Information regarding Al-Farouq Aminu's arrest has been trickling out throughout the weekend. After the initial story broke, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published more information regarding the nature of the situation, including comments from the Women's husband.
His quotes even included this zinger: "I'll tell you, his shooting at my house was much better than his shooting at the McDonald's game." Nice. That AJC article can be read here.
USA Today has now published an article with comments from people close to Aminu. According to his AAU coach Aminu was not the shooter.
One would assume that not being the shooter, if true, would be a very good thing for Aminu in this situation. Hopefully he wasn't the driver, either.
That's about it for now. I'm cautiously optimistic that this won't end up being too huge an issue in the long run, but Aminu certainly isn't out of the woods yet. We'll continue to hope for the best.
Information regarding Al-Farouq Aminu's arrest has been trickling out throughout the weekend. After the initial story broke, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published more information regarding the nature of the situation, including comments from the Women's husband.
It was a cold and wet morning on the Wake Forest practice fields. The temperature barely cracked 40 degrees and the rain was almost constant. The rough weather didn't keep the team from practicing, though.
For the first time this spring the team donned shoulder pads with their helmets, engaging in a fair amount of contact and moving at nearly full speed.
There's obviously still a fair amount of rust to knock off, but the guys are starting to kick things in to gear. With pads it's definitely easier to get an idea of what the guys are capable of.
On the first offense vs. defense play of the spring Josh Adams found a seam on the right side and broke through nearly untouched for what would have been a touchdown. It was definitely an encouraging start for the offense.
For the rest of the running segments of practice, however, the defense kept things locked up pretty tight, looking like the veteran unit we expect to see.
The first string offensive line today consisted of (from RT across to LT) Boomer Peterson, Russell Nenon, Trey Bailey, Barrett McMillin, and Jeff Griffin. The unit looked fairly solid and during passing drills did a good job protecting the quarterback. The pass blocking looked stronger than the run blocking.
On the 2nd string Joe Looney continued to look pretty strong at guard and Chance Raines was getting a look at center. These guys didn't look bad either, but still seem to be getting comfortable with the schemes.
With the wet weather things were a bit tougher for the quarterbacks and receivers. Riley Skinner threw the ball alright but wasn't particularly outstanding. WR Demir Boldin caught my eye with a couple of catches as did TE Ben Wooster. Hopefully when we get some better weather (and some more experience) we'll get an even better idea of what these guys will be capable of.
Right now I feel pretty good about the receivers and the line, which generally seem to be Wake's biggest concerns right now. I look forward to their continued development over the next couple of weeks.
Criminal Charges? Check.
Mugshot? See picture to the right.
What does it add up to? Certainly nothing good for high school standout, McDonald's All-American and Wake Forest basketball recruit Al-Farouq Aminu.
Aminu turned himself in to the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department Friday evening and appears to have since been released on bail. He has been charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor trespassing stemming from a March 14 incident in which Aminu allegedly shot a female with a BB gun from a car.
Georgia law states that "The exclusive, original jurisdiction of juvenile courts extends to delinquent children under the age of 17 and deprived or unruly children under the age of 18," indicating that Aminu will be treated as an adult in this situation (http://www.georgiacourts.org/juvenile.html).
The aggravated assault charge appears to be automatic in situations where someone fires a gun from a vehicle towards another person (http://www.georgiacriminaldefense.com/georgia-violent-crimes.html):
Aggravated Assault – O.C.G.A. 16-5-21
Aggravated assault occurs when an assault is committed one of three ways: 1) with intent to murder, rape or rob; 2) with a deadly weapon (includes any instrument which, when used against a person is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury) or 3) by discharge of a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or people.
Punishment - Felony: 1 to 20 years in prison unless:
If the aggravated assault involves discharge of a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or people, the punishment shall be 5 to 20 years in prisonAt this point no explanation has been provided for the trespassing charge, so we'll leave that alone for now.
Obviously I am no legal expert, but in my mind firing some kind of BB gun is quite different than firing just about any other kind of gun. Obviously it is a very very very dumb thing to do, but that doesn't seem nearly as serious as firing a much deadlier weapon. Still, the law may see it differently and that's what will ultimately matter.
Once again, Aminu has not been convicted of any crime. I certainly hope that he is cleared of all these charges, and that at a minimum he loses the felony charge. This will have plenty of time to play out in court. In the end we may be freaking out about something that won't be a huge deal; that would certainly be the hope.
This does have interesting implications with his status at Wake Forest. Something like this could certainly have an affect on his ability to be admitted to the school or receive his scholarship. I haven't seen an issue like this before so who knows where it will go, but I think Aminu's scholarship to Wake will be in serious jeopardy if he's convicted of a felony. If it drops to a misdemeanor or is dropped entirely then there may be a minimal affect on his Wake career, perhaps only a brief suspension from the athletic department if anything.
This will have plenty of time to play out and I'll be doing my best to stay on top of the issues as they unfold. I don't know how the athletic department will handle this situation and it will not surprise me if A.D. Ron Wellman and head coach Dino Gaudio decline to comment on the issue right now. Nonetheless, I'll do some digging and see what I can come up with.
