Wake Forest basketball preview!

#19 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #3o R.P.I. Wake Forest:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball was, butter.

The Hokies were; on a… roll. And then Boston College; (revenue sport, again), rolled down Chestnut Hill on them. Did Eye mention the: “again” part, yet? A strange game with strange(r) bounces to have such an even or sphereroidal looking and actual roundball in play. i.e., oblong football queer bounces Eye gets. This one? And not so much. As we just misplayed a rather oddball roundball day up in the F’n Eagles snakebit nest. Oh, welly… and on to @Wake Forest. Wake comes at us at 9 up against 4 down and an even or .5oo (1-1) in intra-league play. And they also come at us while we not only have to go out on the Always Congested Conference road to go at them— they come at us after a very tasty looking 81-7o upsetting victory vs. 14th ranked Duke. Nevertheless, 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=57, 3oo–107 (.738) overall*, and 40–30 (.571) @Wake. Has a rep’ for offense via offensive-sharing, steals, and for 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 two seasons back: The 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 13o 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 the 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 at a glance:

  • 36th best in FT percentage!
  • 1ooth most in 3-makes/per game.
  • 196th best in FG percentage allowed D.
  • 29oth in O-rebounding. (They do shoot reasonably well, however).
  • …and not much else. A VERY balanced team that does a lotta things well. Not great, well. Not bad, well. What with 19 outta the 32 Team metrics I track uppercase average to right on a C+++/B— fence. Not a buncha straight killers, very very very solid at what he {sic: Forbes} asks of them.
  • NO injuries were reported, (officially). (“THX” @Coach God).
    (Though my spies said, differently)…

Returning Starters=(just), 1!

Wake Forest Strengths:

  • Wake’s hoopz website… goes so far as to list N.I.L. deals and perks & bennies. w0w, (See: pic). Way to work my ninjas!
  • Tyree Appleby, lead-G; near… star. Pretty good baller here folks. Floridian transfer at: 6′, 175 lbs. of 5th-year streety scoring; near, extraordinaire. This kid is a keeper, at least on the offense end itself. The team-pacing: 18.0 ppg, married to: a reasonable 3.2 rpg, paired with an also team-leading 5.3 apg and another team-wide gold medal of: 1.5 spg might just be a clue. Likewise cluing you in might just be his team-leading: ~43% long, his team-pacing: 88% from the charity stripe, all of that dating a near team-setting 50.4% from the floor. wow! Can you say: “box score” yule log stocking-stuffer? (If you will pardon the seasonal and sporting mixing of… metaphor). As this is a meta-game kinda baller. As the only thing Tyree has not done is block a shot -yet- this year. Or, sell popcorn or park the big-money donors’ cars. The only real caveat is… the 3.3 tpg (turnovers) do speak to his loosey-goosey style of play. This kid ain’t feelin’ no pain. Never met a shot he did not like or would not, take. Not @Wake, not @Florida (12 ppg), nor @Cleveland State (17 ppg) prior to that. Mr. Appleby’s is all over the place on O, a couple of 8-point games, several high teens, and a few lowercase 20’s and 30-somethings alike. Not quite streaky, more like unpredictable. Although his high side has a whiff of acetylene or blow-torch to it, and he has been warmer of late. Lindy’s goes so far as to praise him as: “dynamic” and then to pan him a bit as: “sloppy”. Was something of a scholastic solo artist or scorer more so than championship victor behind all of that down in Arkansas. Does have a bit of: ‘hero-ball’ in him, tho’ individualized or not, he also enjoys some post-season clutch in him for it to boot. And quite frankly, be Tyree a bit selfie ‘sloppy’ or not… lotta teams would like to have his near 20 ppg problems. As this kid is seriously close to playing himself into being an overseas pro’; at least…

