Demon Deacons Fired Up For Season Opener

Nov. 7, 2013

Colgate Gameday

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By Emma Lingan,

Codi Miller-McIntyre is one of four returning starters for the Demon Deacons.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest hosted Brevard for a preseason exhibition game Nov. 1, and if the Demon Deacons' performance in their decisive 93-66 victory is any indication of things to come, the season should be off to a promising start.

"It was a good way to get our feet wet, so to speak, in front of the crowd," said head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "There were a lot of good things and things we need to work on."

Among these areas of improvement, according to Bzdelik, are precision and discipline, especially on defense.

"We have quickness, and we have depth," Bzdelik said. "We just need to clean it up a little bit. [Brevard was] a really good team for us to play just because of the way they run their offense. They're very disciplined. They're always cutting and they can shoot the basketball. It was good for us because you can't chase people; you have to defend people late and deep into the shot clock. So it will test your defensive discipline."

The Deacs shined offensively against the Tornados, with four players scoring in the double digits. Arnaud William Adala Moto (10 points), Madison Jones (10 points), and Tyler Cavanaugh (13 points) were led by fifth-year senior transfer Coron Williams, who scored 24 points, including six 3-pointers, in his first game at the Joel Coliseum.

"I feel great right now," Williams said after the game. "As a team we still have a ways to go, but we'll get better after this week. Personally, I did pretty well. I had some shots there that I kind of forced in the second half, but that won't happen during the year. I probably won't be getting those looks throughout the year. We've got a lot of work to do defensively, and we've got to perfect some things on offense. We'll be much sharper next Friday."

Bzdelik was also pleased with Williams' performance against Brevard, and he is optimistic about the veteran's future with the Demon Deacons.

"He can shoot the basketball," Bzdelik said of Williams. "He's quick. He's got a quick release, and he's confident. It's good to see him get accustomed to the Joel."

While all eyes were on Williams, one of the newest members of the Demon Deacon squad, some more familiar faces made an impact as well. Aaron Rountree III, starting in place of the injured Travis McKie, scored eight points, blocked three shots, and had nine rebounds and three steals. Andre Washington also had seven rebounds and scored six points on 3-of-3 shooting.

"Once I found out Travis was sitting out, I knew I had to take on the role that he usually has," Rountree said. "So I just tried to come out and do as much as I can and bring a spark."

The Demon Deacons certainly had a spark against Brevard, and they hope to keep it lit as they begin regular season play on Friday. Bzdelik emphasized the importance of cooperation and teamwork as keys to this team's success.

"We need to talk better defensively," Bzdelik said. "We can't take possessions off. All five guys have to defend every possession. All five guys are involved in the offense on every possession. We need to run the court with all five guys. We need the maturity to stay involved on every possession--everybody."

The Demon Deacons will open the 2013-14 season on Friday, Nov. 8, against Colgate at 7 p.m. at the LJVM Coliseum. The game will be broadcast online on ESPN3 and can also be heard on the Wake Forest IMG Sports Network.

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