#43R.P.I. Boston College @ #54 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
TV coverage: Tuesday night 9pm on ESPNU
Vegas Line: Boston College+9.5, O/U=135.5
“Down goes Frazier!”
“Do you believe in Miracles? YES!”
“I must break you.”
“Fear of #1 does not exist in this dojo … DOES IT?”
We’ve got Senior night vs. Boston College on Tuesday night? So we do — although continuing to type about just how EPIC this upsetting win over #1 ranked Duke with only 8 hardcore gutty O&M scholarship ballers is a very adhesive subject right about now. So forgive me if I linger for a few moments or at least one more paragraph regarding what just happened … well one paragraph plus one extra sentence, more and less.
I have a thread up on the TSL.com pay-MB right now asking this very question: when has such physically gutted VT revenue sports team ever won so much with so little as serviceable personnel go? I am unable to nominate a more shinning moment in recallable O&M history when I weigh team health vs. team accomplishment vis-à-vis. Can you?
Suffice it to say that my hats off to Seth Greenberg the 2010-2011 A.C.C. men’s Coach of the Year and his team of players that never give up!
Boston College at a glance:
- 8th in 3-point FG’s made per game (9.0)
- 10th fewest turnovers per game (10.8)
- 11th fewest personal fouls per game (15.2)
- 47th in assist per game (15.0)
- 250th in rebounding margin per game (-1.9)
- 254th in FG% defense (44.8% allowed)
Clearly Boston College is a very efficient offensive club; the word machine comes to mind when B.C. is hitting on all cylinders. Nonetheless, these Flying Eagles do not soar quite so high when it comes to playing defense. B.C. is not exactly bad as a stop-unit goes; more like they are left a bit wanting on the defensive end. A C- to D+++ defense if you will – hence B.C. ranks eleventh best in Atlantic Coast scoring defense terms and in FG% allowed in league play alike. That said, the last time Virginia Tech played B.C. our beloved Hokies could not make a “2” with a pencil as B.C. borrowed a french page from le` book and controlled tempo from the word go. I do view VT as the rightful favorite in this one as B.C. is only 33% out on the road this season. And yet I viewed VT as the rightful favorite up on Chestnut Hill almost a month ago when we got beat by a single solitary basket in an ugly looking basketball game. Boston College is an awkward match-up to say the least; something of an NC.State redux from a few years back.
#0 Reggie Jackson (right) , no not that Reggie Jackson, may not be Mr. October, although he sure has had a helluva a nice February this year. Reg’ stands 6`3“ tall and tips the Toledo’s at 208 lbs. and was labeled “Most Versatile” in the whole darn A.C.C. by Lindy’s per-season. I’d say that pretty well fits the Colorado Springs junior year 18.4 points per game scorer who routinely gets you 4-5 rebounds and 4-5 assists each and every night. On top of that Reg’ is B.C.’s best perimeter defender and leads B.C. in steals (32), and in FT% at 81%. On top of all of that, Reg’ has improved from downtown by 12% and now snipes away a 42% from beyond the arc this campaign. The one knock on Reg’ had been the formerly limited range on his J. He was said to be more parts pure scorer and less parts shooter. Right now Reg’ is on his way to a possible first-team all-A.C.C. bid this year; and if not; next. This kid is good; this kid is one of the smoother ballers I’ve seen in a couple of A.C.C. seasons. The kind that makes it look effortless while he is dogging you out.
Second in scoring (14.6) and first in boards (7.5) would be everybody’s True Grit, blue-collar, working-class poster-child extraordinaire … one #12, 6`8“ 238 lb. PF Joe -the floor-burn strawberry begging to happen- Trapani (pic: below). Joe is a mans man on the court folks, the Brett Warren (VT A.C.L. still playing Lb) of A.C.C. hoops. Joe also leads B.C. in blocks (0.9) and in FTA’s at 125; although he is only 68% from the charity-stripe. Joe Trapani is the kinda guy you’d rather play with than against; the highest praise I have to bestow upon a rival hoopster. Joe Trapani can drink from my canteen any day with a game that may or may not be overly talented backed up by a high-octane effort each and every single night. Joe is a heady baller who knows the game and knows how to find or simply will his way to every loose ball or through any crack or seam in a given defense.
