Your Wake Forest basketball preview is, up!

#239 R.P.I. Wake Forest #39 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns to the homesteading court on a now 4 PM (later) tip’ vs. Wake Forest in a slightly warming up New River Valley Saturday afternoon matinee.

The Hokies now play host to 6 up and 12 down (next to last place in the A.c.c. at 3-12) Wake Forest. The Deacons are o-2-2 on all things 2020-2021 as cancelations and postponements go respectively. However irrespectively enough… they have not had a scratch game since way back in December right before the New Year (or, 12.3o). Not many in the A.c.c. can say they’ve managed to hack away the limbs of a Sweet-16 looking game(s) consecutively this regular season. The ascorbic or irregular part -if you are a Dec’- is that Wake has only managed to hang four W’s in that cycle of typical erraticism. And two of those wins were by a mere three shots, combined. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on to find, outs!

Wake Forest Head CoachSteve Forbes: Age=55, 266–89 (.749) overall*, and 6–12 (.333) @Wake. Has a rep’ for offense via offensive-sharing, steals, and being a
Buzzsaw high-energy coach.
$(undisclosed); 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.

Seems like a good guy… won’t make the “O-face” joke here. (doh!)

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 ( and Head), Barton County CC ( 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! 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 at a glance:

  • 23rd in FT percentage!! (now  to a still above ave. 74th).
  • 31st in swipes per game! (now all the way  to a moderate 154!)
  • 47th most 3-point attempts/game. (should be some long-rebounds, here).
  • 97th in FG percentage O. (now way way  to a C— mere 236th!!)
  • 291st most assists. (⇔, now 283rd most, pretty steady here).
  • 305th in offensive-rebounding! (both O & D rebounding are now basically normalized,  here!)
  • 333rd in swats!!! (, or better at 263rd now).
  • Wake has 22 outta the 33 Team metrics Eye track ranked somewhere in the 200’s. And yet they only have one ranked in the 300’s (now way down to 3o8th in 3-point defense percentage allowed, ⇓⇓). The point being… they are A.c.c. suspect; just not Nationally statistically indicted itself.
  • 4 to 6 injuries listed; ‘pending who you ask/where you looks. (Coach God Bless^7 at least!)

Returning Starters=1 (now optionally: none)

Wake Forest Strengths:

  • Tough to pick an alpha to super-focus preview here… as there is a scoring quadfecta all trapped between 10.3 ppg and 12.2 ppg.
  • P/F and 6′8″, 2oo lb., Jr. year, Isaiah Mucius… is your second-leading boarding-party Dec’ with 5.1 rpg. He chips in with 10.3 ppg and yet the 14.3% from downtown 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; who 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. 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. (UPDATE: ⇔ or pretty well flat since I first wrote this a few fortnights back…)
  • Big ole bruising Tariq Ingraham -all 6′9″, 255 lbs., Wes Unseld (literal) looking- of him was done for most of last year. St.Nikon bless, on the blown (left) Achilles. Done as well would be his AAAA Keystone (Pa.) state title, his pretty big-time production rep’ up in Pennsylvania, and his pretty dang versatile inside-out game for being a big guy with a big/tough rep’. Both momma and poppa bear balled hoops in college at Seton Hall. So, you know the family tree was most willing for this r-rookie year baller who will have to wait until next year’; because… (UPDATE: apparently this kid has: Opted-Out with cv19 concerns… Godspeed!) Accordingly, (now) done this year would be his 11.0 ppg and his 3.5 rpg with a deft inside-shooting touch to boot. (UPDATE2: that said… he is now listed as: “Illness”. God Bless, ‘fraid to ask what’s 2020-2021 up with dat…)
  • Ian DuBose G is a 6′4″, 225 lb., grad’-student-athlete. This is a physically demonstrative off-G. Kinda reminds a scosche of Mitch Richmond in terms of his sawed-off sparkplug build. He was named: 2020 Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year and prior to that he was also named: 2018-19 Second Team All-Southland Conference; at Houston Baptist U. (so the transfer on sideways or oranges to oranges religious lines makes perfect sense here). A 3-year starter, a bit of a scorer what with 19 ppg per H.B.U. Decent to a good shooter who had some streaks to his range at times. 60% deep now down to 34.4% this year good for 11.9 ppg with a team pacing 2.7 apg (this number got cut-n-half) along with 4.7 rpg and again the team alpha with 1.4 spg is not bad overall work if you can get it. FT’s have improved every year from 62% debut and now all the way up to a shiny looking 83%— which tells you, Mr. DuBose, is not the enemy of elbow-grease itself. Well, they had improved, tho’ he’s now back to the very same screwy-looking 62% FTA’s; go fig’ here? Then we see his family-tree: with cousin Brandon Evans who played basketball at Rice, cousin Braxton Evans played football at Rice, cousin George Duffie Rooks played football at Syracuse and spent one season playing in the NFL with the New York Giants, cousin Jeffrey DuBose played football at Gustavus Adolphus, cousin Taylor Rooks plays basketball at Harvard. Lotta DuBose athletics Genome here. And Ian plays a mean lead string-bass. So, there is that too. As this is a very well-rounded baller who prolly slots as fringe overseas for it. (UPDATE: OUT with a: “undetermined issue”… God help!) (UPDATE2: tho’ he had been really  or slumping at everything not named scoring itself).
    Quality glue-kinda-guy 1o1…
  • One #5, 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′2″, and a super middleweight 170 lbs. Not the biggest dog in the fight, and frankly he looks it; (appearing rather thinly), upon breaking tape. Williamson also looks like a decent mid-range shooter, and he was not so much of a 3-point (23%) maker when Eye first looked. Tho’ he is finding the twine a bit mo’ of late and is now up to a serviceable 35.6% behind the arc. The book still says: limited deep range, tho’ he does lead Wake with 12.7 ppg. The 2.4 rpg and 2.6 apg with 1.4 spg on a decent enough 44.8% overall and 77% FTA’s are all okay enough. Nothing really ‘rong with any of that.  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. 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 guy gets a mixed or  grade; although he was all over the place both up and down everywhere you look box score-wise).

