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November 8, 2012

Wake Forest vs. Radford: Preview

Wake Forest vs. Radford
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Venue: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Tip-off: Friday at 7:00 PM EST
TV/Internet: ESPN3
Previous season records:
Wake Forest: 13-18, 4-12 ACC
Radford: 6-26, 2-16 Big South

Series history: The Demon Deacons are 4-0 all-time versus the Highlanders.

Deacons Illustrated breaks down the matchups by position.

Forward - Travis McKie, WF -vs.- Kyle Noreen, RU. McKie has been the offensive catalyst for the Deacs during the pre-season, averaging 17.6 points and five rebounds in three exhibition games.

The 6-foot-7 and 220-pound junior from Richmond, Va. has the versatility to play both forward positions, which will make him a load for the smaller Noreen (6-foot-5 and 200 pounds). Edge: WF

Forwad - Tyler Cavanaugh, WF -vs.- Brandon Holcomb, RU. Cavanaugh has the build (6-foot-9 and 230 pounds) to bang in the paint, but enough finesse in his game to play on the perimeter and burn the opposition from the outside.

The freshman from Dewitt, NY, who has averaged 12 points and six rebounds during the pre-season, will be difficult for Holcomb (6-foot-7 and 210 pounds) to contend with. Edge: WF

Forward - Arnaud Adala Moto, WF -vs.- Javonte Green, RU. Green will not make it easy for the younger Moto; however, the freshman from Cameroon is not afraid to mix it up. Moto averaged 7.3 and 5.3 in Wake's three exhibition games. Green was second in scoring for Radford last season 10.2 points per game, and led the Highlanders in rebounding (6.7 per game) and steals (1.4 per game). Edge: RU

Guard - Codi Miller-McIntyre, WF -vs.- R.J. Price, RU. Miller-McIntyre is the likely starter, bringing athleticism and an explosive style of play, while Madison Jones offers a stabilizing presence to the team. Jeff Bzdelik has often gone small during the pre-season with Jones and McIntyre in the lineup together along with C.J. Harris.

Price, who averaged 11.2 points, 3.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game last season, will be a good challenge for Wake Forest's youthful point guard duo. Edge: RU

Guard - C.J. Harris, WF -vs.- Blake Smith, RU. Smith, a Charlotte native, returns to the Tar Heel State, but Harris may make his homecoming a nightmare.

Harris, the ACC's top returning scorer (16.7 points per game in 2012), will challenge Smith early and often.

Bench - Like Wake, Radford is also breaking in a bunch of younger players. The Highlanders is filled youth (eight freshmen and four sophomores). However, the Deacs can derive some experience from its bench in shooting guard Chase Fischer, who averaged 6.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists as a freshman. Fischer along with Jones will add quality depth to Wake Forest's backcourt.

Devin Thomas, a 6-foot-9 and 240-pound freshman from Harrisburg, Pa., brings skill and toughness to the paint for the Demon Deacons, while Bzdelik and his staff are hopeful 7-footer Andre Washington can be strong inside presence.

At 6-foot-9 Aaron Rountree gives the Deacs another rebounder and length on the defensive end, but has the ball-handling and passing ability to be an effective perimeter player. Edge: WF

Coaching: Jeff Bzdelik, WF -vs.- Mike Jones, RU. Past records do not support either coach; however, experience may give Bzdelik the advantage. The third-year Wake Forest head coach led the Denver Nuggets to the Western Conference quarterfinals in 2004 and won 50 games in two seasons at Air Force, while Jones is entering only his second season as a head coach. Edge: WF


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