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Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Iona Gaels Preview

The Iona Gaels travel to Winston-Salem to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Friday night at 8:30.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of an 83-53 to the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons look to get back on track against Iona on Friday night. Tip-off will be at approximately 8:30, or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Wake Forest-Marquette women's basketball game.

A lot of people may look at Iona and think "easy win", but in the words of Lee Corso I would say "NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND". The Gaels come into the game ranked 89th in KenPom and a 1-1 record. They defeated Cleveland State 78-73, and then lost to Wofford 86-73 in the Tip-Off Marathon.

Wake Forest fans will not soon forget the 94-68 beatdown that Iona put on the Deacs two years ago. The Gaels got out to a shocking 41-5 score en route to a dominating performance over an overmatched ACC foe.

The Gales are truly a Jekyll and Hyde, ranking 13th in the nation offensively, and 236th defensively. Looking at the tables below gives a good look at how the Deacs stack up in both sectors.

Wake Forest Offense Ken Pom Statistic Iona Defense
98.2 Rating 101.0
45.7% eFG% 55.4%
28.1% TO% 13.9%
40.0% Reb% 31.3%
47.0% FTA/FGA 28.3%

Iona Offense Ken Pom Statistic Wake Forest Defense
108.1 Rating 93.3
56.8% eFG% 42.8%
16.1% TO% 18.1%
13.8% Reb% 23.1%
65.3% FTA/FGA 42.8%

Rebounding is a key that sticks out strongly in favor of Wake Forest. The Gaels are 346th in offensive rebounding on the year, while the Deacs are 37th in the country in defensive rebounding.

They also have three players in the top 100 in percentage minutes played. Since the Deacs like to go 10-11 deep, I would expect the final 10 minutes to be crucial for the Wake in wearing down Iona.

A.J. English does a great job running the point and will once again provide a good test for Madison Jones and CMM.

While this game will be a closer affair than most people think, I believe the athleticism, height, and depth of Wake Forest will get the Deacs a victory.

Wake Forest- 74

Iona- 63