Wake Forest Press Conference Quotes
Trent Strickland
Trent Strickland

Posted Jan 14, 2005


Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser and several players met with the media in Winston-Salem on Wednesday...

SKIP PROSSER

On Saturday’s game:
“I think it’s going to be a great game. It’s all about upholding tradition between these two schools. Both teams have talented kids and it will be a great challenge for us.”

On UNC:
“Defensively, they can take you out of things quickly. Their defense creates offense and their transition game is like an avalanche. Our record is good, but as a team, we still have to improve on guarding, free throws, and turnovers. It’s a long season, but we’re getting better as a team. “

On Wake’s schedule:
“Because we’re consistently playing top notch teams, they bring out the best and the worst. The Illinois game brought out the worst, and Carolina could be either one.”

On the tandem at guard:
Chris Paul and Justin Gray need one another. Their friendship on the court lends itself to good synergy on the court. Both have the ability to make things happen. Our team as a whole has great components, but obviously those two are the focal points. As a whole, we all have good players.”

TRENT STRICKLAND

On the hype and fan support:
“It is unbelievable. The fans are so much better this year than they have been in the past few years. It brings us together more as a team. I think it shows how much they support us. We want to thank them for the great support.”

On growing up and playing with Rashad McCants:
“It was fun growing up with him. In AAU we had the best team. I think we both averaged about 20 points a game. Whoever was on or shooting well that game became the Michael Jordan, and the other person was Pippen. We’ll probably talk a little bit on Saturday. We’ll talk a little trash, laugh and joke around on the court. When it comes down to it we are just going to have fun.”

ERIC WILLIAMS

On Sean May:
“I have played 12 times versus May. It tells you something about someone’s game when you’ve played against somebody for so long. You really begin to know the other’s game. Because of that you have to add a little something to your personal game because they know your game so well. May has quick hands and I’m sure he will change something. So I know I’ll have to change too, maybe I’ll throw a jump shot in there to surprise him.”

On being friends with UNC players:
“Having friendships with players from UNC makes you want to outplay them. You just have to leave the friendships off the court. Nobody is your friend on the court. You just have to put it out of the way. On the court it is like looking at a mirror image of yourself. With the friendship it also heightens the rivalry because someone of the same is matching up against you. It is like playing against yourself. You have to perform.”

TARON DOWNEY

On the strength of teams in the state of N.C.:
“I’ve known about North Carolina basketball for awhile, but only certain players. North Carolina as a state is a big basketball state with four really good teams.”

On the UNC game:
“It’s just a game. It’s not a bigger game, it’s a big one because its ACC but it’s the same game as any other ACC school. We just have to come out and play well. It is going to be an up and down game with a fast tempo. We want to win of course, but UNC is a good team and are playing well. But so are we and we are going to come out and play a good game.”

On shooting troubles:
“I just have to keep on shooting. I am getting some good looks at the basket and I want to get the ball in the basket. I just have to keep trying and eventually they will go down. I just have to stick with it.”

On this weekend’s hype:
“I haven’t seen too much. I’ve had the day off and I’ve been in my room a lot, but I’m sure the buzz is big around Winston-Salem. We’re just trying to get a win on Saturday.”

JUSTIN GRAY

On the energy and dedication of the fans:
“It’s a great thing. We have great fans, and so when we know that they’re camping out, we check on them. They support us so we support them.”

On being friends with McCants:
“We’ve been good friends for awhile. When you know one another, there is a lot more intensity because you’re playing for a lot more than a win. You’re playing for bragging rights as well. People don’t seem to understand him well. He’s started to grow up and mature. I’ve gone against him many times- we have a high level of competition between the two of us. We push one another, and when we do that, the sky’s the limit.”

On your similarities:
“We can score in bunches, a lot at one time or none. We both have a great ability to score and we both elevate each other’s play. When we play them on Saturday, I know I’m going to leave it on the court…it’s going to be a great game.”

On the game hype:
“Both UNC and Wake will have a lot of energy coming into the game. Nobody will play perfectly, mistakes will happen, and whoever capitalizes off of those mistakes will win the game.”

On playing UNC just once:
“This game is for bragging rights right now. I want to step up and help my team as much as possible. I don’t want to be embarrassed to walk around at home, I want to play hard and win.”

CHRIS PAUL

On the team’s improved defense:
“I think our defense has definitely come around this year. We have everyone back from last season and I think we learned a valuable lesson from last season, especially in the last game of the year, against St. Joe’s. I think we’ve tried and succeeded at improving our defense.”

On what you need to do for the UNC game:
“We’ll have to guard like we’ve never guarded before. They’ve got so many weapons, we really need to listen to coach the next few days in practice and be mentally prepared for them on Saturday.”

On Raymond Felton:
“Lots of guys play at 100 miles per hour, but he plays at about 300 to 400 mph. He is definitely the fastest player I’ve ever competed against.”

On what you need to do to prepare:
“We need to concentrate on what we do well. We need to guard the way we can and execute our plays. We cannot think about what they can do or will do too much, we have to focus on our strengths in order to be successful.”

JAMAL LEVY

On the rivalry:
“Not being from here, I haven’t experienced the rivalry as long as some of my teammates who are from the state of North Carolina, but I can appreciate the level of the rivalry. I think the game will be a fun one as well as a great one.”

On what will determine the winner:
“North Carolina leads the league in almost every offensive category. We know we can score too, we just need to be good in transition and make smart decisions when we are in that situation. We need to focus on defense and the little things. We have to be better at free throws and second shot opportunities.”

On free throws:
“We must be focused at the line. You’re going to get tired and emotions will run high, especially if you miss a few. We cannot lose focus and we have to put the rest of the game out of our minds when we are at the line, we cannot let what happened three plays before distract us from shooting free throws.”

On the one time meeting between the two teams:
“It’s too bad that we cannot play them more than once, I’d like to play everyone in the league twice, but with the expansion you cannot do that anymore. There is nothing we can do about it, though, so we just have to try our hardest to win this one.”


Related Stories
Roy Williams Press Conference Quotes w/Audio
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Jan 14, 2005
Point Of Emphasis
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Jan 14, 2005
UNC-WF: Roy Williams Quotes + Audio
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Jan 15, 2005

Inside Carolina's Official Online Store:
johnnytshirt.com


Get the Inside Carolina Magazine!
THIS MONTH

April
The glossy, monthly magazine includes top-notch features, analysis and fantastic photos.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THE IC MAG
NEXT MONTH

Spring

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Subscribe today to the Inside Carolina Magazine, our glossy magazine publication covering Tar Heel sports!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from InsideCarolina.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Basketball > North Carolina
[View My HotList]