NCAA March Madness Preview – Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

ACC (19-13, 9-9)

 by Joel Welser

Wake Forest failed to pick up a big win in non-conference action, losing to Villanova on a neutral floor and at Xavier and Northwestern. None of those are bad losses. But after a 1-4 start in ACC action, many wrote off the Demon Deacons. However, Coach Danny Manning and company battled back and turned into a respectable team, especially after their huge March 1st victory at home against Louisville.

Big Wins: 1/18 Miami FL (96-79), 2/22 Pittsburgh (63-59), 3/1 Louisville (88-81)

Bad Losses: 11/28 at Northwestern (58-65), 12/31 Clemson (68-73), 1/24 at Syracuse (76-81)

Coach: Danny Manning

Why They Can Surprise:

Wake Forest has made their late season surge because of their offense. John Collins, Bryant Crawford and Keyshawn Woods are all extremely dangerous scorers. Collins, a 6-10 forward, leads the way with 18.9 points and 9.8 rebounds. He is a menace in the paint and often gets the opposing big man in foul trouble. More importantly, Collins is a pretty good free-throw shooter. Crawford draws quite a few fouls too. The sophomore point guard averages 16.1 points per game and is extremely dangerous when attacking the basket. Woods tends to stick more to the perimeter, but can use his 6-3 frame to mix it up in the paint. Austin Arians and Mitchell Wilbekin are also consistent shooters and help create space for the rest of the team.

Why They Can Disappoint:

The defense is improving, but this is still a team that will give up 90 points with relative ease. The opposition shoots 45.1 percent from the floor and 35.8 percent from beyond the arc. Most of the time, Wake Forest has little choice but to concentrate on their offense and hope for the best in a shootout. And as good as Collins and Bryant are at getting their opponents in foul trouble, the Demon Deacons will run into foul trouble of their own. With a team that would prefer to go seven deep, that can be a big problem.

Probable Starters:

Bryant Crawford, Sophomore, Guard, 16.1 ppg, 5.4 apg, 3.8 rpg

Keyshawn Woods, Sophomore, Guard, 12.8 ppg, 3.5 apg, 4.3 rpg

Austin Arians, Senior, Forward, 8.3 ppg, 1.2 apg

John Collins, Sophomore, Forward, 18.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg

Konstantinos Mitoglou, Junior, Forward, 9.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Key Role Players:

Mitchell Wilbekin, Junior, Guard, 7.0 ppg, 1.5 apg

Brandon Childress, Freshman, Guard, 6.6 ppg, 2.2 apg

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 82.1 (21st in nation, 3rd in conference)

Scoring Defense: 77.2 (291, 13)

Field-Goal Percentage: 47.0 (50, 5)

Field-Goal Defense: 45.1 (241, 13)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (119, 6)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.3 (44, 5)

Free-Throw Percentage: 77.0 (14, 2)

Rebound Margin: 3.3 (83, 6)

Assists Per Game: 15.7 (52, 4)

Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (65, 7)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2010    NCAA Round of 64 win over Texas

2010    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Kentucky

2009    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Cleveland State

2006    NIT     First Round loss to Minnesota

2005    NCAA Round of 64 win over Chattanooga

2005    NCAA Round of 32 loss to West Virginia

2004    NCAA Round of 64 win over VCU

2004    NCAA Round of 32 win over Manhattan

2004    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to St. Joseph’s

*all team stats through 3/5

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