#174 R.P.I. Georgia Tech @ #64 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
TV coverage: Sunday 1pm, on Raycom
Vegas line: VT-10.5
Yes, I do sit in an O&M flavored chair; and yet from where I sit VT has a fair to middling shot at going 3-1 (or better) in its next four basketball games. Such would vault a gutted Virginia Tech 2010-2011 men’s hoops team to 18-8 overall and perhaps more importantly in Selection Committee terms, 8-5 in A.C.C. intra-league play. 4-0 is within reach with two games at home, a revenge rematch in paris with likewise hurting france and a visit to A.C.C. bottom dwelling Wake at the tail end of this four-fer.
In the meantime however, we host a rather upsetting Georgia Tech squad who somewhat surprisingly got the best of us a couple of weeks ago in a Hot’lanta A.C.C. visiting ambush.
Gah.Tech has won one game since January 22nd and it just so happens that it was vs. VT. Be real nice to get some get-back and return of serve this Sunday afternoon inside the Cassell.
To mix my sporting metaphors a bit, right now is the time to mount Lombardi’s fabled “big push”. Seth is right; the season “is a marathon, not spirit” though I would so love to see the famous 1980′s Eamonn Coghlan kick as we are precisely one month removed from the A.C.C. championship game.
Time to make that big push and dash right on through the A.C.C. finish line on our way to what we all hope will be a very meritoriously well deserved NC2A big to March Madness!
Georgia Tech at a glance:
- 4th in steals per game (9.9)
- 19th turnover margin (+3.6)
- 280th in FG% overall (41%)
- 285th in 3-point shooting% (28%)
- 336th in 3-point defensive% (39% allowed)
Leading the way for the Wrambling Wreck, would be one #1, 6`5“ 209 lb. junior Point-Guard Iman Shumpert. Iman (right) leads the Wreck in scoring at 16 per contest, in rebounding at 6 per game and in assists at 3.5 every time he steps out onto the court. I’d say that qualifies Mr. Shumpert as the leading man for the Yellow-Jackets basketball team this year. Iman has cooled off a little bit on his 3-point shooting as his range how stands at 25% and he is now third on the Jackets at a nifty 83% from the charity stripe this season. This is rather helpful when you get to the FT line a team leading 126 times on the year. To top all of that off, Iman leads GT in steals at 63 thus far this season; thus making Iman one of the best well-rounded ballers in the whole darn A.C.C. I’d say that is enough to reserve (pun intended) no less than a second-team all-A.C.C. placement for Mr. Shumpert later this year. Not bad work for a guy who missed about a quarter of last year with a significant knee sprain that lead to a very uneven 2009-2010 campaign. Not so in recent terms as Mr. Shumpert is putting the biscuit into the basket to the tune of 20 points per game on average since the middle of January.
Second in scoring would be nepotistic legacy baller one #41 Glen Rice Junior. Yes they are related and yes Glen Jr. has some range on his shot just like his old-man did. Glen is a 6`5“ 185 lb. sophomore 2-Guard who gives GT 13 points and 5 boards per night even if his 3-point stroke has dropped 12% since last year and is now down to 32% for this season so far – such has decline a further 4% since VT played him a few weeks ago down in the ATL. In the middle the Yellow Jackets enjoy the services of a legit 6`11“ 258 lb. big, #5 Mr. Daniel Miller a red-shirt freshman from Loganville Georgia. Daniel gives you 5 and 5 per night (points & rebounds) and does lead GT in blocks at 1.9 per contest. Daniel however is a bit raw on the offensive end and is positively offensive from the FT-Line at a lowly 38% on 15` set-shots. #11 6`6“ 220 lb. sophomore swingman Brian Oliver is third in scoring netting 11 points and running down 4 rebounds of his own to go with 82% from the charity-stripe. Well, at least he was, right up until he sustained a busted left-digit (thumb). Mr. Oliver is done for at least three weeks and possibly more. Fourth in scoring is #0 Mfon Udofia, a 6`2“ 187 lb. sophomore Point-Guard performer who is a former baseball star turned hoopster. Mfon possess a high basketball I.Q. and gets you 8 points per competition; even though Mfon was said to be a bit over-matched in league play last season and he is still not much as a pure shooter goes.
