WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest basketball coach Danny Manning visited with some of the local media Thursday afternoon as we were getting ready to watch the Deacs kick of the football season.
The Deacs are currently taking off for a period of time as classes begin at Wake, following a successful 3-0 trip to the Bahamas.
Here’s part one of the Q&A with the third-year coach of the Demon Deacons.
On how the fourth day went for the team — the clinic and catamaran boat excursion
Manning: “I thought it was a really fun day. There was a lot of stuff going on. We got up in the morning, went to breakfast. Then we went to Sandy Lands Elementary School. It was a really good experience. It was a chance to visit with some kids on the island. They had a chance to take us into their computer lab and show us different things that they were working on, and we got a chance to show them some things on the court. It was just a really positive experience.”
On the importance of this trip while blending in some many new guys
Manning: “Eight of our 13 scholarship guys are freshmen and sophomores, so we’re young. We know we’re young. We like our skill set and like some of the intangibles our guys bring to the table. We just have to continue to grow and get better each time out.”
On getting a chance to blend and get some game action
Manning: “It was important not so much from the game perspective, but as a chance to implement system. We got all those days before we left to implement system, so hopefully when we ease back into our workouts we’ll have some carryover from what we did in the Bahamas. Once we start the season, hopefully we can jump into things a bit quicker, opposed to having to implement and teach. Hopefully it’s just a refresher and go from there.”
On if anything the freshmen did surprised him
Manning: “Not really. Everybody has had their moments in our practices, where they’ve done some good things. We had some guys do some good things in the games. We had some guys make mistakes in the games, and that’s to be expected. Nobody really did anything outside of what we knew they could do on this trip.”
On what he learned on the trip and what he’s seeing on tape
Manning: “We’re still breaking tape down, just from the standpoint of looking at all the different things. You watch the game, then break down each individual. We’re still in that phase right now. What I took from that trip is that our guys enjoy being around each other. The camaraderie is good. They spent a lot of time together on that trip. That’s something I think will help us out.”
On Keyshawn Woods performance in game conditions
Manning: “I think for Keyshawn, it was good to see him in a setting other than practice. We watched him in practice all last year, and we recruited him when we were at Tulsa. We were very familiar with him. For him to step out on the court — I thought his and Austin Arians presence on that trip were two guys whose contribution really could have helped us last year, to be honest with you. Because they are able to score on three different levels. Arians is known as a shooter, and he shot the ball very well. Keyshawn had a good mix behind the 3-point line, pull-up game, and taking it to the rim. Those two guys, with the experience they have — we’re really happy to see that.”