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The Pack Visits the Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Once more, with feeling - and ice cream

NCAA Basketball: Miami (FL) at N.C. State Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday February 10, 4:00 PM ET

Where: Lawrence Joel Coliseum Winston-Salem

TV: ACC Network

Opponent: Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Pomeroy Prediction: Wake Forest 79-70

Wolfpack Snapshot: NET 80, 9th in ACC NET rankings

Wolfpack Season So Far: (15-8, 7-5) Home 11-3, Away 3-3, Neutral 1-2

Eight regular season games remaining. Of those eight, Pomeroy only currently shows us favored in the home games versus Syracuse and Boston College.

On a more positive note, if we can pull off the upset in this one, we have a full week to prepare to do it again at Clemson.

Wolfpack Injury Report:

MJ Rice will sit out the remainder of the season and apply for a redshirt.

Opponent Overview: NET 33, 4th in ACC NET - (15-7, 7-4) Home 12-0, Away 2-5, Neutral 1-2

The Demon Deacons are coming off back-to-back 29 point ACC wins, the first time they’ve done that in 70 years.

Team Statistical Comparison

Team PPG FG% 3PT% 3PT pg Reb pg Ast pg TO pg ST pg BL pg
Team PPG FG% 3PT% 3PT pg Reb pg Ast pg TO pg ST pg BL pg
NCS 75.2 43.8% 33.0% 7.1 35.8 13.2 9.5 8 3.1
Wake Forest 80.7 47.8% 38.0% 9 35.2 12.5 11.3 5.9 4.5

Their ACC Rankings of Note – Conference Play:

  • 1st Offense
  • 2nd Team FG Percentage
  • 3rd 3PT Percentage
  • 3rd Opponent 3PT Percentage
  • 3rd 3PT FG Made
  • 1st FT Percentage
  • 1st Combined Opponent Rebounds
  • 2nd Team Defensive Rebounds
  • Only team with 2 players in ACC top 10 in scoring

Wake Forest Season So Far: Key Wins / Losses

Good Wins Bad Losses ACC - Wins ACC - Losses
Good Wins Bad Losses ACC - Wins ACC - Losses
Florida (Q2) Viriginia Tech Florida St
Boston College NC State
Miami UNC
Virginia Pittsburgh
Georgia Tech

How The Heck Did We Win That Game?

Team FG FG% 3PT FT Reb Asst Stl TO Pts in Paint
Team FG FG% 3PT FT Reb Asst Stl TO Pts in Paint
NCS 29-54 53.70% 0-8 25-33 34 7 10 13 50
WF 24-56 42.90% 6-18 22-28 32 11 5 17 30

Game Story:

  1. Keatts got two (too) quick technicals and was ejected in the 1st half - 6 technical fouls called in the game, 4 on the Pack
  2. The Pack hit ZERO 3PT shots
  3. DJ Burns was sick (not in a good way)
  4. Ben Middlebrooks career high, 14 points. 5-5 FG, 4-4 FT (sick, the good way)
  5. Mo Diarra 3rd most rebounds in his career with 13
  6. Horne (3-3), Morsell (4-4), and Middlebrooks (4-4) did not miss a free throw. Team 75.8%.
  7. State took their first lead of the game with 2:17 left in the 2nd half
  8. Wake scored 45 points (season high) in the first half, up by 10 at the break - held to 31 in the 2nd half

The Difference:

  • Second Half Defense - The Pack held the Deacs to 33.3% FG and 2 of 8 from 3PT
  • DJ Horne floater – Wake had the center, Reid, drop off the screen at the top of the key and DJ stepped into the space he vacated in the lane and took the open short jumpers. He was 9-15 FG.
  • FG Shooting was consistent – The Pack was 15-27 in the first half, and 14-27 in the second.
  • Did not force 3PT shots – We were 0-3 in the first half, and 0-5 in the second. (Mo Diarra and DJ Burns accounted for 1 each)
  • Score differential – The Pack had 5 more made FG and 3 more made FT.

Player Notes:

  • Hunter Sallis – 3rd in ACC in scoring
  • Kevin Miller – 9th in ACC in scoring
  • Efton Reid III – 4th in ACC in blocked shots

Wake Forest Probable Starters

Player Class Pos Height Weight PPG 3PT% 3PTApg REB ASST STL BLK
Player Class Pos Height Weight PPG 3PT% 3PTApg REB ASST STL BLK
Hunter Sallis JR G 6'5" 185 17.9 39.0% 5.6 3.9 2.45 1 0.5
Kevin Miller RS-SO G 6'0" 175 16.5 34.4% 2.9 2.7 3.82 1.5 0
Cameron Hildreth JR G 6'4" 195 14.5 38.7% 3.4 4.8 2.73 0.7 0.1
Andrew Carr SR F 6'11" 230 14.1 41.0% 2.8 6.9 1.36 0.6 1.5
Efton Reid III JR C 7'0" 250 8.8 22.2% 1.2 8.6 1.13 0.7 1.6

Areas to Address from the First Game:

  1. Guard the Forward - We held Sallis, Hildreth and Reid below their scoring averages in the first game, but senior forward Andrew Carr had a career high of 28 points.
  2. Pass the ball - Only 7 assists on 29 made shots
  3. Keep your composure - Dial back a smidge on the technical fouls (looking at you, coach)
  4. Make some 3PT shots, please

For The Wolfpack to Win:

More points in the paint - We were able to score inside in the first game - our bigs accounted for 32 points on 72.2% shooting at the rim - need to be strong inside again. Including Horne’s interior shots, 60% of our offense came from inside last game. Quality outside shots will be rare.

Scheme some 3PT opportunities - DJ Horne has shot 50% from 3PT in the last two games, need to get him some good looks.

Morsell & Taylor have to score - We won’t win these brutal road games without them. They have the toughest defensive assignments every night but they have to score too. Casey had 5 games in a row with 13+ points, then only put up 5 against Pitt. Jayden has been on this weird pattern since the beginning of 2024 (ACC play), two double digit scoring games followed by two single digit scoring games. He’s in his third cycle of it, Pitt - based on the pattern - was the first of two single digit games. That has to end.

Start Mo Diarra and give him 25+ mins - Wake has Reid, a 7 footer, and Carr, 6’11”, in the starting lineup. Mo gave us 13 boards and 8 points in game one - but - Carr had a career high in points. Burns can probably handle Reid okay, Mo and Ben need to prevent Carr from going off again. Were it me, I’d give Ross some minutes against Carr. If for no other reasons, pick up a foul, give our guys some rest, and, of course, his 3PT shooting.

Go Pack!