#37 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #114 R.P.I. Wake Forest:
TV coverage: ACC network, 12noon
Vegas line: VT is a 6.5 point favorite
Normally I open with some remarks about VT hoops or maybe even our opponent.
This time however I’ma gonna take a much more strategic approach and direct your viewing attention to the A.c.c. standings below…
Guess who is in fourth place overall and could very easily be 13-#1 ranked Syracuse on the season?
Guess who is up way past their bedtime in transit?
Now, as you can see above this season the A.c.c. looks very reminiscent of my favorite Hemingway novel … To Have and Have Not.
As we currently have about 6 haves, and about 6 have nots in Atlantic Coast terms.
We also have a 2011-2012 Virginia Tech men’s hoops team that has departed a nearly unheard of 56.3 points per game via: injury, transfers plural, graduation or expiring eligibility and that does not even begin to measure hardest of hard luck cases otherwise known as Allan Chaney.
Ergo, to wit, and therefore, is Seth doing his best job of coaching at the dawn of A.c.c. play at Virginia Tech in forever or what?
Wake at a glance:
- Wake is 3o6th in offensive rebounding
- Wake is 298th in rebounding margin (-4.6 boards per game)
- Wake is 83rd in blocked shots (4.3)
- Wake 63rd in turnovers (12.5)
One #11 C.J. Harris is a rather useful home-grown (Winston-Salem) lead-Guard who stand 6`3“ and tips the Toledo’s at 190 lbs. in his third year. A team leading 18.7 points per game does not suck, neither does a team leading 1.3 steals on 54% from the floor and a hot like the Sun downright blistering 53.3% from downtown! Leave Mr. Harris open at your own risk, as his range is basically the gym itself. If he is in it he is open –well, that is if he is back. As “eleven” missed the last game vs. Wofford and Wake paid the price via a 4 point upset L. Insider reports posit that Mr. Harris is suffering from the most dreaded masculine injury of them all, a pulled-groin. It is also suggested that he has been cleared to play on Saturday even if his play is a bit truncated or if he should lack a seminal moment as Wake’s leading man. That attempt at humor aside, watch to see hold big and bold C.J. is in attacking the rack as he does lead Wake with 91 FTA’s this season. So it will be curious to see how he plays presuming that he is still south of 100%.
Tony Chennault is Mr. Harris’ backcourt running mate at off-guard for the Deacons. T.C. stands in at 6`2“ and 195 lbs. in his sophomore year outta Philly PA. Tony is a noticeable third in scoring at 11 points per game and also gives you 3 boards and assists (2.8) which leads the Deacon hoops team in dropping dimes (a.k.a. assists). Tony may or may not be back to full strength after foot-surgery last season; although he has been better in his last three games. Chase Fischer essentially backs-up both guard positions off the Deacon bench. Fischer is a skinny looking pure shooter who averaged a cool 37 ppg last year in high school if you need ‘em. Right now the 170 lb. 6`3“ rarefied 3o4 (West Virginia area code) baller is averaging 6 points and 2 boards per game with a team leading 88.2% from the FT-stripe. Anthony Fields is an even smaller freshman year Guard from D-town (Detroit, MI) and more of a true point-guard who somehow plays 11 minutes inspite of shooting 26% for a 1.4 point tally off the Deacon pine.
Richmond Virginia escapee and second-year swingman extraordinaire Travis McKie is a 6`7“ 210 lb. 3 (or small-forward) who paces Wake in rebounding at 5.9 per game, and is second in blocks (0.9) and in scoring (17.9) alike. Carson Desrosiers (240 lbs., Soph.) is one of a pair of 7` twin towers that give Coach Jeff Bzdelik a positively 1980’s N.B.A. big-man look upfront. The other is Ty Walker (230 lbs., Sr.). Ty has recently be cleared to participate in men’s basketball after a tumultuous off-season for the former #2 ranked big-man coming outta high school in all the land just a couple of years ago. Ty was suspended for violating the school’s code of conduct, or in other words for unspecified reasons. Ty is a very springy, nimble and downright athletic Center who gives you 4 points, 5 boards and a couple of blocks off the Wake Forest pine. In fact last year Ty combined with Mr. Desrosiers for 131 total blocked shots on the season. Ty also shoots a team leading 69% from the floor as he gets a whole lotta put-back-points on dunks an lay-ins. Mr. Desrosiers gets you 6 points, 5 boards and change and a team high 2.6 blocks even if he is less polished or less gifted as his 45% shooting demonstrates on the offensive end. Nikita Mescheriakov is a 6`8“ 220 lb. senior year power-forward outta Minsk Belarus. Nikita is know for his finesse game despite his right-sized front-court frame. Nikita is a Georgetown transfer who is netting you 7 points and 4 boards despite running as hot and cold as the equator and the North Pole respectively. Danny Green is another large and in charge Deacon who is a 6`10“ 210 lb. freshman from Texas who chips in with a couple of points and board off the Wake bench even if he is said to be at least a year away.
Conclusion(s), illation, OPT digits:
Couple of things stood out to me in handicapping this one; among them would be: VT holds a stunning +10 rebounding margin when taken head-to-head. VT is 10 points better in defensive points allowed than Wake Forest is. VT is shooting a sizzling hot 80.4% from the FT stripe in their last 5 games and out rebounding foes by a game altering +11.boards over the same time frame. Since when has that ever happened?
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Now notice that VT has had a full week (plus one hour) off since VT last played 7 days ago. To tell the O&M truth, that might just be code for a little game-speed rust early on for Seth and company –although I do also trust that that is code for some additional O&M improvement once this squad finds their sea-legs down on tobacco road. Seth has really done a smart job of tinkering and puttering this year and I understand that they have done some real live fundamental emphasis work on all the little things during our recent run of nocturnal practices while most of the campus is away for Christmas break.
I like that and I like VT chances to win what will either be an ugly one (at least early-on) or a dicey one out on the A.c.c. road.
Virginia Tech=7o, Wake Forest=65