Villanova - Wake Forest Preview

Villanova and Wake Forest both won today in Charleston to advance to the semi-final game of the Gildan Charleston Classic. Let's take a look at the match-up ...

Villanova and Wake Forest will tip off tomorrow at 1:30 PM on ESPN2 in the semi-final of the Charleston Classic.

Wake Forest shot lights out on offense to drop a 103-81 loss on UTEP in their opening game after Villanova held off Western Michigan 76-65 in the first game.

Both teams are 3-0 on the young season.  Wake Forest has posted wins over Redford (80-59), Bucknell (94-74) and UTEP (103-81).  Offensively, they have been hitting three-pointers at a 47.7% clip (14th best in the country) and have an effective field goal percentage of 61.3% (also 14th best).  

Comparing each squad from a Four Factors perspective after three games:

VUSports (data per Kenpom.com)

... a few things stand out:

  • Villanova isn't getting to the foul line at a high rate
  • Though the Cats have done a poor job on the offensive glass - Wake Forest hasn't done a great job keeping teams off the O-Boards
  • Wake is a good offensive rebounding team (and the Cats have struggled a bit defensive rebounding the ball)

Who to watch on this Wake Forest team coached by Kansas legend, Danny Manning:

Starting Soph, PG, Bryant Crawford (from Kris Jenkins alma mater, Gonzaga (DC)) is a 6-3, athletic PG with the defensive ability to give Jalen Brunson some problems.  He is not a great deep shooter but can get hot from three at times.  He is more likely to use his athleticism to dribble-drive.

John Collins (6-10, 235 lb, Soph, F) is off to a very good start to the season.  He is active and athletic and likes to get things done in the paint.  He can block shots, rebound, and defend.  He has yet to take a three-pointer but shoots 64.5% from two-point range.

Konstantinos Mitoglou (6-10, 255 lb, Jr) This big man has both inside and outside game.  He is knocking down three-balls at a 46.2% clip and making 80% of his FTs so you don't want to foul him.  He is shooting only 42.9% from two-point range - so look to get in his grill when he receives a pass beyond the arc and try to get him to put it on the deck or pass it.

Keyshawn Woods (6-3, 205 lb, Soph) is shooting an insane 72.7% from three-point range on 11 attempts and 75% from two-point range on 16 attempts.  He also has a quality Assist rate that helps to contribute to his 168.3 ORtg.  The Cats will look to use some of their length and toughness on the wing to make things tougher on Woods.

Mitchell Wilbelkin (6-2, 175 lb, Junior) has been playing a good chunk of the guard/wing minutes for the Demon Deacons.  He is draining 46.2% of his three-pointers and is taking most of his shots from outside the arc.  He is shooting only 37.5% from two-point range.

Other players getting rotation minutes for Wake include: Doral Moore (7-1, 265 lb, Soph, C), Austin Arians (6-6, 230 lb, Sr), Greg McClinton (6-7, 200 lb, Junior), and Brandon Childress (6-0, 190 lb, back-up PG).  Childress has been focusing on distributing the rock while being selective with his shots.  Moore is a defensive rebounder, shot-blocker and opportunity bucket guy in the paint.  Arians is shooting 46.2% from three-point range and not looking to create much from mid-range or close in.

It will be interesting to see how Jay Wright schemes the defense to combat the hot-shooting Demon Deacons.  It would not appear that a heavy dose of zone is in order.  The Cats may decide to apply a lot of ball pressure and try to force Wake Forest to put it on the deck.  On the other end, Villanova will be looking for ways to get Kris Jenkins back on track and perhaps show improvement in terms of ball and player movement and passing.  The offense has been a bit stagnant - in part because the two best scorers early in the season have been Josh Hart and Eric Paschall and neither is a great distributor ... also, the team continues to adjust to life without Daniel Ochefu in the low post.

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Link to full Gildan Charleston Classic Bracket

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