Monday, January 14, 2008

Visiting blogger: Old & Gold Blog

Zach from Old Gold & Blog, a Wake Forest blog, has answered some questions about the Demon Deacons team this season. After getting drilled by Boston College on Saturday this young team will come to Comcast Center tomorrow for one of those dreadful 9pm starts. This is pretty much a must win for the Terps. Going 0-3 with North Carolina and Duke on deck could drop the curtain on this season before January is over.

1. James Johnson has been a revelation this season. Besides him who are the scoring threats on Wake this season?

Old Gold & Blog: Johnson has been an outstanding addition for the Deacs this year; we're hoping to get lucky and have him stick around for three or four years. One of the interesting things about this Wake team is how spread out the scoring tends to be. There are four players averaging double figures, but James Johnson's 14 ppg is the highest of the four. Freshman guard Jeff Teague has developed into a strong scoring threat as of late, scoring 26 against BYU a week ago. Harvey Hale, who averages 10 a game is the team's streaky shooter who may come out hot and score 20 or may be very cold and not score much at all depending on the night.

2. Given the off season tragedy of Skip Prosser's death where does the morale of this squad sit?

Other than the general "win one for Skip" mentality that is unavoidable for anyone with any athletic affiliation to Wake Forest this season, I don't think the tragedy is having a huge effect on the team. Coach Dino Gaudio seems to have made a smooth transition into the head coaching role and the team has responded to that. Although the team lost one player as a transfer all indications were that it had nothing to do with the coaching change. Wake's highly touted 2008 recruiting class all honored their verbal commitments and signed in November, indicating the the transition really has been smooth. Other than an increased emphasis on hard-nosed defense the program doesn't look much different than it did a couple years ago.

Wake fans and athletes will undoubtedly remember Skip for many years to come, and there's no doubt the national media will bring it up every time Wake basketball is mentioned this season. That being said, when it comes to working hard and playing basketball on a day to day basis the Deacs doing it for Dino Gaudio, not Skip Prosser.

3. This season looks like it will be another tough season for Deacon fans. With some stellar recruits coming next year what is the outlook of this group according to the majority of fans?

Demon Deacon fans have definitely not given up on this season yet. The
Deacs have an 11-4 record and have not lost in their 10 games at home.
The ACC schedule is favorable for Wake, as they only play Clemson, Duke,
and North Carolina once each and have two games each against Florida
State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and Georgia Tech. If the team continues
to play well at home it is conceivable that they could win six or more
home games and only be one or two road wins away from an 8-8 ACC record
which would hopefully put this team on the Tournament bubble.

All of that being said, Wake fans are constantly reminding themselves
that no matter what happens this year the team has one of its best
recruiting classes ever coming next fall. Still, with the motivation to
"do it for Skip" and the fact that an 8-8 conference record doesn't seem
that ridiculous to imagine (at least if you're a Wake fan), hope still
remains that something great could happen this year.

Thanks to Zach for the information. You may want to take a look at his blog for some idea of how Wake Forest is looking at this point in the season.

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