Danny Manning

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey, left, signals to players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
AP Photo/Robert Franklin

Jackson, Auguste lead No. 25 Notre Dame over Wake 85-62

1 Comment

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Zach Auguste had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Demetrius Jackson added 14 points in his return to the starting lineup as No. 25 Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 85-62 on Sunday.

V.J. Beachem added 15 points for the Fighting Irish (15-6, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Jackson, who missed a game with a pulled hamstring in a win over Boston College last week, added eight assists and seven rebounds. Notre Dame’s leading scorer missed Thursday’s loss to Syracuse.

Devin Thomas had 19 points and eight rebounds for Wake Forest (10-11, 1-8), which never led. The Demon Deacons have lost six in a row.

Johnson scores 27, No. 2 UNC beats Wake Forest 83-68

North Carolina's Brice Johnson (11) reacts following a basket against Wake Forest during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. North Carolina won 83-68. North Carolina's Marcus Paige (5) and Kennedy Meeks (3) look on at rear. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
AP Photo/Gerry Broome
Leave a comment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina got away with Marcus Paige having one of his lowest-scoring games because Brice Johnson came through with one of his best.

Johnson had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and the second-ranked Tar Heels beat Wake Forest 83-68 on Wednesday night for their 10th straight win.

Despite not having any other double-figure scorers, the Tar Heels (17-2, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) extended their best start to conference play since 2000-01, coasting through a second half in which they made just nine field goals and shot 26.5 percent.

“We had the mentality that we were going to outscore them, not defend them,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to not have that mentality going forward.”

The Tar Heels never trailed and overcame one of their worst shooting performances of the season (38.4 percent) by forcing Wake Forest into 19 turnovers and turning them into 21 points.

North Carolina – which appears in line to return to No. 1 after Oklahoma’s loss earlier this week – reeled off 12 straight points late in the first half to build a comfortable lead, then went up by 27 after halftime.

That all happened despite very little falling for Paige, who Johnson called “a ticking time bomb waiting to happen.” Coach Roy Williams said he’s “never had a player that I’ve had more confidence in in my entire life than Marcus Paige.”

The star guard missed his first seven shots before he flipped one in from the lane with about 5 1/2 minutes left. He matched a career low with two points and is a combined 3 for 25 since his 30-point game at Florida State.

“As long as we win, I’m fine,” Paige said. “I’ll be ready when I’m needed to make shots. Tonight, we didn’t need me to make very many shots. … We just played better than them tonight, so I’m not too worried about (the slump).”

It sure helped to have Johnson, who was 8 of 12 in matching the second-highest-scoring game of his career, surpassed only by the 39 points he put up against Florida State on Jan. 4. He also matched a career high by making 11 free throws.

Bryant Crawford scored 18 points and Devin Thomas had 17 for the Demon Deacons (10-8, 1-5), who fell to 5-21 in the Dean Smith Center. They lost their third straight overall and have dropped five of six in January.

“In the second half, we did some better things,” coach Danny Manning said, “but at that point it was too far in the ballgame.”

The Tar Heels broke this one open with that big run late in the first half, a burst started by Johnson’s back-to-back buckets – including a pretty turnaround hook shot from the baseline. Luke Maye had two tip-ins during the run, including one that made it 42-23 with just under 3 minutes left before the break.


“`Satisfaction’ is not part of my language right now.” – Williams, irritated at his team’s second-half performance.


Television viewers missed about 45 minutes of the ESPN2 broadcast due to what ESPN called technical difficulties. North Carolina officials said the signal was leaving the arena fine, but was having trouble somewhere between Chapel Hill and Bristol. The feed finally started to work during the final moments of the first half.


Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons haven’t won in Chapel Hill since 2010, and since that night, they’ve won just three ACC road games.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels were without 6-foot-10 forward Joel James, who has an injured Achilles tendon. James made seven of his eight starts while Kennedy Meeks was injured but averages only 10.6 minutes and 2.9 points.


Wake Forest visits No. 15 Miami on Saturday.

North Carolina plays at Virginia Tech on Sunday.

Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary

AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

Kennard, Plumlee help No. 14 Duke survive rebounding troubles

Duke center Marshall Plumlee (40) is hugged by forward Sean Obi late in the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Duke won 91-75. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Associated Press
Leave a comment

With Devin Thomas doing whatever he wanted in the paint and Wake Forest controlling the boards, No. 14 Duke found itself in a dogfight in Winston Salem Wednesday night. But thanks to some key contributions from the likes of Luke Kennard and Marshall Plumlee, and second-half foul trouble for Thomas, the Blue Devils managed to pull away and win by the final score of 91-75.

Kennard (23 points) and Plumlee (18 points, seven rebounds) combined to score 29 points in the second half, with the latter returning to the court after playing limited minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Both were able to take advantage of a Wake Forest defense that both struggled with dribble penetration and became even softer once Thomas sat down at two critical points in the second half.

The senior’s first noteworthy trip to the bench came with 18:06 remaining, as he followed up his second personal foul with a technical (moving the count to three). Plumlee and Kennard combined to score six of Duke’s next eight points, which allowed the Blue Devils to keep a decent cushion against a team more than capable of pulling off the upset. And when Thomas picked up his fourth foul with eight minutes remaining, that same tandem combined to score 13 of Duke’s next 18 points.

What was once a close contest with both teams capable of winning turned into a comfortable Duke victory, thanks in large part to the contributions of Kennard and Plumlee.

Grayson Allen was efficient in scoring his 24 points, shooting 7-for-10 from the field and dishing out three assists with just one turnover, and Brandon Ingram added 17. At this point in the season contributions of that magnitude are expected of those two. But if Duke is to make a run at an ACC title and play deep into March, they’re going to need consistent production from Plumlee inside. He’s been holding down the fort with Amile Jefferson out due to injury, and with Duke’s lack of depth inside they need the senior 7-footer on the floor as much as possible.

