Steve Forbes: I think we’ll play basketball, I just don’t know what exact date things will start

First-year Wake Forest men’s basketball coach Steve Forbes joined Josh Graham on The Drive (WSJS) Tuesday afternoon. Forbes and Graham covered a range of topics, including transfer eligibility with his program and the upcoming 2020-21 season amidst COVID-19.


Basketball Transfers: Isaiah Wilkins and Daivien Williamson

After two seasons with Virginia Tech, Isaiah Wilkins decided in April to transfer back to Wake Forest — in his hometown of Winston-Salem. According to Forbes, Wilkins had his waiver for immediate eligibility recently accepted by the NCAA: “We just found out some good news: Isaiah Wilkins has been cleared to play. So he’ll be playing this year for the Demon Deacons.”

In late May, Wake Forest added another transfer: 3-point shooter Daivien Williamson, who played for Forbes at East Tennessee State for two seasons.

While there’s good news with Wilkins, Williamson’s eligibility for the 2020-21 season is still in the air, per Forbes: “Not sure on Daivien yet; that stuff has been filed. They’ve asked for some more documentation. These things have a pace to them.”


Challenges with the 2020-21 season, possible schedules

With regards to the upcoming basketball season, though, there’s even more mystery, obviously. Will the season happen with COVID-19? When will play start? What will the season look like? Forbes addressed some of these debates, too.

According to Forbes, he joins the other 14 ACC men’s basketball coaches for weekly Zoom conference calls. Forbes mentioned four different schedule scenarios for the season’s start that have been discussed on the calls:

    • Starting on time (Nov. 10)
    • Starting a week later
    • Starting around Thanksgiving
    • Starting Dec. 1

As far as a potential January start to the season goes, Forbes said he wasn’t sure if that scenario was in play, currently: “That’d probably be worst-case scenario.”

Forbes said his gut feeling is for a start date around Thanksgiving (Nov. 26, 2020), which would allow teams to further isolate themselves when other students leave campus to go home. (This mirrors something similar to what Kentucky’s John Calipari mentioned last week.)

On a recent conference call, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski mentioned the possibility of playing a schedule with 20-26 conference games, exclusively. In response to that, Forbes jokingly mentioned that if this scenario were to happen, he’d take Wake Forest out of the ACC and have them play in the Southern Conference for a season.


Click to listen to the full interview with Steve Forbes


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