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tightface
12-03-2009, 09:49 AM
Despite an embarrassing ten point home loss to William & Mary earlier this season, in which W&M shot 23 more free throws, The Demon Decons bounced back with a gritty performance against Purdue earlier this week. While they didn't pull out the win, WF proved they will be no push over in the Kennel this weekend.

They present a number of matchup problems for the Zags. Their starting lineup includes 3 players 6'9" or taller:

Al-Farouq Aminu 6'9" (215 lbs)
Tony Woods 6'11" (245lbs)
Chas McFarland 7' (235)

Finding the right matchup with them could be difficult from the opening tip as either Bouldin or Gray may have to guard the talented Aminu (17ppg/11rpg) resulting in a sizable mismatch. UNLESS, we see Coach Few throw Kelly Olynynk in the starting lineup to offset the size disparity. With the 6'11" Canadian, the Zags could easily match the interior height of WF and put the equally athletic and skilled Harris on Aminu without other mismatches on the court. This could be the first time we see a lenghty run of play with the Gray-Bouldin-Harris-Olynyk-Sacre lineup.

WF's strength's so far this season have been offensive rebounding (a Zags achilles heel) and defensive FG efficiency (holding opponents to around 39 percent FG according to KenPom).

One favorable stat for the Zags...WF has been known to turn the ball over quite a bit(17/g) and doesn't shoot free throws at a very high rate (only 63.6% as a team).

Sixth man 6'2" guard CJ Harris is their sharpshooter hitting roughly 50% for the season, while point guard Ishmael Smith, their 2nd leading scorer at 12ppg is a Meech Goodson clone. Our guards will have a size advantage throughout, so look for Bouldin to post up their smaller guards. 6'4" LD Williams is their fifth starter with Smith and the inside trio, and is an experienced veteran leader contributing 8ppg.

The key to this game could come down to rebounding and turnovers as it seemingly always does (especially with this years Cardiac Zags). WF's best win is a 21 point drubbing of Oral Roberts, but make no mistake they are a tough ACC opponent. That being said, I think the Zags should win another close game as long as they can limit the offensive rebounding and second chance points that were costly in the first half of yesterday's game that allowed the Cougs to build up a double digit lead.

Colbyspapa
12-03-2009, 09:54 AM
I like the idea of starting a lineup with Matt and Steven sharing PG duties. KO is playing his guts out and I am so impressed. I worried for a few games if he was ready, but I am a believer. Kelly is a stud and has so much heart. Its like Pendo but 4 inches taller and 50 lbs lighter!

BobZag
12-03-2009, 10:07 AM
Wake is long, tall, fast and highly skilled. Zags really should study how Purdue played them. Zags are somewhat similar to Purdue.

Either way, this will be a very tough game to win.

Baldwinzag
12-03-2009, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the report, TF.

We're finally matching up vs team with height & athleticism at SF. We've been somewhat fortunate to this point to face opposition with 3-guard lineups or smaller, slower SF's. Wake Forest has height, talent, and athleticism at every position. They are similar to Cincy, yet taller throughout their entire lineup.

I think this might be the game where we see more Bol Kong at SF & Kelly mixed in at both forward positions. To be honest, Bouldin & Gray won't be able to defend their extremely tall and quick SF's the whole game or they'll be in foul trouble or scored upon. Trust me, I'm not entertaining those start Bol Kong threads, its just given the match-ups against Wake, we'll need him this game. He's 6'7+, 220lbs, and is long. Our 6'5" guards are tenacious defenders, but this is the first game all season we've seen these type of Wings.

It should be a doozy.

Hextall7388
12-03-2009, 11:21 AM
Sacre and his inability to stay out of foul trouble is my greatest concern.

In 4 of the 5 competitive games that the Zags have played this year (I'm excluding MVSU and IPFW), Sacre has finished with 4 fouls and Few has had to reduce his playing time. Against a tall, long and athletic team like WF, the Zags need Sacre to stay out of foul trouble and play 30+ minutes. I see Foster playing some valuable minutes in the game.

DixieZag
12-03-2009, 12:20 PM
BZ, I always appreciate your skepticism, both of us were right about WSU while many others were predicting ridiculous 20 point victories. That being said, this SHOULD not be a really tough game (doesn't mean it will not be) b/c Wake has played NO ONE, with the exception of Purdue, and they got beat by 11. They have lost 2 in a row (actually that worries me) and have to cross the country to get here.

