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ACC Roundup - Wake Forest Gets By Catawba

It wasn’t pretty or important, but at least the Deacons got a win

NCAA Basketball Tournament - East Tennessee State v Florida
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 16: Head coach Steve Forbes watches on against the Florida Gators during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Amway Center on March 16, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The only ACC game on Thursday was Wake Forest’s quickie with Catawba. It was closer than a lot of people might have expected, which just kind of underscores that Wake has a lot of work to do.

However, the Deacs unveiled an intriguing new factor in Carter Whitt.

Wake has only played three games so far due to the pandemic, and Whitt, who was recruited for next year, came on board over the holidays.

A promising point guard, Raleigh native Whitt has only had a few practices and none of the other acculturation like conditioning, sports medicine or targeted nutrition.

And sure, Catawba isn’t a great program.

Still, he held his own, scoring 11 points and passing out four assists. He also shot 4-8, all in all a solid debut.

Wake struggled in this game after a hot start, but the Demon Deacons still managed to win and dealt with a certain amount of game pressure, because no ACC team wants to lose to D-II Catawba.

Things will get tougher on Sunday when Wake visits Georgia Tech, a defensively oriented team with a senior point guard in Jose Alvarado.

In other ACC news, Saturday’s Notre Dame-Pitt game has been virused. Notre Dame will visit UNC Saturday instead.

This is due to the outbreak at Pitt.

That makes the visit to UNC really interesting. As we’ve said, Notre Dame is just 3-5 while UNC is 5-3 but the Irish have played a pretty demanding schedule. Also worth noting: one of these teams relies on inside play while one relies on three point shooting. One also has a 6-11 player who can force a bigger player away from the basket which will potentially open lanes up inside.

In other words, UNC has to guard an outstanding three point shooting team and control Nate Laszewski (rhymes with Krzyzewski).

They may not have Trey Wertz, however, and that will hurt. Wertz, who lit up Purdue earlier this year for 27, injured his ankle against Virginia and we haven’t heard yet how serious it is.

No games until Saturday, when, aside from UNC, Duke visits Florida State, Clemson plays Miami, Louisville BC and in the likely headliner, Virginia and Virginia Tech square off in an early rivalry game.

ACC Standings