Welcome to day 2 of Wake's spring football practices. It really wasn't any different from the first day. The guys did more or less the same rotation of drills they did on Wednesday and since they still don't have any pads on it was hard to really see anything different. I was able to take some pictures which you can see below.
Saturday's practice should include shoulder pads so we'll start to see some contact and get a better idea what's going on. I'm planning on being at that one as well. Hopefully then we'll get a better idea how the offensive line looks.
I also had the opportunity to talk to Coach Grobe for a few minutes, and I'll post the text of that conversation later today. I may be able to get the audio up as well, but my primary voice recorder died and I had to use a backup option, so I'm not sure the quality will be good enough to be worth it. We talked primarily about the new members of the coaching staff and how they're fitting in with him and the team. Look for that later today.
It may be true that when most the country thinks about spring's relationship to new beginnings in sports they think about baseball. In some circles, however, this isn't quite the case.
For many years the football powerhouses all over the country - places like Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, LSU and just about any other large southern school - have had a different reason to be excited for spring: Football.
Some may never have expected to see it at Wake Forest, but today things are changing. There was some excitement last year, but I think much of the Wake community was still so wound up from the ACC championship and Orange Bowl experience that we didn't really want to think about the future yet.
This time around, coming off of a good but not amazing season, spring practice brings with it plenty of anticipation and excitement. The talent is returning, the coaching staff is strong as ever, Deacon Tower is waiting, and right now just about anything seems possible.
Such was the attitude today at the practice fields on campus. It was a beautiful afternoon and everyone seemed pretty excited to be playing (or in my case watching) some football. It was a helmets only day (we'll see more pads added to the mix over the next couple weeks), but it was still good to see guys get out there and work.
With today's news that junior guard Chris Degeare won't be playing this season because he's academically ineligible, the offensive line has quickly vaulted to the top of the list when it comes to things to focus on for the spring. It was already up there due to graduation, but this doesn't help.
At practice today lots of guys were getting looks, including recently enrolled freshman Joe Looney, as well as Russell Nenon, Gage Crews, and a couple of other young guys. Playing without pads its hard to evaluate what's going on with the line, so we'll have to wait and see how that shakes out.
Much of today was spent on drills, with some scrimmaging towards the end. Of course, there was no real contact, but guys were still hustling and running their plays, which was good to see. It looks like we may see Skylar Jones get some work as a slot receiver this season, which should be a great way to utilize his athleticism.
I can't promise to be reporting on practice every day, but I'll definitely get out there when I can and keep you all posted on what's going on. I'll try to snap a few pictures if I get the chance and possibly even talk a bit with Coach Grobe. We'll see how it all shakes out.
Drew Markham, a prominent member of Wake's online community, has archived video of an impressively large amount of Wake Forest sporting events. Although the majority of his collection is from the 1980's, 90's, and 2000's, he recently obtained some 1960's basketball footage and posted screenshots of some of the action. The screenshots themselves are pretty impressive, and it makes me really want to check out the full video.
Here's some of the stuff he posted:
I have no idea what the ref is up to in this picture, but the thing I thought was cool about it was the old "WFC" logo at center court. Definitely hard to imagine something other than "WFU" for Wake people my age, but it's neat to see every once in awhile. I like the way they connected the three letters up at the top. This picture was from Duke/Wake game in the 1960's.
Two things stand out to me about this image from a Wake/NC State game in Raleigh. In keeping with the theme of the first picture, the first thing I notice is NC State's mid court logo. I've seen a lot of basketball and a lot of basketball courts, but I've never seen a mid court logo that face the baseline instead of the sideline. Anyone know how long NC State had their logo like that? Or why?
The other thing I notice about this picture is that Wake appears to be ahead of its time when it comes to their uniforms. You know those much maligned Wizards alternates with the gold top and black shorts? Unlike many people I happen to like those Wizards uniforms, but regardless it appears they may have drawn their inspiration from the 1960's Deacs. Awesome.
This last picture is said to be from a Wake home game against Duke on February 3, 1960. I am immediately struck by the "H" and "V" painted on the floor on either side of the lane. I have never seen these before, and if I had to guess they indicate that one side of the lane is for one team and one for the other. If this is correct, this rule has entirely changed in today's game. It seems like a set up like that would create an interesting strategy for missing freethrows. Anyone ever seen this anywhere else? Was that really the rule? When did it change? If you have answers to these questions I'd love for you to share.
First of all, I'd like to wish all of you a happy Easter. I hope it was an enjoyable and relaxing weekend spent with friends and/or family.
I've been in NYC with my family and have had limited Internet access, and unfortunately also limited time in front of the TV to see basketball. From what little I have seen it's been exciting, although I'm sure most of your brackets are as big of a mess as mine is. Next year we'll have to do an Old Gold & Blog bracket contest to see who's the best.
