What’s going on? Wake Forest has a legitimate basketball team. They’re now 13-5 after smoking Louisville yesterday (soothing the pains of Louisville annihilations of Wake football that none of us like to even think about). This impressive play is as true as it is surprising as it is something not to be tinkered with or jinxed or fantasized about its possibilities.
I heard some pundit say this week that Wake’s got as good a starting line-up as any in the ACC. That hasn’t been true for the last 20 years and maybe longer – maybe ever.
They beat up Louisville by twenty-something while popping in 3 balls. So they can shoot from a distance. They’re leading the ACC in free-throw percentage. I think sustaining this high marksmanship will be the single most important factor in determining how far they go because winning close games often comes down to making foul shots.
I ask again: What’s going on?
How did this program go from utter dismay a few years ago to a team that plays together and for each other, has talent, is winning games, and is now considered one of the last four teams to make the NCAA tournament? Some say that’s disrespectful, that this team is better than that.
I’m not sure. I do know this: They go into the Baby Blue Heaven Dean Dome this Monday night and play that team that beaten them 91 percent of the time dating back to the Civil War. Let’s see what they can do to the Tar Heels, 14 and 3) who no doubt assume they’re better and will cruise to victory, and this will be justified because UNC has won 100 billion more basketball games than Wake over the course of our lives.
Is Wake Forest for real in basketball?
I don’t know but this is what I like in what I see. Hildreth’s motor runs hot on every possession. Pure energy, and guts, a basketball player worth admiring in every way. Surprisingly athletic and doggedly determined. Carr’s athleticism is surprising. Usually, Wake guys that big aren’t as skilled as he is and you can tell he has a zest for basketball.
Monsanto is back bombing threes which will help come March. He now has a 3-point bomb co-shooter in Parker Friedrichsen, the kid who signed with Notre Dame before switching to Wake. You know he’s good if Notre Dame wanted him.
PFred will be important in affecting how far this team goes because he’s got that simple flick push shot (Rudy style in 6th grade) quick release that Caitlin Clark and Steph Curry have perfected. It’s something trustworthy because it’s easily repeated and lends itself to muscle memory improvements.
So here we are, getting intrigued and our hopes up that Wake Forest will do big things in basketball this season, promising not to jinx anything by making any predictions about how this will end up.
One game at a time.
In Chapel Hill.
Let’s make Baby Blue Heaven a dark night for the Tar Heels.