Danny Manning is still seeking his first road win as head coach of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, but tonight will be another stiff challenge for the young squad.
Tonight, Wake (10- 5, 1-2) will face the 11th ranked Virginia Cavaliers (11-3, 1-2). Virginia is coming off back to back losses to ACC foes Florida State and Pittsburgh, after traveling to Louisville and knocking off the Cardinals in their first ACC game.
The game will air on ESPN-U at 8PM from John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Manning is 0-19 against ACC foes away from home, and the Demon Deacons are 4-57 since 2010 in ACC road games.
In fact, Wake Forest has as many winless seasons on the road as they do total wins during that span (4 wins vs. 4 winless seasons).
Gaudio went 2-6 in 2010, followed by [Name Redacted]’s 2-32, and now Manning’s 0-19.
Tony Bennett has been nothing short of phenomenal as head coach of the Wahoo’s, and this year is no exception. The Cavs are ranked 5th in KenPom, ranking 4th defensively and 17th offensively. They ride the Pack Line Defense to frustrate opponents, shorten games, and inevitably pull away.
If Wake Forest wants to have any chance to win the game tonight, they will need to be patient on offense, take the shots that good ball movement gives him, and feed John Collins as often as possible.
While the Cavaliers are a tough nut to crack, Wake Forest has fared somewhat decently against them, nearly knocking them off in Winston-Salem last season before a last minute collapse (shocker!) that saw Darius Thompson hit an off-balance, bank-shot three to win the game at the buzzer.
Wake Forest is expected to bring out the same starting lineup as they have since the Xavier game in: Bryant Crawford, Keyshawn Woods, Austin Arians, Dinos Mitoglou, and John Collins.
The Cavaliers will bring out: London Perrantes, Kyle Guy/Darius Thompson, Devon Hall, Isaiah Wilkins, and Jack Salt. Thompson started every game this season before Guy stepped in and started at the 2 spot against Pitt on Wednesday.
KenPom is projecting a 70-58 Virginia win, and I think that is right around where the game will end up. I expect Wake to involve Collins early, and I also think they will get back to hitting some threes, that will allow the inside to open up a bit.
This is a tough game for the Deacs, but another chance to get a big win to show that this year is different than the past few years.