Wake Forest heads into Wednesday night's match-up fresh off a victory over North Carolina. They enter the game ranked #2 and one of only three teams still unbeaten (14-0). Wake is off to the second best start in school history, and best since 1980-81.
Boston College enters this game looking to snap a 2 game losing streak and prove that the UNC game was not a fluke.
2nd year Head Coach Dino Gaudio has done a remarkable job turning the program around after the sudden passing of the late Skip Prosser. Gaudio has reeled in two top recruiting classes and his players have quickly developed into solid contributors. Wake Forest is a young and talented team with plenty of size in the paint.
They are led by former BC recruiting target Jeff Teague. Teague, a sophomore point guard, is widely considered one of the top players in the conference and a future lottery pick in the draft. He is averaging 20.6 points and is shooting a remarkable 54% from three-point land.
He has a similar playing style to that of Tyrese Rice. They are both quick, score first point guards. Both are able to penetrate the lane with a running floater or dish it off to his big men. This is what makes this an intriguing match-up and perhaps a game full of Sports Center highlights.
The Demon Deacon's front court consists of 6'9 James Johnson, 6'9 Al-Farouq Aminu, and 7'0 Chas McFarland. Of that group, the freshman Al-Farouq Aminu is the most talented. He was a top 10 player coming out of high school and he has lived up the billing thus far, averaging 12.7 points and 8.7 boards a game.
Johnson, a sophomore power forward is building off his great freshman campaign last year, scoring 13 points and pulling down 8 rebounds a game this season.
McFarland, a junior, has developed into a solid center for Wake Forest. He appeared to be over matched his first two seasons, but has grown more comfortable in the paint this year and has improved both offensively and defensively. He was a major reason why Tyler Hansbrough shot just 3-12 from the field.
The good news for the Eagles is that Tyrese Rice has always played well against Wake Forest. He has averaged over 21 points a game in 4 career games including 32 against them last year in a 114-73 victory at home. The Eagles will need Rice to come up big on offense and get going early to keep up with the Demon Deacons.
Joe Trapani and Josh Southern will also need to break out of their scoring slumps and contribute offensively. Josh did a great job on Hansbrough and will have his hands full against the talented forwards of Wake Forest.
BC is a team that seems to get motivated for big games, and this one certainly fits the bill. They will need to play better interior defense and not allow Teague to dominate the game like he did against North Carolina. If Southern and Trapani stay out of foul trouble and assert themselves defensively, this has the potential to be a great one, decided by the two best guards in the conference.
Classes resume for all undergrads on Wednesday, so expect Conte to be packed for this game, as students and fans hope to witness another huge upset by BC. If the Superfans show up ready to make some noise, this one should be one of the better home games of the season, in terms of excitement and national interest.
This will be the first of two regular season games the teams will play against each other. The second game will be played in Winston-Salem on February 8th.
Wake Forest Preview
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