The Wake Forest Men’s Basketball team tipped off ACC play on Saturday, taking down the Virginia Tech Hokies 80-61 in Blacksburg to move to 1-0 in the ACC. Due to the football team playing in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday night, basketball kind of got put on the back burner for a while, especially since it looked like a good portion of the Wake Forest fanbase showed up to Charlotte to support the Deacs. Since this was such a good victory and the basketball team doesn’t play again until Saturday, I figured I would do a very late recap of the game.
This was just an all-around great game for the Deacs. On offense, Wake shot a ridiculous 33-52 (63.5%) from the floor and 7-16 (43%) from beyond the arc, while scoring 46 of their 80 points from inside the paint. It was just the third time since 2012 that the Deacs shot over 63% from the floor and the only conference game with that shooting percentage in that time span. Wake also finished the game with 17 assists and just 10 turnovers.
The defense continued to be good for the Deacs as well, holding VT to 41% shooting for the game and 30% from beyond the arc. Wake also forced the Hokies, who had single digit turnovers in 5 of their 8 previous games, to 12 turnovers and converted them into 17 points.
The Deacs were led yet again by junior Daivien Williamson, who finished with 19 points on 8-14 shooting. Senior Dallas Walton had the best game of his Wake Forest career thus far; the Colorado transfer finished with 17 points on 70% shooting from the floor and had a team high +21 while on the court. His defensive presence in the paint definitely had an impact on this game even if it did not show up it the stat sheet. Alondes Williams only finished with 10 points but added 9 assists and 7 rebounds to help the Deacs secure the win.
This was a great way to start the ACC season for the Deacs. Wake went on the road against a quality top 25 KenPom team and blew them out by 19 points. The win moved Wake from 89 in KenPom all the way up to 59 and gave the Deacs a nice quad 1 win for the NET rankings. Speaking of which, the initial NET rankings came out this week, and Wake Forest is currently 29th, which is the 3rd highest rank in the ACC behind Duke and UNC. Let’s hope they are still around that number at the end of the season, because that is good enough to make the NCAA Tournament. If you missed the game, I’ll put the highlights down below. Go Deacs!