Fresh off its first win in over a month, Wake Forest will take on No. 23 Notre Dame tonight at the LJVM in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Notre Dame comes into Winston after a heartbreaking last-second loss to Georgia Tech at the hands of Marcus Georges-Hunt. The Fighting Irish had won three games in a row before that, including two impressive wins over North Carolina and Louisville.
Wake Forest enters the game at 11-16 (2-13 ACC), while Notre Dame is 18-8 (9-5). A win by the Demon Deacons would go a long way in preventing a third matchup of the year versus the Irish on Wednesday of the ACC Tournament should the Deacons get past (in all likelihood) N.C. State on Tuesday.
The Fighting Irish boast the nations most efficient offense according to Ken Pomeroy. They are led by senior point guard Demetrius Jackson, and big man Zach Auguste. Steve Vasturia, VJ Beachum, and Bonzie Colson round out the starting lineup for Mike Brey.
Despite the best offense, they boast the 216th best defense in the nation, doing an exceptionally poor job of preventing opponents from shooting/making 3's (39% on the year allowed). They also do not force turnovers at a high clip.
KenPom has Notre Dame winning 83-78, which is probably closer than most fans would think. That does not take into consideration that Devin Thomas and Cornelius Hudson will not be participating.
Auguste is apparently also questionable for the game tonight from a couple of different places, but based on his tweet below I am guessing he will play. It will be interesting to see if Coach Brey elects to rest him for the game on Saturday vs. Florida State. That could work in the Deacons favor if so.
Nothing feels better then being back on the court, playing the game that I love, with the best of teammates!— Z.A. (@ZachEliAuguste) February 23, 2016
Since the game is a late 9PM tip, I am guessing the Joel may be a little lighter than usual, not to mention the bad weather passing through today. If you are reading this then get over there and support the team for a couple of hours. They deserve your support and I have a feeling they may give you something to cheer about.