Date/Time: Jan 17 2021 6 PM
Opponent: Wake Forest
Site: Lawrence Joel Coliseum
Virginia Tech Sports Network. Jon Laaser (play-by-play) and Mike Burnop (analyst)

Take on Wake

The Hokies are coming off a second straight outstanding defensive performance to beat Duke 74-67 and now take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The Hokies are 36-31 against Wake Forest going into their 68th meeting. The Hokies are now 10-2 and ranked #20 in the AP Poll.

The Demon Deacons are coached by Steve Forbes. He is in his first season at Wake Forest. Prior to Wake Forest, he had stints at East Tennessee State, Northwest Florida State and Barton County Community College. He is 264-83 as a head coach.

Coach Forbes's Demon Deacons really have had a challenging season with two stoppages due to Covid and two players sidelined for the season that both averaged in double figures in the Demon Deacons first two games. Graduate transfer Point Guard Ian Dubose and Center Tariq Ingraham both averaged 11 points per game, with Dubose adding in 4.5 assists per contest, 2.5 steals and 4.5 rebounds. Dubose averaged over 17 points a game the last two seasons for Houston Baptist while Ingraham was returning from a ruptured Achilles. The Demon Deacons have already had six scheduled games either postponed or canceled, which has resulted in lengthy periods of time between contests, and the team having played just six total games as we enter the heart of January.

They have struggled significantly in ACC play. They come in 3-4 with wins over Delaware State, Longwood and Catawba out of conference. They have yet to break into the win column in ACC play with losses to Georgia Tech, UVA, Duke and Louisville. None of the losses were particularly close at the end but were within a single basket late in the second half of three out of four ACC games. Three losses to ranked teams is not surprising especially trying to gel under a new coach in such a difficult environment. The Hokies will look to give them their fourth loss to a ranked team this season.

The Hokies will see a familiar face across the line in this one with Isaiah Wilkins transferring in this season. Watkins has not been a significant factor thus far for Wake, averaging 2.9 points, 2 rebounds and 1.1 assists in about 16 minutes per game. Coach Forbes was busy in the transfer portal bringing in Watkins (VT), Williamson (ETSU), Antonio (UNLV), Dubose (Houston Baptist) and Johnson (Tennessee). He also brought in two freshman in Quadry Adams and Emmanuel Okpomo. Mid-season, Forbes brought another freshman on board in Carter Whitt.

Coach Forbes is still trying to replace several key players lost to graduation in Brandon Childress, Andrien White and Torry Johnson. Center Olivier Sarr transferred to Kentucky. Chaundee Brown transferred to Michigan. Also choosing to transfer were guards Sharone Wright Jr. to Morgan State and Michael Wynn to Akron. Walk on post player Sunday Okeke will also miss this season due to injury. These losses account for the top four scorers and leading pair of rebounders from a season ago. Normally by mid-January, even with changes, teams would be past the growing pains, but with how herkie jerky the Demon Deacons season has been that just isn't the case.

Defensively, the Demon Deacons employ the Pack Line Defense which is designed to create extreme ball pressure. Another major facet is to keep the ball out of the middle of the court. His teams strive to force the offense to take contested jump shots "away from the box". Critical to this defense being successful requires that his teams develop excellent help defense and communicate clearly on defense. The Hokies experienced aspects of this defense against Louisville and will again against UVA. The two ends of the floor couldn't be more different, with the extreme structure of the pack line defense combined with an almost position-less scheme offensively.

Offensively, Wake Forest usually runs the 5-out offense which is, shockingly, all 5 guys out on the perimeter. The goal is pretty simple: keep the lane open for drivers and cutters. As Forbes explained while at East Tennessee, "Schematically, it opened up the court, it gave us a chance to drive the ball, to get to the basket, to drive and kick, it gave our big guys opportunities to shoot 3s..."

The most important part is the amount of movement in the offense. You don't see one guy dribbling the ball for 20 seconds while the other 4 guys just stand around and watch. When someone passes the ball, they immediately move to a different spot on the court, and another player moves to replace them. Even when guys are taking their man 1 on 1, the other 4 players are still moving to find open spots on the floor.

This clip with Jalen Johnson scoring is a prime example of how this team attacks. Also note the big underneath positions himself across the lane from Johnson's drive to act as a dump off option or to be prepared to grab an offensive board.

