This weekend, like the previous two weekends, I spent some time watching some former games. And one of those former games back in 1988, as Kansas, took down Oklahoma national title game. Danny Manning was at the center of that. And one of my favorite national title games was one that he was an assistant coach for, where Derrick Rose and Memphis, they're set to win the national title in San Antonio 2008. But Mario Chalmers hits a big shot after the Tigers miss a ton of free throws. And all of a sudden, the game turns in overtime. Kansas wins the national title. Danny was an assistant on that team. And now we're being joined by the head coach of the Demon Deacons, Danny Manning.
And I want to talk about a lot of different things with you. Appreciate you spending the time. But are you, like many of us, cooped up in your house? Did you take any time to watch yourself in the 88 title game that was showing this weekend? I did not watch that game.
No, I've watched it a couple times and I'm very comfortable with the outcome. So no, I did not partake in watching the 88 championship game the last time it was shown on TV. You're the head coach of the Deacs. We haven't heard from you in a few weeks since the season ended. The national title game, it would have been played tonight. So I am interested in some of your feelings going into that 88 game and also as an assistant coach, the one in 2008 with Mario Chalmers hitting the big shot. But let's get to a couple housekeeping notes here.
Take me to about four weeks ago. Were you able that week to get all your exit interviews done with your players before everything shut down? You know what, probably not the way that we normally do it. So what we're doing now, like everybody else for the most part, is you're doing a lot of chats, video chats, and you know, conference calls and things of that nature. So that's how we're staying connected to our young men now.
You know, they've got a unique situation, all college students do at this point in time because of how the process is going in terms of the classes now are all online and online tutoring. So my guys are doing well, it's an adjustment, but you know, it is what we have to go through and the best route for all of us right now. How about for yourself? I know after the year, it's John Curry's policy to go over the season with each of his coaches. Have you had a chance to do that video via Zoom chat with the director of athletics at Wake Forest? Yes, we are. We're going through those now.
You know, we've, yeah, so we're still going through those now and you know, look, I look forward to more continued meetings. What assurances, if any, has it given you that you'd be the Wake Forest head basketball coach for next season? Well, you know, for me, it's just I'm moving forward as I'm going to be here. That's always been my thought process.
That's what I said when the season ended and that's how I feel. So you know, we're continuing to move forward and doing the things necessary to get us prepared for this new normal that we're in right now. Danny Manning with the Seir Wake Forest head basketball coach. I've been reading a lot about your successes on the recruiting trail. I've been getting some text messages from people saying that you've been recruiting your butt out on the road and we've seen some of the results there, but paint the picture for me, what recruiting has looked like for you in isolation. Phone calls, text messages, emails, you know, obviously we do our staff meetings, conference calls and things of that nature. But you know, right now it's just a lot of phone calls, a lot of text, you know, because you know, the young men on our team right now, I mean, we have a feel for their schedule, but you know, the young men that we're recruiting, you know, they have different schedules. And so just trying to find different windows of time where we can catch up with our recruits and obviously stay connected with our current players is the biggest challenge for us right now. And you know, sometimes you're in an area with great reception and sometimes you're not. So you end up dropping calls and things of that nature.
So you just have to be consistent and persistent and continuing to reach out and try to connect. It's about not necessarily rerecruiting your guys, but figuring out what their best path is going to be. Do you expect Chon D. Brown or Olivier Saar to explore the NBA draft process?
Well, you know what, I mean, neither one of those guys have done it. And I think that's a great piece of information for them to have. And so, you know, I would be okay with it, you know, just from the standpoint of you can do it and it's an available to you and, you know, certainly want those guys to have as much information as possible in us also. So, you know, I'm definitely under the mindset that that's going to happen. But I just feel like that was college basketball in general. That's what a lot of young men do, especially if they haven't done that going into their senior year.
