March 21, 2017

Blocker-Mover

Virginia Cavaliers Mover-Blocker Offense


I figure if we're gonna start talking about tweaks, we need to understand the starting point.



March 20, 2017

Hello, Sun

Funny thing is, I would have killed for a season like this at any point from 1996-2009.

20+ wins. A handful of really big regular season wins. Never even on the bubble; our postseason aspirations were never in doubt. Once in the Tourney, we played to our seed. And this is considered a "down" year for our program now.

Yes, we need to improve the offense and the overall talent level, but I do think proper perspective should apply to this season. It was a good season, we had some bad luck, and we just played our worst game at the worst time.

I'm looking forward to 2018 recruiting, the entry of Huff, Hunter, and Anthony, and the improvement of Jerome, Guy, Salt, and Diakite.

The sun rose this morning, and it is bright as fuck. 

GO HOOS!


March 16, 2017

Survive and Advance

Whew!

It wasn't pretty, but it was a win, and that's fucking awesome.  Any win in the Tournament is a fucking treat to be savored.

That's a really good team we just defeated.

Major kudos to Tony for going to the 5-guard look that sparked the big first half comeback.

Boulder-sized balls on London Perrantes and Marial Shayok.  Those two were fucking HUGE today (the two players, not their two testicles; fuck, this is getting weird).




Looks like Isaiah Wilkins is done for this Tournament.  I wonder what the hell this illness is.  Hope they get it figured out quickly and he's able to get healthy soon.

Better matchups for Salt and Diakite lie ahead.

New York Trash (my nickname for Ty Jerome -- it's a compliment)
was custom-built for March.  Foul trouble today, but he was
able to get his dick wet.  Florida ETSU beware.

Meanwhile, we need King Wavy to play a bit better than he did today. Gotta get some O from Guy in the second round.



I ain't skeert.

Just super excited for the win over a very good UNCW team, and grateful for the ability to enjoy the hoops tonight and tomorrow!

GO ETSU!

But most importantly:

GO HOOS!


March 15, 2017

Bracketdoccio 2017

Soundtrack for this post is below.  Just loop that shit and play it on repeat.



Okay, first, let's take a quick look at last year's bracket and remember a a couple things...




1) Joining us in the 2016 Elite Eight was Oklahoma.  The Sooners lost Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins, and Ryan Spangler from their E8 squad... and went 11-20 this season.

2) Also joining us in the 2016 Elite Eight was... grrrrrr..... Syracuse.  The Orange lost Michael Gbinije, Malachi Richardson, and Trevor Cooney from their E8 squad... and went 18-14, failing to land a Tournament berth from off the bubble.

The point?  Virginia lost Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill, and Mike Tobey, and went 22-10 this season, landing a solid 5-seed.  A beat was skipped, can't say 'we didn't skip a beat,' but it was a damn solid season.

THE POINT???  We should be happy, and we should be grateful.  Really, anything that happens in the 2017 Big Dance is gravy.  For the program, it's already mission accomplished.  Simply making the Tournament during a clear "down" year (made even more down by the Austin Nichols dismissal) is a big picture victory.

Okay, maybe we're not quite at the level of three of the other five E8 teams from last season - Kansas (2017 1-seed), Villanova (2017 1-seed), and UNC (2017 1-seed), but I'd say we're about even with Notre Dame and Oregon.  No, fuck that, neither of those teams lost what we did in Brog, Gill, and Tobey.  As a program, we are positioned on that tier directly below the modern bluebloods.  And that's something to be proud of.  And that's something that won't change, even if we lose in the dreaded 12-5 upset.


Anyway, on the to 2017 Tournament...



You can read UNCW scouting reports anywhere else, so I'm not giving you that.  I'll just give you a quick prediction: We handle their pressure and hit our average of 3s -- .393 on 17.8 attempts -- which gives us enough offense to win, while our defense shuts them down.  Devon Hall is a natural cover on combo guard/forward (and Seahawk leading scorer) C.J. Bryce.  London will be able to hang with small guard Denzel Ingram.  Our pu pu platter of bigs enjoy favorable matchups against their sawed-off center Devontae Cacok; Zay and Diakite have a length/athleticism advantage and Salt has a size/strength advantage.  Jarred Reuter might even be able to play him toe-to-toe, given their similar builds (Cacok is generously listed at 6-7, 240).  Our other wings and guards will be tasked with matching up with Chris Flemmings and Ambrose Mosley, which is where I think a majority of UNCW's half-court gameplan will be centered.  If Kyle Guy, Marial Shayok, Ty Jerome, and Darius Thompson can rally to play good-enuff defense, I think we'll be able to successfully frustrate them.  Their .366 on 26.2 attempted 3s doesn't scare me.

Perrantes and Guy from deep for the mother fucking win.

