On Charlie Davis Day, the first black player to win the ACC men’s basketball player of the year, the Joel got an.. interesting game to say the least.
This game started out very ugly.
At the under-12 the game was tied at 14, each team had 5 turnovers and combined for 11 fouls. Wake’s bigs both couldn’t stay out of foul trouble and weren’t effective on the offensive end. After the under-12 it felt more like how we thought this Wake season would go, a team that currently just can’t stop themselves from turning the ball over and can’t stop the opposing team from getting 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th chance opportunities.
Jalen Johnson and Ismael Massoud struggling to contain DJ Funderburke and Jericole Hellems inside.— Conor O'Neill (@ConorONeillFA) February 20, 2021
Oguama with 2 fouls, Okpomo with 3 turnovers -- WF's limitations inside are being exposed.
As the turnovers grew so did NC State’s confidence as they jumped out to a 29-18 lead at the under-8 timeout. Wake just seemed like they fell into a lull. Sloppy passing, couldn’t hold onto the ball, bad shots, and that compounded with State just being so active on defense. An, let’s call him inspired, Steve Forbes called another time out after state went on another run and that seemed to get something going for the team as the team rebounded much better and went on a quick 8-0 run to cut the lead back down to 8, but the team just couldn’t seem to string together a string of plays more than a few minutes as NC State continued a trend of teams just gashing Wake from long distance.
Some quick math indicates FSU, Duke, and State are 28/57 in the past 2.5 games against us. Allowing 50% from 3 isn’t going to result in many wins.— Riley Johnston (@MSD_RaJohnston) February 20, 2021
And then things got bad.
Wake’s inability to have a presence down low doesn’t just hurt them when it comes to rebounding. It puts a strain on them being able to defend 3’s. So much gravity and attention are on the paint to cover up the deficiencies left by there being a hole at Center.
It’s unfortunately the harsh reality of the season and of this game. If Ody can’t stay out of foul trouble, you have to throw Okpomo to the wolves when he’s not all the way ready(he’s getting there but isn’t ready), and if he’s either ineffective or also picks up a foul or 2, you can’t necessarily pull him on the spot but it changes the dynamics of how people guard on the perimeter.
The half really got away from Wake as not only were they bullied from 3, they just couldn’t stop anything inside from the size of NC State and Wake went into the half down 51 to 35.
The problems for this team are ones that we’ve all heard ad nauseum and they rang true as the second half went on: They can be a fine to pretty good offensive team, but it comes from the same people and if the rest of the team cant finish from anywhere the offense just dies and can't keep up and the turnovers are a nightmare. The defense is middling but not having a consistent big man hurts them both from allowing more uncontested threes on top of them getting bullied by teams with more and better bigs. They also just can’t rebound well.
Doing one of those three keeps a game closer than it should be. All three? Called getting your teeth kicked in.
Wake will be back in action on Wednesday against Clemson.