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On Wake Forest

My apologies for the lack of full-blown preview. Here are a few observations:

-- Wake Forest has been re-crafted in the images of freshmen James Johnson and Jeff Teague, who are first and second on the team in field goal attempts, respectively.
 %Poss %Shots
Johnson 24.7 26.5
Teague 23.4 21.9
They picked the right offensive focal point, as Johnson is Wake Forest's most efficient scorer. He takes care of the basketball and also rebounds well at the offensive end.

-- They devote 34.7% of their field goal attempts to threes, and by ACC standards, that's a high proportion. Their 3FG% is a mere 29.6%, however.
 3FGM-3FGA (Pct)
Johnson 18-72 (.250)
Teague 16-46 (.348)
Williams 14-51 (.275)
Smith 15-43 (.349)
Hale 32-110 (.291)
Skeen 17-48 (.378)
Both Hale and LD Williams shot respectably from outside last season, so they could be expected to turn things around. They should probably encourage James Johnson to take more shots inside the arc, where he's shooting 59.6%.

-- Apparently, Wake Forest plays defense now. A few reasons for the defensive improvement:
 2007 2008
TO% 20.4 (205) 26.2 (13)
2FG% 52.7 (293) 46.5 (108)
Blk% 7.9 (199) 13.7 (26)
Stl% 8.9 (240) 13.3 (17)
National rank in parenthesis. The big problem for them last season was field goal percentage defense; now that their interior defense isn't a huge liability, they've improved significantly in this area. They're also forcing a ton of turnovers, thanks largely to Johnson and Teague, both of whom have good steal rates. Their impacts haven't just been limited to the offensive end.

James Johnson also blocks a fair share of shots. He's got an impressively diverse set of skills for a true freshman.

-- Ish Smith (5-nothin') has a higher defensive rebounding percentage than Ben McCauley (6-10). That's just sad.

-- Oddly enough, there is a statistically significant correlation between the pace of the game and Wake's offensive efficiency. The faster the pace, the worse their offense performs. Every game they've lost this season has been played at an above average pace, and they didn't break a point per possession in any of them.