Our team seems to really get up for ACC Name Brand games and this is the first one to actually come to the Kennel (I think) and I am sure they do not want a repeat of the mad scramble to win against WSU. They will be rested, coached up on Wake -- lots to learn on the Purdue tape - - and will have lots of incentive to win this one. I will be disappointed if we do not handle them.

Plus the UW is scheduled to lose this week when they leave the state (OMG!!) and thus the Zags could claim to be the best team in the state again, not that that has anything to do with anything.

WallaWallaZag
12-03-2009, 12:40 PM
this will be a tough game in terms of matchups, and wake will be pretty desperate after losing two straight. this is one of those games where i wish micah or austin was still around...people tend to forget the incredible length we had last year.

titopoet
12-03-2009, 01:06 PM
Our team seems to really get up for ACC Name Brand games and this is the first one to actually come to the Kennel (I think) ...

Virgina in 2005-6 season, an 80-69 win.

BobZag
12-03-2009, 04:58 PM
Wake is better than WSU.

If Gonzaga comes out slow, falls way behind... It'll be trouble. Big trouble.

TheZagPhish
12-03-2009, 06:02 PM
Wake is better than WSU.

If Gonzaga comes out slow, falls way behind... It'll be trouble. Big trouble.

We're doomed. Just say it.

DADoZAG
12-03-2009, 06:15 PM
We're doomed. Just say it.

We're doomed...

...if we can't learn to handle the double team out front or the sag/double down low.

Go ZAGS! Twenty Assists!

WallaWallaZag
12-03-2009, 06:19 PM
according to a quote from coach few, they've definitely been working on the doubles in practice...said that it didn't translate during the game for rob. just need more practice time.

hoopster777
12-03-2009, 06:32 PM
No way Few should have Olynyk guard Aminu, he'll tear him to shreds. Harris will have to guard him, and I'd expect Kong will see a lot of minutes as well.

NEC26
12-03-2009, 06:41 PM
No way Few should have Olynyk guard Aminu, he'll tear him to shreds. Harris will have to guard him, and I'd expect Kong will see a lot of minutes as well.

Kong may be able to hit threes but his defense is not good at all. Doubt he will be brought in for defense.

hoopster777
12-03-2009, 06:44 PM
Kong may be able to hit threes but his defense is not good at all. Doubt he will be brought in for defense.

But he's long, quick and athletic. I'd rather have him defending Aminu than Bouldin or Gray who would be too undersized. That is when Aminu is playing the wing.

Reborn
12-03-2009, 07:01 PM
Personally, I do Not think that Purdue is better than WSU. That Cougar team was really tough. Wake is good, but they are slower than WSU, and they are not as tough. I can hardly wait to see Harris up against Aminu from Wake. He's supposed to be the All American power forward. Elias is coming out to play. Oh by the way. You know who is really tough? Gonzaga University. I can hardly wait for this one. Playing Mich St and Cincinatti will prepare us to battle Wake. Sacre will be ready for MacFarlin, and Harris for Aminu, and our guards are skilled veterans who are showing that they know how to win.
Wake has a very good point guard, a freshman. I know Meech will be ready to play after a poor showing against WSU. Like someone said. The Zags do well against ACC teams. A win against Wake puts us nearer to the top 10. Oh. I also think that Wisconsin is better than Wake Forrest too. They showed that against Duke. I think some people are still having a rough time believing how good Gozaga is. Gonzaga will be ready for Wake. And they will not have to be afraid in order to be ready. I don't believe there is even a fracture of fear. Respect? Heck yeah! They have a great coach and a great program. But we are catching them early in the year and their guards are young. That's important early on in the season. Second weare playing them in The Kennel2. Our HOME. I can feel the passion building already.
Go Zags.

VinnyZag
12-03-2009, 07:39 PM
Or, we could see a lot of zone.
FWIW, I don't see removing your best on-ball defender from the lineup against a team with turnover problems as the best idea.

snebzag
12-03-2009, 08:00 PM
I'm quite positive the starting lineup won't change. However, KO may come in sooner. This game will be won or lost on the glass. Period. Poor first half performances against Cinncinati and WSU. Too many offense boards by WF will spell doom. Doom! I expect alot of substitutions to find the right mix. The offense will come from the guards mostly, but defense and rebounding will win this game. Stay out of foul trouble, box out, play tough-tough and stop the silly passes for turnovers. This team has the skill to get it done. They just need to execute. This will be an awesome game. Go Zags.

