Wake Forest seeks more of same vs. Longwood

NCAA Basketball

An encore would be nice for Wake Forest, but the Demon Deacons won’t put too much emphasis on their first result.

Next comes a Friday night game against visiting Longwood in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Wake Forest opened with a 111-51 rout of visiting Delaware State on Wednesday night.

“I think it was a little bit of a sense of relief that we got here,” first-year coach Steve Forbes said of launching the season. “Just that we were able to band together and play together, that’s a special feeling.”

Forbes, who replaced fired Danny Manning in the spring, added, “I was not really looking at the score, I was looking more at if we were playing hard and playing together and sharing the ball. We had 21 assists on 36 baskets, so the ball was moving.”

Longwood was supposed to get a crack at Delaware State on Thursday afternoon, but that game was nixed because of a positive coronavirus test involving the Delaware State team.

Unlike the Lancers, Wake Forest already has new data to access.

“I’m not here to tell you we played a perfect game,” said Forbes, who directed the largest margin of victory for Wake Forest since a January 1983 game vs. Buffalo. “We had our moments where, maybe we were not great, but for the game (Delaware State) shot 26 percent from the field. I was pleased with that.”

Wake Forest made 14 shots from 3-point range — its highest total in nearly four years. With 15 minutes to play, the Demon Deacons already had more treys than in any game last season.

Redshirt freshman forward Tariq Ingraham supplied 19 points and 7-for-7 shooting from the field in his collegiate debut.

This will be the first of three nonleague games before Longwood dives into Big South Conference games.

“The question will be: How quickly do we season, how quickly do we get that experience?” said Lancers coach Griff Aldrich, whose squad went 14-18 last season.

Redshirt junior guard Juan Munoz is the lone North Carolinian on the Longwood roster so he’s the only player back in his home state. Entering the season, he has made at least one 3-point basket in 18 consecutive games, and he was the team’s leading scorer last season at 10.8 points per game.

This shapes up as the tallest team in the Longwood program’s history with an average height of 6 feet, 4.35 inches. The list is led by 6-11 Abraham Deng and 6-10 Ilija Stefanovic, the latter a forward who is the lone senior on the roster.

“It’s the most talented team I’ve had in my three years here,” Aldrich said. “We have a good nucleus of guys who have been in the program, but they just don’t have the playing experience yet.”

Wake Forest won the only previous meeting with Longwood 15 years ago, 88-47.

–Field Level Media

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