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Playbook: Wake Forest vs WCU

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Some good, some bad

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina A&T at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it has been a rocky start to the season so far, and I really haven’t felt like re-watching most of our games (can you blame me?) to look for plays to breakdown. But after last night I have too much material not to.

On the offensive side of the ball, Wake seems to be a Jekyll and Hyde team. Sometimes they pass it around, move without the ball, and get great shots.

Here we see a great example of that. No one is standing still, Sharone Wright passes to the top to Ikenna Smart who throws a great high-low pass in to Jaylen Hoard for the easy deuce plus the foul.

But then we have possessions where we pass the ball once in the whole possession while everyone else just stands around and watches the guy with the ball go 1 on 1. These possessions are, surprisingly, less effective.

These types of possessions are how you play 40 minutes of basketball and end up with only 6 assists.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Deacs are giving up a record 1568 wide open corner 3s per game (unofficial stat, may not be accurate). The problem for the Deacs has been the same problem they’ve had for several years now: over-helping on penetration and no rotations.

Here’s example 1: Matt Halvorsen drives into the lane, draws basically all 5 Wake Forest defenders, and finds Onno Steger in the corner for a wide open 3. Thankfully he misses it.

Example 2: Marc Gosselin drives and draws 4 Deacs into the paint. Childress doesn’t start to head to the corner until the ball is already on its way there. Result: Easy 3.

Example 3: Again Halvorsen drives and this time we get 5 Wake Forest defenders standing in the paint starring at the ball. He has 3 guys wide open for 3 to choose from, and once again, the Deacs get lucky with a miss.

Example 4: Wake Forest, for some reason, decides to triple team Carlos Dotson, and he makes the easy pass out to the corner for yet another wide open 3. Dotson had a solid game, don’t get me wrong, but at halftime he had 6 points. Triple teaming him seems a little excessive.

Example 5: Now we’re playing zone, it still doesn’t help. Jaylen Hoard gets caught in no mans land guarding no one, and the Catamounts get yet another wide open corner 3.

Example 6: Another drive, Torry Johnson has his back to his man and is just starring at the ball. Wake gets bailed out with a travel.

My point here is that this is not something that happens 1 or 2 times a game. This is something that repeatedly happens against Kenpom teams ranked 300 and above. If we’re giving up this many open 3s to Western Carolina, how on earth are we going to guard anyone in the ACC?