Wake Forest basketball preview!

#164 R.P.I.  Wake Forest #75 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns home to defend its very own Cassell after a successful enough sojourn over Maryland way.

The Hokies did not play their best. Although, they did play good enough when they *had* too; or when trailing out on the BIG-1o road; and with things seemingly about to banana peel a bit and get away from them. Now they catch their inaugural 2021-2o22 Atlantic Coast Conference opener vs. Wake Forest in the 24o6o. With a possibility that Wake is vastly better (at least early on) this year than last. As these Deacons enter this contest preaching a 7 up and 1 down record. Pretty shiny, ain’t it? Nonetheless, what you wanna know is who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to find, out!

Wake Forest Head CoachSteve Forbes: Age=56, 143–60 (.704) overall*, and 13–17 (.433) @Wake. Has a rep’ for offense via offensive-sharing, steals, and being a
Buzzsaw high-energy coach.
$2,041,000.oo; still paying Manning 3-Large however.

(*overall is ALL college levels combined, which is typically separated by the NC2A rules)

No. Not that Steve Forbes— no relation either; at least none that I could find.

This Steve Forbes is a native of Lone Tree, Iowa, Forbes graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a degree in secondary education in 1988. A former baseball student-athlete for the Muleriders, Forbes spent one year at his alma mater as the sports information director before embarking on a coaching career. (so he did run at least one year of college ball).

Coach Forbes’ Division I experience includes five years at East Tennessee State, two seasons at Texas A&M, one year at Illinois State, three years at Louisiana Tech, and two years at Idaho. He’s also had assisting stints at mavens such as: Southwestern CC (ass.coach and Head), Barton County CC (ass.coach and Head), and at Idaho (assistant). So, this S.Forbes has surely cut his teeth and earned his chops.

Coach Forbes also only (helped) take UTennessee to a #1 ranking back in 2008. Big whistle Forbes has also only been part of two all-time winning seasons at: Texas A&M and out at Wichita State. Did I mention the ‘winning’ part, yet?

And he also only pocketed two coach of the year awards last season: Hugh Durham Award (2020) and SoCon Coach of the Year (2020).

However, it was over in the Tri-Cities where he really “made his (skull)-n-bones” … what with East Tennessee State Buccaneers having won 130 games and two SoCon championships during his tenure. While all 22 of his seniors earned their ETSU degrees! ETSU.edu love insert (____) here, ! While doing all of this… Forbes joined elite company in 2018-19, becoming one of just 10 active Division I head coaches who have reached the 100-win mark in their first four seasons.

Big Pappi Forbes is married to his wife, Johnetta; and they have three children:
Elizabeth, Christopher, and Johnathon.

Wake Forest at a glance:

  • 32nd in Scoring O!!
  • 34th most FTA’s!!
  • 35th in FG percentage O!!
  • 50th in Swipes!
  • 84th in 3-point percentage O.
  • Nearly everything else is C— or better. Only O-rebounding lacked, tho’ they nets a lotta makes too, so…
  • NO injuries listed: (‘THX’ @Coach God!)

Returning Starters=3

Wake Forest Strengths:

  • (Pic:), threeballer, One #31, Alondes Williams is a 6′5″, 210 lb., grad-transfer by way of OK. Where he boomered his way to: 6.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. So, the W.Forest team pacing: 19.5 ppg, married to: the team-leading 5.6 rpg, wed to the team blue-ribbon: 3.8 apg and with a 2nd-best 1.5 spg is indeed Sooner rather than later. WOW! What a crazy-looking betterment! Can you say: A.c.c. Most Improved? You prolly should here… as 58% from the floor and 37% deep is pretty fair to advancing come-up-ins! Been a while -as in: a long while- since I’ve seen anyone transfer and H.M.S. Beagle evolve just like dis!?! All of this after opening his next-level play at someplace named: Triton College. Where Mister Al.Will’ did seriously pop-clean for nearly 18 ppg and 6 rpg and 5 apg while leading little ole Triton College (by way of: River Grove, Illinois) to the: 2018 NJCAA Division II championship bling! Yes, I’d say that counts. Hommie gets to the FT-line a bunch too (45 FTA’s) and the 67% FT-shooting might be the only nag here. As all of ^^^dat^^^ after having per se only been a 12.3 ppg H.S. baller up in Milwaukee, Wis., is getting a LOT outta yourself. Seriously. Go-getter kids like Alondes can drink from my canteen any day.
  • 6′8″, 235 lb., Jake LaRavia, is an Alice the Maid mop-top pasty gangsta who mans the Four or P/F slot for Wake. That… or a lifer 31st.Oct. costume party winner as: Howdy Doody. If only for the want of… freckles. Seriously, he’s a dead-ringer here… with no word yet from Sam the butcher. Anyhow… that attempt at levity aside… Mr. LaRavia is really keepin’ it real. What with a stat-line of: 15.5 ppg, with 5.5 rpg, on 3.3 apg and 2.5 spg to boot. All dat on a truly sharpshooting 66% from the floor a stellar 53% long! WoW. That’s really good work from a third-year kid who was averaging 11 & 5 for his career (ppg & rpg) coming into this year. And oh by the way… all of that was before transferring in from the: Larry Bird State Sycamores! (Indy.St.) Where he picked up some lowercase All-Missouri Valley Conference hoops honors and also pocketed some uppercase All-Missouri Valley Conference .edu honors. An honorable kid if you will.

