Chat with Chris Paul!
Paul, the leading vote-getter on the AP preseason All-America team, scored 25 points and six assists on Monday to lift the Demon Deacons past George Washington 97-76 in the Preseason NIT. The Demon Deacons are currently second in the AP and ESPN/USA Today preseason Top 25 polls, matching the highest ranking in school history.
Paul averaged 14.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists last season while shooting 49.6 percent from the field and 84.3 from the free-throw line.
Send your questions now and join Chris in The Show on Friday at 11 a.m. ET!
The ShowGirl (10:58 AM)
Welcome to The Show! Chris Paul will be joining us shortly, send in those questions now!
Chris Paul (11:09 AM)
Hi, I'm ready to chat!
Chris, with much expection on you to take this team deep into the tournament, how do you handle the pressure? Are you thinking about the NBA yet?
Chris Paul (11:10 AM)
First of all, the way I handle all the pressure is just staying focussed and worrying about games one at a time. The NBA is not on my mind right now. The only thing I'm worried about is winning games for Wake Forest.
Mike Fowler (Greensboro, NC)
Chris I'm a big fan. How have you guys worked to improve as a team on defense in the off season? And why have we looked shaky against zone D so far on offense this year?
Chris Paul (11:12 AM)
Well, defensively, since the very first night we practiced on October 16 at midnight, we've emphasized defense more than ever. We didn't touch a basketball until maybe an hour into practice. As for zone defense, we need to be more agressive and we're trying to work on that in practice everyday.
Tim, Providence, RI
Chris, How do you feel about your upcoming game against Providence, mainly Ryan Gomes who arguably might be the best all around player this year?
Chris Paul (11:13 AM)
I'm excited about our game against Providence. They have a great team, and as you said, Ryan Gomes may be the best in the country. We've have two tough games so far, and this should be another one! ... We have a tough game against Yale before we play Providence, though!
Mike (bloomington, IN)
Chris, I love your play. How did you end up at Wake Forest over some other schools? Was it more the school, skip prosser, or the location that influence you the most?
Chris Paul (11:15 AM)
Thanks Mike. To me, Wake had the total package. Great academic school, great coaches, great teammates ... and to top it off, it was ten minutes away from my house, so, my mom is able to wash my clothes!
brennan (washington, dc)
hey chris. i am from GW and drove down to the game to watch. How impressed were you with us, before our second half collapse?
Chris Paul (11:16 AM)
I was very impressed with George Washington. I really love your guards and the big man - Pops. I told those guys after the game that I wish them the best of luck and I really think they have a good chance to win their conference. They play very hard and they really challenged us.
Chris, Are you looking forward to matching up against Arizona PG Mustafa Shakur in the NIT final and how will you play him?
Chris Paul (11:19 AM)
Well, we have two games before the possibility of playing Arizona, Darin. We still have to play against Providence so I'm not sure if that matchup will occur. BUT, Mustafa and I are very good friends, so I can't let the cat out of the bag on how I will try and defend him! But, all in all, I would play him just like anybody else and respect his abilities.
Jimmy Wilson (Chapel Hill, NC)
What do you think about Vitale's preseason #1 North Carolina Tar Heels?
Chris Paul (11:20 AM)
We try not to pay too much attention to the rankings, but Carolina has a very good team this year. They return everyone just as we do. So, we're just going to have to play the games and see how it works out in the end.
Nick D, Atlanta GA
Go Deacs! Chris, how was the time that Justin Gray, Eric Williams and you spent with Rashad McCants this summer during the tryouts for the US Young Men's team? Learn anything to the team's advantage?
Chris Paul (11:21 AM)
Go Deacs! Rashad is a very good guy. I talk to him on a regular basis. He is a great player and he is always going to be a challenge for anyone he plays against. The US Young Men's team was an unbelievable experience and hopefully, someday, I'll get another opportunity to play for our country.
Hey Chris, I know you always show up ready to play, but what opponent gets you the motst pumped up? North Carolina? Duke? Maryland? or other team?
Chris Paul (11:23 AM)
You really get pumped up to play against teams in your conference, but especially the other teams from Carolina like Duke, North Carolina and NC State. There is something abou those games that seems like it means just a little bit more.
