NC State vs. Wake Forest preview: Much as we try, there's no stopping the passage of McKies

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Wake @ StatSheet
2013 Stats / 2014 Stats
2014 Roster
2014 Schedule

Wake Offense 13-14
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 48.9 192
Turnover Rate 17.4 99
Off Reb Rate 32.7 139
FTA/FGA 48.3 48

After the debacle against Virginia, NC State fell below Wake Forest in the Pomeroy Ratings. Indeed these are dark, strange times. But Jeff Bzdelik caught that UVA game, and he thought we did pretty good! Especially in the first half. He's not great at judging stuff all the time.

This handicap has not prevented him from leading a ... leisurely ... rebuild in Winston-Salem, billboards and other distractions be damned--the Deacs finished 271st in the Pomeroy Ratings after his first year, and they're up to a respectable 83rd here in year four. Years are no longer the standard measurement of time within the Wake program, of course, so it's really not as bad as it sounds. Everything is based on McKies now. (I would attempt to explain how McKies relate to years, but frankly, the math would fly way over your head. Sorry.)

On the offensive side, the Deacs are better than they've ever been under Bzdelik. That ain't saying a lot, but it's a thing that is true. (So far.) This season they've managed to cut down on turnovers and increase their offensive rebounding while remaining the average-shooting team they were 7.3234357^2 McKies ago.

Starters

Codi Miller-McIntyre (6-3, 195) -- For a guy averaging 15.6 points per game, you don't hear a heck of a lot about him. He is putting together an excellent sophomore campaign, making improvements in a bunch of categories while upping his workload considerably, which bodes well for his future. The glaring issue that remains: his three-point shooting. CMM is just 11-of-42 from deep this season.

Coron Williams (6-1, 175) -- Nearly seven out of Williams' every 10 field goal attempts are threes, and he's averaging more than nine 3FGAs per 40 minutes. Which would be great  for us if he weren't a fantastic outside shooter. The grad transfer has never finished a season with a 3FG% lower than 41.0. He's not a threat to do much of anything other than launch from beyond the arc, but that's enough.

Travis McKie (6-7, 220) -- Through all the tumult of the Bzdelik era, through all the sideline facepalm-f-bomb combos, there's been McKie, permanent in his understated efficiency, good enough to lead the offense, but forever a bit shy of reaching an elite level. His free throw shooting and two-point accuracy remain strengths, while his outside jumper remains iffy. He can still do a bit of everything, though his rebounding numbers are the lowest they've ever been.

Tyler Cavanaugh (6-9, 230) -- Cavanaugh has done some good things in his second season, like improving his 2FG% and defensive rebounding rate significantly, but the dude can't seem to lay off three-point attempts, which is hurting the Deacs. He was 14-of-59 from three last season, and he's 8-of-33 so far this year. Maybe he's knocking those down in practice, but it isn't translating.

Devin Thomas (6-9, 245) -- I got the shakes just thinking about what Thomas did to the Wolfpack in Winston-Salem last year. Nothing about him jumps off the page and screams "he could score 25!" but that was true last year, too.

Bench

Arnaud Adala Moto (6-6, 225), Madison Jones (6-1, 160), Andre Washington (7-0, 240), Aaron Rountree (6-8, 195). If you're an opposing defense and you can funnel Wake's offense to Adala Moto, you gotta do it. That's harsh, but considering he's shown no shooting touch whatsoever from anywhere on the floor, that's the reality. Worse for the Deacs is the fact that he takes an above-average proportion of the shots while on the court. His value lies in his rebounding ability--he's been really good at both ends. If he could just step into the periphery a bit at the offensive end...

Jones is turning the ball over at a horrifying rate, and in the finest tradition of Ish Smith, cannot seem to make free throws despite being a short person. We all know short people are supposed to be inherently good at making free throws. Stop rocking the boat, Jones. If he could hit, say, more than half his FTs, he'd be a decent asset off the bench considering how effective he is at drawing fouls.

Wake Defense 13-14
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 44.8 38
Turnover Rate 17.0 257
Off Reb Rate 29.5 94
FTA/FGA 36.2 90

The Pomeroy Predictor likes Wake by five.

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