DeaconSports Interview: Dave Wojcik

DeaconSports' Michael Jennings had a chance to sit down with new coach Dave Wojcik before the first Wake Forest basketball game of the 2009-2010 season. The first thing you notice is the intensity in his eyes and it is something you also see when watching the team practice.

He is very much a "hands-on" type of coach who will stop a sequence quickly if players are not in the exact positions they are supposed to be on defense or offense. He will physically go place a player in the right spot, with the proper stance or will get their attention with a quick bark of their name followed shortly by explicit instructions.

Michael Jennings: Dave what has been the biggest adjustment for you so far at Wake Forest?
Dave Wojcik: I think the biggest adjustment is just everything being new. Things like terminology, both offensively and defensively and getting to know everyone. The transition has been smooth with the staff because of my long term relationships with JB and Coach Gaudio.

MJ: What main function do you think you were brought in for, as a coach?
DW: I would like to think it was for my versatility. I love to recruit and motivate players. I get great satisfaction in developing players and getting them better. I feel that I am a good communicator and a people person, and that is a strength for any coach.

MJ: Defensively they have made great strides under Dino and staffs leadership and with another year of the "system", can people look for even more improvement?
DW: Exactly, I think you hit it on the head there. I think this team will be better defensively and will rebound the ball very well. We are going to find out for sure Friday night because ORU will run a lot of motion and set plays, they are going to put us in situations where we will see how our big guys can move and how our guards can work through ball screens and double screens.

MJ: Will we see many different things offensively this season?
DW: Well we are not going to change who we are but we have tweaked some things yes. We think we have a great PG and will set a lot of screens for him and let him drive the ball and make decisions on where to go with it like he is very capable of doing. Having said that, we feel one of our strengths is our size inside and we plan on utilizing that. Sometimes you will see two post men down there and sometimes just one. Those situations will be dictated by who we have in the game, who we are playing and who is scoring for us.

MJ: This team has been known for creating transition baskets which can give you some easy points but bogged down somewhat when that was taken away and you were forced into a half court offense against tightly packed zones. How do you compensate for that knowing it will likely be employed heavily against you this season?
DW: We have spent time practicing against zones. I think personally that will not be as big an issue as some think because I believe we shoot the ball well and we are able to attack it inside even more with our size. A lot of our transition points were created off our defense and that will be even better this season so we will still get points from our defense but we are not conceding anything in the half court either.

MJ: How has your family adjusted to your new life in Winston-Salem?
DW: My wife and son love it here. We think Winston-Salem is a great city and not very different in pace of life than Tulsa. My family has had more opportunity to be here and I have been traveling a lot recruiting so they are a little ahead of me in finding out where everything is and such.

MJ: What reception in the recruiting of kids have you gotten when you say Wake Forest?
DW: That's a good question because it is amazing to see how positive I have been received from the kids when Wake is mentioned. They will say, "oh yeah, Wake Forest, I love the way they play" or "coach, I love Wake Forest, I have always watched them" etc… Incidentally, you also hear them talk a lot about Chris Paul, and that is a big plus for us as well. It is an advantage to be associated with such a prestigious university like Wake Forest and the power of our conference, the ACC, when out there talking to the kids.

MJ: Thanks for your time coach
DW: My pleasure, thank you Mike.


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