Feb 25, 2012; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons guard C.J. Harris (11) goes up for a layup during the first half against the Boston College Eagles at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE
Alright, I'm going to get something out of the way right now. I AM NOT GOING TO TALK IN THIS PIECE ABOUT THE COACHING SITUATION OR THE ADMINISTRATION. For crying out loud guys, we destroyed somebody by nearly 30. I literally could not care less about their current KenPom ranking.
We beat them worse than anyone in the ACC has this year, this is a factual statement. That game was AWESOME, and pretty much everyone killed it. I'm not talking about coaches or anything, I love this team, straight up. I love our players, I love their attitudes, I love how they win together and lose together. They clearly care about each other. And yesterday, they played some almost freakishly good basketball. So I'm gonna talk about that instead.
It started out a bit of a battle, but the Deacs got out to a 9 point lead by the end of the first half, and Boston College didn't get any closer than that. Nearly every phase of the game, after the slightly rough start, was practically as flawless as can be expected in an actual gameday environment, and at one point Wake was up by 32 points. And no, that's not a misprint or an exaggeration.
Read more after the jump...-Offensively, the Deacs were incredible this game. 55.6 percent shooting on the day, an absolutely staggering 64.3 percent from three-point range on 14 attempts (more than one of those misses was halfway down, as well). We were a couple of friendly rolls away from shooting almost 80 percent from deep. That is mind-boggling to me. Other than Nikita Mescheriakov (1-5), Tony Chennault (1-3) and Daniel Green (1-3), every Deac who attempted a shot was 50 percent or better from the field.
Additionally, the Deacs had 19 assists on 31 baskets, to only seven turnovers for the game. Wake even got out in transition this game, scoring 12 fast break points on the day and also had 22 points off BC's 15 turnovers. The bench contributed an awesome 30 points, largely thanks to Chase Fischer and the surprising offensive blast of Carson Desrosiers, who I'll get to later. Honestly Wake dominated every area of the floor, pretty much. Ironically, the weakest part of the offensive game came at the free throw line, their usual forte, where the team went 14-22 (64 percent).
-Defensively, BC shot a respectable 43 percent from the field, and an anemic 33 percent from 3 on 15 attempts. Wake forced 15 turnovers, including seven steals and two blocks. Wake also won the battle of the boards by four. The defense wasn't fantastic like the offense was, but it was certainly respectable (likely good enough to win even a modestly successful offensive outing as well) and it's difficult to find much fault with any aspect of this game for the Deacs.
Now for individual breakdowns:
-C.J. Harris had an amazing 23 points (10-16, 3-5), one rebound, four assists, two steals, and two turnovers in 31 minutes. The really staggering thing is that yes, C.J. dropped 23 points without attempting a free throw. That's remarkable. C.J. scored everywhere, from behind the arc off screens, to midrange jumpers on stepbacks, to easy shots on drives, to an absolutely thunderous dunk in the first half that saw a BC player (I believe it was Clifford) essentially get the ball spiked in his face when he tried to stop C.J. from the other side.
-Travis McKie had an awesome 21 points (7-11, 1-1, 6-6), six rebounds, an assist, and two steals in 31 minutes. Travis hit his first shot (the first of the game for Wake, actually) from behind the arc, but after that it was all strong plays on the inside for the big man. What might have been the play of the game for me was a tremendous alley-oop on a fast break by Travis late in the first half to put Wake up by 11. It's also worth noting that the oop was also made possible by a GORGEOUS lob from Tony Chennault.
-Speaking of Tony Chennault, he had 5 points (1-3, 0-0, 3-6), four rebounds, four assists and no turnovers in 31 minutes. TC really should've had in the neighborhood of 10 points considering the missed free throws and the fact that a couple of his misses were on the front end of 1 and 1's, but I'm not going to dog TC because he did exactly what he should do in terms of effort, making passes and chipping in on the glass and on the few shots he did take.
-Nikita Mescheriakov probably had the worst day of the Deacs, but still contributed positively, there's no question about that. Kita had 2 points (1-5, 0-1, 0-0), five rebounds, three assists, two turnovers, and a notable team-high 4 fouls in only 17 minutes.
-Ty Walker did what Ty Walker does: be a strong presence inside and make modest but important contributions. He had four points on a perfect 2-2 shooting, three rebounds, an assist, both of the teams two blocks, and two turnovers in 18 minutes. Nice, solid game for the big man.
-The biggest (literally and figuratively) hero off the bench was probably Carson Desrosiers. The New Hampshire native had 13 points (4-8, 3-4, 2-4), seven rebounds, two assists, a steal, and one turnover in 20 minutes. Three of four from 3 by a 7 footer? How awesome is that? It's important to note that these were not ugly shots; it's clear to me that the deep shot is unquestionably a part of CD33's skill set. It's not that I want him trying to be Dirk Nowitzki every game, but it's undoubtedly a nice dimension for Carson to have. He played 20 minutes.
-Chase Fischer continued to have fantastic play for a freshman off the bench. In 28 minutes, Chase had seven points (3-5, 1-2, 0-2), a rebound, a steal, and four assists. I'm a little shocked Chase missed both of his free throws, but nobody's perfect. I gotta tell you guys, in terms of nearly every aspect of his game, I think Chase Fischer has the potential to be a really special player. His shooting motion is absolutely gorgeous, he doesn't take stupid shots (one of his two misses was on a near half-court heave at the end of the first, which frankly came pretty close to going in, as I recall), he can handle, he can pass, he plays with energy, and he clearly thinks about how to make the TEAM better.
When his shot isn't falling (and even when it is), he passes. He's made several plays this year that have made me think he could probably play point if we really needed him to. In that regard, he kind of reminds me of C.J. I REALLY like how Chase plays, so that's one thing Coach Bzdelik and I agree on (I said I wasn't gonna mention him, but hey, this is a positive, so whatever!)
-Daniel Green had a solid 11 minutes. He had five points (1-3, 0-0, 3-4) and four rebounds. Both of his misses were really shots that he'll make (and get one more shot from) once he builds up a little strength. I really think Daniel is a player who knows his role and has the mental and physical skills to really contribute, he just needs to grow into his body a little bit more, which as I recall was the scouting report on the big man coming out of high school, so well done to Mr. Green.
-Anthony Fields was in for a 3 minute stretch that really made me happy. The Detroit native had two points on one shot, a layup that was created by a beautiful steal and run, and also chipped in a rebound. He always seems so happy and pumped up to be out on the floor, so I'm glad he got a chance to play and contribute.
-Ryan Keenan drilled a 3 with the shot clock winding down with his parents in attendance all the way from Australia. How awesome is that?
What a game. I said this to myself yesterday and I honestly mean it, if the Deacs play anything like this against Duke on Tuesday, then they're a team capable of hanging around. I'm not saying they'll win by any means, but Duke is not a good team defensively, so if the Deacs can minimize turnovers, have smart ball movement, and take good shots like they did in this game, then I could see them being able to make things more interesting than one might expect.
I am so proud of this team. As always, comments, questions, etc. are appreciated, though I personally would really like to keep coaching and similar discussions to a minimum. This was about the players playing their hearts out, and whether that's a result of coaching or in spite of it, at the moment I don't particularly care.
Oh and according to ESPN, the crowd was 9,742 strong, about 2/3 full if I'm doing my math correctly; surprising, but nice. I hope this performance will help ensure an absolutely packed house on Tuesday against the Blue Devils.