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March 14, 2017

John Collins

Bryant Crawford

Danny Manning

Dayton, Ohio

Kansas State - 95, Wake Forest - 88

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Wake Forest coach Danny Manning and student-athletes John Collins and Bryant Crawford. Coach, an opening statement?

COACH MANNING: First of all, kudos to K-State. I thought they made obviously made more plays than us down the stretch offensively and defensively to have more success than us in this game. I thought we did some things very well offensively, even though we didn't play well offensively in the first half.

I thought in the second half we're able to come down, execute and knock down some shots and give ourselves a chance and we cut it to one. But we weren't able to get it over the hump.

For us, it's been a long, eventful season. Our season started in August. We went to the Bahamas on a foreign tour. And these guys have been working ever since, and got off to a rocky start, so to speak, in our non-conference but that was by design, because we're a young team and we needed to go out and play some stiff competition before we got to ACC play.

All those lessons that we went through in non-conference helped us get to this point, helped us finish our ACC season strong, strong enough to get an opportunity to be a part of this. But still disappointing to not come away with the desired outcome that we wanted.

But certainly I'm proud of the effort that these young men have displayed time in and time over in practice. They've come in every day with great attitude, great energy, and we continued to improve throughout the season. And I think that's a testament to the desire and the character of the young men that we have in our program.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Bryant and John only.

Q. John and Bryant, just how hard did they make it for you, John, to get the ball? Seemed like there were more opportunities in the second half and some of those seemed to open up some shots outside for some of your teammates.
JOHN COLLINS: Yeah, they were definitely making a concerted effort to try to deny me the ball, try to force me to catch the ball as far away from the post as possible. Obviously, like you said, we got some chances in the second half, but it was definitely an effort on their end to deny me the ball.

Q. Unbelievable season, John. I'm just wondering what everyone else on campus is wondering; do you think you're going to be returning for the 2017-2018 season?
JOHN COLLINS: It's not something I'd like to make a comment on right now.

Q. John or Bryant, what made them so hard to guard defensively? And did you feel like you played better defense in the second half and they started making shots or what was the problem on that end of the court?
BRYANT CRAWFORD: We had a couple of mix-ups on the defensive end, on the big, big roll and replace, and just didn't communicate enough on the defensive end, and when we did get stops we let them get another chance by giving them offensive rebounds and not boxing out.

Q. John, your alley-oop there with about five and a half minutes left made it a two-point game and then they scored seven in a row after that. Looking back, is that where it got away?
JOHN COLLINS: I think you could say maybe later in the half of the game it was a combination of all our mistakes in the game. I think we came close and then we let them get a lead and we fought back. Let them build another lead. So I think it was kind of a trend. But I don't think that was the whole turning point. I think it was the whole game winding down.

Q. Bryant, can you just share what you saw on the play where they called you for the flagrant foul. Looked like in the replay maybe you touched the ball or kind of what you saw on that play?
BRYANT CRAWFORD: I was -- I fell to the ground and I tried to steal the ball, he was juggling it.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Coach, kind of a follow-up on that last question, what did the refs say to you on the flagrant foul, and what did you see from your vantage point?
COACH MANNING: Basically they said that he grabbed their player when he fell down. That's kind of the gist of what I was told.

Q. Same question I asked John and those guys, looked like did a lot of doubling, bracketing into John, make it tough for him. How did you think the offensive game flowed with getting him the ball and just what it created it outside of him?
COACH MANNING: He had 26 points, man. That's 26 points. That's pretty good, you know? Teams make decisions on what they want to do. And early on they put a lot of bodies in his direction. We didn't help them out much by how we shot the basketball in the first half.

But he's played games all year long. Teams make a decision, I'm going to take you away; we're not going to let you score the ball; we're not going to let you score the ball at this period of time. That's why it's a team sport. I thought he showed good patience in continuing to post up and have a presence, but, you know, he finishes with 26 and 9. Touched it a lot, 26.

Q. Coach, was there one thing that you wished your guys would have done better defensively to stay in front of the ball, defensive touches?
COACH MANNING: That's it stay in front of the ball. They had 42 points in the paint. It wasn't the big guys. It was their guards getting dribble penetration. So staying in front of the basketball was something we know we needed to do coming into this ballgame. And we obviously didn't do a good enough job of that and you watched us play all year, offense has never been our problem. Got one of the most efficient offenses in the country. We've got to become a better rebounding team and a better defensive team in terms of getting the ball in front of us. I thought at times we did a good job keeping the ball in front of us. I thought Stokes made some tough shots, tough contested 3s late in the shot clock. You have to give him credit.

I thought Wesley did a great job of getting to the free-throw line and drawing fouls. But all in all for us, we're a team that we need to get better defensively, rebounding the ball, staying in front of the basketball, and hopefully we can continue to be as efficient as we are offensively. But we know we've got to get better on the other side.

Q. What did Collins do better in the second half than he did in the first?
COACH MANNING: I thought he was much more active in the second half. D.J. Johnson's a very talented basketball player. He works extremely hard. He has a high motor. And he's very physical and very strong and we wanted John to take advantage of finding open spots, using his athletic ability, using his quickness, beating him to the spot. I thought he did a much better job of that in the second half.

I thought we also did a better job getting him the ball, but we were able to get him the ball a little bit easier because we were able to make some shots in the second half and they had to extend out on our perimeter players a little bit more.


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