#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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2012 NFL Draft – Top Offensive Lineman

Offensive Tackle

1. Matt Kalil, USC (6-6, 306): With great size and strength, Kalil certainly looks like an NFL tackle. There’s nothing about his game that disproves the eye test. Kalil has a [Read more…]

2012 NFL Draft – Top Linebackers

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Notre Dame Football and Brian Kelly: How does this story end?

Notre Dame Stadium

Halfway through his second season at the pressure-packed helm of Notre Dame football, Brian Kelly has experienced horrible tragedy and made almost every mistake imaginable.

From the death of Declan Sullivan to horrible public admission that the players he recruited were on a different level than those he inherited, Kelly has done a lot in creating the minefield he has to navigate daily.

After finishing last season with a four-game winning streak and a lopsided bowl victory over one-time-rival Miami in the Sun Bowl, a lot was expected of the 2011 Fighting Irish.

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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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Indianapolis Colts Safety Chip Vaughn Benefits from EBA Apparel in Training

NFL players have had to adjust their routines more than ever this offseason.

The NFL lockout has prevented players from entering their teams’ facilities for training, watching film, rehabilitating from injuries and anything else they might consider standard procedure.

Indianapolis Colts safety Chip Vaughn is one of the many players who has had to adjust, and he’s found a pretty unique way to do so.

By Drew Allen

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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.

james_johnson_21

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

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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

-Time to gush about Marquette.  Before this past week, people had been questioning them because they had played a “soft” Big East schedule.  Put that talk to rest as MU picked up a pair of very impressive wins against talented, albeit struggling teams: winning at Notre Dame and home against Georgetown.  They are now 8-0 in conference, 19-2 on the season, and are officially for real.  I absolutely love the swagger and moxie this team is playing with and never feel like they are ever out of a game because of their veteran guards and the continued growth of Lazar Hayward.  Buzz Williams has to be a top contender for National Coach of the Year.  He has to be.

-Peter Christian recently asked me who would be the toughest match-up for Marquette looking ahead to the NCAA Tournament.  My first response was Louisville since they have had MU’s number the past couple seasons.  The next team I thought of was Wake.  They are so athletic, have size, and undoubtedly the most improved player in the country, Jeff Teague, who is running this team to perfection.

Speaking of Teague, here would be my votes for All-Americans at this point:

First Team:

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma (POY)
Stephen Curry, Davidson
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Tyler Hansborough, UNC
Jeff Teague, Wake Forest

Second Team:

James Harden, Arizona State
Jordan Hill, Arizona
Jerel McNeal, Marquette
Terrence Williams, Louisville
Nick Calathes, Florida

-People make fun of me when I ask them not to tell me the score of a game I DVR’ed and really, really want to watch.  The Duke/Wake game is why I HEART college basketball (but I do not heart shih tzu’s like Hurley on “Lost.”)  For the record, the Demon Deacon fans did not violate one of the “Rushing the Court” Rules.  Anytime you knock off the top ranked team in the country on your home floor, you have every right to go nuts.

-St. Mary’s is officially screwed.  Their star point guard Patrick Mills went down with a hand injury Thursday night against Gonzaga and will now miss a month.  The Gales suffered their second loss of the season against the Zags and were then blown out by Portland with Mills on the shelf.  Ruh-roh.

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

1. UConn (20-1)
2. Oklahoma (21-1)
3. North Carolina (19-2)
4. Wake Forest (17-2)
5. Duke (19-2)
6. Pitt (19-2)
7. Louisville (17-3)
8. Marquette (19-2)
9. Xavier (19-2)
10. Clemson (18-2)

Nipping on their heels:

Butler (19-1)
Memphis (18-3)
Villanova (17-4)

Fast Forward

UConn at Louisville (Monday, 6:00 ESPN)

-Big Monday is extra BIG this week.  UConn will likely be the new #1 in the country and something will have to give as both teams are winners of their last nine games.

Notre Dame at UCLA (Saturday, 12:00 CBS)

-This is a big-time non-conference game for both teams.  The Fighting Irish are struggling mightily having dropped five in a row and could quickly find themselves on the wrong side of the dreaded bubble if they lose to the Bruins.

Memphis at Gonzaga (Saturday, 8:00 ESPN)

-Another battle of streaking teams.  The Tigers have won 12 straight, the Zags 8 in a row.  This will be a huge resume builder for whichever team is victorious come seeding time.

