#105 Wake Forest Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #105
Conference Rank: #12 ACC

Wake Forest Team Page#105 Wake Forest Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Wake Forest Basketball Tickets

Wake Forest did not have too many good moments to build on during Coach Danny Manning’s first season with the team. The Demon Deacons went just 5-13 in ACC play and there were only a couple quality wins over North Carolina State and Miami to hang their hat on. Perhaps the bigger issue was playing away from home. They did take Syracuse and Florida State to overtime on the road, but they also got beat pretty bad at Georgia Tech and Boston College, two places where anybody who wants to compete for an NCAA Tournament spot must win. Senior guard Codi Miller-McIntyre should again lead the way after averaging 14.5 points, 4.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 2014-2015. His outside shooting is still inconsistent, but Miller-McIntyre can finish around the basket and will take over a game when needed.

2014-15 Record: 13-19, 5-13
2014-15 Postseason: none
Coach: Danny Manning
Coach Record: 13-19 at Wake Forest, 51-48 overall

Who’s Out:
Only one starter is lost and that is forward Darius Leonard. Leonard only averaged 17.4 minutes per game though and averaged 5.7 points and 2.5 rebounds. His production is certainly replaceable and Wake Forest has plenty of options to do just that. Another forward, Aaron Rountree is also gone. He was in the regular rotation, but averaged just 2.5 points and 1.1 rebounds per game. Miles Overton had a promising freshman campaign back in 2013-2014, but only played in a handful of games early last season before opting to transfer.

Who’s In:
Coach Manning brings in three scholarship freshmen who should at least bolster the competition at a few positions. Bryant Crawford is one of the better point guards in this class, but there are a couple of seniors in front of him and he will have time to learn the ropes in Winston-Salem. Crawford is a scoring point guard and should be a nice replacement for Miller-McIntyre in 2016-2017. The frontcourt adds Doral Moore and Bryant Crawford. Moore, a 7-1, 250 pound center, has the higher ceiling. Obviously it is his 7-1 frame that makes Moore an interesting prospect, but he is more than just size. Moore is a solid athlete who has a decent offensive game for a freshman. Walk-ons Anthony Bilas and Britton Anderson add depth on the perimeter.

Who to Watch:
The other three starters returning along with Miller-McIntyre are Mitchell Wilbekin, Devin Thomas and Konstantinos Mitoglou. Wilbekin followed Manning after signing with Tulsa and had a promising freshman campaign with the Demon Deacons, averaging 7.2 points and 1.6 assists. A combo guard, Wilbekin shot 38.6 percent from beyond the arc and proved to be a very good scorer who can also be a secondary ballhandler, which is a nice asset to have especially for a team that ranked second to last in the ACC in turnovers per game. Devin Thomas is the bruiser in the paint. He averaged 12.0 points and 8.8 rebounds and the offense can be quite dynamic when the offense remembers to work through Thomas in the paint. As a freshman, Mitoglou averaged 9.7 points per game and knocked down a team high 52 three-pointers. He spent his summer playing with Greece FIBA U-19 championships and he is suddenly a very experienced sophomore. At 6-10, Mitoglou can shoot over most opposing defenders. Although not technically returning starters, both Cornelius Hudson and Greg McClinton started at least ten games last season. Hudson, a 6-6 wing, is mostly a shooter and that is why his offensive spark is a nice thing to have off of the bench. McClinton is not much of a scorer, but he is a lanky 6-7 athlete who is still getting better after an ACL injury back in 2013.

Final Projection:
Another player to keep an eye on is Madison Jones. He may not earn many starts, but Jones is a very good ballhandler who Coach Manning will call on often when Miller-McIntyre or Wilbekin need a break. However, Wake Forest does need to take better care of the basketball for a team that has so many players who can handle the ball. The defense has a lot of work to do too. The Demon Deacons were last in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 72.1 points per game, and field-goal percentage defense. The last time we saw Wake Forest they were giving up 81 points in a loss to a bad Virginia Tech team in the ACC Tournament. A year in Coach Manning’s system will surely help, but there is a long way to go still. For now, the Demon Deacons should be looking for improvement and hope for the future. A .500 record and any postseason would be a step in the right direction.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Codi Miller-McIntyre, Senior, Guard, 14.5 points per game
Mitchell Wilbekin, Sophomore, Guard, 7.2 points per game
Greg McClinton, Sophomore, Forward, 3.4 points per game
Konstantinos Mitoglou, Sophomore, Forward, 9.7 points per game
Devin Thomas, Senior, Forward, 12.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.0 (129th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.1 (303, 15)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.1 (243, 13)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.0 (280, 15)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.4 (169, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.6 (201, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 63.8 (326, 15)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (74, 6)
Assists Per Game: 14.1 (70, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (252, 14)

Madness 2016 NBA Draft Rankings:
#62 Devin Thomas

Madness 2015 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#74 Doral Moore
#89 Bryant Crawford


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