Jeff Bzdelik has proved during his tenure at Wake Forest that it takes more than a Polish-sounding name to win in the ACC. This year, he's counting on a lot of freshmen - a recipe that wins if you're on Tobacco Road. For Wake, it's probably a recipe for single-digit wins.
The following statement will bring you up to speed on the state of the Demon Deacons basketball program since the advent of the Jeff Bzdelik era: Wake has 3 more transfers/dismissals (8) than ACC wins (5). In general, it is advisable to keep this ratio under , say, .1, you know, at least so you end up with fans who still show up at your games and more players than vowels in your last name.
It was a year of improvement for the Deacs last year (as scary as that might seem), as junior All ACC shooting - guard C.J. Harris (16 ppg, 47% FG) led them to 13 wins (up from 9) with 4 in conference (up from 1). Versatile and hard-working 6'7" sophomore Travis McKie (who I personally really like as a player) chipped in 16 points and 7 rebounds per game. So this gives Wake two talented, experienced players going into this year to pair with rising sophomore reserve guard Chase Fischer, who was a solid contributor off of the bench, despite performing poorly from 3 ( supposedly his area of expertise).
Then things get kind of ugly.Tony Chennault (30 min, 9 ppg, 3 rpg, 3apg), Carson Desrosiers (the resident tall, white, fouling goon at Wake - 21 min. 5ppg, 5 rpg, 2 bpg) and frosh Anthony Fields all transferred. Nikita Mescheriakov ( 25 min, 8 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg) graduated and Ty Walker ( 19 min, 4 ppg, 5rpg, 2bpg), after 3 years of solid efforting, finally succeeded in fucking up enough to get himself kicked off the team. For those of you not paying attention, that is a whole lot of experience, minutes, and ( most importantly for Wake) height that will not be back for them. Last year's Wake team was one of the poorer rebounding teams in the ACC with those guys. They were also one of the poorer defensive teams in the ACC with the notable exception of Walker's and Desrosiers' blocked shot contributions ( 4th in ACC in BPG). So if you take a 13 win team who stinks at rebounding and defense and take away all their bigs, their PG, and a buttload of experience, that team's fan base better pray to the gods of horrendously tacky tie-dye and clown college fight songs that they get a good recruiting haul. Apparently, them Baptists got some connections! Enter the 2012 Wake Forest freshmen and (a little) good news for the Deacs.
Chennault will be replaced by the four-star,#14 PG in this year's class player Codi-Miller McIntyre, who brings toughness, solid passing skills and a good mid-range game to the table.. Arnaud Moto, another 4-star, is a 6'6" ACC caliber athlete, who will contribute right away at the 3 position. Moto was recruited by the likes of Florida and UCLA , so that's a fantastic get for Bzdelik. Coach Bzdelik also picked up an extremely important piece in Andre Washington, a 7-foot center out of Virginia (#46 by postion). Perimeter wing Aaron Rountree, power forwards Tyler Cavanaugh and Devin Thomas and point guard Madison Jones round out the mammoth class.
Now, if Jeff Bzdelik can just hold onto two-thirds of these guys ( don't laugh) the future may hold something a little less turd-like for the Wake program. As for this coming season, I wouldn't anticipate much improvement, though with the likes of BC, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech around, there's always a chance.