Deacons Conclude Road Swing Thursday At Georgia Tech

Wake Forest, Yellow Jackets split the regular season series last year

Eric Williams scored 29 points Saturday.

Eric Williams scored 29 points Saturday.

Jan. 23, 2005

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Game 19

#3/3 Wake Forest (16-2/4-1) at #12/15 Georgie Tech (11-5/2-3)

Jan. 27, 2005 / 8:00 pm / Atlanta, GA / Alexander Memorial Coliseum (9,191) / Raycom/JP

Television: Raycom/JP.

Radio: Wake Forest/ISP Radio Network. Stan Cotten (play-by-play) and Mark Freidinger (color analysis) call the action. Chris Ferris is the producer/engineer.

Radio: XM Satellite Radio (nationally).

Records: Wake Forest is 16-2 overall and 4-1 in the ACC after beating 20th-ranked Cincinnati on the road Saturday, 74-70. Georgia Tech is 11-5 and 2-3 following its third straight loss, 70-69 to Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Rankings: Wake Forest is ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press poll and No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Georgia Tech is 12th in the AP poll, 15th in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

Coaches: Wake Forest head coach Skip Prosser (U.S. Merchant Marine Academy `72) is 83-31 (.728) in his fourth season with the Demon Deacons, 248-109 (.695) in his 12th season overall. Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt (St. John Fisher `85) is 87-59 in five seasons with the Yellow Jackets, 153-86 in eight seasons overall.

Series: Wake Forest leads, 30-26.

Officials: Announced on game day.

Three-Game Road Swing Concludes Thursday At #12 Georgia Tech

Third-ranked Wake Forest, 1-1 on its current three-game road swing, plays on the road against 2004 Final Four participant Georgia Tech in Atlanta Thursday night (8 pm/Raycom-Jefferson Pilot).

The Demon Deacons, 16-2 overall and 4-1 in the ACC, lost in overtime at Florida State last Tuesday, then won at 20th-ranked Cincinnati on Saturday, 74-70. Junior Eric Williams scored a career-high 29 points in the win over the Bearcats.

Junior Justin Gray (16.4 ppg), sophomore All-American candidate Chris Paul (16.1 ppg) and Williams (15.7 ppg) combine to average 48.2 points per contest. Wake Forest ranks at or near the top of the ACC in scoring (84.8 ppg), field goal percentage (.490) and three-point field goal percentage (.407).

Georgia Tech, 11-5 and 2-3, has lost three straight games including an upset to visiting Virginia Tech, 70-69, on Saturday. The 12th-ranked Yellow Jackets, paced by point guard Jarrett Jack (15.5 ppg), have been slowed by the injury of B.J. Elder, one of the top players in the ACC.

Wake Forest leads the all-time series with Tech, 30-26. The two teams split their meetings last year with each team winning on the road. The Deacons have won their last two games at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Today's Tip-Off

- Sophomore Chris Paul has been one of the nation's top players this season. Over his last three games, Paul has averaged 25.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.7 steals per contest.

- Wake Forest is 5-1 this season against nationally-ranked teams -- the Deacons' most wins against ranked teams since 1996-97.

Deacons Win At #20 Cincinnati, 74-70

Junior Eric Williams scored a career-high 29 points, having his way with Cincinnati's front line, and No. 3 Wake Forest never trailed in a 74-70 victory Saturday over 20th-ranked Cincinnati.

"I felt nervous," Williams said. "I knew the kind of players we were playing against today. They play so hard. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I was telling myself I can't let the team down coming off a loss."

The Demon Deacons rebounded from their overtime loss to Florida State by hitting their free throws down the stretch -- something they didn't do against the Seminoles.

The Bearcats had their biggest weaknesses exposed as they lost at home to a ranked team for the second time in eight days. They also fell by three points against Louisville last Saturday.

Neither 6-foot-7 Jason Maxiell nor 6-foot-6 Eric Hicks -- the power forwards who anchor Cincinnati's front line -- could keep up with a taller player who shot over them once he got the ball.

Chris Paul added 21 points for Wake Forest, which improved to 5-1 against ranked teams this season. Paul was 5-of-7 from behind the arc.

More From Saturday's Win At Cincinnati

- Eric Williams' 13 field goals were a career-high and the most by a Deacon player in the Skip Prosser era.

- The Deacons tied a season-low with just two players scoring in double figures.

- The Wake Forest bench provided just four points and was outscored 24-4 by the Cincinnati bench.

- The 11 blocked shots by Cincinnati were the most by a Deacon opponent this season. The Bearcats' two steals were the fewest by a Deacon foe this season.

- Cincinnati's free throw percentage (.813) was the highest by a Deacon opponent this season.

Wake's Two Losses Have Been Similar

Wake Forest's two losses -- at Illinois Dec. 1 and at Florida State Jan. 18 -- had similarities. Illinois (.559) and FSU (.500) are the only two teams to shoot 50 percent against Wake Forest this season. Both the Illini and Seminoles scored 91 points. Illinois (11 three-pointers) and FSU (12) had double-digit three-pointers.

Deacons' 16-2 Start Not Too Shabby

- Wake Forest's 16-2 record ties for the third-best start in school history. The last time the Deacons started better than 16-2 came in 1996-97 -- Tim Duncan's senior season when Wake Forest began the season 17-1.

- The Demon Deacons are four wins away from their fourth consecutive 20-win season.

- Wake Forest is one win away from clinching a winning season for the 15th consecutive year.

- The Deacons have won 83 games over the last four seasons combined -- all under coach Skip Prosser -- to average 20.7 wins per season.

- Wake Forest is seven wins away from its 90th victory in a four-year span. That has happened only three times previously in Deacon history.

- Wake is two victories away from giving head coach Skip Prosser his 250th career win.

Deacons Winning The Close Ones

Wake has already played its share of barn-burners:

- Wake Forest has played four games decided by four points or less -- all on national television -- and the Deacons have walked away winners each time.

- Wake Forest has won nail-biters at home (89-88 over No. 14 Texas), on the road (67-64 at Temple and 74-70 at Cincinnati) and at neutral sites (63-60 vs. No. 18 Arizona).

- In Skip Prosser's four years, the Deacs are 10-4 in games decided by three points or less, 20-9 in games decided by five points or less and 37-18 in games decided by 10 points or less.

Wake Forest-Georgia Tech Series History

- Wake Forest leads the all-time series, 30-26.

- The Demon Deacons have won four of the last five meetings and nine of the last 12 meetings.

- Georgia Tech has won 17 of the 26 all-time meetings in Atlanta. The Deacs won the last two meetings in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, including an 80-76 win last season.

- The two teams split the regular season series last season with each team winning on the opponent's home court. Tech's 73-66 win in Winston-Salem last season snapped Wake's 24-game home court winning streak.

- Each of the last five meetings have been decided by less than 10 points.

- Wake takes its highest national ranking (3rd) to Atlanta since Jan. 8, 1997 when the Deacons were ranked No. 2.

- Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser is 5-2 all-time against Georgia Tech.

Deacon-Yellow Jacket Connections

- Deacon junior Chris Ellis is from the Atlanta area (Marietta) and played previously at Marietta High School.

- Ellis and junior Trent Strickland were both born in Atlanta.

- Wake's Justin Gray and Tech's Anthony Morrow both hail from Charlotte (NC).

- Georgia Tech guard Jarrett Jack played his junior season of high school basketball in North Carolina at Mount Zion Academy in Durham.

- John Pendergast, the P.A. announcer at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, is a Wake Forest graduate (many years ago). John's son, Tripp, is a senior at WFU, where he works in the media relations office.

- Kyle Snipes, who previously worked as the director of men's basketball operations at Wake Forest, now works in the Yellow Jacket women's basketball office.

- Chris Capo, an assistant in the Tech media relations office, is engaged to Joanna Sparkman, who previously worked in the Wake media relations office.

Deacons Third In Both Major Polls

Wake Forest moved up to No. 3 (from No. 4) in the Associated Press poll and the Deacons remained at No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today poll this week.

The Deacons own their highest AP ranking since being ranked No. 1 on Nov. 29.

