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Swift Cuts: North Carolina A&T

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I'm going to debut a new format and give it a try. Something like a mixture between Thoughts In Brief and 3U3D. I have more than three points to discuss in each particular section, but I want to use an easy to digest format. Let's give it a shot!

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina A&T at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
  • The first thing that really jumped out at me was the efficiency of Brandon Childress. 18 points on 4-7 shooting, 3-5 from deep, 7-7 from the line, 6 assists, 4 boards. Great stuff. Brandon seems to know we need a floor general.
  • Defensively, I'm not exactly sure what to make of it. North Carolina A&T shot 46.8%, 42.3% from deep. You'd think that would be horrifying, and in some ways it is, but having watched the entire game, I can say I genuinely believe that the defense will improve. We have the athleticism, and while we got beaten off of guard penetration a lot, I get the feeling that a lot of that more has to do with chemistry and youth rather than something that cannot be improved.
  • Six scorers were in double figures. Jaylen Hoard had 19 points, Brandon notched the previously noted 18, Isaiah Mucius had 13, Olivier Sarr had 12, and Chaundee Brown and Sharone Wright Jr. both added 11. Even better, other than Chaundee, who went 4-7, none of the double digit scorers shot worse than 50% from the field.
  • I was glad to see Jamie Lewis playing. He needs to slow down some, but I think he'll be able to do that and contribute nicely coming off the bench.
  • The whole team needs to exercise more control. I like the fast pace and aggression, but the team had 14 turnovers, and there were a couple of really wince-worthy botched fast breaks. Olivier Sarr led the team in turnovers with 5, and a few of those were off of missed rebounds.
  • That said, though, Wake Forest was pleasantly effective on the boards. The Deacs doubled up the Aggies on the boards 44-22, and Wake Forest did this shooting 50% from the field. That's good stuff.
  • Again, Wake Forest made a living at the free throw line. 26-33 from the line, or 78.8%. I think that's going to be a common occurrence this year, given that we play an offensive style predicated on getting in the paint and it seems everyone on the team is capable of shooting well there.
  • Jaylen Hoard is going to be really good. 19 points on 6-12, 7-10 from the line, and 0-1 from deep, plus 13 rebounds and 3 assists.
  • Olivier Sarr had 2 absolutely filthy blocks, and I hope he can continue to improve his timing and execution to get more of those without fouling. I think that could help with some of the guard penetration as well. Having a confident rim protector goes a long way.
  • Yes, it was too close, but we were in control the whole way, and the Aggies made some really tough shots down the stretch to close the gap.

It's tough to say how we'll do just based off of one game, but I will say this: I think this roster has the most raw talent of any Wake Forest roster since probably around 2009. If the team can improve their chemistry and technique to go with the raw talent, this might just be a pretty good season.

On to the next. Go Deacs.

--SF