We'll get into Wake's game in Tallahassee shortly, but let's talk some hoop right now because Deacon Basketball opened pre-season practice yesterday and head coach Steve Forbes joins us now.
Steve, the time's always appreciated. With it being day one yesterday, what was the message you wanted to get across to your guys? Oh, you know, it's kind of hard to say it was day one, Josh, when we've already had 51 practices up to that point. You know, that's kind of the sad part of not having Midnight Madness anymore.
Not starting on October 15th. You lose a little bit of that excitement, I think, for the first day of practice. Now, you know, we had more people in the gym, media, those type of things, but I think for them it was probably just kind of another day, maybe just, you know, a little bit longer. I thought it was a very average practice for a first practice. I think everybody in the country has a great first day.
Everybody's excited to be there. I think the true test of your team is how well they're doing. You know, a week and a half, two weeks from now when the grind really jumps on them and, you know, you got hard practice, you got academics, you got tutoring, you got all those things you got to do all day long, lifting weights, eating right. That's when you really find out where you're at.
One thing I always appreciate about you, and I've told you this, is how honest you are when things aren't going right. Year one, you were pretty out in public saying, I don't have enough ACC players to win right now. Year two, you said, I got some ACC players.
And we saw the results on the floor. And you mentioned about a month ago how excited you were about a guy like Andrew Carr, who grated out to be your best player of the summer and really some of the other incoming players. I think two or three of the five best guys you had were some of the transfers coming in. How comparable, though, is the overall level of talent of this team versus last year's, you'd say? Well, that team was a lot older.
That makes it a lot different. You know, those guys had high major experience. You know, Alanis Williams played at Oklahoma. Hadeem C. played at Virginia Tech, played at Oklahoma, or I'm sorry, played at Ole Miss for two years.
Dallas Walt was a starter in Colorado. You know, those guys had all played in big games at a high level. These guys are talented. They just have it. They're younger. They have less experience at this level.
And so it shows. And so we've had to, which is fine, I mean, we've had to really slow down a little bit. And we'll have, you know, coach fundamentals, coach things, which we did with the team last year, but they picked up things a lot quicker just because they were older and stronger. And these guys will get better and better as we go. And I like coaching them. They're fun to coach every day.
But it's just a different level of it experience from last year this year. Thinking about Steve Forbes is with us, Wake basketball coach, thinking about Hurricane Ian and prepping for this interview, I realized that you and I both have spent time in hurricane country and on Tornado Alley. I was in the eastern plains of Colorado and spending most of my life here in the Carolinas while you were raised in Iowa, coached in Wichita. And in addition to being here, Coach Juko Ball in Florida, obviously, we're hoping that everybody's staying safe the best that they can. But whether it's a tornado or a hurricane, do you got any good storm stories? Oh, I got a lot of those.
My favorite one might be just off the top of my head is my first year living in Niceville in where I coached in northwest Florida, which is right across the Mid Bay Bridge. There's a hurricane coming up through the Gulf. And I came home. We didn't we have a very big house, really, truthfully, our garage was our storage unit. We had downsized and so I didn't have a lot of room in the garage. I pant, you know, the hurricane was out there in the middle of the Gulf. I came home, I started throwing everything into the garage.
I had a boat, I had a bass boat, I somehow wedged it in there. And we're running around all day picking up stuff. And my neighbor's looking at me. He's the fire chief. And the next day, he walks across the street. And he says, What are you doing there, boy? I said, Well, you know, hurricanes come.
He says, No, it's not. He says, kind of turn right there in the Gulf and go towards Louisiana. And I looked at him. And the next day, it turned and went towards Louisiana. And we didn't even get any rain. And I had all my stuff jammed into that into that garage because I was I thought the hurricane was coming. You know, the arena where we play that last year, at Northwest Florida, where I coached that where we played, you know, the Emerald Coast Classic, that is actually the hurricane shelter for the community. It was built, partly with federal money before I got there because of after what happened with Katrina and all those hurricanes coming through there. It's a it's a really nice facility, but it's also made for the community to go there when the when a, you know, hurricane comes.
