On Monday night, Houston Baptist graduate transfer Ian DuBose committed to play for Wake Forest men’s basketball. As a graduate transfer, DuBose will have one year of eligibility and will be able to play immediately.
The Durham native played high school ball at Raleigh’s Ravenscroft School. After graduating from Ravenscroft, DuBose started 88 games in three seasons with Houston Baptist, averaging north of 16 points per game during his career there. DuBose has experience playing against the Demon Deacons. In 2018, he led the Huskies with 18 points, including a game tying three pointer towards the end of regulation, in what turned into an embarrassing 93-91 overtime loss for the Deacons. The win marked HBU’s first, and only, win in program history over a major conference team.
The 21-year-old chose Wake Forest over offers from Arkansas, USC, Stanford, DePaul, Mississippi, NC State, Clemson, Northwestern and Liberty.
“I chose Wake Forest because of the strong academic and athletic programs,” DuBose said. “I feel like it is a great fit for me at this point in my career. I’m excited to play for Wake Forest and [Head] Coach [Danny] Manning.”
In the 2019-20 season, DuBose averaged 19 points and seven rebounds a game for the Huskies, who finished 4-25 (4-16), dead last in the Southland Conference. DuBose had a season-best 44 points and 11 rebounds in a 111-107 win over Central Arkansas on January 2. In 12 different games, he posted nine double-doubles and scored 20 or more points. These gaudy stats may be inflated by the Husky coach Ron Contrell’s playing style, which is frantic, transition oriented and fast-paced. This style resulted in the Huskies averaging nearly 80 points a game, but also finishing with the second worst KenPom adjusted defensive rating in the country.
Needless to say, Manning’s squad needs some depth at the guard position, following the losses of four-year player Brandon Childress, former Northern Arizona transfer Torry Johnson and former UNC-Charlotte transfer Andrien White. Furthermore, reserve guard Michael Wynn — who was not on the bench during the Deacon’s ACC tournament loss to Pittsburgh and had been suspended earlier in the season for disciplinary issues — announced his decision to enter the transfer portal. In the 2020-2021 season, DuBose will join a backcourt populated by rising sophomore Jahcobi Neath and incoming freshman Marcus Watson Jr.
Basketball analyst Jeff Goodman tweeted a scout’s take, describing DuBose as someone who can “score on all three levels,” is “more athletic than you think,” but may be “disinterested in defense.”
DuBose is an above average 3-point shooter, shooting .370 over the course of his collegiate career. His strength, consistent with the relative strength of recent Wake Forest teams, is getting to the charity stripe. DuBose shot 78% from the line this past season and averaged nearly seven free throws a game. This has been a point of emphasis for Manning-coached teams, and DuBose will likely draw his share of fouls.
“I’m very excited to play with [DuBose],” said rising sophomore forward Ody Oguama. “I’ve known him since high school and he’s always been a great player and guy.”
DuBose’s commitment seems to lend credence to the belief that Manning will return for a seventh season. Under Manning, Wake has gone a putrid 31-86 in ACC play, with just one winning season in six years. For comparison, from 2000-2010, Wake Forest was 87-73 in ACC play, with just one losing season. Manning appeared to be done following another Tuesday exit in the ACC tournament, but with the emergence of the global pandemic, spending millions on a new basketball coach has probably taken a back seat in the eyes of the university.