The out of conference portion of the 2021-22 Wake Forest Basketball schedule has been announced.
If you’re having trouble reading that graphic because it contains the smallest text imaginable, never fear, I will run down the schedule below with the date and opponent’s 2020-21 record.
- Nov. 10—William and Mary (7-10)
- Nov. 12—Western Carolina (11-16)
- Nov. 17—Charleston Southern (3-18)
- Nov. 20—NC A&T (11-10)
- Nov. 23—Kennesaw State (5-19)
- Nov. 26—Oregon State (20-13) (Emerald Coast Classic)
- Nov. 27—Penn State (11-14) or LSU (19-10) (Emerald Coast Classic)
- Nov. 30—Northwestern (9-15) (ACC-BIG10 Challenge)
- Dec. 11—USC Upstate (5-18)
- Dec. 14—VMI (13-12)
- Dec. 17—UNC Charlotte (9-16) (Hall of Fame Shootout)
The first thing that really jumps out from this schedule is that it is definitely going to be one of the easier out of conference runs the Deacs have had recently. Just taking a quick look at the records, the opponents have a combined record of 123-171 (including both PSU and LSU), and Wake only has a maximum of 4 teams on the schedule that finished last season with a winning record. On top of that, with the exceptions of the Emerald Coast Classic (Niceville, Florida) and the Hall of Fame Shootout (Charlotte), all of these game are at home. That means that 8 out of the 11 out of conference games will be played in front of the home fans. That is, obviously, very beneficial.
In terms of wins and losses, this schedule should really help the Deacs. I don’t think there’s any reason the Deacs should lose any games before facing off against Oregon State. The Emerald Coast Classic will be the first chance we have to see how Wake should stack up in the ACC this year, as it will be Wake’s first major conference opponents with 2 of the 3 teams making the NCAA tournament last season. The Beavers finished last season 20-13, but 6 of those wins came in a miraculous post season run that saw Oregon State make it to the Elite 8 before losing to Houston. Before the Pac-12 tournament, Oregon State was out of the NCAA Tournament with a 14-12 record, so I think this is a winnable game. Penn State or LSU should also be winnable but is definitely a tougher test than the first half of the season. Northwestern is the only other team in the final stretch of this schedule that should give the Deacs any trouble, but in front of the home fans, I think the Deacs can pickup a W.
I think Wake should finish the out of conference schedule with at the very most 3 losses, but could realistically enter conference play with a 10-1 record, just based off the level of competition they will face. Of course, I have been very wrong before, so maybe I’m just being optimistic.