The non-conference portion of the schedule has been released, and the Deacs will see several familiar faces.
Just as a quick rundown, I will list the teams and what their record was last year.
- Columbia: 10-18, 5-7, 7th in Ivy League
- UNC Asheville: 4-27, 2-14, 10th in Big South
- Charlotte: 8-21, 5-13, 13th in CUSA
- Davidson: 24-10, 14,4 2nd in A-10
- Penn State: 14-18, 7-13, 10th in Big 10
- Xavier: 19-16, 9-9, 3rd in Big East
- NC A&T, 19-13, 13-3, 2nd in MEAC
For the Wooden Classic, the potentially opponents the Deacs can face are:
- Arizona: 17-15, 8-10, 8th in PAC-12
- College of Charleston: 24-9, 12-6, 3rd in CAA
- Long Beach State: 15-19, 8-8, 5th in Big West
- Penn: 19-12, 7-7, 4th in Ivy League
- Pepperdine: 16-18, 6-10, 8th in WCC
- Providence: 18-16, 7-11, 8th in Big East
- UCF: 24-9, 13-5, 3rd in AAC
After just a quick glance at the schedule, I’ll jot down some thoughts. I think the hardest game in the non-con schedule will likely be the game against Davidson in the Spectrum Center. Davidson was very good last season, and though Wake Forest was able to beat the Wildcats (67-63), Davidson was missing their best player in Kellan Grady.
The next game that pops out at me is the Penn State game in the ACC-Big 10 challenge. It’s nice to be back in the Challenge, and a road game against a Penn State team that is getting back Lamar Stevens (20 points, 8 rebounds last season) is definitely going to be a difficult test.
It’s also good to see that the Skip Prosser Classic is back for the first time since 2015. After losing Chris Mack to Louisville, Xavier won fewer than 20 games for the first time since the 2012-2013 season (though they had 19 wins, so they were close). This will be another tough test against a team that returns 4 starters. I really don’t know why this game isn’t on the schedule every year.
Columbia, Asheville, Charlotte, and A&T should all be easy wins for the Deacs. Of course, that doesn’t actually mean we will win them.
Just guessing, I’d say the Deacs finish out the non-conference schedule with a 5-5 record, beating the 4 teams above and going 1-2 in the Wooden Legacy Tournament.