    Ahhhhhhh, “…say it wif me… this chit is tooooo easy!
  • Daivien Williamson is a 6′1″, 18o lb., senior season One or Pt.Guard for Wake Forest. By way of:  Winston-Salem Prep and they by way of: the tri-city E.T.S.U. Bucs. Who BTW: drops you: a third-best 14.8 ppg, with 1.9 rpg, on 1.0 apg and 1.8 spg. This with a mere A.c.c. leading 94% from the charity stripe and 41% when dialing long-distance and a very reasonable 47% overall. Maybe this One should shoot a bit mo than anyone else? As Daivien was indeed All-Southern Conference before waking up. He did have scholastic scoring or Lead-G-like traits and he won some H.S. civics thingys as well. +1 for 2017 dat. And did I mention that this maker can, shoot, yet?
  • P/F and 6′8″, 2o5 lb., Sr. year, Isaiah Mucius… is a utility Dec’. He chips in with 8.3 ppg and yet the 34% from all-over needs some Billy Joel uptown love. And it C.Brink’ got it as he went up to his now 35.5% deep since we last checked. This from: the 2018 USA Today New Hampshire Player of the Year a couple of seasons back; he looks physically stronger than his listed metrics on film to me. No. 72 (ESPN) nationally ranked kid of whom more was expected. That fairly said, I.Muc’s has inched his scoring and rebounding totals upwards every single season of play; less this year so far. And the Forbes set(s) are far more stiffing Together Everyone Achieves Mo’; than they are individual box-score stuffing centric. The book says Mucius is a versatile overall baller with a diverse offensive game. And he is prolly Wake’s touchstone frontcourt offensive threat who might just do smarter work per more touches (only 7 shot-attempts/game) here. As I kinda think this kid may be a bit more than he has thus far shown… I just cannot reprove the same. As he has opened 2o21 in a bit of a slump of sorts.
  • Daivien Williamson Point.G, is Wake’s very own k.Aluma of sorts. As he too followed his coach to his new coaching destination courtesy of E.T.S.U. —same as coach Forbes. Bucking the trend of non-bottoms-up allegiance if you will. Daivien goes 6, and a Cruiserweight 180 lbs. Not the biggest dog in the fight, and frankly he looks it; (appearing rather thinly), upon breaking tape. He also appears to have cut 2″ in height and found 10 lbs. since we last roster-card saw him last. (Splash one major Eye in the Sky bandit). Williamson also looks like a decent mid-range shooter, and book still says: limited deep range, tho’ he does third Wake with 14.8 ppg. The 1.9 rpg and 1 apg with 1.8 spg on a most decent enough 47.8% overall with 41% from trifectaville and 93.8% FTA’s are all okay enough. Nothing really ‘rong with any of that; (wink-wink). Might be a little sompthin’-sompthin’ ‘rong with da book. Nevertheless, nothing ‘rong with winning the Frank Williams Award in N.C. H.S. ball either (and there would be even less ‘rong with it if I knew which one it was? The Military One? the B.B.C. tv-personality one? The Formula-1 racy one? …still not sure here?) Tho’ I am sure that Williams put up some mid-20’s Nor.Carolina scoring digits. I am sure he enjoys several all-tourney team awards at both H.S. and again at the D-1 levels. So, he must be good with the spotlight and therefore rising to the occasion. Eye also heard they were surprised that he and ex-Hokie (Isiah Wilkens) both cleared transferring waivers last year. (Wilkens being done now). I can also see in his game log that he’s a bit hit or miss. Low to mid-single digits or mid to high-teens on production. As the Teeny version of Mr. Williamson would give the Dec’s more of a bully-pulpit to be sure. (UPDATE: this kid does yo-yo or Smothers Brothers a bit. Tho’, Qb1 Williams has either made or assisted on 42 percent of all Wake Forest field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has accounted for 20 field goals and 11 assists in those games.) He can do all ’round work.

