Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons - 11/19/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-0) at Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0)
College Basketball: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Bud Walton Arena)
The Line: Arkansas Razorbacks -10 -- Over/Under: TBA See the Latest Odds
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons travel to Arkansas to play the Razorbacks on Wednesday night.
The Demon Deacons are 2-0 after beating UNC Asheville and Tulane to start the season. Wake Forest went out and grabbed a hot coach in Danny Manning. Coach Manning led Tulsa to the NCAA Tournament thanks to a big run through the Conference USA Tournament. Prior to winning 11 straight heading into the NCAAs, Coach Manning’s team was just 10-12. It is a risky hire for the Demon Deacons and it will take time for Coach Manning to get his players into the system, so only time will tell. For now, the Demon Deacons have some serious rebuilding to do. The Demon Deacons lose four of their top six scorers. There is not a massive amount of returning talent that is up to ACC standards, but Codi Miller-McIntyre and Devin Thomas are a good place to start. Miller-McIntyre emerged as the team’s top scorer during his sophomore season, averaging 12.6 points and a team high 4.2 assists. He is a tough guard who uses his strength very well when attacking the basket. With a little more consistency from his jumper, Miller-McIntyre should turn into a 15 point scorer. Thomas is the interior scoring threat. After a great freshman campaign, Thomas kept getting better as a sophomore by averaging 11.1 points and 7.5 rebounds. With another year of improvement, Thomas could turn into one of the better frontcourt players in the conference and earn All-ACC accolades.
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The Arkansas Razorbacks won their season opener 97-79 against Alabama State on Sunday. The streak for Arkansas should end here. The Razorbacks have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2008 and that is painful for a proud program like Arkansas. Coach Mike Anderson has been recruiting well and the team should be able to build off of their NIT appearance a year ago. The Razorbacks went 10-8 in SEC play, which is not all that great in what was a pretty poor conference, but they did win a game in the NIT. The team will be led by senior guard Rashad Madden. He averaged a team high 12.7 points and 2.8 assists last season and also knocked down 40.0 percent of his attempts from long range. Ideally, one of the newcomers would handle the starting point guard job so Madden can slide over to the shooting guard spot. If Madden has to spend more time with the ball in his hands, expect Anthlon Bell to see more starts. Bell, a 6-3 junior, will take most of his shots from beyond the arc and he can be extremely dangerous when those shots are falling. Michael Qualls is another good shooter, but he can score by attacking the basket too.
Wake Forest is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The over is 10-4 in Arkansas’s last 14 non-conference games.
These two teams have not played since 2001, when Wake Forest won 76-71 at home. Wake Forest has a ton of work to do to become a solid squad this season. The Demon Deacons are too inexperienced to compete at high level with Arkansas right now. The Razorbacks should make some noise in the SEC and I expect them to make the NCAA tournament this year. Both of these teams can score, and there is usually some give on the defensive end. I think this will be a high scoring affair and Arkansas will pull away in the second half.