Wake Forest and Georgia had different results but similar fallouts to begin the season.
Seeing what adjustments have been made might signal which team is happier after their game Friday night in Athens, Ga.
Georgia fell 82-71 to Oregon in Las Vegas in Monday’s opener. Wake Forest overcame a 21-point deficit to defeat visiting Elon 101-78 on the same night.
“We’re trying to build something and we’ve got to do a better job,” Georgia coach Mike White said. “I thought we’ve had better cohesiveness and connectivity offensively and defensively leading into (the opener). That’s why you play these games, so you can self-evaluate.”
Facing such a large deficit despite the big comeback creates some alarms for Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes.
“We were just on our heels, for whatever reason,” Forbes said. “Maybe I need to check their astrology or something. I don’t know. We can’t do that.”
The Demon Deacons aren’t much interested in a repeat performance, other than securing the victory.
“We can’t play like that and expect to win at the level we want to win, or the level we’re capable of winning,” Forbes said. “It’s not something I’m particularly proud of.”
White wants better offensive flow than what he saw against Oregon. “The ball stuck a little bit,” he said. “We weren’t crisp enough.”
RJ Melendez, a junior transfer from Illinois, had 12 points in his Georgia debut.
Wake Forest defeated the Bulldogs 81-71 last year at home. The top three Wake Forest players in that game are no longer with the team, and they accounted for 57 points in the Georgia game.
The good news for the Demon Deacons is that junior guard Cameron Hildreth poured in 33 points against Elon.
“He’s mature. He’s been here three years now,” Forbes said. “He has to continue on this path.”
The Demon Deacons went to a smaller lineup to deal with Elon trying to spread the court. That meant a limited role for 7-foot-1 Matthew Marsh, who’s bound to be a bigger factor against Georgia.
Wake Forest is one of three Atlantic Coast Conference opponents among Georgia’s first six games. The Bulldogs lead the series with Wake Forest 4-3.
–Field Level Media