Wake Forest Weaknesses:

  • Scoring has been an ongoing Forbes List thingy… (so, we shall see if this year’s early offensive-outburst, holds; on nots?)
  • Zero, that’s (o) all-A.c.c. pre-season anythings. None. Nadda. Nil. (This’ too could be a tip…)
  • Five, that’s (5) different ballers hit the snooze button down in Winston-Salem and refused to Wake, up. Still gone or sleeping around are 44 ppg, and 18 rpg. Spread across 3-G’s and 2 pretty big F’s.
  • So, depth is a question mark here???

Deacon Pew: (depth=5 or 6)

2nd-year, Carter Whitt (6′3″, 180 lb., Off.Guard) with 2.8 ppg and 2.1 apg are “PROBABLE” with a sprained foot/ankle from practice. (St.Sebastian help!). Carter does rock the long-ass Ric Flair curls. So, there is that, with no word from Tarzan or from Jane, yets. As Carter gets a decent amount of benching P.T. or minutes even if his digits have dropped a bit this season so far. As this One or Pt.Guard is a VHT (very highly touted), One, (pun intended). Per: being the top-ranked point guard in the state of North Carolina in 2020, according to 247Sports. Per also being ranked the No. 10 point guard nationally and ranked the No. 64 player overall nationally by Rivals. This after winning a lotta regional (Raleigh, Nc.) thingys and some Honor Roll love as well. Just not any elite or Statewide thingys which is curious if not conspicuous here? Ditto his chilly 27% from the floor and 18% behind the arc. As Cee.Dub is a better Pt.Guard than this. And his 2021 numbers are really down early this campaign. Maybe that wheel is still a bit, tired?

Khadim Sy is a 6′1o″, 24o lb., r-shirt, Graduate Student, transfer baller from: Dakar, Senegal. And he someway/somehow seems, familiar to me? Seemed familiar to Ole Miss. before that as well. Also familiar is the fact that Sy was: a four-star forward according to Rivals.com and rated the No. 3 junior college prospect according to 247Sports. Earlier on, he earned National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American Honorable Mention accolades by averaging 16.8 ppg and 9.8 rpg in his lone season at Daytona State. Then he went somewhere technical, or something like that? Did I mention the: ‘familiarity’ yets? Anywho… right now Sy is netting you 5.6 ppg and getting you 3.9 rpg in frontcourt relief. This on a most serviceable 47% overall and a mo’ than serviceable 45% from behind the arc. Good on gonna get the game of life right on a 2nd-degree, him.

Colorado transfer BIG: Dallas Walton (no relation), is a 7′, 23o lb.,  Graduate Student from: 5.8 ppg 5.4 rpg with the team-lead at 1.8 bpg is not half-bad pine-squad Post (office) work. Tho’ 41% from the floor and 21% from 3-point-land lacks refinement at this stAGE of his career. That all said, a blown right-A.c.l. (St.Nikon help) did buffalo his developing out in Boulder. This (saaaadly) after not one, two, that’s (2) full left-knee A.c.l. blow-outs (St.Culbert twice bless) out in Colorado H.S. fame. So, you really gotta wonder where poor Dallas is on even 1.5 good wheels? As he sure has given of himself and his body to this hardwood game. Dang, dang, dang…

Junior season stretch-F Grant van Beveren …G.v.B. is more parts rebounder even if he does not even remotely look the pasty-part. 6′6″, 215 lbs. of a very J.Crew kid who averaged 20 rpg in high school ball down in the Peach State of Ga. That’s all. He also only has one state title bling, from: Volleyball! As there are those who thought van Beveren woulda -and maybe even shoulda- picked the other sport. Granted, his Aunt (God Bless), the late Heather Holmes, played volleyball at Clemson and was the head volleyball coach at Wake Forest from 2005-12; mum played college volleyball (Clemson), pops played roundball for So.Methodist.U., and his uncle is only the Director of Scouting for the MLB S.F.Giants. The even mo’ curious part is that Grant is not in any of my pre-season mag’s (at least not fo’ Wake Forest). (UPDATE: van Beveran was OUT with: “undisclosed” … tho’ back recently God bless). Back also are his couple of points/boards alike.

