#51 Wake Forest Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

2017-2018 Overall Rank: #51
Conference Rank: #8 ACC

Wake Forest Logo
Wake Forest finally put it all together in Danny Manning’s third season. After only winning a combined seven ACC games in Manning’s first two years, the Demon Deacons pulled out nine conference wins in 2016-17, earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament. John Collins, the star of last season’s squad has moved on to the NBA, but Wake Forest still has plenty of talent on the roster. The Demon Deacons should be competitive in the ACC yet again, but getting back to the NCAA Tournament without Collins will be a tough task.
2016-17 Record: 19-14, 9-9
2016-17 Postseason:
NCAA Tournament
Danny Manning
Coach Record:
43-52 at Wake Forest, 81-81 overall
Who’s Out:
The biggest loss for the Demon Deacons will unquestionably be John Collins. Collins had a colossal breakout as a sophomore, averaging 19.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and shooting 62.2% from the field. Collins earned First Team All-ACC honors and won ACC Most Improved Player. Collins played so well that he left school early and was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. Wake Forest will also be without starters Austin Arians and Dinos Mitoglou. Arians played one season for the Demon Deacons as a grad transfer and started all 33 games. Arians averaged 8.5 points and 1.9 rebounds, while leading the team in made 3-pointers. Mitoglou left to pursue professional basketball after starting 32 games last season. Mitoglou averaged 8.9 points and 6.1 rebounds as a junior. Greg McClinton elected to transfer after playing just 7.1 minutes per game in 26 appearances as a junior. Trent VanHorn has graduated after seeing action in 20 games during his senior season.
Who’s In:
Danny Manning added some important new pieces to help replace the minutes lost from last season. Terrence Thompson joins the Demon Deacons as an experienced grad transfer from Marshall. Thompson started 21 games last season, averaging 9.1 points and 6.5 rebounds. Thompson won’t be able to replace Collins’ production, but he will give Wake Forest reliable minutes at power forward. Manning also added three freshmen, headlined by four-star recruit Chaundee Brown. Brown is a consensus top-40 recruit and is the highest ranked player to join Wake Forest since 2008. Melo Eggleston also joins the roster as a three-star forward. Eggleston was a top-50 recruit as a sophomore, but suffered a foot injury which dropped his ranking. Lastly, Olivier Sarr comes to Wake Forest as an international prospect from Paris. Sarr is a three-star recruit who played for France at the U17 and U18 levels.
Who to Watch:
Wake Forest gets back five players who appeared in at least 30 games last season. Bryant Crawford will take over as the leader of the Demon Deacons in his junior season. Crawford is a budding star who averaged 16.2 points, 5.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals as a sophomore. With Collins departed, Crawford will be expected to play even better this season. Keyshawn Woods was also impressive during his sophomore season, averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and shooting 43.8% from three. Woods and Crawford will combine to make one of the better backcourts in the ACC. Mitchell Wilbekin and Brandon Childress will each see bigger roles this season after coming off the bench last year. Wilbekin averaged 7.0 points per game and shot 40.5% from three, while Childress scored 6.6 points per game and shot 35% from behind the arc. Doral Moore, Samuel Japhet-Mathias, Richard Washington and Donovan Mitchell will also all return as role players for the Demon Deacons. Moore could see a much bigger role as a former top-100 recruit. Moore is a 7-1 center who is now a junior, but he has averaged less than ten minutes per game in each of his seasons thus far.
Final Projection:
Wake Forest should be in position to compete in the ACC and possibly earn consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. Losing John Collins will be a challenge, but the Demon Deacons have Bryant Crawford and Keyshawn Woods back along with top-40 recruit Chaundee Brown. Danny Manning showed the ability to get the most out of his players last season and will need to do so again in the always challenging ACC. If Wake Forest can duplicate their success and win nine conference games again, they will be in the discussion for another NCAA Tournament bid.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Bryant Crawford, Junior, Guard, 16.2 points per game

Keyshawn Woods, Junior, Guard, 12.5 points per game
Chaundee Brown, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Terrence Thompson, Senior, Forward, 9.1 points per game
Doral Moore, Junior, Center, 2.6 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.8 (15th in nation, 2nd in conference)

Scoring Defense: 78.4 (305, 14)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.2 (40, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.7 (265, 14)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (109, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.5 (36, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 77.8 (9, 2)
Rebound Margin: 2.6 (97, 6)
Assists Per Game: 15.5 (54, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.8 (65, 6)


Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#33 Chaundee Brown