Wake sports news this weekend isn't too good. Baseball got their butts kicked at Miami, including a 23-2 l0ss today before having the 2nd game cancled due to weather (but they were already down 9-1 so maybe that was for the better). It's looking like it could be a long season on the baseball diamond, although they started pretty poorly last year and rebounded to make the tournament.
As we get into the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 (and as I get to see more of the games) I hope to do some analysis of those games when they're going on. That's about it at this point. I know I said there would be a bit more of a regular schedule around here after the break, but obviously that didn't quite happen. Hopefully I'll do a better job staying on top of things this time around.
And there's absolutely nothing going on in Wake athletics.
Okay, I lied. The tennis team is playing in Chapel Hill. I really should try to get out and watch them at some point.
The baseball team was supposed to play Elon, but that's been postponed, I guess due to weather. We probably don't want to talk baseball anyway seeing as how they lost to App State 22-6 yesterday. Yeesh.
For you soccer fans, the spring schedule gets underway tomorrow out at Spry Stadium against Duke at 7:00. I was actually really hoping to be at that one, but I've got a club baseball game at NC State and won't be able to make it. If, however, any of you are going to be there and would like to write a quick recap I'd be happy to put it up. Just leave a comment or email me.
So that's about it for now. I need to do some sort of Basketball season recap, and I may actually turn that into a series of posts that grade players and such. Spring football starts next week so I think things will pick up a little bit then. If I'm feeling motivated I may write some about the tournament, but I'm going to be out of town for Easter Weekend so I may not post too much.
All along I never wavered about Wake making the NIT. It seemed like a no-brainer. Obviously the struggles down the stretch cost us the chance to have a home game or two, but only a month ago we were taking NCAA Tournament. Now we’re stuck without an NIT bid (and apparently turned down the chance to play in the new CBI).
I don’t know exactly what happened. NITology.com, the only site I know of that projects these things, always had us in their bracket. We were on their bubble-but-probably-in list for the last week or two, but they never seemed to think we wouldn’t get in. They got 30 out of 32 NIT teams correct. We were one of their two misses.
So now we know the importance of playing well down the stretch. Wake collapsed and completely destroyed their chances not only for the NCAA’s but for any post season basketball at all. I am surprised and somewhat disappointed to be “snubbed” by the NIT. Heck, they put
I’m intrigued by what may or may not have happened with the CBI. The CBI (College Basketball Invitational) is a brand new 16 team post season invitational that is unique because of its 3-game championship series. They were hoping to compete with the NIT for teams, but it appears that everyone chose to stick with the well-known NIT rather than gamble on an upstart.
In Wake’s case there wasn’t even an option. Without an NIT invitation the CBI was the only thing left. Based on the field the CBI has I have to imagine Wake was invited to play, but turned down the invitation. AD Ron Wellman said a few days ago that he’d much rather play in the NIT, but did not completely rule out the CBI. I guess he did yesterday.
The buzz is that some teams didn’t want to play because the schools hosting games are required to pay $50,000 to do so. I understand how that could be tough for some schools, but Wake could sell $10 tickets (like UVA is) and only 5,000 people would have to show up to cover that cost. Obviously the actual cost would be a bit more than that, but I think a bit more than 5,000 people would show up.
Dan Collins’ article in today’s Winston-Salem Journal includes quotes from Dino about how all the kids have been coming over to the
In the end it won’t be that big of a deal. It appears the CBI is going to struggle and may not last past this year. I’m not saying we should have played because it would provide prestige, but I think we should have taken the opportunity to keep practicing and get a few more games of experience.
What’s done is done. Thankfully spring football is starting soon.
Obviously Thursday wasn’t the most exciting day ever, but it probably never will be. There were a few good matchups Friday, but obviously we hadn’t reached the main event yet. Saturday/Sunday was about as awesome as it could have been. Both Saturday matchups provided plenty of excitement, and for the majority of the country it’s always fun to see Duke lose.
Yesterday’s championship was a great game as well. Sure, it would have been nice to Clemson pull it off the upset, but it was still a great exciting game and that was all I really wanted from it.
Other than the leaky roof on Saturday things seemed to go without a hitch all weekend and, at least from what I saw on TV, having the tournament in
I realize I let myself disappear after Wake’s loss on Thursday and didn’t post again all weekend. There was plenty of interesting stuff going on in the tournament and throughout college basketball, but I ended up just taking the weekend off from writing. I apologize for not letting anyone know I was going to do that, but I sort of surprised myself with it, too.
Anyway, I’m back on campus after Spring Break and will be back to a daily-ish posting schedule. We’ll talk baseball, basketball aftermath, spring football, and probably some spring soccer for good measure. If there’s anything else you’d like to see covered feel free to let me know and I’ll see what I can do.(Not my picture - in fact nothing like my spring break at all. Still, you get the idea)
The ACC Tournament started today at Noon. By about 2:05
It was definitely a frustrating afternoon. Wake never looked awful but also never looked good. There were flashes of brilliance from some players and disappearing acts from others. Sometimes the offense looked like it could beat anyone in the conference, other times it didn’t seem to exist at all. The same pretty much goes for the defense.
