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Playbook: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs Pittsburgh Panthers

No such thing as a bad win

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to do my best not to overreact to one game, but man does it feel good to win again. Did we have to go overtime at home to beat a team that didn’t manage to win a single conference game last year? Yes. Did we get extremely lucky not to lose in regulation? Probably. But at the end of the night, Wake got the win—and there’s no such thing as a bad win.

On to the plays. Hey, the Deacs passed the ball around this game and racked up a season high 16 assists! We didn’t see a lot of the contested mid range shots or trying to shoot through double teams that we saw in the last 2 games. We only shot 42% from the field, but that’s almost double what we shot in the Clemson game, so it’s an improvement. And just like the Clemson game, we need look no further than the first possession of the game to see the difference.

Instead of an air-ball on a contested 3-pointer with the shot clock running down, our best shooter gets a wide open look at the basket off of a down screen from Chaundee Brown. We missed two 3’s here, but we missed two OPEN 3’s, and that’s an important distinction.

This time, we get another wide open Brandon Childress 3, and he makes it. Notice that no one is standing around watching on this play. The Deacs pass and move, and a backdoor cut by Michael Wynn leads to a miscommunication and an open shot. Shockingly, it is a lot harder to play defense when everyone is moving around as opposed to standing in one spot.

Here’s another open look from downtown. Instead of trying to shoot over the double team, something we did way too many times against Clemson, Jaylen Hoard simply stops, pivots, and finds Brown for the 3.

We missed the shot, but this a great possession. Let’s do more of this. Because if you continually get good, high percentage shots, eventually they’ll start dropping.

This was basically a complete 180 on offense as compared to the Clemson game. Hopefully Wake can keep up this level of passing and movement for the remainder of the season.