If Wake Forest fans are searching for signs of hope heading into a rebuilding season in which the Deacons are expected to finish in the bottom half of the ACC, here's a video that should provide some renewed optimism.
Guard J.T. Terrell, the centerpiece of a promising five-man recruiting class, showed that he deserves to be mentioned along with Kyrie Irving, Harrison Barnes and C.J. Leslie in the argument over who the ACC's best freshman will be. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard went off for 47 points on 10 for 15 shooting from behind the arc on Monday night in a summer-league game.
Granted summer-league basketball isn't exactly known for structured half-court sets or fierce body-to-body defense, but Terrell's performance is nonetheless a positive omen for Wake Forest next season. He routinely put up 30-plus a game as a senior at West Charlotte High School, so this sensational effort suggests the step up in competition won't prevent such scoring binges.
Terrell figures to have the green light to shoot early and often next season for a Wake Forest program that lost the bulk of its production from a team that stumbled late in the season but still reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. Star forward Al Farouq Aminu turned pro and seniors Ish Smith, L.D. Williams and Chas McFarland all graduated, leaving the Deacons with a group of mostly unproven returners and five highly touted freshmen.
In its summer ACC projections, the Raleigh News & Observer projected Wake Forest to finish last in the conference next season, but there's no reason the Demon Deacons can't exceed those expectations.
If junior forward Ari Stewart shoulders more of the scoring load, Terrell and the other freshmen contribute right away and the whole team adjusts to new coach Jeff Bzdelik, look for Wake Forest to pull a few surprises.
(Thanks, Blogger So Dear)