Game Recap: Deacs lose battle with No. 23 UConn, 77-71

Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

I know there's no such thing as a moral victory., but the game against #23 UConn was probably as close as you can get. It felt like a heavyweight boxing match, with Wake having a lead as late as in the second half, and UConn not being able to rest on their laurels until the game was inside a minute.

The Good

Lots to talk about here, which is awesome.

Codi Miller-McIntyre is a BOSS, and Madison Jones is too. 21 points on 9-16 shooting including 3-6 from three, plus four assists and two rebounds. I cannot say enough how awesome this kid seems to be. And Madison Jones, when he was running the show, had some absolutely beautiful passes. Madison's vision is tremendous.

Counterpunches. UConn had Wake on the ropes a fair number of times. They had their share of runs. But the Huskies didn't run away with it, as every single time, Wake was there to offer a counter, and it was always a team effort. The Deacons also showed adaptability. After giving up several offensive rebounds early, the Deacs tightened up, and actually ended up outrebounding UConn by two on the offensive glass, and by one overall.

Devin Thomas is a force. Seven points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and only one foul. If Devin had been better from the free throw line, he'd have had a double digit scoring game. Devin had some absolutely gorgeous outlet passes in this game, as well.

Demons in the scuffle. The Deacons didn't let themselves get pushed around, and several times showed team toughness the likes of which I hadn't seen yet from a team coached by Coach Bzdelik, and it honestly bears repeating that this was not against some mid-major.

The Bad

Turnovers (especially off of inbounds). 16 turnovers, only 12 assists. And several of the turnovers were in situations that led to easy points for the Huskies. Not good, fellas. Gotta tighten up on that.

Free throw shooting. 12-22, including a 1-4 effort from Arnaud William Adala Moto and a 1-5 outing from Devin Thomas. If they made even half of those misses, this thing ends up a one possession game. If C.J. Harris hit his one miss, the free throws could've led to a Wake win.

Fouls. 20 fouls, leading to no less than 30 free throws. My goodness, that's far too many.

Overall

I was really encouraged by this game. It was on a neutral floor against an experienced (including guys that helped to win a National Championship) team that, at least at this admittedly very early point in the year seems like they're an ACC-level squad, and I mean more like Florida State level, not BC level. Wake had UConn on the ropes at points, and never trailed by more than 10 points. Compared to many of the efforts of the last two years, this game was a revelation. We have a lot of young playmakers, and the veterans we do have show definite flashes of leadership. If this game was any indication, nobody should sleep on this squad, especially if they continue to grow.

As always, thanks for reading. Please leave comments below, Check out the box score here. Go Deacs.

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