#28 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #237 R.P.I. Wake Forest:
Virginia Tech men’s basketball is ranked #20 in the nation and now sojourns to Winston-Salem, Nc. to run ball vs. Wake Forest.
The Hokies now travel to face the 3 up and 4 down, (last-place o-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) Deacons. (who is also o-2-2 on cancellation and postponements thus far). Wake Forest has a new (kinda interesting) Big Whistle and they have even larger than that roster turnover. As you will sadly read, this is a rather insalubrious men’s hoops club right now. God Bless… because if not for bad-luck Wake would have no luck at all. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, right? So, read on; to find… out!
Wake Forest Head Coach: Steve Forbes: Age=55, 130–34 (.793) overall, and 3-4 (.428) @Wake. Has a rep’ for offense via offensive-sharing, steals, and being a
Buzzsaw high-energy coach.
$(undisclosed); still paying Manning 3-Large however.
No. Not that Steve Forbes— no relation either; at least none that I could find.
This Steve Forbes is a native of Lone Tree, Iowa, Forbes graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a degree in secondary education in 1988. A former baseball student-athlete for the Muleriders, Forbes spent one year at his alma mater as the sports information director before embarking on a coaching career. (so he did run at least one year of college ball).
Coach Forbes’ Division I experience includes five years at East Tennessee State, two seasons at Texas A&M, one year at Illinois State, three years at Louisiana Tech, and two years at Idaho. He’s also had assisting stints at mavens such as: Southwestern CC (ass.coach and Head), Barton County CC (ass.coach and Head), and at Idaho (assistant). So, this S.Forbes has surely cut his teeth and earned his chops.
Coach Forbes also only (helped) take UTennessee to a #1 ranking back in 2008. Big whistle Forbes has also only been part of two all-time winning seasons at: Texas A&M and out at Wichita State. Did I mention the ‘winning’, yet?
And he also only pocketed two coach of the year awards last season: Hugh Durham Award (2020) and SoCon Coach of the Year (2020).
However, it was over in the Tri-Cities where he really “made his (skull)-n-bones”… what with East Tennessee State Buccaneers having won 130 games and two SoCon championships during his tenure. While all 22 of his seniors earned their ETSU degrees! ETSU.edu love insert (____) here, ✔! While doing all of this… Forbes joined elite company in 2018-19, becoming one of just 10 active Division I head coaches who have reached the 100-win mark in their first four seasons.
Big Pappi Forbes is married to his wife, Johnetta; and they have three children:
Elizabeth, Christopher, and Johnathon.
Wake at a glance:
- 23rd in FT percentage!!
- 31st in swipes per game!
- 37th fewest fouls ‘whistled’ against! (interesting, consider above bullet-point).
- 97th in FG percentage O.
- 291st most assists.
- 305th in offensive-rebounding!
- 333rd in swats!!!
- 6 injuries listed. (Coach God Bless^7 at least!)
Returning Starters=1 (now optionallly: none)
Wake Forest Strengths:
- Tough to pick an alpha to super-preview here… as there is a scoring quadfecta all trapped between 10.2 ppg and 11.3 ppg.
- P/F and 6′8″, 2oo lb., Jr. year, Isaiah Mucius… is your leading boarding-party Dec’ with 5.3 rpg. He chips in with 10.3 ppg and yet the 14.3% from downtown needs some Billy Joel uptown love. This from the 2018 USA Today New Hampshire Player of the Year a couple of seasons back; who looks physically stronger than his listed metrics on film to me. No. 72 (ESPN) nationally ranked kid of whom more was expected. That fairly said, I.Muc’s has inched his scoring and rebounding totals upwards every single season of play. And the Forbes set(s) are far more Together Everyone Achieves Mo’ than they are individual box-score centric. The book says Mucius is a versatile overall baller with a diverse offensive-game. And he is prolly Wake’s touchstone frontcourt offensive threat who might just do smarter work per more touches (only 7 shot-attempts/game) here. As I kinda think this kid may be a bit more than he has thus far shown… I just cannot reprove the same.
