Get ready! Against all odds, NCAA basketball is coming back this November. Starting November 24th the NCAA teams are set to take the court again. This season is a tough one to be in the ACC. Virginia comes in with old talent and a hot transfer from Marquette, Sam Hauser, who is already in the contender for player of the year. North Carolina has some powerful post players, giving them a stacked frontcourt, and Duke is a consistent threat as always. So what’s it looking like for the Demon Deacons?
Wake Forest is coming in with the new coach in Steve Forbes. As the head coach at East Tennessee State University, Forbes won 130 games and two Southern Conference championships. He attended the NCAA tournament in 2017 and was on the path for another trip before the COVID-19 pandemic. His experience has brought in a new spark to this team, acting as a very vocal and involved coach. Forbes brought along Brooks Savage and EJ Micke, some of his assistants from his time at ETSU. These new names will give a new look to the sideline throughout games this season.
The Deacs took two big losses from last season when Chaundee Brown and Oliver Sarr transferred. Brown, who averaged 10.4 points per game, went off to the University of Michigan and Sarr, who averaged 13.7 points per game, joined John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats. Additionally, Brandon Childress, a staple on the team, graduated. Yet the Demon Deacons have some new talent coming in this season. Ian DuBose, Jalen Johnson, and Jonah Antonio are grad transfers who the Deacs are looking to for leadership as they have no true seniors after the departure of Sarr and Brown.
Sophomores Ody Oguama and Jahcobi Neath, in addition to junior Isaiah Mucius, are returning bright spots for the Demon Deacons. All three played consistent roles last year and bring great stability to the Deacon’s offense. Transfers Isaiah Wilkins from Virginia Tech and Daivien Williamson from East Tennessee State join Mucius in representing the junior class on the team. Williamson has experience playing with Coach Forbes and can assist in filling that role that Childress vacated. Quadry Adams and Emmanuel Okpomo are freshmen this year and will be adding to the new talent Wake has this season. Tariq Ingraham, though technically a sophomore, will be taking his first steps out on the court for the Demon Deacons this season after tearing his achilles during the preseason of 2019.
This season will be tough for the Demon Deacons. The talent in the ACC and the built-up energy from a missed March Madness is setting the stage for one of the most competitive seasons. Wake will be in for a tough run and it will be an uphill battle to make a name for themselves in the ACC. The mixture of new talent and a new coach, but some experience and returning players gives Wake an edge that many teams in the ACC do not contain. Although the schedule is not completely set, it is set to be released within the next two weeks.
Get excited for some holiday NCAA basketball! Soon enough the Deacs will bring some normalcy back to your homes this holiday season.