The Danny Manning regime is underway and there is a fresh feeling in the air. At today's Wake Forest basketball media day, optimism and promise ruled over doubt and past performance.
Several upperclassmen noted, "Wow, there are many more people [media members] here this year."
At the beginning of the program's rebirth, Demon Deacon players and coaches had a lot to say.
Head coach Danny Manning- "Our expectations don't change. We want to win every game. Every time you step on the court you want to win. This is a results business. We are measured by wins and losses."
Manning- "I can't speak for what happened in the past. I don't care about it. I know what we demand as a staff. We are going to be a physically and mentally tough team. We are going to pay strict attention to detail and we are going to learn."
Manning on the difficult off-season practices-"We're not doing anything nobody else isn't doing. This is no pity parties. We are doing what it takes to get better. We can do it fast or do it long, but we're going to do it."
Point guard Codi Miller-McIntyre- "We got two years left. We know what we need to do not lose in the ACC. We witnessed and been through some up and down seasons in the ACC the past two years. Now we know what we have to do."
Miller-McIntyre- "Everybody's been playing well this summer up until now. Madison [Jones] is terrific coming off ball-screens. I'm guarding him everyday. Andre [Washington] has had a heck of a summer working in the post and his mid-range. Aaron [Rountree] has been unstoppable. Mitch [Wilbekin], Rondale [Watson] can shoot the ball. [Rondale's] really athletic. Cornelius [Hudson] can get to the basket. He looks like a scorer. Dinos [Mitoglou] can shoot lights out on pick and pops. Darius ]Leonard] same thing.
Miller-McIntyre- "No one person has to [fill the role as the third] scorer. We are relying on everybody. Everybody is capable of scoring. Whether they do it or not, that's the mental aspect."
Assistant Coach Randolph Childress- "We'll see. But I think it will be by committee. I think it will be a different guy every night. Two of our freshmen are as talented as anybody. Dinos and Cornelius are offensively as gifted as freshmen that we've seen in some time here. Darius will help us some. Collectively we'll be fine"
Childress- "All of our newcomers are capable shooters: Dinos, Darius, Wilbekin, Rondale, Hudson. None of them will be Coron [Williams, 3-point shooting specialist from last year], our third option last year, but they are all capable of hitting open shots."
Manning- "I made my career in the NBA playing as a sixth man. I think we have a lot of guys that can put themselves in a situation to contribute on a nightly basis. Starters don't mean anything to me, it's who finishes the games. Hopefully it changes each night... I don't care about individual numbers, I care about Wake Forest winning"
On the style of play:
Miller-McIntyre- "[After Manning's hire] once I heard he likes to play fast, I was already sold. All the games that we won, it was because he were getting up and down the court and scoring quick."
Miller-McIntyre- "We are going to be extremely aggressive. We are trying to be in passing lanes. That's when we are at our best, when get on the fast break and run."
Small forward Aaron Rountree- "I am super excited [about the aggressive style]. It fits my style well. I'm trying to stay within the defensive principles, which is deny if you're one pass away."
Manning- "Balance is extremely important... We play good first-shot defense, we get a rebound and then we have several options to push the ball, find the open man and run."
Manning- "These players will adapt to mine system. It is easier for 13 to adapt to 1 than for 1 to adapt to 13. [Adapting to your personnel] is what gets you fired."
Manning- "We are going to hold our hats on defense. On offense sometimes the ball doesn't drop, but on defense you can always control what happens based on effort and intensity and understanding of the system."
Codi and his position:
Childress- "I'm expecting him to be the best guard in this conference."
Childress- "He's confident in his shot. Much more confident than he's been in the past. Nobody questions his ability to get to the basket."
Childress- "Going into conference play last year, he was playing as good as any guard. He had a high ankle sprain and came back a little early and hobbled through some games. Then he lost some lift and athleticism and lost confidence in his shot as a result."
Miller-McIntyre- "If you look at the way I have scored in the past two years, it hasn't been in the half court set or coming off screens. It has all been in the open court. So either position, but we are going to get a rebound and push the ball and be aggressive."
Manning- "We have basketball players. Positions don't mean much to me. All three of our wing spots are interchangeable. Our two post spots are interchangeable. That gives us the chance to be more versatile and faster."
Manning- "We have a great university. We play in the toughest basketball conference in the country. We have over 40 years of NBA basketball on our staff. I don't know another staff like that. We have a staff with two first round draft picks. We talk about development on the court and development off the court. If they have aspirations of going pro, we have those experiences and we want to share them with our guys."
Manning- "Greg [McClinton] has been involved in every workout this offseason. Daniel [Green] has not."
Randolph Being Chill:
When asked if he is still the best shooter on the team, Childress did not hesitate, "Absolutely. I look forward to recruiting the kid that I can pass the torch to, but he's going to have to earn it."
Many more quotes from Wake Forest media day will show up in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to BSD as we ramp up our Demon Deacon basketball coverage.