The season isn’t exactly over. All expectations are that Wake will make the NIT, and maybe even get to enjoy a home game or two (although I think the home part is in jeopardy now). Even though Wake would have had to win this tournament to make the NCAA Tournament, it would have been nice to at least have the honor of losing to UNC in the 2nd round.
All season it was clear the talent level on our team wasn’t at the top of the ACC, and by most accounts they still overachieved. Still, there were flashes that showed Wake was capable of more, and it’s hard to see them not reach that potential.
The NIT could still be fun, but it won’t have the passion the NCAA’s could have had. Most Wake fans will probably start looking forward to what next season could hold. It’s hard to blame them. I doubt there’s a Wake fan around that doesn’t expect to buy NCAA Tournament tickets next season, and quite possibly even Final Four tickets. That’s just the way preseason (or in this case postseason) hype works.
Nonetheless, I still hope people stick around and support the team in the NIT. They deserve it.
So that’s that. Wake has now lost 5 of 6. A promising ACC start turned in to this. Sometimes that’s just how the cards fall with a young team in the ACC. We’ll be back.
Final - NIT here we come. With that Wake is the first team eliminated from the ACC Tournament, losing 70-60 to FSU. Maybe we won't have to see what could have been pretty ugly tomorrow. I'll be back later with a full analysis, but I'll let some of the disappointment wear off first.
0:59 - 66-58 FSU after a Weaver 3.
1:21 - Not good at all. FSU scores with only 1 second on the shot clock. Wake can't make a basket and response and the fouling starts 64-55 FSU.
2:13 - A defensive stop and a Teague layup cuts the lead to 5, 60-55. It isn't over yet...
3:16 - A good play by Teague who will go to the line to finish the 3 point play. Wake doesn't really have an answer for FSU right now, but maybe a late push will be enough 60-53 FSU.
4:25 - It's hard to fault what the Deacs are doing right now, but FSU's Jason Rich has taken over and practically can't miss. 59-51 FSU.
6:10 - FSU comes out of the previous timeout with a three point play. Weaver gets a dunk on a nice Teauge assist but FSU responds with a basket of their own. The lead is now 10 and seems to be moving in the wrong direction. Where's the spark? 57-47 FSU.
7:26 - It's a continuing struggle for the Deacs, who now trail by 7. Wake's awful shooting percentage is not going to do them any good, and someone is going to have to step up big here down the wire to grab a Wake victory. 52-45 FSU.
8:53 - Chas gets called for an offensive foul which it looked like he deserved. His 3rd and the team's 7th, so FSU will be in the bonus. 47-42 FSU.
9:53 - Wake hangs around with a great fast break dunk by Johnson to cut the lead to 2, but FSU puts a little dagger in Wake by hitting a three on the other end. Now Teague hits 2 freethrows and the lead is 3, 45-42.
11:11 - It looks like James Johnson just got called for a defensive foul which I don't think he deserved. The other official called a charge but got over ruled. James did not need to get that foul, particularly now that he's getting some points on the board. 41-38 FSU.
12:12 - Good run for Wake here, provided by James and LD who have both been relatively quiet today. only down 3 at 39-36.
13:40 - James Johnson scores! it took two missed Ish freethrows ot make it happen, but hopefully that can be the catalyst he needs.
14:14 - A couple more lazy possessions have cost Wake, but Skeen just did good work to get to the line but he misses both and the lead is 5, 35-30.
15:43 - 1st media timeout. Unfortunate travel call on Johnson, one ref looked like he was going to call a foul. But after a good defensive posession Johnson gets fouled and I believe will be going to the line after the timeout.
Definitely a much much stronger start to the 2nd half. The defensive is working very hard and the offense is generally making smarter decisions. 33-30 FSU.
2nd Half - 17:19 - Teague has a great block on an FSU fast break and Wake has 2 buckets to cut the lead to 1 at 31-30. After an FSU offensive foul it's Wake ball.
Halftime - All things considered Wake is pretty fortunate to only be down 5 at the half. The shooting was incredibly cold and at times the defense didn't play particularly well either. I think the switch to a zone defense was a very good call.
Three Deacs deserve credit for playing a good half of basketball: Ish, Teague, and David Weaver. Gary Clark's three deserves some credit as well. Chas and James Johnson need to step it up in the 2nd half. Johnson has done it before against FSU, so hopefully we'll see more of the same.
If Wake could only shoot slightly better than they do and avoid fumbling balls out of bounds Wake would be much better off.
0:00 - Wake scored 2 straight baskets, first a little alley oop from Ish to Weaver and then a three by Gary Clark. That cuts the lead to 31-26 and puts Wake in a much better place for the second half. I'll post full 1st half thoughts in a minute.
2:47 - Wake gets bailed out on a definite foul by an FSU travel. Weaver's 2 free throws cut the lead a bit, and Wake has the ball. 29-21.