The Deacons have been in the AP top 25 for 43 consecutive weeks. The school record for consecutive weeks in the poll is 54, set from the beginning of the 1994-95 season through March 10, 1997. The Deacons have been ranked in the top 10 for 10 consecutive weeks. The school record is 19 weeks, from March of 1996 to March of 1997. Wake has been in the top five for five straight weeks.

Wake Forest was ranked No. 1 earlier this season for the first time in school history.

Wake 5-1 vs. Nationally-Ranked Teams

- Wake Forest is 5-1 this season against nationally-ranked teams with wins over then No. 18 Arizona, No. 14 Texas, No. 25 Virginia, No. 3 North Carolina and No. 20 Cincinnati, and a loss on the road to No. 5 Illinois.

- Wake's wins against ranked teams have come at home (Texas and North Carolina), on the road (Virginia and Cincinnati) and at a neutral site (Arizona).

- Wake Forest also defeated George Washington, which was not ranked at game time, but was later ranked. The Deacons also beat Maryland, which had been ranked all season until the day before playing Wake Forest.

- The Deacons have their most wins against ranked teams since going 6-4 in 1996-97 -- the last season Wake posted a winning record against ranked clubs.

- The Deacons defeated two ranked teams before Christmas for the first time in school history.

Schedule One Of Nation's Most Difficult

Wake Forest's schedule is proving to be one of the strongest in the nation and one of the most difficult in school history:

- Seven nationally-ranked teams are on the Wake Forest schedule -- #1 Illinois, #4 Duke, #5 North Carolina, #12 Georgia Tech, #13 Arizona, #15 Texas and #20 Cincinnati.

- Five other opponents -- George Washington, Maryland, NC State, New Mexico and Miami -- are receiving votes.

- What may make Wake Forest's schedule uniquely difficult is that the Deacons play four "true" non-conference road games (on the actual home court of the opponent) against four good teams -- Temple, New Mexico, Illinois and Cincinnati.

- The Deacons have already played six teams that were ranked at tip-off -- Illinois, Arizona, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina and Cincinnati.

- Eight of Wake's 12 remaining regular season games come against teams that are in the top 25, or are receiving votes.

- Wake Forest has had the nation's third-toughest schedule thus far, according to the Sagarin Ratings.

- Four of Wake's final 12 regular season games come against two 2004 Final Four teams -- Duke and Georgia Tech.

Lighting Up The Scoreboard

- Wake Forest ranks fourth nationally in scoring (84.8 points per game) -- the Deacons' highest scoring average since 1976.

- The Deacons scored 80 points or more in nine consecutive games -- Wake's longest such streak since scoring 80 points or more in the first 10 games of the 1976-77 season -- until scoring 74 Saturday at Cincinnati.

- In ACC games only, the Deacons lead the league in scoring (90.2 ppg).

- Wake Forest has scored at least 81 points in all five ACC games.

Wake Forest Undefeated When...

... (16-0) when holding opponents below 50 percent shooting.

... (16-0) when holding opponents to less than 90 points.

... (15-0) when leading with 5:00 remaining.

... (14-0) when Wake has more rebounds than its opponent.

... (12-0) when scoring the game's first points.

Paul Playing Like An All-American

For Chris Paul, there is no sophomore jinx.

The second-year point guard is putting up All-American-like numbers, disappointing no one who voted him the preseason national and ACC player of the year.

- Over his last three games, Paul has averaged 25.3 points per contest.

- In ACC play, Paul ranks third in the league in scoring with 20.8 points per game.

- Paul has scored more than 20 points in six of his last nine games.

- He made 27 consecutive free throws without a miss from Jan. 11-Jan. 22.

- Paul's free throw percentage (.858) leads the team, ranks fourth in the ACC and would be the 10th-best single-season percentage in Wake Forest history.

- His career free throw percentage (.849) would be the fourth-highest in school history.

- He leads the team in free throws made (97) and attempts (113). Out of the ACC's top 15 free throw shooters, none have made more free throws than Paul.

