October 22, 2012

Fixing perimeter defense

C.J. Harris and Travis McKie said there is no easy matchup in the ACC.

"You got Jarrell Eddie, Erick Green, Nick Faust, James Padgett, [James Michael] McAdoo and [Reggie] Bullock, everybody's a tough matchup," McKie said.

"For me the toughest matchup is probably Scott Wood, because he's so unique. He doesn't rely on his athleticism. He uses his mind and screens, so he's always on the go. He's like a Reggie Miller-type coming off screens, so he's always moving, always using the screen. They have big bodies to screen for him as well in Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie, so that's definitely a tough matchup every time that we play them. He's knocking down shots. He's an excellent shooter, so that's definitely a tough matchup."

This may sound funny, but it makes sense.

Last season Wake Forest struggled greatly in its perimeter defense, allowing opponents to make 219 of 617 three-point attempts (35.5-percent).

Wood shot a combined 8-16 from behind the arc in two games against the Demon Deacons in 2012.

"[He] has one of the quickest releases possible and 6-5 … he may not put the ball on the floor, but he's tough, because he moves so well without the ball," Harris said.

"Sometimes when you've got shooters that good you don't worry about being a help-stop you got to worry about him."

The tendency is to think it is most difficult to guard a player who can break someone down off the dribble, which is difficult; however, chasing a sharpshooter through multiple screens wears on a defender's endurance. That consequently may have a negative impact on his effectiveness when on offense.

Wake should improve this season in its perimeter defense with the added depth and length freshmen Tyler Cavanaugh (6-foot-9), Arnaud William Adala Moto (6-foot-6 with 7-foot-1 wingspan) and Aaron Rountree (6-foot-8 with a 7-foot wingspan) bring to the table.

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