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Three Up, Three Down: Charlotte

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A dominant performance by the Deacs, this might just be the best Wake Forest has looked all season in terms of besting competition the whole night through (other than the exhibition).

NCAA Basketball: Charlotte at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Ups

John Collins: Force Of Nature. 22 points (7-11 shooting, 8-10 from the line), 15 rebounds, 3 blocks, a steal, and an assist. Not only is that line insane, I’m not sure it even does justice to how much of a game changer Collins is. At least 4 of his free throw attempts came off dunk attempts on which he was fouled. If John had managed to finish them, they would have been dunks of the year. Collins can finish, post up, run the floor, defend...he can do it all. I’m still not sure he’ll look like a sure fire first rounder this year come ACC play (selfishly I hope not jjust because I don’t want him to leave) but his ceiling is absolutely sky high.

Better Three Point Defense. Admittedly, senior Braxton Ogbueze torched us with a 6-10 performance from deep, but the rest of Charlotte went 1-15. Even guard Jon Davis, who’s been lighting it up this year, only went 1-3. Sure there were missed open looks, but I very much noticed defensive improvement on rotations and close outs on shots. Much better effort, especially given how much of a run and gun team Charlotte happens to be,

Free Throws. 28-35 from the line for 80%, That’s just a great performance at the line, includng 8-10 for John Collins, 7-7 for Konstantinos Miitoglou, and 2-2 for Doral Moore. It’s wonderful to see the team doing so well at the line, but it’s especially great to see big men managing to knock them down. If we can keep this up, it can win us close games.

The Downs

Guarding Ogbueze...Or Not. Any time a guy goes 6-10 from deep, that’s bad. As much as the defense was better by and large (and it was), a guy like Ogbueze going off so completely is indicative of not keying in on the hot hand. We need to get better about this sort of thing as we get towards conference play.

Last Five Minutes Of First, First Five Minutes Of Second. We’ve had issues with this in the past, and unfortunately it continued. These stretches were not an implosion, but they weren’t exactly inspiring either, and when they play as well as they did for other stretches, it’s frustrating to see us not able to lock in coming out of the half.

That Scuffle. Now then, it “worked out” in the sense that we were up huge, and all the technical fouls offset each other, so I’m not going to harp on it too much, but if Bryant and John had kept their cool, we might have been able to get a lot of free throws (and the ball) out of it, and scuffles are never a good thing under any circumstances.S

The Bottom Line

Good stuff, gentlemen. Really good. We dominated. plain and simple, and I wouldn’t call this a trap game, but a squad like Charlotte who is so run and gun with a player like Jon Davis who is so dynamic easily could have been a game with a lot of variance. We continue to see improvement from this squad, and we have a lot of dynamic players. I’m glad to see the growth. Now we just need consistency.

On to the next. Go Deacs.

--SF