Photo by Bob Hebert
After a slow start, Al-Farouq Aminu and his frontcourt mates got things going in a 88-57 victory over IUP. Click through for a quick analysis of the Deacons' first game of the season...
The brightest star of the night for Wake Forest was without a doubt Al-Farouq Aminu. Coming into the season, Aminu has been strapped with high expectations by fans and the media alike. He played like an All-American Thursday night, as he notched 24 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists in only 25 minutes of action. While we are used to seeing him excel on fast breaks and on garbage buckets in the paint, it was refreshing to see him knock down three trifectas in five attempts as well. If he can shoot a decent percentage from deep this season, it will be a nightmare for opposing ACC squads.
The other top performer for the Demon Deacons was center Chas McFarland. Coming off the bench because of a few missed practices due to a concussion, McFarland scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in only 18 minutes on the floor. Chas scored the majority of his buckets off tip-ins and work on the boards, but he did manage to step out and knock down a three from the top of the key late in the second half.
Alongside McFarland and Aminu, Tony Woods had a decent showing as well, scoring 9 points on 4-5 shooting. Of course, Woods' strength is throwing down huge dunks, which he continued to do. However, he also converted while being fouled (and knocked down the free throw) and knocked down 1 of 2 shots from outside the free throw line as well. Look for Woods, McFarland and Aminu to start for the Deacs this year as they plan to beat their opponents into submission.
The other story of the night was our first look at Ari Stewart, CJ Harris and Konner Tucker in a Wake Forest uniform. Harris got the most minutes, playing both the PG and SG positions for a total of 17 minutes. He notched four assists and knocked down the first three-pointer of the game after the other Deacon guards got off to a cold start from deep. Tucker saw 12 minutes of action and confidently knocked down his first three and got fouled shooting another (and hit all 3 FTs). He also showed off some ball-handling skills, which will be critical as the opponents get tougher and tougher. Finally, Stewart did not play like he is capable of, but did have a couple dunks and played aggressive defense. Expect to see much more out of him in future contests.
Here are some quick impressions from the overall play of our guys:
21 team assists, which is very impressive
42.1% from deep, including makes by 6 different players
+14 in rebounding, but that should be expected considering the height differential
Al-Farouq Aminu is a beast
The defense looked very good for the first 3/4 of the game
21 turnovers - Periods of sloppy ball-handling and poor footwork
60% FT shooting - LD, Ish and Harris combined 5 of 12
Guard play was sub-par overall
Be at the Joel next Friday as Wake Forest opens the regular season against Oral Roberts!