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How Grant Basile Has Stepped His Game Up Recently for Virginia Tech

Grant Basile 1 VT CSU 2022 ES
Will Locklin | @locklin_will
Writer/Basketball Analyst

Fresh off back-to-back 33 pieces, Grant Basile is absolutely balling out for Virginia Tech and carrying the offense on his shoulders. Basile has been no stranger to big time scoring outbursts this season, scoring 30 points vs Delaware State in his first game in maroon and orange. From there, Basile continued to crack double figures but it wasn’t until early December when he scored over 20 points again. The Pewaukee, Wisconsin native registered a 23 point and 10 rebound double double to soar the Hokies past the Flyers.

As Tech began to dip into their ACC schedule, Basile’s scoring was hot and cold. After averaging only 10.8 points per game through his four ACC games, Basile flipped a switch heading into the Hokies first game against Syracuse. Over the last month, Basile is averaging 21.9 PPG on 56.7% from the field and 39% from three point range. Headline performances from Grant include averaging 25.5 PPG against Syracuse in the two matchups and scoring 24 points in a win over Duke.

In Tech’s last two games, Hokies fans have been treated to the very best Basile has to offer. Even in a loss vs Boston College, Basile poured in 33 points on 12-21 from the floor. Most recently, Basile erupted for 33 points again on 13-19 shooting vs Notre Dame to boost Tech to their first road win in ACC play this season. What was once a hot streak has turned into game in and game out domination from the Hokies' big man. Here’s a look at how he’s done it.

Interior Domination: Fantastic Post Play, Rim Rolling, and Contact Finishing

Grant Basile has been a machine the last two games in the post. At the start of ACC play, it appeared as though Basile needed to adjust to ACC caliber competition when posting up.

However, any doubts of Basile’s in one-on-one situation down low are now quelled. In play one, Tech clears a whole side out for him to back down his man. Basile powers his man side to side using his strong upper body. After knocking his defender slightly off balance, Basile bends the other way into a spin move that frees him for a righty hook shot off glass.

Clip two finds Basile is a different situation but still one he capitalizes on. Basile calls for a pass since he has a clear size mismatch. As soon as Mutts delivers the entry pass, the Irish bring a sharp double team. The helping defender goes for a steal, but Basile thwarts him off and pivots into a highly contested hook shot which he cashes.

Basile’s excellent touch on short shots that aren’t dunk or layups but still around the rim attempts has been a big reason for his incredible scoring performances.

Basile is automatic on these restricted area extended shots inside the paint. After setting a pick and rolling, Mutts gives Basile a touch pass in space. Basile high points the ball and catches it in traffic. He’s walled off from rising up for a shot immediately so instead, Basile turns to his left hand and magically floats another jumper that graces the Joyce Center nets.

In the next play, Basile comes off a screen within the Hokies flex offensive package. Notre Dame’s defender has to fight through Cattoor’s screen and multiple defenders surround Basile once he has the ball. Basile uses terrific footwork and balance to spin through two defenders, absorb contact and complete the play with another contact finish.

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Tech utilized Basile more as a roll man in the P&R in the Notre Dame game. After setting a pick and slipping out early (something Grant is great at), Pedulla hits Basile in stride with space for him to work with. Basile is able to turn immediately, bump into the helping defender at the rim and finish through the contact for an and-one basket.

In the following clip, Basile intentionally doesn’t make contact on his screen and slips out with haste. This throws the screeners defenders’ timing off, and it gives Basile and the Tech offense an advantage. The Irish send help off the corner, and Basile gets walled off by a pair of Notre Dame defenders. However, this is where Basile’s touch on his shots shines through. He rises up from the ACC paint logo and calmly knocks down another shot.

Season Numbers: Box Score and Advanced Stats

Before combing through more clips, let’s take a look at the impressive numbers Grant Basile is putting up for Virginia Tech. With this ridiculous streak, Basile is up to a team-leading 16.3 points per game. He’s scoring the ball on highly efficient marks too, posting a 51.8 FG% and a 38.6 3P%. Additionally, Basile is second on the team in rebounding, hauling in 5.7 rebounds per game and first in blocks with 1.4 blocks per game to his name.

On the advanced stats side of the equation, Basile is among the ACC’s best in several areas. Basile is posting an 8.5 BPM (box plus-minus), good for best in the entire conference. Basile’s 27.3 usage rate puts him ninth in the ACC which means the Hokies are force feeding him the ball as much as they can. Furthermore, Basile is averaging a smoking 61.5 true shooting percentage which ranks 12th in the ACC. Both the box score stats and the advanced numbers prove Basile is one of the best scorers in terms of volume and efficiency in the conference.

Perimeter Marksmanship: High-level Three-Point Shooting and Offensive Versatility

Grant Basile is shooting the leather off the basketball the last two games and frankly, he’s been doing it the entire season. Basile is a 38.5% three point shooter for the season and that figure rockets up to 41.2% over his last two games. Versus BC and ND, Basile shot 7-17 from long range. He makes a living off open spot-up shots like these ones where Basile has time to square and set his feet and release a smooth looking shot that finds nothing but net.

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More impressively, Basile is a legit movement shooter at 6’9 and 235 pounds. Even with his towering size, Basile can still move off the ball and flow into routine three-point shots coming off screens. Here, he comes off an inverted screen from Cattoor, receives a dribble handoff pass from Mutts and jacks up a long distance shot that rips the chords.

Usually, we see Cattoor, Pedulla and many other guards and wings in college basketball come off screens and create their own shot. As a big man, Basile can do that and more which adds another layer of dimensionality to the Tech offense.

Another versatile way Basile makes a living from three-point territory is from popping out of a pick and roll set for an open three. If the defense reacts a certain way, Basile will hurt teams from the top of the key all day long.

What puts the versatile package all together are plays like this one. Since Basile is a shooting threat, he sees a giddy closeout that he can attack. Basile fakes and puts the ball on the deck. He’s agile enough to get an angle on his defender and bruise his way to the basket before flipping up a shot that drops in.

Don’t Forget About Defense

While Basile’s offense has been praised, his defense has risen to the occasion in more than a few areas too. In clip one, Basile steps up to help the roll. A cutter sneaks in behind him so Basile then quickly rotates to the rim and erases a gimme shot at the hoop with a ferocious block.

In clip two, Basile slithers his way into the passing lane and picks off the pass to nab a steal. Basile goes coast to coast, sheds the lone defender, and erupts with a dunk for two.

Grant Basile is the Hokies new star at just the right moment. His versatile package of classic interior big man skills matched with modern perimeter play makes Basile one of the best bigs in the ACC. After two straight 33-point outings, we’ll see what Basile has in store for Tech’s next road test versus Georgia Tech and beyond.

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