North Carolina (16-2, 5-0 ACC) vs. Wake Forest (10-7, 1-4 ACC)
Chapel Hill, N.C. – Dean E. Smith Center
Wednesday, 7 p.m.
ESPN2 (Bob Wichusen, LaPhonso Ellis)
“The bottom line is that we just have to understand the type of team that we are in order to have success. We've got to go out there and we've got to make sure that we understand scouting reports and make sure that we're not making mental mistakes.” – Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning following his team’s loss to Syracuse on Saturday
Season to Date: Wake Forest enters Wednesday’s contest with a 10-7 (1-4 ACC) record. The Demon Deacons accumulated some solid wins during nonconference play, upsetting then No. 13-Indiana in Maui before defeating UCLA, Arkansas and LSU prior to the end of 2015. Danny Manning’s squad has been unable to replicate that success in conference play, however, earning its lone ACC win over winless N.C. State.
Devin’s Double Trouble: Senior forward Devin Thomas is having a breakout season for Wake Forest, averaging 16.4 points per game (12th ACC) on 57.6 percent shooting (8th ACC) and grabbing 10.5 rebounds per game (2nd ACC). The Harrisburg, Pa. native will look to exploit UNC where N.C. State found success on Saturday: the offensive boards. Thomas is averaging 3.2 offensive rebounds per game and ranks 14th in the league in offensive rebounding percentage (11.9). He is also the ACC’s active leader in career double-doubles with 31.
Wake’s Sleeping Defense: Wake Forest has struggled on the defensive end this season, allowing an ACC-worst 79 points per game. Opponents are scoring 104.1 points per 100 possessions on the Demon Deacons, bringing their defensive efficiency ranking down to 200th in the nation, according to kenpom.com. Wake Forest ranks 15th in the conference in field goal percentage defense (44.9) and ninth in 3-point field goal percentage defense (34.9).
Double-Digit Demon Deacons: No team in the ACC boasts more players who have scored 10 or more points in a game this season than Wake Forest. Eleven different players have scored in double-figures this season, the most Wake has had since 11 players did it in the 1982-83 season. Three starters are averaging double figures: Thomas (16.4), freshman guard Bryant Crawford (12.4) and sophomore forward Dinos Mitoglou (11.6). The Demon Deacons are one of the few teams in the league that spread the wealth as well as UNC with seven different players are averaging more than seven points per game.
McIntyre’s Return: After missing the first eight games of the season due to injury, senior guard Codi Miller-McIntyre is finding his groove in conference play. Miller-McIntyre has posted two 20-point games in his last four outings, including a 22-point effort against Virginia Tech last Wednesday. The Concord, N.C. native scored 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting in the lone meeting between these two teams in the 2014-15 season.
Run Forest Run: The Demon Deacons are the 65th fastest team in the country, according to kenpom.com, averaging 71.9 possessions per 40 minutes of play. By comparison, North Carolina averages less than two more with an adjusted tempo rating of 73.2.
Random Stat of the Day: Wake Forest is the only ACC team with a higher winning percentage away from home than at home, according to the school’s sports information office. The Demon Deacons are 5-3 away from Winston-Salem and 5-4 at home.
Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Demon Deacons, 87-71, at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 21, 2015. UNC shot 60.3 percent from the floor, including a 69.2 percent mark after halftime. Brice Johnson led UNC with 19 points, while Justin Jackson (17) and Kennedy Meeks (16) were also in double figures.
Series History: UNC leads the all-time series, 157-66. The Tar Heels have won 10 of the last 13 meetings.
2 Devin Thomas (6-9, 245, Sr.) – 16.4 ppg, 10.5 rpg
10 Mitchell Wilbekin (6-2, 175, So.) - 8.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg
0 Codi Miller-McIntyre (6-3, 205, Sr.) - 8.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg
13 Bryant Crawford (6-3, 200, Fr.) - 12.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
44 Dinos Mitoglou (6-10, 245, So.) - 11.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg
25 Cornelius Hudson (6-7, 195, So.) – 7.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg
11 Greg McClinton (6-7, 200, So.) – 4.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg
20 John Collins (6-10, 2225, Fr.) – 7.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg