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Pre-Duel Pleasantries: Wake Forest

Crossing the line to talk to our friends at Blogger so Dear

Wake Forest v Duke Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Tonight we get to see Xavier face some fun ACC competition when they play Wake Forest at the Cintas Center. The yearly Skip Prosser Classic has become a hallmark of Xavier’s non-conference schedule. To get you ready for the game, we talked to our good friend Robert Reinhard over at Blogger So Dear. Let’s see what he had to say about the game, and the state of Wake football.

1.) Another Xavier-Wake Forest game is here! Honestly this series is one of my favorite games in our non-conference schedule ever year. What needs to happen for it to become a true rivalry?

In order for this to become a more established rivalry, I think Wake needs to get back to being a consistent tournament team, either NCAA or NIT. If that happens, then this series can produce some fun and very competitive non-conference games every year. It's a great test, as the game typically takes place just a few weeks before conference season starts. I do think that the Skip Prosser Classic is a great idea, and I hope that it's played every year.

2.) I'm legit scared of John Collins. Is there any way to stop him?

He's a damn good player. He's an outstanding athlete, who has very good footwork/post moves and touch around the hoop. In addition to that, he's one of the best rebounders in the country. The best way to stop him is to go at him and get him in foul trouble. There have been several games this season where he has gotten in foul trouble with 7 or so minutes remaining in the first half, and then Danny Manning sits him. When that happens Wake's offense really struggles. Wake really needs him to stay out of foul trouble to have a shot at pulling off the upset on Saturday night.

3.) Trevon Bluiett is on hot streak right now, putting up plenty of points against Baylor, Colorado, and Utah. How do you think Wake Forest will try to stop him?

Good question. This is probably a cop out answer, but I would play zone. Wake predominantly plays man-to-man defense, but I have seen Wake go to zone on multiple occasions this season. To me, this seems like an excellent opportunity to do so. Xavier has a lot of perimeter players, but the team lacks outside shooting. Wake tried to play Villanova, another guard oriented team, man-to-man and that backfired dramatically. I don't think we have the combination of size/athleticism on the outside to defend individually against Xavier's height, so I'm hoping that we play a zone. If we do go man, however, I'd expect us to put Bryant Crawford on Bluiett.

4.) So we are a basketball blog for a basketball school, exactly is happening right now on the football side of things?

LOL As expected, Wake Forest football at the center of the sports universe. Basically, Tommy Elrod, a Wake Forest graduate, Wake Forest assistant coach for 10+ years, and now Wake Forest broadcaster, provided multiple opposing teams with proprietary and private game plan information. This is not just providing his opinion of the team as a football expert, but it also includes play diagrams of tricks plays/other plays that we had yet to run. It put us at an unfair competitive disadvantage in those games, and was the ultimate example of betrayal.

5.) What is the overall consensus on your mascot? Do people like the Demon Deacon name, or is it meh?

I feel that most people like the mascot and the nickname. The thing that I love about it is how unique it is. There are so many "Tigers" and "Wildcats" out there, but there's only one Demon Deacon. Hopefully as our program continues to get back to where it belongs, the mascot can continue to help our overall brand.

6.) Score prediction for Saturday's game?

I do think this will be a tight game throughout, and am really looking forward to it, but I'll take X in a close on. Xavier wins 80-75.