#114 R.P.I. Mississippi Valley State @ #87 R.P.I. Virginia Tech
TV coverage: 7pm, ESPN3
Vegas line: OFF
Mississippi Valley State has been punked all year long at o-5, and yet they are only 20 something R.P.I. real-time spots ahead of a staggering home from an extremely gutting L in the 3o4 Virginia Tech men’s hoops team. Go fig’ on that one sports fans.
Speaking of staggering home, normally I don’t look back much at all in basketball terms; though something about Morgantown pre-game did my mind dirty. Why was our published mantra that the game up at WVU (and congrats to the eers) a good learning experience no matter who won? Roth and Burnup each said words to that effect pre-game and then so did Coach J.J. later on. Why surrender the O&M fort in hostile territory without firing a single shot?
“When you keep score you play to win.”
-76′er coach Billy Cunningham-
PREACH on Billy, preach on bro’!
Now, and that said, although I don’t know why we adopted such an outcome adverse or retreatest at best mentality last Saturday; I do know that it won’t matter much vs. a team like M.V.State. As the Delta’s just ain’t that good and they truly are a one-trick pony indeed. As their closest -or best performance- this year had been a 14 point L, and they are getting pumped good an hard by nearly 30 per game on average!!!
That said, don’t forget that this was a 17 game winning streak Mississippi Valley State program just 10 calender months ago who was part of the First-4 in the NCAA’s last year! Talk about an about-face for a basketball program that is now fully departed with zero starters back and likewise fully starting 100% all over again –geez!
M.V.State at a glance:
- LAST PLACE (345th) in offensive FG% (31.4%)
- LAST PLACE (345th) in rebounding margin -12.8 boards!
- 344th in scoring defense (83.6 ppg allowed)
- 341st in FT% (56.7%)
- 334th scoring margin -28.8 (that’s negative twenty-eight point eight folks!)
- 267th in turnover margin (-2.0), M.V.State’s best national ranking!
N.B.A. pros= nadda
Julius Francis is, well, big. 6`11“ 255 lbs. of stiff legged junior year ballers says so. Julius nets you 6.6 points and gets you 3.6 boards and plays just as hard and as long (typically about 20 minutes) as his surgically knifed up legs will let him. Julius ain’t no bad looking low-post big, though if not for bad luck Julius would have no luck at all. At least not physically speaking. As some of you may recall, this is the kid who was charged with “Sex Crimes” at Winthrop a couple of years ago and eventually worked out a lesser plea-bargain in what I can only describe as a very disturbing read –should you choose to search for such on Google.
Leading the Deltas in board work would be Matt Smith with 7.7 rebounds per game. Matty is a 6`4“ 181 swing who can jump outta the building and really should be playing lead-guard anywhere else. Matt be nimble, Matt be quick, even though he can not shoot, he can jump over more than just the candlestick. And that’s about it upfront on an extremely Guard heavy Delta basketball team.
Association pros= maybe 1 overseas guy here, #0, Davon Usher
Davon Usher is a 6`6“ 209 lb. third year shooting guard for the Delta’s who is truly marooned in what amounts to an otherwise wasteland of D-1 hoops. 19.5 ppg, with nifty looking 44% from beyond the arc and being second best in rebounding does not suck. Neither does being the only Southwestern Atlantic Conference all-star candidate that the Delta’s possess. That’s not half bad for a kid balling with a herniated disc, and a kid that not even a single JuCo school wanted outta high school. Makes one wonder what #0 could do if he only had a good back; don’t it?
Cameron Dobbs is the only other backcourter worth mentioning; as he was forecast by a couple of pre-season magazines as a fringe all-conference kinda guy. However, he is not even starting and at 6`1“ 190 lbs. So there you go.
M.V. State Bench: (4 deep)
The entire Delta bench is 6`2“ or less in height and no I’m not making that one up! There’s just not a lot to say here as this bench is not only short on stature; it’s pretty damn short on talent as well. Smith who I listed above is actually now subbing in off the Delta bench and after him the Delta bench gives you 4, 3, and 0.7 points respectively. Yikes!
Conclusion(s), illation, OPT digits:
I’m not kidding when I tell you point blank, this preview is this short because the Mississippi Valley men’s hoops website has NOT been updated since November 20th of 2011! No really, it’s true! Less is the new more and if there was more I could find out I’da authored you more of a preview in the first place.
This is just not a good looking D-1 basketball team folks; in fact it’s a pretty damn bad one. Even in my r-junior season of Middle Age; I’d be willing to play the last Delta off the bench in a game of 21. That’s how totally abysmal this squad is beyond Mr. Usher who would prolly make for a nice bench-sparkplug utility guy even in Atlantic Coast terms at Virginia Tech.
Accordingly, one has to wonder how long it has been since Vah.Tech hosted such an impoverished D-1 hoops team? Can you say “I’ll take decade(s) for one thousand please Alex”? Yah; me too as once Coach Sean Woods left for Morehaead State and the entire NCAA tourney savvy starting line-up graduated; you suddenly have a program that is now F.U.B.A.R. and that’s not fair to coach Chico Potts or F.U.B.A.R. people everywhere.
Beyond that, IF Virginia Tech even lets Mississippi Valley State stay within in 35 at home it would be disappointing; and if the Delta’s play us under 20 it’s effectively an L for Vah.Tech.
Virginia Tech=86, Mississippi Valley State=54