Virginia Tech vs. Wake Forest
Saturday, Jan. 19, 4 PM
TV: RSN (affiliates list)
Virginia Tech will try to get back on the right track when they host Wake Forest in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. The Demon Deacons will enter the game fresh off a 71-67 upset of No. 17 NC State earlier this week.
Despite that upset, Wake Forest is only 8-8 this season, with a 1-3 record in ACC play. Before their win over the Wolfpack, Wake lost to Georgia Tech (92-79), Duke (87-65) and Miami (76-65). Their non-conference resume also leaves a bit to be desired, with losses to the following teams and their corresponding Ken Pomeroy rankings…
Saint Joseph’s (No. 172): 89-69
Houston Baptist (No. 251): 93-91 (OT)
Richmond (No. 196): 84-74
Gardner-Webb (No. 187): 73-69
In three of those four losses, defense has been the big culprit. That’s a good thing for Virginia Tech heading into Saturday’s game.
The Hokies have been in an offensive slump the last two games, though it’s probably more accurate to say that they’ve just faced excellent defenses. UVA ranks No. 2 nationally in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency rankings, while Georgia Tech comes in at No. 13 in the country. Wake Forest is not nearly that good at that end of the court.
Def. Efficiency (Pomeroy): No. 199
Effective FG% Defense: No. 215
Def. Turnover Rate: No. 304
3-Pt. Defense: No. 66
2-Pt. Defense: No. 306
Block Rate: No. 209
Steal Rate: No. 273
The Demon Deacons have been respectable against the outside shot, but opponents have been able to get good looks inside at will. Wake Forest doesn’t block many shots, they don’t force turnovers, and in general don’t play much defense at all. Earlier this year, they allowed 92 points to a Georgia Tech offense that has shown to be incompetent against most decent teams they’ve faced. Still, Wake is capable. They allowed just 67 points in this week’s upset of No. 17 NC State. However, that type of defense hasn’t shown up very often in Danny Manny’s tenure.
2014-15: No. 125
2015-16: No. 128
2016-17: No. 176
2017-18: No. 130
2018-19: No. 199
The Demon Deacons haven’t been much better on the offensive end, and Danny Manny’s career record in Winston-Salem is 62-80, with a 21-55 record in ACC play, after 4.5 seasons. As a result, this will likely be Virginia Tech’s final meeting with the former No. 1 overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft.
Here’s a look at some of Wake’s key personnel…
G Brandon Childress (6-0, 190, Jr.): 16.1 ppg, 69 assists. If the last name sounds familiar, it should. Childress is the son of legendary Wake Forest guard Randolph Childress, who is currently a member of the Demon Deacon coaching staff. Brandon Childress is shooting 42.9% from three-point range, and he leads the team with 69 assists.
F Jaylen Hoard (6-8, 215, Fr.): 14.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg. Hoard was a highly-ranked top 25 level recruit who was born in France and played for France’s youth international teams. He averaged 22.4 points per game for the French U-16 team at the 2016 World Championships. He was born overseas because his father had an 18-year professional career. Hoard is a very talented player who got his training at National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance. That was the same training center that produced the NBA’s Tony Parker, Ronny Turiaf, Johan Petro, Boris Diaw and several others.
G Chaundee Brown (6-5, 215, So.): 11.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg. Brown is a sophomore guard who had 22 points against Miami. He is Wake Forest’s third-leading scorer.
With good players such as Childress and Hoard, Wake Forest’s sum is less than the whole of their parts. They proved this week that they are capable of beating good teams when they put it all together, but they haven’t been able to put it all together very often under Danny Manning. This is a good matchup for Virginia Tech as the Hokies will look to go to 15-2 overall and 4-1 in the ACC heading into Monday night’s big game at North Carolina.