WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Deacs have to be anxious to get back on the court after Saturday’s collapse at home against Clemson.
They have a chance to right the ship a bit with a Tuesday evening affair against Boston College, who raised a few eyebrows with their convincing win Sunday over a struggling Syracuse squad.
We spoke with Wake head coach Danny Manning Monday afternoon as the Deacs prepared to practice about where things went wrong Saturday and how his team hopes to recover.
On if there’s any frustration right now
Manning: “There should be a little frustration. Whenever there is a game that you’re in control for the amount of time we controlled it, and you don’t get the desired outcome there is a little bit of frustration. You need to have it and remember what it feels like as you continue to move forward playing games. We have to get better from it. We’re at a point where ‘this is our season.’ We know what our conference is. Look around. It’s a competitive conference. We have to continue putting ourselves in situations like we were in the other night, but do a better job of finishing.”
On if there was anything he saw when he watched the tape that he wishes he would have done differently down the stretch
Manning: “From the standpoint of we missed our last nine shots. A couple of them were iffy, but seven of them were pretty good. Offensively, efficiency across the board we’re one of the top teams in the country. I’m okay with that, because that’s what our numbers have indicated over the course of the season. We’ve had the fifth-toughest strength of schedule after this last game, and our offensive efficiency is as high as it is? So we’re doing some good things offensively. It’s just you go on a stretch where you miss your last nine shots it’s going to be hard to beat anybody. That happens. Don’t get me wrong. You’re not going to make every shot. But you can’t miss your last nine.”
On it just taking one of those to drop to change the trajectory of the contest
Manning: “That’s happened to us at some point in the games we’ve won. We just didn’t get a shot to go down. Now, you give them credit because we didn’t hit the shots and they won the ballgame. Our offensive numbers are pretty respectable.”
On what he found out Sunday watching Boston College play
Manning: “They shot the ball well, and they pass it well. They had 28 assists. They did a great job sharing the ball and shooting. We have to come out and be ready to contest shots. We can’t let them get comfortable. We have to be disruptive on defense. We can’t let them run their offense. It’s a lot of passing and cutting. We have to do a good job in our defensive principles of guarding and not chasing, because when teams chase them they’re able to run their offense. When you guard them and are disruptive, it becomes a little more difficult for any team to run their offense. That’s something we’ve talked about.”
On if he believes he will learn a lot about his team in seeing how they respond
Manning: “I know what type of guys we have. We’ve responded every game this year, in some form or fashion. Look at our losses this year. We have five losses. Four of them are to ranked teams. That’s no excuse. Out of those losses, 98 minutes or so we’ve had the lead, 88 we’ve been behind and 20 we’ve been tied. We’re doing some good things, we just have to do a better job of finishing.”
On how practice was Sunday
Manning: “We had energy. It was chippy, and rightfully so. It needs to be that way. They compete hard and they try. Where we’re at in our program right now, is we’re trying to accelerate experience with game competition. At the end of the day, we want to win every game. We want to compete in every game. But we’re still one of the youngest teams in America.”
On if there is some solace in being competitive in nearly every game
Manning: “It’s a process. Obviously, whatever process you go through you want to be accelerated or fast-forwarded to get the desired result you want. But you also know it’s a process. Coming close isn’t good enough. Just look at John Collins. John Collins was a role player for us last year who came off the bench. This year he’s a featured post player, who never started more than a game or two on a regular basis. It is what it is. There’s some growth that needs to happen there, and he’s doing a good job. We can go down and pick out different things across the board. We’re still doing things to give ourselves a chance to win. We just have to finish games.”
On if the topsy-turvy nature of the start of the ACC is a surprise at all, and if that gives him belief that there’s still time to put together a positive campaign
Manning: “There’s plenty of time left. Topsy-turvy is someone else’s adjective. I know what our league is about. It don’t surprise me at all. It shouldn’t surprise you (looking at me). That’s the ACC. It happens every year.”