- Big ole bruising Tariq Ingraham -all 6′9″, 255 lbs., Wes Unseld (literal) looking- of him was done for most of last year. St.Nikon bless, on the blown (left) Achilles. Done as well would be his AAAA Keystone (Pa.) state title, his pretty big-time production rep’ up in Pennsylvania, and his pretty dang versatile inside-out game for being a big guy with a big/tough rep’. Both momma and poppa bear balled hoops in college at Seton Hall. So, you know the family tree was most wiling for this rookie year baller who will have to wait until next year. (UPDATE: apparently this kid has: Opted-Out with cv19 concerns… Godspeed!) Accordingly, (now) done this year would be his 11.0 ppg and his 3.5 rpg with a deft inside-shooting touch to boot.
- Ian DuBose G is a 6′4″, 225 lb., grad’-student-athlete. This is a physically demonstrative off-G. Kinda reminds a scosche of Mitch Richmond in terms of his sawed-off sparkplug build. He was named: 2020 Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year and prior to that he was also named: 2018-19 Second Team All-Southland Conference; at Houston Baptist U. (so the transfer on sideways or oranges to oranges religious lines makes perfect sense here). A 3-year starter, a bit of a scorer what with 19 ppg per H.B.U. Decent to a good shooter who had some streaks to his range at times. 60% deep this year good for 11 ppg with a team pacing 4.5 apg along with 4.5 rpg and again the team alpha with 2.5 spg is not bad overall work if you can get it. FT’s have improved every year from 62% debut and now all the way up to a shiny looking 83%— which tells you, Mr. DuBose, is not the enemy of elbow-grease itself. Then we see his family-tree: with cousin Brandon Evans who played basketball at Rice, cousin Braxton Evans played football at Rice, cousin George Duffie Rooks played football at Syracuse and spent one season playing in the NFL with the New York Giants, cousin Jeffrey DuBose played football at Gustavus Adolphus, cousin Taylor Rooks plays basketball at Harvard. Lotta DuBose athletics Genome here. And Ian plays a mean lead string-bass. So, there is that too. As this is a very well-rounded baller who prolly slots as fringe overseas for it. (UPDATE: OUT with a: “undetermined issue”… God help!)
- One #5, Daivien Williamson Point.G, is Wake’s very own k.Aluma of sorts. As he too followed his coach to his new coaching destination courtesy of E.T.S.U. —same as coach Forbes. Bucking the trend of non-bottoms-up allegiance if you will. Daivien goes 6′2″, and a super middleweight 170 lbs. Not the biggest dog in the fight, and frankly he looks it (appearing thinly) upon breaking tape. Williamson also looks like a decent mid-range shooter, and not so much of a 3-point (23%) maker. Limited deep range, tho’ he does lead Wake with 11.4 ppg. The 2.7 rpg and 3.0 apg with 1.4 spg on a decent enough 48% overall and 76% FTA’s are all okay enough. Nothing really ‘rong with any of that. Nothing ‘rong with winning the Frank Williams Award in N.C. H.S. ball either (and there would be even less ‘rong with it if I knew which one it was? The Military One? the B.B.C. tv-personality one? The Formula-1 racy one? …not sure here?) Tho’ I am sure that Williams put up some mid-20’s Nor.Carolina scoring digits. I am sure he enjoys several all-tourney team awards at both H.S. and again at the D-1 levels. So, he must be good with the spotlight and therefore rising to the occasion. Eye also heard they were surprised that he and ex-Hokie (Isiah Wilkens) both cleared transferring waivers. I can also see in his game-log that he’s a bit hit or miss. Low to mid-single digits or mid to high-teens on production. As the Teeny version of Mr. Williamson would give the Dec’s more of a bully-pulpit to be sure.
