#66 R.P.I. Florida State @ #172 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
TV coverage: ESPNU, 6pm
Vegas line: VT+1.5
$-line: bet $1 on VT to win $1.25, bet $1.45 on F.S.U. to win $1
Today’s word is middleocrity…
1. Equally distant from extremes or limits; central: the middle point on a line.
2. Being at neither one extreme nor the other; intermediate.
3. Of or towards the center as sporting competitors go, individual or team.
Yes, it’s true; I’ve submitted one of my favorite bourboneese words for official recognition and or possible publication to Merriam-Webster. (no word yet on that)
Though that is precisely what we have here folks, to very moderate looking basketball teams when you look across the entirety of the 345 team men’s D-1 basketball collegiate landscape on the whole. Not the worst two teams, and certainly not the best two teams either. Notice as well that only 4 games separate the bottom 6 teams in the A.c.c. (and that does include F.S.U. and Vah.Tech). As the Atlantic Coast is now a game of halves as opposed to haves and have nots. F.S.U. has been beaten 7 times since mid-January whereas Virginia Tech has dropped 9 in the same time-period. Even though I’d prolly have to favor the Noles in Tallahassee, this one is in Blacksburg and that means there is a chance.
F.S.U. at a glance:
- 44th in blocks (4.8 swats)
- 262nd in turnovers peg game (14.7)
- 280th in rebounding margin (-2.9)
- 3o1st in defensive 3-point percentage allowed (36.7%)
- 317th in offensive rebounding!
N.B.A. pros=1, Snaer might be a fringe overseas Pro
Injuries=1, Terrance Shannon, (6`8“ 240 lb. Forward, with a history of injuries, first shoulder, now neck; God Bless, an efficient combo-Forward who can score and rebound alike, 8.5 ppg and 6.4 rebounds that did lead the way for the team)
Okaro White is a 6`8“ 2o4 lb. former sixth man in his third year who is now part of the starting five. White (also) is really a combo forward who pitches in at both ends of the court; even if he is a star at neither. Okaro is netting you a second best 12.2 ppg while leading the way in rebounds with 5.8 per contest. Okaro shoots semi well at 49% from the floor, 32% from range. He also leads the Noles in steals at 1.1 and almost leads the ‘Noles in blocks at the same 1.1. White is a versatile athlete who he has the strength, size and ability to play power forward and has the athleticism and shooting ability to also play as more of a wing-forward while having the necessary basketball acumen to switch back and forth between those positions during each game and during each play if match-ups so dictate.
Michael Ojo is a 7`1“ 290 lb. freshman from Lagos, Nigeria with a monster wingspan and a limited offensive game to match. Ojo gives you .7 ppg, a board and part of a block on 27% from the field and 36% from the line. I’d call that “raw” though that is not fair to cuts of beef everywhere with plenty of “moo” left in them. Even though he has appeared in the starting line-up of late, it is tough to qualify Ojo as a starter based upon his stat-line alone. That said, I suppose any contributions from a kid who was supposed to be fitted for an r-shirt is better than the expected zero contributions that had been originally forecast just a few months ago.
Michael –I’ve been there forever- Snaer is a 6`5“ 2o2 lb. cali’ backcourter who is leading F.S.U. in a buncha things when he is not busy eating Virginia Tech at the buzzer. In fact, he has the longest player bio’ page I’ve ever seen; and somewhere James Joyce is smiling. Snaer is leading F.S.U. in ppg (14.2), assists (2.5) and is second in steals (1) and third in boards (4.6). While I do not know if that’s a great player; I do know that’s a well-rounded baller; maybe even a very well-rounded baller at that. That from the former Gatorade player of the year in Cali’ and 7th best player in the nation outta high school who may or may not have ever developed into being the seventh best player in the A.c.c. However, and that debatable amount of pernicious aside, when you are ranked the #1 defender in the whole A.c.c. by Lindy’s pre-season magazine, you prolly do have a pro Association in front of you at 14 ppg and change. In addition to that Snaer is a great leader highly experienced and he is nails in the clutch especially from 3-point land where he has more than made his bones on long-range last-second-shots. Devon Bookert is a rookie year import baller all the way from the Great White North of Alaska where basketball is the one team sport in all the land. Devon goes 6`3“ and a somewhat lightweight 179 lbs. Devon is kicking in 5.4 ppg with 2.3 assists on 89% from the charity-stripe and a sizzling hot 50% from beyond the arc. Devon can shoot the rock and he was the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Alaska. That said, there are those who say that Devon’s shooting is only exceeded by his passing which is likewise hot-to-trot as a pass-first point-guard who just so happened to enjoy major floor stretching range from beyond the arc. Aaron Thomas is a 6`5“ 195 lb. nugget (or freshman) wing who would be a 2-guard in most any other system. Aaron manufactures 6.4 ppg, a couple of boards and an assist or a steal here-n-there. Recall that Aaron was the top F.S.U. newcomer just a year ago; though he needed a year of prep school which did allow him to get a little bigger and stronger than he was coming outta The Frontier state where this diamond in the aurora borealis rough may have been overlooked a bit –due to his lack of proximity and therefore northern exposure the normalized A.A.U. circuit.
