Note: All stats are courtesy of sports-reference.com.
Tomorrow night as the Deacs take on Georgia Tech, Wake Forest will also honor the 1995 ACC Championship team at halftime, and will honor Coach Dave Odom by hanging a banner in the rafters 15 minutes before the game. Many of Coach Odom’s former players will be back in town as he is honored, and there are even rumors that a certain 6-11 future Hall of Famer and Demon Deacon great may be in town.
As Wake Forest prepares to honor this team, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the team and its accomplishments.
The 1994-95 team was led by senior guard (and current associate head coach) Randolph Childress, as well as sophomore center Tim Duncan. Childress, Duncan, senior forward Travis “Scooter” Banks, and sophomore forward Ricardo “Ricky” Peral each started all 32 games for the Demon Deacons.
As were characteristic of many of Odom’s teams, this team was built around its defensive ability (quite different from today). Wake Forest gave up only 62.8 points per game over the course of the season, which was good for 9th best in the nation. They had 180 blocks (helped by Duncan’s 4.2 blocks per game), which was good for 9th best in the NCAA. Opponents shot 38.8% from the field, which was the 8th lowest opponent field goal percentage in the nation.
The Deacs also finished third in the nation in free throw percentage at 76.4%.
Childress played 38 minutes per game, and averaged 20.1 points, 5.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. He shot 43.8% from the field, 38.4% from beyond the arc, and 83.3% from the free throw line. He was a consensus Second Team All American, the ACC Athlete of the Year, First Team All-ACC, and the ACC Tournament MVP. We’ll look at his performance in the ACC Tournament later in the article.
Duncan played 36.5 minutes per game, and averaged 16.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.2 blocks, and 2.1 assists per game. His 4.2 blocks per game and 135 total blocks led the nation, and his 12.5 rebounds per game led the ACC. He shot 59.1% from the field and 74.2% from the free throw line. He was named the National Defensive Player of the Year and was First Team All-ACC.
Banks played 33.9 minutes per game, and averaged 9.1 points, 7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1 steal per game. He shot 48% from the field.
Peral averaged 6.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game. He shot 51.8% from the field and 34.3% from three. Peral served as sort of “stretch 4” before they became popular.
Junior guard Rusty LaRue played in all 32 games, and averaged 19.8 minutes, 6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists, and 0.6 steals per game. He shot 42.1% from the field, 38.1% from beyond the arc, and an impressive 92.9% from the free throw line.
Freshman guard Tony Rutland played in all 32 games, starting 9 of them. He averaged 21.6 minutes, 5.8 points, 1.6 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He shot 31.9% from the field, 32% from beyond the arc, and 81.4% from the free throw line.
Freshman guard Jerry Braswell played in 30 games, starting 21 of them. He averaged 12 minutes, 3.9 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per game. He shot 44.1% from the field, 35% from the beyond the arc, and 82.3% from the free throw line.
Freshman guard Steven Goolsby played in 18 games, freshman guard Antonio Jackson played in 19 games, and senior guard Barry Canty played in 13 games.
Wake Forest finished the regular season with a record of 21-5 overall, and 12-4 in the ACC, which put them in a four-way tie for the regular season title.
The Deacs entered the ACC Tournament as the #7 team in the country, and faced Duke in the first round. They took down the Blue Devils 87-70 behind a 40 point performance from Childress, who also went 8-12 from beyond the arc in the game. The second day of the tournament the Deacs beat #11 Virginia 77-68 as Childress scored 30 points.
And of course we all know what happened in the championship game where Childress scored 37 and the Deacs defeated #4 North Carolina 82-80 in overtime to win the school’s first ACC Tournament Championship since 1962.
Two of the most memorable plays ever happened in that game, and both of them were made by Childress. First, “The Crossover” where Childress dropped Jeff McInnis to the ground. This play NEVER gets old, and is made even more fun to watch by the fact that it is a Tar Heel that was dropped to the ground.
And the second play was “The Shot”, which was the game winner that Childress dropped in with 4 seconds left that also made him the Tournament’s leading scorer for a single tournament.
Childress finished the tournament with 107 points in three games, which is a tournament record that is still held to this day.
The Deacs went on a 12 game winning streak before losing to Oklahoma State in the Sweet Sixteen.
In addition to winning the ACC Tournament, the team finished tied for the Regular Season Championship. They finished 3rd in the final AP poll, which is the highest final ranking in school history. The Deacs also received the only #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in school history.
Come out early and be loud as Wake Forest celebrates the 1995 ACC Championship team tomorrow night. As always, GO DEACS!!!