Chance of a Virginia win in the 1st round: 75%

We advance to face Florida or ETSU.  I don't really have any thoughts there, other than Florida is who I wanted to see as the 4-seed in our pod because I'm not impressed with them and because I think the SEC is a crap basketball conference whose non-Kentucky members are ripe for the picking in this Tournament.

Chance of a Virginia win in the 2nd round: 60%

Sweet Sixteen vs. Villanova is a tough ask.  I know that I'd be scared to see Virginia if I were a Nova fan, and there's a certain pride in being able to say that about our team.  Pretty sure Villanova fans would be pulling hard for Florida in the potential Virginia/Florida matchup.  Anyhoo, if we're lucky enough to make it to the Sweet Sixteen, I think our run likely ends there.

Chance of a Virginia win in the Sweet Sixteen: 20%


And I'm out of time.  Enjoy the 1st round, everyone!  GO HOOS!



March 9, 2017

Futureball

I don't know how this season is going to end up*, but I do know this: I'm excited as hell about the future of the franchise, with young Messrs. Guy, Jerome, and Diakite leading the charge.




* I don't know how this season is going to end up, but here's my current best guess:

Lose tonight to strep Notre Dame.  Not a terrible thing, as it gives the team a chance to rest up and recover from illness.

Granted a 5-seed and a shitty draw for the Tournament on Sunday night.

Scrape by the 12-seed by about 12 points, similar to what we saw last night, with two 5+ minute scoring droughts making the game closer than it should have been.

Spring the mild upset over the 4-seed.  (Florida.  I want Florida.  Give me Florida.)

Bow out gracefully in a hard-fought game against the 1-seed (assuming it's Kansas).  If we're out west and facing Gonzaga, all bets are off.

GO HOOS!



March 6, 2017

What's Our Seed?



The ACC Tournament is this week.  Should be absolutely titillating.  I like (but don't love) our draw.  Georgia Tech will be win-desperate on Wednesday night, as they try to play their way into the NCAA Tournament.  We win that, and we face a rested Notre Dame team -- which we have owned -- but which also owes us a debt of revenge and poses some of the most unique matchup problems out there.  Survive to Friday, and we're facing a Florida State team with all sorts of length and Dwayne Bacon to pelt us with threes.  Best conference in the history of college basketball, OF COURSE the conference tournament is going to be tough.


Truth be told, I don't really care that much about the ACC Tournament.  It's the NCAA Tournament that matters.

Here's where the bracket experts currently have us seeded...

Lunardi -- 5-seed in the Midwest; paired with 12-seed Nevada and 4 Purdue / 13 Akron.  1-seed Kansas looms in the Sweet Sixteen.

Palm -- 5-seed in the West; paired with 12-seed UNC Wilmington (nightmare draw) and 4 Duke (huh?) / 13 Florida Gulf Coast.  1-seed Gonzaga looms in the Sweet Sixteen.  Would the Committee seed two ACC teams so closely, setting up a second round matchup?  Hell no.  Right?  Fuck you, Jerry Palm.

Shelby Mast -- 5-seed in the East; paired with 12-seed Texas-Arlington and 4 West Virginia / 13 Winthrop.  1-seed Villanova looms in the Sweet Sixteen.  I'd probably take that.

Beller -- 5-seed in the Midwest; paired with 12-seed Nevada and 4 Florida / 13 Bucknell.  1-seed Kansas looms in the Sweet Sixteen.

The Bracket Project -- 5-seed in the East; paired with 12-seed Nevada and 4 Purdue / 13 Texas-Arlington.  1-seed Villanova looms in the Sweet Sixteen.


Takeaways:

-- We're pretty unanimously a 5-seed, but closer to being a 4 than we are to being a 6.

-- The 12s and 13s all look pretty tough to me this season.  Kinda scary.  But maybe we'll beat ours while our 4 loses in an upset.  That could be cool.

-- My best guess is we end up in the Midwest (Kansas) or West (Gonzaga), not matched up with Villanova or UNC as our 1s.

-- Teams I want to see us avoid in the 1st round: Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee, UNC Wilmington, Princeton.

-- 1st round, bring it on: USC, Illinois State, Nevada, Texas-Arlington, Vermont, Akron, ETSU.

-- Teams I want to see us avoid in the 2nd round: UCLA, Arizona, Duke, Purdue.

-- 2nd round, bring it on: Florida, Butler, West Virginia, Cincinnati, SMU.

-- At this point, I feel like we're something slightly - slightly - worse than a coin flip away from the Sweet Sixteen.  We'll need NC State and UNC Kyle Guy firing away from deep if we want to make a run to the second weekend.


My over/under on the games we have left to play this season: 4.  And I'm taking the over.

GO HOOS!