#140 R.P.I. Campbell @ #56 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Campbell is 8-2 and VT is 7.3, this is a good looking game on paper indeed; if only games were played on paper in and of itself. However, upon closer inspection, you see a pair of crouching (paper) tigers with hidden dragon woes. Campbell has beaten Iowa, and yet Iowa is likely 12th outta 12 in Big-10 terms. Campbell was just upset by Houston-Baptist of 4-6 overall Great West Conference fame. I may not know who Houston-Baptist is, or much about the Great West Conference in and of itself. However, and in all candor, I don’t need to know much about any of that in order to tell you that that is not good no matter how you slice it. Seth and company have beaten a second from last place OK.State hoops team in Big-12 terms and been beaten by all three of the top-3 teams that our beloved Hokies have played. See what I mean?
As I see two teams with a combined 15-5 record who are not as good as that superlative combined mark would suggest.
Further more, as of right now I’m seeing VT as a middle of the pack A.c.c. basketball squad. Slotting anywhere between 5th-7th best overall in Atlantic Coast terms as things currently stand. Such is to be expected when you depart all the experience and production that we did from three major senior contributors from last seasons club. That’s not bad, and neither is Campbell, it’s just that neither team is epic, and right now I’m not even real sure if either team is flat out good.
Which makes this one an oddball basketball game as Campbell almost surely had to be looking ahead to get beat by Houston-Baptist by 11 points on Wednesday night after having beaten Houston-Baptist by 14 to open the year at home.
Campbell at a glance:
- #1 in FG% from the floor outta all 338 D-1 teams in the nation! (53.5%)
- #3 in 3-point% (45.1%)
- 5th in assists peg game (18.9)
- 7th in scoring (84 points per game)
- 16th in blocked shots per game (6.2)
Eric Griffin is the one true front-courter that I see on the Camel’s roster, and he is a good one folks. 6`8“ 190 lbs. worth of senior season player who pulls down a team leading 8.4 boards per game, leads the way with 2.4 blocks and is second in scoring at 17.9 points per contest. And oh by the way, VT will not see a finer Small-Forward pure scorer this side of playing a Duke or a U.N.C. 66% from the floor and 60% from downtown does not hurt, nether does his team leading 66 FTA’s as Mr. Griffin will put his shoulder down and plow his way to the hoop and therefore to the FT-line with regularity
6`4“ 210 lb. junior year Danville Virginia native, #4 Darren White leads the way as the three-headed Campbell Camel monster goes. All D.White gives you is a team leading 21.2 points per game, along with 6.2 boards and a downright staggering 1.9 blocks from his lead-Guard position! Yes, that’s 1.9 blocks from a backcourt baller who also nets 55% of his shots from the floor and 45% of his shots from downtown. I’d call that a complete basketball player –how ‘bout you? Hooping with Mr. White in the Camel backcourt is another Commonwealth escapee, one #1, Trey Freeman, a 6`2“ 165 lb. Virginia Beach svelte 2-guard. Mr. Freeman nets 17.1 points, and leads the way with 4.8 assists and 89% from the FT-stripe; that’s some pretty dang fine rookie season production for any 18 year old baller if you ask me.
I could almost draw a red-line here, well; maybe an orange line as this Campbell Camel preview goes; as this truly is a three-headed hooping monster extraordinaire. IF Seth and company can just knock White, Freeman or Griffin off their A-game’s or if we just so happen to catch a couple of them on an off-nite VT’s chances to win go way way up. Why you ask? Because after the big-3, nobody else nets more than 9 points per game for Campbell and nobody contributes much beyond spot minutes less two more Campbell Camels who warrant a closer look. Marvelle Harris is 6`6“ 210 lb. sophomore Forward who pulls down 6.2 rebounds and scores 5 points in limited starting minutes upfront. Rico Ferguson is a 6`2“ 185 lbs. Richmond Virginia native who contributes 9 points and 3 boards and drops a team leading 4.8 dimes (assists) from his point-guard position as part of Coach Robbie Lang’s 3-guard starting line-up. After that, the Camels court three other guys who give you 2-4 points per game and 10-14 minutes of spot relief off the Camel bench. Antonio Kalpic gives Coach Lainge some much needed size at 6`9“ and 220 imported lbs. all the way from Coratia. Kalpic has a nice shooting touch in the typical Euro highly skilful and fundamentally sound E.U. baller mode. Tony Horton stands 6`8“ and 210 lbs. himself and does some dirty work down low for 4 points a couple of boards and he does have a little 3-point range to his game. Amir Celestin is a 6`1“ 185 lb. senior who is the bench glue and sole backcourt sub for Coach Laing. Celestin is a good mid-range shooter and he is the only other senior year contributor in the 8-man playing rotation from the Baptist based Buies Creek North Carolina school.
Conclusion(s), illation, and OPT digits:
When I study these 2011-2012 fighting-mad Campbell Camels, I really see four things that stand right out right away…
- Lean team: as in this year Camels are a bit thin in the pants, almost featherweight in fact.
- Tad inexperienced: with only a couple of bona fide upperclassman major contributors.
- Remington 1o1: this team has a whole buncha gunners and they can flat out shoot that rock!
- Commonwealth: I though Buies Creek was in NC, not VA? As there sure are a lotta VA.H.S. ballers down at Campbell.
|Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.|
That tells me that this is a game of strength on strength –well, at least bullet point three tells me that.
As you can see above, Campbell is #1 from the floor and #3 from beyond the arc in all of D-1 hoops! However, Virginia Tech is #1 best in 3-point FG% defense allowed (only allowing 22.8%), and 27th best in FG% defense allowed overall (36.3%).
Or in other words, something’s gotta give in this one. That’s how strength on strength analysis works; well, unless you find somewhere else to hang your predictive hat.
When I ran through the pre-season magazines, it quickly occurred to me that either they have all made a collective mistake in tabbing Campbell to finish middle of the Big South Conference pack; or that the Campbell Camels have since played a good deal over their own heads compared to when most of these prognosticative publications came out.
As of right now I have this game pegged as an either or kinda contest. Namely, Campbell has one of their red-hot shooting afternoons from the floor and beyond the arc and therefore gives mightily A.c.c. Virginia Tech a true fit; even at home. Or, Campbell has too many turnovers which generate too many extra offensive possessions for Seth Greenberg and company in accompaniment with the fact that Campbell less than vice like defense loosens up by 6% as FG% allowed goes out on the road, whereas VT’s tightens up by almost 5% at home.
Thus making this one of those screwball games where anything can and prolly will happen. Right now I’m happening to lean towards what should be at least a medium upset on the Vegas big-board as Campbell catches a sleepy post-final exams VT inside a sleepy and mostly student free Cassell Coliseum at just the right moment.
Virginia Tech=74, Campbell=77