Basketball season is here, and the Deacs unofficially tipped off the season with 82-69 win over neighbor Winston Salem State University.
Wake started the game out with Tyree Appleby, Daivien Williamson, and Cameron Hildreth in the backcourt and Andrew Carr and Matthew Marsh underneath. This lineup makes plenty of sense as it gives the Deacs two veteran point guards on the court alongside a tenacious wing defender, a scoring stretch 4, and a 7-foot anchor down low to protect the basket. I would expect to see this lineup for a good part of the season, but that’s just a guess.
Wake got things going early in this one, jumping out to a quick 11-0 lead in the first 5 minutes behind 6 quick points from senior guard Daivien Williamson. Williamson led the Deacs in the first half with 16 points on 5-6 shooting from the floor and 2-3 from beyond the arc. It’s good to see Williamson being aggressive early because Wake is probably going to need him to carry a little bit more of the load offensively this season. Forbes did a great job spreading the minutes around early—that’s what these games are really for after all—with 11 players playing in the first half.
Winston Salem State did not go down without a fight. The Rams hit several 3-pointers to cut the Wake Forest lead down to just 7 points with 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Deacs responded with two 3-pointers from human microwave Damari Monstanto and another from Daivien Williamson to push the lead up to 69-54 with 5 minutes on the clock. The Deacs would go on to win 82-69.
For the game, Wake shot 24-56 (42%) from the floor and 9-28 (32%) from beyond the arc. It’s obviously the first real game action of the season so while those numbers are not great, there is definitely no cause for concern. The Deacs were led by the trio of Daivien Williamson, Tyree Appleby, and Andrew Carr, who scored 25, 17, and 11 points respectively. No other Deac made it into double figures.
This was a good start for Wake Forest to get the win and get everyone a little action to shake the rust off before the season officially starts next Monday against Fairfield. The Deacs are once again dealing with a bunch of new faces, so it may take time for them to build chemistry and get used to playing with each other. Basically, don’t freak out if Wake doesn’t look like a top 25 team early in the season.