Minnesota at Michigan State (Wednesday, 7:30, BTN)
Purdue at Illinois (Sunday, 12:00 CBS)

-With Michigan State losing to Penn State, the Big Ten race is now wide open.  Purdue, Illinois, and Minnesota are each one game back of Sparty and will need a big ‘W’ if they want to stay in contention.

The Drive to 225

To update my goal of watching 225 college basketball games this season… I blame a 14-hour bender Saturday before, during, and after the Marquette-Georgetown game for a less productive week of watching college hoops.

Games watched through 2/1:  153

Games watched this past week: 12

Marquette at Notre Dame
Oklahoma at Oklahoma St.
Purdue at Wisconsin
Duke at Wake Forest
St. Mary’s at Gonzaga
Clemson at Virginia Tech
Washington at Arizona
Illinois at Minnesota
St. Mary’s at Gonzaga
Georgetown at Marquette
Notre Dame at Pitt
Florida at Tennessee

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

-Georgetown is falling apart.  The Hoyas were waxed by West Virginia who straight up out-worked G-Town and then got upset at Seton Hall in a game in which four of their starters combined to shoot 7-35 from the floor.  JT3’s team has now lost three in a row and is fading fast in the rugged Big East.

-Wake Forest became the last D-1 to suffer a loss when they were stunned at home by Virginia Tech.  The ACC needs to be in consideration with the Big East and Big Ten as the toughest conference in the nation.

-Wisconsin has now lost four conference games in a row for the first time under Bo Ryan.  Bo usually gets the most out of his Badgers, but that is certainly not the case this season.  Their lack of a go-to scorer has really hurt them as they appear to be NIT-bound.

-Time to start taking Butler seriously.  They beat the second and third place teams in the Horizon league fairly easily this week and are now 18-1 with their only loss coming by three points at Ohio State.  Brad Stevens has to be one of the best young coaches in the country and will probably be a hot name for a lot of big conference jobs this off-season.

-Oregon State, who didn’t win a single Pac-10 game last season and is coached by Barack Obama’s brother-in-law Craig Robinson, won back-to-back games at Cal and Stanford in the same week as Obama’s

inauguration.  Coincidence?  Probably not.

-D-Bag of the week goes to Houston’s Aubrey Coleman:



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

1. Duke (18-1)
2. Pitt (18-1)
3. UConn (18-1)
4. Oklahoma (18-1)
5. Wake Forest (16-1)
6. North Carolina (17-2)
7. Louisville (15-3)
8. Marquette (17-2)
9. Arizona State (16-3)
10. Michigan State (16-3)

Nipping on their heels:
Xavier (16-2)
Clemson (16-2)
Butler (18-1)

Fast Forward

-Marquette at Notre Dame (Monday, 6:00, ESPN) and Georgetown at Marquette (Saturday, 1:00)

Marquette is 6-0 in Big East play beating up on the teams that they should win against… although that has been a problem in years past.  We will find out this week just how good the Golden Eagles are.

-Duke at Wake Forest (Wednesday, 6:00, ESPN)

Duke is coming off a 41-point thumping of Maryland.  They are undoubtedly the number one team in the country right now and will have a huge road test when they visit Wake.  Expect a lot of offense in this one.

-St. Mary’s at Gonzaga (Thursday, 11:00 ESPN2)

Both teams are unbeaten in the West Coast Conference.  St. Mary’s Patty Mills is one of the top point guards in the country.  The Zags have won six straight after dropping four of five in late December.

-LSU at Tennessee (Wednesday) and Florida at Tennessee (Saturday, 8:00, ESPN)

All three of these teams have just one loss in the very weak SEC.  The Vols have struggled, losing five games outside of conference play, and need these wins come seeding time for the NCAA Tourney.

The Drive to 225

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

Games watched through 1/25:  141

Games watched this past week: 15

Arizona at USC
Syracuse at Pitt
Texas A&M at Kansas
Ohio State at Illinois
Arizona State at Arizona
Villanova at UConn
Wisconsin at Iowa
West Virginia at Georgetown
DePaul at Marquette
Wisconsin at Illinois
Memphis at Tennessee
UConn at Notre Dame
Xavier at LSU
Houston at Arizona
Louisville at Syracuse