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NCAA Basketball ACC BasketballWake Forest Demon Deacons

C.J. Harris and Travis McKie: Can The Veteran Leaders Wake Up The Demon Deacons?

Peter Casey USA TODAY Sports

C.J. Harris and Travis McKie are the leading scorers for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Recently, they suffered a 25-point loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels. This game marked their fourth straight loss. Prior to the game against UNC, Wake Forest lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets by 20 points, to the Duke Blue Devils by five points, and the Maryland Terrapins by 26 points. Wake Forest sits in ninth place in the ACC standings, holding a 3-7 conference record. Their overall record is 10-12.

Harris and McKie represent the upperclassmen leadership for a young Wake Forest basketball team. Although Wake Forest has plenty of size, I believe that their best combination of players is when they have a smaller lineup.

Codi Miller-McIntyre and Devin Thomas are a couple of freshmen that head coach, Jeff Bzdelik, can build his program around. Both of these players average at least eight points. Thomas is the second leading rebounder on the roster with 7.5 rebounds per game, which is slightly behind McKie’s 7.6 rebound-per-game average. Thomas’s best game of the season so far was when Wake Forest upset the then-No. 19 North Carolina State Wolfpack. Thomas finished the game with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Clearly, Wake Forest can play well when their core (Harris, McKie, Thomas) is clicking on all cylinders. The more this happens, the better results we will see from Wake Forest.

Although Wake Forest was competitive against Duke recently, they still managed to lose the game. Although this season will be a wash for Wake Forest, this team has next season to look forwards to. I do not foresee any of their players bolting to the NBA. The only graduating seniors are Harris and Spencer Jennings, and Jennings does not play a lot of minutes. The best thing that the veteran leaders in Harris and McKie can do is to motivate their teammates to be “bubble busters.” No one expects them to win games, let alone the ACC Tournament. Playing for respect will be a great way to look forward to the 2013-2014 season.