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Wake Forest vs. Bucknell: Preview

What can fans expect to see when Wake Forest hosts Bucknell?

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-6, 0-1) host the Bucknell Bison (5-6,0-0) tonight at 7 p.m. at the LJVM Coliseum. The Bison are currently the 246th best team in the country according to Ken Pomeroy's rankings. The Deacs are 128th. Bucknell's best game on the season was a 72-65 loss at Villanova. Meanwhile, the Bison lost to Mount St. Mary's at home by 4 points. Wake Forest, however, defeated Mount St. Mary's by 34 points. Let's take a look at home the teams match up on the four factors of basketball.

Wake Forest Offense vs. Bucknell Defense
Wake Forest Offense Ken Pom Statistic Bucknell Defense
97.3 Rating 103.3
46.8% eFG% 51.2%
22.2% TO% 15.7%
36.0% Reb% 72.3%
49.4% FTA/FGA 37.5%

Wake Forest will again be without freshman guard Mitchell Wilbekin in this contest, which is unfortunate due to his three point shooting ability and increased role on the team. The fortunate thing for the Deacs is that Bucknell struggles mightily on the defensive end. They have the 252nd best defensive efficiency in the country, and only for turnovers on 15.7% of possessions, which is bottom 15 nationally. That's even more essential given Wilbekin's ability to handle the basketball. Wake Forest is coming off 24 turnovers against Florida. That must and should be significantly lower against this Bucknell team. The battle on the glass will be one to watch as both teams are above average.

Bucknell Offense Ken Pom Statistic Wake Forest Defense
97.8 Rating 94.4
48.1% eFG% 49.8%
20.7% TO% 21.3%
26.9% Reb% 78.2%
33.3% FTA/FGA 38.1%

The scouting report on Bucknell's offense should start and end with junior Chris Hass. The 6'5" guard is shooting nearly 46% from beyond the arc, and is a 90% free throw shooter. He is averaging 17 points per game, which is 10 more than their next leading scorer. I anticipate Danny Manning sticking Codi Miller-McIntyre on him to start the game.  Wake has a significant advantage on the defensive glass. Bucknell is 296th nationally in offensive rebounding % while Wake Forest is 2nd nationally in defensive rebounding %. Devin Thomas is third nationally in individual defensive rebounding %.

Wake Forest has a quick turnaround from the Florida game, but I expect the Deacs to limit turnovers and control the glass.

Bucknell  58

Wake Forest 68