Game Preview: #11 Virginia looks to end road woes at Wake Forest

virginia basketballWake Forest has lost six of its last seven after an impressive 9-3 start that included wins over Indiana, UCLA, Arkansas and LSU.

But the Demon Deacons are at home Tuesday night against #11 Virginia, which has just one true road win on the season, on Dec. 1 at Ohio State.

And the Cavs (15-4, 4-3 ACC) are 0-3 on the road in the ACC this season – losing at Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Florida State, who have a combined five non-UVA wins in conference play.

This after Virginia went 15-3 on the road in conference play the past two seasons, losing a late lead at Duke and falling in OT at Maryland two seasons ago, and losing on a jumper with two seconds left at Louisville last March.

The ‘Hoos were in all three of their road losses this season, losing by two at Virginia Tech, four at Georgia Tech and seven at FSU. In all three, it was defense, the bedrock of Tony Bennett’s program, that did them in.

Wake hasn’t been competitive no matter the venue of late. Its last three losses have been by double-digits – losing at home to Syracuse by 28, at #1 UNC by 15 and at #13 Miami by 14.


Inside Wake Forest

  • Power forward Devin Thomas is the centerpiece of this team, averaging a team-best 16.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, shooting 55.6 percent from the field. He also averages 7.8 free-throw attempts per game, but shoots just 58.1 percent from the line. Virginia all but negated Thomas in their two outings last season, holding him to a total of five points on 1-of-5 shooting and nine rebounds in the two games.
  • The best perimeter options for the Deacs are Bryant Crawford (12.7 points per game, 40.7 percent on threes) and Dinos Mitoglou (10.9 points per game, 35.6 percent on threes). Mitiglou, at 6’10”, is the classic stretch four, and was a matchup problem for Virginia in the first game between the two last season, scoring 18 on 6-of-12 shooting from three in a 61-60 loss in Charlottesville on Feb. 14.
  • Team Numbers: Wake shoots 43.8 percent from the floor (11th in the ACC) and 32.2 percent from three (14th in the ACC) and scores 1.072 points per possession (13th in the ACC, 110th nationally). Opponents shoot 44.1 percent from the floor (14th in the ACC) and 34.0 percent from three (eighth in the ACC) and score 1.031 points per possession (14th in the ACC, 176th nationally).
  • Advanced Metrics: John Collins (7.9 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game in 13.9 minutes per game) has the best Win Shares Per 40 Minutes rating at .180. Thomas has a .157 WS40 rating. Thomas has a 26.5 player efficiency rating, eighth in the ACC.


Inside Virginia

  • London Perrantes (11.9 points, 4.4 assists per game) leads the ACC in three-point shooting at 54.9 percent. Anthony Gill (14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds per game) is second in the ACC in field-goal percentage (60.2 percent).
  • Malcolm Brogdon (17.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists per game) is seventh in the ACC in scoring.
  • Team Numbers: Virginia shoots 49.7 percent from the floor (second in the ACC) and 40.5 percent from three-point range (best in the ACC) and scores 1.184 points per possession (fourth in the ACC, ninth nationally). Opponents shoot 42.6 percent from the floor (10th in the ACC) and 35.6 percent on threes (10th in the ACC) and score .962 points per possession (sixth in the ACC, 45th nationally).
  • Advanced Metrics: Gill and Perrantes are both ranked in the top 10 in offensive rating in the ACC (Gill at 130.1, sixth, Perrantes at 125.1, ninth). Gill is sixth in the conference in Win Shares Per 40 Minutes (.240) and has the sixth-best player efficiency rating (27.1).

– Preview by Chris Graham


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