Wake Forest is uncovering depth while gearing up for what looks like a more challenging stretch of the season.
The Demon Deacons will try to get more wrinkles straightened out when facing visiting Hampton on Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Wake Forest (5-1) is aiming for consecutive victories at home before heading for its first true road game next week at Wisconsin.
“We have one more game on Saturday and then we have a tough stretch where we got to be on the road,” coach Steve Forbes said. “We have to take care of business on Saturday.”
The Demon Deacons have had lineup alterations with guard Daivien Williamson out with a lingering back injury and Damari Monsanto dealing with illness.
Williamson is the most experienced player in the Wake Forest system under Forbes, so his presence is valuable. Forbes described the player’s situation as day-to-day.
“It’s painful,” he said. “He’s a tough kid. I don’t know if he’ll play Saturday.”
In Wednesday night’s 105-74 rout of visiting South Carolina State, Monsanto made his first start of the season and Cameron Hildreth started for the second time. Hildreth is the team’s third-leading scorer with 11.5 points per game.
The ability to have various players move into prominent roles has been a bonus.
“This team has a lot of freedom,” Hildreth said. “I feel like Coach gives us a lot of freedom when we play.”
Hampton (1-4) has lost three games in a row. This is the first of the only two games on the Pirates’ schedule against teams from Power 5 conferences, with a visit to Georgia next week.
“We want to get back to a consistent defensive style of basketball,” Hampton coach Edward Joyner Jr. said. “We’re going to take it one opponent at a time, and we’ll go from there.”
For Hampton, Russell “Deuce” Dean is averaging 14.0 points per game and Jordan Nesbitt, a transfer from Saint Louis, has provided 13.0 points.
“We’re going to do it by committee, when it comes down to it,” Joyner said.
Wake Forest won the only previous meeting with Hampton 12 years ago at home as part of the Preseason NIT.
–Field Level Media