So I would I would anticipate that happening, yes. When you're a CEO of a business, when you're at the head of any organization, heck, if you're playing at the top level of college basketball, coaching at the top level, like you're doing right now or playing in the NBA, you're not new to criticism. Heck, as a sports talk radio host, I have people telling me I'm the best or the worst almost on a daily basis. So I know you're not that's not new to you, but there are a lot of concerned Wake Forest fans because of the last few years, considering what they were accustomed to in the 90s and the 2000s, about the direction of Wake basketball. What would you say to somebody who simply says, ah, won NCAA tournament in six years, Danny, he's he's not the right guy to lead this ship.
What would you say to that person? Well, I mean, you know, you have your fans and they want to be supportive of the team and they're going to have certain goals and aspirations as fans. But you know, the bottom line is, you know, share the same common goal, and that is to help produce more history and tradition for the program, help our young men graduate from a great university and get prepared for life. And that's, that's at the end of the day, I mean, that's, that is my goal is to help these young men get prepared for life and we do it through basketball and we need to win a lot of games along the way in the process.
And that's always the goal. So, you know, for me, you know, our fans want to get to the NCAA tournament and that's what we want to do as well. Since we don't have any information to the contrary, let's assume for now, Chaundy and Olivier are going to be back for 2020-2021 this winter, this fall. In terms of talent, what excites you about what's returning? Well, I'm excited about our frontline. I mean, I like our whole team in general, but I think we've got some really good experience on our front line with Olivier being 13, all ACC last year and receiving quite a few votes for most improved player. I think that's really encouraging, Chaundy Brown coming back for his senior year is really encouraging.
The average is about 12 and six, Isaiah Musius was playing some really good basketball for us towards the tail end of the season, Ishmael Massoud had a really solid freshman campaign. So, you know, those guys took some steps and they're all coming back and then we're going to add Tariq, Ingram and then Sunday back from their injuries. We've got a talented freshman coming in that's going to contribute and Odie was spectacular last year in his role for us, so I'm really excited about our front line. I think our guards have the potential to be really talented, I thought Jacoby really played well, especially down the stretch force. He was our second leading, I'm the fifth guy and had a positive assistive turnover ratio. I'm excited about the recruits that we have coming in, all those guys are very talented and athletic and they are going to contribute right off the bat from day one, so I really like the mix of guys that we have, I like their personalities and they all get along very well, so I'm really excited about this upcoming season.
But until we get there, I mean, we're all in a unique situation right now, and so right now the best way for us to stay connected is reaching out to one another and phone calls and group chats and things of that nature, and hopefully once we get back all on campus we can line it all up and get set for a great season. To add to what you're saying a little bit, Jacoby Neath, he had double-figure scoring games in four of the last six games of the year. We know about your track record with Big Men, you do an excellent job dating back to your days at Kansas of developing these guys and you have a ton of them to deal with this next year. On paper, I mean the idea, I don't even know the last time Wake Forest had more than one All-ACC player, I know that Bryant Crawford was close in 2017 and John Collins was the first team All-ACC guy.
On paper, is this team on par with the most talent you had on a singular team? I'm excited about it, but that's hard to answer right now, Josh, from the standpoint of this. Once we get back together, it's going to take some time for all student athletes to get back into the swing of things in regards to what they're doing now, because a lot of guys don't have the access that they've had in the past to workouts, to getting into the gym and things of that nature.
So yes, I'm excited about it, but it's also going to take a little time to build that base back up and really know what you have going into the season. Wake Forest head basketball coach Danny Manning with us, I want to shift things to this. How did the nerves of being on the bench for a national title game in 2008 compare to the nerves you felt as a younger man playing for Kansas in 1988? The nerves were much greater in 2008 as an assistant coach than they were in 1988. I think as a player, you're a little naive to the situation and to everything that goes into it. And there's a certain level of invincibility that you feel that you have at that age and also as a player. When you're working out as a player, it's my goal or our goal is to win this or to do this or get to this level, as a coach, you realize all the things that go into that and how fortunate you have to be for all those things to line up and to happen.
And so, as a coach, you're going through the different plays that they run, the different personnel pieces they put out there on the court, foul trouble, things of that nature, who's playing well, who's not playing well, as a player, you don't quite hit all those thinking points at certain times throughout the course of the ball game. We learned this weekend, Tim Duncan inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, which is a big monumental thing for him, but also for Wake Forest as well. What's your best Tim Duncan encounter for your four or five years in the league where you guys overlapped? I couldn't guard him.
