The Wake Forest Men’s Basketball Team is 5-0 for the first time since 2013 after taking down the Kennesaw State Owls easily by a score of 92-61. The script for this game was pretty much the same as the last four games—Kennesaw State hung around for around 10 minutes and then the Deacs jumped out to a double digit lead that just kept building until the final horn. Wake finished this game once again shooting an impressive 56% from the floor and 40% from downtown. Hot shooting has been a constant through Wake’s first 5 games—Wake is the 5th best team in the nation in field goal percentage at 53.6% and the 33rd best team in the nation from beyond the arc at 40%. That will probably change when the Deacs start playing some better teams, but if we hit March and those numbers are still hovering around where they are now, the Deacs are definitely going to be a tournament team.
Wake was once again led by junior Jake LaRavia, who has become a player that could be on triple-double watch in multiple games this season. He finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in the win. Isaiah Mucius is settling in now with another solid performance; the junior finished with 15 points on 5-8 shooting with 4 made 3-pointers. He seems to be letting the game come to him and playing within the system now rather than trying to force things himself, and that has made a big difference in his scoring over the last couple of games. Senior Alondes Williams picked up two quick fouls in the early going of this game and was held scoreless in the first half after playing just 3 minutes. He still managed to finish the game with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists in 20 minutes of action. Khadim Sy and Cam Hildreth added 12 and 11 points respectively to give the Deacs five players in double figures on the night.
That pretty much concludes the first part of the schedule, also known as the easy wins. The Deacs are 5-0, yes, but they have yet to play away from the Joel this season, and they have the 353rd strength of schedule right now according to KenPom. Stomping the opponent in buy games is exactly what teams are supposed to do, but it can often lead both players and fans into an exaggerated opinion of the team’s abilities. Now is the time for the Deacs to prove what they can really do, as Wake heads out to Florida to take on Oregon State (99 KP) and the winner of Penn State (89 KP)—LSU (25 KP) before returning home to take on Northwestern (42 KP) in the ACC-B1G challenge. The Deacs may be 5-0, but we are going to learn what they are really made of in the next week. The competition is ramping up quickly, and I can’t wait to see how they stack up. GO DEACS!