Sports
March Saw an Eventful Period for Men’s Basketball
Photo Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletic Communications
By
Senior Writer
Thursday, April 5, 2018

Friday, April 6 will mark exactly one month since the Wake Forest basketball team took the floor, ending the 2017-18 campaign that featured a record of 11-20.

In the weeks following the 73-64 loss in the first round of the ACC Tournament the Demon Deacons have made a number of headlines, which are addressed chronologically below.

March 4

On March 4, the ACC announced its postseason awards, featuring three different Demon Deacons. Junior forward Doral Moore was the runner-up for the conference’s Most Improved Player — the award John Collins received last season — falling behind North Carolina’s Luke Maye in the voting.

Junior Keyshawn Woods came in fourth place in the voting for Sixth Man of the Year. Woods was the second-leading scorer for the Deacons, averaging 11.9 points per game.

Junior Bryant Crawford also received ACC honors, getting named as an honorable mention to one of the All-ACC teams.

March 8

Wake Forest recruit Jaylen Hoard was named to the Jordan Brand Classic, a game that has featured individuals such as Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. This was a tremendous honor for Hoard, who will play in the high school all-star game on Sunday, April 8.

March 13

The Wake Forest basketball program announced that Coach Danny Manning will serve as an assistant coach for the 2018 USA Men’s U18 National Team at this summer’s International Basketball Federation Americas U18 competition.

This opportunity will become Manning’s third coaching assignment with USA Basketball, as he previously helped USA Basketball to a bronze medal at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup and served as a coach at the 2014 USA Men’s U18 National Team training camp.

“I feel very fortunate and blessed to be a part of USA Basketball and have this opportunity to be a part of this staff,” Manning said.

March 14

Sophomore forward Donovan Mitchell announced on Twitter his intentions to transfer from the Wake Forest basketball program.

“Nothing but love for Wake and this program.” Mitchell said, “Thank you for the opportunity, it’s just time for the next chapter.”

Mitchell averaged 2.9 points per game in 2017-18. The Deacs will certainly miss Mitchell and his versatility as a stretch four, especially as he showcased tremendous growth throughout his sophomore season.

March 21

The program announced that junior guard Keyshawn Woods will graduate in May and will seek an opportunity to play elsewhere as a graduate student.

“I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Manning gave me to be a part of this program and to graduate from this great university,” Woods said. “I am proud that I was able to help the coaches change the culture of the program and build a foundation for the future.”

Woods was a leader for the Demon Deacons in his two seasons in old gold and black both on and off the court.

His shooting ability and honesty in postgame press conferences will certainly be missed.

March 21

Wake Forest recruit Isaiah Mucius was named to the Iverson Classic, one of the most prestigious high school all-star games in the country. Mucius will compete in the Classic on April 19.

March 26

The Demon Deacons officially concluded the season with their annual banquet and award ceremony.

Woods was the recipient of the Chris Paul Community Involvement Award. Crawford was the recipient of the Charlie Davis Best Free Throw Percentage Award and the Rodney Rogers Offensive Talent Award. Moore was the recipient of both the Chappell-Hemric Best Rebounder Award and the Smith-Teague Most Improved Award. Chaundee Brown and Brandon Childress were co-recipients of the Josh Howard Best Defender Award. Troy Rike was the winner of the Randolph Childress Leadership Award and Mitchell Wilbekin was the recipient of the Tim Duncan Deacon Award.

March 30

Perhaps the most notable and potentially impactful news came on March 30 when the program announced that Moore and Crawford will enter the NBA draft process without agents.

The pair will have until the May 30 deadline to decide whether to stay in the draft or return to Wake Forest for their senior season.

Losing even one of them would be a tremendous loss for the Deacs, but the next two months should be a great opportunity for them to get evaluated by officials in the NBA.