#255 R.P.I. Virginia Military Institute @ #18 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball hosts the Keydets of Gen. Patton’s Virginia Military Institute fame for something of a revival of the old-school hardwood Oyster Bowl with dunks.
The Hokies face a former in-state rival who is 5 up and 4 down on the year at 7 pm Wednesday night -on ACCNetwork and ESPN3 streaming- inside a chilly Cassell Coliseum with final exams right around the corner. As there were indeed years seasons and seasons ago when this woulda been *the* in-state tix to have. Nonetheless, this is not the former fun-n-gun V.M.I. high octane hoops squad that lit up scoreboards and played a very user-friendly and Telly-friendly version of hoops. Now mix in the fact -that as you will read below- V.M.I. is down to about one quality mighty-mite baller and well, there you go. VeeTee is gonna win this hardcourt game and they should win it by a lot. Although you wanna know by how much? Read on… to find, out!
Virginia Military Institue Head Coach: Dan Earl: age=44, 29-70 overall and at V.M.I. Has a rep’ for: defense, Guard/backcourt 3-point play, and discipline.
$200,000.oo (not including incentives)
Youngling Dan Earl was born October 12, 1974, and is an American college basketball coach, hired as the head coach of the Virginia Military Institute on April 12, 2015. He is from Medford Lakes, New Jersey and attended Shawnee High School in Medford, graduating in 1993. He was a 6′3″, 195 lb. 1993 Parade all-American Point-G and was named 1993 USA Today New Jersey Player of the Year in high school. He was named 2nd team All-Big Ten as a junior for the 1995–96 Penn State Nittany Lions before losing two seasons to injury. Earl starred on the basketball court at Penn State where he helped the Nittany Lions to one of the most prolific winning periods in the mid-’90s. He completed his eligibility for the team in 1999 and led Penn State basketball in assists four seasons.
Earl.edu received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Penn State in December 1997 and earned a master’s degree in business logistics at Penn State in 2007.
Baller Earl played professionally in Germany, Poland, and Portugal. He also spent time in the Continental Basketball Association as well as the NBA Development League. He got close to making a National Basketball Association team, wherein the 2001–02 and 2002–03 seasons he spent time with the New Jersey Nets during their training camps.
Afterward, in 2006, Coach Earl joined his alma mater as an assistant coach. He spent six seasons with the team until 2011, at which time he became the associate head coach at the United States Naval Academy. Then three seasons ago he made the obvious pipeline transition to the Virginia Military Lexington based school smoothy and resume` turnkey enough.
The Earl family has deep roots in basketball as father Denny was a starting forward for Rutgers in the mid-1960s where he played under head coach Bill Foster and alongside the late Jim Valvano.
Dan’s younger brother, Brian, started for Princeton from 1996-99 and helped the Tigers to 95 wins – the most of any player in school history. Brian currently serves as an assistant coach at Princeton.
Dan and his wife, Sheila, were married in the summer of 2008 and have two daughters,
Mila and Alyssa.
V.M.I. at a glance:
- 5th most 3-pointers taken (91).
- 16th most 3-point-FG makes per game (10.1).
- 29th in steals (80).
- 57th in 3-point shooting allowed (29.2%).
- 77th in defensive rebounding (28.11 d-rpg).
- 301st in swats (2.2 bpg) DRIVE the dang LANE here!
- (Godspeed, 2 injuries are listed)
Keydet Returning Starters=4
- If this section is shorter than normal that’s only because it is being R.A.T.T., per; normal. And although short in stature (5′10″, 154 -that’s not a typo- lbs.) Bubba Parham is long on game. One #23 Bubba is *the* mighty-mite star baller and instant fanbase darling just add P.T. (playing time here). And after little Bub’? There is not a lot here folks. As Mister Parham is nearly 250% in advance of any other Keydet as scoring goes. So if you can deal successfully with Bubba there is not a whole helluva a lot left to Gump with after that. Bubba is a second-year baller who was the consensus Southern Conference -of former V.P.I. fame- Newcomer of the Year last year. This year he’s only dropping a smooth 24 ppg on 41% long. Although his 39% overall tells you just how much he has to shoot the rock just to keep likable V.M.I. from getting quarried every single nite. On an lb. for lb. basis, or should I type inch for inch… nobody is doing (much) more than Bubba is… what with 4.4 rpg, second in dimes dropped (3.1 apg), third in steals (.7 spg) and with 285% more FTA’s on a makeable 79%… I don’t know what more you could (rightfully) ask of Bubba Parham? Or how much more his pint-sized body that plays a keg-o-beer game can take? Now mix in the team lead in minutes played (34 mpg) and you begin to see what I mean. And what I mean is that this is a fun kid who you hope makes it all the way through —the duration. As same as Mister Scott’s cargo bay league, Mister Parham is surely “giving you all he gots”. And oh yes, the poor kid has been really slumped on shooting of late, 10% long and 15% overall recently is just not enough here. This after four straight 30+ point outburst games. That frigid hooping sexuality is just not it for the former AAAAAA (six-A) Georgia High School Player of the Year who was D-1 un-chased coming outta high school by D-1 teams. Who has also added nearly 11 ppg to his high school scoring metrics upon college— and now courts the 5th most points in the nation. (think about that…)
- Greg Parham (no relation) is the penultimate scoring Keydet at 6′4″, 160 lb., sophomoric Pt.G. with 11 ppg. And he and the other Parham combined to form a just barely 300 lb. backcourt and that’s Jr.High small in 2018 terms folks. Greg is supposed to be the backup Pt.Guard so his alpha status in quarterbacking the O with 3.6 apg is something of a surprise. That said he fields a sharp VMI.edu (all-conference academic) game when off-court, and he was an AAAA Va.H.S. baller of the year. So there is encouragement here for a kid who had an H.S. tag’ as a defensive stopper on the One.
