#171 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #2 R.P.I. Miami:
TV coverage: 7pm, RSN
Vegas line: VT+17
Vah.Tech, coach J’s and the TSL.com message boards on the balance just got up off of a 9 game schnide and dipped out on 4.3 weeks worth of hooping “malaise” thanks to a rather tasty looking 10 point home win (80-70) vs. Florida State on Sunday night down in the New River Valley.
That said, what I really liked was that 52 or N.B.A. ‘esque looking second-half scoring outburst. Virginia Tech and coach J’s needed that like a dead-man needs a coffin. Despite a game tempo that only allowed for 2 fast-break points to the Seminoles and a relatively mere 13 fast-break points for our beloved Hokies; think about that for a second folks; as that’s not exactly high-velocity end-to-end track-meet basketball. Is it?
Virginia Tech and coach J’s also won with two starters starting the game out over on the Gobbler bench. As Robert Brown and Jarrell Eddie were reduced to spectators in lieu of a walk-on and what would appear to be our oldest front-court starting rotation (Barksdale and Raines) being paired together. That rotation change-up remind you of anyone? It shouldn’t, and that prompted someone to call this benching the anti-#7 Marcus Davis performance/playing-time ratio approach in a Monday eMail to Chris Coleman. Most refreshing indeed … as when you do not perform, maybe you really do need to take a break.
So today’s word is: accountability…
- the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable.
- Education . a policy of holding schools and teachers accountable for students’ academic progress by linking such progress with funding for salaries, maintenance, etc.
- Coach James Johnson, Vah.Tech
♪“…that’s what is all about.”♫
Miami at a glance:
- 6th fewest personal fouls per game (13.9)
- 13th in defensive FG percentage allowed (37.5%)
- 21st in fewest offensive turnovers (11)
- 23rd in scoring defense allowed (58.4 ppg)
- 32nd in blocks (5)
- 282nd in offensive FT percentage (65.5%)
N.B.A. pros=2 or 3 potentials here.
Kenny Kadji is a 6`10“ 242 lbs. worth of lean-mean senior year post. He also just cut 10 lbs. worth of mass on a visit to Jenny Craig as this kid was no small problem before; and now he’s a bona fide match-up headache down low and from range! Where of all things this F-C combo junior year Florida transfer big nets 37% of his 3’s; although his game has been a bit off since we last saw him. Now add in 12.7 pgg, with 6.4 boards and 1.4 blocks and you suddenly have one of the tougher frontcourt match-ups on your hands. And all that to say, that his 2013 game has been just a scosche off his 2012 pace; so as talented as this legitimate big truly is, he’s not quite giving you all he’s got. Though he is sure giving you a good deal after such a bad looking back surgery when he was with the Gators; and that’ s not half bad for having been the 5th ranked Center outta high school sans all the medical cuts. Justin Gamble is another F/C combo starter upfront for Coach Larranaga down low for the U. Justin goes 6`10“ `and tips the Toledo’s at a filled out 25o bills. Justin is a senior who was granted a sixth year after blowing out his A.c.l. from the NC2A. Justin chips in down low with 6.7 ppg, 5.2 boards and 2.o blocks. That’s pretty decent from a gritty kid who already has a degree and is known to be one of the best low-post-passers in the A.c.c thanks to his high basketball I.Q.
Association pros=maybe one
Hurts=1 (Garrius Adams, 6`6“ 195 lb. senior year former starter, combo-Guard who can play and defend both backcourt spots, 34% on 3′s and 8 ppg; second-time Knee)
Durand Scott may not have the glossiest numbers in the A.c.c. this year, though he is making his all-A.c.c. case, one way or another. Durand is a 6`5“ 203 lb. final year Bronx bomber of a shooting-guard who was only the 5th ranked shooting-guard in America coming outta high school. This Jamaican gunner can do a lotta things on court, among them would be leading the U in ppg with 13.3, pacing second in assists with 2.8 and again second in steals with 1.8. I don’t know if I’d call that a dominate backcourt player, though I might just call that a complete one. Now mix in 4.3 rpg on 46% from the floor and a respectable 33% from downtown and I might just call that a very complete one. Now mix in a dip in every single metric that I just cite and I might just call that a declining one. That being said, this is the handout kid who was handed a six-game suspension from the NCAA for receiving impermissible benefits at the end of last season. Google was not much help in determining precisely what that meant, though it did spell out that Durand did have to replay local charities in full. So there you go on that; however I can tell you that this kid is a handful on-court and he might just be multipurpose enough to play his way into an exported basketball paycheck; if he keeps himself clean off-court and outta court alike. Shane Larkin is a 5`10“ 176 lb. mighty-mite backcourter for the U. Larkin is only giving you 13.1, 4.3 and 4.1 as points, rebounds and assists go; all while leading Miami in steals with 2.1. I’d say doubling your all-A.c.c freshman year numbers nearly across the stat-line counts –and smartly at that- for a second year baller who has been battling the stomach flu for weeks. (That reminds you of anyone, or any team for that matter) What does not matter is the fact that this super-soph’ is prolly 24 (more) months away from his D-1 prime; as he’s only 19 years of age right about now. Larkin is a point-guard who is always on point when it comes to pressuring the ball up court and 42% from beyond the arc does not suck either. And neither does improvement across the board less a marginal dip in steals. Also starting in the Canes 3-guard line-up would be 6`5“ 22o lb. Trey McKinney Jones, a last year U.M,K.C. transfer from Missouri-Kansas City, by way of Milwaukee Wisconsin, his hometown. That makes this kid well-traveled and that suits the former two time triple-jump state champion just fine. Ditto his 3.5 G.P.A. and his 9 ppg, his 3.4 boards and his 1.8 assists. If that’s not enough to compel you, how ‘bout mixing in his second-best 37% from downtown; or maybe his N.B.A. uncle (Mark Jones, Orlando Magic) or track-n-field Olympic gold medalist 1992 aunt (Esther Jones) as a member of the 4×100-meter relay. Impressed yet? Yah; me too, roger that; as this is quite the likable three-name kid with a likewise triple-double likeable Human Genome Project savvy pedigree extraordinaire.
