Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Bryant Crawford ACC Operation Basketball Q&A

Q&A with Wake Forest sophomore guard Bryant Crawford

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Wake Forest guard Bryant Crawford met with print media for nearly an hour during ACC Operation Basketball last week at the Ritz-Carlton.

Here’s some of the highlights from that interview session.

On what happened the second half of last season

Crawford: “I’d say we started playing selfishly. Early in the season, it wasn’t about who won the game for us, or how many points and rebounds. It wasn’t about what “I” did, it was about what “we” did. We got away from that going into league play. Every other squad continued to play as a team and that’s why they had success against us.”

On the highlight of last season

Crawford: “Probably the trip to Maui. We beat UCLA and IU. Two big wins.”

On the worst part of the season

Crawford: “Conference. Long walks back to my dorm in the cold, knowing that you lost.”

On the loss against UVA at home

Crawford: “That was definitely disappointing. It was probably the first time a lot of us had ever been in a situation like that. One that definitely stuck out last year was Syracuse. That was ugly from the start and was a long game.”

On what he learned from those experiences

Crawford: “Not to come into any game thinking you’re going to just be given a victory. You have to compete and prepare for what the other team throws at you, and pay attention to scouting report.

“The coaching staff does a great job scouting other teams and make sure we are prepared for the opponent we’re facing. I feel some of us take scouting report more serious than others, but we all need to focus.”

On the biggest difference from last year to this year

Crawford: “I feel like we’re more focused. We pay attention to details more and trust the coaches more. He’s been pushing us since the summer with the trip to the Bahamas. We’re definitely ahead in terms of learning plays than we were last year.”

On Keyshawn Woods

Crawford: “He’s going to make a huge impact. I feel like nobody really knows who he is, but they will this year. He can shoot, he can score and he’s a great leader. He likes to compete. This year, we have a team full of guys who want to compete and want to win.”

On what it’s like playing for Danny Manning

Crawford: “It’s great. He’s a genius. Some of the plays that he draws up and the way he prepares us for our opponents is just perfect. I’ve learned a lot from him, and my teammates have too. He reminds us all the time that he’s been to the places we want to be, which gives us even more trust between coach and player.”

On the UVA game last year (a popular topic as reporters cycled in and out)

Crawford: “Heartbroken. Unreal. All those words. I just feel like we can’t let that happen at all this year.”

On if that loss helped develop resolve afterwards

Crawford: “No, I think after that game everything got worse. I feel like that could have easily been a game we learned from, but I feel like other things went into play which led to us performing not as well as we were capable.”

On if the Deacs will improve defensively this season

Crawford: “We will definitely improve. I think we had guys last year who were capable of defending, but as a team we didn’t put forth that effort. I think looking at how many games we let slip through our hands will give us more drive to compete on both ends.”

On who he followed growing up

Crawford: “I went to a lot of Georgetown games with my grandfather. I enjoyed watching Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green and all those guys. That’s who I mostly paid attention to were Georgetown and Syracuse. That was one of the few teams I did watch. I didn’t watch a whole lot of college basketball until I started getting recruited. Although I had some offers and interest as a freshman, I didn’t start watching a bunch until I was a junior, as it became time to make a decision.”

On who he likes in the NBA

Crawford: “I like the Wizards and a few selected players.”

On if there’s anyone he likes to model his game after

Crawford: “I used to like Rajon Rondo. I still like him, but I feel like I model my game after Chris Paul, a guard who can score and get their teammates involved.”

On team goals for the season

Crawford: “Improving our record from last season, winning an ACC Championship, and hopefully making a run in the NCAA Tournament.”

On how he rould rate his freshman season

Crawford: “I had an okay season. I feel like, we didn’t win, so I can’t say I had a good season. If I had a good season, I feel like some of those games we lost wouldn’t have happened.”

On what we don’t get from the outside on Danny Manning

Crawford: “He’s completely honest. He wants what’s best not just for the team, but for us personally. He cares about how we carry ourselves both on and off the court. He’s big into giving back, and into charity. Even when we took the trip the to Bahamas, he did some community service over there.”

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