After that #14 6`5“ 210 lb. freshman Wing Jason Morris leads the way at 39% on three-pointers and chips in with 6 points overall. This is extremely impressive from a kid said to be the best pure athlete in the six ATL years since Isma’il Muhammad left campus, who was recognized for mostly being a high-flying finisher straight outta high school. Maurice “Mo” Miller is a reserve 6`2“ 189 lb. senior Guard who’s minutes and production have been dropping every since his rookie season, right now he stands in at an experienced 5 points and a couple of boards per night to go along with a team leading 90% from the FT-Line! #42 6`10“ 218 lb. freshman Nate Hicks provides PF-Center relief minutes off the GT pine as a late summer surprise signee from Panama City Florida. Nate shoots a team leading 65% from the floor although he does not shoot very often; he will get you a couple of rebounds and a block or two per game, even if he is only 30% from the charity-stripe. #24, 6`8“ 209 lb. freshman PF Kamerron Hosley, sat out last year with a blown A.C.L., and has been battling a flu-bug is now back. Kamerron is a 16 minute per game quality bench-sub, who can have explosive nights in scoring and on the glass when his trick knee is feeling the part. GT sources suggest that Kamerron is feeling better after sitting out vs. france; and is now likely to play Tuesday night.
- Nate Hicks (appendix=gonzo, i.e. removed); though he did -pardon the pun- gut it out vs. F.S.U. for 8 minutes last game in a early-return of sorts. Nate is expected to play this Sunday as well.
- #12, 6`2“ 185 lb. freshman G, Kyle Speller is listed as “sidelined indefinitely” with a thumb injury. (though he apparently did play two token minutes last game vs. Wake two games ago; his first and heretofore only action all year long)
- Mr. Oliver is done for several weeks; see ^above^ notes.
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Conclusion(s), Fourm Guide and prediction:
More analysis is forthcoming once the match-up and recent five game trends are up on Covers.com. For now however, I can go ahead and deliver the so-called Fourm Guide of Graham Houston fame. 37 points! Yup, that’s what the head-to-head round-robin predictor knows as the Fourm Guide has slated to happen and happen in VT’s favor. However, the Fourm-Guide was a bit erratic as GT has beaten U.N.C. and VT itself already on the year. So instead I went back in and double checked for games that Mr. Oliver did not participate in, in Fourm Guide terms — namely Florida State and Maryland. Such inspection painted what I thought would be a more balanced picture, which to me; more truly reflects the nature of this match-up sans Mr. Oliver. 44 points! Or an even larger VT blowout basketball victory than the entirely of the Fourm Guide did in the first place. So either way the Fourm Guide says that VT runs away and hides in this one. To see that predictive cakewalk kinda O&M victory -only amplified all the more- minus Mr. Oliver is what I consider to be rather compelling indeed.
Let’s see Georgia Tech is o-7 on the road for the season; that sure sounds like a trend to me. GT has been beaten by 12 points on average when it visits; out-shot from the floor by 12% and from range by 26.3%! Not to mention the rebounding margin that favors VT at home by +8 boards. Yikes! The Road Warriors this 2010-2011 Yellow-Jacket basketball team ain’t, in fact they pack a needle for any anaphylactic Rx as it is typically they who get stung out on the road. Ergo, I affirm that the Home-Away splits are on VT’s side. So are the trends in recent 5-game-play. FG% margin favors VT by 10%, 3-pointer% margin favors VT by 11%, and FT% margin favors VT by 12%. Finally, VT is a whopping +5 in rest when it comes to days off and that is critical for an 8-man rotational VT hoops squad as GT just ran at home vs. F.S.U. on Thursday night.
I don’t know about you, although I’ve been using the O&M fresh-legs metric above all else for the last month or so. Although basically every single other metric favors VT at home in no small way as well. Last time out, Shumpet and Rice Junior each got just over 60 seconds of rest vs. the Seminoles and it showed as their shooting flattened out as the lift or arch on their J(‘s) did the same as the game wore on. Coach Hewitt did go to a 10 man rotation in an effort to buy some time for Shumpet and Rice Jr., though said attempted purchase was nearly fully refunded by pitiful 25% bench shooting from the Wrambling Wreck sub’s. That’s not good, and neither are GT’s chances with the revenge card set to be played at home by VT. I gotta go with VT big.
Virginia Tech=73, Gah.Tech=55