Locker Room Report: Wake Forest

GREENSBORO, NC -- Skip Prosser, Eric Williams, and Justin Gray met with the media to discuss the win over NC State.

Skip Prosser, Eric Williams, and Justin Gray (11:25)


Opening remarks
PROSSER: Most of all, I'm really pleased for our kids. We got off to a great start, but what's been really important these two days is that we've been getting contributions from a lot of people and not just the two guys sitting up here to my left (Justin Gray, Eric Williams). We beat a very good team, a top 25 team, an NCAA Tournament team. There's no coach in this league that I respect more than Coach (Herb) Sendek.

On Justin Gray's floor game
PROSSER: As I've said before, it begins at the beginning. Offensively and defensively, it starts with the point guard. It has been a revolving door at that position for us all season, which has led to a revolving door at the off-guard position. But we don't win the game either yesterday or today without taking care of the basketball and that's been primarily Justin's responsibility.

On contribution of Michael Drum
PROSSER: Mike and Chris Ellis kept us in within hailing distance yesterday against Florida State. Today, as is always the case, Eric and Justin get most of the attention, so it really helped us to have contributions from Mike and other players. Mike is a guy that we've had to encourage to shoot, but he is doing it well. I'm very happy for him. To grow up in Rural Hall (near Winston-Salem) in a Wake Forest family, and to be able to make a contribution as he is now is very exciting for him.

On whether playing on the first day is an advantage
PROSSER: There is some advantage to having played a game and getting the jitters out. But it's also one more game that you can lose. Given a choice, I think you'd rather have the bye even though there may be some advantage to playing the first day. On facing Duke in the semifinals on Saturday
PROSSER: They beat us handily both times we played this season. They have a Hall of Fame coach and two of the premier players in our conference. They have a stupendous record in this tournament. We hope we honor them by playing to our potential. Duke makes you do that in order to even have a chance of winning.


On what the team is doing better this week than it was all season
GRAY: We've got more than myself and Eric (Williams) playing big in the tournament. That's the thing with college basketball - when confidence comes, you play better. Guys like Cameron Stanley playing big for us, Kyle Visser, Harvey (Hale) coming in. Even if it's buying five or six minutes, those are the things we need from them. I'm just proud of those guys, and hopefully that confidence will keep growing.

On his play at the point in the tournament
GRAY: I've tried to work hard all season, to try to just get better game-by-game. I guess it took a little bit longer, and I have a little bit more confidence at the position, but then again, I don't get assists if guys don't make shots. My job is just to try to get the best shot for Wake Forest, and when I give it up, my guys now are knocking down shots. Chris Ellis, Mike Drum, Trent Strickland - I have zero assists if nobody makes a basket.

On the play of Michael Drum
GRAY: I've been trying to tell him all year to be more aggressive. Like coach (Skip Prosser) said, Eric and myself get a lot of attention, so when we drive in, that's just the right thing to do. The basketball play is to kick it to the open guy, and a lot of times, he's been the open guy, and he's been knocking down shots.


On what the team is doing better this week than it was all season WILLIAMS: We have a lot of team chemistry. A lot of guys are playing to their potential. Like the great man always said, better late than never, and I'm glad we're doing it now. We just have to keep this team chemistry running.

On playing Saturday for the third time in three days, and what the team has left for Duke
WILLIAMS: You don't have time to worry. You can't sit there and think, "Third game in a row, do you have it in you?" You have to have it in you. So, playing against a great player like Shelden Williams, I'm going to have to wake up and just have a great amount of energy.

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