Miami Bench: (3 sometimes 4 deep)
Rion Brown, Erik Swoope, Raphael Akpejiori and the newly returned jumbo sized big-man and always large-n-in-charge #42 Reggie Johnson make up the thrust of the Hurricane bench. Reggie is the real story-line here folks and his ample 6`11“ 292 lb. senior year bulwark worth of bulk says so! Say it with me, “Reggie Johnson is a beast, a beast!” And if what’s left of his right knee (torn meniscus) can only hold up, his 9.1 ppg and 7.9 rebounds will only go up as he plays his way back into shape as twenty-thirteen progresses. Recall that this kid was all everything coming outta North Carolina where he was the boys M.V.P, the state champion, and the no.1 player in-state. This is also the kid who has broken his left-thumb a couple of times and missed a good slice of this season because of his thumb-break @ U.C.F. about a week before Christmas. That being said, this kid has cut 40 odd lbs. since he arrived as a rookie, he has an insane 7`2“ wingspan or extremely long-arms, along with surprisingly soft-hands and agility that is better than you’d expect. I’ve read that he may actually be closer to 6`9“ in height; and yet this bruiser of human contusion of a post-player has a future somewhere, somehow, collecting a pro paycheck. That means if Mr. Johnson is good-to-go, these Canes could very well employ the services of the very best frontcourt in the whole entire A.c.c. Although it is most conspicuous to see that Reggie is down to only shooting 41% from the field this year; so you have to wonder if there is still a hitch in his giddy-up.
Rion Brown is a 6` 6“ 194 lb. junior year pure shooting Swing who gets you 6.5 ppg, 2 rebounds and an assist in relief in between the S/F and 2-guard slots. That said, Rion Brown is a scorer, in fact he was a late season starter for Miami last year and all he did was average 16 per contest! Rion’s name is phonated best as “ryan”, however, no matter how you say it, this kid is a dangerous bench scorer whose old-man (Tyco) is only the all-time leading scorer in the history of the C.B.A. So pointing things up (not out) is clearly in this kid’s blood and he was only the 15th ranked shooting-guard coming outta high school. This is also a fairly fiery kid who is vociferous indeed, I kinda like that in a bench scorer myself as Mr. Brown could do a lot for at least half of the other A.c.c. schools where he’d probably be in the starting line-up night-in and night-out; even if his 37% shooting or shot-selection could use some measure of work. Erik Swoope is a 6`6“ 230 lb. P/F who looks like he is only a couple of steaks away from being a De (in football). Erik only nets you a couple of points and a board, although he is also a former starter who has vanished in recent games despite shooting 67% from the floor! Erik is a knifed-up looking P/F trapped in a S/F’s body. He will attack the basket as his game is bouncy enough and his body-building physique allows him to finish in traffic, and easily at that. Raphael Akpejiori is a 6`10“ 230 lb. frontcourt reserve in his junior campaign outta Lagos Nigeria. Raphael is named after the Angel Raphael and he is a Dean’s List student. Not bad for a full-time student-athlete who only majors in Mechanical Engineering! This kid was the 64th rated P/F outta high school and right now he’s a steady rolling 1 point and 1.3 rebounds substitute who purchases you a handful of minutes per half as foul-trouble necessities; and do note that he is one of four Hurricanes in coach Larranaga’s rotation who stands in north of 6`10“ or better. As this is surely a towering Hurricane front-line, if nothing else.
Conclusion(s), illation, OPT digits:
Miami just had their 14 game winning streak unceremoniously snapped by 7 point underdog Wake Forest by a whopping 15 points out on the road last Saturday. That would suggest to me that Miami might just be a touch temperamental accordingly and that Virginia Tech might just end up catching this South Beach Hurricane right in the teeth. The U stands in at 22 up and 4 down overall, 5th in the nation and 1stin the A.c.c. with a 2 game lead over Duke with only four games left to play. Miami does play Duke next, @ Duke, so that could create some thing a signature look-ahead trap-game scenario here as well.
The Forum Guide is predicting about a 20 point blowout for the Canes, and that did not include any Duke calculations which would have pushed the total to a nearly umpossible 60 point triumph in favor of the U –even more had I kept digging and gone further back. The most recent 5-game trends and the Home/Away splits are not that damning; at least not in offensive terms. When it comes to contesting shots however, things tilt in Miami’s favor in no small way. The U is better in terms of scoring defense allowed by 14 ppg at home or 17 ppg in the last five games. FG percentage defense allowed favors the Canes by 4% each time and rebounding margin favors the Hurricanes by nearly +9 in each category as well. Or in other words, coach J’s and his boys really need a chilly shooting night from The U; or a stalwart stop-unit night which would at least give us some chance to steal one with Miami possibly already playing Duke.
The U does not score a whole lotta points; not at home and not away. And “yes” ←that was a triple negative to be sure. The U has been stuck at 65 or less for about three weeks time. Vah.Tech on the other hand has scored precisely between 54 and 56 points in four of their last six contests when facing unfavorable tempo (i.e. slower) match-ups. That’s about that in what figures to be a game set to tip-off in Sleepy Hollow on Wednesday night. As this one has yawner written all over it to me as the BankUnited Center ain’t exactly hosting ‘bronb’bron and D.Wade and that means that this venue is typically drowsy inandofitself.
Virginia Tech=54, Miami=65