#4o R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #81 R.P.I. Syracuse:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball plays with fresh-legs after yet another round of de’ re’ and scheduling Twister 2020-2021. (St.Nikephoros bless BeeCee).
The Hokies now sojourn up to New York State to face the Syracuse Orangemen of virtual hardwood factory-fame. As the ‘Cuse has done a lot under Jimmy Boeheim for a long long time. This year Syracuse checks in at 8 up and 4 down overall (and at 10th place per being 2-3 in A.c.c.). With an o-o-2 rec’ on cancelations and postponements respectively. Not bad, not great just yet, either. That all said, what you wanna know is who is gonna win and by how much, right? So, read on to find… out!
Syracuse Head Coach: James Arthur Boeheim: Age=75, 971*–401 (.708)*** overall and at Syracuse, alike. Jimmy -of course- enjoys the Dean of 2-3 Zoning reputation and for playing
old-school early Big East big-ball down-low.
$2,695,375.oo (with: $130,000 every time Syracuse qualifies for the NCAA Tournament.
He also gets $77,000 in insurance/vehicle allowance and $40,000 in deferred
compensation | i.e. a steal at this level)
Baller Boeheim was a walk-on 6′3″ Pt.Guard with the freshman basketball team at Syracuse. By his Sr. year he was the team captain and a teammate of all-American and future Mayor (of Detroit) Dave Bing. Dave was his freshman roommate, and Dave is only in the Basketball Hall of fame himself for his work with the Detroit Pistons. The pair led Coach Fred Lewis’s Orange to a 22–6 overall win-loss record that earned the team’s second-ever N.C.A.A. tournament berth. After graduating from Syracuse, Boeheim played professional basketball with the Scranton Miners of the American Basketball League, during which he won two A.B.L. championships.
Coach Boeheim has only guided the Orange to nine Big East regular-season championships, five Big East Tournament championships, and 28 NC2A Tournament appearances, and one National Championship (2oo3 with ‘Melo Anthony). He only has 13 conference titles, six National Coach of the Year awards, and four Conference Coach of the Year awards. He is only a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame as well. He has only won six International Gold Medals three of which are Olympic. He sucks; fire him, now! Nevertheless, coach B was forced to vacate a backbreaking 1o1 total wins from the 2004–2005, 2005–2006, 2006–2007, 2010–2011, and 2011–2012 seasons due to recruiting violations. He is also down eight schollies over the next year and was suspended the first nine games of 2016.
Boeheim had prostate cancer in 2oo1, and subsequently became a major fund-raiser for Coaches vs. Cancer, he and his wife also inaugurated the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation to help kids from Central New York; God Bless.
Coach Boeheim had previously stated that he would retire in April 2018. However, in March 2o17 he extended his contract to beyond the 2o17-18 season.
*(yes, Jimmy’s win total wears an asterisk for his (alleged) brushes/scrapes with the KayCee (Kansas City) suits rulebook(s), quite plural).
Boeheim and his wife, Juli, have three children together: Jimmy and twins, Buddy and Jamie;
he has a daughter, Elizabeth, with his ex-wife Elaine.
‘Cuse at a glance:
- 12th best in FT-percentage!!!
- 16th most personal-fouls “whistled” against!!!
- 19th in assists per game!!
- 23rd in swats per game!!
- 25th in swipes per game!!
- 50th in defensive FG-percentage allowed.
- 72nd on the defensive glass.
- ONLY 2-team rankings south (worse than) 169th!!! (wow!) A very complete team.
- ‘Cuse has 3 injuries listed. (Coach God quad-Bless!)
- Team has needed some St.Corona love as well. 🙏
Nobody is in da Zone-like Syracuse on D. Jimmy is the 2-3 (match-up) zone sensei & Jedi master.
