Wake Forest will look to bounce back from a narrow 62-60 defeat at the hands of Richmond this past weekend, while High Point will look to continue the offense they displayed in their last game when they beat Johnson and Wales by a score of 99-36.
The Deacs knocked off High Point 87-83 last season in a night to remember for Panthers fans because of the Tubby Smith induction to their Hall of Fame. The game was highly entertaining with a lot of up-and-down action on both sides.
Despite the loss on Saturday night, the Demon Deacons received plenty of positive play from the freshmen class. Aaron Rountree once again showed his outstanding length and prowess on the basketball court as he made play after play down the stretch to give the Deacs a shot at the end.
Madison Jones also had a remarkable dunk, especially considering that most Wake fans didn't even know he could dunk.
Madison Jones' Dunk at Richmond (via WakeForestAthletics)
Hopefully the play of the freshmen will carry over to Travis and CJ, who continued to struggle early on in the year (combined 15 points on 13 shots, and 5 turnovers to go with 5 assists). This is becoming a trend and it will be interesting to see how long these "slumps" last.
Tonight will be a good night for CJ and Travis to attack their opponent in High Point due to the defensive FT Rate that the Panthers have. They rank 328th nationally, allowing 50% as many free throw attempts as field goal attempts on the year. Combine that with the Deacs 5th ranked FT Rate offensively (55.2%), and that is a pretty big matchup.
If they can exploit the over-aggressiveness of High Point and get to the line a lot, I have a feeling that they will both be able to have successful games.
Although the Panthers are 4-3 on the year, two of their victories have come against opponents that are not in Division 1. Their two NCAA wins are over UNC-G and Appalachian State (by 8 and 22 respectively). They were able to win those games with above average offense and a pretty good defensive effort.
In their losses to William and Mary, Indiana State and Western Michigan, their offense was slightly below average, but their defense was abysmal (especially in the first two games).
Here is a great look at the breakdown that Ken Pomeroy has on his website for this game:
When High Point
has the ball
|Category||High Point |
|Wake Forest |
|Off. Reb. %:||30.5||33.2||32.2|
When Wake Forest
has the ball
|Category||Wake Forest |
|High Point |
|Off. Reb. %:||32.6||27.7||32.2|
Due to the teams that High Point has played, they have spread their minutes out to go nearly 12 deep. I doubt that they will go that deep against Wake Forest tonight, but you never know what head coach Scott Cherry has up his sleeve.
Individually, Coach Cherry relies heavily on freshmen John Brown, who gets 57% of the minutes, but ranks 12th in possessions ending in something that he does when he is on the court (33%), and 96th in % of team shots taken when he is on the court (31%). That 31% proves to be a good number since he has an offensive rating of 114.6 (1.146 points per possession scoring the ball).
Another guy to keep an eye on is Allan Chaney, who has been all over the college basketball world due to a heart condition that prevented him from ever taking the court for Virginia Tech. He has proven to be a monster on the boards so far this season, pulling down 24% of all opponents misses when he is on the court, as well as 15% of his own teams misses.
The Panthers don't rely on the three-ball very much, having only one player (Derrell Edwards) attempt more than 20 3 pointers on the year at 21. He is also just 5/21 (24%), and a likely candidate for a career-high scoring night for High Point against our defense.
Overall, High Point comes in with a 95.7 adjusted offensive efficiency rating and a 105.4 adjusted defensive efficiency rating. Those numbers rank 235th and 294th nationally. Wake Forest has a 100.6 adjusted offensive efficiency rating and a 104.0 adjusted defensive efficiency, good enough for 139th and 270th nationally.
Projected High Point Starting Lineup
G- Jairus Simms
G- Adam Weary
F- John Brown
F- Derrell Edwards
C- Allan Chaney
Projected Wake Forest Starting Lineup
G- C.J. Harris
F- Travis McKie
C- Devin Thomas
I'm a little torn predicting the same starting lineup I have all season for us. Coach Bzdelik chose to go small against Richmond and started Chase Fischer as opposed to Tyyler Cavanaugh. However, given the way that our freshmen have been playing, I wouldn't be opposed in the least to starting five freshmen and seeing what Travis and C.J. can do off of the bench for us.
A proposed lineup of Madison, CMM, Rountree, Cav and Thomas would be an interesting sight to see. Thomas and Chaney will be a good battle down low and I think MJ and CMM would get the better of their counterparts. Tree would be good help in there defensively to cover any deficiencies with Cav and Thomas, and overall the energy would be better.
That way when Travis and C.J. come into the game they don't have to force it, take bad shots and then have the resulting turnovers that they have had.
KenPom Prediction: Wake-73 High Point-65 (77%)
I predicted Wake would cover the spread of 15 that KP had against Richmond and predicted a 9 point loss. The Deacs did me one better and made it a two point loss. A loss still, but a much better showing than most would have anticipated.
BSD Prediction: Wake- 76 High Point- 66
I think the Deacs will come out strong and with youthful exuberance. If Travis and CJ can get back to their old ways I think Wake wins this one fairly easily. Who knows though with this many young guys and the coaching staff that we have.