clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arkansas vs. Wake Forest Preview: Q&A with Blogger So Dear

New, 6 comments

Finally, a power 5 non-conference game to get your blood going. Thanks to Robert Reinhard for answering our questions. You can read my answers to their questions here.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

AF: What are the expectations this season under new head coach Danny Manning?

BSD: It's hard to give an accurate prediction because we had so much roster turnover over the offseason. We lost two fringe starters last year due to transfer, but added in a lot of intriguing, yet relatively unknown, freshmen. I think fans this year are just expecting Manning to get this team to play with intensity on a nightly basis. He has already started recruiting well, so most fans will give him a pass this season.

AF: Is this a rebuilding project for Manning, or does he have enough pieces to win right away?

BSD:It's not a complete rebuild, but I don't believe he has the pieces to make the NCAA Tournament this year. That said, next year we will return everyone who plays significant minutes and add three 4-star recruits. Making the N.I.T. this year would be a big achievement considering the young pieces we have.

AF: Describe the style of basketball Manning wants his team to play.

BSD: On the offensive end, Manning wants to play an up-tempo brand of basketball that has excellent ball movement and a lot of paint touches. He is also a firm believer in crashing the glass on both ends. He plays fast and substitutes rapidly as a result. On the defense end, he comes from the Larry Brown/Bill Self coaching tree and is going to play pressure man-to-man defense. Last year Manning helped Tulsa have the 30th best defensive efficiency in the country. When he gets his players into the program, I expect Wake to have an excellent defense.

AF: What are the best case, worst case, and most likely scenarios for Wake Forest's final record?

BSD: Best case: 20-11

Worst case: 13-18

Most likely: 16-15

AF: Since I didn't have a clue, who do the Razorback's need to watch out for?

BSD: The main player Arkansas fans should be on the lookout for is junior power forward Devin Thomas. He's currently averaging 19 points and 12.5 rebounds, while shooting nearly 62% from the field. I wouldn't expect him to continue those numbers all season, but I do expect him to improve on his sophomore averages of 11 points and 7.5 rebounds.

AF: Prediction.

BSD: Wake Forest 74

Arkansas      80