#121 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #143 R.P.I. Clemson:
TV coverage: Sunday, 1pm, ESPN3
Vegas line: VT+10.5
Two lower tier Atlantic Coast teams hook up in hoops down in South Carolina on the unusually early Sunday afternoon tip-off that hopefully does not overtly interfere with any of the more Spiritually inclined Sunday morning early-risers in either fan-base.
Clemson is 10-8 overall and 2-4 in conference, whereas as our very own beloved Hokies are 11-7 and 2-3 respectively. That means that each team is questing if not starving for post-season securing wins right about now. That suggests a needy if not scrappy game to me as both of these teams need to get back on track and the sooner the better.Clemson at a glance: (2 starters back)
- 9th best in scoring defense allowed (56.1 ppg)
- 17th fewest turnovers per game (11.1)
- 37th most blocks (5.1)
- 46th in FG percentage defense allowed (39.2%)
- everything else reasonable, w/ nothing to the severe bad to report
N.B.A. pros=1, (Booker plays somewhere, be that domestically or internationally)
Injuries=1, (Jaron Blossomgame, 6`7“ 2o7 lb. freshman, explosive wing rebound known for his close to the basket game, top recruit last year; broken leg)
Devin Booker is the best player on the Clemson roster in what I will call a balanced if not star-studded line-up. Devin stands 6`8“ and goes a bulky 250 lbs. upfront. Devin is pacing the Tigers in scoring (13) and rebounding (8) alike. In addition to that, the burly senior season professional prospect is shooting 57% from the floor –due to his residual proximity to the basket- and blocking a shot for good measure. If you don’t believe that take a look at Devin’s dunk total year-in and year-out; as dood is a one man throw-it-down committee just looking for a place to happen. Coach Brownell’s inside-out game suits Devin’s measurables just fine as #31 is not afraid of doing some heavy-lifting down in the key. The fun part here is that Devin may be even more explosive than old brother and current Washington Bullet Trevor; what with a startlingly springy 37 ½“ vertical leap. Love to see someone calculate a jump-to-weight ratio on that. Devin is also an ambidextrous throwback as a rarefied post player who possesses hook-shots with both hands. 80 career starts makes Devin well seasoned and he has a cousin (Jordan Hill) who balls with the Lakers. So you just know that his family tree can support at least another professional branch. I don’t know for sure if that is on an Association level, though I do know that a bulwark power-forward with mutual handed versatility who can really rise up and finish can and will collect a professional paycheck somewhere on some level. That makes Mr. Booker a fun player to watch, even if he is not a fun player to have to play behind. K.J. McDaniels is a 6`6“ 22o lb. second-year Swing-Forward baller from Alabama. Kay.Jay is however something of a mild disappointment this year after such an efficient 2012. As this kid is a high-flyer (35.5“ vertical) and he will dunk on you when he can. Right now Mr. McDaniels is throwing in a second-best 10.8 ppg, along with a likewise second-best 5.8 boards per contest while leading Clemson in steals at 1.3. Kay.Jay is about as streaky as they get, in fact one could argue he’d feel right at home at a nudist colony accordingly. Mr. McDaniels won a national Christian championship in high school and yet his maddeningly inconsistent play is still en vogue. 6, 6, 14, 6 again and then 15 in his last five games says so. If Virginia Tech walks in on the hot to trot Kay.Jay, Virginia Tech is likely in for a long Sunday –as that version of McDaniels effectively gives the Tigers two lead-scorers. If we catch Kay.Jay on one of his off days, our odds on pulling this upset just went way way up.