- Paul shoots a sizzling 59.2 percent (29-of-49) from three-point range, which leads the ACC and ranks third nationally. Since Dec. 13, Paul is shooting a remarkable 68.6 percent (24-of-35) from behind the arc.

- He ranks second in the ACC and 20th nationally in assists per game (6.50).

- In ACC games, Paul leads the league in assists (7.0 apg).

- He had a career-high 12 assists Dec. 18 against Texas.

- He has already accumulated 300 career assists, which ranks ninth in Wake Forest history.

- With 117 assists and just 49 turnovers this season, Paul leads the ACC in assist-turnover ratio (2.39).

- Paul ranks seventh in the ACC in steals per game (2.06).

- He has 121 career steals in just two seasons.

- The 6-footer had nine rebounds Jan. 18 at Florida State and he's averaging 4.8 rebounds per game this season.

- He leads the team and ranks eighth in the ACC in minutes played (32.8 mpg).

Paul In Line For Several Awards

- Chris Paul is a midseason finalist for the John R. Wooden Award.

- He is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, which goes to the nation's top college point guard.

- Paul has been named ACC Player of the Week twice this season.

- He was the ESPN.com National Player of the Week and ESPN's Big Man On Campus Jan. 17.

- Dick Vitale named Paul his mid-season National Player of the Year.

- Paul was named the co-Male Athlete of the Year by USA Basketball, an award he shares with North Carolina's Sean May.

- He was the leading vote-getter for the Associated Press Preseason All-America team.

- Paul edged NC State's Julius Hodge for pre-season ACC Player of the Year honors by a 38-to-35 count. Paul and Hodge joined North Carolina's Rashad McCants and Sean May and Duke's J.J. Redick on the preseason All-ACC team.

Death, Taxes And Paul's 3-Point Shooting

Chris Paul is known for speed in transition, his ability to quarterback the offense, his assists, his steals and more. But is it any wonder why the Deacon coaches wouldn't mind if Paul shot more often from the perimeter? Paul is shooting 59.2 percent (29-of-49) from three-point range, which leads the ACC and ranks third nationally. Since Dec. 13, Paul has shot a remarkable 68.6 percent (24-of-35) from behind the arc. He made seven straight without a miss during one stretch.

This is not just a recent hot streak. For his career, Paul is shooting 51.1 percent (69-of-135) from three-point range, which is the highest in Wake Forest history.

Gray Scores 1,000th, Moves Up Chart

Junior Justin Gray eclipsed 1,000 career points Dec. 30 against North Carolina A&T, becoming the 42nd player in Wake Forest history to reach 1,000 points. With 1,114 career points currently, Gray needs four points to pass Jim Johnstone for 32nd place on Wake's all-time scoring list and 15 points to pass Guy Morgan for 31st place.

Gray is the first Deacon since Josh Howard to reach 1,000 points and he reached the mark in just 66 career games.

With 42 all-time 1,000-point scorers, Wake Forest ties Notre Dame and Marshall for the seventh-most in Division I.

Three other Deacons are closing in on 1,000 points: Taron Downey (946), Eric Williams (935) and Vytas Danelius (871).

No Gray Area: Justin Is Tough

Two things that are certain about junior guard Justin Gray -- he's tough and he can score.

Gray averages 16.4 points per game and he scored his 1,000th career point in just his 66th career game.

But it is Gray's toughness that is becoming well-known. Nov. 24 against Providence, Gray took an elbow to the head, opening up a gash just below the eyebrow. He received five stitches and returned to the game to make 5-of-8 three-point field goals en route to 21 points. Two nights later against Arizona, he took an elbow to the same spot above his eye, but bounced back to score 21 points.

Dec. 22 at New Mexico, he came back from a twisted knee to score 17 points. In the ACC opener at Virginia, Gray overcame a stomach virus to score 17 points.

As a freshman, an elbow from Duke's Dahntay Jones broke Gray's jaw. He sat out a month, had his jaw wired shut and lost 19 pounds on a diet of soup and milkshakes. When he returned to action 30 days later wearing a protective mask, he scored 18 points in a win over 8th-ranked Duke in a gutty performance.