We had to do that the following year. And so I've been through that, but I'm probably a little more scared of tornadoes because they come fast and at night, and you don't know they're coming where, you know, hurricanes do have time to prepare, which is good. See, I guess you're right on the front of it comes fast and at night. That's a scary thing. But in terms of if you asked me, it's a terrible proposition like hurricane or tornado. Which of the two is, I think, a more terrible experience. It's the hurricane of not knowing be having to evacuate, dealing with cresting levels.
And it could be a weeks long process versus four or five minutes. You know exactly what needs to be fixed or rebuilt after the tornado rolls through. Well, I was in one in Kansas and they took our roof and I was laying, my wife and I were in bed and the ceiling fan was on and the water started shooting out of the ceiling fan. And I ran and grabbed my two younger children.
I didn't have Jonathan at the time. We ran into the basement and it hit and we were out of our house for three months. We did live in a hotel because it just ruined the whole upstairs. So, yeah, I've been out right. I tell you, it's really scary about driving at night. You know, I've been out.
I've been driving many times, recruiting. And this is before we had the Weather Channel app and all that stuff on your phone. You didn't even know where you were at. You didn't know where the tornado was.
I've had him pass in front of me, behind me. You know, especially in the spring. I drove, I was driving from nice little to Memphis the day of the Tuscaloosa tornado. Wow.
Yeah. Right through Alabama. And it was scary. I mean, this is as low as the lowest, lowest clouds I've ever seen. I just felt like I could reach out and touch the clouds. And I'd gone right up to Birmingham, up through Mississippi. So I didn't miss it by much. I kind of drove right through it. Steve Forbes.
So it was bad. Steve Forbes is with us here, Wake basketball coach. I was thinking about something you said in the spring while watching coverage of Clemson NC State this week. That's a top 10 matchup tomorrow. The way last week in Winston has been framed nationally is, I don't know about Clemson because Wake Forest pushed them.
Very little credit being given to Wake. And meanwhile, whenever Kentucky is really good and close to the top 10. Oh, hey, look, it's Kentucky. They're doing a great job. Mark Stoops doing great things versus, hey, look how bad the SEC East is because Kentucky's that good.
It seems that there's a difference in how those things are framed. And despite it, again, being a top 10 game tomorrow, the national conversation. I saw this on ESPN just yesterday.
If Clemson doesn't win, can it get into the playoff as a one loss team? And what about the other side that's ranked 10th in the country? And it's frustrating to me.
And we even saw it in basketball with hashtag one bit ACC and all that. But you tell me, do these issues of perception bother you at all? Oh, yeah, I think they should bother us.
I mean, it's our job to market and to promote our league. And I don't follow the football thing as close as you do. I mean, I haven't seen all that, but I believe you. It doesn't surprise me.
I mean, it's just how people are. And so I know we have an outstanding football team. We've got one of the best coaches in the country. And I was at the game and I'm not a football coach, but I love college football.
I don't watch NFL. I watch college and it was as good a game as I've been to in a long time. It was very well played and a lot of scoring and no came down the last playoff and that's for much more than that. You know, it's just perception, but perception doesn't always match reality when it comes to those type of things. Like you're saying, I mean, I think our league is a perfect example of that. We went 14 and 5 in the NCAA tournament last year, had three teams in the Elite Eight and two teams in the Final Four and one played for the National Championship.
So, you know, whatever, you know, people got to find something to write about and let them write it. And you got to go out and prove it on the field and prove it on the court. I guess in the NFL or in pro sports, perception does not matter a lick.
It doesn't. But in college, when you have selection committees in the playoff committee, that stuff actually is an important thing. I remember you saying you wanted that to be addressed in spring meetings.
Whatever came of it. I mean, those are behind closed door meetings. You know, you have you voice your opinion and, you know, you talk about it. We have a lot of really smart people in our league and we have a lot of more experienced people, more experienced coaches than myself.
And I wasn't the only one that felt that way. You know, in our deal, they just put a lot in the non-conference. And so, you know, we got to be aware of that, which I know we are. I don't think that's necessarily the only thing we should be measured upon.
But it seems like that seems to be a big thing across the country. And you're right. There is a human element in our deal in deciding who plays in the playoffs or who plays in the NCAA tournament. And you're always going to be room for interpretation with that.
