Wake Forest Postgame Quotes

Jan. 29, 2004 vs. Maryland

Wake Forest Head Coach Skip Prosser

"First I take my hat off to Maryland. The first half they played exceedingly well. Also I have to take my hat off to our kids. They were like Brucie Willis in 'Die Hard'. We refused to die. The first 20 minutes we didn't guard too well, but in the last 15 we did. They shot 50 percent in the first half and we held them to 36 in the second. The biggest play of the game was the possession arrow. We got it and they had to foul us."

On Kyle Visser:

"We wanted to go inside to whomever was in there. That gave us momentum because we scored on a number of possessions. Kyle's going to be a good player. He made a big, big plays tonight. He had an ill-advised foul at FSU in the end and an ill-advised foul today. But he's still learning. He just turned 18 and I'm glad he's playing for us."

"We guarded much better in the second half. We told the kids at halftime that this would be our best win of the season. I have to give a lot of credit to our assistant coaches who helped the kids stay positive and we were able to pull it out."

"It's always nice to win the congenial award. We have really nice kids. I wouldn't trade them for any other group in the country. But ACC games usually aren't family reunions. I think there's lots of mutual respect between the kids from AAU and summer all-star games. But sometimes we take fraternization to another level."

"We have another huge game on Saturday. Tonight's game made our season seem like it was hanging on the precipice. I told our guys to play with a sense of urgency, not desperation. But in the second half it did turn into desperation."

On Chris Paul:

"His three pointer was a dagger. He obviously was a big factor in the win. His play belies his age. He played all 20 minutes in the second half and we usually don't do that. But I thought it gave us the best opportunity to win."

Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams

"In the first half we played well on both sides, both offensively and defensively, and we did a good job of protecting the ball. However, the second half we did not have the same energy and gave Wake the confidence that they needed. Wake had good defense which meant that we couldn't score. We had chances but just did not convert. That makes the difference-- you just have to take advantage of the opportunities."

"We had some foul trouble tonight, but the bench played well, especially Garrison. In the first half we had 53 points versus a good team but we had trouble keeping that intensity for 40 minutes."

"Wake went small in the second half and we knew what we had to do, but we just didn't play well. We didn't run our offense. We are a young team and we are learning. We did a good job staying tough. The young players just don't always understand the intensity of road games, but you need to stay tough at home. There are no easy games in the ACC, it always seems like the next game we are playing someone good."

On D.J. Strawberry:

"He got attention early in his career, which is not always good. But he works hard and is an outstanding person. He struggled tonight but he'll be fine if he keeps on working. He's a young player."

Wake Forest Junior Taron Downey

"Now we're really feeling good. We know what it feels like to win again, and we knew what we had to do tonight. It was in our hearts and we had the will to win. The guys stepped up and were tired of losing. We didn't want to go back to the dorm tonight wondering what we could have done differently. I didn't realize they had cut it that close at the end. We just had to play tough defense and we had a lot of motivation in the second half."

Wake Forest Freshman Kyle Visser

On Maryland:

"They are very good shot-blockers and are very athletic on the inside. They're just a very good team.

"I'm getting more opportunities now and I'm coming in more when people pick up fouls. In the first half we didn't play our best ball. But the last 20 minutes of the game were crucial. The coach told me to play 6-11 and even bigger. Big E picked up two quick fouls and we needed some people to step up. We had lost four straight games and that just gets to you."

Wake Forest Freshman Chris Paul

"We came off a four-game losing streak. The coaches said we weren't desperate, but we really needed it. Virginia will be a very good team. It's going to be a very intense game just like tonight. We're going to have to match their guards."

"Kyle Visser has played huge for us so far this season. Big E got into some foul trouble and Kyle came in and stepped up big for us. The coach told us to check our hearts. We came out and played hard and got the win."

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