More On Justin Gray

- Gray has made at least one three-point field goal in 38 consecutive games and he has 41 threes in the last 12 games.

- He ranks second in the ACC in three-point goals per game (3.11) behind Duke's J.J. Redick. In ACC games only, he averages 3.60 three-pointers per game.

- He ranks ninth in the ACC in 3-point percentage (.418).

- Jan. 11 against Maryland, Gray made a season-high six three-pointers on just nine attempts.

- At Clemson Jan. 8, Gray made his first five 3-point attempts and scored 25 points in the first half -- the most points in any half by a Deacon player since Tim Duncan in 1997.

- With 188 career three-point field goals, he ranks fifth in Wake Forest history. When he reaches 211 three-pointers, he will become the 27th player in ACC history to do so.

- Gray has more than 200 career assists and is closing in on 100 career steals.

- He was named The Sporting News National Player of the Week Jan. 8.

- He was named MVP of the Preseason NIT.

- Gray was the ACC Player of the Week Nov. 29.

"E-Rex" A Solid All-ACC Candidate

Junior center Eric Williams, who has battled inconsistency during his career, has been Wake Forest's most consistent player thus far this season. More on "E-Rex":

- Williams has scored in double-figures a team-high 16 times in 18 games.

- He ranks first in the ACC and eighth nationally in field goal percentage at 63.5 percent.

- Williams' field goal percentage ties for the highest single-season percentage in Wake Forest history.

- Williams' career field goal percentage (.571) would rank as the fourth-highest in Wake Forest history.

- He made 9-of-10 attempts Dec. 30 against North Carolina A&T -- the best single-game percentage by an ACC player this season -- and he has shot less than 50 percent in a game just three times this season.

- He ranks 12th in the ACC in scoring (15.7 ppg).

- His 13 field goals at Cincinnati Jan. 22 are the most by a Deacon in the Skip Prosser era.

- His rebound average (6.2 rpg) ranks 15th in the ACC.

- Plagued with foul trouble his entire career, Williams has fouled out of just one game this season.

- With 935 career points, Williams is closing in on becoming Wake's 43rd 1,000-point scorer.

Levy: One Of Nation's Best Defenders

Senior forward Jamaal Levy will not lead the team in scoring and he will not grab the majority of headlines. But the 6-9 Panama native is vital to Wake Forest's success.

- Levy is averaging a team-best 7.6 rebounds per game, which ranks seventh in the ACC.

- Levy ranks ninth in the ACC in offensive rebounds (2.83 pg) and ranks ninth in defensive rebounds (4.78).

- He ranks third on the team with 24 steals and is two steals away from the 100th of his career.

- One of two Deacons to start every game this season, Levy ranks third on the team in minutes played (28.7 mpg).

- Levy, who earned a spot on the Preseason NIT All-Tournament team, is widely considered one of the nation's best defenders and one of the ACC's top rebounders.

- On Dec. 4, Levy tied a school record with 10 offensive rebounds against Richmond.

- With 669 career rebounds, Levy ranks 17th in Wake Forest history. With 14 more boards, he will pass Dave Budd for 16th place.

- Levy has 78 career blocked shots, which ranks 11th in Wake Forest history.

Downey Plays Best On Biggest Stages

Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser calls senior Taron Downey the most unselfish player he has ever coached. Downey may also be one of the best clutch players Prosser has coached.

Downey does not start, but he averages 22.7 minutes per game and is always on the floor at crunch time. More on Downey:

- Jan. 22 at Cincinnati, Downey sank two free throws with two seconds remaining to secure a 74-70 Deacon victory.

- At Florida State Jan. 18, Downey's three-pointer with 4.6 seconds sent the game into overtime. He finished the game with a career-high 21 points, including 5-of-7 from three-point range.

- Against third-ranked North Carolina Jan. 15, Downey scored 18 points including three 3-point field goals.

- Against fifth-ranked Illinois, he scored 12 points and made four three-pointers.

- Against 18th-ranked Arizona, Downey recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

- On the road at New Mexico, Downey scored 16 points.

- Downey averages more points per game in ACC games (11.4) than in non-league games (7.5).