3:17 - Final media timeout of the half. Wake seems to be getting things together a little bit, even thought the lead hasn't been cut out that much. Weaver made a great play inside to get fouled and will go to the line after the timeout.
Teague and Ish need to take this game over with their penetration. We can't count on anyone to shoot well outside or for James Johnson to all of a sudden turn it on. He might, but we can't wait for it. Still 29-19 FSU.
4:15 - on an Ish foul FSU makes 1 of 2. FSU has now been called for 2 straight fouls on the same possession, seems like Wake's first free throws have to be coming soon. 29-19 FSU.
5:08 - Wake scores 1 basket (an Ish runner) and FSU calls a timeout. It was definitely a better offensive posession, though. Cuts the lead a bit, 28-17.
6:09 - Wake has to call a timeout after FSU hits 2 straight 3's. FSU now leads 28-15. Wake is 7-20 overall shooting, which is just awful. I don't even know what to say about it, we just need better shot selection and flat-out better shots.
7:54 - 3rd media timeout. I don't feel like Wake is doing anything particularly well, they just aren't really terrible at anything either. Some possessions the offensive looks pretty strong, others you'd think they were a JV high school team. Defense has been a similar exercise. Some great and some terrible possessions.
8:25- Wake switches to a 2-3 zone after James picks up his 2nd foul with an illegal screen. Defense rebounding is a little lax, but Ish is doing good work on the offensive end. 21-15 FSU.
9:36 - Wake's interior defense is struggling - in fact they just seem a step slow all over the defense end. James Johnsons is now 0-3 having missed a three as well. It wasn't really even close. 21-13 FSU.
10:57 - Still no luck for Wake. FSU makes a good pass for a dunk and on our offensive end Clark has one go in and out. Chas picks up his 1st foul. Still no points for James Johnson. 17-11 FSU.
11:51- 2nd media timeout. Teague and Hale each just picked up fouls, and not necessarily smart ones either (although I didn't see Teague's as a foul). The run to tie the game back up was good, but Hale's missed shots were hurting us a lot. We need to keep penetrating and getting to the basket; it's much more effective.
I think we'll be okay, just need to settle in and make smart decisions. 15-11 FSU
12:30 - FSU gets 2 quick buckets. Harvey Hale has been in and has missed his first 2 shots. Gary Clark checks in, perhaps he can have more success. 15-11 FSU.
13:38 - Ish picks FSU's pocked and beats everyone down the floor for a very easy layup to tie the game at 11.
14:22 - LD looks to have rolled an ankle. Not good at all - limped to the bench and being checked by trainers. Hopefully they can tape him up and put him right back on the court. Foul on Weaver and FSU hits 2 freethrows, Wake trails 11-9.
14:39 - Weaver hits a three!!! Don't ever shoot it again!!!! Tied at 9!
15:24 - Wake plays an incredible defensive posession in which FSU doesn't even get to the foul line before turning it over with 10 seconds on the shot clock. Teague hit a midrange jumper to bring Wake even closer, now down only 9-6.
The big problem so far is turnovers. The defense has been decent and when Wake holds on to the ball they are making pretty good shots. Just avoid the turnovers and we'll be okay.
16:16 - Chas gets one inside and FSU gets called for an offensive foul. Weaver checks in. Wake down 9-4.
17:05 - FSU has hit a three and a couple quick twos, but both teams are turning the ball over plenty. More Wake than FSU. 7-2 FSU lead.
18:55 - L.D. with the first basket of the game from the elbow, and Wake makes a defensive stop. 2-0 Deacs.
Tipoff - First, I'm glad to see Steve Martin and Billy Packer calling this one instead of Capel and Hodgewood. Looks like those two are doing the studio show, and these guys have the actual call. Very good news.
Starting lineup - Teague, Ish, Chas, Johnson, L.D.
Wake wins the tip - what a surprise!
It's here. Time to make the miraculous run that will launch this team back into the national spotlight. Shock the basketball world. Make Skip proud. Roll the quad. You get the idea.
It all starts here.
I'll be blogging throughout the game, so if you're stuck at work or don't have access to the game otherwise, stick around here and I'll keep you updated. I won't exactly be able to do a play-by-play (which would be difficult to keep up with anyway) but I'll try to give an update whenever there's a long enough dead ball to post something. Should be every couple of minutes or so.
If you have comments or questions about the game or if you're able to see the game yourself feel free to leave comments in the comment section below - no login required. The more people who participate the more fun it will be.
We're 10 minutes (probably a bit more) away from tip, so check back then.
It’s been relatively slow since Saturday, which is okay with me since it gives me a little break. Baseball won 2 of 3 over the weekend against Clemson. It’s good to see them getting back on the right track after the rough start.
I doubt golf will get serious coverage here, but they won their tournament in South Carolina this weekend, coming back from 5th place on Monday to win. Congrats to them.
Not being around school I can’t really provide any significant basketball coverage until the game starts on Thursday, but I did see today that James Johnson was named 3rd team All-ACC. Not a bad honor, although I’m more interested to see how the Rookie team voting works out. Honestly, I find Jeff Teague’s body of work this season more impressive than Johnson’s.
