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Thoughts in Brief: Valparaiso

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The gauntlet concludes. Let’s do this

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina A&T at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
  • Brandon Childress is really looking like he’s taken a leap over this past offseason. This might be a bit of a hot take but I’d go so far as to say Brandon has been our best player so far. He’s an on-court leader, and that’s awesome. The four point play in particular was absolutely massive. Up only two in a nailbiter of a game and wham, Brandon nails that play to give the Deacs some much needed breathing room.
  • Derrik Smits was a monster for Valparaiso, and on the one hand I don’t love it that a guy got 23 points on 16 shots with no triples, but on the other, it felt like a conscious decision to focus on the perimeter defense more, and at least in this instance it worked out okay. I still want to see a more complete defensive performance, though.
  • Chaundee Brown made just one basket and it came at a critical time admittedly, but I feel like he’s just not quite “right”. If he could just get into a rhythm offensively he could be a huge contributor, but as it stands he was 1-5 this game. Oof.
  • Ikenna Smart and Torry Johnson are both pleasantly surprising me so far this season, as is Sunday Okeke.
  • Our freshmen combined for 42 points, and that’s with very even scoring. Jaylen Hoard had 13, Sharone Wright Jr. had 12, Isaiah Mucius chipped in 13, and Jamie Lewis, whom I think will come on more later in the year, chipped in 3. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t exciting to me.
  • To me, Sharone has been the biggest surprise on the young season. I feel like he was quite possibly underrated as a recruit, which I’m fine with given that he’s on our team.

Well, I guessed 2-1, and that’s what we got! I didn’t anticipate us getting blown off the floor, and I figured at least one of our wins would be more emphatic, but I’m still generally pretty happy, all things considered. We’ll see if the team continues to grow. If they do, there might just be some hope yet.

On to the next. Go Deacs.

—SF