- Perhaps the most important statistic related to Downey is that the Deacons have won 83 games in his four-year career with 12 regular season games remaining.

- Downey ranks 8th in Wake history with 324 career assists.

Senior Class A Diverse, Successful Group

Wake Forest's three seniors hail from three different countries. Vytas Danelius (Lithuania), Jamaal Levy (Panama) and Taron Downey (Oxford, NC) form a diverse trio that probably doesn't receive the recognition it deserves.

All three were recruited by then-coach Dave Odom, and re-recruited by current head coach Skip Prosser. Danelius, Downey and Levy have combined to play in 332 games.

Wake Forest has won 83 games during their careers. Only six senior classes in Deacon history won more games over a four-year period. The Deacons have won 72.8 percent of their games over the last four years -- the eighth-highest percentage over a four-year period in Wake Forest history.

ESPN's "The Season" Following Wake

ESPN's award-winning "The Season" began following the Deacons Jan. 17 and will continue for three weeks. The first Wake Forest show airs Wednesday night at 7 pm on ESPN2.

Good Shooting Usually Equals Win

It sounds obvious, but Wake Forest is hard to beat when the Deacons shoot well -- and they've shot very well this season:

- Wake Forest has shot 50 percent or better in nine of 18 games this season.

- The Deacs' field goal percentage (49.0) ranks second in the ACC and 21st in the nation.

- Wake's field goal percentage is its highest since 1992.

- Wake is 14-0 when it shoots a higher field goal percentage than its opponent.

- The Deacons are 16-0 when holding opponents to less than 50 percent shooting (only Illinois and Florida State shot 50 percent or better against Wake Forest).

Deacons Set NCAA Free Throw Record

Wake Forest broke an NCAA record Jan. 18 at Florida State by making its 50th consecutive free throw without a miss. The Demon Deacons made an ACC record 32-of-32 free throws against North Carolina Jan. 15, then made their first 18 attempts at Florida State.

The previous record of 49 consecutive free throws made was held by Indiana State in 1991.

With their 32-of-32 performance Jan. 15, the Deacons set a school, ACC and Lawrence Joel Coliseum record. Wake came within two free throws of tying the NCAA single-game record.

Deacons Tough At The Joel

Wake Forest has always enjoyed success within the friendly confines of Lawrence Joel Coliseum, winning at an 82.0 percent clip. In recent years, that percentage is even higher. In Skip Prosser's four seasons with the Deacons, Wake is 50-6 (.893), including an 9-0 record so far this season.

The Deacons have not lost a home non-conference game since Feb. 9, 2002 -- a 103-94 loss to sixth-ranked Cincinnati in Prosser's first season with the Deacons. Under Prosser, Wake is 29-1 at home against non-ACC competition.

WFU's all-time record in Joel Coliseum is 195-42.

Small Enrollment, Big Crowds

Wake Forest has an undergraduate enrollment of just 4,037 (6,444 including graduate students), so one might think there would be plenty of empty seats in the 14,665-seat Lawrence Joel Coliseum for home games.

However, near-capacity crowds are the norm at home games. Last year an average of 13,197 fans attended Deacon home games and that number should be even higher this year. Based on last year's numbers, Wake Forest's attendance was 204.8 percent of its total enrollment last year. No other ACC school had a percentage higher than 80.1 percent last year.

Out of the 4,037 undergraduate students, nearly 2,500 are members of the Screamin' Demons, Wake's student fan club.

"We hadn't faced a crowd like this all season. Some people don't think a crowd can affect anybody's game but when people are rowdy and jumping around it's hard to focus." -- North Carolina's Rashad McCants

Down To Nine Scholarship Players

Junior Richard Joyce is week-to-week with a stress fracture in his foot. Freshman Cameron Stanley is redshirting this season. And sophomore Jeremy Ingram has transferred to East Carolina. That leaves the Demon Deacons with nine healthy scholarship players this week.

Stanley Will Redshirt In 2004-05

Cameron Stanley, the only freshman on the Demon Deacon roster, is recovering from a torn ACL suffered last December and will redshirt this season. Stanley has practiced with the team all season, but is still trying to get completely comfortable with the knee.

