An ACC rough patch has kept the Jackets from where they'd like to be, an they try to bounce back today against Wake Forest. We explore how easy or hard that might be here.
Coming into the Wake Forest game yesterday, one thing was on Mfon Udofia's mind: winning. "Just play a whole forty minute game" he said when asked what the team needed to do come walk out of the McCamish pavilion today with a win. But as we've all seen, its not as easy as that. Mfon admitted as much, saying the team is facing a lot of adversity right now, but needs to focus on the thirteen games that are coming up and finish out the season. The media got to speak to the players in the middle of practice today, and you could really see that there was a sense of urgency among the players. Exemplary of Mfon's remarks about focus was Chris Bolden and Kam Holsey, both of which were completely lasered in on their shooting drills.
The Jackets face a softer team in the Demon Deacons than they've seen recently. They come into this game 10-8 (3-3) but are coming off their best win of the year against N.C. State at home. However, the Deacs rank below 140 nationally in the big three statistical categories: Rebounds, Points per Game, and Field Goal Percentage. No other ACC team that Tech has faced thus far compares. The break may be coming at the right time: Kammeon Holsey seems to be back on the rise with a near double-double at UNC, and Chris Bolden has been emerging. The jackets have also significantly improved their rebounding in the past two games, grabbing 48 boards against UNC and 39 against Duke. Turnovers have also had a recent spike however, with the Jackets giving up twice as many TO's in the last two games than the season average.
Against NC State, they scored by working the lanes and trying to bring the ball outside-in. They've got a fairly short team however, so this might not work against guys like Miller or Holsey. I saw them run the pick and pop occasionally, so they might try that to soften up the outside, then bring it down low while all our guys are out of the paint. Defensively, they're about as bad as Tech is in transition, so that could bring an ample amount of points if those shots start falling. All in all, very winnable game, the Jackets just have to stay focused for forty minutes. This may be equivalent to trying to get a hyperactive puppy to fetch, but dammit, they're trying.