Wake Forest Holds Basketball Media Day
Codi Miller-McIntyre talks with the print media.
Codi Miller-McIntyre talks with the print media.

Oct. 10, 2012

Media Day Photo Gallery

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - With the 2012-13 season just around the corner, Wake Forest held its annual Basketball Media Day this afternoon in the Budd Gym in the Miller Center.

Head coach Jeff Bzdelik and the Demon Deacon players were on hand to speak with over 40 members of the media on Wednesday, including local newspapers, television stations and campus outlets.

Bzdelik, senior C.J. Harris and junior Travis McKie will travel to Charlotte next Wednesday for the ACC's annual media event, Operation Basketball.

The Deacons open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9, against Radford. Wake Forest will play two preseason exhibition games in Toronto next week, facing Brock University on Oct. 19 and Ryerson University on Oct. 20.

Media Day Quotes

Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik

On having a lot of freshmen on the team...
"You know what, when we were here in July, I told them this is your month to be a freshman. When you come back in the fall, you are no longer a freshman. I remember Dave Odom a few years ago started five freshmen at NC State, and I think he won the game. I said, `Guess what, you are an ACC player; act like it. You are a Wake Forest student; act like it. We can't think of you as freshmen. We need you to perform in all areas of your life at Wake Forest; grow up.'"

On how he would have reacted as a freshman if someone told him that...
"Honestly I got drafted in the army after high school because my draft number was 32. By the time I was a freshman, I had already done basic training and AIT and the whole deal. I didn't go to Vietnam because they were pulling troops out in '72, and they gave me an option to go into the reserve. As a freshman, I was a little more mature than probably the average freshman so it's hard for me to answer that. I can't even remember that far back to be honest with you. But you're right, I know they are freshman, but guys don't think of yourself as freshmen. Otherwise, what happens is, `Well, I'm only a freshman. It's okay, I'll be better next year.' But no, that can't resonate in your mind. No, I need you to perform now. I don't want that to be an excuse or a crutch for our young guys."

On his basketball team's high basketball IQ...
"We do. That was part of the focus in recruiting to get young men that can understand the game. I was talking to them yesterday about this. Why do most guys win in high school? They are more talented than other people but guess what? Now you are going to be playing teams that yeah, you might be a little more talented than, but guess what? They can beat you, because it's who plays together as a team better. And you are also going to play a lot of teams that are more talented than you right now, but can you beat them? Yes, you can beat them through teamwork and being productive out there. They need to understand that you can't just go `hoop'. You have got to play quality basketball."

On the status of Devon Thomas and his knee...
"He started contact yesterday. I probably won't play him in Canada just to err on the side of caution. The contact is abbreviated right now. (Trainer Greg Collins) let him in for a few moments and then yanked him. Probably when we play Rollins, he will be out there. I don't think I'll play him in Canada just to err on the side of caution. In practice Friday he'll be in and out just so we don't fatigue the knee, but there's been no swelling. We just want to take it slow."

Junior Forward Travis McKie

On the history of Wake Forest Basketball...
"We're reminded every day. In the locker room we have the mural of all of the greats and then we get up here (to the court) and see all of the greats up on the wall. We are just trying to carry on all of the tradition, and it does not intimidate us at all. We have a great tradition to uphold that was here before us, and we have to set the standard for anybody who comes after us. "

On the change from last year to this year...
"The biggest change for me personally is just mentally, mentally knowing the game a lot better. With all of the new freshmen I've had to step into a leadership role. Teaching those guys what to do day-in and day out is very challenging, but I'm more comfortable with it now than I was in the summer. Our goal is to win every game that we play and to be competitive."

Freshman Forward Devin Thomas

On his intensity for the game...
"I play with a chip on my shoulder and bring a lot of energy to the floor. I'm going to bring toughness inside, rebounding, and energy. I don't know where I got my energy from but I guess it may have been my sister because she definitely beat me up a little bit."

