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Wake Advances To Second Round With 79-78 Win Over VCU

Posted Thursday, March 18, 2004

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Deacs discuss their NCAA second-round matchup with Manhattan

Wake Forest Head Coach Skip Prosser

Opening Comments:
"We're looking forward to continuing to play against a very good Manhattan team. Watching them on tape last night I was impressed with what they can do with the basketball. Coach Gonzalez and I go way back. He is the guy that took over for me on coach Gillen's staff at Xavier, and coach was better off for that."

On the status of Jamaal Levy:
"He tweaked something in his knee. If he dresses then I'll play him. We will just have to wait and see after practice."

On Chris Paul being a freshman in the tournament: "His first game as a collegian was at Madison Square Garden against a senior point guard, Antonio Burks. In that game he handled himself pretty well. So while you expect there to be some butterflies on the part of all your players, I had confidence that he would play well."

On getting past the second round of the tournament:
"It is hard to get to this game and even harder to advance past this game. We are now down to 32 teams and they're all excellent teams, the best 32 in the country. I think two years ago we had a great shot, but had some injuries and ran into a good Oregon team."

"This is a team that really cares about one another, enjoys being around one another, and I think they would like to extend the season as long as possible."

On his impression of Luis Flores and is there someone comparable in the ACC:
"He is not as big as Rashad McCants, but has the same ability. He is a scorer as well as a shooter. He makes baskets, can shoot it, and has the innate ability to score even when his shots are not falling. He scores in a variety of ways. I think what makes Manhattan strong is the contributions they get from (Dave) Holmes and (Peter) Mulligan. I think their guards are very good, quick and aggressive. Flores is obviously the focal point of what they do offensively, but those who surround him are also excellent players."

On taking advantage of size in guard play:
"We won't change anything that we have done in the first 29 games. I don't think there is a need to tweak things at this point and time."

Wake Forest Student-Athletes

Trent Strickland, Sophomore, Guard
On the importance of advancing in the NCAA Tournament:
"We have the opportunity to do something special this year as a team. This will be the last time that everyone will be together as a team because we have two seniors leaving in Alan Williams and Scott Benken. I think that we have a really good chance to go on and go to the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four and do something special with this team because it might be our last chance."

On defending Louis Flores:
"I have to just go out there and play hard on defense and bring the same intensity that I usually bring to every game and hopefully I can do my best to shut him down."

On the challenge of playing Manhattan:
"New York is a state that is known for great guards. I think it is gonna be a big challenge for us and we will need to step up to the challenge in doing what we are supposed to do, not only on offense but on defense as well."

Chris Paul, Freshman, Guard
On the challenge of playing Manhattan:
"Manhattan has some great guards. They really press you defensively and I think that is where they are at their best. So, we are gonna have a huge challenge tomorrow just getting the ball up the court, because they seem to be very focused not only offensively but defensively."

On thoughts of his late grandfather:
"Well, definitely I try to think about him before every game because he is definitely an inspiration for me, but throughout the game it is all about the game and about my teammates. I am just happy that we won so that we have the chance to play tomorrow."

Vytas Danelius, Junior, Forward
On aspects of Wake Forest that will enable them to advance:
"I think from a basketball perspective, we are a deeper team and we are more talented than last year. We have so many guys that have a good game."

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Wake Advances To Second Round With 79-78 Win Over VCU
photo by Gene Galin

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