WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A lot of things had to go wrong for the Deacs to loss Monday night at Northwestern, and go wrong they did.
The Deacs had their worst shooting night of the season. Combine that with the most turnovers committed on the season, it became a recipe for disaster.
Wake coach Danny Manning spoke on that game and other topics as he met with the media before practice Wednesday.
On playing four out of five non-conference games on the road
Manning: “We’re a young team. You don’t get battle tested unless you go into battlefields and face some discomfort. These games are tough to prepare for and they’re tough to win. We want to win every game we play, but down the road, big picture this will be beneficial for us.”
On Bryant Crawford’s rough night against Northwestern
Manning: “He had a rough night. He had a rough night against a really good point guard. McIntosh doesn’t get all the credit he deserves. Down the stretch he made two really good plays off ball screens that you just have to tip your hat to. I thought we could have defended it better, but he made some great plays.”
On shooting poorly and turning the ball over, but being in the game late - what did he like about the Northwestern game
Manning: “Defensively, in the first half I thought we did a good job of guarding — we held them to 33 percent. Second half, we didn’t guard the way we wanted to guard or with the same intensity. Granted a couple of those buckets came late when we were pressing trying to get a steal. They still shot 50 percent for the half. We held them under 42 percent for the game. If we bring that number down in the second half and it might be a different ballgame. The only reason we were winning at the half was because they were shooting 33 percent and our defense was locked in.”
On if the moving screen was the only concern with Doral Moore and the reason he didn’t check back in
Manning: “That was kind of the extent of it. We’ll see. These guys are coming in here to practice. You guys know there are certain matchups that aren’t good for certain people. That’s kind of what it is. He’ll play more when we get to bigger bodies — when we get to conference play. Usually when you play a lot of non-conference games early on, they don’t play two true bigs. It is what it is. JC (John Collins) is playing pretty good right now. Look at his stat line.”
On if he felt Collins got enough paint touches late in the game at Northwestern
Manning: “I thought we got it into him. He’s got to do a better job if he don’t have anything right away of kicking it right back out. I think now that he’s established himself as someone who can score in the paint, he’s going to demand more attention. He’s got to start using better footwork. There are times we try to pass him the ball where his feet aren’t working and the defense is able to run around and steal the pass. He’s got to continue to keep his feet moving and go meet the basketball. He has to take on some double teams, get used to it, then find the open man.”
On if it makes it tougher for him inside when the outside shots aren’t dropping
Manning: “Not really, because all of our opponents know we’re capable of making them. If they just dare us to shoot, we’re going to make our fair share.”
On Collins not having an official field goal attempts in the last 14 minutes of play Monday
Manning: “As a big guy, you don’t always need somebody to pass you the ball to score. You can get an offensive rebound. I’ve been there. That’s on him a little bit too. There were times he was open and we missed him. We’ve got to do a better job of seeing him when he’s open.”
On what he sees in Brandon Childress
Manning: “I see more than everybody else sees. I think he’s a good player. That’s why we signed him. He started off the year with 10 assists and zero turnovers. Not too many freshman point guards are able to do that. We’re really happy with him. He needs to continue to improve and get better. He’s just scratching the surface with his contribution to our program.”
On what led Manning to recruit Austin Arians as a grad transfer
Manning: “When you see someone that graduated from a university with a degree and will bring a certain amount of maturity to a young team, which we are. Also, he someone who’s had some success in college, and understands what college is about. We looked at his shooting percentage and saw what he was capable of. I thought it was a great fit for us.”
On Arians saying the family atmosphere at Wake was one of the draws for him
Manning: “We feel comfortable with our guys and like to spend time with them. In the recruiting world, people say this and people say that. You don’t know until you get there and experience it. For us, as a staff and as a program, we take that as a compliment because we do try to foster that type of environment all the time, except when we’re on the practice court. Once we step off the practice court, we’ll go back to it. And that’s the same for those guys (points to Budd Gym, where the Deacs have started practice) Once they step on the practice court, we don’t want the nice, kind young men that we recruited to carry themselves well off the court. We want assassins on the court. We want people that will cut your throat and watch you bleed out — on the court.”