The world is watching your game
We're watching you and have never been more proud
Excellence, Faith, Leadership, Service
These are the pillars of the Marquette Mission, we see them shining in you
Here is Part II of Marquette Coach Tom Crean's press conference talking about Wade and his accomplishments....
Question: Where does Wade's unique competitive nature come from?
TC: Well, he's developed toughness. I think we went through a lot of tough days here with that toughness. His high school coach Jack Fitzgerald from Richards did a wonderful job with him. I think Dwyane's been fortunate to have coaches that hold him accountable and certainly what Pat Riley, and Stan Van Gundy did it too, but Pat Riley, what he is doing is taking him to such a higher plane and that's why it was so exciting when he got drafted by them three years ago, so exciting, we just knew he was going to be around greatness. But I think what people don't understand and it really was disappointing, really basically disgusting, to see some people on a national level that have no idea about him question his toughness. You know the ‘drama queen' quotes and other players playing against him questioned his toughness, his freshman year, the first year that he played here, he missed one game in his career. He injured his knee. He had to miss a game. He had gotten hurt in the Wake Forest game and the decision had to be made, OK, do you want to get your knee scoped and done and miss four or five weeks or do you want to wait until the end of the year and you're going to have to have it done at some point, it's your choice, it's not going to get worse, but it's not going to get better, and he made the choice to play with knee pain. And we went through all the precautionary steps to make sure he was making the right choice because he wanted to play the season. He played 20 games. He's all league. We had a great season. We hit as high as 8th, 9th in the country, we went to the NCAA Tournament, and then he had surgery. He's tough. The people who are questioning him are people who would never want to be in a mental toughness contest with him. He's got great, great mental toughness and I think the world has seen that and certainly there could be no questions on anything he does after what he did in game 3 and to have him carry it the way he has done is remarkable. So I really hope that the people who decided they were going to have some liberties and try to find some fault with this young guy will really eat some crow and learn their lesson. He is what he is. He's one of the finest people around. He's incredibly tough mentally and physically. He's got an uncommon drive and a great desire to make those around him better. And that's God's gift. I mean he really has that.
Question: When you see him now, what are you most proud of in his improvement? What did you work on? What weakness did he have that he has overcome?
TC: There is nothing even close to being as proud as the fact that he's just so humble. I mean he is such a great father and great family man. That has not change. That's what makes me happiest as a coach and as a friend and a mentor in his life. But as a player, his confidence just continues to grow. I mean he used to fight shooting it off the backboard. He wanted to finger roll everything when he was here and he would dribble the ball sometimes around his chin. He has never stopped being hungry to get better.
Question: When you see him now, what are you most proud of in his improvement? What did you work on? What weakness did he have that he has overcome? TC: There is nothing even close to being as proud as the fact that he's just so humble. I mean he is such a great father and great family man. That has not change. That's what makes me happiest as a coach and as a friend and a mentor in his life. But as a player, his confidence just continues to grow. I mean he used to fight shooting it off the backboard. He wanted to finger roll everything when he was here and he would dribble the ball sometimes around his chin. He has never stopped being hungry to get better. And I think that's what separates him. The guy we are seeing now - I showed some film to a coach that's in - some of the things that he did in a couple of years here, you know, instead of that dribble being up and around, we got it from the chin to the waist, now it's down below his knee. You know, those are the kind of things that it's fun to watch his rapid improvement. And I really don't think he is anywhere near of being where he is going to be, so he's got such an ability to control the game and how he makes others better. I don't think it's going away any time soon. Question: He was player of the year here - do you think it will go to his head? TC: Oh, I don't think so. No, I think, put it this way. If it was going to go to his head, it would have already in the Olympics, All Star twice, going in the playoffs deep every year before this year and then obviously winning it last night, but if it was going to go to his head, it would have gone to it a long time ago. What you see is what you get. He is very shrewd. He's very smart. He's got a great businessman sense. I mean he will never be taken advantage of in any situation, and that's part of his mental toughness, but he is what he is. He's very confident. He's very confident in the people around him. He makes others better. He loves his coaches and that's what is so great as a guy who coached him, and I think we have a mutual love for each other. He loves the coaches he is with now. He never fights those things. He wants to get better. I think he is just going to continue to grow upward. I don't think you're going to see some outward growth that way. He's not like that. I don't think that's every going to happen with him. I think he will always stay the same. Again, that's what disappoints you with people who don't know what he stands for question toughness and things like that, it just doesn't make any sense.Question: Is there something looking back on the court that he did during a game that you'll always remember as being amazing at Marquette? test TC: The Tennessee game in the Great Alaska Shootout, which unfortunately none of you got to see because it wasn't televised, that to me will still be the game. Kentucky obviously is there and certain games like that, and the Pittsburgh game, especially the second half, but I would still say the Tennessee game but, no, it goes back to the practice the first year he sat out, when we talked about it, and it was in Sports Illustrated when he drove from the three point line on the right side, took a couple dribbles and jumped over Jon Harris. I don't think any of us had ever seen that, and I've never seen it since, so I guess that would be the one thing that stands out. A couple of moments unfortunately nobody got to share with us that day. The people who were there will always remember. TC: Thank you for coming.