Hurts=1, (Devin Coleman, 6`2“ 2oo lb. sophomore, finished strong last year, Philly street-baller, 3-time State champion, strong, scoring Guard by trade; blow out Achilles)
Rod Hall is a 5`13“ point-guard who tips the Toledo’s at 210 lbs. and leads Clemson at 3.9 assists. Rod also mixes in 6.7 ppg, 2 boards and a steal. Rod is a sophomoric defensive stopper on the ball, whose offensive game was described as “timid” by Lindy’s pre-season magazine. Rod like several other Tigers can flat jump outta the building with a 38“ vertical his ownself. Rod is a physical baller who may have been able to pay some measure of collegiate football (Wr) had he so chosen. As for now, he is a former 2-time Georgia AA state player of the year in hoops who seems to have a few more rocks in his pocket than this current Geology resume suggests. That said, the one thing this feisty “One” lacks is range on his J, as he only has a single make from 3-point land since 12.o8. Damarcus Harrison is the other starting Guard in Coach Brownell’s more traditional 2-Guard’s 2-Forward’s and one Center line-up. Damaarcus goes 6`4“ 2oo lbs. as a B.Y.U. transfer 2-guard. The (Cougar) book on Harrison reads like more of a homecoming (he’s from South Carolina) or homesick story-line to me. Harrison is said to be an athletic Wing type player who currently slots at the 2-guard spot outta necessity after summertime injuries to incumbent two’s (Jaron Blossomgame and Devin Coleman) in the last six months. Harrison was a back-up last year out in Provo and his current numbers at Clemson speak to such. What with a 4.9 ppg average and a mere 18% shooting from beyond the arc. That said, Damarcus was a **** (four-star) prospect and the no.37 shooting-guard according to ESPN.com for a reason; even if that reason has let to showcase itself thus far. Harrison’s immediate wavier was unexpectedly approved, and this is why he does not appear in any pre-season magazines and concurrently why information on his game is lagging behind buy one full year.
Clemson Bench: (2-4 deep)
Adonis Filer is a 6`2“ 190 lb. Chi-town nugget or rookie year Guard who although not a pure shooter by trade, has a reputation for quicks and finding a way to score. Right now he gets you a nifty 8 ppg, 3 boards and a couple of assists in relief off the Tiger pine. In addition to having a double-double cool first-name, Adonis is yet another raw athlete as this Tiger rotation is just about as athletic as it gets in 2012-2013 Atlantic Coast terms. Jordan Roper is a 5`11“ 165 lb. freshmen season bantamweight point-guard who is know for his quicks and who surprised many with the fact that beyond grabbing the Tigers by the tail, he had zero other major D-1 offers! Roper leads the extremely springy Tiger team with a phenomenal 40“ vertical leap and he too is a former South Carolina state champion. Jordan is a smaller yet extremely athletic Guard who employs the obscure mid-range game from yesteryear. Jordan is an excellent student and he also chips in with 6.8 ppg on a second-best 39% from downtown.
Bernard Sullivan and Josh Smith both receive spot minutes here and there as warranted. Bernard is a 6`7“ 230 lb. sophomore year sculpted baller who has had more than his share of difficulties when it comes to being asthmatic –and Coach God bless on that. Bernard was the #1 signee in Coach Brownell’s first class and is easily view as no less than a **** prospect who sadly has five-star pulmonary difficulties that forced him to miss no less than two months of practice last year. Sullivan was the no.10 Power-Forward coming outta high school according to Scout just two years ago. So you know this kid can play although at 10.8 minutes per game, it is difficult to appreciate just how much he can do when healthy. Right now he’s giving you 1.8 ppg and 1.6 rpg and let’s all hope and pray this kid gets better as there is way more to this one than meets the eye. Josh Smith is a 6`8“ 255 lb. power-forward who could join a crime syndicate as his specialty is dirty-work itself. Josh is well constructed for such and he brings along some surprisingly smart footwork and soft-hands for a kid having the look and feel of a pure banger. Josh gets you 1.4 ppg and rpg alike although he does lead Clemson at 58% from the floor due to the fact that nearly all of his shots are from 6-8` or less.
Conclusion(s), illation, OPT digits:
From what I saw on tape, coach J’s and his boys are dealing with a buncha raw athletes playing basketball or a buncha athletic basketballer’s who have yet to gel; take thy pick. Clemons has however been the more consistent team this season as they have been consistently up-n-down from the word go. Whereas our Hokies started out hot as blazes and have cooled off considerably of late.
The so-called Forum Guide (how teams did in the past vs. common opponents) predicts a mind-boggling 46 point Clemson rout! That seems a bit farfetched indeed; however, it also paints a disparate picture of two ships passing in the night. And that canvas could prove to be fetching than most of us would like to admit in just over 6 weeks time. So let’s all hurry up and hope that’s just not the case, no matter how much of a uva hangover we may be feeling at the moment. Then we come to the fact that Clemson is a 47% team offensive at home that only allows a mere 37% in their own building with a +4 rebounding margin in hand as well. Suddenly we arrive at the none to comfortable fact that Clemson is favored for a reason and that seems reasonable enough to me.
As right now Clemson has all the minerals, and it is our very own Vah.Tech that is questing for a feel-good shot of emotional B-12 right in the O&M arm. That’s not selective perception, that’s a pragmatic lack of Hokie defense and a coupe of Hokie shooters who still could not make a 3 with a pencil.
Virginia Tech=55, Clemson=68