A 13-19 record in Danny Manning's first season at the helm in Wake Forest capped off a forgettable debut in Winston-Salem for the former NBA All-Star. But as he tries to rebuild a program in the hyper-competitive ACC that hasn't made an NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010, injuries in the offseason have already made that goal tougher to achieve.
Manning did a solid job in his second year as a recruiter at Wake, scoring an ESPN Top 100 recruit with seven-footer Doral Moore while also landing point guard Bryant Crawford, who to this point is tied for the team lead with an average of 17 points per game.
However a big reason for that has been the absence of last season's leading scorer, Codi Miller-McIntyre, who also led the team in assists and was second in rebounding with just under five boards per game.
Miller-McIntyre has missed the Demon Deacons first three games due to a fractured left foot in the offseason, however he will travel with the team to Maui in the hopes of making his season debut.
Their season so far
Without Miller-McIntyre and Cornelius Hudson, who averaged 7.5 points per game last season but was suspended indefinitely last month, Wake Forest has looked the part of a low-tier ACC team once again so far this year. They squeaked by UMBC and Bucknell in their first two games by a combined 13 points before losing to Richmond last Wednesday, 91-82.
The return of Miller-McIntyre and Hudson, both of whom will travel with the team to Maui, will obviously be huge for Wake Forest not only in Hawaii but for the rest of their season.
In their absence, senior forward Devin Thomas has stepped his game up with averages of 17 points and 13 rebounds through three games, while Konstantinos Mitoglou has also averaged a double-double with 13 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.
Wake Forest kick off Maui with a matchup against Indiana tomorrow, and they will then face either Vanderbilt or St. John's.