Wake Forest hosts Piedmont International tonight at 7 PM at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. This is the first and only exhibition game before the Deacs begin the regular season next Friday against Radford.
The Piedmont International Bruins are a Division II school in the National Christian College Athletic Association. The most interesting fact abut the Bruins is that they are coached by former Wake Forest and NBA great, Josh Howard, who will making his coaching debut tonight.
With all due respect to Coach Howard and the Bruins, this game should not be competitive at all, and really won’t tell fans much about the Wake Forest team either. It is likely a show of good faith to a local school (PIU is located in downtown Winston-Salem), to get a good amount of program and attention.
If this game is within 50 points then there is a serious problem with the Deacs, and/or walk-ons played for over half the game. This is a great chance for fans to get to see Wake Forest for the first time this year ahead of the season opener.
I don’t really have any idea what the game plan is for Coach Manning tonight, but I would expect the starting lineup to be the following if he is interested in seeing what might happen next week:
PG- Bryant Crawford
SG- Keyshawn Woods
SF- Austin Arians (or) Greg McClinton
PF- Dinos Mitoglou
C- John Collins
These guys will likely get the first few minutes out there before Coach Manning rotates, and rotates heavily all of the bench players. I am excited to see the freshmen on the team for the first time, and especially how we utilize Richard Washington and Donovan Mitchell at the 2-4 positions.
There is not a roster out for Piedmont International, but they beat something called a Forest Trails Sports University by 30 earlier this week, so they’ve got that going for them.
Based on a team roster picture with Josh Howard, nobody appears to be his height (roughly 6’7), so I cannot imagine that they will match up well with our height (or really anything else about our team).
I’ll make a prediction of 115-62 for the fun of it, but tonight is really about staying healthy, getting to see some new guys, and watching some highlight reels.