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December 30, 2008The Demon Deacons will finally hit the hardwood again tonight after a weeklong Christmas break. They last played in Greenville at East Carolina, running away in the second half to a 94-54 victory behind a 21 point, 12 rebound effort from freshman Al-Farouq Aminu.
Radford comes into the game 4-8 on the season, having most recently defeated Shenandoah at home on Saturday night. However, the Highlanders are 0-5 on the road this season. Wake Forest is 11-0 for the seventh time in school history. A twelfth victory tonight will tie for fourth best start with the 2000-2001 season.
After the week off the Deacs did not move in the polls, maintaining their number six ranking in both the Coaches and AP polls. The number six ranking is the team's highest since a number five ranking at the end of the 2004-2005 season.
Wake Forest and Radford last met back in the 2000-2001 season when they won 92-52 behind 22 points from Josh Howard to move to 9-0 on that season. The Deacs are 52-6 all time against Big South Conference teams, and have not lost to one since 1987.
The Deacs will have to slow down Radford's 6-11 center Artsiom Parakouski, who averages over 14 points a game and nearly 10 rebounds and already has five double-doubles this season. Guard Amir Johnson leads the Highlander backcourt, scoring 8.5 points per game and leading the Big South with an average of 5.6 assists per game.
There is little to make anyone think the Demon Deacons won't have an easy time of it tonight, but they've come out flat against lesser opponents before. With a significant road test coming up at BYU the Deacs should use this game as an opportunity to knock of the week's rust without looking past Radford to BYU.