Previewing Wake Forest

NC State (15-3, 4-1) opens the ACC schedule tonight against rival Wake Forest (9-8, 2-3). Pack Pride takes a closer look at the Demon Deacons -- tip-off is set for 7:00 pm.


    G C.J. Harris (14.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
    G Codi Miller-McIntyre (7.8 ppg, 2.8 apg)
    F Travis McKie (15.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg)
    F Arnaud WM. Adala Moto (5.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
    F Devin Thomas (6.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg)

    Travis McKie - The talented junior leads Wake in scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.2). A versatile forward, McKie has the skill to beat defenders off the dribble but can also score in the paint.

    Wake Forest Game Notes

    • Coming off two road games last week, Wake Forest is set to return home to the friendly confines of the Lawrence Joel Coliseum when the Demon Deacons host rival NC State on Tuesday evening.

    • Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Joel.

    • Tuesday's game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports. Steve Martin (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (color) will call the action.

    • The game can also be heard on the Wake Forest IMG Sports Network and online at Stan Cotten (play-by-play) and Mark Freidinger (color) have the call.

    • Wake Forest is coming off a 66-65 loss at Virginia Tech on Saturday in Blacksburg. The Hokies' Robert Brown hit a jumper in the lane with 12 seconds remaining for the game-winning bucket. The Deacons had a chance to win it in the final moments, but C.J. Harris' runner in the lane bounced off the rim and Tyler Cavanaugh's putback was no good.

    • Travis McKie posted his fourth double-double of the season with 20 points and a career high-tying 15 rebounds. He had a double-double in the first half with 12 points and 10 boards in the period. For the game, McKie went 8-for-12 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range.

    • Devin Thomas had 12 points and eight rebounds, while Harris added 10 points and Codi Miller-McIntyre nine points with four assists and no turnovers. Cavanaugh chipped in eight points off the bench, hitting a pair of 3-pointers.

    NC State (15-3, 4-1 ACC) is coming off a 66-62 win over Clemson on Sunday in Raleigh. The No. 18-ranked Wolfpack have won 11 of their past 12 games but have lost two of three road games on the year.

    • NC State leads the all-time series with Wake Forest, 136-99. In its 236th meeting, the series is the second-most frequent matchup in the ACC.

    • The series dates back to the 1910-11 season when the two schools were Raleigh-area rivals. Wake Forest took the first meeting, 33-6, and then went on to win 10 of the first 13 contests.

    NEXT UP...
    • Wake Forest will hit the road again for a Saturday matinee at Georgia Tech on Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. The Yellow Jackets (10-6, 0-4 ACC) will be finishing a triple-dip of Tobacco Road after coming off games at Duke and at North Carolina.

    • The Deacons will then return home to host rival Duke on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 8 p.m. The Blue Devils (16-1, 3-1 ACC) will play at Miami on Wednesday and host Maryland on Saturday before facing the Deacons.

    Travis McKie put up double-doubles last week at Clemson and Virginia Tech, including a 20-point and 15-rebound performance against the Hokies. McKie has now scored in double figures in nine straight games and ranks sixth in the ACC in both scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg).

    McKie carried Wake Forest at times against Virginia Tech, making eight of his 12 field goal attempts and drilling a season high four 3-pointers, including two in the final two minutes, one that tied the score and one that gave the Deacons the lead. McKie has four double-doubles on the season and 16 for his career. He ranks fourth among active ACC players in career double-doubles.

    McKie has been a stat stuff for the Deacons. He has at least one assist, block and steal in five of the past six games with an assist-less game at Duke the only blemish during the stretch.

    On the year, McKie leads the team in scoring, rebounding and steals (28) while ranking third in blocks (13), third in 3-pointers made (16) and fourth in assists (23).

    Wake Forest has come alive on the offensive glass in conference season and is currently tied for third in ACC games with 12.4 offensive rebounds per game after averaging only nine offensive boards per game in the non-conference slate.

    The Deacons pulled down 18 and 17 offensive rebounds against Clemson and Virginia Tech, respectively, with Travis McKie leading the way with 11 offensive boards across the two contests.

    The offensive rebounding was especially important against the Tigers due to the Deacons' poor shooting night, and 17 of Wake Forest's 44 points in the game came off of second chances.