Timeout!
12-03-2009, 08:17 PM
Personally, I do Not think that Purdue is better than WSU. That Cougar team was really tough. Wake is good, but they are slower than WSU, and they are not as tough. I can hardly wait to see Harris up against Aminu from Wake. He's supposed to be the All American power forward.

While I always enjoy your posts, you also stated Cincy was nowhere near as tough and fast as Mich St before our final game in Maui. We found out they were just as tough and athletic as MSU. In addition, I have to disagree with the assertion that Wake is slower and not as tough as WSU. Wake is a sleeping giant, IMO. Sure, they lost a few players to the NBA last season, but Aminu is a lottery pick in the making & their guard might be as well. WF is athletic, talented, quick, and long at every single position on the court. When they're clicking, they are a sight to see, but when they're off, they can struggle mightily. I'm not sure which Wake team will show up on Saturday, but they have the potential to be great and even dominate teams who don't give 100% on defense. I witnessed flashes of terrific bball and talent when they played Purdue this week. In all honesty, Wake is not an ideal match-up for us given their equal height across the board and mis-match at Small Forward. The Zags will need to play close to perfect for us to win this weekend.

Reborn
12-03-2009, 08:34 PM
We shall see......:) Thanks for your observations. I still don't think Cincy is as tough as Duke. And still don't think Wake is as good as WSU. I'm glad you like Wake. I like WSU. I was a little wrong about them. They are tougher than I expected. I didn't see that in Wake when they played Purdue. I saw a team that fell apart to a great Purdue team at home. I see the same thing happening to them in K2. You also may NOT know how good Gonzaga is yet. And our small forward. His name is Matt Bouldin. Watch him on Saturday too. I heard a very knowledgable announer who was doing the Texas game tonight say that he thought Matt Bouldin was an All American. I tend to think Matt has a very good chance if he keeps playing the way he has.

Timeout!
12-03-2009, 08:47 PM
We shall see......:) Thanks for your observations. I still don't think Cincy is as tough as Duke. And still don't think Wake is as good as WSU. I'm glad you like Wake. I like WSU. I was a little wrong about them. They are tougher than I expected. I didn't see that in Wake when they played Purdue. I saw a team that fell apart to a great Purdue team at home. I see the same thing happening to them in K2. You also may NOT know how good Gonzaga is yet. And our small forward. His name is Matt Bouldin. Watch him on Saturday too. I heard a very knowledgable announer who was doing the Texas game tonight say that he thought Matt Bouldin was an All American. I tend to think Matt has a very good chance if he keeps playing the way he has.

Reborn, I'm on your side and completely agree that WSU was better than expected. Also, there is a good chance they are better than Wake Forest. My primary concern is this will be the first team we've face that equals us in height at every position, including down low. How will we respond on the boards and defending the post? I believe we're up to the challenge, yet can our SF(Gray/Bouldin) guard a 6'8" SF who has NBA talent and athleticism? I'm not sure b/c we have yet to face a team who has a tall, lengthy, athletic forward. Every single team(MSU, Colo, Wisc, Cincy, WSU) have run 3-guard lineups or small, unathletic SF's. We're going to need our best defensive effort this season to beat these guys. It should be a doozy.

NovaZag
12-03-2009, 09:05 PM
Or, we could see a lot of zone.
FWIW, I don't see removing your best on-ball defender from the lineup against a team with turnover problems as the best idea.

I think this might be the best option if Wake is able to exploit their height advantage over Gray and Bouldin. On the other hand, zone may play into their hands in terms of offensive rebounding. But I agree that pressuring their guards will pay off in transition buckets. Maybe throw in a little full court pressure....

GrizZAG
12-03-2009, 11:40 PM
Montana got Sc....d via Dog Ref patsies...
Zags are the program.... (How did Few miss that big kid from SD that Montana has?) #&#^

Other than Purdue, Wake has not seen the level of play our Zags have faced. Yes they are big, athletic and will be kind of like Cincy, but I give the Zags the edge because of the difficult schedule they have faced already with success. This team can CLOSE! Just get Harris fired up again and let him run....dunk, slam, jump and WIN! If they get down by 10+ early, we are in trouble and in for a long night....

Reborn
12-04-2009, 05:18 AM
Timeout, according to my research the 4 most effective players for Wake Forest were Iminu, who is supposed to be an All-American at Power Forward at 6'9". He will Match up with Harris. Aminu scored 11 against Purdue.

LD Williams 6'4" small forward vs Bouldin at 6'5". Williams scored 11 pts.

