The Danny Manning era at Wake Forest got off to a good start as the Demon Deacons were able to knock off Division II Young Harris of Georgia by a score of 96-71. Despite sloppy play at times, Wake was able to ride the dominance of big man Devin Thomas inside, along with solid perimeter play from Codi Miller-McIntyre and Madison Jones to cruise to a comfortable win. The Deacons led by 17 at the break by a score of 49-32 and were able to weather a relatively quick start by the Mountain Lions in the second half to ensure a big win.
In a game that saw sloppy play from both teams throughout, Wake was clearly the superior team and it showed throughout the contest. Thomas was by far the best player on either side of the ball and started (and finished) the game an impressive 12 for 12 from the field, ultimately finishing with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Despite a game which was in double figures for most of the contest, the Mountain Lions fought hard throughout and were able to slash the 17 point halftime lead to 12 at a couple points during the second half. Wake played a whopping 14 players in the first half and Manning liberally subbed guys throughout while mixing and matching lineups on both ends of the floor.
The starting lineup featured three juniors in Thomas, Jones, and CMM with newcomers Greg McClinton and Konstantinos Mitoglou rounding out the top five. Jones showed an athletic ability to get down the lane and score at will, piecing together a solid night with 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Ultimately 17 Demon Deacons got into the game, including every single healthy scholarship player. CMM showed off his versatility posting an impressive 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Wake Forest tips off the regular season next Friday night at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum against UNC-Asheville at 7:00 P.M., available on ESPN3 for those of you unable to make it to Winston-Salem for the game. Stay tuned to Blogger So Dear for both football and basketball coverage over the next few weeks as we hit the part of the year where both major sports are in action. As always, go Deacs.