Wake Forest: ACC Outlook
Record to date: 9-5
Strength so far: Getting to the foul line. Wake is averaging 24.8 free throws a game and has scored a quarter of its points at the line. Wake averages 27.3 attempts in wins and 20.2 attempts in losses.
Needs improvement: Rebounding. Wake is 11th in the league in both defensive rebounding percentage and offensive rebounding percentage. The Deacons have been out-rebounded by 4.6 per game, and they rebound just 25.3% of their misses, 326th in the nation. Opponents are averaging over four more possessions a game because of Wake’s poor rebounding on both ends. Wake’s last two opponents – Yale and Wofford – pulled down a combined 34 offensive rebounds and scored 32 points off of them (out of 127). Wake beat Yale by one and lost to Wofford by four.
Most important player: Tony Chennault. Wake desperately needs a third scorer, and Chennault has the best potential to be that. He has averaged 11.4 points and has eight double-figure scoring games and 12 with eight or more points. But the sophomore guard is averaging 3.0 fouls per game, limiting his minutes to 29.6, along with just 2.8 assists. If he can get his assists up (just 2.8 per game) and keep his scoring up, he could really help the Deacons.
Reason for optimism: Travis McKie and C.J. Harris. One of these groups is McKie and Harris combined, the other is their team combined:
A: 161-309 FG, 40-86 3FG, 132-174 FT, 494 points
B: 169-420 FG, 40-136 3FG, 115-173 FT, 493 points
Group A is McKie and Harris, who have outscored the rest of their teammates combined and are shooting 52.1% (46.5% from three), attempting over half of Wake’s free throws. They average 35.3 points. WIthout them, Wake is shooting 40% and 29.4% from three, averaging 35.2 points. With dynamic players like that, Wake could win a few it shouldn’t.
Reason for pessimism: Terrible defense. Wake is allowing 49.6% shooting from inside the arc (43.4% overall from the field). Nearly 20% of the points Wake has allowed have been second-chance points after failing to box out on the defensive end. The ACC’s offenses are bad, but any team can score if you continue to give them multiple chances.
Surprising stat: A ridiculous 12.8% of Wake Forest’s shot attempts have been blocked. St. John’s (13%) and Penn State (13.4%) are the only major-conference teams to have a higher percentage blocked. Teams that have had a lower percentage blocked include Samford (12.6%), Columbia (12.2%) and Texas A&M Corpus Christi (11.7%).
Most likely win/s (1): Ga. Tech (2/15)
Most likely losses (13): Va. Tech (1/7), @Maryland (1/11), NCST (1/14), @Duke (1/19), @BC (1/21), FSU (1/25), @Clemson (1/28), UNC (1/31), @NCST (2/4), @UVA (2/8), @Miami (2/18), Duke (2/28), @Ga. Tech (3/3)
Toss-ups (2): Clemson (2/11), BC (2/25)
Best-case scenario: 4-12.
Worst-case scenario: 1-15.