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Wake Forest vs. UNC Greensboro Preview

What can we expect in tonight’s contest?

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at NC-Greensboro Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons head down Interstate 40 tonight to take on UNC Greensboro in the Greensboro Coliseum. Both teams enter the contest with a 7-2 record. Will the Deacs seek retribution for this vicious attack on Wake’s campus?!

UNC Greensboro enters tonight’s game ranked 171st in Ken Pom. They play at an extremely slow pace, so it will be important for Wake Forest to push tempo when those opportunities present themselves. If Wake can get UNC Greensboro to speed up, then that could be very advantageous. Despite UNC Greensboro playing at a slow pace, the Spartans are still below average at taking care of the ball. This is yet another reason why pushing tempo is important.

The Spartans are a perimeter oriented team that struggles to make shots inside of the three point arc, but they do shoot 37% from outside. The two to watch out for from the outside are Diante Baldwin and Demetrius Troy. Baldwin shoots 46%, while Troy shoots 41%. Additionally, Francis Alonso shoots 36%.

While they struggle to make shots on the interior, they do a very good job of grabbing offensive rebounds. Wake Forest has done a better job as of late at grabbing defensive rebounds, so I expect John Collins and Dinos Mitoglou to control the glass and limit the opportunities that UNC Greensboro gets.

UNCG’s biggest strength is forcing turnovers. They force turnovers on 25% of possessions, so ball security will be critical in order to limit fast break opportunities. Wake Forest can also use that to their advantage, however, as backdoor cuts can be extremely effective against an aggressive defense.

Wake Forest defeated UNC Greensboro 81-71 in Winston-Salem last season, and I expect Wake Forest to win by a similar margin this evening. They are playing on the road, and Ken Pom only thinks that they will win by 5, but I have a strong feeling about Wake’s showing tonight.

The action begins tonight at 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3.