Second in boarding at 6.5 and chipping in with a nice 12.2 points per game with a surprising amount of touch on his shot would be #11, 6`6` 218 lb. senior Swing Corey Raji. Yes Sir, Corey is the younger bro of the VT oLine bulwark nemesis otherwise known as super bowl champion B.J. Raji. Obviously no small measure of sporting acumen runs in the family. Raji enjoys a rugged reputation for having a nose for the ball on the offensive glass and has improved his 3-point stroke from o% last year to 36% this season! Not bad work if you can get it from a somewhat overlooked SF in Atlantic Coast terms. Contributing with 9.7 points per contest is senior 6`1“ 194 lb. Pt.Guard #4 Biko Parks. 9.7 points may not read like a whole helluva a lot all by itself; however a 237% hike in scoring compared to last year is a major bump as offensive production goes. Biko is second in assists (3.5) and has a pretty decent handle (dribble) on the rock even if his defense is a few bricks shy of a load at times. Would not make me cry to see Malcolm go right at Biko when they are matched-up or when Biko switches off to check Delaney.
Helping out for Coach Steve Donahue off the Boston College pine would be #52 true-Center and senior year Josh Southern. Josh is a 6`10“ 252 lb hammerhead shark of a rugged big that is more parts hammer and less parts nail down-low. Josh may really only be a complimentary baller in the Key; however, he does manage to get you 7 points and 4 boards on a team-wise second best 57% from the floor. Such is not quite starting numbers for reason; nonetheless, Josh is a quality frontcourt back-up in power-conference or A.C.C. terms. Danny Rubin wears #10 and is a 6`6“ 210 lb. rookie (Fr.) SF who not expected to do much this season and yet he is contributing 19 minutes, 5 points, two boards and a team leading 42% shooting from downtown. That’s pretty good from a guy that most did not expect to play until the calendar read 2012 at the earliest.
Danny Rubin wears #10 and is a 6`6“ 210 lb. rookie (Fr.) SF who not expected to do much this season and yet he is contributing 19 minutes, 5 points, two boards and a team leading 42% shooting from downtown. That’s pretty good from a guy that most did not expect to play until the calendar read 2012 at the earliest. Also helping out from the B.C. bench would be Dallas Elmore and Gabriel Morton. #3o Mr. Elmore is a 6`5“ 210 lb. junior from Fort Collins Colorado; which suggest that the Flying Eagles much have somebody on Staff with a few Rocky Mountain connections. Dallas is said to be a pure-shooter from range although is only netting 37% of his shots along the way to 3 points per game on average. Gabe gives you the same production (3 points), only he gives it too you while drawing more iron on 24% from three-point land and 36% from the floor. Gabe wears #4 and is a 6`2“ 170 lb. kid from Florida who is at least a year away from filling out physically; if not more. Gabe was said to be the star of the 2010 B.C. recruiting class as a lead-G known for his scoring. I’m just not seeing that (as of yet); although check back with me in three more years and let’s see where Gabe is when 2014 rolls around.
Did you notice a bit of a trend to what I just wrote? Do the words: grinder, industrious, assiduous or scrapper(s) mean anything to you?
Boston College may not be the most gifted team in the A.C.C. right now; although they are the nearest thing to say the 1995 VT football defense this side of J.C. Price and George DelRicco. They hustle, they bring it, they leave it all out on the court – and this forces you to up your ante and apply nothing less as effort goes or they will steal one from you before you even know it be that home or away. The Flying Eagles are the kinda team that leaves you Black and Blue and immersed in the Training Room hot-tub post-game and that makes them the kinda team that nobody wants to have to play.
