Press Conference: Wake Forest coach Danny Manning

2016 acc tournamentWake Forest coach Danny Manning and guard Bryant Crawford talk with reporters after the Demon Deacons lost 75-72 to N.C. State at the 2016 ACC Tournament on Tuesday.


THE MODERATOR: We have coach and Bryant Crawford.

Coach, just a brief opening statement, then we’ll go to questions.

COACH MANNING: It was a pretty hard-fought ballgame. I thought in the first half we did some really good things to try to contain Cat a little bit. You’re not going to stop him. You’re not going to keep him from being effective, but I thought we made him shoot some tougher shots in the first half. Second half he got going, as we expected. Then Maverick came off and got free quite a few times, made some pretty big shots.

I thought across the board we rebounded the ball pretty well. I’m not happy with the amount of turnovers that we had which led to scoring opportunities for them, second-chance opportunities they created on the offensive glass. Two categories, looking at the stat sheet, were detrimental to the outcome we wanted this afternoon.

NC State is a very talented basketball team. They made more plays than us down the stretch.


Q. Bryant, from your perspective, tell us about the last possession.
BRYANT CRAWFORD: We drew up a dribble handoff play from Mitch to come on the screen, get a shot. He wasn’t open, so he passed me the ball. I looked up at the clock, time was winding down, so I shot the long three.

Q. Did you notice Devin behind the table holding up the banner during the game? What did it mean to you if you did see that Gonzaga banner there?
BRYANT CRAWFORD: No, I wasn’t expecting it. That’s my alma mater. I appreciate all my family and friends who came out to the game today.

Q. What was that stretch like where you and Maverick were going shot for shot there? Did you think you were fouled on that fastbreak layup a couple possessions later?
BRYANT CRAWFORD: I was just going with the flow of the game. We were going back and forth. I wish in that stretch I could have got a few stops which would have helped for the team.

I thought I did get fouled. That should have been a play I should have finished, though.

COACH MANNING: I got a question for you. Do you think he got fouled?

Q. I couldn’t tell.
COACH MANNING: Okay, all right.

Q. Danny, what was your take on the final possession? Were you okay with Bryant’s shot?
COACH MANNING: Bryant has made some big shots for us before. They guarded it pretty well. Obviously we needed a three-point shot. There was some time, a little space for him to get the shot off. That’s the best look we could get at that point in time. So you have to take it. If you dribble it in any closer, there’s no chance of getting off a three.

Q. Coach, you completed your second season at Wake. How would you summarize your second season? How do you look forward to next season?
COACH MANNING: Obviously we have a lot of work to do. I do like the foundation that we have in place with our young players. I thought Bryant had a great freshman year this year. We put the ball in his hands from day one, put a lot of pressure on a true freshman to lead the team. He is one of our leading scorers, one of our best three-point shooters, led us in assists, steals. Outstanding freshman year.

I thought our two big guys did a good job as well. Codi and Devin are two seniors that have been in the battles. We’re definitely going to miss those guys.

But, you know, moving forward, next year everyone that will be a member of our team we’ll have for at least two years. We’re excited about the prospect of that, but certainly disappointed about the outcome in today’s game.

Q. Bryant, you seem to play with a lot of emotion on the court. I’m not guessing, but you seem down after the loss. Describe your emotions from the end of a good freshman season but maybe with not as many wins as you would have liked.
BRYANT CRAWFORD: I’m a team player and I’m a competitor. I felt like this season was a longer experience for me. I wish the outcome was better and I could have sent the seniors off in a better fashion than we did.

Q. You did some business in the fastbreak, but looked like you struggled on the halfcourt offense. What was going on?
COACH MANNING: We had opportunities to make shots. Unfortunately for us we didn’t knock ’em down. We had some good looks from behind the three-point line from some guys. We didn’t knock ’em down. We got to the free-throw line. Obviously you like to shoot better than 67% from the free-throw line.

I thought we did some good things. We just weren’t able to make enough shots. I thought we rebounded the ball well and did some other things also.

In the first half, I believe we had 10 assists on 13 or 14 field goals. One thing would be having better ball movement in the second half.


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