Wake Forest will try to get above .500 for the first time this season when it travels an hour south to take on the Charlotte 49ers in Halton Arena at 7 PM.
This is the first road game of the year for the Deacs, but it has played three neutral court games in Lynchburg for the Paradise Jam. The 49ers are 3-2 at home so far this year.
The game will air on Stadium, which has partnered with Facebook to stream the game live online. The broadcast will be available free on Facebook Watch, and folks can access this by going to the “Live: Stadium College Basketball” show page.
I also embedded it here, so it should be watchable through this page, and if not then I also shared it on the Blogger So Dear Facebook Page. Based on the other games that they have shown it should go live at about 6:40, so be sure to pull it up a few minutes early if you are concerned about access so it can be ready to go.
Charlotte comes into the game with a 3-4 record with wins over Presbyterian, High Point, and Methodist (non Division I). They have lost to Oklahoma State, College of Charleston, Davidson, and James Madison.
The 49ers rank 238th in KenPom and the Deacs are a 7 point favorite (83-76).
Offensively, the 49ers are 176th in efficiency and 276th in defensive efficiency. It likes to play an up-tempo game (37th in the country), and is similar to Illinois in that regard.
This is a bit of a different matchup than Wake has faced in its past two games, as the 49ers are ranked 20th in the nation at shooting the 3-ball at 41.7%. I think it is important to note that this is primarily because they are selective in who takes the shots, ranking 321st in the country in 3 points attempted, with just 106 attempted all year (15 per game).
Only five players have attempted over 10 attempts this season, and all of them are shooting at least 40% from behind the arc, led by freshman Ryan Murphy at 57% (8-14).
Aside from three-point shooting, the 49ers are led by junior point guard Jon Davis, who is off to a bit of a slow start. Although his assist rate is 34th nationally, his shooting percentage is down a good bit from last year, shooting 37% from 2’s and 11% from 3’s (on just 9 attempts).
This is likely an aberration and he will heat up at some point to get back to where he is capable of shooting. Last season Davis shot 37% from 3’s and 52% from 2’s.
6-3 sophomore shooting guard Andrien White has picked up some of the slack from Davis, shooting 40% from the 3-pt line (10-25), and also sports a 75% FT percentage while getting to the line a good bit.
The 49ers also get a lot of rebounding production from the shooting guard position, as White averages over 4 boards a game.
Charlotte does a great job of getting to the foul line, ranking 11th nationally in FTA/FGA, but is shooting just 67% and has failed to capitalize as well as they could have on this aggressiveness.
This will be a key stat to watch, as Wake Forest is very good at keeping opponents off the free throw line, ranking 52nd nationally.
Luka Vasic is a big culprit of poor free throw shooting, as the freshman big man is just 4-14 from the foul line.
Like Richmond, Charlotte struggles immensely with defending the two-point shot, which could cause a world of troubles going against Doral Moore. The 49ers rank 320th nationally at 57% defending 2’s. Richmond allowed nearly 59%.
It will be interesting to see what head coach Mark Price chooses to do to defend Moore. He has used four different starting lineups this year, and junior center Jailan Haslem is the only player on the team over 6-9. He averages around 13 minutes per game.
Charlotte plays mostly man-to-man defense, but the D has been a major concern thus far and that will continue against the hot shooting Deacs who rank 42nd in 3-pt percentage (40%), 148th in 2-pt percentage (51%), and 34th in free throw percentage (77%).
Overall I think this is a good matchup for the Deacs again and a nice first road test. I would expect Keyshawn Woods to have a big day against his former team, and Terrence Thompson will also be returning to a school he once called home.
My prediction is an 81-69 win for the Deacs as it continues to work on the defense and sharpening up before Tennessee and conference play. Doral Moore will have another fun night and will get close to a double-double, exceeding the threshold if he plays enough minutes.