This game, to me, was going to show what this Wake Forest team was really made of. Coming off two tough losses to top ranked teams, would the Deacs be discouraged and play poorly or continue the high level of play that we had seen in the previous two games? Fortunately, the Deacs came out ready to play and earned the first conference win for head coach Danny Manning.
One of the players that really stood out to me in this game for Wake Forest was freshman point guard Mitchell Wilbekin.
Wilbekin finished the game with 14 points on 4-8 shooting, including 3-6 from beyond the arc, and 3 assists. Wilbekin has shot the ball very well this season, making almost 45% of his three-point attempts. As a team, the Deacs did a great job in this game of finding the open man.
The drives caused the defense to collapse and the point guards did an excellent job of kicking the ball out to the open man. Darius Leonard and Cornelius Hudson took advantage of this by knocking down open 3-pointers. Probably the biggest advantage in this game for Wake Forest came from rebounding. Georgia Tech had been dominant on the glass coming into this one, and had out-rebounded every opponent they had played so far. The key for Wake Forest was to limit the offensive rebounds and second chance points for the Yellow Jackets.
The Deacs were up to the challenge and ended up out-rebounding the Jackets 41-29, including15 offensive rebounds that resulted in 19 second chance points. This game probably wouldn't havbeen close if not for the inside game from Georgia Tech. The Jackets are very aware of the fact that they do not shoot well from the 3-point line, and did all they could to get the ball inside to get easy shots.
The inside game of Demarco Cox and Charles Mitchell combined for 26 points on 12-16 shooting. These two players have great post moves and touch around the basket, however, it wouldn't be enough for Georgia Tech to overcome the rebounding deficit and second chance points from the Deacs.
And I'll leave you with some nice alley oops, because who doesn't like that?