What trends are we seeing ten games into the season?
Wake Forest is currently 5-5, with just four non-conference games remaining. Let's take a look at how Wake Forest is performing in each of the four factors of basketball. All data is current as of December 17th. I also acknowledge the caveat that we are not dealing with the largest sample sizes here, especially for individual player data.
Wake struggles offensively and has the 202nd best offensive efficiency in the country, according to Ken Pomeroy's ratings. The biggest reason for this is very fundamental to basketball, and that's that Wake cannot shoot the ball very well. Wake is 217th nationally in effective field goal%. Only one player, Mitchell Wilbekin, is shooting above 33% from beyond the arc. Wilbekin has seemingly found his shot and is currently 42.5% (17-40) on the year. The next best are Darius Leonard and Cornelius Hudson, who are each making approximately 32% of their three point shots. In addition to lack of outside shooting, the Deacs are not shooting a high enough percentage when they get easy opportunities. Devin Thomas is shooting just 49%, which is 5 percentage points lower than last season.
Turnovers are also another clear reason why the offense is struggling. They turn the ball over on 21% of our possessions, which is 225th nationally. Junior point guard Madison Jones has the highest turnover rate on the team at 33%. Cornelius Hudson and Devin Thomas also have TO%'s above 24%.
Wake Forest does a very good job on the offensive glass and at getting to the foul line. Wake players grab 37% of their misses, which is 53rd nationally. Konstantinos Mitoglou has the highest offensive rebounding % on the team, and is 90th nationally. The team is rebounding at a much higher rate than in year's past, so clearly Danny Manning has had a positive impact there. The Deacs also do an outstanding job at getting to the foul line, as they have the 23rd best free throw rate in the country. Wake is making just 66% of its free throw attempts, however, which is 231st nationally. A few more makes would go a long way to improving Wake's offensive efficiency.
Wake currently has the 79th best defensive efficiency in the country. It would be better, but Wake Forest is allowing opponents to make 52% of their 2 point field goal attempts, which is 280th nationally. This stems from turnovers leading to fast break dunks and lay ups, as well as a tendency to be slow getting back after their own made baskets. Wake forces turnovers on 21% of baskets, which is 106th nationally. I'd like to see that number increase and allow the team to get easy transition buckets and limit the number of half-court possessions they have to play.
Their defensive rebounding is exceptional. They only allow opponents to grab 22 of misses. This effort is largely led by Devin Thomas, who has the 4th best defensive rebounding % in the nation. The Greek Deac also has a very impressive defensive rebounding rate. Wake's defensive free throw rate is right in line with the national average.
If you have a specific question about a player, I'd be happy to answer them in the comments section. As always, go Deacs!
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