WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Continuing the Q&A with Wake Forest basketball coach Danny Manning from Thursday night at BB&T Field.
On Keyshawn Woods being a cerebral player
Manning: “Keyshawn is an old soul, and that don’t have anything to do with basketball. That’s how he is as a person — that’s how he carries himself, his mannerisms. He’s just a mature young man.”
On Woods and Bryant Crawford’s versatility
Manning: “That’s by design. You’re easy to guard if you only do one thing out there. The guys we want to recruit have a lot of versatility to their game, and can play a variety of positions and do multiple things out there.”
On the improvement of Doral Moore and John Collins going into sophomore season - how much of a jump will they have?
Manning: “Their sophomore year hasn’t started yet, so we’re still waiting for them to jump some more. I say that not because they aren’t working hard. Devin (Thomas) averaged a double-double. Say whatever you want about him, but the guy averaged a double-double in ACC play. Not too many people do that. For us, we have to be a team that rebounds by committee. I do think John and Doral give us much better rim protection than Devin did, because he wasn’t necessarily a shot blocker.”
On giving the team some time off once they returned from the Bahamas
Manning: “Normally, when school starts we give them the first week off. In the second week, we start our mandatory workouts in the weight room and then we gradually shift to the court stuff. We’re only going to have nine workouts before we start practicing for real.”
On if Doral Moore and John Collins will be on the floor together more often
Manning: “It depends on who we’re playing. How many teams in our league play two bigs? Think about it. How many. (Jaron) Blossomgame is one of the best in our league, and he’s 6-6 or 6-7 as a power forward. A lot of it depends on matchups and foul trouble. When we go into a game, our chief task is to figure out how to win the game. I could give two hoots who plays what. As long as guys are out there that are playing hard, playing to our system and giving us a chance to be successful, that’s all that matters. To me, it’s an average. I’ve played on teams where I played off the bench, and I played better than the guys who played in front of me, but at a certain point the coach would go back to that guy — but that was his preference. Our staff, we don’t neccesarily believe in that. If someone has it going good, we’re going to ride that for a little bit. That to me makes practices a little more fun and makes you work a little harder too. Because you know if you’re helping the team succeed, you have a chance to earn extended minutes. We have a lot of guys that are competing for an opportunity. All of our guys know that when the game rolls around, they have to be ready. When their number gets called, they have to be ready or it probably won’t get called again that day.”
On Doral Moore’s stamina
Manning: “It’s getting better. It’s not where we want it to be, but it’s getting better. I think a lot of it for Doral is that he is 7-foot-1, 270 pounds. He’s not going to be as nimble as Brandon Childress, who is barely 6-foot. For us, Doral just needs to put together good spurts. He’s not going to be out there for extended minutes of time. He’s not a Devin Thomas-type of athlete. Devin was a freak athlete. He had a motor that would run. A lot of Doral’s playing time will be determined by how he is doing. But that’s not just him, that’s everybody.”