CJ Harris 6'2" guard vs Gray. This guy looked the best to me. He got 14 pts and is very ahletic.

McFarland is 7'0" but is no better than Rob. Also Will can handle him.
David Weaver got the most minutes at backup center. A 7'0 kid too. He got 3 points.

Purdue's center is 6'9" and killed McFarland. Johnson (for Purdue) is quick and athletic, I think a lot like Harris. I look for Harris to be as equally effective against Wake.

Gonzaga has height if we need it. Wake's backup bigs are NOT as good as Olynyk. His quickness will hurt them. Kelly seems to be getting much better at hitting the boards. At least against WSU. He seems to be getting tougher. Remember he's 6'11." And Will is 7'5" Will could get more minutes. And there is always Poling.

Gonzaga practices against height all the time. We have as much height as anyone in the country. If we were playing Carolina I'd worry about height. Now their bigs are pretty darn good.

I don't know if Gonzaga is as tough as Purdue. Purdue is dang tough. I guess we get to see tomorrow how tough the Zags are. But, imo, we've handled some pretty "tough" teams. I mean teams who are known for their toghness. Like Michigan State, Cincinatti and Wisconsin. Our schedule so far has been filled with tough teams. I think the teams we've struggled against the most have been teams with smaller line-ups like Colorado and WSU.
Wake is pretty tough. As I said they have a great coach. I give the advantage to the Zags because we are home. It will be a tough game, a great battle. I'm not underestimating Wake. They're a real good team. But I'm also not OVERESTIMATING them either. IMO opinion, right now both Cincy and Wisconsin would take them. But I may be wrong. As you know, I am wrong a lot.

Wildcat98
12-04-2009, 05:31 AM
Hey guys--Davidson/Wake fan here. Looking forward to watching the Zags against my teams on consecutive Saturdays. Right off the top, I expect Gonzaga to win both games.

For tomorrow's game, all Few will really have to do to win the ballgame is pack in a zone defense. That's it. Wake turns into a big steaming pile of mushy goo anytime someone throws a 2-3 zone at them (see our 1st round ACC tournament loss to Maryland last year as an example, or more recently, our turd last weekend against powerhouse William & Mary). My recollection is that Few plays mostly man-to-man, but you don't even have to throw a Syracuse-style zone at the Deacs to confound them--they'll just toss the ball around the perimeter for 30 seconds before chucking up an awful 3-pointer. In some ways, I actually prefer playing premium opponents like Duke and Carolina, because they take too much pride in their defensive systems to just go to a straight zone. When Wake plays against a team that goes strictly man-to-man, there is always a chance to win because we do have pretty good athleticism, and can get the ball to the bucket against a man defense.

Wake has had some success in the past in non-conference road games--in the past several years, we've ended some pretty long home winning streaks at Wisconsin and BYU--but I just don't know if this current group is poised enough to come into your place and get a win. Too many turnovers, missed free throws, and dumb mistakes will probably make the difference (assuming Few doesn't do the easy thing and just throw the zone at us).

Either way, I'll be channel-flipping between this game and the Florida-Alabama game tomorrow. We'll see if the Deacs can manage to make a game of it.

bballbeachbum
12-04-2009, 06:52 AM
hey Wildcat! two fun programs to follow for you! thanks for your thoughts. Have to believe GU comes out man, just because that's who we are, but it'll be fun to watch closely the defenses both ways, if/when they change, how, why.

hey board, think big Will might get minutes in this one? foul issues may say yes or no. and maybe this is the game Kelly's perimeter skills get a green light to open up Wake's bigs, stretch them out.

GO TEAM ZAGS!!!

Zag4Hire
12-04-2009, 07:35 AM
People tend to forget how difficult travel is on players, especially when they don't travel as much.

Remember this before you visit the cashier window:

Wake Forest has not traveled to the Pacific Time Zone in recent memory. They did not schedule a team in the West, unless you count Air Force a few years back, which Air Force won (2007 Final AF 97 WF 58). Something to chew on.

Wildcat98
12-04-2009, 07:43 AM
Actually, Wake played on the West Coast last Thanksgiving in the 76 Classic. Beat CS-Fullerton, Baylor, and someone else that escapes my memory. Also went to Utah to play BYU (not all the way to the coast, but still a pretty significant flight).

Travel can have an effect, but I seem to recall you guys playing a pretty lights-out first half against Davidson in 2008 at what would have been 9:00 a.m. Pacific time...