- Tyler Creammer is a 6′10″, 245 lb., Jr. year P/F who paces the Keydets on the glass with an improving 8 rpg and then chips in with 7.2 ppg. Though shooting is not his thang what with 41% overall, 21% from deep and a just serviceable 68% on his FTA’s. Although Ty’ does lead the Keydets in blocking at .6 bpg and that tells you just how tall the trees grow here. (even if Tyler was a Defensive Player of the Year regionally in scholastic terms).
- S/G, 6′4″, 200 lb. third year Garrett Gilkeson, a 3o4 Parkersburg, Wva. native is the third leading scorer (9.7 ppg) and his second best 6.2 rpg tells you just how hard he hustles here. Ditto his first-best 1.9 spg. The Mineral Wells, West Virginia native won a number of scholastic shooting contests (47% beyond the arc) and a 2015 state championship to boot. So you gotta give him that distancing round 10-8.
- Not a very deep team; not at all. As timeout placement/management is at a premium for coach Earl.
- Not much of a frontcourt or post-play lives here. Kind/sorta a little bit of a Spartan G.State Warriors or small-ball look with inspection passing ‘fros.
- (likely) second-leading scorer, 2-Guard, 6′4″, 210 lb., final year Austin Veenen (wrist | may St.Julia bless) and his 10.4 ppg last year have yet to debut this year (mid-December likely back by). Then combo-G, 6′, 188 lb., second season Jordan Ratliffe (blown A.c.l. ¦ may St.Nikon help) and his 7.5 ppg and 3.3 rpg are unfortunately done for the duration. And suddenly a blind man could see with his cane how V.M.I. is trending pretty thin on depth right about now.
Keydet Bench: (depth=2-n-change)
Sorry to say -as I do root for V.M.I. a bit- there is just not a lot to write about here. 6′3″, 170 lb. Soph., Sarju Patel is back and the Indian import by way of New Hampshire does give you a decent enough 8.3 ppg, with 2.5 rpg and 34% from downtown in relief. Plus a stirling four-point-o G.P.A. PROPS on that!!!
Jake Stephens is a likable floor-burn Rambo type player just looking for a place to happen. The 6′8″, 230 lb. frontcourt true-C, rookie year sub’ nets you 6.4 ppg with 3.1 caroms on 42% from the floor. Which is where you will (typically) find him, when not finding him in Bunker Hill, W.Va. And yah; me three on not wanting to fight Lurch looking peeps from Bunker Hill, W.Va.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Keydets who could start @Tech=1.
The takeaway here is… well, Virginia Military Institute is an easy to root for set of underdogs.
I mean they had Gay Elmore back in the Cassell day —remember?
And yet they just got drilled by: Longwood (45-65) the ‘rong way. Longwood of middleocore Big South fame. That Longwood.
Before that Patriot League doormat American beat them by double digits, and before that Stetson —the hat Co. has it’s own, college?!? Well, the always last pace Atlantic Sun Conference Stetson Hatters took them into extra innings. (do you see a trend here, yet?)
Well, if there is a game for our guys to do any pretty-boy stat’ padding… this one is surely it.
V.M.I. is in a –12 rebounding margin deficient per game vs. the D-1 big-boys they have faced. They are also shooting 36% from the floor and allowing 48% shooting overall at the top collegiate level of run.
Out on the road (as a 1-3 or 25% visitor) they are statistically even; worse. At home Buzzketball is netting 48% long-range and only allowing 31% to tickle the twine overall. Virginia Tech has hit 10 or more threes in six of seven games and I’d expect Buzz’s small-ball to make it rain from the outside vs. a likewise lowercase and undersized team on a chilly December New River Valley 83 mile midweek match-up in this one.
Or in other words, this one should only be as close as Buzz and Co. say it should be.
Loveable V.M.I. has no shot to win this one and if the Keydets key our O&M hoop’mobile here?
Eye b.street will eat these very… words! Buzz and company win, they win going away and they prolly put it on scrubs need P.T. (playing-time) cruise-control too in the end.
Chant it with me now…
(98.6% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=9o, Virginia Military Institute=65