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Deacon Dump 1/9: Forgetting the past in Miami

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After two historically bad performances for Wake in Miami in 2009, the Deacs look to turn things around in 2010 tonight at 6 on ESPNU.  Miami is favored by 4, but this will definitely be a new test for them because they are playing a real team.  The Canes have the weakest schedule of any team in a major conference, so their stats are a bit inflated.  Wake has had road struggles in the past, so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out. 

Onto the links, which feature several Wake-Miami previews from both sides of the coin...

Overtime games test Demon Deacons with heart of league slate looming |  ACC Basketball - Burlington Times News
A two-month gauntlet of league games awaits and coach Dino Gaudio senses the Demon Deacons can lean on a reliable brand of toughness. “I think we know how to win those close games,” he said. “And I think a lot of it has to do when you have veteran players. I really think that’s the difference. “We’ve got some veteran guys out there. I think when you have some veteran guys that have been through the wars, that helps immensely.”

On-Court Obsession: All Conference Play Underway -- NCAABB FanHouse
Wake Forest-Miami, ESPNU: Miami has played the weakest non-con of any BCS conference team. They have looked good for the most part with every non-con win but one by a double-digit margin. They lost their first conference game, though, so they are have a big question mark. Wake Forest's only losses came at Purdue and to surprisingly good William & Mary. They own nice wins over Gonzaga (in Spokane) and Xavier.

Scout.com: 2012 Intro: Tyler Lewis
"Initially we were going to play man, but ... the game plan became 'Keep the ball away from Tyler Lewis,'" Terry said. "He's remarkable - he got the ball despite two or three people guarding him. His passing was unreal. You've got to keep the ball out of his hands or at least work him. He was scoring, he was everywhere."

Basketball Prospectus | Around the Rim: Undefeated Kentucky Still Focusing on Improvement
Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio embraces tempo-free statistics. He has www.kenpom.com bookmarked on his web browser and is familiar with the work of this site and our publications. Thus, it was no surprise Gaudio used some advanced metrics in providing reasons for why the Demon Deacons are off to a surprising 11-2 start and ranked No. 20 by BP. He is especially proud that his team’s 40.0 effective field-goal percentage allowed ranks fourth in the nation. Wake Forest is also the country’s best three-point defensive team, allowing just 24.3 percent. “We guard pretty well,” Gaudio said. “That’s who we are. If we keep defending and rebounding like we have been, we’ll be in all our games. If we’re fortunate, we’ll pull our share of games out.”

For 14-1 Hurricanes Basketball, the Real Season Begins This Weekend - Miami News - Riptide 2.0
We should get a glimpse of how good the 'Canes really are in their home game this Saturday against Wake Forest at 6:00 p.m. Wake Forest is definitely in the top half of the ACC, but the 'Canes need a win to keep that pre-conference momentum going.

Canes shrug off questions about record - Sports - MiamiHerald.com
``People can say what they want, but we know what we've done,'' said James Dews, who leads the team with 12.7 ppg. ``We know what we have to do to keep trucking, keep getting better and better. Play Miami basketball and just keep winning games.'' That task gets considerably tougher Saturday.

Is this a down year for ACC basketball? | citizen-times.com | Asheville Citizen-Times
Wake Forest (11-2, 1-0) at Miami (14-1, 0-1), 6 p.m., ESPNU — The Demon Deacons' two forays into Miami last season were disastrous — a 27-point loss to the Hurricanes in the regular season and a lousy performance in an 84-69 loss to No. 13 seed Cleveland State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

PhillyBurbs.com:  Boys basketball: O'Grady, Wood come up short against nationally ranked Neumann-Goretti
The Saints got 28 points from Duren, who made four 3-pointers and 19 from Chennault. But, like all great teams, N-G also got 16 from Lamin Fulton, who made three 3-pointers in the first quarter as Wood focused on stopping everybody else.

Observations: Wake recruit Terrell excites - CharlotteObserver.com
Whether or not you're a fan of high school basketball, you owe it to yourself to at least get a peek at West Charlotte senior guard J.T. Terrell, who has signed with Wake Forest. He is one of the most exciting offensive players I've seen in years. A 6-foot-3 guard ranked among the nation's top 100 seniors, Terrell has excellent shooting range, a tremendous vertical leap and the ultimate confidence in his offensive game.

Lake Norman making a splash, routs Lions - CharlotteObserver.com
West Charlotte guard J.T. Terrell scored 22 of his 27 points in the first half. He made 7-of-20 shots and only 2-of-10 from 3-point range. Jolly said he was relieved to see Lions coach Baronton Terry sit Terrell for nearly six minutes during the third and fourth quarters, even though Terrell was not in foul trouble.

ACC: The Weekend Breakdown - CharlotteObserver.com
Senior guard Ish Smith is playing the best basketball of his career. When he scored 28 points during Sunday's overtime win against Xavier, it was the first time he had 20 or more points. Sophomore forward Al-Farouq Aminu is off to an exceptional start, thrusting himself into early contention for ACC Player of the Year consideration. He's averaging 17.4 points and 11.5 rebounds, the only major-conference player averaging more than 17 points and 11 rebounds. With double-double performances in nine of Wake Forest's 13 games, Aminu has given the Deacons a consistent and powerful presence at power forward. He still can score from the perimeter, but he's doing most of his work close to the basket. The Deacons might not win a lot of style points, but their style is winning games. Wake Forest's strengths this season are rebounding and defense. The Deacons lead the nation in 3-point defense (.243) and rank seventh nationally in field-goal defense (.358)

Deacs get ready for lots of zone
"I think we've had a chance to gather ourselves a little bit," Gaudio said. "I think we're going back into league play both mentally and physically in pretty good shape."