Fourm-Guide, conclusion(s), prediction:
As of yet (Sunday night) I do not have access to my pet indicators in terms of authoring a winning prediction at the OPT goes. I can however tell you this much right now … with our starters having just run for 194 out of a possible 200 minutes while upsetting #1 ranked Duke; such smacks of an emotional letdown trap-game to me. Gonna be tough to be higher than the Space Shuttle Discovery for two consecutive games after expending that many well placed mental and physical bullets alike vs. Duke on Saturday night. Accordingly, Boston College does have a chance here though I am hoping that homecourt and a deeper playing rotation will be enough to get outta dodge with the win. In fact I’d gladly sign up for a 1 point ugly Hokie win right, which would move VT to 20 wins on the season with half of those (10) coming from the A.C.C. and just call the whole shebang off. That should be enough in terms of March Madness 2011.
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Our handy-dandy friend the Fourm-Guide is predicting a very narrow 2-point O&M victory at home for our beloved Hokies in this one. Offense favored VT by a hair; defense leaned towards the physically rowdy hard-work flavor of Boston College and VT did enjoy and edge head-to-head vs. common opponents’ on the glass. That’s two outta three in VT’s favor; although not by much as I did not find anything *that* demonstrative to hang my OPT hat upon here.
The Home/Away splits were basically even; or gave VT a couple of percentage points worth of an edge here and there. Once more my attempt at nailing down something that was concrete as an outcome indicator was thwarted. B.C. travels well enough; and as I said a few games ago … VT is simply not receiving a major homecourt boost in play as they typically have in years past.
Those you who know me or at least know my prognosticinti background have already figured out that that thing I am straddling right now is the OPT fence. On the one hand I am unable to pronounce Boston College as the superior hoops team in this Tuesday night A.C.C. New River Valley clash. ON the other hand the Flying Eagles have already corn-beefed (stolen) one game this season and VT sure looks ripe for a let-down after an all-out rock’em sock’em effort vs. Duke. Further more, the tireless B.C. style of play produces the kinda game that will grind on you if you are not careful. VT really does need to be careful in this one. Ergo, right now I am operating under the fourth Law of Newtonian Mechanics otherwise known as “stuck” as taught to me by professor emeritus Dr. John Broderick at Virginia Tech. Dr. Broderick used to tell me that was what happened when I got “stuck” on a astro-physics homework problem and had to come see him. Right now I need to go see Dr. John.
I have seen this happen in about 5% of my TSL.com previews; give and take longitudinally speaking. Every once in a long while, you just can not find the “eureka” moment as match-up’s, scoop(s), or available fact(s) go that will therefore act as the catalyst or pathfinder in terms of a given predictions synthesis. This is one of those times. That said, at the very last second, I did note that VT is 7% better from the floor compared to B.C. over each teams last five games. That kinda offensive efficacy and A.C.C. homecourt is where I was gonna hang my OPT hat. However; I do have a gnawing hunch that VT will fatigue both mentally and physically as this one wears on. All the more so if B.C. hangs tight or even maintains contact with VT. Chasing or trailing B.C. would be a disaster after playing our #1 gut’s out vs. Duke just 72 hours ago.
Chris Coleman is correct, not only is VT on the NC2A proverbial bubble; so is Boston College. In fact this is a quasi elimination game for the Flying Eagles from Chestnutt Hill. Each team desperately needs this in-league win. B.C. also played very well up at arch-rival HooVa this past weekend; even if B.C. is now a pure three headed monster; as Jackson+Raji+Trapani=B.C.’s offense right now. Ergo, all three must have pretty good to outright big games to beat Virginia Tech in the Cassell on Tuesday night. I’ll barely barely barely side with the home squad in a game that has u-g-l-y written all over it. Think Holly Rowe waking up with Brown Water in the middle of a Denny’s all-you-can-eat buffet after an all night bender. I look for both teams to be mired in the 50’s and this one could get a bit snippy as VT does owe B.C. some payback; and B.C. simultaneously plays quite the feisty brand of hoops to begin with.
Virginia Tech=59, Boston College=56