  • true-Jr., 6′1o″, 22o lb., Andrew Carr, Four or P/F. ‘drew is a Delaware Hen transfer frontcourter who gets you a serviceable: 10.1 ppg on (a 2nd-best) 5.2 rpg with 1.3 apg and a team-leading swat (o.9 bpg).  This Carr starts for an okay 3o.4% from downtown and 47.2% overall. ‘Drew is also a: member of the National Honor Society, a member of the National Spanish Honor Society, and a member of the National Business Honor Society. And the next time I read that Nationally or regionally or locally will be the second. A.C. is a true pasty-looking kid, who frankly (foreshadowing intended), reminds a bit of Mary Percy Shelley’s gothic gone Goliath big-man himself. Carr has been a bit chilly of late, tho’; he -same as Franky- he does maul his way to an outburst game or three here-n-there. As this is a true inside-baller, who defends well enough and physically maximizes his other (kinetic) limitations best he can. There are worse things we could say…
  • Cameron Hildreth is an imported 6′4″, 195 lb., second-season off-G bloke by way of rarified: Worthing England. Next time I read that one will be the second time, too. Anywho… Cam’ nets you a second-best 12.4 ppg. This is with a (very) surprising team-leading: 6.5 boards with 2.9 dimes and 1.o swipes. 47.6% overall and 32% from beyond the arc is solidifying. The rebounding and overall hardwood acumen are intriguing. As this was said to be only a penetrating type Wing who could set the table and/or teammates up at will. Looks like Cam’s game is mo’ than a pure camshaft itself, and is expanding as I type. Prior to all of that… Mr. Hildreth was only the top-ranked player in the U.K. by DENG Camps. He was only a (****) or Four-star player ranked No. 1 in England and No. 89 overall by 247Sports overall. And he only keeps one mo’ British Academy Basketball League (ABL) National Championship bling on his hand than you and I do combined. Where he was literally said to have been a: “dominating” player ‘over there’. Does rock a cinnamon beard and Bonding typea accent, so you’d prolly have to be the (swooning) USofA girl score over here. Has raised his hardwood (collegiate) scoring by a nifty 315% this year, too. And has been “on the come” on offense of late… this Two is one curious find. PROPs at the English scavenger hunt win from Wake’s hoops staff here. (UPDATE: PROBABLE: …banged-up after a bad fall vs.Duke is the word. Coach God Bless).
  • The lone returning starter Daivien Williamson, is a 5′12″, 18o lb., super senior season One or Pt.Guard for Wake Forest. By way of: Winston-Salem Prep and then by way of: the tri-city E.T.S.U. Bucs. Who BTW: (did) drop you: 14.8 ppg, with 1.9 rpg, on 1.0 apg and 1.8 spg. Now he drops you: 9.3 ppg and collects you 2.o rpg and an assist. This with a near A.c.c. leading 9o% from the charity stripe and a solid 38% when dialing long-distance and a now slumping 35.2% overall. And that is the final year foible for Dee.Dub here. He is missing closer mo’ often than longer per se. Still yet, 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 taker could/can, shoot a bit, yet? As this kid is too good for this in historic terms… gotta think this One finds his stroke at some 2o23, Point. As in… there is 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-20s Nor.Carolina H.S. scoring digits. I am sure he enjoys several all-tourney team awards at both high school and again at the D-1 levels. So, he must be good with the spotlight and therefore rise to the occasion. As said, this One is too good for this… time=tell. (UPDATE: PROBABLE: …has been battling back issues off-n-on for a spell, St.Wolfgang bless).
  • Lindy’s rates Wake as: “one of the deeper” A.c.c. teams as well.

Wake Forest Weaknesses:

  • Not a whole whole lot to drop here… W.F. prolly needs one mo’ pure shooter, and a little more defensive attention would not hurt. Tho’ this is a pretty solid semi-well-rounded hoops squadron.
  • They did tally zero, that’s (0) pre-season All-A.c.c. accolades, so; some may decry star-power here not named: Tyree himself. That could be true… Wake could be mo’ parts highly integrated and highly bought-in systemic C+++/B— kinda fellows. Although that is born of the A.c.c. level and that is code for post-season leveling here at some level of tournying itself.

Deacon Bench: (depth=2 to 4, health & match-ups, ‘pends; this is a lengthy/sizey bench, however)

True-senior 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; mums 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 trinary of points/binary of boards alike.

Matthew Marsh is a big ole, physically strapping-looking Center or Five all the way from: Cornwall, England. Really naturally strong kid upstairs, 7′1″ and 250 downright stacked-looking lbs. of piping might be a clue. Strong ole boy to be an import; or even a domestic for that matter. Following his stint with the Brit’s national team, and a little French League work, Matty moved from England to Spain, where he played with the much-vaunted FC Barcelona’s U-18 youth development team. Where he became the first British player to ever play for the Spanish club, where the team was two-time Catalonian Champions. So, international exposure, résumé, and passport stamping language skills he gots. He also gets you 7.1 ppg and a useful 4.8 rpg in only 17 mpg of pine-squad relief. The 88.6% shooting may not last— though it surely is hard to, miss. The only ill is his 42.9% free-throwing, which does need to come up-ins. However, as said, this is a brawny inside scorer, and those are hard to find these days. Be real interesting to see where Monsta Marsh finds himself come 2o25 too.

P/F, 6′1o″, 225 lb., rookie or nugget (Fr.) year Bobi Klintman is from: Malmo, Sweden. He is also from the 123rd National Ranking per 247Sports. He also fields a lotta FIBA and Swedish National team ties. So, he too has plenty of global experience in his dossier. **** or 4-star baller by every recruiting service. Lindy’s says b.Klint’ is an athlete who can shoot and defend, and that’s a pretty sharp combination Forward way more often than not. Was a Maryland commit who left after their big whistle did the same. The 4.5 ppg with 4.1 rpg and a send-back (.8 bpg) say he is still developing and/or Americanizing.  Still yet this is a lean and could/should fill in a bit substitute Four is an interesting 2o25 or 2o26 ask-back as well.

(Wake also courts a Beijing Chinaman (3rd-year very late roster edition reserve One, Xiaolong Xu, 6′1″, 180 lb., Shooting-G, Soph.) Woo although possibly heading to an r-shirt, makes for a very
spicey Team Picnic or cookout potpourri).

So, after a rather upsetting failed VenTure up to BeeCee, the @Wake is, what(s)?

