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From http://www.wakeforestsports.com:

Quote:Quotes From Basketball Press Conference
See What Coaches Skip Prosser and Mike Petersen Had To Say About Their Upcoming Seasons


July 6, 2004

Winston-Salem, NC - Quotes from Basketball Press Conference July 6, 2004


Men's Basketball Head Coach Skip Prosser:

1. Obviously the biggest news of week was Coach K and the Lakers, were surprised by decision or the seriousness of his consideration?

"I haven't talked to Mike, so I don't know how seriously he considered the offer, but I'm not surprised at his decision. I'm glad he's staying, good for college basketball, the ACC and Duke University. The landscape of college basketball has changed for him in 24 years, so the idea of his entertaining discussions with another entity was not shocking. While I don't want to speak for him, I do think he's a field of education guy instead of a field of entertainment guy."

2. Coach K's concern for college basketball, do you share it?

"I think college basketball is in a state of flux, which is not necessarily good. I'm not certain what he means by losing it's brand, but there are some general concerns that we as coaches see."

3. Are you going to the coaches meeting tomorrow?

"Yes I'm going. The issue of the Lakers non-withstanding, there have been discussions of college basketball in the past, this just lead to a refocus on it. Things need to be done with guys leaving early, recruiting and academic packages... progress has been made, how it manifests itself is still to be determined. I feel there has been some positive dialogue with the NCAA and coaches, and there needs to be one between the NCAA and the NBA, because right now it's senseless."

4. What do you want to see happen in terms of rules and/or regulations?

"The NCAA needs to make more rules in terms of recruiting and academic reform. Our sport is unique, so there needs to be a reshuffling of the rule book that are more men's basketball specific."

5. Has the way in which you deal with your players changed in light of all of the controversy?

"I've always stood by the fact that if you come to Wake Forest, which is a great academic and athletic institution and in the best league in the country, and being a student is not what you want for college, then Wake Forest is not something you should entertain."

6. The school has historically been seen as 'nice program, nice school', what do you think about the idea of the atmosphere in the Joel being one that no one enjoys playing in?

"We don't want to be a place where people enjoy playing, this should not be a place people come to have some barbeque and go home, we want people to come here and not enjoy it, we want to be a team no one looks forward to playing, if that is the perception, I'm ok with that. We want our fans to be a part of what we do."

7. There are obviously high expectations this year, do you want that?

"It really doesn't matter what we want, it's a reality, the press decides those rankings and expectations. I tell the players all the time that the press predicted us 7th in the league two years ago and we won the league, so they obviously didn't know then and don't know now, so our goal is to be the best Wake Forest team that we can be and ignore other peoples expectations. We're not going to have a Tim Duncan, who was arguably the best amateur in the world when he played here, so we have to be good as a unit in order to win. Those expectations are going to be there whether we like them or not."

8. A lot of experience on this team, is it just a good college basketball team?

"We have the best blend of talent and experience since we've been here. But the level of competition in the ACC and in our non-conference opponents is both without question very challenging."

9. Are there any positives you see in the three guys trying out for the Jr. Olympic team?

"They are being coached by Kelvin Sampson, Tommy Crean, and Dan Monson for 2-3 weeks, that's a real positive. They are in a competitive environment with 3 of the best coaches in the country, a tremendous positive. I hope all three guys will make it and I've spoken with those coaches on each of my guys' behalfs in the past few weeks. There are really a lot of good players on that list of 24 but there are only 12 spots."

10. Paul's preseason expectations are clearly high. What can you do to calm him down?

"He comes from great stock, his parents have raised him correctly, he understands the hype that comes with it, and I tell him all the time he has to worry about making just one person happy, and that's me, and if he makes me happy, we'll get along famously. He's a guy who has a tremendous passion to learn, listen and get better. He's a joy to coach and I think he'll handle all that hype in a real positive manner. He's surrounded by some experienced teammates who will get him through that and I'm confident that if anyone can handle this, it's Chris."

11. Can you discuss Paul's weaknesses?

"First and foremost, he needs to guard better. It begins at the beginning; with basketball so much of what you try to do begins with your point guard, both offensively and defensively. Towards the end of the year he set a positive tone for us on the offensive end of the floor and one of the challenges for him this year is to do the same on the defensive end of the floor."

12. The last game of last year against Jameer Nelson and the other guards at St. Joe's, how did that affect him?

"That Sunday after the game he called me at home and said 'hey coach thanks for recruiting me I really enjoyed the year'. And I said 'thanks for coming,' haha. He spoke immediately of his need to get stronger so he can battle against those types of guys, so he's really put in a lot of time in the weight room to be able to get stronger. It's much different playing in high school against kids than it is in college against men. He also learned that I trusted him and he must trust me trusting him to follow his instincts as a player. At the beginning he was trying to please as a player, in excess almost, but as the year went on he gained more confidence in his ability and followed his own instincts more."

13. This time of the year is critical for players for improvement in certain areas, what's your theory on that progress in the off season?

"We're not allowed to watch them play, or be in a gym with them (which retards their growth as players), or watch them lift weights, (which is comical)... but what I sense is a little more seriousness of purpose. The backbone of this team, without which you cannot survive, are it's seniors. Vytas, Taron and Jamaal have that advantage of 'no choice', which is a great advantage when you have no choice but this year to make it count. They have a determination to go out on a high note. They've had a great three years but I believe they want to do even more this year, that's my read at least, and I hope it's correct."

14. Thoughts on Cameron Stanley?

"He's getting big as a house, he's done a great job in the weight room, he's already been through one summer session and has volunteered to come back for another, he loves it here. We have the best trainer in the country in Greg Collins and he's done a great job of rehabbing Cam., I know little about medical issues, but I sense and I hope he'll be ready to go when school starts. An ACL is hard to come back from, so we are not pushing him at all."
07-06-2004 02:23 PM
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