God Bless Deriek W. Crouse and all involved in the tragic o8 December 2011 A.D. shootings on campus.
TV coverage: ESPN3
Vegas line: OFF
Lord have mercy on the VT campus.
That humble rogation firmly in place, there is a basketball game to be played in Cassell Coliseum on Sunday evening as things hopefully return to normal and therefore return to peace.
That said, there is an out-of-conference and yet in-state hoops game scheduled for Sunday afternoon vs. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and likewise Commonwealth dwelling Norfolk State down in the New River Valley on what will now be the day before final exams begin. Norfolk State is a H.B.U. and a member of the Virginia Tech Partnership. Approximately 6,000 students dot the Norfolk State campus and one of them is large and in-charge. More on him below…
As of now, this is an odd one to write about, much less call. How will the shooting tragedy play into all of this? How will exams that begin approximately 16 hours after this one ends factor in? How about the hinted impromptu chemistry issues inside the VT lockeroom play-out? Such is a tough call during a much much tougher week for all things O&M which puts a mere basketball game into its rightful place.
Again, God Bless Virginia Tech.
Norfolk State at a glance:
- 8th in 3-point FG% allowed
- 22nd in blocked shots per game (5.9)
- 65th in FG% defense allowed (39.1%)
- 87th in scoring defense (62.5)
- 328th in turnovers per game (18.6)
Norfolk State frontcourt:
#10 Kyle O’Quinn is a big deal. In fact he is one of the better big’s out on the east-coast that you have never heard of. 6`10“ 244 lb. hard-ballin’ Kyle O’Quinn, who may or may not be Irish can and will do damage down in the key. Lindy’s pre-season magazine has him listed as the (M.E.A.C,) Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s best rebounder and #1 N.B.A. prospect, and first-team all M.E.A.C. O’Quinn only leads Norfolk State in the following categories: points (14.4), boards (10.8), blocks (3.0), and he is second in FG% from the floor (54.1%). Ditto leading the Spartans in FTA’s at 56 already this season. Believe it or not, O’Quinn’s numbers are actually down from last season just a touch. That said, O’Quinn could not only play at VT, he could start at VT, and he very possibly would be the first-best player on the court for VT. Mr. O’Quinn is the real deal and the Jamaica New York native is gonna be well paid for it this time next year. As there are two things the Association always needs more of, shooters and rebounders/defenders. Mr. O’Quinn is the reining M.E.A.C. defensive player of the year and he is eminently capable of netting you high teens to low 20’something in points. Good for him, as it is most refreshing to see a big who, plays, well, big!
After O’Quinn the Spartans backcourt unsurprisingly thins a bit. Second in rebounding is Pendarvis Williams. Williams is a 6`6“ 185 lb. sophomore swing from Philly who gets you 4.4 boards and 10.6 points and a team leading 2.8 assists per game. Williams is one of three guys on the Spartans who can shoot, and therefore look to create some spacing for O’Quinn to operate on the low-blocks. Marcos Tameres is another 6`7“ 215 lb. senior small-forward swing kinda baller who hails from Queens New York on a roster riddled with all four of the signature NYC boroughs. Tameres leads the Spartans at 37% from range and nets you 6 points with a couple of boards. Chris McEachin is a hometown Norfolk baller who stands 6`5“ and goes 180 lbs. as a ‘tweener or combo-swing. Chris is second in scoring with 12.2 points, second in 3-point shooting at 34% and gets you a couple of rebounds while leading the way as the Spartans best defender with 1.8 steals
Norfolk State backcourt:
Brandon Wheeless is a 6`4“ 200 lb. senior year 2-guard small-forward combo player. Brandon gets you 6 points despite only shooting 42% from the FT-stripe. Jamel Fuentes is a 6`3“ 175 lb. sophomore lead-guard from Brooklyn who chips in with 5 points a couple of boards and assists alike and he does have some beyond the arc range. Rodney McCauley is a 6`5“ 205 lb. senior from big-D (Dallas Texas). Rodney pulls down 4 boards and gets you 4 points off the Spartan bench. After that, Coach Anthony Evans uses no less than 5 different situational match-up substitution ballers. Any of these five will steal a minute or two or possibly play as much as high single digits in any given game as the match-ups warrant. The key here is that Coach Evans (mostly) goes with a 7 man rotation with spot-minutes logged by the aforementioned 5 Spartans off the bench here and there. This brings potential fatigue and likewise foul-trouble into play as the game wears on.
Conclusion(s), illation, and OPT digits:
Norfolk State may indeed be a one trick pony, though that pony is a thoroughbred on the blocks and you have to wonder just how far the Spartans can ride O’Quinn with numerous rumors and innuendo swirling around Erick Green and Seth Greenberg on twitter and other social networking websites (i.e. the new bathroom wall).
Clearly all is not well within the Virginia Tech basketball lockeroom and along the Virginia Tech bench. Sitting your best scorer and one of the few guys who can in fact score on a team that is not exactly an offensive juggernaut is a hint and a half if you are keeping score at home.
Thus stated, could Norfolk State do the unthinkable and upset mighty Virginia Tech out on the road which would amount to the Super Bowl multiplied by the Word Series raised to the N.B.A. Finals as a program defining victory goes for the Spartans?
|Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.|
If these two played 100 times, I’d have to favor VT to win about 9 outta 10 overall, all things being normal. However, nothing is normal down in Blacksburg Virginia right now, nor is it business as usual inside the VT lockeroom where a 3-hour self-study in Chemistry is now being offered from Hahn Hall North.
This is one of those screwy games where anything can and possibly will happen. I can see Virginia Tech coming together and blowing Norfolk State right on off the court in an O&M rout. I can just as easily see Virginia Tech coming out and playing flat as a board for a variety of reasons; none of which is good. Take your pick, as this is one of those oddball games where bidding a Price is Right $1 on the Norfolk State Spartan upset suddenly has a bit more OPT cachet than it should.
When you recall that Norfolk State gave in-state rival hooVa a one-point fit last year –you begin to see that this one has the potential to be a rough one indeed. That said, Vegas strictly disagrys as even Sin-City itself is refusing to offer a betting line on this one. Ergo, one must deduce that most feel like Virginia Tech will not only win; they must feel like Virginia Tech will win this one going away. Under normal circumstances, I would agry. I like Seth Greenberg to beat a lot of one-man-gangs at home. However, this time I am just not feeling this pick; no feel for it at all on any level in fact. Accordingly, although I am not sure whether or not Virginia Tech will be up for Norfolk State, I am sure that Norfolk State will be up for Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech=63 Norfolk State=66