While the Wake Forest men’s basketball team has fallen on hard times in the past two weeks, Freshman Bryant Crawford has continued to be a consistent scoring threat while making those around him better.
Forced into early action due to a foot injury to Codi Miller-McIntyre, the freshman from the greater D.C. area is averaging 12.4 points per game to go along with 4.5 assists per game. He has managed to have his biggest moments in Wake Forest’s biggest games. He made two clutch baskets to tie and eventually knock off a ranked Indiana team in Maui early this season. He has already proven to have all the physical tools needed in order to be successful as a point guard in the ACC. Wake Forest will only continue to get better as Crawford matures and grows as a college basketball player.
What was it about Coach Manning and Wake Forest that ultimately led you here?
It’s an experienced coaching staff who made me feel welcome and I just wanted to be a part of rebuilding a Wake Forest basketball tradition.
What was his recruiting pitch to you?
He told me about himself, the coaches and the school. I came down here had to see it for myself and I enjoyed it.
You played in what many ESPN recruiting analysts consider one of the most competitive high school conferences in the country.
Can you talk about the transition from high school to college and did playing in that competitive league help your transition from Gonzaga College High School to the ACC?
I would say it probably did help, but it’s still kind of a difficult transi- -tion as far as the game speed and the strength of the guys in college. So it was still kind of a hard transition but I’m getting used to it now.
Is there a former Demon Deacon or NBA player that you look up to most or try to model your game after?
I always paid attention to Chris Paul. He was always one of my favorite players growing up.
How do you prepare for opponents like North Carolina and talented guards such as Marcus Paige?
Just coming here to practice, work hard and be mentally and physically prepared.
How good can this Wake Forest team be, and what are your goals personally for this season and for your Wake Forest career?
I feel like we could be a great team. We fell short on a couple of games, but as long as we continue to work hard and play hard I feel like we could be a great team. And my goal is to get to the NCAA Tournament and win an ACC championship.
You’ve hit some pretty incredible shots so far this year — do you feel like the ball should be in your hands with the game on the line? Do you want to have the final shot like you did against Indiana?
I don’t really care who has the final shot. I trust all my teammates.
But you feel comfortable having the ball in your hands if coach Manning relied on
you to do it?
Yeah, I definitely feel comfortable.
How have the senior leaders Devin Thomas and Codi Miller-McIntyre helped you mature and transition into your first year in the ACC?
I mean just showing me the ins-and- -outs of the game and telling me to stay mentally focused and just to keep playing hard.
Tell the Deacon community something they don’t know about you off the court.
I like to draw.
You like to draw? What do you like to draw?
Just doodling, doodling in class, I can paint — stuff like that.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
No, none at at all. Just sleep — sleep before every game.