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Wake Forest Defeats University of Toronto 93-72: Impressions

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

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons took care of business this morning and defeated the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 93-72. Keyshawn Woods led all Deacs in scoring with 15 points. In total, Wake Forest had 5 players in double-figures (Woods 15, John Collins 13, Austin Arians 13, Bryant Crawford 11, and Doral Moore 10). It was a game of balanced scoring, and that’s what I am expecting from the Deacs this season.


There are worse ways to start a game...

Wake Forest dominated the glass and outrebounded the Varsity Blues 41-21. Wake’s passing showed, as they assisted on 23 of their 37 field goals. Wake still had 21 turnovers, so that’s something that will need to be corrected moving forward, and will be something that we track throughout this exhibition series.

  • I should begin by pointing out the caveat that Toronto is by no means a good team and went just 6-15 last season. They did, however, beat UNLV.
  • The ball movement appeared to be much better than it was a season ago. This is what happens when you add very capable shooters like Keyshawn Woods and Austin Arians, and the majority of players on the perimeter can pass, shoot, and dribble.
  • Keyshawn Woods should be an impact player for the Deacs this season. Not only can he shoot, but he’s athletic enough to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. He will benefit greatly from Bryant Crawford penetration and kick opportunities.
  • Austin Arians isn’t going to create as much for Wake, but he’s a very capable shooter, and will really help space the floor for Wake this season. He also understands situations and can hit the open man.
  • John Collins is ready to have a breakout sophomore campaign. He was excellent in his relatively limited minutes last season, but should see a serious increase in minutes due to the graduation of Devin Thomas. He is stronger, and is even better at finishing around the basket. Wake will not miss a beat at the 45 spot and will probably even improve.
  • Bryant Crawford did not stand out as much in this contest, but he did not need to. He let the game come to him, but also demonstrated some very good passing ability. Definitely an underrated part of his game. He has the chance to be an all-ACC player for Wake.
  • Dinos did not play in this contest. He had offseason surgery on his shoulder. Hopefully he is able to play in one of the next games and didn’t experience a setback. He is yet another player on the roster who will help to space the floor.
  • Brandon Childress was composed in this one, and demonstrated good vision and passing ability. He should fill a nice role as Crawford’s backup this season.
  • Doral Moore had some very impressive dunks early on, but the competition did not exactly feature towering big man. There were also times where he caught the ball in the post and should have converted, but did not. He looked sluggish at times, so hopefully his conditioning continues to improve as the season gets closer.
  • Mitchell Wilbekin did not stand out as much, and is probably best suited to contribute as a shooter coming off the bench. That’s where I see his role on this team, and he should have a greater impact that way.
  • Sam Japhet-Mathias started to make an impact towards the end and showed some nice spin moves/foot work. He has already dropped 20 pounds since arriving on campus and will only get in better condition as we get closer to the season. Wake is deep at forward/center and doesn’t need him to contribute as much early on, so he should be able to go all out in the minutes he’s on the court.
  • I also thought that Richard Washington and Donovan Mitchell showed some flashes when they were out there. Mitchell had a very impressive finish around the rim on a break, and Washington had a nice drive and layup. Both of these guys have #length and could be plus defenders in future years. They should both receive spot minutes this year, and that’s ideal. Manning has all of his players now, and is to the point where freshman aren’t expected to have to be impact players from day one.

If you missed Wake’s game this morning, or you just want to watch it again, the video will be available HERE starting around 12:30 p.m. ET. Wake Forest will resume play on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. ET when they take on the CTG Knights. The action will be available on YouTube and we will embed that video on Blogger So Dear.

What did you all think of the game this morning?