Not too much going on this weekend in the world of Wake athletics. The baseball team was swept by UNC and the women's golf team failed to advance out of the NCAA regionals. Recruiting for basketball continues to be a hot item and initial prognostications are being made for football season.
But the 6-foot-4 junior credits his increased strength for the jump in his stock, which is leading him to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Fischer gave his word this week to Wake Forest. "I've always had the skill," Fischer said. "I can better take contact, the box-and-ones I see, make difficult shots when they're contested. That's my biggest improvement."
Matt Harvey pitched six solid innings to lead No. 24 North Carolina over Wake Forest 18-5 in front of 2218 fans Friday night at Boshamer Stadium. The Tar Heels registered 14 hits to improve to 29-17 overall and 9-13 in league play. Wake Forest was plagued by four errors falling to 12-33 on the year and 4-18 in the ACC
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"My top schools are Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, and East Carolina," said Jeff Battle. "The important factors in my decision will be where I can get a good education, and what kind of coaching staff the school has. I'm not worried about things like early playing time and location."
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Formerly considered a likely Clemson pickup before Oliver Purnell left, Leonard appears to be opening it back up. He visited South Carolina on Thursday, will come to Arizona next week and check out Oklahoma State on June 3. He is also considering offers from Kansas, Kentucky, Texas, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Florida, Georgia Tech, Miami, Florida State and Virginia, according to gogamecocks.com.
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Wake Forest freshman Michelle Shin had little excitement in her round – just one birdie and one bogey – until she got to the par-3 eighth (her 17th hole of the day). Shin aced the 195-yard hole with a choked 3-wood for the third hole-in-one of her career. "I hit it well, and I thought it ended up short because nobody was clapping and nobody said anything," Shin said.
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Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu and Syracuse's Wesley Johnson seem to be in direct competition due to their similarities (size, potential, athleticism, etc.). Both forwards are projected among the top 10 in this year's draft, and should garner interest from teams like Washington, Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State. The deciding factor may be defense. Aminu's quickness and size made him one of the premiere one-on-one defenders in the country while Johnson's defensive ability has to be evaluated through a different lens. Jim Boeheim's zone defense has masked the limitations of many players in the past, but Johnson appears to have the athleticism, length and tenacity to succeed as a man-to-man defender.
The likelihood of a top-six contract lured Wake Forest's most talented player, sophomore Al-Farouq Aminu. Consequently, new Coach Jeff Bzdelik will build around C.J. Harris, Tony Woods and Ari Stewart with a touted recruiting class that includes point guard Tony Chennault and 6-4 scorer J.T. Terrell.
The No. 9 Wake Forest women's golf team carded a final -round 296 in windy conditions yesterday at the NCAA East Regional, and finished tied for ninth at 23-over par. South Carolina shot a final round 2-over 290, which was the lowest round of the day, to get the team victory. The top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championships in Wilmington.
All of this is a long-winded explanation of why Jim Grobe is so special. Grobe has coached 98 games at Wake Forest, and I’ve seen all but a couple. I’ve also attended at least that many press conferences, and have been in media gaggles with him dozens of other times. And never in easily more than 200 occasions have I seen him show anyone up. Not once. There have been times when it looked like he was ready to. I remember once when a writer asked him about his decision to run out the clock in the first half of a loss at Clemson instead of attempting to score. He answered by saying he felt it was best to get back in the locker room without further damage and regroup. When the writer asked the question again, Jim paused, stiffened a bit, and then calmly repeated what he had said earlier. But there was no rancor or antagonism in his tone.
2. Woe-line. Possibly a bigger concern than who the starting quarterback will be is how the offensive line will come together. The Deacs return Nenon at center, but he missed all of spring and added to the unit’s injury concerns. Wake is missing established tackles, and the group is trying to get back to running the ball the way it did before Skinner. The previous linemen were recruited to be run blockers, but the focused changed when they got a great passing quarterback.
Georgia Tech and UGA have fierce competition: They were among eight major colleges that dispersed head coaches to Milton over the last few days. The others were Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel, Ohio State’s Thad Matta, Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford, Rhode Island’s Jim Baron, Virginia’s Tony Bennett, and Wake Forest’s Jeff Bzedlik. About a dozen other SEC and ACC schools, including Alabama and Florida State, were represented by assistants.
Jacob Stallings notched three hits and a grand slam home run to propel No. 24 North Carolina over Wake Forest 8-4 Sunday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium. The Tar Heels won their seventh straight game to improve to 31-17 overall and 11-13 in league play. Michael Dimock suffered the loss as Wake Forest falls to 12-35 on the year and 4-20 in the ACC.
At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, he's now in the middle of spring ball and talked about the latest on recruiting. "I don't have any offers yet but I have talked to Wake Forest, Memphis, FAU, FIU, Iowa State, and a couple others," he said. "Our spring game is May 21st against Freedom."
"I want to check them all out and I know I’m going to go to several summer camps," said Lee. "I’m planning on going to Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, USF, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest so far."
An ACC Atlantic Division program is also starting to recruit the versatile athlete. "Wake Forest was at my practice on Saturday morning, too," he said. "They really liked me."
Jaleel Roberts, who reminds of Ralph Sampson, III, still has a ways to go as a player, but he is an intriguing prospect with his 7-foot size and mobility. The 2011 prospect was offered last year by South Carolina, and he is also receiving interest from Wake Forest, Clemson, Tennessee and Xavier.
Caudill, a former Arizona State commit, is still hearing from the Sun Devils along with Harvard, Oregon State and San Diego State. Stanford, Notre Dame, Wake Forest and California are also in the mix.
DS: Would it be fair to say that the scheme one plays is not as important as the players in that scheme? JB: "Right. The players make the offense, the offense doesn’t make the players. We will play a style that will please the fans at Wake Forest but not please our competitors."
They will have a lot of responsibility and will have to lead this young team. I haven’t heard or seen much from the incoming recruiting class but according to all of the recruiting sites they are pretty good. I think it is a great way to start for Wake to begin the rebuilding process.
From Tristan Dorty in 2007 to Chris Smith and Kevin Parks, Jr. in 2010 to Dominique Noble in 2011, the Wake Forest football program has had a lot of interest in prospects from West Rowan High School in Mount Ulla, NC over the years. Perhaps the next Falcons player to be targeted by the Deacs is 2013 athlete Desmond Jackson.
Wake Forest 2009-10: 9-7, fifth G Tony Chennault fr. G C.J. Harris soph. (9.9 ppg) F Ari Stewart soph. (7.3 ppg) F Tony Woods jr. (4.6 ppg) F Carson Derosiers fr. Bench: F Travis McKie, F Melvin Tabb, G J.T. Terrell, F Ty Walker, G Gary Clark
And that's about more than prestige. Competitively, schools want to be on a level playing field with their conference rivals when it comes to admissions of student-athletes. "At Wake Forest, we want to be a great football team, we want to win as many games every year as we possibly can, but we can't sacrifice academics," Wake Forest football coach Jim Grobe said. "And it's good to compete against other schools that have the same goals and aspirations."