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Playbook: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Wake Forest offense reappears

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest came away with the rare ACC road win last night over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a score of 75-68. In a change of pace from the previous 5 or 6 games, the Deacs did not start out ice cold from the field, but just the opposite. In fact, in the first 6 minutes of the game, I think we only missed 1 shot. Wake also finished the game with a season high 19 assists on 26 made baskets and shot 49% from the floor—that’s the highest FG% of the season in ACC play. Let’s take a look at some of the offensive plays that weren’t ruined by the ridiculous split screen Mooney iso cam.

Here’s a nice play against the 2-3 zone where we simply screen both guys at the top of the zone for Torry Johnson, who dribbles around the screens and gets an easy look from the 3-point line. We used a similar play in the 2nd half against the zone to get Brandon Childress an an open 3-pointer.

Childress had maybe the best game of his Wake Forest career, finishing with 20 points on 5-7 shooting, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and most importantly, 0 turnovers.

Oh man look at that ball movement. This looks like a team that knows what it’s doing. Wake did a great job of attacking the Notre Dame 2-3 zone by getting the ball to the high post area and by reversing it quickly from one side to the other.

They were pretty good against the man to man as well.

Here we just have a simple pick and roll with Sarr getting the ball on the roll off a nice bounce pass from Childress. When Nate Laszewski steps up, Sarr makes a nice pass to Hoard for the easy bucket.

Hoard returns the favor shortly after on this weave set that we’ve used a few times this year. Notre Dame appears to be switching on all the dribble hand offs, so we end up with T.J. Gibbs defending Jaylen Hoard. With some miscommunication by the defense in the big-big pick and roll and great floor spacing by the Deacs, Olivier Sarr gets an easy dunk. Sarr finished with 14 points on 6-8 shooting.

Offensively, the Deacs looked like a completely different team than they have really all season. 19 assists on 26 made shots is really, really good. Those are the numbers that you see from teams like Duke and Virginia. The question, of course, is whether this was a sign of improvement or a 1 game anomaly against a team that doesn’t play very good defense. Time will tell.

The last thing I want to point out is this play.

We have 15 losses and we still have several guys diving across the floor for a loose ball. You have to love that.