Wake Forest Has Seen Better Seeds Than Oregon - All Four, in Fact

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), March 16, 2002 | Go to article overview

Wake Forest Has Seen Better Seeds Than Oregon - All Four, in Fact


Byline: BOB CLARK The Register-Guard

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - It didn't do a lot of good for Wake Forest's record, but the Demon Deacons have already played the best teams in the NCAA Tournament.

In fact, Wake Forest is the only team in the tournament that met each of the No. 1 seeds during the regular season.

`The benefit is ... it gets us ready for this tournament in March,' Wake Forest's Darius Songaila said. `You play the best and that makes you better. Once it comes to March, you've already played those teams so you know what it's like to play the best teams in this kind of situation.'

`It was tough, but it made us a better basketball team,' Ervin Murray said. `We played the best, and if we can withstand that we can withstand anything. It let us know we're not that far from the best teams in the country.'

Wake Forest went 0-7 against the NCAA's top seeds, losing three times to Duke, twice to Maryland and once each to Cincinnati and Kansas.

`There were stretches in all those games ... where we competed successfully,' Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. `Our guys believe that we can play with just about anybody. If we could ever play that way for 40 minutes, we could perhaps beat anybody in the country.'

BOOKING IT: It hasn't been all basketball for the Ducks. Reserves Ben Lindquist and Anthony Lever each took final examinations Friday morning under the supervision of a proctor, and starter Robert Johnson has been splitting time between scouting reports and a term paper that is due Monday.

If Oregon wins today, there are likely to be more accommodations made on academics as the university begins final exam week for winter term on Monday, and the Ducks would be leaving Wednesday for Madison, Wis.

IFFY DEACON: Josh Howard was listed as day-to-day by Wake Forest because of the ankle injury he suffered a month ago which continues to hinder his play. The 6-foot-6 junior scored eight points in 18 minutes against Pepperdine on Thursday but at times was obviously limping. …

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