Wake Forest comes in averaging only 6.5 three-pointers per contest made, 11th in the ACC this season. Most ACC teams are in or close to double digits. Wake Forest is still trying to find a rhythm on offense outside of Daivien Williamson. Williamson followed Coach Forbes from East Tennessee State and is thriving in ACC play. Losing their second and third highest scorers after two games certainly hasn't helped.

Demon Deacons Backcourt

Daivien Williamson (#4, JR, G, 6-2, 170 lbs)
Winston-Salem, NC Winston-Salem Prep
11.4 Pts, 2.7 Reb, 3.0 Ast
Shooting 48% from the floor, 24% from the perimeter, 76% from the line

Jonah Antonio (#20, SR, G, 6-5, 195 lbs)
Perth, WA Sunrise Christian Academy
9.0 Pts, 2.3 Reb, 0.8 Ast
Shooting 45% from the floor, 41% from the perimeter, is perfect from the line on 6 attempts

Jalen Johnson (#2, SR, G, 6-6, 195 lbs)
Durham, NC Wesleyan Christian Academy
6.3 Pts, 2.9 Reb, 0.9 Ast
Shooting 42% from the floor, 39% from the perimeter, 67% from the line

Jahcobi Neath (#0, SO, G, 6-3, 200 lbs)
Toronto, Canada Crestwood Prep
5.3 Pts, 2.4 Reb, 2.0 Ast
Shooting 41%from the floor, 20% from the perimeter, is perfect from the line on 15 attempts

Carter Whitt (#35, Super FR, G, 6-4, 180 lbs)
Raleigh, NC Leesville Road HS
6.0 Pts, 2.5 Reb, 2.8 Ast
Shooting 36% from the floor, 17% from the perimeter, 83% from the line

Demon Deacons Frontcourt

Isaiah Mucius (#1, JR, F, 6-8, 200 lbs)
East Patchogue, NY Brewster Academy 92 (2018)
10.3 Pts, 5.3 Reb, 0.0 Ast
Shooting 43% from the floor, 14% from the perimeter, 74% from the line

Ismael Massoud (#25, SO, F, 6-8, 220 lbs)
East Harlem, NY MacDuffie School
9.0 Pts, 3.3 Reb, 0.3 Ast
Shooting 42% from the floor, 38% from the perimeter, 72% from the line

Ody Oguama (#33, SO , F, 6-9, 225 lbs)
Raleigh, NC Woodstock Academy
9.8 Pts, 4.2 Reb, 0.8 Ast
Shooting 56% from the floor, does not shoot from the perimeter, 65% from the line

What to expect from Wake Forest?

Starters D. Williamson J. Neath J. Antonio I. Mucius O. Oguama
Rotation C. Whitt J. Johnson I. Massoud
Rotation I. Wilkins
Lim PT Q. Adams B. Buchanan T. Ingraham E. Okpomo
Lim PT I. DuBose G. Van Beveren S. Okeke
Lim PT M. Lester
Lim PT J. Mathis, Jr.

The Demon Deacons come in with five players averaging 9 or more points per game. Wake Forest goes deep on the bench for significant minutes or contributions, regularly playing eight or nine players each game for ten or more minutes a contest. This is a developing roster that is well balanced offensively. Williamson is their definitive leader on both ends. I expect that the Hokies though will struggle more with the three bigs in Mucius, Massoud and Oguama, especially Mucius. This is a game where a healthy Pemsl could be critical but it does not appear he is ready to play yet.

This is also a team that WILL compete, as three of four ACC contests have all been within a single basket in the second half. Wake struggles to close out though so the Hokies must keep them off balance especially late in the game.

Carter Whitt is a fascinating story that is definitely unique to our current environment. He graduated high school in December and was an early enrollee at Wake, and with this season not counting towards eligibility, Coach Forbes has thrust him directly into ACC play. He has assumed more of the point guard role from Williamson, allowing Williamson to play off ball and get open for shots. Whitt has not surprisingly struggled but this move is about the future for Wake given the way this season is already going.

Opponents are averaging 74 points per game in ACC play. Opponents in ACC play are shooting 52% from the floor against the Demon Deacons. Wake does better on the perimeter, only allowing 35% from the perimeter. They still have been allowing ACC opponents a third of their points from the perimeter on 7.8 allowed threes per game.

