Wake Forest will play three games in the next four days at the Myrtle Beach Invitational at the HTC Center in Conway, South Carolina.
Here’s how our writers think the tournament will come out for the Deacs.
Wake Forest loses in round 2 to UCF 72-67
I see the Deacons easily winning their first matchup of the tournament. They are a much superior team and should find easy success against the A-10’s Saint Josephs Hawks. This victory will once again reassure the group’s new charisma under the “new beginnings” tagline of the 2018-2019 season.
The Deacons would likely face off against UCF, who will take care of business against Cal State Fullerton in their first matchup. A game against experience and youth on both sides, I expect to see a back-and-forth game throughout this one. I ultimately believe that the Knights’ depth at the five will prove to be the critical factor in this one.
Wake should come out of this short tournament with a sense of pride and optimism. A step in the right direction, they should look back on these stray of games in an attempt to revitalize their unappealing season the year prior.
We will get a good idea of what this team is capable of this weekend in the Myrtle Beach Invitational. While it is hard to plan out the entire tournament, especially beyond the first game again St. Josephs, I will just go by the most likely opponent the Deacs will face in each round. The game against St. Josephs should be a close one and I expect it to come down to the wire. At the end of the day I think the Hawks will sneak by Wake (81-79) and send the Deacs into the Loser’s Bracket.
From there Wake will take on the loser of the UCF - Cal State Fullerton game. The Titans are actually ranked 133rd in KenPom, so this won’t be an easy game for UCF to win, but I do believe they will hold serve and move on, pushing the Titans down to take on the Deacs on Friday. Wake Forest needs to get a win here to get a shot at a successful tournament. The Deacs get the W against the Titans to move to the 5th Place Game (86-75).
The final game is hard to predict because it could be any of the other four teams in the bottom half of the bracket. The most likely 5th Place opponent is Valparaiso, who would lose to Western Kentucky, but then beat Monmouth. The Deacs would be a favorite over the Crusaders as well (134th in KenPom), and I project a win here (75-71) to send the Deacs to a 2-1 record over the weekend and a 5th Place finish.
Wake Forest will go 2-1 in this tournament.
The Deacs got off to a good start against NC A&T as freshman Jaylen Hoard had a strong game with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists. As the Deacs look to improve to 2-0, a strong Saint Josephs will stand in the Myrtle Beach tournament. The Hawks have been projected to finish in the top three of the Atlantic 10 which gives them a good shot of returning to the NCAA Tournament.
The Deacs unfortunately got a tough draw and lose early to the more seasoned Saint Joseph’s squad, 80-74.
For the tournament, I predict the Deacs go 1-2.
Wake wins 83-75
This is another game where its really hard to know what to expect. The Deacs looked good against A&T, but with so many freshmen playing, its hard to know how they will play.
For the tournament, I think we go 2-1, with the 1 loss being in the final to WVU. That Mountaineer press will probably be tough on a team with so many freshmen and really just 1 point guard that played meaningful minutes in the past.
I’m not sure I’m ready to start trying to pick basketball yet - I’ve been burned too many times by my fandom. I’ll keep it vague and say we finish 2-1 one way or another.
2-1 for Myrtle Beach
Hoard dunks on people while Sharone Wright and Mucius get buckets.
Freshmen mistakes and defense hurt them though so not 3-0
The Deacs are a young team, and this tournament gives them a good chance to see what they are capable of doing this year against some tougher competition.
While I think it will be close, I think the Deacs lose to St. Joseph’s in the first round 77-72. They then go 2-0 in the losers bracket to finish the Myrtle Beach Invitational with a record of 2-1.
How do you all think the Deacs will do? Comment below.