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Deacon Dump 1/3: The Inaugural Skip Prosser Classic

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As you should know, Wake Forest will face Xavier in Winston-Salem this evening for the first game in the 10-year series named for Skip Prosser (5:30, FSN).  This will be a very emotional game for both coaching staffs, as both are where they are today because of Skip. 

We have tons of good basketball links today (including recruits), so be sure to get your background before the game starts.  Go Deacs!


Series in Prosser's name brings about reflections, emotions for two schools | - Latest Sports - Burlington Times News
Wake Forest guard Ishmael Smith said coach Dino Gaudio can operate in conservation mode today with his inspirational speeches. No need to waste time stirring one up when an emotional whirlwind already will be whipping for Xavier’s visit and the inaugural game of the Skip Prosser Classic. “I’m going to be so pumped,” Smith said, “there won’t be any reason for extra motivation. I can’t wait to play that game. It means so much and it’s going to be so fun, I’m going to have to control myself.”

For Xavier and Wake Forest, Skip Prosser gone but not forgotten
Men from both programs text each other often - with the exception of the days surrounding this game - and many of their families have vacationed together. Kelsey said they're like brothers. "Those guys are family and Coach (Prosser) was sort of the fabric that tied us all together. Going back there is going to be hard," Kelsey said. "We have so many memories of Coach. There has always been a void since we lost him."

Wake Forest will meet Xavier today
"You hate to go into the game and you're playing people who are incredibly close to you," Gaudio said. "I coached Chris. I worked with Pat for so many years. It's an emotional game, obviously, with Skip's name on it. "I think the fans will enjoy it, watching the basketball game. But it's tremendously stressful for the two staffs, being that it's the Skip Prosser game and the two staffs are incredibly close. It's a difficult, emotional game."

James Johnson making strides -
If you're wondering who deserves credit for helping James Johnson endure his severe lack of playing time this season, remember the names Bobby Hoekstra and Mike Lepore. Never heard of them? Even if you're a Wake Forest basketball fan, that might be the case because the unheralded players were walk-ons mostly used as practice fodder. "I still talk to those guys and they did wonders for our team," Johnson said. "I didn't want to let them down by saying, 'Oh man, sitting on the bench sucks.' Or, 'Only helping your team in practice doesn't help you win games.'

One Way Richmond: 2009 RICHMONDER OF THE YEAR - Travis McKie
McKie, now a senior and High School All-American Candidate, recently accepted a full scholarship to play ball at Wake Forest University. I don’t know about you, but that is one hell of a top academic institution to attend. McKie will no doubt fit right in, and make a name for himself at Wake academically, as well as on the basketball court. Simply put, MyKie doesn’t know how to slack off in class, life or on the court. Remember this is the kind of guy that would consider straight A’s, high board scores (not rebounds), or a basketball triple-double not good enough. Wake Forest, which is in the ACC, has a real diamond here, and Final Four aspirations in a couple of years in my opinion will come to fruition thanks to McKie.

Featherston – Ranking the ACC going into conference play
No. 6 Wake Forest (10-2). A year ago, Coach Dino Gaudio had three NBA lottery picks to anchor his team. Now he has one – and sophomore Al-Farouq Aminu has stepped up his game beyond where projected lottery picks Ed Davis and Soloman Alabi have taken theirs. His 17 points and (an ACC best) 11 rebounds a game made the Deacons a team to respect. - ACC basketball: By the numbers
7 - Blocked shots in December by Wake Forest's Ish Smith. The senior point guard had two rejections in the Demon Deacons' ACC win over N.C. State on Dec. 20 and then followed with a career-high four blocks Monday against UNC-Greensboro. Coming into this season, Smith had four career blocks.

Desmond Cooper, St. Johns County difference maker |
You are also known as a leader, what are some of your leadership roles? I'm always the one to give the half-time speeches to get us going to get out there and win. I think we are the hardest working team in the state. [Bolles won the 2B state title in early December. Bolles is the first team in Florida to win 10 state championships.] I'm not sure why I became the one to give the speeches. I really just kind of took it upon myself. Seeing as how I lead the defense, I wanted to help lead the team and give them what they need to win. I was also nominated to give the speech to our school at our Homecoming pep rally. It was a lot of fun.

Cincinnati.Com | Cincinnati Enquirer | Xavier Sports » Skip Prosser Classic
Wake indeed downed Air Force the following season, 78-67. Kelsey was awash with emotion. He said he returned to the locker room and broke down like he had never broken down before, because he knew how much Coach wanted that win. And he knew how much Prosser would have loved to have been there.

Never too late
"In the first half, their zone really gave me some problems because it was really packed in," Aminu said. "But you've just got to keep on keeping on. "I knew I probably wasn't going to get my numbers tonight because they were really locked in on us and had a good game plan for me. My teammates just kept looking for me, and I was able to capitalize in the post."

Stewart is Deacs' big shot in OT win : : Greensboro & the Triad's most trusted source for local news and analysis
Even when things are going poorly, good shooters keep shooting. And Wake Forest freshman Ari Stewart is a good shooter. Stewart's 3-pointer from the top of the key with 19 seconds left in overtime gave Wake Forest a two-possession lead and sealed the Demon Deacons' 74-68 victory over Richmond on New Year's Eve at Joel Coliseum.

College Chalktalk:Five For Friday
Not only is the match-up great for honoring a man who was so beloved around college basketball, but also because the two teams hooking up on the hardwood are year-in and year-out two of the best in the country. Both are consistently ranked in the top 25 and consistently have some of the highest graduation rates in the country; no small thanks to Skip Prosser.

Freshman Wall among top five players in country - NCAA Division I Mens Basketball -
I still like Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu (16.7 points and 11.3 rebounds per game), too.

Enloe forward shows potential - High school -
Melvin Tabb sometimes seems a like fleck of gold embedded in rock. The potential is greater than the immediate reward. The 6-foot-8 Tabb runs, jumps and shoots well. He can take down a rebound and start a fast break with either a dribble or a quick outlet pass. He can spread out on defense and cut off a drive or go high and block a shot.

Terrell more than a shooter - High school -
"I guess I'm known as a shooter, but I have worked really hard on my dribbling, driving and passing," he said. "I want to be known as a good defensive player. I can shoot, but I want to be known for things other than shooting."