Miscellaneous Notes

- Through Jan. 22, Wisconsin had the nation's longest home court winning streak at 38 games. The last team to beat the Badgers in Madison was Wake Forest on Dec. 4, 2002.

- Wake Forest began ACC play 4-0 for the first time since 1996-97 -- Tim Duncan's senior season.

- Wake's 89-70 win at Virginia Jan. 2 marked the Deacons' largest margin of victory in Charlottesville since 1962.

- The Deacons' 103-68 win at Clemson Jan. 8 was their largest margin of victory ever in an ACC road game.

- Wake's 81-66 win over Maryland Jan. 11 was its largest margin of victory against the Terrapins in 11 years.

- January 2nd was a good day for the Prosser family. An hour after Wake Forest won its ACC opener at Virginia, Deacon coach Skip Prosser learned of more good news -- Bucknell had registered one of the biggest wins in school history, winning on the road at nationally-ranked Pittsburgh. Prosser's son, Mark, is a second-year assistant coach at Bucknell.

- Wake Forest is facing three coaches this season who have won more than 700 career games -- Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, Arizona's Lute Olson and Temple's John Chaney.

- Wake Forest, after capturing the Preseason NIT title in November, is 7-1 all-time in that tournament.

- The Deacons are 28-1 in their last 29 games played in the month of November, including a streak of 10 straight wins.

- Wake Forest has won 11 straight season openers and the Deacons are 71-28 all-time in season openers.

- The Deacons have won 16 consecutive home openers. The last time the Deacons lost their first home game of the season came on Nov. 28, 1988 -- the last season WFU played in Memorial Coliseum. That loss came against Richmond, 74-61.

Paul Receives USA Basketball Honor

USA Basketball teammates Sean May of North Carolina and Wake Forest's Chris Paul, who helped lead the 2004 USA World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Team to a gold medal, were selected USA Basketball co-Male Athletes of the Year by the USA Basketball Executive Committee. The announcement was made Dec. 28.

"I'm still trying to figure out how this happened," said a stunned Paul. "This is such an honor. Sean is so deserving of this, he had a great summer. He was huge for our team. But I know that neither Sean nor I could have done this without our teammates."

As the co-USA Basketball Male Athletes of the Year, May and Paul have been nominated to the U.S. Olympic Committee for consideration of its 2004 Male Athlete of the Year Award.

Ingram Transfers

Jeremy Ingram, a sophomore guard, transferred to East Carolina at the end of the fall semester.

Ingram, a 6-3 Kinston (NC) native, played in eight games last season. He averaged 1.6 points and 0.8 rebounds per game.

"Jeremy Ingram is a very good basketball player and more importantly, an outstanding young man," Prosser said. "He will be an asset to whatever school he chooses and we wish him the very best."

New Banners On Display

Wake Forest hung new banners in Lawrence Joel Coliseum last week, recognizing all the former Demon Deacons who have their jerseys retired. In addition, there are banners for NCAA Tournament participation, ACC championships and ACC regular season titles.

Deacons First In ACC Preseason Poll

Wake Forest was the top pick in the media's preseason poll conducted Oct. 31 at the 43rd annual Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball. The Deacons received 65 of a possible 91 votes for 965 points.

North Carolina was second with 13 first place votes and 866 points, followed by Georgia Tech with 836 points and Duke with 746.

New Floor, New Uniforms

Lawrence Joel Coliseum, the home of Demon Deacon basketball, has a new playing floor this season. The new floor replaces the original surface, which had been in place since the facility opened in 1989. Also new this year are the Wake Forest uniforms. The Deacons are sporting new Nike Elite uniforms with versions in white, gold and black.

Three Sign National Letters Of Intent

Three talented high school seniors - two from North Carolina and one from New Mexico - signed letters of intent to play basketball at Wake Forest beginning next season, head coach Skip Prosser announced. Harvey Hale (Albuquerque, NM/Rio Grande HS), Kevin Swinton (Greensboro, NC/Dudley HS) and David Weaver (Black Mountain, NC/Owen HS) will make up the Deacon freshman class.

Related Stories