Wake Forest Demon Deacons Basketball at UNC-Greensboro Preview


The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have been tied for the worst team in the ACC in non-conference play with the Boston College Eagles, as both teams are 5-5 and the only ACC programs with SRS totals under zero. The Deacs, however, should be heading into the holidays happy with what should be a road victory over North Carolina Greensboro that will push Wake Forest above .500.

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UNC-Greensboro is one of the worst defensive teams in the country, but they have actually been more efficient on offense (but barely) than Wake Forest this season. Despite the slight offensive advantage, they are clearly the worse team. Even so, the Spartans have three players the Demon Deacons will need to focus on closely in senior guard Derrell Armstrong, junior swingman Trevis Simpson, and freshman Kayel Locke who chose the Spartans over Appalachian State.

At the front and center for the Deacs will be standouts Travis McKie and C.J. Harris, who are clearly the two players who carry this Wake Forest team. Harris isn’t going to be winning any awards for his defense or for filling up  the stat sheet, because he is a pure scorer. There’s no problem with that when averaging 14.5 points per game though, and McKie also puts in a healthy 13.6 per contest for Wake Forest. That scoring is key because they average under 70 points per game as a team and are outside the top 150 in offensive efficiency.

Harris has been lights out this season as a scorer, but it is McKie who is pacing this team on the boards and on defense. Easily the team’s best rebounder, the sophomore is averaging 8.3 rebounds per game to go with two combined blocks and steals in each game as well.

UNC-Greensboro is a pretty trigger-happy team overall, and they love to take their chances from beyond the arc with Trevis Simpson averaging over seven attempts from downtown per game. Armstrong is also a high volume three-point shooter, and both players shoot 35.9% each from beyond the arc. The problem is that they are the Spartans best shooters, and this is a team that could stand to cut down on those threes. They have a lot of success in averaging a high amount of points per game with a high-octane offense, but their porous defense will make this a high-scoring road victory that WF sorely needs to push them in to conference play.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.