If there was one team in the ACC that could a break early on this season, it’s Wake Forest. Not only are they breaking in a new coach, Jeff Bzedelik, but they’re practically breaking in a whole new roster. The Demon Deacons have lost four of their top six starters and their two top returning players were both freshman last year.
WAKE FOREST’S 2010-2011 SCHEDULE
Wake needed a break early, but they aren’t getting one. The Deacons will be participating in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Sure they’ll be hosting the east regional side of the bracket, but if they want to advance to Madison Square Gardens, they need to win both games. I’m not sure it’s a lock.
At first, they’ll take on Hampton. If they win that one, Wake will either face VCU or Winthrop. The two mid-majors can easily walk into Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum and pull out a win.
If Wake Forest can avoid the upset, they potentially find schools like Villanova, Tennessee and UCLA. Right now, I wouldn’t label Wake the favorite over any of those four teams.
Wake Forest will end the month of November against Iowa in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
After a tough first month to the season, December becomes a lot easier for the Demon Deacons. The schedule is loaded with cupcakes (Holy Cross, UNC Wilmington, UNC Greensboro, Presbyterian and Richmond).
The lone exception is the Skip Prosser Classic where they’ll take on a very good Xavier team in Cincinnati.
Once the New Year kicks in, Wake heads home to take on Gonzaga. The Bulldogs will be looking for revenge after the Demon Deacons won in Spokane last year.
In ACC play, Wake avoided two games with Duke and North Carolina. They host the former and visit the latter. However, don’t assume that gives them an easy schedule.
They do double-duty against the likes of Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State and Virginia Tech, All five of those team will have legit shots at the NCAA Tournament.