- Kiel Turpin: 7`, 24o lb. junior Center, Kiel gives you 5 ppg, 3 boards and a block in relief. Not bad work from a JuCo transfer who had to work to put on 25-30 D-1 lbs. Keil is a skilled pick-n-pop kinda Center, or what some would call a stretch-Forward after a massive senior season growth spurt in high school where his stats were oddly enough, just about the same (as at F.S.U.)
- Ian Miller: 6`3“ 186 lb. junior ‘tweener-Guard, Ian nets you 6 ppg with 2 rebounds and assists alike. Although not a pure shooter (36% from the floor) as a converted Pt.Guard who was expected to be the starting “One” before the year began. A two time state champion (North Carolina) who was thought to be a signature scorer outta highs school and now appears a tad outta place at the Point.
- Terry Whisnant II: 6`3“ 18o lb. shooting-guard in his third year, Trey gets you 5 ppg off the bench and leads the A.c.c. in FT-shooting at a better than Larry Bird 95%! An industrial, hard-working kid; who many had tabbed to be the next great shooter in the A.c.c. three years ago.
- Boris Bojanovsk: 7`3“, 23o lb. rookie who put up some big ole numbers in high school over in Europe (Bratislava, Slovak Rebublic). ‘nother kid that had been previously in-line to r-shirt this year; gets you 3 ppg, 2 rebounds and block off the Seminole bench. While being skillful enough to shoot 81% from the FT-line and 51% from the floor. Tallest F.S.U. hoopster ever, does court legit post-up-moves and a spot-on mid-range J at 15`.
The F.S.U. bench is three things: a little young, rather long, and they are deep. As Coach Len’ Hamilton has played as far as 4-6 players into his bench without hesitation or scoreboard direction at times this campaign. i.e. fatigue could be a factor here!
Conclusion(s), illation, OPT digits:
The 5-game splits are much closer this time and I for one find that encouraging. Scoring offense is separated by 2/10thsof a point, both teams have a -7 rebounding margin, and the defensive margin splits are off by a mere 2%. The Forum Guide is more encouraging as well. If you omit the Duke game, Virginia Tech is actually predicted to win by a staggering 17 point margin. The Home/Away splits are even more heartening. Virginia Tech enjoys a +14 point scoring margin compared head-to-head at home. FG percentage margin favors the Hokies by +3% in Cassell. 3-point percentage margin is a whopping 10% to the good in Tech’s favor as coach J’s boys are far more comfortable shooing at home whereas the Seminoles misfire more than a little bit out on the road. Rebounding margin favors our beloved Hokies by +7 boards at home. So this one is looking better and better all the time.
Less one caveat; the Marianas Trench has it, same the F.S.U. bench; the Vah.Tech pine? Not so much. The word that describes all of that is the sporting qualifying measure of quantity and quality of substitute baller’s, or depth. Coach J’s can go about two deep, plus any walk-on contributions that are ambulatory at best on a game-to-game basis. Coach Hamilton has 5-6 full scholarship baller’s he can draw upon and deploy in defense of our walk-ons. See what I mean?
What I mean is that I was inclined to side with F.S.U.’s superior depth to (eventually) wear a rather evenly match-up Vah.Tech men’s hoops team down as the game wore on, and in the second-half in particular.
Right now however, I am inclined to side with the best player on the court; who just so happens to belong to our very own Hokies, A.K.A. #11 Erick Green. Yes, I know, there are no gar-ron-tee’s when you are riding a 9-game schnide. Although F.S.U. is not unbeatable either; and this one is at home, where the Atlantic Coast host tends to win 70% of the time. And as well all know, “…60% of the time, it works every time.”
“They’ve done studies, you know…”
Virginia Tech=61, Florida State=59