    The Demon Deacons have improved significantly at keeping control of the ball, giving up 12 or fewer turnovers in each of their past four games. The recent lack of turnovers is the extension of a larger trend that has seen Wake Forest lose the turnover battle only twice in its last 11 games.

    The Deacons have won the turnover battle seven times during the stretch and tied it twice (at UNCG, at Clemson). Wake Forest lost the turnover battle at Duke and at Virginia Tech.

    Over the Deacons past four contests against Virginia, Boston College, Clemson and Virginia Tech, starting point guard Codi Miller-McIntyre has dished out 11 assists while turning the ball over only five times, and versatile forward Travis McKie has nine dimes to go with only five turnovers.

    • Wake Forest is the only school to have two players ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in rebounding. Travis McKie is sixth (8.2 rpg) and Devin Thomas is 10th (6.9).

    • Thomas leads all ACC freshmen in rebounding and is one of just three ranked among the top 25.

    • Travis McKie is one of three players, along with Duke's Mason Plumlee and BC's Ryan Anderson, to rank in the top 10 in the ACC in both scoring and rebounding. McKie is sixth in both categories.

    • Duke and Wake Forest are the only schools to have multiple players ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in scoring. McKie (15.3 ppg) and C.J. Harris (14.9) rank sixth and eighth respectively.

    • Following the NC State game, the Deacons will play at Georgia Tech on Saturday, Jan. 26, in the newly-renovated Mc- Camish Pavilion. The Yellow Jackets (10-6, 0-4 ACC) will be completing a triple-dip of Tobacco Road after playing games at Duke and North Carolina before hosting the Deacons. GT lost at Duke 73-57 last week and plays at UNC on Wednesday.

    • Following the Georgia Tech game, Wake Forest will return home to host rival Duke on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 8 p.m. The Blue Devils (16-1, 3-1 ACC) will play at Miami on Wednesday and host Maryland on Saturday before facing the Deacons.

    Freshman forward Devin Thomas has transformed himself into one of the top rebounders in the ACC midway through his first year in the league.

    Over the past six games, including five in conference play, Thomas has averaged just under 10 rebounds per game, pulling down a total of 59 boards during the stretch. Thomas was averaging just 5.5 per game before going on his recent tear.

    He has had double-digit rebounding performances in three of the past six games, one of which helped the Deacons outrebound Duke 43-35 in Cameron Indoor.

    Thomas grabbed 14 boards against Xavier and 12 against Duke for the two highest totals of his freshman season, but perhaps even more encouraging than the numbers was the way that he has battled experienced post players like the Blue Devils' Mason Plumlee to secure the rebounds.

    Thomas followed with eight rebounds against Virginia and another 11 against Boston College, including five on the offensive end. Thomas has led the team in rebounding in six of the past eight games.

    On the season, Thomas ranks 10th in the ACC with 6.9 rebounds per game. He is averaging 9.0 rebounds in conference games to rank sixth in the league.

    Wake Forest has exhibited an ability to turn in strong finishes to the first half, in which the Deacons claim control of the game heading into the locker room.

    • Against Boston College, Wake Forest scored the final five points of the first half to turn a 36-33 deficit into a 38-36 halftime lead. The Deacons also had a 13-0 run late in the first half to climb out of an eight-point hole.

    • Against Virginia, Wake Forest used an 11-6 run over the final seven minutes of the first half to turn an 18-16 lead into a 29-22 advantage at the break.

    • At Duke, Wake Forest closed the first half on a 9-3 run, capped by a C.J. Harris layup at the buzzer, to pull within 41-30 at the break. The Deacons had trailed 38-21 at the 4:20 mark.

    • Against Xavier, Wake Forest erased a 24-21 deficit by outscoring the Musketeers 10-2 over the final 3:23 of the half. The Deacons led 31-26 at the break.

    • At UNCG, Wake Forest overcame a 27-26 hole by finishing the half with a 12-2 run over the final 2:05. The Deacons led 38-29 at halftime.

    • Against Furman, Wake Forest used a 10-0 run to close the half after trailing 30-27 at the 2:28 mark. The Deacons led 37-30 at halftime.

    • Against Seton Hall, Wake Forest extended a one-point lead (26-25) with a 10-2 run to end the first half. The Deacons trailed 23-20 at the 3:43 mark and closed the half with a 16-4 run to lead 36-27.

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