ACC Basketball

NC State Looking For Wake Sweep

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America)

These two faced off way back in early December and Wake Forest managed to keep it close for a half. The Wolfpack, despite playing at home, couldn’t shake the 4-5 Demon Deacons, leading by three at halftime, but behind Mark Gottfried’s SEC connection of Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner, State pulled away and never let Wake back into the game.

Lacey and Turner combined for 36 in that game and the pair continue to be the go-to guys on this squad (top-2 in scoring). Overall as a team the Wolfpack score at an efficient rate, are capable of knocking down threes and their bigs are not afraid to attack the boards. The trick as always is who will step up to be that third scoring option?

Kyle Washington has done it from time to time and Abdul-Malik Abu has been impressive the past two weeks, but it’s really about Anthony Barber. After delivering almost nothing in points his last three weeks, he exploded for 23 points against Georgia Tech, hitting 4-5 from deep. Prior to that game, he had just five threes all season long. Cone on, Cat…impress your inner-scorer.

If you just took a look at the standings, you wouldn’t be impressed by Wake Forest. They are 10-12 on the year, with just one win over a top-100 team and just 2-7 in conference. Those two wins against a pair of teams (Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech) who have just two combined league victories. So yeah, not impressed.

However, if you’ve actually watch Danny Manning’s squad play, the team playing now is better than the team earlier in the season. Codi Miller-McIntyre is the headliner. He runs the show at the point and leads the team in minutes, points, assists and is second in rebounds. However, he’s prone to turn it over and doesn’t shoot at a high percentage, especially from three (27% from deep). For my money, Devin Thomas can be the difference maker. He’s now tied for the conference lead in rebounds (10.0 per game) and has really become a solid scoring option in January. He’s scored in double digits in eight of his last nine, hitting 56% from the floor).

WORTHLESS PREDICTION: NC State, 77-70

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