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Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio leads the Deacons into Blacksburg today.
RICK HAVNER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
When Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio looks at Virginia Tech, he sees a team similar to his own.
But the resemblance has nothing to do with the Hokies and Demon Deacons both being on four-game winning streaks.
During the Atlantic Coast Conference coaches teleconference yesterday Gaudio said Wake Forest (18-5, 8-3 ACC) and Virginia Tech (20-4, 7-3) are alike because of unsightly, but effective styles of play.
The No. 23 Demon Deacons visit the Hokies tonight at 7 p.m in a battle for sole possession of second place in the ACC.
Gaudio told his squad in practice on Sunday that it and the Hokies are "two junkyard teams."
"We're not the prettiest teams in the league or the country," Gaudio said. "But we're two teams that will just fight you, scratch, claw for everything and anything on the floor. It'll be a difficult challenge for us going up there."
Hokies head coach Seth Greenberg said it'll be difficult for his team to win, too.
He said Demon Deacons' senior point guard Ishmael Smith (13.0 points per game, 6.1 assists) is "as quick with the ball as anybody I've seen in a long, long time."
Greenberg said Wake Forest's length is also a concern.
The Demon Deacons have four players on their roster at least 6-foot-11, and neither is their best post player.
That's 6-foot-9 NBA prospect Al-Farouq Aminu (16.5 points, 10.9 rebounds per game). Aminu is one of only two players in the conference to average double-figures in scoring and rebounding.
OUT OF CONTEXT?
North Carolina coach Roy Williams was widely criticized for his comments last week regarding his team's miserable season.
The Tar Heels (14-11, 3-7) are ninth in the ACC one year after winning the national championship.
"Our massage therapist told me, 'You know, coach, what happened in Haiti is a catastrophe. What you're having is a disappointment,'" Williams said last week.
"I told her that depends on what chair you're sitting in. It does feel like a catastrophe to me, because it's my life."
Williams apologized two days later as critics said he was insensitive for comparing his situation to the Haiti earthquake that has killed more than 230,000 people.
But yesterday Williams said the criticism was frustrating and unjustified.