#85 Wake Forest Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Wake Forest Demon Deacons
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #85
Conference Rank: #13 ACC
 Wake Forest Logo
After a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2017, Wake Forest took another step back last season, finishing nine games below .500. This year, the Demon Deacons will overhaul their roster, highlighted by a group of top incoming freshmen. Wake Forest’s top three scorers have departed, and only one starter from a year ago remains on the roster. The development of five-star recruit Jaylen Hoard and the other new arrivals will dictate how good Danny Manning’s team will be this season.
2017-18 Record: 11-20, 4-14
2017-18 Postseason: None
Coach: Danny Manning
Coach Record: 54-72 at Wake Forest, 92-101 overall
Key Departed Players:
Bryant Crawford, Guard, 16.9 ppg
Keyshawn Woods, Guard, 11.9 ppg
Doral Moore, Center, 11.1 ppg
Mitchell Wilbekin, Guard, 8.6 ppg
Terrence Thompson, Forward, 3.5 ppg

Donovan Mitchell, Forward, 2.9 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Brandon Childress, Junior, Guard, 9.1 ppg
Chaundee Brown, Sophomore, Forward, 7.6 ppg
Olivier Sarr, Sophomore, Center, 3.2 ppg

Melo Eggleston, Sophomore, Forward, 1.0 ppg
Sunday Okeke, Sophomore, Forward, 0.5 ppg
Key New Players:
Jaylen Hoard, Freshman, Forward – 5 star

Torry Johnson, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Northern Arizona
Jamie Lewis, Freshman, Guard – 3 star
Christian Lorng, Freshman, Forward – 3 star
Isaiah Mucius, Freshman, Forward – 4 star
Ikenna Smart, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer from Buffalo
Sharone Wright, Freshman, Guard – 3 star
Mike Wynn, Freshman, Forward – 3 star
Wake Forest only returns two of their top seven scorers from a year ago. Brandon Childress will take over as starting point guard after averaging 9.1 points, 3.6 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals as a sophomore. Chaundee Brown will be a sophomore this year after starting 29 games as a freshman. Olivier Sarr, Melo Eggleston and Sunday Okeke are the only other returning contributors, none of which averaged more than four points per game. The key to Wake Forest’s success will be the production of their new players. Jaylen Hoard is the prize addition, a 5-star recruit who stands 6-8 and has NBA-upside. Danny Manning also recruited five other freshmen, including top-100 recruit Isaiah Mucius. The Demon Deacons also add two grad transfers to boost the team’s experience. Torry Johnson joins Wake Forest after leading Northern Arizona in scoring last year with 11.5 points per game. Ikenna Smart comes from Buffalo, having made three NCAA Tournaments with the Bulls. Smart started 25 games for Buffalo last year, averaging 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds. Wake Forest enters the 2018-19 season as a major wild card in the ACC. Losing so much production would typically result in a rebuilding year, but Danny Manning recruited hard to get his team back into ACC contention. If everything fits together, the Demon Deacons could actually improve from last year and even make a push to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.3 (183rd in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 74.4 (229, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.9 (215, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.0 (186, 13)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (163, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.4 (62, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.8 (86, 6)
Rebound Margin: 1.4 (138, 9)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (154, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (196, 14)
Madness 2019 NBA Draft Rankings:
#10 Jaylen Hoard
Madness 2018 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#21 Jaylan Hoard
#87 Isaiah Mucius