Wake Forest Weaknesses:
- Who knew ex-head coach Dan the not: Man’ was so popular that nearly everyone we saw last year (less one Sr.) went “☮️ut!” on Wake!
- I mean, there is/was only one guy left from last year’s rotation (Tariq Ingraham).
- Missing summatively however would be… ~60 ppg and ~30 rpg!
- That’s all…
- Great American Quilt or a very patchwork looking team. (lotta transfer 1-n-done’s built for now/today; and not necessarily the long-haul).
- And on top of all of dat… Wake is really hurting right now; not far removed from 50% of the roster is dinged, dented; sickly… or plum OUT. God help!
- Back-up third-year Miles Lester (6′, 170 lb., Pt.Guard), ex-Rice Owl on 3.3 ppg and 32% long is “OUT indefinitely” with “undisclosed”. (God Bless).
- 1st-year, Carter Whitt ( 6′4″, 180 lb., Off.Guard) with 6 ppg and 3.4 apg are “QUESATIONALE” with a sprained foot/ankle from practice. (St.Sebastian help!).
- Anthony Mathis Jr. (6′1″, 185 lb., Shooting Guard), ex of the U.S. Naval Academy (grad-transfer), is out with an: “UNDEFINED injury”. Adm.God help! As this kid has already missed two seasons @Navy and yet he led the state of Kentucky in 3-point shooting as a scholastic Jr. So, there shoulda been some senior range here.
Deacon Bench: (depth=handful)
Sophomoric Ody Oguama was a 6′9″, 225 lb. thinly lanky looking Ichy Crane type pointy-elbow frontcourter by way of North Carolina. Who has now gone our and found about 22 lbs. of right-mass and looks more the 220V or “power” Forward part. Tho’ he did prep up in New England and frankly this one was something of a reaching take to me. As the highest recruiting ranking, that I could find was 1o5th (for P/F’s) and 516th, after that. So maybe D.Man’ saw something here others did not? Dunno… tho’ I do know that the offense (9.4 ppg) has upped by 427% … from this maybe still needs to add a little mo’ strength/right-mass Four who is more parts rim-protector/defender at this stage of his game. 4.2 rpg on 54% is showing some flashes here, however. Making this an interesting O2 kid come 2023 I’m tending to expect.
6′8″, 220 lb. second-season Three Ismael Massoud is a lean, multi-tasking Spaniard at the Three with a said to be fine shooting-stroke from the outside. 148th in all the land per Scout and pretty much all-anything Massachusetts wise in high school for the Harlem NYC native. An improving 9 ppg with 3.3 rpg on 37.2% long is no bad bullpen shakes. And the Pequod and I both have to wonder where Ismael will be come 2023? Presuming Ismale survives the weight-room, a protein shake and a streak or three. As his length and range could develop into a serial overload at S/F in power conference terms. With no word in yet if coach Herm’ Melville has ‘called’ this kid or not…
True-C, rookie or nugget-year Emmanuel Okpomo, and sophomoric stretch-F Grant van Beveren F stands 12′16″ combined and weighs 444 together. They combine for 4 ppg and 4 rpg to boot. Okpompo looks like a freakazoid, robot, and android. Literally, almost equal parts as Lurch called and wants his forehead lugnut back. This dood is a bruiser. A living bowl of mashed-potatoes extra lumpy at that. He was a pure meat-hook enforcer on the #3 in the nation Oak Hill (basketball) Academy after pretty much being the same over in the 3o4’s very own Huntington Prep (W. Va.). Not a scorer, tho he can and will bang and there are worse things… and if/when Em’ can develop some real-live O? I doubt the All Charmin Conference can handle his physicality. G.v.B. is more parts rebounder even if he does not even remotely look the pasty-part. Very J.Crew kid who averaged 20 rpg in high school ball down in the Peach State of Ga. That’s all. He also only has one state title bling, from: volleyball! As there are those who thought van Beveren woulda -maybe even shoulda- picked the other sport. Granted, his Aunt (God Bless), the late Heather Holmes, played volleyball at Clemson and was the head volleyball coach at Wake Forest from 2005-12; mum played college volleyball (Clemson), pops played roundball for So.Methodist.U., and his uncle is only the Director of Scouting for the MLB S.F.Giants. The even mo’ curious part is that Grant is not in any of my pre-season mag’s (at least not fo’ Wake Forest). (UPDATE: van Beveran may be OUT with: “undisclosed”… God bless).
