Blogger So Dear's very own Martin the Magnificent has joined us today to lay down some facts about the Demon Deacons. Who will emerge as the most terrible team in the ACC at the end of our discussion? Click to find out.
Martin: Well, that Boston College-Virginia Tech game helped to answer this thing a little bit. I see no way Virginia Tech is at 12. They’re too talented, and their inexperienced team has turned the calendar to February. They’ve also been one of the more unlucky clubs this season (and yeah, that’s a real stat), so I have a feeling they’ll win a few games they shouldn’t as they get back to the mean…a tip-in with 1.8 seconds left is a good start to getting there.
It certainly looks like Boston College is improving. They still are lacking talent. They’re still young. But Steve Donahue has them playing much better basketball, and they’re in games.
So that leaves Wake and Georgia Tech. At least GT has been competitive recently. The Deacs have been getting blasted. So, I’d definitely say this game goes a long way toward determining the 12. The loser of this one puts themselves right in last place with a bullet.
FTRS: We know both of our squads have a 1 in 10,000 shot at winning the ACC tournament. So let's just talk about next season for a bit. What does Wake really need to improve on in the off-season to have a shot at the 2013 NCAA Tournament? Or is that goal still out of the question?
Martin: A lot. I mean, the coaching conversation notwithstanding, Wake Forest needs help in every facet of the game. Defense has been horrible. Offense is stagnant. Point guard play has been horrific. The team doesn’t rebound. So take your pick. I would be amazed and legitimately stunned if the freshman class is able to jump in and give this team an NCAA Tournament berth.
Freshmen are freshmen, and they will struggle even if all six of them are as good as advertised. There is likely going to be some attrition, so that’s a player or two leaving. Ty Walker and Nikita Mescheriakov, despite their shortcomings, are both seniors, and their impacts will be noticeably lost. Let’s just set the goal at .500 and go from there, shall we?
FTRS: CJ Harris and Travis McKie are the focal points of the Wake offense. Who are the supporting cast members that Wake needs to step up against Georgia Tech? Has the supporting cast been an issue in the 2011-2012 season?
Martin: If you stop CJ and Travis, you’re probably going to win. But if you’re taking the “they’ll get theirs, let’s stop everyone else,” approach (which is a good one to have), forcing Nikita and Tony Chennault to take shots (and hit them) is a good idea. It’s also good to keep a guy on Chase Fischer, as he has the ability to knock down jumpers, and has shown flashes at times.
FTRS: Does the victor of this contest really win anything? There will be minimal attention paid in the grand scheme of the ACC. Is it a building block? A confidence boost for next season? A recruiting tool?
Martin: I mean, I guess it matters to Wake Forest a little bit because losing at home…again…to another sub-.500 ACC team would really probably be the end of this year. The fans woke up a little bit to just how badly the Deacs have been playing after getting curb-stomped by Clemson on Saturday, ending in the Tigers’ first win at the Joel since the 1989-1990 season. A loss to Georgia Tech in Winston-Salem would just make things worse.
You guys need this win to build some confidence and get a little momentum. So that’s a selling point too. You are returning your top seven contributors (according to KenPom) next season and are projected to win four of your last six games, which would end in a five-win ACC season. That could help. But a loss to Wake Forest would really set that back.
Thanks goes out to Martin for entertaining our questioning. He could've just sat back and watched the ship go down but instead decided to shovel a few more buckets out of that old dreadnaught. Let's Go Jackets! ROAD VICTORY!