Wake Forest Weaknesses:

  • Who knew ex-head coach Dan the not: Man’ was so popular that nearly everyone we saw last year (less one Sr.) went “☮️ut!” on Wake!
  • I mean, there is/was only one guy left from last year’s rotation (Tariq Ingraham).
  • Missing summatively however would be… ~60 ppg and ~30 rpg!
  • That’s all…
  • Great American Quilt or a very patchwork-looking team. (lotta transfer 1-n-done’s built for now/today, and not necessarily engineered for the long-haul).
  • And on top of all of dat… Wake is really hurting right now; not far removed from 50% of the roster is dinged, dented; sickly… or plum OUT. God help!
  • Back-up third-year Miles Lester (6′, 170 lb., Pt.Guard), ex-Rice Owl on 3.3 ppg and 32% long is “OUT indefinitely” with “undisclosed”.  (God Bless).
  • 1st-year, Carter Whitt ( 6′4″, 180 lb., Off.Guard) with 6 ppg and 3.4 apg are “QUESATIONALE” with a sprained foot/ankle from practice. (St.Sebastian help!).
  • Anthony Mathis Jr. (6′1″, 185 lb., Shooting Guard), ex of the U.S. Naval Academy (grad-transfer), is out with an: “UNDEFINED injury”. Adm.God help! As this kid has already missed two seasons @Navy —and yet he led the state of Kentucky in 3-point shooting as a scholastic Jr. So, there shoulda been some senior range here. Dang…                                   ⚓
  • The Wake injury list has been growing/going the ‘rong way of late… hate that for anyone/anytime, and no less so this particular season too!

Deaconate Bench: (depth=handful)

Sophomoric Ody Oguama was a 6′9″, 225 lb. thinly lanky looking Ichy Crane type pointy-elbow frontcourter by way of North Carolina. Who has now gone our and found about 22 lbs. of right-mass and looks more the 220V or “power” Forward part. Tho’ he did prep up in New England and frankly this one was something of a reaching take to me. As the highest recruiting ranking, that I could find was 1o5th (for P/F’s) and 516th, after that. So maybe D.Man’ saw something here others did not? Dunno… tho’ I do know that the offense (8.6 ppg) has upped by 411% … from this maybe still needs to add a little mo’ strength/right-mass Four who is more parts rim-protector/defender at this stage of his game. 5.4 rpg on 50.4% is showing some flashes here, however. Making this an interesting O2 kid come 2023 I’m tending to expect. (UPDATE: rebounding did go up, everything else however, went… )

6′8″, 220 lb. second-season Three Ismael Massoud is a lean, multi-tasking Spaniard at the Three with a said to be fine shooting-stroke from the outside. 148th in all the land per Scout and pretty much all-anything Massachusetts-wise in high school for the Harlem NYC native. An improving 8.2 ppg with 3.3 rpg on 33.7% long is no bad bullpen shakes. And the Pequod and I both have to wonder where Ismael will be come 2023? Presuming Ismale survives the weight-room, a protein shake and a steak or three. As his length and range could develop into a serial overload at S/F in power conference terms. With no word in yet if coach Herm’ Melville has ‘called’ this kid or not… (UPDATE: not huge , tho’ mostly down pretty much across the board).

True-C, rookie or nugget-year Emmanuel Okpomo, and sophomoric stretch-F Grant van Beveren F stands 12′16″ combined and weighs 444 together. They combine for 4 ppg and 4 rpg to boot. Okpompo looks like a freakazoid, robot, and android. Literally, almost equal parts; as Lurch called and wants his forehead lugnut back. This dood is a bruiser. A living bowl of mashed-potatoes extra lumpy at that. He was a pure meat-hook enforcer on the #3 in the nation Oak Hill (basketball) Academy after pretty much being the same over in the 3o4’s very own Huntington Prep (W. Va.). Not a scorer, tho’ he can and will bang and there are worse things… and if/when Em’ can develop some real-live O? 1.2 ppg right now.  As I doubt the All-Charmin Conference can handle his physicality. (UPDATE: kinda , which may not be bad when viewed through the prism of decreasing P.T. or minutes).

