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Boston College Men’s Basketball Preview: Wake Forest Comes to Town

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A conference game? In November? To start the year? What!?

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Tip off! When hopes are high and the cynicism of losses and blowouts have yet to sour our collective imagination! Anything is possible, no matter how unlikely. Will BC win the ACC? The so-called “experts” would say no, but we have seen no empirical evidence this season to prove them right. With the changes to the conference schedule, BC will be thrown straight into the fire this year against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, a team also expected to place near the bottom of the league. A win would immediately get the monkey off of this team’s back (and also the fan’s who remember 2015-16 all too well). A loss probably wouldn’t mean much of anything. Jim Christian and co have a lot of new blood and nobody expects them to be performing at peak efficiency in game one.

Previewing Wake Forest

Wake hasn’t been particularly impressive the last few years under Danny Manning, who, after making the NCAA First Four in 2016-17, has gone 11-20 and finished 14th in the ACC for two years in a row. They also lost Jaylen Hoard to the NBA and a few others to graduations, so they too will be facing a new group of players on the court.

The Demon Deacons will mostly rely on Brandon Childress, last year’s leading scorer and assister with 14.7/4. Childress is a “sneaky fast ballhandler” who Manning has built the offense around. Also keep a watch on Chaundee Brown, Childress’ backcourt counterpart who dramatically improved in his sophomore year and crashes the boards as well as anyone in the ACC.

It’s important to note immediately that Wake just lost Tariq Ingraham, a 3-star freshman big man, to a season ending knee injury. It will likely force the Deacs into a small ball lineup, as the only two remaining players above 220 pounds are Olivier Sarr and Sunday Ogeke. Neither put up crazy numbers, but Sarr is a massive 7-footer who can dominate the paint at times.

Player to Watch Out For

It’s got to be Childress. He went an abysmal 3/16 from the field (and 0/9 from three) last he played against the Eagle (and lost), but that was a different team on both ends. I’m curious to see how BC defends his driving and it seems nearly impossible that he could shoot that poorly from the field again, but lord knows I’ve been wrong before. T

How Does BC Win?

Honestly I have no idea. Not that I don’t think they can, but I just don’t know how this team is going to perform together. I would hope that the group of big men, Nik Popovic, Luka Kraljevic, Jairus Hamilton, and Steffon Mitchell, play well with the guards and can wear down and exploit the thin Wake frontcourt. Get them running and go at them over and over again and I think BC pulls this one out to start the year.

Predictions:

I forgot to ask, so

Toppin: BC 71-Wake 67