I can’t promise anything, but I’m going to try to break down the tournament tonight or tomorrow as we prepare for Thursday’s matchup against
Time to start drinking the kool-aid: five game winning streak here we come!
If you’re looking for the recap of the victory over NC State it is posted here.
Today’s victory over NC State ends Wake’s regular season with a 17-12 record overall and a 7-9 mark in the ACC. Next weekend Wake and the rest of the ACC will head to
Before today’s game Wake was in a three-way tie for 7th. Had the tournament been starting Wake would have had the 8th seed since we hold the tiebreaker over
Now let’s look at the scenarios:
If GT wins Wake will have the 8 seed. The 8 plays the 9 at noon on Thursday. No matter what FSU will be that 9 seed. I think we have to like this matchup, but it is a little bit scary to have to beat a team for a 3rd straight time. That just isn’t ever easy to do. If we were to win that one we face the 1 seed (the winner of tonight’s Duke/UNC game) at noon Friday. Predicting anything past that is a pointless exercise right now because there are just too many options.
Without winning the ACC Tournament Wake doesn’t have a prayer of making the NCAA tournament. Maybe we get back in the discussion with a trip to the championship game, but I still don’t think we get in. An NIT bid seems all but guaranteed right now.
I’ll try to update this post in a timely fashion once the BC/GT game is over.
Update - Georgia Tech beat Boston College, meaning Wake will have the 8 seed and play 9 need Florida State in the first round, with a win moving them on to play top seed North Carolina. We can always dream...
The final third of the ACC schedule may not have been kind to the Demon Deacons, but this afternoon’s 78-67 win over NC State definitely eased some of the pain.
In my previous post I said that I hoped the Deacs came out seeking revenge for the one that got away in
By no means was it a perfect performance. After a very strong start that opened up a 12 point lead Wake went on a 6 minutes scoring drought and let NC State right back in—not the only time Wake couldn’t buy a bucket this afternoon.
Despite the scoring issues, the Deacs played hard for the full 40 minutes. There were a few hustle mistakes where Wake gave up rebounds they should have had, but other than those I have very few complaints.
Overall the team shot 47% and a very impressive 58% for 3. Had it not been for Harvey Hale’s missed free throw in the closing minutes of the game Wake would have been perfect from the foul line, but 17-18 is much better than anything we’ve seen this season.
Jeff Teague had another great afternoon, scoring 25 points and grabbing 7 boards. He has proven himself the most consistent performer on the team and finished strong.
Dino Gaudio decided not to start James Johnson today, something he probably deserved after his recent lackluster performances. He still played plenty of minutes and did play much better than he has recently, scoring 19 points, but only grabbing 4 boards.
Normally today would have been senior day, but apparently Wake’s planning on bring Cam Stanley back next season and did not honor him today. I imagine Wake still might sign another player here in the next month or two in which case Stanley would probably end up graduating and not returning, but we’ll just have to wait and see how that plays out.
I’m going to a do an analysis of the different ACC Tournament seeding possibilities and post that in the next hour. Should be interesting.
Today's game tips off at 12:00 from the Joel against Tobacco Road rival NC State.
I sincerely hope the Deacs are looking for revenge, because if they aren't then they probably aren't looking for anything but a loss. The last-second loss in Raleigh better motivate this team or else it could be another rough day.
Unfortuantely it does not appear that I'll have any way to view the game here in Texas. I may end up heading to a sports bar or something, but either way there won't be a live blog of the game. For those of you who enjoy those, I apologize (although if one or more of you wants to step up and do it, feel free to leave your analysis in the comments section during the game).
If I end up seeing the game I'll write about it afterwards, but if not I've got a couple of options of others who might be able to step up.
It'd be nice to get rid of this losing streak before the ACC Tournament, wouldn't it?
As you may or may not know, today is the last day of classes here at Wake before Spring Break. That is exciting, but the mid-terms that have just been finished were not. Because of that my posting this week has been a bit sporadic and I apologize.
So, to get all caught up, the basketball team has officially decided to start sucking and is trying to hold on to the NIT (which I'm not overly worried about losing), while the baseball team has continued to take things in the right direction (beating UNC-G 13-6 on Wednesday).
In football, the coaching staff is set for the spring, and all-everything offensive lineman James Wilson, who is currently on Florida's roster, has made a transfer request and wants to come to Wake. Definitely Awesome.
I'm headed out of Winston today and am currently unsure of my ability to see the game against NC State tomorrow, but I'm going to do my best. I'm not sure yet who's going to be writing about it - could be me, Steve Edwards, or Evan Lepler, but you'll definitely be covered by someone.
It would be nice to finish the regular season on a little bit of a high note but I can't say I'm too optimistic. Before the VT game I said that we'd have to see what kind of team showed up, and it looked like the wrong one showed. I'm not confident the Deacs will do anything differently tomorrow.
