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Game Thread: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (13-7, 5-4) vs. Syracuse Orange (14-7, 5-5)

Everything you need to know for today’s game

Xavier v Wake Forest Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Time: 7:45 PM Saturday February 3rd, 2024

Location: Winston-Salem, NC | LJVM Coliseum (14,665 capacity)

TV: CW Network

Streaming: CW App

Radio: Wake Forest Learfield Sports Network, Demon Deacons App (IOS | Android)

Live Stats: Syracuse at Wake Forest (statbroadcast.com)

Twitter: @WakeMBB | @BloggerSoDear | @EssexThayer7 @Les_Johns | @ConorONeill_DI

Instagram: @WakeBasketball

Spread: Wake -8.5

Over/Under: 152.5

Wake’s Rating: KenPom: 41 | NET: 50

Opponent’s Rating: KenPom: 83 | NET: 76

Quad: 3

Kenpom Prediction: Wake wins 78-71

Opponent’s Best Win: Oregon (50)

Opponent’s Worst Loss: Boston College (88)

Previous Matchup: Wake 77—Cuse 74 (2023 ACCT)

Head to Head All Time: 3-11

ESPN Matchup Predictor: 83% chance to win

The Deacs have struggled over the past couple of the games on the road, but now they return home to the Joel, where they have not lost a game this season. Taking on Wake today is the new look Syracuse Orange in Aidran Autry’s first season at the helm. Autry’s switch from the notorious 2-3 zone of Jim Boeheim to man-to-man has improved Syracuse’s defense from 185th in the nation last season to 29th so far this year. That is a heck of a turnaround in 1 season. The Orange defense is one of the best in the nation in forcing turnovers, averaging 9.1 steals per game (21st in the nation) and forcing turnovers on almost 21% of opponent’s possessions. The Deacs have struggled with turnovers in the past few games, so taking care of the ball will be crucial to getting the win today.

On the offensive side, the big name to watch for Syracuse is former Wake target Judah Mintz. Mintz is currently 3rd in the ACC in both scoring and assists, averaging 18.5 points and 4.6 assists per game this season. He is not much of a threat from beyond the arc, with almost 80% of his shots coming from 2-point range, so sagging off and going under screens against him may be the way to go. Mintz is also very good at drawing contact when he gets into the paint—he leads the ACC with 8.8 free throw attempts per game, over 3 more attempts than the next closest player. Keeping him off of the free throw line will be a must in this one.

Go Deacs!