The Demon Deacons are committing 14.3 turnovers per game possessions or about 21% of their possessions. Part of the reason for that statistic is that the starting point guard is Carter Whitt, who just graduated from high school on Dec. 18. He has averaged 3.3 turnovers in about 25 minutes a contest.

Wake Forest forces 11 turnovers per game and average nearly 13 points per contest off turnovers.

The Demon Deacons commit 16.6 fouls per game. Opponents have shot 16.4 free throw attempts per game so far this season. This accounts for 15% of opponent scoring. This will be a major factor in this contest as most of the Wake Forest opponents so far are not nearly as likely to get to the line as the Hokies have been this season. The Hokies average 21.4 attempts per game in ACC play.

As a team the Demon Deacons are shooting 32% from the perimeter on 23.1 attempts per game but slightly worse 29.5% in ACC play. Antonio, Massoud and Johnson all shoot better than 38% from the perimeter this year combining for 14.3 attempts. No one else shoots better than 25%.

Wake Forest comes in averaging 2.6 fouls or fewer for every player on the team. The fouls are not likely to be a forcing factor in this game barring late in the game if Wake is forced to foul to slow the end of the game.

Wake Forest struggles rebounding as you might expect with their smaller roster with a -4 rebound differential per game. They have only two players, Mucius and Oguama, averaging more than four rebounds per game.

Williamson and Whitt are the primary distributors, averaging only 5.8 assists between them. The Demon Deacons average 10 assists on 22 made baskets per game, roughly 45% of all shots are assisted. This shows you how much Wake Forest relies on creating their own shot. Their style of play offensively is more to isolate and allow the ball handler to create their own shot. The majority of their assists are from guards driving into the lane and dropping the ball to a big inside if they cant reach the rim.

The Hokies

The top takeaway continues to be that the Hokies can play superior defense when they focus. They held a hot shooting Notre Dame team to just two field goals in the second half after trailing early and led Duke the entire game, holding the Blue Devils to 40% shooting and 28% from the perimeter.

The Hokies will need to be focused on their individual assignments with how balanced the scoring is for Wake, who has had different leading scorers in five of their seven games. Two of those five are no longer available due to Covid. Accounting for five active players at 9 points per game though is not something the Hokies have dealt with so far this season.

Tech's perimeter shooting will continue to exceed 20 attempts per contest if only to keep Wake honest inside. Wake is better defensively against the three but single focused shooters like Cone have been successful against the Demon Deacons. Cone hit his 30th three pointer against Duke. That is after missing the first three games.
Coach Young needs another big game from either Radford or Alleyne in this contest. In six of seven contests this season, the opponent guards have been the significant scorers. The only opponent to have a forward lead the way was UVA. That's not surprising with Sam Hauser but UVA also had five players in double figures against Wake.

Normally this is where YOU HAVE TO HIT YOUR FREE THROWS. Its important in this one of course but with Wake only allowing opponents 9.3 made free throws in ACC play it becomes that much more critical to take quality shots, grab ten or more offensive rebounds and create ten or more turnovers.

This is the game where we see what lessons these coaches drilled in about approaching the pack-line defense after facing a very similar defense against Louisville. Louisville though has much better athletes top to bottom than what the Hokies face in Wake Forest. Lets hope for more of second half Hokies rather than first from that game.

This is the point in the schedule the Hokies have to ensure they keep laser focused on the opportunity to show they are a top tier team this season in the ACC and will continue to grow. Rankings are nice, winning is great but setting the tone for the increased profile this season could give the Hokies some long term results. This definitely hinges on how they perform in these next five games. Only one of their next five opponents will likely be considered favorites against the Hokies and that's UVA just based on their recent history. The Hokies program greatly benefits from a 4-1 or 5-0 stretch.

Why is this coming up now? The team is starting to warrant attention from the conference and national level, with Coach Mike Young appearing on Jon Rothstein's podcast and Jalen Cone with an appearance on Packer and Durham.

| #Hokies ๐Ÿฆƒ pic.twitter.com/Tpm8RNggbAโ€” Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) January 14, 2021

Here is the clip of Cone on the Packer and Durham Show

Highlight of the Duke Game

So many options but have to give this one to the coaches and the social media team

In Closing

The points of emphasis in this one are double digits: Forced turnovers, offensive rebounds, made free throws, and four scorers. If the Hokies check those boxes they cruise to a win. Otherwise and they struggle against a capable Wake team.