Quickie 2–3 tutorial:
The zone-defense concept was invented due to a leaky basketball gym roof vs. … freakin’ w.v.u. back in 1914 during WWI! (of all the things!?!)
strengths: The 2-3 is a zone is designed to: force outside shots, hide weak(er) man defenders, slow/control the tempo and allow fewer offensive shots, period.
weaknesses: The 2-3 zone defense is (in theory) … susceptible to 3-point shooting (due to packing/sagging) the key) and to High-Post/wing shooting mid-range or 3-ball shots in particular. It is also known to be a so-so rebounding set (surprisingly); due to defending a spot on the floor and not blocking out a man naturalistically. Although it slows a game it is not a good D to play when giving chase on the scoreboard accordingly. And the degree of difficulty° or learning-curve effects effectively takes a minute or three to gel and get the timing/spacing of the 2-3 zone down pat.
- A rare, rarer, rarest team with 5×5 returning starters and a lotta working-experience to show for it in a transferring/portaling or early-entry era selfie of play.
- Bourama Sidibe is an imported Bamako, Mali spindly looking baller, who goes: 6′1o″, 218 lbs., Sr., as a C-P/F combo frontcourter who can run the floor, protect the rim and operate pretty adequately enough down low in the post. Sidibe is a defender with a few legit low-block moves. He did pace the ‘Cuse with 7.5 caroms and in swats with 1.1 bpg. His 5.2 points on 63% shooting which told you where he shoots from -I mean bunny and put-back dunks from- although his bricky 5o% from the charity-stripe donates points to opponents. This year however he is down to 4.0 ppg and 2.0 rpg as you will read why below. Sidibe did find about a 10-lb. plate of right-mass this offseason and he could prolly find another ten-pounder or more. As the occasionally showy Sidibe is mo’ parts finisher, rebounder, defender, and less parts developmental with regard to anything else. (although he did have some pretty decent output numbers at St. Benedict’s Prep; so, more was prolly offensively expected here. Time=tell, and so will the weight-room as Sidibe can no longer merely out-height peeps at this power-conference level of basketing). And he is running outta… time. (UPDATE: been down, for a bit with whispered torn left-meniscus from last year and recurring soreness this year, St.Nikon helps!) Said to be trying to get back soon, however. Pretty good defender and very good on the boards. Stays and plays within himself— and not everyone does.
- The final-year Marek Dolezaj is a 6′10″, 2o1 lb. imported Bratislava, Slovakia; rail-thin, poster-child for protein shakes and slices of cow everywhere. I mean there is string-bean and then there is Marek Dolezaj. Last year Dolezaj (somehow) grew an inch and then (somehow) shed 10 lbs. for it as well. This year however and he has now found about 15-lbs. good for a stunning 25-lb. swing! Marek has been in Euro’ or global competition for five straight seasons; so, I doubt that experience is an issue for him. Dolezaj is said to be a skilled big man with the ability to score inside and out. His European digits paint the pic’ of a box score stuffer, and right now he is dropping you a nearly 300% improved 10.7 ppg, grabbing 5.3 rpg on 1 bpg, with 3.7 apg, 1.3 spg, and a useful 56.3% from the floor. Now imagine him if he just finds a credible high school type body to boot. This with very limited long-range, you only need to guard him just out beyond 15′; tho’ a quality FT-maker at 83%.
- One #35, Buddy Boeheim is a 6′6″, 195 lb. Jr. year Wing. This Bud’ was only the 2017 All-Central New York Player of the Year after helping the Red Rams to a 21-4 record, and the Section III Class A title two years back. His twin sister, Jamie, is also Juniorific over on the basketball team at Rochester. And oh yes… he might just have the nepotistic swagg to fetch some good seat(s) for his ‘mum’ via asking his pops to ask the… coach. Little Bo’ is second in scoring 16 ppg, and he hit a nifty 41.1% of his 3’s last year although down to 29.4% this season. This with 2.1 rpg and 3.2 apg and nearly 16 mo’ lbs. in tow. The tag here says Buddy needs to expand or round out his offensive game to become more than just a pure shooter. It also says he gets cradle hoops (with a family tree I.V. poured into him) and he is a good setter-upper. As this Boeheim has blossomed and his scoring output was up by 230% last campaign. So, pure shooter or not, this kid has the makings of becoming a high-caliber straight weapon from the outside come 2022. With the potential to be an export or overseas, Pro’. He has expanded his game to add a little off the dribble-scoring punch this time around. (albeit off a very high almost ‘palming’ looking dribble at that).