That was probably it. You know, I'm not by myself in that situation, but I mean, I remember matching up against Tim and those talented Spurs teams and trying to make him work really hard to get a catch, and he catches the ball where he wants to and jab step, bank off the glass, or shot fake, go pass. So, he was a tremendous player, one of the best to ever do it, and so happy for him to be going into the Hall of Fame. Obviously, we're very proud of that as demon deacons, but yeah, he was a handful. He was something to guard out there, and not a lot of people could do it, and that's why he's one of the best to ever lace him up and play the game, especially at that power forward. Yeah, and we've got Tony Rutland, who's going to share some Wake Forest stories with Timmy a little bit later on, but is that the most helpless you felt in the post in the NBA, or is it somebody else you've faced?
Oh, no. No, I was very fortunate and blessed and had the opportunity to try to guard some great players, but probably the most helpless is probably trying to guard Shaq, to be honest with you. Just from the standpoint of his girth and his size and his athletic ability, he was something special in terms of that type of player with his skill set. A lot of people don't give Shaq the credit he deserves for a skill set, but his size was tremendous and how he moved and jumped and elevated was something to behold. He changed the game from the standpoint of when he was at his best in his prime, there was always one or two guys on every roster that their job was to match up against Shaq when they played Shaq's team. Danny Manning with us here, and since you're the head coach of Wake Forest and have been in that position for the last half dozen years extended, you've probably had encounters with the late Carl Tacey who passed away last week, one of the great Wake Forest coaches, and I thought Ed Harden of the Greensboro News and Record did a great job in capturing him in a story last week, talking about being a guy who didn't mind being modest, never really attracted attention to himself, but would give advice if it was inquired for. What are your memories of the late Carl Tacey? For me, it goes back to high school, playing in high school games and seeing him standing on the sidelines or under the basket at a high school game and then watching his teams play.
For me, growing up in Greensboro, Wake Forest was the ACC team that I could put my eyes on and kind of wrap my hands around in terms of them playing in Greensboro the majority of the time that I was there, so the way he carried himself, the way his teams played, the talented players that he had, the great coaches, he was just somebody that I definitely respected and the longer you're in the coaching profession, you admire someone who gets a nickname of gentleman, because at certain points of the career of all of us and different people, that adjective, a gentleman, is not thrown out there that much, and he's someone that I definitely would like to emulate in that regard in helping our young people continue to grow and develop and carry myself in the right way. I'll let you go with this, Robert and a couple people on the show here, we've been trying to think of things we can ask each guest about that's relatable to everybody who might be listening in their homes or might be essential workers in their car. If you're hemmed up in your house, are you somebody who's doing a lot of the cooking in the house or are you giving DoorDash a workout or trudging out there just to go through the drive-through route? How are you getting most of your food?
I don't know if I should even answer that, to be honest with you, because I might incriminate myself in some way, shape, or fashion. I think takeout and drive-throughs are fine. I think that's okay. Yeah, I mean, takeout and drive-throughs, we've used those and also my wife is a wonderful cook and she's making sure that we have different meal options throughout the course of our confinement, I guess, or quarantine. So yeah, we're doing a little bit of everything, but our kids are getting on us about making sure we stay home a little bit more than doing the takeout.
So we're trying to adhere to our children's wishes to a certain extent. Danny, I really do appreciate you coming on, answering a couple of difficult questions while doing so. You've always been great to us. It's appreciated that you'd find the time for us today. All right, thanks a lot. Have a great day.
You got it. Thanks coach of Wake Forest basketball. I'm interested in what thoughts you might have on what he had to say as a Wake Forest fan. We're taking your calls now at 336-777-1600 on Twitter at Sports Hub Triad. We're getting a lot of reaction to this interview. If you have thoughts, 336-777-1600, that and Robert's WrestleMania report are next.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-11 15:21:30 / 2023-02-11 15:28:44 / 7