#57 Wake Forest Demon Deacons: College Football 77 in 77

Wake Forest basketball

Ah ACC college football. There’s nothing quite like it. Well, actually there’s a lot of conferences much better than the ACC, but it when it comes to being not terrible, but still just mediocre to slightly above mediocrity at best, the ACC has you covered…best personified of all by the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

Last year, the Deacons stopped a two year bowl slide to reach (and lose in) the Music City Bowl to Mississippi State. Not bad,  cuz hey they reached the postseason. But also nothing at all to get excited about. This year they look to be the same kind of muddled middle of the road Atlantic Coastal Conference Coastal division team.

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Notre Dame-Wake Forest, Oklahoma State-Kansas St TV Coverage Map

kansas state dance team

After the jump you’ll find the regional maps for ABC Saturday Night college football at 7pm CT/5pm PT for the following games: #14 Kansas State Wildcats @ #3 Oklahoma State Cowboys 58% of the country

Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons 42% of the country.

Additionally, attached please find the game-by-game maps. In the areas where the Notre Dame-Wake Forest game is not shown on ABC, it will be available on ESPN2. In the first map, yellow denotes ABC, while red denotes ESPN2. Alaska and Hawaii will get KSU-OSU.

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ACC Well Represented in NBA Draft Again

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By Paul M. Banks and David Kay

Jeff Teague

As usual, the ACC will be represented with numerous prospects in this year’s NBA Draft. Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague emerged as a legitimate NBA caliber player thanks to the Demon Deacons winning their first sixteen games of ’08-’09 and garnering national attention.  Teague is a shoot-first point guard which isn’t a discouraging trait considering his percentages this past season (49% FG, 44% 3-pt FG, 82% FT.)  Some reports have the Bucks interested in him with the tenth pick, but Teague more than likely falls into the late teens/early twenties. At the Draft combine, Teague discussed what he needs to work on the most to improve his NBA stock. “Being a pure point guard, I’m a scoring point guard right now, just  show them I can really run a team and get everybody involved,” he said.

Miami Wake Forest Basketball

James Johnson

At the Combine, Teague’s BFF, roommate and college teammate James Johnson’s measurements stood out.  It wasn’t so much his height of 6’8”, but more his 257 pound frame.  That type of strength combined with his impressive athleticism is what allowed Johnson to be successful at Wake Forest.  He was able to muscle weaker defenders down low while also using his ability to drive and finish.  Johnson’s range from deep leaves plenty of room for improvement, but he did develop a more consistent mid-range game as a sophomore. “I can create my own jumper and I’m an inside/outside guy,” Johnson told me when I asked him about his best selling points. 

If Johnson can become a bigger threat from downtown, he could play the three at the next level and be a difficult match-up for opposing defenders.  As it stands now, his game is better suited to power forward, despite his lack of height.  He’s one of this draft’s many wild cards- he could go as high as #11 to the Nets, but could also easily slip down to the early twenties.

On a side note, Johnson inadvertently validated my theory that every team’s public relations department distributes a set of talking points and canned responses to each player, and trains them to recite these platitudes as responses to media queries.

I asked him if he and Teague “compare notes” at the end of the day meeting the media. “You know how we had a tumble at the end of the season, after starting off great, so sometimes we get asked the same question. We compare, we talk a little bit, it’s funny cuz they ask us the same questions, we laugh it off, because I tell him one thing, he tells them the same thing and we didn’t even talk about it,” Johnson said.

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Gerald Henderson

Like many Dukies, Gerald Henderson arrived in Durham with a lot of hype.  But during his first two years as a Blue Devil, Henderson was known more for being the player who bloodied Tyler Hansbrough’s nose in Chapel Hill than for his performance on the court.  That all changed this past season when Henderson stepped his game up and emerged as a legitimate NBA prospect.  So what kind of team might be a good fit for Henderson? “I like fast pace, transition like the Phoenix Suns. I like their style of play, the way they get up and down the court,” Henderson said at the NBA Draft Combine.hansbroughground
 
His athleticism is ideal for an NBA-two guard.  He is very aggressive when attacking the basket and is a great finisher around the rim.  What allowed Henderson to become a more valuable player his junior season was his mid-range game.  He plays well off the ball, using screens well, but can also create space with an effective pull-up jumper.  From three-point range, Henderson still has issues with his consistency, hitting just 34% of his attempts this past season.  Henderson also talked about who he looks up to in the Association. “A guy I like to watch a lot is Brandon Roy. With his athleticism, his strength, his ability to get to the basket, maybe him the most,” He said.

