Paul vs. Paul Thursday Night At Joel Coliseum
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Nov. 3, 2004

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Nov. 4 Exhibition Opener Will Pit Paul vs. Paul As Deacons Host USC-Upstate

Wake Forest, ranked No. 2 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll, entertains Division II USC-Upstate in its exhibition opener Thursday night at Lawrence Joel Coliseum (7 p.m.).

Thursday's game is a family affair for the Paul family. Demon Deacon sophomore All-American candidate Chris Paul will go head-to-head against his brother, C.J., a senior guard for USC-Upstate. The Paul brothers grew up 10 minutes from the Wake Forest campus in Lewisville. Chris and C.J. played together briefly at West Forsyth High School, but have never been pitted against one another in a regulation game.

The other storyline heading into Thursday's game is the return of former Deacon Eddie Payne, who now serves as head coach at USC-Upstate. Payne was a standout guard for the Deacons from 1971-73, playing two years for Jack McCloskey and one year for Carl Tacy.

Wake Forest will use experimental rules -- the international three-point line, wider free throw lane and a restricted area under the basket -- for both exhibition games. Experimental rules will also be employed in all Preseason NIT games.

The Deacons, 21-10 a year ago, play their final exhibition game Nov. 11 against Winston-Salem State.

More On Thursday's Game

-- There are two new faces on the Wake Forest roster -- freshman Cameron Stanley and junior transfer walk-on Michael Drum. Stanley hasn't played in a game since December, when he tore an ACL while playing for Raleigh Millbrook High School. Drum will sit out this season after transferring from Presbyterian College, where he led the Division II school in scoring last season.

-- Not playing Thursday will be junior Chris Ellis, who has been suspended for a violation of team rules, and sophomore Jeremy Ingram, who announced Tuesday his plans to transfer.

Deacons First In ACC Preseason Poll

Wake Forest was the top pick in the media's pre-season poll conducted Oct. 31 at the 43rd annual Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center. The Demon Deacons received 65 of a possible 91 votes for 965 points. North Carolina was second with 13 first place votes and 866 points, followed by Georgia Tech with 836 points and Duke with 746. The Yellow Jackets received 10 first place votes while the Blue Devils registered three first place votes.

Chris Paul ACC Preseason Player Of Year

Wake Forest sophomore guard Chris Paul edged out NC State's Julius Hodge for pre-season ACC Player of the Year honors by a 38-to-35 count. North Carolina's Marvin Williams was the media's clear cut choice as the preseason ACC Rookie of the Year, receiving 60 of 87 ballots cast.

Paul and Hodge joined North Carolina's Rashad McCants and Sean May and Duke's J.J. Redick on the preseason All-ACC team.

Ingram Says He Will Transfer

Jeremy Ingram, a sophomore guard on the Wake Forest basketball team, will transfer to another school at the end of the fall semester, head coach Skip Prosser announced Nov. 2.

Ingram, a 6-3 Kinston (NC) native, played in eight games last season. He averaged 1.6 points and 0.8 rebounds per game.

"Jeremy Ingram is a very good basketball player and more importantly, an outstanding young man," Prosser said. "He will be an asset to whatever school he chooses and we wish him the very best."

Ingram will remain in school until the end of the fall semester. He has not indicated where he will transfer.

"I appreciate the opportunity given to me by Coach Prosser and his staff," Ingram said. "I have nothing but great things to say about Wake Forest and the basketball program. I also appreciate my teammates and will miss them very much."

Ingram's departure leaves the Demon Deacons with 11 scholarship players and three walk-ons.

Chris Ellis Suspended

Wake Forest junior forward Chris Ellis has been suspended by Demon Deacon head basketball coach Skip Prosser for violating team rules.

Ellis will not play in Thursday's exhibition opener against USC-Upstate (7 p.m. at Joel Coliseum) but will continue to practice with the team.

The 6-9 Ellis has played in 47 career games, averaging 2.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He played in only 16 games last season after breaking a bone in his foot on the first day of practice.

Twin City Shootout Luncheon Is Thursday

Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State join forces Thursday (Nov. 4) for the Twin City Shootout Luncheon at the Benton Convention Center in downtown Winston-Salem.

Officials from both schools, including Demon Deacon head coach Skip Prosser and Ram coach Philip Stitt, will be on hand. The luncheon, scheduled for 12-1:30 p.m., will also honor former Winston-Salem State coach, legendary Clarence "Big House" Gaines.

The Twin City Shootout - the first game ever between the two Winston-Salem universities - is scheduled for Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. in Lawrence Joel Coliseum. The contest between the Division I Deacons and Division II Rams will be an exhibition game.

"I have a great deal of respect for Coach Stitt and the Winston-Salem State program," Prosser said. "We know that their players will be well-coached and very enthused for this game. Because the two schools are located in the same city, it brings a little rivalry aspect to the game, making it more meaningful."

Tickets for the luncheon are $10 and tables of 10 are $100. Tickets will be sold at the door, but call (336) 777-3787 (x 1924) to reserve a space. Tickets for the game can be purchased by calling (336) 758-DEAC.

Deacons No. 2 In Coaches Preseason Poll

Wake Forest began the season at No. 2 -- its highest preseason ranking ever -- in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll released October 28. The Deacons received the most first-place votes (12), but trailed No. 1 Kansas for total points.

North Carolina is No. 3 in the poll, followed by Georgia Tech, giving the ACC three of the top four teams in the nation. Illinois, which will host Wake Forest Dec. 1, is fifth.

