Greetings from the media workroom prior to the Georgia Tech-Wake Forest game where you can’t take two steps without bumping into an NBA scout. Pete Babcock, Billie Knight, you name it.
There will be 22 scouts here in all tonight, not including those who paid to buy a ticket because the assigned scout area was full.
I’m told this is the most NBA scouts at a Tech home game since the 30 who showed up for the Florida State game on Dec. 20. The common theme between those two games? Big men-matchup.
Tonight we’ll have Gani Lawal going up against his former Norcross teammate Al-Farouq Aminu.
Aminu is leading the ACC in rebounding at an eye-popping 11.4 rebounds per game. Lawal is having a monster year on the boards again, and he’s third at 9.2 (behind UNC’s Ed Davis). Derrick Favors comes in in fourth with 8.9 rebounds per game.
What separates Aminu is how quick, agile, he seems. He’s had double-digit rebounds in 10 of Wake’s last 11 games, including 18 against Xavier and 17 against UNC Greensboro.
Tonight, he’s playing back in his hometown for the second time, well second time at Alexander (Wake lost to Maryland in the first round loss of the ACC tournament last year at the Georgia Dome).
Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio figures Aminu will be much more comfortable this go-around, because for one, his brother Alade Aminu isn’t in a Yellow Jacket uniform anymore. There’s a lot less on Al-Farouq’s mental plate.
And it didn’t look like it bothered him much last year, when you look at the numbers. In this matchup at Alexander last year, Al-Farouq Aminu had 17 points and 11 rebounds on 8-for-15 shooting. His brother Alade had 10 points and 13 rebounds in that game for Tech. Lawal had the best night of all of them, scoring 25 points, grabbing 10 rebounds in Tech’s 76-74 win.
So what’s in store for tonight? We shall see momentarily. I can imagine Gani will come out hungry after having another rough scoring night (day) against Florida State (five points).