- Alan Griffin and Quincy Guerrier are your breakout ballers here in lieu of The now gonzo Mr. Hughes. Griff is an Illinois transfer baller. He goes 6′5″, and a pretty lean-looking 190 third-year lbs. His father -you may recall- Adrian, played basketball and Seton Hall and in the Association for nine seasons. He currently is an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors … Audrey also ran track for the Pirates. Alan’s sister Aubrey is a sophomore with Connecticut’s basketball program, and his brother, Adrian, Jr., is a senior on the basketball team at Archbishop Stepinac. Yah; I’d have to say that N.b.a. D.N.A. counts. Alan’s third-best 15.8 ppg, his second-best 6.9 rpg married to 2.5 apg, 1.1 spg and 1.2 bpg also count too. Griff also pocketed a New York State Federation title (in AA ball) and won about everything NYC private school you can win. And these are at least 72-stroke or par for the course digits from the 185th (247Sports) kid in the nation who was medium-recruited if you will. A.G. has an interesting forward loading point on his J— which won’t win any beauty contest points anytime soon. Tho’ it gets the job done at 85.7% on FTA’s and at 35.8% from behind the arc. Lindy’s says that Griffin is Syracuse’s one-man-X-factor per his abilities at long-range scoring. As the only real knock here would be his handles… as 3.o tpg is a bit on the butterfingers’ side to me.
- Quincy Guerrier, S/F, an amphibious one per coach Lou Wacker and ambidextrous to you and me. Also, a Bob & Doug Elsinore Beer player per hailing from: Montreal, Quebec; ‘eh’. With no word yet on how many mice he has found in any given bottle of… beer. That attempt at levity aside… Q’ is only a: 16.7 ppg and team-leading scorer, he is also only leading the way with 9.6 rpg, and chipping in with: 1.0 apg, 0.7 spg, and 1.3 bpg. That’s all. CUT him now! 59% overall is shiny and 34.4% from long means you have to honor his three. He was the 121st Rivals recruit in America. This super sophomore is also on the Student-Athlete Academic Council (S.A.A.C.) at Syracuse, and he was only named to the: 2020 Fall Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. I’d have to call that a good egg. The 6′7″, 220 lb. Guerrier won about everything N.A.F.T.A. you can win north of the border; where he was a pure Academy type of scholastic scorer (25 ppg). He has international experience in Italy and for Team Canada alike. He does however only list his momma-bear in his bio’… so God the Father bless on that. The book says Q.G. is a versatile inside-outside scorer. And he has only nearly tripled his scoring output this year to last. Interesting prospect with this much rebounding… pegs as at least an overseas pro’ at the moment… at least.
- F/G, Elijah Hughes, and his near 20 ppg left early and that leaves a bit of an offensive star-power dent.
- ‘Cuse has slipped a bit as Jimmy has aged a bit… not unexpected. Tho’ this is a twilight era look-n-feel. More of a bubblelicious flavor than ≥the Round of 32 look we saw before.
- ‘Cuse was A.c.c. mid-range picked in terms of league play… however they had NO as in nadda, none, nil… as All-A.c.c. nominees go 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd-string All-A.c.c. Very unSyracuse like here.
- Another Center not listed below… rookie or nugget-year Frank Anselem (6′10″, 21o lb.) by way of Lagos Nigeria. (St.Corona bless!!! Viral-testing/tracing causality here… “QUESTIONABLE” for it. Godspeed!) Also, questionable would be Frank’s 1.5 ppg and 1.3 rpg in limited caddying minutes thus far.