The other areas of his game help his value as he is a strong rebounder, good passer, and plays hard on the defensive end.  Henderson could hear his name called as high as number nine to the Raptors on draft day and likely doesn’t fall below #16 to Chicago.

In yet another example of a public figure describing a coincidental circumstance, and mislabeling it ironic, Henderson spoke about his BFF Wayne Ellington. “Wayne’s my best friend, I played with him in high school together, he had a great career at Carolina and it’s just ironic that we came out of high school the same year and we’re going on to the next level the same year.”

(Note: I want to congratulate ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume who stated on the June 21st episode of Baseball Tonight: “In a manner of coincidence and not irony, Justin Verlander had the same home plate umpire in both of his career starts against the Brewers.”

College Hoops 101

By David K.

Welcome to a weekly article at thesportsbank.net where I will give you the 101 on what has happened in the week of college basketball and what is to come in the days ahead.

Rewind

-It’s becoming obvious that Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin will undoubtedly win Player of the Year honors.  But the Sooners could actually complete the trifecta.  Jeff Capel has to be one of the top names for Coach of the Year and after what Willie Warren did Saturday night against Texas, he has to be a top contender for Freshman of the Year.  With Griffin out due to a concussion, Warren carried the Sooners on his back scoring 27 points in a five-point loss.  If the tournament started today, I would probably pick Oklahoma to win it all.

-A 22 point, 23 rebound performance against Hasheem Thabeet has thurst DeJuan Blair into the National Player of the Year discussion.  Blair absolutely owned the 7’3 Husky, as Thabeet fouled out in 23 minutes, finishing with just five points, four boards, and two blocks.

-ESPN’s Mike Patrick was off his game when calling Saturday’s Marquette-Georgetown game.  He constantly misidentified players, gave credit to guys who weren’t even on the floor, and kept calling MU “the Warriors.”  Seriously ESPN, hire me.  I am sane and actually watch college basketball.  (Yes, that shot could also be directed at Verne Lundquist and Brent Musburger, who I am convinced, takes naps during stretches of games that he is calling.)

-Penn State 38, Illinois 33. Yes, that was really a FINAL score.  (I’ll be shocked if Paul M. Banks does not edit this portion out)

My AP Top Ten (if I actually voted in the poll)

1. Pitt (25-2)
2. Oklahoma (26-2)
3. UConn (25-2)
4. North Carolina (24-3)
5. Memphis (24-3)
6. Louisville (21-5)
7. Duke (22-5)
8. Marquette (23-4)
9. Clemson (22-4)
10. Wake Forest (20-5)

Nipping on their heels:
Villanova (21-5)
Michigan St. (21-5)
Arizona State (21-5)
Missouri (23-4)

Fast Forward

Oklahoma at Kansas (Monday, 8:00 ESPN)
Missouri at Kansas (Sunday, 1:00 CBS)

First place is on the line in the Big 12 as OU and KU enter this game at 11-1.  Griffin is going to be a game-time decision due to the aforementioned concussion he suffered against the Horns.  Mizzou is right behind them at 10-2, making Sunday’s match-up in Lawrence just as important for the Jayhawks.

Penn State at Ohio State (Tuesday, 6:00 ESPN)
Loser’s bubble is likely burst.

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UConn at Marquette (Wednesday, 6:00 ESPN)
Marquette at Louisville (Sunday, 11:00 CBS)

All three of these teams and Pitt are in a logjam atop the Big East standings.  Some sort of separation has to come after this week.

Memphis at UAB (Thursday, 8:00 ESPN2)
So much for a re-building year for Memphis…  The Tigers have now won 18 straight, 53 consecutive Conference USA games, and could land a #1 seed on Selection Sunday.  UAB is in second in C-USA and must win this game if they want to be dancing.