Those people are going to be influenced by certain things, obviously. So we got to do our best job to cover all those bases. Steve Forbes with us here. Speaking of football, it's kind of amazing that Wake Forest has the best receivers in the ACC. And when I spoke to wide receivers coach Kevin Higgins about it, he said that he's been crafty. You have to be at a place like Wake Forest and identifying skill sets, which might mean he goes to a basketball game to find some players the power fives might be overlooking, looking at skill sets that he could develop. Have you ever gone to a game on a Friday night looking for a basketball player?
Well, yeah, I went to Brooks, Coach Savage and I was in, where was that? We were up to see, is it Jamal Banks? Yeah. Jamal Banks, wide receiver for Wake.
Yeah. We were up there when I was at East Tennessee State to recruit at their school and we knew we were aware of him as being a really good basketball player. And so I think there's probably a lot of guys that, there's probably a lot of guys on the team that a lot of these places that probably could play some hoops. And I think there's probably a lot of times those football coaches see our guys walking down the hallway and wish they had them. You know, you got to love the game, you know, and I'll use myself as an example. I know this is hard to imagine, but 40 years ago this year, we won the state championship of football and I wasn't the starting tackle. I was a starting wide receiver and I was first team all state and I had a lot of offers to play football, but I didn't love it.
And so I went to play, I wanted to play basketball and baseball. And so I've coached two that played in the NFL, Martellus Bennett and Miles Tosi at Idaho. And that's about it.
The rest of those guys, it's just hard to do both. Hold one second. You coach Martellus Bennett?
Yeah. I was there with Michael too. Michael didn't play basketball, but his brother had transferred in from Louisiana Tech. So they were both, they were both there, you know, and Martellus only played for about a year. I don't think he played the second year. It's hard to do that.
You know, it's just hard to play both, especially when you go to a ball game. And so I know Carolina has had a couple that have done really well, but in the past, but you don't see a lot of it. Yeah, that Julius Peppers guy was pretty good down in Chapel Hill.
He wasn't bad. Last thing for you. W.D., we made him watch the town for the first time earlier this week. He's going to watch Scarface for the first time next week.
Not really excited about that. What's the last movie that you watched? Oh, you know what? I hadn't watched a movie after the queen died. I went back and watched The Crown again while I was in spare time. I don't know if I've watched a movie. I don't know how many good movies are.
I was trying to think of something new that I've watched, but I haven't really watched anything. I've been awfully busy, Josh. I've been on the road a lot. Oh, yeah.
I have a first person account of that, that you've been on the road. Right. Right.
Yeah. So she was right there. I actually sit right across the aisle from me. Wait, you guys were in the same aisle? You and my wife earlier this week?
Yeah, but I bet you she didn't do what I did. I flew into Washington, D.C., OK? And this is a day trip. I flew up. I flew back the same night that night. I flew into Reagan. I went out to recruit, came back, put it in my phone, wasn't paying attention and drove right to Dulles. That's not smart. OK, now the only saving grace was my flight wasn't until 1030 at night.
And so traffic was minimal at that time, which is crazy because it's always crazy in D.C. And I was actually able to drive from Dulles to Reagan and make my flight. But I wouldn't recommend doing that. Was my wife somebody that tried to talk to you on the plane? I've got to know. I don't like those people.
The one that tries to talk to people on the plane. She didn't do that, did she? No, we talked before we got on. And then I'm probably I used to send I send up the signal that I'm not going to put my headphones on. So, yeah, there's sometimes I didn't do this to her, but there's been times I put them on, not even listen to them.
I just don't want to talk. There's a lot of times I'm on the plane. I'm trying to catch up on my sleep. So I usually go to sleep, but I had some things to do going up and coming back.
So I was kind of preoccupied. I'm really proud of my wife. She's awesome.
I mean, you way overachieve, buddy. Thanks, Steve. Also, thank you for spending the time. Stay safe this weekend and I'll have to get out to a practice sometime soon. Come on. Love to see you. Take care.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-29 08:26:32 / 2022-12-29 08:33:26 / 7