Basketball season is officially here!
The Wake Forest Men’s Basketball Team starts their season tonight against the Fairfield Stags. Going into Steve Forbes’s third season at the helm, the Deacs are looking to continue the momentum from their 25-win season in 2021-22. The loss of key players like Jake LaRavia, Alondes Williams, Dallas Walton, and Isaiah Mucius definitely hurts, but the Deacs still have a solid core of players with guys like Daivien Williamson, Damari Monsanto, Matthew Marsh, and Cam Hildreth returning to lead the team this season. In addition to the returning players, the Deacs also have several new faces joining the team either as freshman or from the transfer portal. The new guys are:
- Andrew Carr: 6-9 PF who averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds per game at Delaware last season.
- Davion Bradford: 7-0 C who averaged 3 points and 2 rebounds per game at Kansas State last season in limited minutes due to injury.
- Tyree Appleby: 6-1 PG who averaged 10 points and 4 assists per game for Florida last season.
- Jao Ituka: 6-1 PG who averaged 15 points and 2 assists per game for Marist last season. Forbes said that due to injury Ituka is going to be “shut down” for next 10 days or so.
- Zach Keller: 6-9 PF Freshman from Colorado, 4-star (ESPN).
- Bobi Klintman: 6-9 PF Freshman from Sweden, 4-star (ESPN).
With so much turnover, the Deacs are likely going to be trying to find chemistry and determine the best lineups early in the season, but once the team get used to playing with each other, I think they should be pretty competitive. Wake was picked to finish 9th by the media, but Steve Forbes has proven himself thus far to be a very good coach, so I believe the Deacs will surprise some people again this season. Tonight’s game tips off at 8pm on ACC Network Extra, or you can catch the Deacs in person at the Joel.
The Wake Forest Women’s Basketball Team also tips off their season tonight at the Joel for the first game of the Megan Gebbia era. After finishing last season 16-17 overall and 4-14 in the ACC, AD John Currie decided it was time for a change and brought in Gebbia from American University. Where the men’s team was plagued by roster turnover in the offseason, the women’s team was almost the complete opposite—outside of the graduations of forward Christina Morra, who is now playing professionally in Spain, and Kaylen Dickson, the Deacs are returning every player from the 2021-22 season.
Wake will once again be led by shooting guard extraordinaire Jewel Spear. Spear finished last season averaging an ACC best 18.3 points per game and became the 5th player in Wake Forest history to be named First Team All-ACC. Around her, Wake has some veteran players with seniors Niyah Becker, Olivia Summiel, and Kaya Harrison.
In their exhibition game against WSSU, the Deacs scored 93 points and assisted on 27 of their 34 made baskets. I’m guessing that under Gebbia, Wake Forest is going to push the pace and move the ball around much more than they did a season ago. Tonight’s game against Elon tips off at 5 PM, also on ACC Network Extra or in person at the Joel.
Basketball is back! Go Deacs!