With UCLA fading faster than Aubrey O’Day’s once promising career, the winner of this game takes control of the Pac-10.

The Drive to 225

To update my goal of watching 225 college basketball games this season…

Games watched through 2/22: 200

Games watched this past week: 13
Pitt at UConn
Texas at Texas A&M
Michigan State at Purdue
Wisconsin at Indiana
Washington at UCLA
Butler at Davidson
Marquette at Georgetown
Utah State at St. Mary’s

Oklahoma at Texas
Illinois at Ohio State
Wisconsin at Michigan State
Wake Forest at Duke
Arizona at Arizona State

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College Hoops 101

By David K.

Welcome to a weekly article at thesportsbank.net where I will give you the 101 on what has happened in the week of college basketball and what is to come in the days ahead.

Rewind

-I had a bad feeling heading into Marquette’s game at South Florida on Friday night and unfortunately, I was right. That’s what happens when you convert on just 10 of 23 free throws and Dominic James thinks he is actually a three-point shooter. Am I worried? No. One hiccup through ten Big East games is certainly better than anyone expected.

-Funks continue for a pair of expected Big East powers. Notre Dame lost at Cincy and then was demolished by UCLA. Suck it Harangody! That’s seven straight losses. Georgetown ended their five-game skid by beating Rutgers, but then lost at Cincinnati. Both teams are on the wrong side of the bubble right now.

-Also in a surprising rut is Texas. Losses to Mizzou and at Nebraska now has the Horns in a three-game funk. For a team that I picked to be in the Final Four, this is very surprising. But teams have been locking down on A.J. Abrams and the rest of Rick Barnes’ team has not been able to pick up the slack.

-It was a strange Wednesday of blow-outs. Clemson embarrasses Duke by 27 on the same day that Wake Forest is waxed by Miami (FL) by that exact same amount. Without Raymar Morgan, Michigan State stomps Minnesota by 29. No rhyme or reason whatsoever there.


My AP Top Ten (if I actually voted in the poll)

1. UConn (22-1)
2. Oklahoma (23-1)
3. North Carolina (21-2)
4. Pitt (21-2)
5. Duke (20-3)
6. Wake Forest (18-3)
7. Clemson (19-3)
8. Memphis (20-3)
9. Louisville (19-4)
10. Marquette (20-3)

Nipping on their heels:

UCLA (19-4)
Michigan St. (19-4)
Villanova (19-4)
Xavier (20-3)

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Fast Forward

Marquette at Villanova (Tuesday, 6:00 ESPN)
Big bounce back chance for Marquette. Nova is playing good basketball having won five straight and are clicking offensively as they put up 94 points on Providence and 102 on Syracuse last week.

North Carolina at Duke (Wednesday, 8:00 ESPN)
Dickie V’s wet dream game. I don’t even need to pimp it any further.

Xavier at Dayton (Wednesday, 6:00 ESPN2)
Despite the fact that both teams were upset this past week, this game still has a lot of meaning in the A-10 race. Dayton has flown under the radar for a 21-3 team and could get a big boost come seeding time with a win over the Musketeers.

UCLA at Arizona (Saturday, 12:00 CBS)

Don’t look now but Zona has won five straight and is back in the NCAA Tournament picture. A win against UCLA would be a huge boost for their argument to make their 25th trip to the Big Dance.

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The Drive to 225

To update my goal of watching 225 college basketball games this season… By the way, I am going to hit 225 before the conference tournaments even begin. I think I need a girlfriend.

Games watched through 2/8: 170

Games watched this past week: 17
UConn at Louisville
Marquette at DePaul
South Carolina at Florida
West Virginia at Syracuse
Duke at Clemson
Minnesota at Michigan State
Illinois at Wisconsin
Arizona at Oregon State
Gonzaga at Portland
Marquette at South Florida
Villanova at Syracuse
Notre Dame at UCLA
Michigan at UConn
Memphis at Gonzaga
Charleston at Davidson
Purdue at Illinois
Wisconsin at Penn State