The kind folks at "Blogger So Dear" (Wake Forest's counterpart to SOJ) invited us to partake in a Q&A, and of course, we were thrilled to participate. Neither team of writers were very familiar with the opposing teams, so naturally we wanted to gain further insight and pass it along to our readers. Take a look at their link, as I answered questions they had, and I'm fairly certain dialogue will continue at: www.BloggerSoDear.com
Later today or tomorrow morning, JP will be posting a preview of the game, so, much more info to come.
1. Who is your best scorer and best rebounder?
Well the scoring has been done mostly by the two-headed monster of Travis McKie and CJ Harris. They are each averaging over 18 points apiece. Harris is a typical scorer that can fill it up from deep, has a good mid-range jumper, and create his shot to get to the free throw line as well. McKie relies more on being at the right place at the right time to get easy baskets inside. He has improved his shooting a great bit since last year, and I think if he can continue to improve even more then he will be a big threat in the next 2 ½ years. Chase Fischer is another guy to watch out for because he can shoot the 3 ball extremely well. He was a Parade All-American last year playing his high school ball in West Virginia. I’m eager to see the scoring matchup between Cosby and Fischer.
Our best rebounder is without a doubt Travis McKie. We have two 7 footers in Carson Desrosiers and Ty Walker, but they have been lacking in hitting the boards thus far in their career here. Rebounding (offensive especially) has been pretty terrible for us, and I’m very concerned about what Pope is going to do to us.
2. Tempo of the Wake Forest offense, what are they running as their base defense?
So far we have been pretty quick on offense. Coach Jeff Bzdelik likes to get out in transition when possible and run with the team. When we are in a half-court set we use a motion offense and get all 5 guys moving around the perimeter throughout any given possession. Desrosiers is one of the best passers on the team and he creates matchup problems when he pulls his man out of the paint.
Our defense is usually man to man, but we throw in a matchup 2-3 zone in there from time to time. I would guess against you guys that we play a lot of zone to try to slow down the penetrating ability of Theodore. There is also not a good matchup for us to cover Pope, so the 2-3 will hopefully work to slow him down a little bit. I am worried that if we do go to the zone D y’all will start hitting the 3’s with Cosby and Edwin. Our rotations have been a little slow at times this year, and that is a cause for concern.
3. SHU's Herb Pope has been a monster on the boards and fillin' it up, who will draw Pope assignment?
Make no qualms about it, Pope is one of the most talented players that we will face all year. I mean that, and I don’t see how we are going to keep him under 20 points barring a minor miracle. We get Ty Walker back for his first game of the year, so his blocking ability may help when Pope goes down low. I expect us to zone the Seton Hall offense a lot because of the matchup issue there, but when we go into a man-to-man it has to be McKie that will cover him in all likelihood. The versatility of Pope is extremely difficult to defend. When he gets the ball in the post we will have to double team with Nikita Mescheriakov/Walker/Desrosiers, or we have no chance.
4. How many players are in the Deacons rotation?
Tricky question at the moment actually. We usually have 8 players in the rotation (Chennault, Harris, McKie, Desrosiers, Fischer, Fields, Green, and Mescheriakov), but Green has an unknown ailment that will likely prevent him from playing in the game tomorrow night. The good news for Wake Forest fans is that we get Ty Walker back from a fall semester suspension due to violations of team rules. I expect Walker to get 12-15 minutes out of necessity. That is a fairly long winded answer, but to boil it down, the number is 8.
5. Prediction on outcome?
Hard to say for me because I have only seen Seton Hall play two games this year (NW and Auburn). Herb Pope is an absolute beast and will wreak havoc against us. I am also nervous about our ability to step out and defend the ball. We are coming off of an 87-83 win on the road @ High Point in front of a record setting crowd. We shot the ball really well, but couldn’t defend at all. If that trend keeps up then I expect this game to be a little higher than people may think.It’s been a pleasure taking the time to chat with your blog, and I wish you guys the best of luck tomorrow night, as well as the rest of the season!
I’ll go ahead and say Seton Hall-81 Wake-67. I’m guessing that Pope and Theodore lead the experienced Pirates to victory over our younger team. I just want to see a great effort from our guys and continued improvement. Along with, as always, no injuries for both teams.