Nonetheless, I'd love to see the home schedule end on a win and maybe even take a small amount of momentum into the ACC Tournament. The Tournament is next weekend and I was pretty optimistic about it a couple of weeks ago (after Duke getting ACC Tournament tickets sounded like a wonderful idea) but things have changed a bit now. The tournament is obviously always fun, but it won't be quite the same now that we stink. You never know though, maybe once they have something to play for in the Tournament they'll pick things back up and make a run. It isn't out of the realm of possibility.
Needless to say, I'll be providing full coverage on Wake's participation in the Tournament as well as my general thoughts on how the Tournament goes.
The school officially announced today that the rearrangement of coaching responsibilities has been completed.
Former linebackers coach Brad Lambert has, as expected, been promoted to Defensive Coordinator, while Tim Billings will move from wide receivers to defensive secondary.
From Wake QB Tom Elrod is officially moving to QB coach from TE/FB coach, while new coaches Brain Knorr and Steve Russ take over TE/FBs and receivers, respectively.
None of this comes as any significant surprise, but it's nice to know everything has been straightened out going into spring practice here in a couple weeks. Given the last couple of weeks on the hardwood it's a pleasant change of pace to think about football season. I look forward to seeing the guys practice after spring break.
The answer to that question may very well be no.
I'll have more to say about the implications of this loss, probably tomorrow evening, once I've had the chance to think about it.
For now, I'll let the ugliness of this loss "marinate," if you will. Although Wake didn't give up any more ground in the second half, the 58-80 loss does not in any way indicate Wake played well in the second half. Virginia Tech just didn't need to keep pouring it on.
I don't have the full stats for this game yet, but there's no way Wake shot over 40% in the game, but I don't think the numbers will do the ugliness of this game justice. There seemed to be a lack of effort, lack of desire, and lack of just about anything Wake would have needed to win this game.
So now it's 4 straight losses for a team that looks like it doesn't see anything left to play for. Can they turn that around and try to make something happen in the ACC Tournament? Think on that we'll talk about it tomorrow.
7:50 - Well at least it isn't 30 any more... Wake trails 45-69.
I don't know what else to say about this one. We're getting beat bad (proven by the fact that Bobby Hoekstra's in the game) and don't show any signs of really making up all the necessary ground.
At this point the only thing that could salvage this game is getting to see Jimmy McQuilkin in the game.
14:35 - What a surprsie - Deron Washington and the Hokies continue to kill the Deacs, now growing the lead to 30 at 62-32. The question now is whether or not they'll get to 50.
I don't know what Dino said to the guys at halftime, but it must not have been enough to get them going. I feel like I'm watching the 1st half all over again.
Halftime - Wake couldn't even keep it under a 20 point deficit to end the half.
Basically Wake played the worst first half they've played all year, and it rivals the second half at BC for worst half of the season. VT deserves credit for playing a great half, but Wake lacked effort and hustle, plus they couldn't shoot a lick.
The question I posed before the game was whether or not Wake would come out firing or if the losing streak and lack of Tournament hopes would make them come out flat. Clearly we all hoped for the former, but all we've gotten is the latter. James has looked almost bored on the floor, and although Teague and Ish showed a couple flashes there wasn't much good to see. The offense was abysmal and the defense wasn't much better.
They always say that if you can be beat by 20 in the first half you can beat them by 20 in the second, but I can't imagine that it actually happens more than once in a blue moon, and I see practically no chance of it happening tonight.
I'll stick it out for the second half, but I don't expect it to be pretty.
3:38 - The slaughter continues, as Wake is now down 42-20. To be fair, VT is playing incredibly well, including shooting 50% from beyond the arc. Wake made a couple of decent offensive plays (Johnson and Skeen, I believe) but VT is out-running, out-hustling, and just flat out out-playing Wake. Ugh.
7:28- Now Wake trails 13-30. Ish showed a couple of flashes in the lane, but we've seen bad shots from Chas, Harvey, James, and just about anyone you can name. Teague hit a couple of shots, but even in those cases the offense didn't really seem to be doing anything.
I don't even know what can be done to salvage this right now. The team isn't even showing flashes of brilliance or indicating they can do anything to cut into this lead. Baring an incredible outburst from some individual player I'm not sure much will salvage this. I never thought I'd be saying that so early in a game, but I feel terrible about this one.
11:13 - Did you read what I wrote at at the 14:57 mark? Well the score is now 21-9. Other than that, I don't really need to write anything else because I would only end up writing the same thing. I guess I'll add that James Johnson is really frustrating me (lack of hustle, awful shooting, etc.). Now I'm done.
14:57 - Well wasn't that a wonderful start. Wake trails 13-3 only 5 minutes into the game. The offense has been about as abysmal as it could possibly be and the defense hasn't been any better. I could try to offer more substantial analysis, but there isn't much more to say. If you can imagine awful ball movement on offense with terrible shots, and defense that is a similar level of bad, you have the appropriate picture of this game.
I previewed the game earlier here, so I won't say much else about it before the game.
We all know a win here would be great. The question is whether or not the young guys will respond in this situation. We'll see what happens.