- Chaz Owens (6′5″, 2oo lb.) is out indefinitely per an: “unspecified injury” with no exact date of return. Out also are the 60-seconds and no stats tallied in his Fr. year thus far. God Bless. “Yes” he is related… as His father was one of the nation’s top recruits when he selected Syracuse in 1988. Poppa-bear: Billy Owens was a two-time All-American and the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year in 1990-91. He was the third overall pick in the NBA Draft by Sacramento and spent 10 seasons in the N.b.a. Chaz was just named to the 2020 Fall Athletic Director’s Honor Roll— cuse.edu props! Chaz was ranked 2,113th in the nation and 77th in the Keystone state of Pa. (kinda a curious Legacy take here…)
- Eye did pick up a few ‘vibes’ that hint that this Orange team can be crushed by really physical-play. (almost a little bit of a finesse style team here).
Orangemen Bench: (depth=a lot lot lot!)
The ‘Cuse bench stocks not less than four, that’s (4) true-Centers throwback Big East Ewing Era days here. Not one of which is actually 7′ tall oddly enough. None of which tips the Toledo’s at thicker than 218 lbs. crazily enough. All of which however conspire to give you right at 28′ and close to 875 lbs. in frontcourt zone-stuffing and/or anchoring relief.
Joseph Girard III is a 6′1″, 195 lb. back-up utility G for the Orange. He is now more of a part-time starter… who nets you: 11.3 ppg on 3.1 rpg while pacing you with 4.2 apg and a handsy 1.6 spg. The second-season Girard III is one of those gym-rat self-made kids who comes to practice early, often, and late. He also sports a whopping three that’s (3) New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Class B state titles blings! And he sports them in: football (2016, 2018) and basketball (2019). Girard III was second to “no, no, no, no, noooooo-body” in New York scoring. Nearly averaging 40 ppg in High School play with a career-high of 69 scholastic points if you need ’em. A pure blowtorch of offensive-output in scholastic terms. Thus, Girard III was the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, and The Basketball Coaches Association of New York picked him as its Mr. Basketball. Which is a lotta production for the mere 221st (247Sports) ranked kid in the country. Some do knock his shot-selection (34.4% total and 36.3% from 3-point land); tho’ this kid can flat out put the biscuit in the basket when he gets it going on.
6′7″, 2o6 lb. back-up Swing (2.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg with a 50% 3-ball last season ¦ tho’ now way way down to 27% from the floor and just 21% deep) is Robert Braswell. Whom you may recall was 2019-2020 done (double-leg pain (Shin) shut down for the duration; St.Nikhon twice bless). Ro.Braswell is now an r-sophomoric back-up 3, who is a two-time South Carolina high school high jump champion, having won the crown in 2017 and 2018. He captured the title in the spring by jumping 6-10! Yikes, this kid has springs in his legs and he sprezhen sie Deutsch (overseas: U.S. Navy family). Though either way; this is an extremely credible athlete to have to rejoin your frontline. As peeps with this kinda Lúfttansa in their legs tend to be able to help at both ends.
6′10″, 215 lb. Natinga, SSD native, and Sudanese John Bol Ajak had (self)-elected to use his r-shirt season and has NO stats accordingly as a rookie or nugget year baller last season. J.B.A., who is an artist on the side— is said to be less than artistic and downright “raw” on O, although a pure Windex-wiper and defender, and this typically makes for a good anchoring middle man in Jimmy’s 2-3 (match-up) zone. And he is supposed to be still trying to: “bulk up” to get physically ready for the stateside game. And he found one lb. in doing so. This year we find him at a point and a rebound on a disappointing 33% from the floor. As there is a lotta ‘moo’ left in this kid’s offensive steak. Bloody raw. Sanguine. Very.
