Codi Miller-McIntyre. Honestly, I had no idea Codi had as good of a game as he did until I looked at the box score. 12 points (4-7 shooting, 1-2 from deep, 3-6 from the line), 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and just a single turnover. I don't know how or why I thought CMM didn't have a good game, but somehow I stupidly did. Anybody else have this problem? Someone enlighten me, please. Well done to Codi.
Cornelius Hudson. Crab probably had his best game of the season, tallying 17 points on 5-11 shooting, 2-6 from deep, and 5-7 from the line. Add to that 6 rebounds and 2 assists, and you have a good game for Crab. It's also worth noting several of Crab's missed shots were halfway down before coughing back up. I wouldn't really say Cornelius took many if any genuinely bad shots. If I was coaching this team I'd honestly consider starting Cornelius. He really gives it his all every second he's out there. Yes, he makes mistakes, but he makes them being too aggressive rather than being tentative. To me, aggressive mistakes are always preferable. I think it's far more frustrating when a player has capability to do so much more than they do and doesn't try to take advantage of it. That, and I also honestly believe things like Bryant Crawford's turnovers will cut down significantly with more experience.
Rebounding. 12 offensive rebounds for FSU, and 19 points off of said offensive rebounds. I've said this many times before, but it bears repeating: an offensive rebound isn't just another chance for the other team, you're also robbing yourself of potentially productive possessions, so it kills you twice. It boggles my mind a little bit that Cornelius Hudson, as a SG/SF, was the team's second leading rebounder in the game behind, predictably, Devin Thomas. Boxouts need to improve, and other big men like Konstantinos Mitoglou and John Collins need to make a more concerted effort to own the glass. What confuses me is it seems like every time Dinos really tries to come down with a board, he comes down with it and often forces a foul. I feel like Dinos tries to tap up and/or back, maybe in an effort to jump start transition. Either way, I'd like to see Dinos rebound more traditionally going forward. I think it would go a long way.
Second Half Defense. Per the official Wake Forest Athletics website, this is the eighth time a team has shot 50% or better in a second frame against the Deacs, and the fifth time the Deacs have given up 50 or more points in the final 20 minutes. I don't know what the issue is, because the team is capable of playing really good defense, and I don't even buy that it's all or even mostly other teams making adjustments that we can't handle. So much of it seems to just be a lack of effort and/or something entirely mental. Things like basic boxouts, or fighting through screens, or not stopping the ball; those are all issues that largely come down to effort more than anything else. The effort is there, it just needs to happen for 40 minutes. I think we saw fewer mental checkouts earlier in the year, so to be honest I feel like guys are letting adversity beat them more than once more often than they might admit to themselves.
End Of First Half And Early Second: 14-0, FSU. Wake Forest was up 4 with time winding down in the first. It was almost as if the Deacs, at that point, said to themselves "well, we'll go in with the lead" and then just completely shut down until Coach Manning called a timeout when FSU went up by 10. This is breaking my heart, guys. Please stop this.
The Bottom Line
I wish I had more to say positively. I don't, other than that I think we have young players that will be really good, and we see flashes of what could be for this team, and those flashes of what could be are extremely exciting. The unfortunate thing is that time is running short for CMM and Devin, and I hate that for them. They join Travis McKie in the club of Deacs who so dearly deserved to taste success and just won't, barring of course a miracle ACC Tournament run. I'm not down on Coach Manning, and I wouldn't say I'm down on the team as a whole, but I'm definitely down on this season.
On to the next. Go Deacs.