Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 26, 2016

Danny Manning

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

DANNY MANNING: Good afternoon. I believe it's afternoon. It's been a long day. But I'm excited to be here. I'm looking forward to the season. This year got started for us a little earlier than a lot of teams. We got a chance to take a foreign trip. We went to the Bahamas. And so once our July session of summer school was over, we practiced for eight days and went over to the Bahamas and played three games. And that trip has proved to be very beneficial for us in terms of implementing base offense and defensive schemes. So once we started practicing, it was a lot of things we already had implemented and it was just a matter of jogging our guys' memory and trying to get them to pick back up on those things.

Now, we're not running them as crisp as we'd like. We have a lot of work to do in that regard in terms of execution, but we've got a lot of things that we're going to use already implemented. So we're excited about where we're at at this point in the season.

We have to incorporate six new players into our system, and we're excited about bringing in this new blood. One of the players is Keyshawn Woods, who was with us last year as a redshirt who had an outstanding redshirt campaign for us. Austin Arians is also here for Media Day, someone that brings a lot of leadership and experience to this team. Last year our leader ended up being a true freshman in Bryant Crawford, who had a very good, outstanding freshman year.

So we're excited about this team. We feel like this is the most skilled players we've had in our three years, and we're looking forward to taking some steps forward in our journey.

Q. The question I have is about you have two big guys who are very intriguing. You have a lot of big guys, but Collins and Moore in particular, if you could talk about their development and what special things that you offer them as a former great player who plays up front?
DANNY MANNING: Well, I think those two guys had a chance to watch someone last year in Devin Thomas who averaged a double-double in our league, and that's no easy feat. Those guys got a chance to start a couple of games late in the year in the games that they started. John started one game, Doral started one game. And both had career highs in the games they started, so they answered the bell on those particular evenings.

Their development has gone very, very well. I think John is someone who last year you look at his production in minutes, he was really, really productive. Hopefully that will continue for us this year.

Doral is someone who has a huge presence and changes the game because of his athletic ability. He's a seven-footer that when he goes into the weight room and squats, he almost puts his heel on his behind. He jumps up to the top of the backboard, and there are not too many athletic bigs that can do things like that. So those two guys have shown some improvement. They did some really good things for us on the Bahamas tour, and we're going to need those two to help anchor the front line this year, and I believe they're up to the task.

I look forward to working with those guys and just sharing some of the different things that I've picked up along the way. And those guys are very receptive, and I feel like they've gained a lot of experience in working with us. I'm looking forward to seeing them play this year.

Q. When your players were in here this morning, one of the things they talked about was being consistently competitive. With six new players, is that one of the things that you're looking for from this group, and did you feel it was maybe lacking at times last season?
DANNY MANNING: Well, I think a lot of that has to do with the depth that you have on your team. I think we're at a point now where you've got to come out and bring it every day because there's somebody right there pushing to take your spot, and I think competition is very healthy. I think it pushes you to do the best you can each and every day.

Now, there are going to be some days you just don't have it, but it doesn't mean that you don't put forth effort, and that's something that we've been talking about with our guys. Our practices have gone very, very well. The workload that our guys have been putting out, the numbers have been really high.

We collect all that data for our guys. All of our guys practice on a GPS unit, so when practice is over we keep track of the workload that we put them under, and our numbers have been really, really good this year in terms of working hard for the duration of the time that we're out there on the practice court.

Q. In your first two years of the rebuild, you've had a lot of personalities come and go. Whether it's extraordinarily more than you would have expected or however it shakes out, what have you learned as a coach through this transition knowing that the different kids are in the system, your system; that's a little bit new for you, isn't it?
DANNY MANNING: It is. You have to be flexible. I think going into it, you have a plan in place, and things don't always go to plan. I've got two children of my own, a 26-year-old daughter and a 23-year-old son, and a lot of things I had planned for them wasn't in their plans. So that's the same thing that holds true when you're talking about the young people that we come in contact with.

But the one thing that I will say is it kind of weeds itself out, for lack of a better adjective. The young people that are still with us wanted to be a part of what we're doing. The young people that we're recruiting and bringing into our program wanted to be a part of what we're doing, and we're excited about having those young men in our program and looking forward to it. Eight of our 13, like we said, are freshmen and sophomores, so we've got to continue to work and get better, but we're excited about this upcoming season for sure.

Q. We often hear coaches talk about schedules. How do you know when you're on a schedule or you're ahead of schedule or you're behind schedule, given that your time and anybody's time is infinity, so how do you know where you are with your program?
DANNY MANNING: Well, I think when you initially start, you have your plan that you want to implement, and I think based upon that, based upon where you're at in the league and how your players are developing, lets you know if you're on schedule or if you feel like you're ahead of schedule.

You know, I think a lot of it -- in the media's eyes, you look at the wins and you look at the losses, and those are certainly important and that's ultimately what I'm judged by, but I also understand that it's a process, I understand that it's a journey, and I want to help get our program back to where we think it should be, and we're moving in that direction.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #166 at 2016-10-26 21:33:00 GMT

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