Having finished the 2015-2016 season with only 11 total wins and a mere 2-16 in conference play, the Wake Forest Men’s Basketball team is looking for redemption this season.
In only his second season as head coach, Danny Manning’s recruiting efforts are already enticing four and five-star high school players.
While Wake Forest lost the battle for Winston-Salem native and five-star recruit Harry Giles, Manning scored the 2016 NCISAA 3A All-State selection, Brandon Childress. Childress was an all-state guard at nearby Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, North Carolina and is also the son of assistant coach Randolph Childress. Wake Forest will only continue to be more successful as Childress grows into his role as a top-tier guard.
Elizabeth Harvell of the Old Gold & Black had a chance to interview Childress about his high school career, and his thoughts on Wake Forest.
What was it about Coach Manning and Wake Forest that led you here?
The point guard pedigree led me here, from Chris Paul, Jeff Teague and Randolph [Childress]. Wake Forest is a top-30 school academically, too.
As you can see from last year, there were some games where you could say, “Okay, Wake is back,” and then we fell off. We have three coaches who played 15-plus years professionally, so they know what it takes to get to that level. And it’s in the ACC, the best conference in the country.
What is it like having your dad as one of your coaches and playing for him?
It’s pretty cool. He didn’t recruit me. He told me I would have to earn everything. When I got the scholarship, Coach Manning called me. My father was never there on any of my unofficial visits or anything. He let me do it all myself and let me make my decisions. That’s why I thank him so much.
What are you looking forward to at Wake Forest, both on and off the court?
Off the court, I am looking forward to adjusting to the whole college lifestyle making new friends and memories and giving back around the community. On the court, I am looking forward to playing my heart out and bringing Wake Forest back to where it was before when Tim Duncan, Randolph Childress and Chris Paul led this program. I obviously hope to get more wins, have a sold out crowd and take Wake back to the program it was before.
What can we expect from Wake Forest basketball and you personally this year?
What you can expect from me is just bringing energy on the floor. I’m gonna throw lobs to the big guys. I’m a good shooter, and I can handle the ball.
You’re going to see better chemistry than last year and more wins. You’re also going to see a lot of love from our guys and a lot of giving back to the community this year.
How will you fill the absence of Codi Miller-Mcintyre and Devon Thomas, who both graduated last year?
Devon was a very aggressive player. He was the energizer bunny we needed. Codi was an athletic point guard. Codi, being a senior, put Bryant Crawford under his wing a lot, which helped Bryant and in turn helps me out a lot. Bryant is a great player, so every time I play against him in practice it makes me a better player.
Codi has been a really great player for Wake Forest since his freshman year and he taught me a lot about playing collegiate basketball and what to expect.
Which game are you most looking forward to?
All of them. But. I’m probably most excited to play Duke. One of my closest friends, Harry Giles, plays there, and we’re both from Winston-Salem.
We play once at Duke and once here at home, so there will probably be a lot of trash talking between the two of us.
Who is your favorite NBA player?
Kyrie Irving. He’s so shifty, so it’s extremely entertaining to watch him.