November 26, 2020

Independent analysis and commentary on UVA athletics

ACC Offseason Refresh – #15 Wake Forest

Library

Contents

It’s got to be pretty bad for Danny Manning to have been fired in the middle of the pandemic, Wake Forest so ready to ditch him that they’d eat an 8-figure buyout despite every athletic department in D-1 being badly in the red. It was the lone coaching change in the ACC this offseason, and Steve Forbes, newly arrived head coach from ETSU, is ready to put his mark on the once-proud ACC program.

Coach: Steve Forbes; 130-43 in 5 Seasons Overall; first season at Wake Forest

2019-20 Record: 13-18 (6-14); T-13th in ACC

2019-20 KenPom Efficiency:

National: AdjO: 108.7 (61st of 353)
AdjD: 102.0 (166th of 353)
ACC: AdjO: 102.3 (7th of 15)
AdjD: 107.5 (15th of 15)

 

Roster Roundup

Departures:

PG Brandon Childress (Graduated)
30 G, 35.4 mpg, 15.6 ppg, 4.6 apg, 33% 3P%
G Andrien White (Graduated)
31 G, 24.3 mpg, 9 ppg, 1.4 apg, 38% 3P%
G Torry Johnson (Graduated)
28 G, 24.7 mpg, 5.6 ppg, 1.1 apg, 28% 3P%
G/F Chaundee Brown (Transferred to Michigan)
23 G, 28.2 mpg, 12.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 32% 3P%
G/F Sharone Wright Jr (Transferred to Morgan State)
20 G, 9.2 mpg, 2.2 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 30% 3P%
SF Michael Wynn (Transferred)
14 G, 4.2 mpg, 1.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 25% 3P%
C Olivier Sarr (Transferred to Kentucky)
30 G, 26.7 mpg, 13.7 ppg, 9 rpg, 53% FG%

Returners:

G Jahcobi Neath (SO)
30 G, 18.5 mpg, 5.3 ppg, 2.2 apg, 48% 3P%
F Ismael Massoud (RS SO)
31 G, 12.2 mpg, 4.8 ppg, 2 rpg, 40% 3P%
F Isaiah Mucius (JR)
30 G, 22.8 mpg, 7.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 35% 3P%
PF Ody Oguama (SO)
31 G, 14.9 mpg, 2.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 54% FG%
F/C Sunday Okeke (RS JR) [Sat last year injured]
22 G, 6.5 mpg, 1.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 25% FG% in 2018-19

Additions:

G Daivien Williamson (JR Transfer, ETSU)
34 G, 27.9 mpg, 10.4 ppg, 2.6 apg, 37% 3P%
G Quadry Adams (3-star FR) 
SG Ian Dubose (RS SR Transfer, Houston Baptist)
29 G, 33.1 mpg, 19 ppg, 3.8 apg, 33% 3P%
G/F Jonah Antonio (RS SR Transfer, UNLV)
25 G, 22 mpg, 6.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 32% 3P%
G/F Isaiah Wilkins (JR Transfer, Virginia Tech)
32 G, 14.4 mpg, 4.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 28% 3P%
SF Jalen Johnson (RS SR Transfer, Tennessee)
31 G, 15.6 mpg, 3.5 ppg, 2 rpg, 32% 3P%
F/C Tariq Ingraham (3-star RS FR) 
F/C Emmanuel Okpomo (3-star FR)

*Projected starters in bold

Outlook

In five seasons at East Tennessee St, Forbes never finished worse than 3rd in the Southern Conference, winning the league twice. But how well and how quickly will that translate to the ACC? The roster is a total overhaul, as can be expected during a tumultuous coaching change. There are a couple interesting pieces here to where I don’t think Wake will be a total pushover this year, though of course it’s a lot to ask for any sort of postseason yet.

Five upperclassmen transfers join the roster, all rotation players at their previous D-1 stops. Ian Dubose was a second-team All-Southland player at Houston Baptist and has been getting good reviews this fall. Davien Williamson follows coach Forbes from ETSU where he’d earned the coach’s trust as a starter. Antonio, Wilkins, and Johnson were all competent role players on high-major teams and will have no issues adjusting to the level of competition.

But there are a couple of returners who are intriguing as well. Mucius and Massoud both fit the mold as prototype modern combo forwards, long and athletic with good touch and high upside. Mucius especially seems ready to break out under the new staff as a modern 4, putting his 6’8″ frame and solid shooting touch to good use on expanded volume. And Neath is an underrated guard option returning for his second year, displaying great shooting touch in his role off the bench last year; he should prove a high-upside bench option behind Williamson and Dubose.

Wake doesn’t have any good options at the 5-spot, however, after Olivier Sarr opted to finish his career at Kentucky. Ody Oguama gets the nod as the only big man with any real experience; Sunday Okeke has never been able to stay healthy and neither the redshirted freshman Ingraham or the true rookie Okpomo project as instant-impact guys down low. The lack of a big presence will affect Wake’s rebounding and backline defense, and combining with the usual hiccups of combining a new coach with this many new faces, ultimately puts a hard ceiling on the Deacon’s prospects this winter.