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ACC Team Previews: Wake Forest

Wake Forest has fallen pretty far since firing Dino Gaudio despite consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. The administration felt that his teams should've advanced further in the tourney, so they brought in the former Colorado head coach. Bzdelik has been a disaster, as his teams have won just 10 ACC games in 3 years.

Jeff Bzdelik's coaching seat is getting awfully hot.
Jeff Bzdelik's coaching seat is getting awfully hot.
Streeter Lecka

Last Season Record: 13-18 (6-12)
Preseason ACC Media Poll: 13th

Projected Starters:
Cody Miller-McIntyre, G, Sophomore
Caron Williams, G, Senior
Arnaud William Adala Moto, F, Sophomore
Travis McKie, F, Senior
Devin Thomas, F, Sophomore

Key Reserves:
Madison Jones, G, Sophomore
Tyler Cavanaugh, F, Sophomore

Wake Forest fans are beginning to call for the ousting of head coach Jeff Bzdelik. In his 3 seasons at the helm, Wake is 10-39 in the ACC. This comes on the heels of some very prosperous seasons under Skip Prosser and then Dino Gaudio. Gaudio was fired because he failed to advance far enough in the NCAA tournament. Anybody think Wake Forest would like to have Dino back?

Last year, Wake managed 6 conference wins despite both a below average offense and defense. They shot the ball poorly (9th in conference), and allowed the opposition to shoot the ball well (12th and last in conference). They also turned the ball over far too much, although they also forced a great deal of turnovers, which basically cancel each other out. One thing that Wake excelled at was getting to the FT line, finishing first in the ACC in FTs attempted per FG. Of course, that was somewhat negated by their 68% FT shooting (8th in conference).

From this team that lacked overall talent, but perhaps won more games than expected, Wake loses its best player, C.J. Harris. Harris led the team in scoring while shooting the ball well from all over the court. His loss will hurt. McKie was the 2nd leading scorer, and he'll be asked to step up his game. He's a face up PF who shot just 32% from downtown last year, but has a strong interior game. Thomas is very strong on the glass on both ends of the floor, and Adala Moto was very strong on the defensive glass last year in limited minutes. That trio of them will severely impact their opponents second chance points.

Wake is going to have to get some points from their backcourt though. Miller-McIntyre can't really shoot, but he did an admirable job running the team. He's a big PG, so he can provide a good matchup against some of the league's smaller PGs. The backcourt scoring is mostly going to come from Williams, a transfer from Robert Morris. Williams is a 42% three-point shooter, and he shot a ton of them at Robert Morris (nearly 500 in just over 3 years). His biggest problem will be getting his shot off cleanly against pressure defenses. Teams may choose to play their PGs against Williams and their bigger SGs against Miller-McIntyre, who is a bigger and more of an interior player.

Overall, Wake played pretty well defensively last year, mostly due to forcing turnovers and dominating the defensive glass. If that continues, they'll be reasonably successful, but there simply isn't enough overall talent to get them up to a .500 conference record. They'll likely finish near the bottom, as predicted.