Other Wake Forest opponents in the top 25 include (12) Duke, (15) Texas, (16) Maryland and (19) NC State. Deacon opponents Cincinnati and Florida State received votes for the poll.

Could This Be The Year

Wake Forest has been ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll 10 times, but the Deacons have never claimed the No. 1 spot. The AP poll is scheduled for release on Monday.

Teams that have been ranked No. 2 the most often without ever being ranked No. 1:

School Weeks at No. 2 Maryland 23 Louisville 16 Wake Forest 10 Purdue 10 Dayton 8 St. Bonaventure 7 Pittsburgh 6 St. Joseph's 5 UTEP 4 Auburn 3 Florida State 3 California 3 Minnesota 3

Senior Class Is A Diverse Group

Wake Forest's three seniors hail from three different countries. Vytas Danelius (Lithuania), Jamaal Levy (Panama) and Taron Downey (Oxford, NC) form a diverse trio that probably doesn't receive the recognition it deserves.

All three were recruited by then-coach Dave Odom, and re-recruited by current head coach Skip Prosser. Danelius, Downey and Levy have combined to play in 278 games. Wake Forest has won 67 games during their careers.

Only Danelius, a second team All-ACC selection in 2003, has earned all-league honors. That could change this year. After an injury-plagued junior season, Danelius appears ready for his best year yet. Levy is one of the top defensive players in college basketball and one of the ACC's leading returning rebounders. Downey ranks among Wake's all-time leaders in assists and three-point field goals.

Veterans Shine In Black/Gold Game

Senior forward Vytas Danelius scored a game-high 12 points to lead the Gold past the Black, 45-26, in the 20-minute Oct. 23 Black/Gold Game at Joel Coliseum.

A crowd of 5,500 was on hand to watch Wake's first public scrimmage of the season. Sophomore All-American candidate Chris Paul did not play because of a strained groin.

Junior Richard Joyce scored 11 points and senior Taron Downey 10 points for the Gold. Junior Trent Strickland led the Black with 11 points.

Stanley Steaming Right Along

Cameron Stanley, the only freshman on the Demon Deacon roster, is recovering from a torn ACL just fine. Stanley suffered the injury last December in the seventh game of his senior year at Raleigh Millbrook High School. He was cleared to participate in practice just before drills began Oct. 16. Stanley has participated in drills with no problems so far.

New Floor, New Uniforms

Lawrence Joel Coliseum, the home of Demon Deacon basketball, has a new playing floor this season. The new floor replaces the original surface, which had been in place since the facility opened in 1989.

Also new this year are the Wake Forest uniforms. The Deacons will sport new Nike Elite uniforms with versions in white, gold and black.

Experimental Rules In Play

Wake Forest and its opponents will be using experimental rules in both exhibition games and every game throughout the Preseason NIT.

There will be three experimental rules in place:

- Moving the three-point line nine inches behind the current three-point line to create a distance of 20 feet, six inches.

- Widening the free throw lane by 1 1/2 feet on each side.

- Placing a restricted area arc which is two feet from the center of the basket ring.

The First And The Last

Wake Forest will play the first game this season involving an ACC school -- Nov. 15 vs. George Washington -- and in the last game of the ACC regular season -- March 6 at 8 p.m. at NC State.

The Preseason Hoopla

Wake Forest had its share of preseason hype: - ESPN.com -- chose Wake Forest No. 1 in its preseason poll. - Blue Ribbon Yearbook -- picked Wake No. 1 in the preseason. - Lindy's -- ranked WFU No. 2 in its preseason poll. - Athlon -- selected Wake Forest as a Final Four team. - Slam -- ranked the Deacons No. 3 in the preseason. - ACC Handbook -- ranked Wake No. 4 nationally. - Chris Paul will be on the cover of early November editions of ESPN The Magazine and The Sporting News.

Brutal Schedule

Notes on the 2004-05 Demon Deacon schedule:

- Eleven of Wake's regular season games come against teams that were ranked in the final 2004 Associated Press top 25: (13) Illinois, (12) Texas, (19) Maryland, (18) North Carolina, (11) Cincinnati and two games against (6) Duke, (14) Georgia Tech and (15) NC State.

- Wake Forest will play at least nine different teams that participated in the 2004 NCAA Tournament for a total of 12 games: Illinois, Richmond, Texas, Maryland, North Carolina, Cincinnati, and two games against Duke, Georgia Tech and NC State. That number could go up if the Deacons advance in the Preseason NIT to face VCU and others.

- Four other Deacon opponents -- George Washington, Temple, Florida State and Virginia -- played in the 2004 Postseason NIT for a total of 13 different opponents to participate in postseason action last season.

- Four of Wake Forest's final 12 regular season games come against two 2004 Final Four teams -- Duke and Georgia Tech.

A New Era In The ACC

Miami and Virginia Tech join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004-05, giving the league 11 teams. The regular season ACC schedule will still consist of 16 games. The Deacons are 2-0 all-time against Miami with the last meeting coming in 1990-91. Wake Forest is 24-20 all-time against Virginia Tech with the last meeting coming in 1998-99.

Deacons Enter Season With Streaks

Wake Forest enters the 2004-05 season with a handful of streaks: - 14 consecutive postseason appearances -- the longest current streak in the ACC. - Four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. - 33 consecutive weeks ranked in the Associated Press poll. - Three consecutive 20-win seasons.

 

 

 

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