Just as important is the increased productivity (and confidence) of Kennard off the bench. Wednesday marks the fifth time in the last six games that Kennard’s scored in double figures, and his offense off the bench was key with Matt Jones scoring just two points on 1-for-8 shooting.

The rebounding against Wake Forest is a concern, as the Demon Deacons (19 offensive rebounds) grabbed 46.3 percent of their available missed shots and scored 20 second-chance points. Duke’s first-shot defense was solid, but their inability to close out possessions on that end got them in trouble.

Thanks in part to the play of Luke Kennard and Marshall Plumlee, the rebounding struggles did not keep Duke from moving to 2-0 in the ACC.

Mitchell helps No. 18 Louisville beat Wake Forest

Louisville's Donovan Mitchell (45) attempts a shot over the defense of Wake Forest's Devin Thomas (2) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville won 65-57. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Associated Press
Leave a comment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Freshman Donovan Mitchell had season highs with 18 points and eight rebounds in his first start and No. 18 Louisville held off Wake Forest 65-57 on Sunday night.

Chinanu Onuaku added 12 points, a career-high 15 rebounds and blocked four shots for Louisville (12-2) in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams. Damion Lee also had 12 points.

Bryant Crawford and Devin Thomas each had 14 points for Wake Forest (9-4).

Wake Forest trailed by eight at halftime, but tied it with 2:31 to play on Crawford’s 3-pointer from the left wing. Crawford turned to silence the crowd with a finger to his lips after hitting the shot, but the Demon Deacons hit just one of their six free throws after that.

Lee’s runner in the lane banked in with 1:01 left to put Louisville up 60-56. The Cardinals led 63-57, and Crawford missed three free throws with 17.8 seconds left.

The Demon Deacons finished 3 of 12 from the free throw line, while Louisville was 10 of 14.

Ray Spalding’s dunk after picking up a loose ball gave Louisville a 53-42 lead with 7:45 left to play before an 8-0 Wake Forest run, capped by Mitchell Wilbekin’s 3 that caromed in off the backboard after rolling around the rim, made it a one-point game with 5:57 to play.

Onuaku carried the Cardinals early as they scored 14 of their first 18 points in the paint. He finished the first half with 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks and hit his first five shots, finishing 6 of 9 from the floor.

Mitchell scored five of his 10 second-half points after the game was tied at 56. The 6-foot-3 guard started in place of Trey Lewis, who was recovering from a sprained ankle but did play, and hit 3 of 5 3s in the first half to finish with nine points.


Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons outscored Louisville 12-0 on fast-break points. … Wake Forest is 7-0 this season in games decided six points or fewer. None of their wins have come by more than 10 points. … Sunday marked Wake Forest’s first trip to Louisville since playing at Freedom Hall in the 1962 Final Four. The Deacs lost to Ohio State before beating UCLA in the third-place game.

Louisville: The Cardinals used their eighth starting lineup of the season. … Pieces of confetti leftover from a Kid Rock concert on New Year’s Eve fell from the rafters throughout the game. Court attendants and managers scrambled to remove them, with coch Rick Pitino even picking up a piece midway through the first half.


Wake Forest: At Duke on Wednesday night.

Louisville: At North Carolina State on Thursday night

Wake Forest lands four-star 2016 center Samuel Japhet-Mathias

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 10:  Head coach Danny Manning of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons reacts during action against the Virginia Tech Hokies during a first round game of the ACC basketball tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 10, 2015 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Wake Forest added the fourth piece to its 2016 recruiting class on Tuesday as 6-foot-10 four-star center Samuel Japhet-Mathias committed to the Demon Deacons.

Head coach Danny Manning has his center of the future to go along with a class that includes three-star forward Donovan Mitchell, three-star point guard Brandon Childress and three-star shooting guard Richard Washington.

Japhet-Mathias was a backup on the PSA Cardinals this EYBL season and he was productive in the minutes he saw. Playing in 11 games this spring and summer, Japhet-Mathias averaged 13 minutes a game and put up 4.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. A native of England, Japhet-Mathias spent last high school season at Vermont Academy, but opted to go to England and be a member of the Class of 2016.

Wake Forest will take Japhet-Mathias’ natural size, as he’s already 240 pounds and possessing good strength and along with 2015 recruit Doral Moore, the program has two big men to work with in the future.

Three-star shooting guard becomes Wake Forest’s second 2016 commitment

Danny Manning
Leave a comment

With Codi Miller-McIntyre and Madison Jones both out of eligibility after the 2015-16 season, Wake Forest was in a position where they needed to add some perimeter options in the 2016 recruiting class. It’s safe to say that Danny Manning and his staff have done that, with Brandon Childress committing earlier this summer and 6-foot-5 shooting guard Richard Washington Jr. doing so Saturday night.

News of Washington’s commitment was first reported by Scout.com, and he did so while on an official visit to the Wake Forest campus.

The Newport News, Virginia product attends Walsingham Academy, and he played for the Team Loaded Virginia program this summer. Washington played well at the adidas Uprising Gauntlet Finale in Atlanta in mid-July, averaging 12.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He and Childress, the son of Wake Forest great and current assistant Randolph Childress, will join a perimeter that has four players with eligibility remaining beyond the 2015-16 season.

Mitchell Wilbekin and Rondale Watson will both be sophomores this upcoming season, with Keyshawn Woods sitting out the 2015-16 season after transferring in from Charlotte. The Demon Deacons also have point guard Bryant Crawford, who will be a freshman.