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Deacon Dump 2/26: Appreciating Farouq

Seems like the theme of today is taking a deeper look at how Al-Farouq Aminu is playing and exactly what he means to this Wake Forest team. With the announcement that he is still fighting for the Naismith Award, there have been a flood of articles and commentary on the sophomore forward. So we get a bunch of that action, as well as our usual suspects.

Sports Briefs: Nike says it will remain with Woods
Wofford has hired James Adams, a former Wake Forest player and recruiting assistant, to coach cornerbacks, Coach Mike Ayers announced yesterday. Adams played in 20 games at linebacker for Wake Forest, and then was a recruiting assistant in 2008 and a graduate assistant for offense last season. Ayers said that Adams will help on defense and with recruiting.

Business as usual -, North Andover, MA
The Wake Forest-bound big man did manage 9 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 assists in only 16 minutes of work. Nault went to his bench early and often after his three guards, senior Michael Alvarez and juniors Jaycob Morales and Luis Puello had corralled control of the perimeter.

Deacons' Aminu could have left last year, but is glad he stayed Putting NBA riches on hold
"The good thing about this kid is -- and you hear if from all the other kids -- it's nary a word in the locker room. Not a single word about next year. Nothing. Nothing. And I'm not sure that was the case last year. You'll never hear him talk to the other kids anything about that. "I just think the kid wants to win. I really do."

My Take on Wake - Aminu Growing In Leaps and Bounds |
"He’s a trip,‘’ Smith said. "Farouq’s a trip. He’s been like that since his freshman year too. "Actually we got the impression (that he was quiet and serious) when he came on his visit. His mom came up and hugged me and I met (older brother) Alade through playing against him, and his little brother (Wajid) is hilarious, always joking, having a ball. I remember him being quiet, and kind of looking around. But as soon as he got comfortable with us, we were like `Who is this dude?‘ And I have a ball with him. We joke around all the time.‘’

Central Catholic goes on guard duty -
Central (21-1) led at the half, 33-16, and erased any doubt by opening the third on a 12-0 run, sparked by six points from Alvarez (nine points), the last a layup off a great feed from Morales in transition. The Raiders expanded their lead to 58-26 entering the fourth, despite no points in the third from Desrosiers (eight rebounds, four blocks) and just four from Zenevitch, who finished with 17. "If Carson only scores two points, so be it," said Nault. "He does so much defensively. The few times they tried to attack, he took it away."

DraftExpress: NCAA Weekly Performers, 2/25/10
A year younger than most players in his class, Aminu still has considerable amount of upside he’s yet to tap into. As it is, he’s already a potentially valuable contributor thanks to his tremendous physical tools, which should make him a useful and highly versatile rebounder, defender and transition finisher at the very least. He still has plenty of room to grow on the offensive end as well, which should define exactly how successful a pro he ends up becoming.

The 40 Most Valuable Players In College Basketball: Part I | Bleacher Report
36. Ish Smith, Wake Forest: Ish Smith is the classic example of what someone’s value to their team actually is, versus what the stat sheet might tell us their value is. Take Wake Forest, for example, their box scores, and Al-Farouq Aminu jumps out at you. You’d assume he’s their best player, and talent wise he might be. And ask a scout about him, and they’ll get hot flashes like a 14-year-old girl at a Justin Timberlake concert. Then actually watch a Wake Forest game. Don’t get me wrong, Aminu is good, but Smith is the straw that stirs them. Take Aminu out of the lineup, and they’re still a top five team in the ACC. Take Smith out? They literally might not be able to run a half-court offense. That counts for something on this list.

NCAA basketball recruit Wayne Blackshear is showing with his play down the stretch that he is one of the nation's top juniors - ESPN
• Monday, Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) versus Archbishop Carroll (Radnor, Pa.), 8:30 p.m.: This one decides the Philadelphia Catholic League championship. That alone is appetizing, but playing the game at the famed Palestra (aka the Cathedral of Basketball) on the University of Pennsylvania campus is worth the trip. Neumann-Goretti already won the regular-season matchup and this one might not be the last. A year ago, the Saints won the PCL title over Roman Catholic (Philadelphia) only to see Carroll beat them in the Pennsylvania Class AAA quarterfinals en route to the state crown.

Ranking the ACC's nonconference schedules - ACC Blog - ESPN
10. Wake Forest: Presbyterian (0-11), at Stanford (8-5), Navy (10-4), at Vanderbilt (2-10): The Deacs beat Stanford last year, but that was on their home turf, and Navy has recently given Wake fits. A road trip to Vandy will pit two similar programs against each other.

Ray leads Wake Forest past NC State 66-50 - GreenwichTime
Secily Ray scored 15 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds as Wake Forest avenged an earlier loss to North Carolina State in a 66-50 victory Thursday night. The Wolfpack beat Wake Forest 51-49 on Jan. 22 on Amber White's buzzer beater. The win gave the Deacons (17-11, 7-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) sole possession of fifth place in the conference heading into Sunday's regular-season finale at Clemson. N.C. State (16-12, 6-7) will finish its regular season on Sunday at home against Georgia Tech.

West Charlotte finds its groove -
Then something's clicked in the postseason. West Charlotte (20-9) has won five straight games by an average of 18.4 points, including Wednesday's 66-47 win over Vance. Terrell has scored 157 points in that run and made 26 three-point shots. "I think we're peaking at the right time," Terry said. "We've really come together and started to play well."

Nosenko earns second-straight ACC honor
Wake Forest University sophomore Anna Nosenko, who's a native of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, finished first in five meets for the Deacs during the 2009 cross country season. Nosenko's performances on the track, along with her efforts in the classroom, landed her a spot on the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Cross Country All-Academic Team for her second-straight time. The announcement was made on Thursday morning.