Yes, I know it is football season but it is less than 30 days until practice can start so I am starting to get excited for college hoops. I wanted to give a few thoughts on the schedule and how it lays out. Feel free to give your input as well.
I am glad we are taking part in this yet again. It is one of the few tournaments that is still in tournament format, which will be great for our young players. I think anything less than a trip to MSG will be disappointing in my mind but it's definitely not a lock that we make it to the final four.
There are some frisky teams that could give the top 4 seeds a run for their money but I really want to see Tennessee, UCLA and Villanova join Wake in NYC. This will give us two great early season games that can give the young guys experience in the early going.
We may lose both games in NYC but the positives that stem from those games against top competition will outweigh the negatives of the two losses.
Toughest non-conference opponent
It has to be Gonzaga by far. Their frontline of Elias Harris, Robert Sacre and Kelly Olynyk are going to give plenty of teams problems and I see Wake being one of them (especially if Tony Woods is out for the season). They will be looking for revenge for winning at their place last season and I think they come out hungry.
The other game I am looking at is the away game against Richmond. I think this game has a chance to be tougher than the away game at Xavier, due mainly to Kevin Anderson, who went all Tyrese Rice on us for 31 points last year.
Feasting on cupcakes
After *hopefully* playing in MSG for the Preaseason NIT, Wake gets to eat a few cupcakes, facing Iowa, Holy Cross, UNC-W and UNC-G. I think we should be able to get a couple of wins out of this section of games and beef up for the tougher portion of our OOC schedule and into the ACC.
Toughest ACC Stretch
In the span of one week, our young players must travel to Virginia Tech and to Georgia Tech before returning home to play Duke. VT and Duke may be the top two teams in the conference this season and we have struggled historically at Georgia Tech. That looks to be a very tough week.
Easiest ACC stretch
This was a bit tougher to find but I think the easiest 3 game stretch (if you can call any 3 game stretch in the ACC easy) is 2/5/11-2/13/11 with games @ Maryland, home against Miami and home against NC State. NC State is going to be a tough team but getting them at home after playing Miami is a positive. I project MD and Miami to be in the same position as us this season and we could gain some momentum for the end of the season with this stretch.
Does the basketball team come close to covering the 40 point spread the football team put up against Presbyterian?