On his knee surgery...
"I guess it started back in high school, and I had a problem but never had surgery on it. I came to Wake and the doctor though it would be best to have the surgery and get it taken care of before the season so I have no problems during the season and miss any time. They said my return would be four to six weeks, so I'm at four weeks now and hopefully I can play in Canada."

Freshman Guard Codi Miller-McIntyre

On team dynamic after a couple practices...
"I love them all. As far as the freshmen, on every play, everybody brings something different. It's seven freshmen bringing something different to the team, in addition to the other players who have already been here in the past bringing something to the floor. I think we mix it up pretty well."

On best attributes of each new player...
"Tyler Cavanaugh is a big man who can shoot like a shooting guard, so that is going to stretch the big men out. Arnaud William Adala Moto is like 6-6 guy with a 7-foot wingspan, so he is going to be an athletic player on the floor. Aaron Rountree is a small forward that can also play the point and really handle the ball well. Madison Jones is a great point guard that knows the court very well. As for myself, I'm a scorer, passer, and defender. Devin Thomas, of course, is an animal down low and can rebound everything. And then Andre Washington, who I played with at Hargrave Military Academy, has a great hook shot, great push game, and has a great midrange shot."

On what the experienced Wake players are advising the freshmen on...
"They are telling us that nobody is going to take it easy on us because we are freshmen. Each game, we have to come out and play with a chip on our shoulder as hard as we can."

Senior Guard C.J. Harris

On the best way to turn the page...
"It's a new team. More than half of the guys on this team haven't been here for the last two years. Looking at that situation, you know it's a new team and a new year, and we are just going to start over. The guys who were here last year and the year before that know what it felt like. We just want to make sure the freshmen don't go through that or that we don't go through that again."

On starting over as a senior...
"Sure, it may not be the desired thing. But when you have seven freshmen, you have no choice but to start over. Individually, for my game, I'm not starting over. But on the team, we have new guys, new personalities and new games. We are working on meshing them all together and become the best team we can possibly be."

On roster turnover from two years ago (Only CJ and Travis remain on the team)...
"I don't know, it's like a domino effect. People were leaving and graduating at the same time. It was tough getting through it, but Travis and I felt that it was in our best interest to stay, to stay loyal to Wake Forest and to give back to what the Wake Forest community gave to us. We are happy to be staying and happy with our decision. This is a school I committed to. Coming out of high school I wanted to play for Wake Forest, I'm playing for Wake Forest, this has been my dream and I don't want to change it."

Sophomore Guard Chase Fischer

On injuries and how they are now...
"Yes I am back to 100%. I had a little rough patch this past season. It was like a month of tonsil problems. I was a little banged up after last season. But now I am back to 100 percent, feeling good physically, and I'm in great shape. I'm ready to start this season."

On improved strength and how it will help in ACC play...
"Yeah, absolutely I've improved. I think that ACC season and just a college season in general is tough on your body and you can break down easily. You are going hard in practice and everything, and it pushes your body to new limits. I put on some weight, and I'm in much better shape than I was last season so I think I will hold up a lot better this season.

What is your biggest take away from last season...
I know now that I can't take possessions off. In high school AAU, if you get tired, you can take a possession off and recuperate a bit. However, in college, if you do that, you get burnt. Take the time off and someone is dunking on you or getting a 3-pointer. I've also learned a lot mentally. I have learned to grind through every practice and grind through every game and keep my head on straight."

How has your role changed this season...
"Definitely off the court, I have become more of a leader. I am coming into a leadership role with all the young guys. Being a leader is who I am at heart so it has come pretty naturally. On the court, I'm looking to be a lot more aggressive this year, for obvious reasons. Last year we struggled offensively sometimes and it was hard to find our groove on offense. I think we are clicking a lot better this year, I'm more aggressive, and I understand the college game a little bit more. With this knowledge, I can attack a little bit more off the dribble and some of those things. I'm expanding offensively and defensively."

 

 

 

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