This week is a big one for Demon Deacon fans. The men’s soccer team, fresh off a win over Duke, will enter the ACC Tournament as the number one seed on Tuesday. The No. 4 Deacs (13-3-2) clinched a share of the regular season title and earned the top spot over UNC with tiebreakers.
The men’s basketball team kicks off its regular season against Summit League opponent Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles finished 16-15 a year ago with the No. 2 seed in their league tournament, but lost to South Dakota State. ORU, coached by Scott Sutton, has made a habit of playing tough opponents, facing off against North Carolina, Missouri, USC, Tulsa and Creighton last year.
The Lady Deacs are taking on Mars Hill in their only exhibition game of the season on Monday at the Joel. Head Coach Mike Petersen led the team to a 19-12 record and an NIT berth against Georgetown. Wake was picked to finish 10th in the ACC preseason poll.
At the tail end of the week, the football team will hold Senior Day at BB&T Field against Florida State. The Seminoles are expected to be without quarterback Christian Ponder for Saturday's contest. Kickoff is set for noon on ESPNU. The Deacs will need a win against both the Seminoles and Duke next week to become bowl eligible for the fourth year in a row.
Recapping the Week
It sure is good to see Wake Forest on the hardwood again. In an exhibition against IUP, the Deacs started slow, but were able to handle the Crimson Hawks, 88-57. Al-Farouq Aminu, a preseason Naismith Watch and preseason All-ACC selection, showed why he earned the hype with a 24 point, 11 rebound and seven assist performance on 7-10 shooting. Chas McFarland returned from a preseason hand injury to record a double-double (17 points and 10 rebounds).
This was also the first chance for those who were unable to attend the Summer League to see the Demon Deacon freshmen. Ari Stewart, expected to pick up a lot of James Johnson’s minutes, had a quiet four point, three rebound performance on 2-7 shooting. CJ Harris, backing up Ish Smith, showed spurts, hitting a three and adding four assists, finishing with six points. Konner Tucker added six points and hit all three of his free throws.
The heartbreaking season continues for the Demon Deacon football team. Wake Forest fell to 4-6 (2-4) with a 30-27 overtime loss to No. 10 Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Leading the Deacs was redshirt senior Riley Skinner who finished 26/40 for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Marshall Williams added eight catches for 111 yards, going over the 700 yard mark for the season. Devon Brown had two scores on seven receptions and 62 yards.
Wake Forest had trouble running the football all day and was only able to muster 28 yards on 1.1 yards per carry. In the second half, the Deacs only had four first downs in the second half.
In overtime, the Demon Deacons ran the ball on consecutive plays and on third down, Skinner was sacked, forcing Wake to settle for a Jimmy Newman field goal. The Wake Forest defense forced a Georgia Tech fourth down at the five, but Tech head coach Paul Johnson opted to go for it and quarterback Josh Nesbitt picked up the first before running again for the score and the win.
This was Wake’s fifth loss by three points or less. “"It's frustrating," Riley Skinner said. “We are right there in every game. We're just not finishing it."
After a quiet few weeks, Wake got some good news on the recruiting front. Pahokee product Antonio Ford committed to the Demon Deacons, joining teammates Merril Noel and Zach Allen. Ford made the trip to Winston-Salem along with Noel and Allen for the Miami game and said that he really enjoyed talking with head coach Jim Grobe during the visit. Ford became the 17th commitment for the 2010 class.
Zach Allen made headlines as well as he gave the word that he would be enrolling in the spring. In an interview with DeaconSports’s Spencer Cagle, Allen said: “They want me to be the next Aaron Curry. I told them that it’s possible but really I’m going to be me. I’m very excited they compared me to him but I’ll do my own thing there.”