G.v.B. is more parts rebounder even if he does not even remotely look the pasty-part. 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 may be OUT with: “undisclosed”… God bless).

Successfully holding court @home vs. Wake is all about, what(s)?

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Deacons who could surminizse @Tech=was at least 4, now=maybe 3.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is…

…well, both squads got took last time out.

And both clubs are coming off their season lows as offensive output goes. So, someone has gotta pop clean here, right?

VeeTee got took (53-69) by a top-heavy 3-headed monsta of Gah.Tech —who is very narrow-shouldered below those three handy melons.

And Wake got took good-n-hard by a very solid Clemson Tiger (14-5) squad who defrocked the Deacon O and emptied the Winston Salem collection plate via holding Wake to a season-low of a football-looking 39 points! (that’s a season-low by 15-points if you are keeping score at home mind yah).

So, in horse-racing terms… one of these two teams is indeed due to ‘bounce’.

(which seems rather roundball vs. hardwood mix-metaphorically correct to me).


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a whacko looking 73-point Tech Triumph. Which encodes for a potential 12-point and change VicTory dance when taken pro-rata. Odd part(s) being… there are numerous missing data points as both hoops teams postponed round-robin like-on-like crime contests vs. the very same A.c.c. schools. That and Wake was noticeably more Forum Guide competitive in intra-league play early on. (so, hopefully that bodes Recency Effect well enough here for us).

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… V.Tech is up +6% in shooting percentage margin (pretty close to 3% and 3% again evenly O/D split); V.P.I. is up +4% in 3-point percentage margin (all on D), and Vah.Tech is up +6 in carroms in rebounding margin year-to-date (Wake is a bit below average and VT is a bit+++ better than average on Windex Wipes).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Hokies are now only up +2% in shooting percentage margin (and on both O & D, albeit with reductions in both O & D prowess alike); with the F’n Gobblers now up +2% in 3-point percentage margin (caveat: Mikes D covered his stale longball O, as Wake has been hot behind the arc of late), and almost a bit numbingly, the Dec’s are the ones Good Bookin’ +2 misses in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of fiberglass work.

  1. No. 16 Virginia Tech looks for its sixth straight win in the head-to-head series over Wake Forest and eight of the past nine meetings with Wake Forest. Virginia Tech has won those five by an average of 9 points.

    (now) a 4 PM kick-off!
  2. Qb1… Point-F, Aluma has either made or assisted on 47% of all Virginia Tech field goals over the last three games. The senior forward has accounted for 20 field goals and 15 assists in those games!
  3. Eye kan’t drive sixty-five! As Wake Forest is o-8 when scoring fewer than 65 points and 6-4 when scoring at least 65.
  4. I thought we lost our edge and got hit in the stomach and we stepped away from it and that is unlike our team.” (Coach Mike on Gah.Tech); ouch! (as there were vibes of too much hotel-time during the mandatory isolation protocol period).
  5. (BONUS: Wake has cleaned up their user-friendly Turnover Margin quite a bit on O of late— i.e., there are a couple of hidden tho’ prickly signs of betterment, here).

Wake is up just about +5% at the charity stripe for the year.
VeeTee is up a redunkuless +22 in R&R this month.
VT is a .818 host; whereas W.F. is .143 as a guest.

The Call...

No.139 Net Ranking Wake Forest @ no.5o Net Ranking Virginia Tech:

Although this is scarce to find in the old all-important Win Column, Wake has improved a bit of late; whereas Mike and Co. have regressed a bit of late as well.

i.e., making this one my pet… “two ships passing in the night”.

The caveat being, the lead ship is still a Heavy Cruiser; albeit a straw-bottomed WW1 vintage one. The other ship is an interwar Destroyer.

You do the maths…


That all squarely struck?

IF, Wake were only at full-strength… I’d be December 24th toying this the upset pick, here.

Nevertheless, with poor Wake so very training-room (God Bless) dinged-up?
And not so much.

Gotta favor the home-team to hold serve where All Championship Conference teams typically do 3 times outta 10 in historic terms. That and Wake has hit the ‘snooze’ button of late, what with three straight L’s by 21 on average.

Accordinlgy, Cruisers do have higher caliber main guns and I’ma hoping VeeTee shakes
off some rust and cruises to a later-2nd-half VicTory here.
Ergo, therefore, to Witt, do Eye hear 53-39 OPT, vote?
J/k, well, mostly J/K…


(69% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=73, Wake Forest=6o

please support the VT F.C.A.!




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