Wake Forest coach Danny Manning told us prior to Friday's exhibition that it would be the last "free-flowing" game in terms of starting lineups and playing time, yet it still ended up being illustrative in terms of what to expect this season.
Still, there are several key points that can be gleaned from watching the exhibition Friday in addition to what we saw during the three-game trip to the Bahamas and the handful of practices we've been able to attend during the summer.
- Brandon Childress belongs. He is legit and will be a valuable player in Manning's rotation. He will be an immediate impact player for the Deacs.
- Though he has a big body and a soft touch, Sam Japhet-Mathias will probably need additional development before being able to contribute in a meaningful manner.
- The other two freshmen, Rich Washington and Donovan Mitchell will have to break out in some fashion during the non-conference slate to break through into the main rotation for conference play.
- Greg McClinton played just three first-half minutes in the exhibition against Piedmont, and averaged just 7.1 minutes a game in ACC play last season. It's hard to see him getting the edge for minutes over Austin Arians or Keyshawn Woods this year.
- That being said, Manning likes to play a lot of players. He'd much rather have a 9-11 man rotation, though I'm just seeing eight right now. There's still plenty of time for (especially the freshman) players to prove themselves and earn more playing time than I've projected.
- From a starting lineup perspective through the season, you can chisel the names Bryant Crawford, John Collins and Dinos Mitoglou in stone. The other two spots will be filled from any mix of these four: Mitchell Wilbekin, Brandon Childress, Keyshawn Woods and Austin Arians.
About the chart:
- The left column is my projection for average minutes through the entire season. These are NOT the numbers you would normally see in a cumulative statistics chart. Those "minutes per game" numbers are averaged per game actually played, not per number of games the team has played. For instance, Trent Van Horn is credited with playing 4.0 minutes per game during the ACC slate last year for Wake, even though he played just 32 minutes against ACC competition. He only appeared in eight games, however, so that is how his average is computed.
- That's NOT how I did it, however, for I wanted to total number of minutes to equal 200, the number of minutes played by the team in a regulation (non-overtime) game.
- The right column is the number of minutes I would expect the core rotation to play in a competitive game late in the season. It wouldn't completely surprise me to see one of three options added for 5-10 minutes to create a 9-player rotation. Those three options would be McClinton, Van Horn or Washington/Donovan.
- All these projections are obviously assuming no injuries, suspensions or surprising attrition.
|Trent Van Horn||2.50|