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Decs who could preach @Tech=4 at least, maybe even 5?

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is

…Eye gotta admits…

I am starting to get a bit taken with what Big Cheese Steve Forbes is doing 126 miles nearly due south down in Winston Salem.

I’ve been critical of him before… although a nearly unheard-of +20 game turnaround last year is repaving Tobacco Road to the great.

Truly, that’s nearly mind-numbing coaching the verb.

And the hoopology kicker is… although I see one virtual star and several goods, I (still) ain’t seein’ a buncha shinnies or stellar ballers down in Deacon territory.

And that is edging closer and closer to sermonizing the coaching verb for Wake.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a January round-robin roundball Audubon savvy ask-back. However, I can tell you that a very solid 7 up 2 down Klempson defrocked Wake by 20 (57-77 the ‘rong way), prior to the papal-bull Deaconizing of Duke (81-7o) two Tuesdays ago.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… VeeTee is up a reasonable +5% in shooting percentage margin (from: being better on O marksmanship and a little better in defense of the same); with VeeTee also up ~ +4% in 3-point percentage margin (per: same drill, better ranging on O and just a little better in defense of the same), and VeeTee is up a nominal looking +1 in rebounding margin on carom collection for the duration. (Both teams excel on the D-glass, 82nd best for VeeTee, and 91st best from Wake; neither team misses a metric ton of shots on O… so, not as much to see here). (BONUS: it should be noted that Wake is actually +3% from the floor and another +3% from 3-point-land to boot. Wake is no marginalized slouch here; it is rather that VeeTee is less slouchy indeed).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… kinda surprisingly -at least to me and my committee of one- the Hokies are now up ≅ +17% in shooting percentage margin (per: and most curiously, both have dropped a few less shots on O of late, tho’ Wake’s D has really let go, like wilting easy-peasy floored overall let go); in 3-point percentage margin the F’n Gobblers are up +9% (from: Wake shooting and defending a little less and the Younglings really tightening up a lot mo’ (only: 22% allowed) vs. 3-balls),  and in rebounding margin in |absolute value| terms we see the Techmen now up +1 in backboarding misses in the last fortnight of ball. (Due to: …Wake actually going slightly negative and the O&M hovering right at break-even off the fiberglass itself). (i.e. both are worse of late, Wake is mo’ worse).

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

Waking up in the Training Room:
(see: Daivien Williamson and Cam Hildreth above).

Hokiebird feelin’, pokey…
Virginia Tech guard Hunter Cattoor is listed as Questionable by the team for Saturday’s game because of an injury to his left (fore)arm (St.Julia bless) sustained in the Boston College game.

On the flip side, highly touted freshman Rodney Rice could make his collegiate debut as he has been out since a preseason ankle (St.Philip bless) injury.

high-noon kick!

Ray Stevens streaky streaks:
For the Hokies, the loss to Boston College was marked by a season-high 15 turnovers and their second-worst shooting performance of the season at 4o.9 percent from the field. “Strange days indeed
Most peculiar, Mama,” —Coach John Lennon

Virginia Tech has won nine of the last 11 meetings with Wake Forest, including the past four matchups in Winston-Salem.

Wake is up a decent +3% at the charity stripe for the year.
Wake is up a restive +7 in R&R in the last 3 weeks.
Wake is a . host; whereas V.P.I. is . as a guest.

The Call

No.28 Net Ranking Virginia Tech @ No.87 Net Ranking Wake Forest:

So, and after such a well wrote and kinda nervy of the lesser parquet flooring up @Boston College preview; what did I @O.d.u. yet again do?

I dribbled the OPT outcome digits right off my left foot.
(“My bad.” Holds hand up for a personal foul, here).

That ain’t the way to be gents… as I gotta get back to going for the ‘feel’ of the game here and there again.


Nonetheless, this one feels a bit straighter; well, ‘forward’ (pardon the hoopz pun). As methinks Wake prolly beats Boston College straight up. Or at least two outta three.

Or, maybe Eye should opine mefears?

As Wake and Boston College’s style of play really does remind me of each other.

With BeeCee being the Connecticut Avenue version of the Dec’s.



That and this one may just be as simple as insalubrious 1o1.

Bowman Gray (God Bless them from me!) vs. the VT Vet’ School/Med.School too.

As neither of these two is one with health itself.
So, do yourself a favor and pick the one that seems less dinged-up.

Then do me a favor and let me know which club that might just be.

The closer

Also… as Will =freakin’- Stew’ educated us all years ago… A.c.c. road-warriors get rode about 7 times in 1o in historic terms.

As winning out on the Archival Coach Conference road has proven to be a tough row to hoe.

As Eye do view Wake as the rightful hostess with the mostess or slight favorite here.
@home in defense of our very own Casell and I’d prolly still take Tech here.

Nevertheless, on the A.c.c. road vs. the healthier A.c.c. team and that just might prove to be an O&M Bridge Too Far…

…and here you thought I was gonna take (against), Tech!


(45% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=73, Wake Forest =7o

please support the VT F.C.A.!







Happy Hokie New Year @TSL!!!