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October 16, 2013

McKie and Miller-McIntyre Q-&-A's

Charlotte, NC - It has been a long three years for the Wake Forest basketball faithful; however, an older, deeper and more talented team returns.

The Demon Deacons enter the 2013-14 campaign after 13-18 (6-12 ACC) finish last season.

Senior forward Travis McKie and sophomore guard Codi Miller-McIntyre spoke about the pre-season expectations and more at the ACC Operation Basketball Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Travis, it's your senior year. Give me a sense of what you want to accomplish this year at Wake Forest? "I want to help these young guys take that next step and be more consistent throughout the season."

There were definitely moments last year, especially at home we saw how good this team can be. McKie: "The young guys were more comfortable at home. I think they kind of fed off the Joel, the energy the fans gave them."

"I think this year they're a lot more experienced. We learned a lot from last year. We're going to try to make that next push."

Travis, last year the sensational seven as they were billed, the freshman class, they're a year older, a year wiser, a little bit more of experience under their belt. How much have those guys grown in your eyes? "It's night and day. I think it's more mental than anything. I think last year with seven freshmen they don't know anything, so you have to assume they know nothing."

"I think last year on and off the court you had to worry about them at all times and hopefully they would make the right decision, but this year I think they've grown not only as athletes but students and I think they have a lot more confidence about themselves and I think it's definitely going to show once the season starts."

Codi, how's that class grown? "I've noticed in my teammates how mature they've become in terms of on the court and off, and I can tell everybody's confidence level has shot through the roof."

You've been with Jeff Bzdelik the entire time he's been there. How has he perhaps changed or grown or what kind of impact has he had on you as a player? McKie: "Well, I think this year he's a lot more relaxed. I think us coming in he was moving to the East Coast essentially and I was moving to college, so we definitely had our transition."

"We had our ups and downs, but I think this year he's a lot more relaxed and he's very excited to get this year started."

What would you say to some of the fans that are upset with Bzdelik? McKie: "Come out to the games this year and support us. We don't really focus on the negative energy out there. We focus on each guy in the locker room and constantly getting better."

On Devin Thomas: "The sky's the limit for him. Last year he showed flashes of it, but now Coach and I are challenging him to do that every single night, be a 15 [points] and 10 [rebounds] guy and dominate the paint he steps on the floor."

How significant has this off-season been for guys like Tyler Cavanaugh and Arnaud Adala Moto? "Tyler and Moto, all the freshmen, they have grown so much. It's night and day if you've seen them from last year to this year."

"Tyler is way more confident. Moto has a sense of what's going on out there. I think all of them have that awareness now, because they've been it. Experience is the best teacher. They have a year under their belt, and I think they expect more of themselves this year."

Codi, where is your confidence level now compared to this time a year ago? "I'm a lot more comfortable now. Last year I shied away from my game."

"I'm a nice person off the court and I kind of brought that onto the court where I wanted to make all of my teammates happy, which means I actually shied away from me actually playing my game, which will help the team the most and this year I'm extremely comfortable knowing exactly what I have to do to get the wins that we need to get."

What do you have to do? "I just have to play my game every night, don't shy away from going to the basket, don't shoot the three when I have a wide open lane, just getting to the basket."


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