After an up-and-down 80-69 victory over UNC-Asheville on Friday night, the Demon Deacons hit the road to play Tulane of the American Athletic Conference.
The Green Wave have yet to play a game this season and are coming off a 17-17 (8-8) season in Conference USA.
It is difficult to tell whether or not this being the first game of the season will help or hurt Tulane. As the season wears on teams want to have a lot of rest between games, but the first game of the year always brings cobwebs and mistakes, much like Wake Forest fans saw on Friday night.
Although Tulane won 17 games last season, only two of their wins were against teams that finished higher than 200th in the final KenPom ranking.
The Deacs had an interesting season opening win on Friday night that saw many highlights and lowlights. The highlights included: Devin Thomas getting 25 and 11, Konstantinos Mitoglou grabbing 17 and 8 boards as a true freshman in his first NCAA game, and Madison Jones continuing to develop as a true point guard.
The lowlights were obviously turnovers, especially in transition with poor outlet passes, a horrendously hilarious missed dunk by Mitoglou on a breakaway, and finding a consistent third scorer may prove to be fairly difficult (although there are several candidates at this juncture).
Despite the 72-57 victory last year for Wake over Tulane, this could prove to be a tough game on the road tonight for the Deacs. Tulane returns several players that excelled last year, and much like Asheville runs a three guard lineup.
While Asheville preferred a fast tempo game, Tulane is the opposite, ranking 320th in the nation at 63.1 possessions per game. It will be interesting to see if the Deacs can slow it down, as well as play quickly.
I expect Wake Forest to get a win tonight, but think it will be a pretty close affair. Getting a win on the road tonight would be great confidence for a young Wake team heading into a road game against Arkansas on Wednesday night.
Wake Forest- 72