Wake has managed to be within a single basket in the second half of three out of four ACC contests. They were down 53-41 to Louisville and clawed back to 53-51. They seem to run out of steam with about eight minutes to play, losing by an average of 12 points per game in ACC play.

Hokies remain vigilant, continuing to improve and actually get this game to the point they close out with the bench, up by 15-20 points. Final 83-67.

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


Umm don't we play tomorrow

Bite your tongue this Nosferatu
It's minimal these stomach knots
This conscious can't hide from his soul
Till now

Umm don't we play tomorrow Let's Go!!



Bite your tongue this Nosferatu
It's minimal these stomach knots
This conscious can't hide from his soul
Till now

Yea needs a edit.

Date/Time: Jan 10 2021 7 PM
Opponent: Wake Forest

2 am will get after you...

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

needs another edit...

Date/Time: Jan 17 2021 6 PM
Opponent: Wake Forest
Site: Lawrence Joel Coliseum
Virginia Tech Sports Network. Jon Laaser (play-by-play) and Steve Burnop (analyst)

Has something happened to our Hall-of-Famer Mike Burnop? /s

I'm just playing Rob... you are the man! Thanks for all you do!

Go Hokies

Used the Duke write up as the backdrop for structure, did a replace all for Mike to Steve....at least I see people catching details.

No worries.

Friggin figures. I log on to TKP to see what's up and realize there's just enough time to read the preview before the tip...and it's 24 hours away.

Click here to destroy wall.

Leather bound hard copy on its way.

Dude, don't tease me. I'd put it in a shadowbox and hang it on my wall with dedicated lighting.

Click here to destroy wall.

All-time hair from Carter Whitt.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Nobody puts Carter in a corner

"It's always great to beat UVA, that makes us all smarter and better looking for a couple days".

Looks like Deeks on NCIS LA.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

It's Basketball Reilly

Click here to destroy wall.

Hasn't Steve Forbes run for President on multiple occasions...same guy...right?

Same results...

Another heavy dose of Tyrece at 6 ad call me in the morning.

US Navy Vet


Terrible start, Radford already in the locker room after getting poked in the eye

That kid from Wake just made Sportscenter no matter how this game turns out.

Not the best start. If Radford is out we are going to miss his ability to get to the basket off the bounce

Big John siting, nice dunk

Radford is back, makes the drive down the lane from the elbow look easy

Carter Whitt carries almost every bounce of the ball

Ojiako has put on some serious beef this off-season.

Jackson does great work as a strength coach.

Does the game sound weird to anyone else like they're pumping in crowd noise?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Roth & Burnop referred to it as very quiet except for the piped-in crowd noise

Must be what it is it's like a loud white noise and it makes it annoying as hell to listen to

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

N'Guessan with two And 1's in the first half, ....things you didnt expect to say this year.

Ah yes, Wah-see-ba Bede.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Coach Young with some really surprising rotation in this one. Maddox, N'Guessan and Ojiako getting out there. Wondering where Bamisile is with everyone else getting out there.

Our threes are crap right now

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Has cone even been on the floor?

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Yes, but I havent seen them run him to the perimeter yet around the corner screen.

So is Aluma down low. I understand CMY trying to get the young guys out there but hopefully he gets the starters in a rhythm soon and by the 10 minute mark second half the game is out of reach. Wake is in serious foul trouble already.

Aluma playing like booty rn

Really bad 4 minutes of play; not liking that last lineup together. Wondering why cone isn't in more right now and radfords not driving the hoop with the success Nguessan was having

This is an ugly performance thus far.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

What's wild is wake isn't even playing good defense; we're just making poor decisions, sloppy passes, rushing the ball, etc.

Sheesh sloppy sloppy sloppy; I know we can play better than this. Not sure what I'm watching right now. Hopefully mike can settle these guys down

Just really sloppy play. You hate saying a team doesnt have enough selfish, but sometimes the extra pass is not the answer and you take it to the rim.

Mutts takes too many free throws to not be a good FT shooter!!!

Wow the over the back tipin with no whistle

Give me ALL the blocks please.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

At this rate, we're gonna lead the country in blocked shots by the time this game is over.... never thought I'd say that!

Up from 38 to 47 in one half, jumping from 131st to 73rd.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74


Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Men and Womens team both had 9 blocks in first half but still just a two basket game

Is there butter on the ball? Or maybe we're playing with one of those rotted out outdoor balls with no grip

Do our guys know you can put spin on those entry passes so that they bounce back to the offensive player after going around the defense?