Feel free to share your comments and thoughts in the comment section below.
I'll post some of my thoughts throughout the game, particularly at halftime.
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Interesting matchup tonight for Wake's final road game of the season. They travel to Virginia Tech to take on the Hokies, a team currently squarely on a bubble for the NCAA Tournament.
For Virginia Tech this game could very well make or break their trip to the tournament. For Wake it would be a nice season sweep to have, plus it would be great to break this ugly losing streak.
I'm curious to see what kind of Wake team shows up to play tonight. For the first time the Deacs are pretty clearly on the outside looking in. Will they pack it in or will they come out fighting?
I would love to say I'm confident we'll see a team that's fighting, but to be honest I'm not. This is the first time these Freshman have been in this position and I don't know how they'll respond. Since the road is always plenty tough anyway, I'm inclined to believe tonight could be pretty messy.
Virginia Tech is 17-11 overall, 8-6 in conference, 11-2 at home, and 5-2 in conference at home. They are also 5-2 against the RPI 50-100.
Wake is currently 16-11 but only 2-9 on the road, and 1-6 on the road in conference (6-8 overall). Wake's an even 4-4 against RPI 50-100. Before the season many (including myself) said the season could be considered pretty successful with an 8-8 conference showing. Right now that means winning both of the last two. Let's hope the team has the same goals we do and shows up to get it done.
Isn't it amazing how a basketball team can play with your emotions? One week you beat Duke and are seriously believing that this team should and will make the NCAA Tournament. Three straight losses later and all of those dreams are gone, replaced by the depressing thought of heading to the NIT.
Obviously Wake is not mathematically eliminated - the beauty of being able to win the ACC Tournament - however baring that semi-miraculous run the Deacs 2008 Tournament hopes are finished. Yesterday's 87-79 overtime loss at Georgia Tech put the final nails in that coffin.
Wake didn't really even deserve to take the game to overtime. The Deacs shot 39% from the field and were 5-26 on 3-pointers (19%). They also missed their first four freethrows and four of their last five. All of a sudden a team that had made so many strides looked like the team we watched play games in December and early January.
It was a very physical game (and in most cases Wake came out better than GT in the fouls department) and plenty sloppy. Had it not been for Chas McFarland's career afternoon (28 points and 12 rebounds) Wake wouldn't have even been in position to make a run and send the game to OT.
Any time James Johnson picks up 3 fouls in the first six minutes of the game and then plays ineffectively in the second half (only scoring 4 points to go along with his 7 rebounds) Wake is going to be in trouble. Other than the aforementioned play of Chas as well as a pretty solid game from Jeff Teague there were not many bright spots for Wake.
So back to the question in the title: Where do we go from here? The obvious first step is to go win both of the games this coming week and be in the best shape for the ACC Tournament as possible. The team has to know they're basically out of it now, so we have to wonder whether or not they will throw in the towel or keep competing at a high level. I believe Dino can keep them competing, but with all these young players I'm not 100% confident they will.
As fans, I think it is important to not write this season off as a disaster. As disappointing as this 3-game collapse has been, the team has done things most of us didn't anticipate they could or would do. The development of the freshman class has been incredible and the valuable experience they've gained this season will serve them well in coming seasons.
Lastly, we can all enjoy whatever the post season does hold. Even though we wont be heading to March Madness and will have to put our hopes of shelling out for Final Four tickets on hold until next year, an NIT run can still be fun and I hope everyone will full support the team through it.
Yesterday's loss was tough and painful. Unlike the last couple of losses we can't just say "move on and get the next one because we'll still be okay if we do." This one cost a bit more, and that sting doesn't just go away.
Incredibly ugly basketball and Wake didn't exactly deserve to win this one. Nonetheless, the run at the end of the game gave Wake fans a frustrating sense of false hope.
I've got to run for now, but I've got plenty of frustrating things to say about this one, it will just have to happen later (late tonight or tomorrow morning). It looks like the Tournament is slipping through our fingers barring an ACC Tournament run.
First of all, I apologize for not having any preview for this game or even letting you know there wouldn't be one. Things got surprisingly busy for me towards the end of this weekend and I just wasn't able to make it happen.
HUGE thanks to Evan Lepler for the excellent work he did for Old Gold & Blog Thursday night. His services are greatly appreciated, both because he was able to lend me a hand and because he did some superb writing. We'll have to forgive him for not bringing home a win.
I've been on the road this afternoon for the beginning of the game which is why there wasn't a post until now, but I have been listening on the radio. Obviously the first half has been frustrating in many ways (continued foul trouble and poor decision making) but Wake has managed to hang in there this half and Wake will have a chance in the second half. Having this game in very reachable single digits at the half is great.
Feel free to post your thoughts and comments throughout the game. I'm still pretty busy so I may check in with some thoughts a couple of times but not regularly. I do hope to have a little post-game analysis ready right at the end of the game.
Let's hope the guys keep it together and grab this win. At the half, Wake trails 44-37.