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December 3, 2011Wake Forest vs. Richmond
Tip-off: Saturday at 1:00 PM ET
Wake Forest: 5-2 (Defeated Nebraska 55-53 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge).
Richmond: 5-2 (Defeated William & Mary 92-61).
Series history: Wake Forest has an all-time series lead of 38-10, but the Spiders beat the Demon Deacons 90-74 last season at Richmond.
Deacons Illustrated breaks down the matchups by position:
Small Forward - Nikita Mescheriakov, WF -vs.- Francis-Cedric Martel, Rich. This is a battle between two international players. Mescheriakov hails from Belarus and Martel is a native of Montreal. Meschaeriakov is not the shooter Martel is, but 6-foot-8 forward has been a solid defender and provides another rebounder to crash the boards for the Deacs. Edge: WF
Power Forward - Travis McKie, WF -vs.- -vs.- Derrick Williams, Rich. This is not the same Derrick Williams who led Arizona to the Elite Eight last season, which should be comforting for Wake Forest fans. At 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds Williams will be a load for McKie down low, but the Wake Forest sophomore is quicker and a better leaper. Williams should struggle to defend McKie (18 points per game), especially on the perimeter. Edge: WF
Center - Carson Desrosiers, WF -vs.- Darrius Garrett, Rich. After posting career highs in points (13) and rebounds (12) in Wednesday's win at Nebraska Desrosiers (7-feet and 240 pounds) should confident about his matchup with the shorter and slimmer Garrett (6-foot-9 and 210 pounds). This should not even be a contest for Desrosiers, as the Spiders big man only averages 3.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Edge: WF
Shooting Guard - C.J. Harris, WF -vs.- Darien Brothers, Rich. Harris has been Mr. Dependable this season for Wake, hitting clutch shots when the Deacs when called upon. He has not scored below 12 points all season. Brothers is the Spiders second-leading scorer (11.3 points per game), but will likely struggle to juggle to get his shots and keep with Harrison on defense. Edge: Wake
Point Guard - Tony Chennault, WF -vs.- Cedrick Lindsay, Rich. Chennault only mustered two points and three assists against the Huskers in Lincoln, while Lindsay has performed best against Richmond's toughest competition this season. In losses to Davidson and Illinois he averaged 14 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and a turnover. Edge: Rich.
Bench: Wake Forest -vs.- Richmond. Chase Fischer carried his hot shooting on the road at Nebraska, going 3-5 from downtown on his way to 13 points. Backup point guard Anthony Fields reserve power forward Daniel Green continue to give the Deacs solid minutes, but Wake's depth drops off significantly until Ty Walker returns at Seton Hall.
Freshman point guard Kendall Anthony leads the Spiders in scoring as a sub, averaging 14.8 points per game. Big man Josh Duinker (6-foot-11 and 230 pounds), swingman Greg Robbins and guard Wayne Sparrow give help provide Richmond with a solid rotation of nine players. Edge: Rich.
Coaching - Jeff Bzdelik, WF -vs.- Chris Mooney, Rich. Both are former coaches at Air Force, and are program builders, but Mooney has accomplished more (Two consecutive Sweet 16 appearances and Top 25 finishes in 2010 and 2011) with similar resources. Edge: Rich.