Wow, even ACC network ragging on Whitt for his hair.

N'Guessan havin a nice game....MY seems to be intent on winnin this game in the trenches.....Cone and Cattor takin almost no shots....defense is bangin tonight tho.....

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

We have them in talent there by a greater disparity than we have on the perimeter.

Feed the beasts.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Yeah...weve missed a bunch of point blank stuff though....hopefully fouls start to be an issue for WF deeper in this half...

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

16-24 from inside the arc is a hell of a lot better than 3-15 from range.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Oh dont get me wrong.... Its really interesting to watch us bring a whole different game tonight.....and maybe this is the light bulb game for N'Guessan.....and a warning shot to the rest ofthe ACC of what we can do...

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

We are playing great defense on the first shot but Wake already has 12 offensive rebounds and 15 points as the result. Have to find a way to cut their second chances.

I'm Guessan that's a career high for David?

8 more and he doubles his season output

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Wilkins looks like he's trimmed down

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

We are playing awful

Bite your tongue this Nosferatu
It's minimal these stomach knots
This conscious can't hide from his soul
Till now

Mutts is borderline unbearable to watch when he's not scoring. I haven't noticed, but seen others comment prior to this game. So careless when the balls not in his hands and sometimes when it is. If he would be more tactical he's got the strength to make good things happen.

Aluma the last two games just cant catch the ball. At least four times in this game he has just blown catching the ball.

Yeah man butter on the ball. Known wake forest tactic

Just put the game.on with my dad and he took one look at carter whitt and said "wait, I thought dara mabrey transferred to notre dame, not to the wake forest men's team"

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

"Wake refusing to go away"

More like VT keeping wake in it with lazy sloppy play.

Still sloppy. This is painful to watch. As quick as went up by 10 it's back with a couple.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Playing ugly but winning. I hope we can pull this out.

We're going to have more turnovers in the second then we did blocks in the first half. And both will be obscene amounts.

Aluma is just off. Get him out and keep nguesson in please. Bede also playing one of the worst I've seen him play this year

Aluma needs to sit down, he is just not in it tonight

At least one of our bigs is having a game.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Just terrible on the boards. Give any team three shots in a trip they are bound to score.

That N'Guessan floater reminded me of Blackshear so much.

Looks like we are focusing on the block so much we are forgetting to block out for the rebound. Sloppy as shit on offense way too many turnovers

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

There will be many Uglies from this game

A few Bads

Fewer Goods

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Radford + N'Guessan: 11-11
Everyone else: 8-28 **edited: misheard announcer

Embarrassing game from several of our players thus far. This is gonna be a nail biter...

Our football team is supposed to disappoint, not the basketball team. C'mon Hokies.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Time to stop goofing around and put them away

Radford has been money. I like the depth that the Hokies have shown.

If Catoor can keep playing this well I would start playing him more than Bede. His defense was great when I watched today and he can play offense. He played hard this game.

Yeah Cattoor has been someone that it feels like you can always expect 100% effort from...his defensive play has been getting more and more solid this year, and it's been great to watch.

Cattoor with a phenomenal defensive performance tonight.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Holy shit i thought we fouled the 3 point shot...

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Ha ha, me too. I was expecting that to be a home cooking foul call.

Got really lucky there with the missed three by stepping out.

Good: Radford, N'Guessan, Cattoor, Aluma on the boards, Soooo Many Blocks.

Bad: 3 pt shooting. Defensive rebounding in general. Turnovers.

Ugly: Win, Everybody but Radford, N'Guessan, and Cattoor shooting. Wake with 14 extra shots.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74


Radford is such a clutch player, he's super efficient in general but he always seems to score at the most crucial moments right as the other team is going on runs. Then hitting all his free throws at the end was so important too

I am still weirded out thinking we have a 6'10' 230 pound player sitting on the bench........ What is the back story and are we going to see more of him going forward? Aluma, Pemsel, Mutts, Ojiako and N'Gussan that is one big bunch of front court guys. Not to mention Radford plays around 6'8".......

The LewDew, Professional Golf Bum

Ojiako had to have a knee procedure in late November and is still working back to full strength. Tough to integrate when your team is already in the ACC schedule, just ask Carter Whitt....2 points, 5 turnovers