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Three Up, Three Down: College of Charleston

The Deacs managed to grind out one of the toughest games of attrition I’ve seen in a long time, topping College of Charleston to end up 2-1 in the Charleston Classic and 4-1 on the season.

NCAA Basketball: Charleston Classic-Wake Forest vs Charleston Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Ups

John Collins. 15 points on 5 shots, 4-5 from the field, 7-8 from the line. Add in 5 rebounds and a block despite being in foul trouble, and well, you have a heck of a game. I’m especially impressed that he didn’t foul out, playing strong defense at the end of the game. John is just a beast. I honestly think he’s already one of the better bigs in the conference, especially given how much he improved over the offseason. He’s so fun to watch.

Playing Through Foul Trouble. John Collins, Bryant Crawford, Doral Moore, and Sam Japhet-Mathias had 4 fouls. Konstantinos Mitoglou and Keyshawn Woods had 3. College of Charleston got 35 free throw attempts, one away from doubling Wake Forest’s total. I’m not going to get into the nature of the calls one way or the other, but I was hugely impressed by how the Deacs (and Danny Manning) remained so composed.

Fantastic Defense. Wake Forest held College off Charleston to 33.33% shooting (15-45) and 27.8% from deep (5-18). Free throws aside, it was an amazing performance compared to what we’ve seen so far. It really was a great job, especially against a guard-heavy team like College of Charleston.

The Downs

Offensive Fouls. Our squad is prone to a fair number of offensive fouls this season, especially illegal screens. That has to stop, because it will come back to bite us against stiffer competition. I really like what the team is doing, which makes those fouls all the more frustrating.

Falling In Love With The Three Again. The Deacs shot 20 three pointers, and while that’s not inherently a bad thing, there were stretches of the game where it felt like we didn’t move the ball inside at all. Our guards are really strong this season, but sometimes they’re prone to trying to put the team on their backs and take over games a little too much.

Struggling To Keep Them Off The Line. I know the game was called tight. I know it was tough on our guys. At the same time, though, things like handchecking are majorly frustrating when the other team is in the double bonus. Don’t make it quite so easy on the officials sometimes, guys.

The Bottom Line

Honestly, one of the best grind it out wins I can remember. Just all around good stuff. There were many other Ups I could’ve mentioned, like Bryant Crawford filling up the stat sheet, SJM coming in in a pressure situation and doing everything he needed to, and Keyshawn Woods being Keyshawn Woods. There were so many positives, and it was a consummate team effort. I hope we continue riding these waves of success, because if we do, this could end up being a pretty special season.

On to the next. Go Deacs.