#139 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #38 R.P.I. Brigham Young:
TV coverage: 2pm, ESPNU, Saturday
Vegas line: VT+???
Technically speaking, this game may be being played in Salt Lake City -as opposed to on campus in Provo- however, make no mistake about it, this is a road game if you are the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Also make no mistake that this is a 2012-2013 Virginia Tech hoops team that is in a funk. Mired in a slump, off its A-game, on the schnide or whatever else you wanna call it as sporting vernacular goes –team and staff wide influenza outbreak not withstanding. None of that is good however, and yah, the flu-bug should eventually run its course and come to an end. That leaves us with the true matter at hand … did this years men’s hoops team peak too soon? Is the Honeymoon over? Where do we go from here after what appeared to be such a handsomely promising start?
BYU at a glance:
- 20th in assists per game (2o.8)
- 33rd in offensive rebounding
- 52nd in scoring (at 76 ppg)
- 238th in 3-point shooting (31%)
- all other BYU rankings were closer to mean, median, mode
N.B.A. pros= Brandan Davies, best player in the West Coast Conference says so.
#0, Brendan Davies is a 6`9“ 235 lb. final year P/F who is hands down the top returning post in the West Coast Conference this season. Davies is literally a homegrown superstar kid as he came up right outside of the BYU campus as a boy. Davies lead the hometown to two State Championships before keeping it real as home is where the heart is. Then as you may recall, the former honor roll student got in trouble with BYU honor code which forbade pre-marital sex.
Davies was subsequently kicked off the team for telling the truth when a lie would have been the easy way out that most would have taken. Said dismissal was said to be rather hard on Mr. Davies although he was allowed back on the team last year and subsequently won the West Coast comeback player of the year award! Yah; that’s some play on words right there and no I’m not making any of this up. Then stories surfaced that the real reason behind the dismissal was that Davies got his other girlfriend preggers, and no, I’m still not making any of this up. Davies gives you 19.8 ppg down in the low-post, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.8 blocks per contest. All team leading numbers mind you. Likewise the fact that Davies was voted the pre-season West Coast defensive player of the year as Davies can handle your big down low. Davies is also #1 for the Cougars in 3-point range at 43% and that tells you that Davies is well on his way to being an N.B.A. baller. Ditto the fact that he is on a very whistle friendly and downright positively blistering FTA’s pace with 98 FTA’s already this year! Only knock I could find on Davies (on-court) is his hands, as Davies has been a one-man turnover committee his entire career.
Helping out upfront is a true P/F who stands 6`10“ and weighs in at 233 lbs. That would be second year Nate Austin he of 4 ppg, 4 rebounds and a block down low. Nate typically has trouble with, well, foul-trouble itself. This has historically limited his usefulness as it is tough to aid and abet your team when you are typically sitting down over on the bench. That said; do not let his height fool you, Nate is second on BYU at 40% from downtown. (p.s. BYU typically starts a 3-guard line-up; hence only 2 Posts)
Association pros= 1, if #23 Ty.Haws is this good now … how good is he in 2015?!?
The leading Wing or pseudo backcourt player by far and away on this BYU club is Tyler Haws. Ty is just back from his signature 2-year Mormon Mission and you have to admire the dedication that 730 days worth of evangelizing any Religion takes. Ty has exploded as a baller since he returned and is now up to 19.7 ppg and 5.4 rebounds if you need him. That from a t-sophomore with a penchant for lengthy FT streaks (48=max two years ago) in-season as the last time I checked 95% from the FT-stripe would even be an Association all-time record! Ty (now) goes 6`5“ and 200 lbs. and has started every single game since he arrived in Provo in 2010. Not too shabby for the only 2-time Mr. Basketball in the history of history for the state of Utah. And all this by the way of being imported from Belgium whereTy was born as a child.
Matt Carlino and Craig Cusick also start in Coach Rose’s backcourt at BYU. Matty is a 6`2“ 175 lb. sophomoric point-guard who is about as erratic or inconsistent as they come. Even a heat wave in the arctic does not run any more hot-n-cold than Matty does. When he is on, he can blow you up all by his ownself; although when he is off you’d never even know he dressed out. Matty nets you 7 ppg on average, along with 3 boards and he does lead the Cougar way in assists (4.2 apg). Matty has put in four very average to sub-par looking games in in a row since he lit arch rival Utah up. That hints to me that this kid is due to break out and do something special as even nudist colonies don’t come any streakier than Mr. Carlino does. Mr. Cusick is a 6`2“ 185 lb. junior year former back-up point-guard turned starter this season. Cusick gets you 5 ppg, 3 boards and 3 assists and is more parts steady than anything else.
BYU Bench: (4-5 deep)
Ian Howard however is a true 7’er and he is also a legitimatize back to the basket Center or Five down in the key. Ian is 6`12“ and yet only 215 lbs. Making him a string-bean on the low-blocks. Josh Sharp is the other bench substitute in the frontcourt and he too is another Cougar who needs to mix in a steak and a protein shake at 6`7“ 185 lbs. Josh gets you 4.5 points and boards alike in relief; though he has extremely limited range on his J as most of his contributions are funded by plain ole hard-work. Brock Zylstra, Raul Delgado and Cory Calvert all chip in off the Cougar pine in backcourt terms. Brock is a 6`6“ 210 lb. senior swing who provides stability and reliability off the BYU bench. Brock is known as a versatile Wing, who is a defensive liability with his offense first mentality. Though he does net you 7 points while running down almost 4 boards and that is worth something in the end. Raul is the seldom seen import baller from Mexico –of all places. Raul totally went off last year at Western Nebraska C.C. where he was not only an exceptional defender, he and his 6`2“ junior year 190 lb. self dropped in 19 ppg in his spare time! Raul is an adopted kid and that’s quite the Holiday feel-good story right there; God Bless on that. He was also a very handsome football player in high school and he is already engaged. Good on him. Cory is a 6`3“ 183 lb. rook’ or nugget or first year baller who is not even listed in my Lindy’s BYU pre-season basketball guide. Cory was the AAAAA Colorado state wide M.V.P. just last year; so you have to figure that this kid can play even if he is only knocking down 3 ppg right about now.
Conclusion(s), illation, OPT digits:
Lindy’s has Brigham Young tabbed as the third best West Coast Conference men’s hoops team in a 9-man race. This coming from a six year participant in the NC2A men’s bracket as BYU has not missed out in March Madness going all the way back to 2005. I don’t know about you, though that’s a pretty smart run in my book and the covered ain’t exactly bear out in Provo Utah right about now. Coach David Rose has the Davies kid at his disposal until he goes Pro in about 20 odd games. The Ty.Haws kid ain’t half-bad –not at all; although there is no less than a 271% drop off in scoring production behind those two after that. Call me Captain Obvious, though I’m doing anything and everything I can to get at least one of those two in foul-trouble early on in this one.
That being said, the recent forum of O&M play is discouraging, and this team just can not shake a wvu hangover that has officially turned into a team wide influenza pandemic. That’s a problem folks, and BYU is no soft touch or easy out; not even in Cassell, and surely not the same when we have to travel 1,964 miles for this one. Accordingly, I gotta side with the home side and the better frontcourt as well. Right now BYU has 2 full stars where as Coach J’s only fields 1.5 give or take. I’ll side with the Cougartown star power to outshine Vah.Tech Saturday afternoon.
Virginia Tech=66, Brigham Young=78