Thursday, November 20, 2008

game preview: Radford

Virginia Cavaliers (2-0, 0-0) vs. Radford Highlanders (2-0, 0-0)

Possible starters:


PG: Calvin Baker (3.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3 rpg)
SG: Sylven Landesberg (24.5 ppg, 4 apg, 6 rpg)
SF: Mamadi Diane (13.5 ppg, 1 apg, 5 rpg)
PF: Mike Scott (18 ppg, 0.5 apg, 12 rpg)
C: Tunji Soroye (3 ppg, 0 apg, 6 rpg)


G: Kenny Thomas (17 ppg, 1.5 apg, 2 rpg)
G: Amir Johnson (8.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2 rpg)
G: Martell McDuffy (11 ppg, 3 apg, 3 rpg)
F: Joey Lynch-Flohr (11.5 ppg, 3 apg, 6.5 rpg)
C: Artsiom Parakhouski (15 ppg, 1 apg, 5 rpg)

Hard to get a bead on Radford this year - they're 2-0, but that comes from playing opponents from D-II and D-III. Yes, D-III. For what it's worth, they were terrible last year, coming in second-to-last in the Big South and getting destroyed by good teams, and even not-so-good ones, as Michigan beat them by 27 to open the season. Last year, though, they didn't have Artsiom Parakhouski, the big 6'11" transfer from Southern Idaho. The big Belarussian has led the Highlanders' post offense, and solid defense from Tunji Soroye will be needed. Maybe tonight we also see Brandenburg? I've been hoping for that for a couple games now, but Radford is the first opponent with a player to match the height of our own tallest players.

It might be telling that Radford kept their starters in for most of their first game, despite that game being against Division II Brevard College. The bench, in what little time they got, shot 3-for-11 and followed that up with 9-for-22 against Bridgewater, so I think we can expect to see a lot of the starting lineup tonight.

Hard to say if that will go for us too, of course. Meyinsse and Farrakhan got the starts against USF and played scrub minutes; Landesberg came off the bench and played 31. Makes you wonder if Leitao's pulling his starters out of a hat or what. Look for that kind of workload on Landesberg the rest of the season though.

I'm not really scared of Radford. I'm more scared of us. We always make it harder on ourselves than it should be. Jeff Jones, for example, has picked up where he left off last year with his spotty shooting and was 1-for-8 against USF; 1-for-5 from 3. If he makes just one or two more of those shots, the game isn't a nailbiter. But, it was his hot hand that shot down Arizona last year. Radford really shouldn't present too much trouble, but we seem like a prime candidate for an upset one of these days, and I'm not gonna rest too easy going into these warm-up games.

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