6′11″, 215 lb. true-C by way of Amsterdam, NLD, (1 rpg, 1 bpg, 1.4 ppg on 43% shooting) Jesse Edwards has a history of bum ankle turns | St.Phillip bless). His older brother (Kenneth) is a star out at Nor.Iowa so the family tree blossoms round-balls here. Jesse is said to be a skillful low-post baller with legit low-post moves and yet another metrics based tough match-up for us in the key.
Did I mention Syracuse’s sky-scraping frontline, yet?
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Orange who could juice @Tech=7 or 8.
The takeaway here is… well, God Bless and Godspeed at Boston College as some Net Ranking love (likely) got taken away from us midweek or what woulda been last time out.
Now, on to Will’s well-fabled well-glossed: “Jiffy-Pop Dome” vs. a team that tends to very much be in the defensive… zone.
As the ‘Cuse opened a nifty looking 6-1 and yet has only gone 1-4 since their 2020-2021 regular season schedule got desequenced on two straight postponements back in/around Christmas. (St.Joseph bless).
(m.s. midscript: tho’ spies report that Jimmy Bo’ thinks his team just practiced and played their best game of the season so far, which is not what Eye wanted to glean here).
As most of my preseason mags had Syracuse picked All Championship Conference middle of the road or centrist this season. Which is prolly code for some level of post-seasoning.
The only question is which post-season is most likely when taken on the level?
Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a 24-point VomiT @Syracuse in favor of the Orangemen. Albeit on a limited or a singular data point; (n=1 here).
The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… Syracuse is up +1% in shooting percentage margin (‘Cuse is a little better on D); with V.Tech up +1% in 3-point percentage margin (all on O with ‘Cuse better on D), and V.P.I. is actually up +5 caroms in rebounding margin year-to-date (nearly evenly O & D rebounding split).
The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Orange are now up a noticeable +5% in shooting percentage margin (mostly on D tho’ better on O as well); with neither team up much of anything in 3-point percentage margin (The Hokies were 4% better on O and yet the Orange were 4% better on D), and the Gobblers are now only up +3 Windex Wipes in rebounding margin (tho’ the Orange were an improved +5 on the fiberglass of late).
‘Cuse is up +8% at the charity stripe for the year.
VeeTee is +6 in R&R in the last couple of weeks of run.
Syracuse is a .875 (7-1) host; whereas VeeTee is .5oo (1-1) as a guest.
No.48 Net Ranking Virginia Tech @ no.37 Net Ranking Syracuse:
“We’ve got a pretty good team,” Young said. “I think we’ve got a chance to be really good. We’re not really good right now. I don’t think it’s anything more complicated than that.”
Where you stand is where you sit and methinks that is where VeeTee men’s hoops stands right about now.
Meaning… big whistle Mike Young stands as a mid-season favorite for Coach of the Year in the All Coaching Conference. As he is doing a great job with some kinda good to pretty good -though mismatched- parts. Notice Eye did not type he is doing a great job with great parts.
(there is a diff’…)
Because soon enough… he is gonna encounter some opposing great parts.
Then we will see… As frankly, he’s coaching a bit over himself or over his current roster aptitude level at this moment. This is a good team with a great head-coaching job. Although it is a few bricks shy of being loaded for great.
Syracuse presents one of those bad/squirrely match-ups and initiates a 3 home vs. 6 away upcoming O&M conferencing slate.
i.e., we will know just how good this 2020-2021 VeeTee men’s hoops club is soon enough.
In the meantime, the ‘Cuse is definitely not beyond our reach. As They are not quite as epic as they once were as they too “are a few bricks shy…”
Nevertheless, -as Coach Robert Browning would surely have me ask- are they beyond our road warring grasp?
As this one is indeed a good-on-good crime type of contest.
And you gotta favor the home team with the screwy match-ups to make ‘good’ here.
(57% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=72, Syracuse=77