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November 15, 2011

Wake-Ga Southern: Preview

Wake Forest vs. Georgia Southern
Tip-off: Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET
TV/Internet: RSN and ESPN3
Current records:
Wake Forest: 1-0 (Beat Loyola (Md.) 75-63.).
Georgia Southern: 0-1 (Lost to Valparaiso 90-81).
Series history: The Demon Deacons lead the all-time 2-0, with their last win over the Eagles coming in a 64-61 decision in 1985.

Deacons Illustrated breaks down the matchups by position:

Small Forward - Nikita Mescheriakov, WF -vs.- Eric Ferguson, GS. Ferguson churned out a double-double against Valpo, as he scored 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. The 6-foot-7 and 205-pound sophomore guard will be a challenging assignment for Mescheriakov, who only mustered five points before fouling out in 10 minutes against Loyola. Edge: GS

Power Forward - Travis McKie, WF -vs.- Marvin Baynham, GS. McKie scored an impressive 19 points against the Greyhounds, but only had four rebounds. He will have to perform much better on the boards once the Deacs enter ACC play. Do not expect Baynham to give him much of a fight, but since the Eagles are slim on size look for Ferguson to matchup some with McKie. Edge: Wake

Center - Carson Desrosiers, WF -vs.- Cameron Baskerville, GS. This should not even be close. Expect Desrosiers to have a career-best performance. The sophomore nearly had a triple-double in the season-opener, with eight points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks. Desrosiers has a five-inch and 15-pound size advantage over Baskerville, who recorded an anemic two points, no rebounds and three turnovers before fouling out in 19 minutes in the loss to Valparaiso. Edge: Wake

Shooting Guard - C.J. Harris, WF -vs.- Jelani Hewitt or Willie Powers, GS. Harris overcame four fouls and bad free-throw shooting (6-12) to lead the Demon Deacons with 20 points against Loyola. The Eagles will throw multiple bodies at the Winston-Salem native, but will likely struggle to slow down the junior guard. Turnovers were a problem for Georgia Southern's guards in the loss to Valpo, especially for Powers, who gave the ball away six times. Edge: Wake

Point Guard - Tony Chennault and Anthony Fields, WF -vs.- Ben Drayton III, GS. Chennault is the starter for now anyway, but Fields is pushing him and the two will often play together. Both are pass-first point guards, and should thrive against the turnover-prone Eagles backcourt. Drayton, a real scoring threat lit up Valparaiso with 19 points, but will face a higher caliber of talent in Wake Forest's duo. Edge: Wake

Bench: Wake Forest -vs.- Georgia Southern. Daniel Green gave the Deacs strong reserve minutes inside with six points and six rebounds, and point guard-play elevated with Fields in the game (seven points, two rebounds, three assists and no turnovers). Chase Fischer struggled shooting (0-3), but the freshman from West Virginia has a shooter's reputation.

The Eagles have a nine-man rotation, but are getting very limited production from their tallest players Tyrone Brown and Kameron Dunnigan (both are 6-foot-8), who combined for only six points and three rebounds against Valpo, adding to the Deacs already significant advantage in the post. Edge: Wake

Coaching: Jeff Bzdelik, WF -vs.- Charlton "C.Y." Young, GS. It is difficult to finish worse than last season's 5-27 record the Eagles endured, which is something Wake Forest can certainly relate to. However, the difference between Bzdelik and Young is the Wake Forest head coach is a proven program-builder, who turned both Air Force and Colorado around. Young on the other hand has been the whipping boy of the Southern Conference the previous three seasons. Edge: Wake


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