R.A.T.T. VeeTee needs to do what(s) as the 10-point fave @home, here?

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Decs who could pulpit @Tech=4, and one mo', did!

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is…

…well, this one is not gonna be as easy to A.c.c. Opener takeaway as I had first thought.

Eye was ‘rong.

As Wake is right on course— and frankly who springtime 2021 knew?

Not me fo’ sho’.

(NOT any of my pre-season mag’s as well…)

Tho’ Coach Forbes -to his credit- has fashioned something of a grim, gritty, gutty buncha gamers. They may not be great. Tho’ you have to go’on and beat ’em.

…as big Stevie is prolly your early clubhouse leader for A.c.c. Coach of the Year.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for an in-League scrum soon enough ask back in a fortnight give/take.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… Nobody is up anything in shooting percentage margin (VT 3% better on D and WF 3% better on O); VeeTee however went up +14% 3-point percentage margin (mostly on D), with Wake up a nominal looking +1 in rebounding margin Windex Wipes year-to-date. (NOTE: Wake is way mo’ foresting on the defensive-glass than on O).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Decs is now up 2% in shooting percentage margin (as Hokie D has waned a bit…); the Gobblers however are now up +6% in 3-point percentage margin (again, Hokie halt-unit work has placed a temporary hire), and the Decs is now up +2 in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of caroms. (NOTE: neither team is getting better— so much as one team (VeeTee) has gotten, less).

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

BOTTOM LINE: Virginia Tech looks for its seventh straight win in the head-to-head series over Wake Forest. In its last six wins against the Demon Deacons, Virginia Tech has won by an average of 14 points. Wake Forest’s last win in the series came on March 4, 2o17, an 89-84 victory.

STREAK STATS: Virginia Tech has won its last four home games, scoring an average of 76 points while giving up 46.

TENACIOUS TECH: Virginia Tech has held opposing teams to 53.4 points per game this season, the second-lowest figure among all Division I teams.

Wake is up +1% at the charity stripe for the year.
Wake is up +1 or +2 in R&R. (Tho’ they are back end work heavy).
VT is a 1.oo host; whereas Wake is N/A guest. (This is their 1st, roadie!)

The Call...

No.196 Net Ranking Wake Forest @ no.51 Net Ranking Virginia Tech:

2 PM Kick-Off!

So, for most hoop-heads… the real calculus here is…

…how good is Wake; (or, not)?

  • According to ESPN’s SOS (strength of schedule), Wake rates 252nd hardest.
  • (Whereas we/VeeTee rank 114th in S.O.S.)

…then again, BOTH teams overall ppg-marker has moved (or contracted) by 6 ppg recently has each has faced some legit/real O.O.C. (out-of-conference) non-cupcake competition.

Eye repeat… both!


Wake has played and beaten successfully enough: …one in-state (Bill & Mary), a few nobody Carolina’s, a couple of smaller-case H.B.C.’s, and yet one P.A.C.-10 (Or.State) and one BIG-10 (Northwestern). Decent, seems to wanna pass the sniff-test, right?

Then we see that Lindy’s has Northwestern slotted: 11th in the BIG-10 and Or.State 7th in the P.A.C.-10. Wake got N.West by 2-buckets in OT and they got some beaver by 1-shot in OT as well.

(Their 1 L being vs. So.Eastern L.S.U. of Shaq-Fu’ fame by 14-points!) Lindy’s has tabbed Louisiana State 32nd best in all of D-1 and well, there you go.

The S.O.S. mathematics or reproof just began to coalesce…

The closer

There are credible Diaconate improvements here… are they preachy credible enuff over in the moderating weather-wise New River Valley?

Methinks, we need to get caffeinated here just in case…
…as me doubts Wake can take our A+++ O&M alarm clock upside their head.

And even if they are truly *that* improved?

This one is (still) all about, us…

The only question is us… are we W, O, K, E?


(69% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=71, Wake Forest=63

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