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Deacs who could preach @Tech=3 maybe 4.
The takeaway here is… that I’m not particularly taken away with Wake.
Kinda a sleepyhead or snooze button looking team— at the moment.
That squarely struck… this is seven whole entire games into Coach Forbes reboot.
And just how far can that initial Ctrl+Alt+Del, rightfully; go?
That too rightfully struck… you do not win as much as the other Steve Forbes did at all the little to medium places like he did unless you may very well be a big-time coach indeed.
Time=tell on that… tho’ that’s just what Coach Forbes needs… time.
Prolly 2023 or so to see where this realistically stands…
…or where it, sits.
Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for an improbable +28 point Tech Triumph when common opponents are taken round-robin head-to-head. Even pro-rata, this is still a +14 forecast margin of VicTory.
The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… V.Tech is up +3% in shooting percentage margin (virtually all on D); with V.P.I. up +2% in 3-point percentage margin (mostly on O) and Vah.Tech is also up +5 caroms in rebounding margin year-to-date (tho’ Wake is better than average on the backboards seasonally).
The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Hokies up a spiffy +8% in shooting percentage margin (evenly split between superior O & D alike); The Fighting-Gobblers are up close to 7% in 3-point percentage margin (little more on O here), and up a useful looking +7 Windex Wipes in rebounding margin (as Wake has really missed-up the Fiberglass in the last fortnight of play).
Wake Forest’s defense has forced 15.4 turnovers per game this season; yet is forcing 11.8 turnovers over its last five games and just 10 over its last three. Whereas Virginia Tech has committed more than 11 turnovers in only four of 12 games this season. You do the maths…
Virginia Tech (1o-2, 4-1 in the A.c.c.) was the first team in the league to reach the 10-win mark. “I think we’ve got a chance to be really good,” Hokies coach Mike Young post-Duke said.
j.Cone will be playing Sunday night’s game just a few miles from his hometown of Walkertown, N.C. And the next four games for Virginia Tech come against teams with a combined record 2-16 record in A.c.c. (All Cupcake Conference?)
Wake is up +7% at the charity stripe for the year.
VeeTee is +3 in R&R in the last several weeks of ball.
Wake is a .75o (3-1) host; whereas VeeTee is .ooo (o-1) as a guest.
No. 32 Net Ranking Virginia Tech @ no. 151 Net Ranking Wake Forest:
Down 127-miles nearly due south as the crow flies, or So-West-by-South as the road winds, in Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum (and may St.Lawrence and the Prophet Joel bless any Veteran reading this…) …the Hurrying Hokies are your legit favorites here.
And this just in… rain is still rumored to be, wet!
And frankly, even though as Will -freakin’ Stew schooled us all long ago… courtesy of the A.c.c visitor only marking for 30% wins out on the All Combat Conference road… Wake is sure a beat-up looking bunch right about now.
And they ain’t that epic of a looking bunch even at full-strength.
As Wake has either gotten off to very slow A.c.c. starts— or they have really faded in the last 10-15 minutes of play. (which may speak to C&P neediness). And this is not the best bookend look when you run-ball vs. 4 straight nationally-ranked squads.
Ergo, therefore, to Whit; it is Mohs Scale hard to not wanna favor the Tech team here.
Unless Wake (somehow) finds a smokeless-diamond in
the Tobacco Row rough.
(82% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=76, Wake Forest=63