NEW ORLEANS -- Wake Forest struggled Saturday night when the Demon Deacons lost leading scorer Al-Farouq Aminu for all but six minutes of the first half because of foul trouble. That opened the door for Kentucky to blow the game open on the way to a 90-60 win.
Now, the Deacons will wait to find out whether they’ll be without the sophomore for all of next season. Aminu decided to pass on the NBA and return to Wake Forest this season, but with the Deacons headed for a rebuilding year, he may heed the call of the pros this summer.
“My mom and dad and everybody might come to see me next week,” Aminu said. “We’re all going to sit down and talk about it.”
A second-team all-ACC pick, Aminu averaged 15.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game for Wake Forest. Despite the foul trouble, he led Wake Forest with 16 points and eight rebounds in the loss to Kentucky.
Right now, NBADraft.net has Aminu slotted as the 10th overall pick in the first round. (Three of the players ahead of him -- John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson -- were on the other side of the court Saturday.)
“I’m going to tell him if he’s a top-15 pick that he should go,” Wake coach Dino Gaudio said. “He’s a great kid. The one thing about that young man, he never talks about that stuff. He doesn’t talk about it in the locker room. It doesn’t bother him. I think if you went in there and said where does NBA.com and draft.com and all that nonsense, he couldn’t even tell you because he doesn’t care.”
Wake Forest will also lose Ish Smith, L.D. Williams, Chas McFarland and David Weaver to graduation, and those players combined to average more than 32 points per game this season.
“Next year I think will be a transitional period for us, obviously,” Gaudio said.