Wake's Gaudio thinks Teague and Johnson will be high picks
Jun 23, 2009
One would be understanding if Dino Gaudio were a little upset this summer. His Wake Forest Demon Deacons finished the 08-09 season 8-7 over their last 15 games after starting 16-0, and briefly claiming the #1 national ranking in the polls. Included in those seven loses was a disastrous 84-69 loss to 13th seeded Cleveland State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Then, to top it all off, Wake's two top scorers decided to forego their final two years in Winston-Salem to enter the NBA Draft. But despite all of this hardship, you won't hear a negative word come from the head Deacon.
"I wish Jeff and James the very best, " Gaudio said, referring to Jeff Teague and James Johnson, in an interview on 99.9-FM The Fan, ESPN Radio. "They are gettting an opportunity to fulfill a life's dream." Teague, a sophomore point guard, led Wake in scoring this year with an 18.8 points per game average. Johnson, a sophomore forward, was the team's second leading scorer, averaging 15 points per game, and he also led the team in rebounding with 8.5 boards per contest. Gaudio says that he thinks both players will be taken high in Thursday's draft. "From what I am hearing, both Jeff and James will taken somewhere in the teens. Whether it is in the early teens or later is yet to be determined."
On paper, it would appear that losing his top two scorers would hurt Gaudio's team next year, but he still remains optomistic about next season. "I like our team. We've got some very talented kids." Besides, having two players taken in the first round of the draft helps his program in the big picture of college recruiting. Teague and Johnson will join a list of former Deacs in the NBA that includes Tim Duncan, Chris Paul, and Josh Howard. Gaudio says that is great exposure for the Wake program. "If kids want toeventually go to the NBA, this is a great place for them to come play," Gaudio said.