Tuesday, November 6, 2007

12. Wake Forest

2007 ACC Record: 5-11, t-11th in ACC
Projected 2008 Record: 5-11 (912 PARTOBS, .251 raw W%)

Update: It's been pointed out to me that with the unbalanced schedule, who a team actually plays (or avoids playing) can have a tremendous affect on where they sort out in the standings table. With this in mind, I used each team's PARTOBS-derived winning percentage and the LOG5 method to run a Monte Carlo simulation of the 2007-2008 ACC season 100,000 times. Using this information, I can assign a reasonable upside and downside to each team's chances, as well as find out who might have an easier schedule. This information will be included for all teams.

The good news for Wake Forest fans is that the Deacons have been blessed with one of the easier schedules in the league, and the schedule alone is probably going to be worth an extra conference win. Wake will play just six games against the projected top five teams in the league, maximizing their chances to steal games against relatively weaker competition. As a result, their projected record has been bumped up to 5-11.

The bad news is that the Deacons still have the worst projected record in the league.

Projected Player Contributions:

The PARTOBS number next to the team's projected record uses the projected Points, Assists, Rebounds, Turnovers, Blocks, and Steals to arrive at a number that correlates pretty strongly with a team's overall and conference record. The order of the PARTOBS number correlates even more strongly with the order of finish. The predicted order of finish and number of conference wins will be based on that number.

Wake Forest figures to be the worst team in the league, and they've got a shot at being one of the worst teams in the last 20 years. Only eight times in those 196 team-seasons has a team finished with a PARTOBS of less than 912, and those six teams (Wake '88 and '99, Clemson '00 and '04, UVa '98, GT and NCSU '97, and FSU '00) combined for only 33 ACC wins in 126 tries.

Things aren't all bleak for the Deacons, however. Ishmael Smith had a fine freshman season, and freshman point guards who are able to contribute at above-average levels right away tend to have strong careers. Jamie Skeen has an intriguing list of comparable players. Wake has a strong complementary cast in place just waiting for superstars to arrive. The good news for Deacons fans is that help is on the way. The bad news is that it's going to be a long year in Winston-Salem before it arrives.

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