Nobody was surprised when Al-Farouq Aminu left Wake for NBA, but the same cannot be said of head coach Dino Gaudio getting fired. Under Gaudio, the Demon Deacons had reached the NCAA Tournament each of the past two years but failed to get past the opening weekend, which ultimately led to his dismissal.
Jeff Bzdelik replaces Gaudio after three underwhelming years at Colorado in which the Buffs twice finished last in the Big 12. Bzdelik faces the challenge of replacing Aminu and three other starters who were four of Wake's top six scorers last season.
Top returning scorer C.J. Harris figures to take over the point guard responsibilities from Ishmael Smith. Who will join him in the backcourt is a bit of a question mark and concern. Like Harris, Ari Stewart had an impressive first season with the Demon Deacons and will have a larger role this season. He should be flanked by freshman Travis McKie at the forward spot. On paper, size will once again be a strength for Wake with 6-11 Tony Woods, 7-0 Ty Walker and 7-0 Carson Desrosiers. Georgetown transfer Nikita Mescheriakiov becomes eligible after the first semester and will add even more depth up front.
Youth will be served for Bzdelik and Wake this season, so you can expect plenty of bumps along the road. But if everything goes according to plan, the reloading effort should not be a long one at Wake.
Player to Watch: Tony Woods, C
To say Woods has underachieved in his first two years at Wake Forest is like saying Ryan from The Real World: New Orleans is a bit dramatic. The highly recruited 6-11 center has yet to make much of an impression on the floor averaging less than four points and three boards a game during his first two seasons. NBA scouts and Demon Deacon fans are waiting for him to break out and become a force down low on both ends of the floor. This is a young Wake team, and Woods has to make a major jump as an upperclassman if the Demon Deacons are going to have any chance of being competitive this year.
(UPDATE: Woods has been suspended indefinitely after being arrested for assaulting his baby's mama.)
Walter your inability to bet the Patriots all year with Brady on the team is inexplicable. Yes, since Brady came back from suspension, you bet the Patriots 0 times, even though they covered as decent and often huge favorites. Why? Why are you more afraid than Goodell is to show up at Foxborough to bet on a great team to beat inferior oponents by a large margin? You lost out on a lot of money. As for the Patriots defense who will be "overwhelmed" by Pittsburgh hahaha, the Patriots defense has stepped up when it needed to. Logan Ryan who is not even the best DB let alone CB on the team just had a dominant game covering one of the best wide receivers in the league. And you're going to say that Brady can't go stride for stride against Big Ben who, with his 0 TD performance last Sunday, once again proved that he has turned into an awful road playoff QB? You know what 0 TDs will win you in the AFC Championship game? I don't believe that betting on Pitt getting 6 points is a bad decision - seeing as I may do the same. But to predict the Patriots to straight up lose is laughable. The advantage they have on defense and coaching is pretty big and they may even be even offensively solely because Brady has been using Edelman more and more and Dion Lewis's return has shown to be very important.