Syracuse Orange v. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Prediction & Preview (1/8/22)

Dolezaj
Syracuse Orange forward Marek Dolezaj (21) drives past Wake Forest Deamon Deacons forward Terrence Thompson (20) during the first half of a first round game of the 2018 ACC tournament at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse travels to Winston-Salem, N.C. to take on Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon looking for their second conference win of the season. Here’s a preview of the game.

  • Teams: Syracuse Orange (7-7, 1-2 ACC) v. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (12-3, 2-2)
  • Date: Saturday, Jan. 8
  • Game Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Network: ACC Network Extra

stechschulteJim Stechschulte
Fearless Prediction: Wake Forest 84, Syracuse 79
The Juice Online Season Record: 2-1 (ACC)

With how the Orange have played this season and only ACC contests left on the slate, there do not seem like a whole lot of reasons to expect them to win a game. Wake Forest (12-3, 2-2 ACC) comes into the game ranked #52 in KenPom, 21 spots above the Orange, with a top 40 offense and a top 80 defense.

Syracuse (7-7, 1-2), meanwhile, is at #19 on offense, but a woeful #204 on defense (and seemingly dropping with each additional game) in those same rankings. The only major conference team worse than the Orange on defense? Miami, who just beat SU Wednesday night in a shootout.

» Related: Syracuse loses double digit lead in bowing to Miami

Wake lost two ACC games around New Year’s, including a 92-84 loss at Miami (sounds familiar). However, they bounced back on Tuesday, blowing out Florida State, 76-54. Yes, that’s the same FSU squad that counts as the Orange’s best win this season, when they edged the ‘Noles last month, 63-60. At least transitive property does not automatically carry over into on-court results.

Of course, when the two teams reach the court, Wake is an excellent shooting team, hitting 48 percent overall from the field with three players hitting more than 37 percent from deep. Calling the Orange defense “porous” seems like a compliment right now, as the team simply cannot be counted on to get stops.

It all adds up as a recipe that will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Figure on more of the same from Syracuse until proven otherwise.

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About Jim Stechschulte 807 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. He currently resides in Syracuse. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.