Zag4Hire
12-04-2009, 07:54 AM
Actually, Wake played on the West Coast last Thanksgiving in the 76 Classic. Beat CS-Fullerton, Baylor, and someone else that escapes my memory. Also went to Utah to play BYU (not all the way to the coast, but still a pretty significant flight).

Travel can have an effect, but I seem to recall you guys playing a pretty lights-out first half against Davidson in 2008 at what would have been 9:00 a.m. Pacific time...

You are correct Wildcat. Sorry about that. From a prior schedule view, I speculate because they were favored, it came up as a home game for them. And they won it so that was great for them.

In regards to the Zags playing well against Davidson, I am saying for teams who don't travel as much to different time zones, it makes quite a bigger difference. Gonzaga plays a diversified schedule, year-in and year-out. Couldn't stop Steph Curry though!

I also think it helps GU that Purdue took some of the brunt of the frustration from the W&M loss. I haven't seen any lines but Purdue was -10.5 so I think GU gets spotted with -8.5.

sittingon50
12-04-2009, 08:26 AM
48 fouls in the Wake/Purdue game! Ugh. Not sure what the refereeing situation is for the ACC/Big 10 Challenge, but have been told we will have ACC officials for this intersectional game.

Any insight into the Purdue game officiating?

Wildcat98
12-04-2009, 08:47 AM
With respect to the officiating in the Purdue game, the first half was pretty good. Purdue plays very aggressive, handsy defense, so it was almost a given there were going to be some foul calls. The Purdue crowd got pretty whiny on several occasions in the first half when there were no fouls called when Wake would block a shot.

It seemed like the crowd started turning the officials in the second half, as Purdue was in the bonus within five minutes and in the double bonus before the second TV timeout. They really won the game on the line more than anything else (both due to the fact that they shot a ton of free throws and also due to the fact that Wake has been terrible from the foul line for as long as I can remember--Ish Smith is particularly bad, as are the Wake big men not named Aminu).

I'd say Wake got the better of the officiating in the 1st half and Purdue definitely got the better in the second. Wake should have been up 10+ at the half instead of just two, but poor shooting from both the floor and the line kept that from happening. Wake's defensive effort was actually pretty good in the first half as well--without JaJuan Johnson, Purdue would have been in trouble.

I am having trouble seeing a way in which Wake can bring a consistent enough effort for 40 minutes to find a way to win against you guys. There are too many "little things" that Wake still doesn't do well, even though there will be a ton of athletic ability on the floor (in this way Wake is the total opposite of Davidson--it is odd to follow two programs so closely that are so dissimilar). However, I have been intrigued by the play of C.J. Harris. He seems to play with more poise than any of our upperclassmen, and he also seems to appreciate the value of a good shot. Most of the time, it seems like everyone else on the team is playing as though their brains were removed from their heads prior to tipoff.

sittingon50
12-04-2009, 08:51 AM
That works out great 'cause the Zags have a special room near the visitor's locker room to store brains during game time.

To my knowledge all have been found & successfully returned to all visitor's with one exception: the university of washington's "head" coach. ;)

bballbeachbum
12-04-2009, 08:57 AM
Chas McFarland #13 -- 7.0 feet tall got 33 minutes in the Purdue game. Mostly defensive. He had 6 blocks in that game. I think we will see big Will come in some, yeah! I would give him at least 12 minutes.

the matchup decisions are always fun to watch, the adjustments during the game as to what is working, what didn't, and what to do now...and what are they doing/trying to do to us? as others have said, might be seeing more Grant vs. Wake too

now off to watch the World Cup draw!

GO TEAM ZAGS!!!

gamagin
12-04-2009, 09:43 AM
When I worry about the next game I worry more about how we improve our game, shore up our weaknesses, continue to grow and learn more than what the other team brings.

With RS & EH underneath working at full steam; SG, Meech & MB, firing on all cylinders, well, I believe we can beat anyone.

If I see the team that opened against MSU and finishes like we did in Maui & vs. WSU, I think we beat any team on any turf on any day.

So here's hoping SG & RS find their offensive games, MB & EH continue theirs; Meech matures a little quicker & KO, GG, MA & BK are ready to come in an be the stoppers or the finishers.

The horses are lined up. The matchups may vary, but we have an answer for whomever we face, imo. They are freshman and they are learning, but they are also capable & have demonstrated this with each valuable minute served.

This next test is but another in the string of challenges before us.

If we continue to improve, grow and in the process, win, or leave everything on the floor in the learning process, I will be satisified at this juncture in the season.

Go TEAM Zags !