The Wake Forest men’s basketball team has released the non-conference portion of the 2022-23 schedule.
Here is the calendar listed because these images always have the smallest font possible:
November 7: Fairfield
November 11: Georgia
November 15: Utah Valley
November 18: La Salle (Jamaica Classic)
November 20: Georgetown or Loyola Marymount (Jamaica Classic)
November 23: South Carolina State
November 26: Hampton
November 29: @ Wisconsin (ACC-B1G Challenge)
December 10: LSU (Holiday Hoopsgiving)
December 14: Application Status
December 17: @Rutgers
Last season’s non-conference slate came under scrutiny at the end of the season as it was likely the only thing keeping the Deacs out of the NCAA Tournament. After a 6-16 record and a large percentage of the squad traded in Forbes’ freshman year, it made sense at the time for Wake Forest to try and schedule an easier slate of games for the start of the season. season. Unfortunately, it was hard to ignore a non-conference schedule that ranked 350th (out of 358) in schedule strength by KenPom when Draft Sunday rolled around. Let’s see if that had any impact on this year’s non-conference schedule.
Results from last season’s non-conference schedule
*NCAA Tournament Team
** Potential Jamaica Classic opponent
This obviously won’t be a completely accurate representation of how strong these teams will be next season since players and coaches change so frequently now (from memory I know LSU and Georgia have new coaches). However, based on the chart above, it looks like the basketball program is definitely trying to increase the strength of the schedule; last season KP’s average non-conference ranking was around 225, while this season it’s 174. I think that’s a good indication that the program is on the rise and getting to the point where they don’t need to bet on multiple wins against more than 300 ranked teams at the start of the season.
My first reaction: Despite the increased strength of the opponent, Wisconsin and Rutgers could be the only teams standing between Wake Forest and an 11-0 start. These two games on the road are sure to add to the difficulty. I think the Deacs are up to the challenge.