What UVA Basketball fans need to know about Wake Forest

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The UVA starting five huddles before the opening tip against William & Mary. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

We know #22 UVA won’t be at full strength for Wednesday night’s ACC game with Wake Forest, we just don’t know who won’t be available.

Which makes a pregame analysis: loads of fun.

How we’ll go about it: we’ll just assume everybody is available, because, nothing makes sense, but this makes the most sense, for our purposes here.

Ahem, okay, here goes.

Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons (3-1, 0-1 ACC) were off for more than a month before returning on New Year’s Eve with an understandably middling 70-62 win over Catawba.

Sunday, Wake lost 70-54 at Georgia Tech, and that one wasn’t that close – the Yellow Jackets led by 26 with 12:12 to go.

Even before their month-long COVID-19 break, the Deacs were still a work in progress under first-year coach Steve Forbes, who took over for Danny Manning after an impressive run at East Tennessee State that had his teams there going 130-43 in five seasons, including a 30-4 mark in 2019-2020.

After a season-opening 111-51 win over Delaware State on Nov. 25, Wake Forest limped home to a 71-60 win over Longwood on Nov. 27, in a game that the Lancers, who are now 2-8 on the season after splitting a pair of Big South contests with UNC Asheville over the weekend, led midway through the second half.

Then came the long COVID break, the get the ring rust off win over Catawba, and the ugly loss at Georgia Tech.

Roster breakdown

A couple of familiar names from last year, and that’s it.

6’8”, 200-pound junior Isaiah Mucius (11.3 ppg, 4.8 rebs/g, 45.7% FG, 7.7% 3FG, 22.8 minutes/g) had 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 10 rebounds in the double-OT loss to UVA last January.

Mucius gets the bulk of his minutes at four, a matchup for 6’8” graduate forward Sam Hauser (101.7 defensive rating, per sports-reference.com).

Note that shooting percentage from three, which is not a typo: 7.7 percent, 1-of-13 in Wake’s four gamers.

Mucius was a 34.6 percent shooter from three in 2019-2020.

Could be an issue of small sample size.

Could be that not having Olivier Sarr, the big seven-footer who transferred out to Kentucky, isn’t giving him as many open looks as a year ago.

The two other guys who average in double-digits in scoring for Wake – 6’9” freshman Tariq Ingraham and 6’4” senior Ian DuBose – are out, Ingraham for the season, after a symptomatic COVID-19 case, and DuBose’s status, at last word, is that he is out “indefinitely” for unspecified medical reasons.

6’9” sophomore Ody Oguama (9.5 ppg, 5.0 rebs/g, 58.3% FG, 24.0 minutes/g) and 6’8” sophomore Ismael Massoud (6.5 ppg, 2.5 rebs/g, 36.4% FG, 31.3% 3FG, 16.3 minutes/g) have been splitting the minutes at five.

Both got minutes in last year’s game in Winston-Salem: Oguama started and played 19 minutes, not scoring, recording five rebounds and being assessed for four fouls; Massoud got 13 minutes off the bench, had three points on 1-of-5 shooting, two rebounds and an assist.

One other name you might remember from last year’s game: 6’3” sophomore Jahcobi Neath (8.8 ppg, 3.3 rebs/g, 44.0% FG, 33.3% 3FG, 22.5 minutes/g), started and played 25 minutes, scoring five points on 2-of-10 shooting, grabbing three rebounds and recording an assist.

Five other guys to watch out for:

  • 6’2” junior Daivien Williamson (9.0 ppg, 3.8 rebs/g, 2.8 assists/g, 42.9% FG, 25.0% 3FG, 30.3 minutes/g)
  • 6’5” senior Jonah Antonio (8.7 ppg, 45.0% FG, 42.1% 3FG, 20.3 minutes/g)
  • 6’4” freshman Carter Whitt (8.5 ppg, 3.0 rebs/g, 41.2% FG, 25.0% 3FG, 24.0 minutes/g)
  • 6’6” senior Jalen Johnson (7.0 ppg, 3.8 rebs/g, 47.4% FG, 42.9% 3FG, 21.0 minutes/g)
  • 6’4” junior Isaiah Wilkins (3.8 ppg, 2.5 rebs/g, 50.0% FG, 16.7% 3FG, 19.8 minutes/g)

At a glance

  • Offense: Wake Forest 102.5 (141), Virginia 110.2 (42)
  • Defense: Wake Forest 99.2 (125), Virginia 89.6 (9)
  • Tempo: Wake Forest 70.0 (154), Virginia 60.4 (357)

Efficiency data from KenPom.com

Details

Wake Forest (3-1, 0-1 ACC) at #22 Virginia (5-2, 1-0 ACC)
ACC Network, 9 p.m.

  • BartTorvik: Virginia 69-56, 91% win probability
  • ESPN BPI: Virginia +12.6, 89.8% win probability
  • KenPom: Virginia 68-55, 88% win probability

Story by Chris Graham


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