scholastic terms and nets 4 ppg with 3.8 caroms with the team lead in swats at 1.3 bpg on a nearly cannot miss 80% from the floor so far. Even if his game is dunks, put-backs, and bunnys in close.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of R.Flash's who could start @Tech=1.5.
The takeaway here is… twofold; as Eye finally got to watch/study this years team Sunday evening in a delightful big-time win vs. nationally ranked Purdue. So here goes…
- This team likes itself, they like each other, and frankly, it showed. They played very well as a group, as a unit, vs. a clearly superior individual baller and that says a lot culturally in this O&M revenue sports’ case. These Buzzketball small-ball pieces fit very well and the bench guys seemed very accepting of their P.T. and/or necessary greater good or utilitarianism roles. (I really enjoyed witnessing that ¦ I found that very myspace refreshing vis-à-vis instabook)
- As best the Telly cameras did allow, did any of you other hoop-heads watch Buzz? He sure seemed to me to be doing a paramount amount of coaching during the longer timeouts. At times doing nearly all the coaching. As I only twice saw the new assistants white-board things and that was during the longer TO’s after Buzz had dismissed them and broken the TO huddle back to the court. So do monitor the Buzz O/U on coaching/fatigue as this year rolls along. As such might just give you a U.S.P.S. next year, hint to boot.
(quickie: Landers Nolley II, still listed as: “questionable”, FYI).
The only real wonderment I have is how much helium did we ingest post-game after a very useful and very well earnt triumph over lower-ranked though betting favorite Purdue on Sunday night on national TV?
i.e. how far off the floor are we and how much 2019 headroom does a pretty well veteran team R.A.T.T. have in front of it? Meaning: are we closer to our ceiling or closer to our… roof?
As our team fits and therefore plays very well together in what is basically a 4-1 O and D alike. That’s hard to do though “fit” -and experience- are your rune or touchstone words for Vah.Tech hoops this year. And I gotta confess, although small-ball nearly makes me sick; this is a pretty dang handsome small-ball fit. Or textbook: tolerance in machining and EF 1006 under Dr. Teskie term alike.
“Though same as Northeastern, and Ball State and Gardner-Webb, this (Saint Francis) team was picked very highly pre-season”
And yet St.Francis is in a -77 point hole vs. the three good teams they have played. Whereas Virginia Tech is +55 points to the nearly great vs. three teams with a pretty fair to middling chance to win their given lowercase conference championship(s) this year. Or at least +55 points to the good vs. what really does appear to be three post-season bound mid-majors already. My word for that?
Gulf. As there is a gulf opening up in program acumen here and this Eye could not be happier to see.
The Hokies swept three games at the Charleston Classic last weekend to win their first tournament in 10 years and rose to No. 14 in this week’s coaches poll. Our Hokies will play four of their next five games and eight of the next 10 at home.
On the other hand… the Red Flash were within five points of UCLA with 18:30 to play and within six points of North Carolina with 15:45 left— and yet they were routed in the final minutes of both contests. I’ll go with that, as try as you might you still can’t coach depth on Saturday afternoon.
The other revenue sports Hokies just came back from the month-long dead and just went St.Lazarus upside the have to (now) be about 3/2’s dead booHoos themselves.
Happy Thanksgiving+2 TSL.com! Ha-ha-ha!!!
Buzz and Co. win, Buzz and Co. likely roll, and although this ain’t Hawaii,
the Hokies go”5–o“, here.
(92% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=92, Saint Francis (Pa.)=66