5 seconds left in the national championship game, and Wake's down 1. Do you try to drive the length of the court and take the layup or kick it out to a wide open Justin Gray after the defense collapses?
Chris Paul (11:24 AM)
That's a tough one, Lowell. If I'm open, I shoot it. If they collapse, I kick it out to Justin, who I have the ultimate confidence in to knock down the shot.
Chris, I go USC Upstate. And I was just wondering if you think you are better than your brother?
The ShowGirl (11:25 AM)
Who wins one on one in the backyard>?
Chris Paul (11:26 AM)
Well, I know now who will win 5-on-5 since we played them a couple weeks ago. But, in the backyard ... my brother is definitely stronger than me, but I think I beat him in 1-on-1. Go Spartans!
Can you explain what it was like not only to play with MJ, but to drain a game winning shot in a pick up game with him?
Chris Paul (11:29 AM)
That pick up game was over the summer in Santa Barbara, Calif when I was working at his Flight School camp. Michael Jordan was actually posting up Rashad McCants and he looked over to the win and told me, "Spot up John Paxton." That's what he called me. When my man when to trap him, he threw it to me, and I hit the game winning shot. Moments like that, are hard to explain. I just know it is something I will never forget.
Tommy (Raleigh, NC)
Chris, In the two games so far this year it seems like teams have taken the strategy of trapping and fouling you as a way of slowing both you and the pace of the game down. What are your thoughts on this as a strategy and do you think it's going to be a trend all season long? (Keep hitting those FT's 14-15!!!!)
Chris Paul (11:31 AM)
I'm not sure what team's different strategies are, but at some points in the game is does seem like they are fouling a little bit harder and they trap. That's one thing that I think our team is going to have to get used to. With the experience and quality of players we have, we're always going to have to expect team's very best this year. So, we're just going to have to work hard every day in practice.
Mike (Raleigh, NC)
Chris, do you see the addition of Miami and VT affecting the ACC standing much and if so do you see it in a positive or negative way?
Chris Paul (11:32 AM)
I think the people who made the decision of adding those two teams to the ACC definitely thought about it and knew what they were going to do. So, the only thing that I can do is just enjoy the games and play as hard as I can. I'm sure Miami and VTech know how difficult our league is, so they will definitely be ready to play.
Shaw (Chapel Hill, NC)
Chris, can you talk about the improvement of Vytas and Big E and if you guys are struggling maybe to incorporate the inside game with the fast paced style Skip likes so much.
Chris Paul (11:34 AM)
Vytas and Big E have made great improvements since last season ... just like everyone else on the team. But, I don't think we will have any problems incorporating our inside game. The quality play of those big guys inside, opens it up for us little guys on the outside.
Brian (St. Louis)
Chris, I know you scored 61 points in a high school game, but is there anything special that you regularly do now as a tribute to your grandfather?
Chris Paul (11:36 AM)
During the national anthem, I have an obituary of my grandmother and my grandfather that I pray with.
Osei (College Park, MD)
Chris, what do you like to do when you aren't playing basketball. Who is your favorite music artist??
Chris Paul (11:37 AM)
When I'm not playing basketball, my favorite thing to do is to spend time with my family. I think I have the most supportive family out of anyone in the country. My favorite music artist by far is Jay-Z.
Chris - congratulations on the excellent start this season and good luck with the remainder of the pre-season NIT. Can you tell us what it is like to play for Coach Prosser? he seems like a tremendous leader.
Chris Paul (11:39 AM)
Thank you very much, Jay. I couldn't imagine playing for any other college coach in the country. Coach Prosser is one of the most humble people I've ever met, and he really has a passion for the game. His style of play is exactly how I like to play. He tells you what you NEED to hear instead of what you WANT to hear.
I am and always will be a dukie, but you have earned my and everyone else's respect after last year's game at wake. What will be your greatest concern about facing Duke this year?
Chris Paul (11:40 AM)
Thank you very much, Ken. My greatest concern about Duke this year may be the lack of respect that they are get right now. Coach Prosser always says that you can't criticize success, you have to ANALYZE success. It is a proven fact that Duke has been successful for many years.
Chris, as a student at Wake Forest and a member of the screaming deacons, there has been a general trend over the years for our basketball team's play to fluctuate in lopsided spurts. How can we improve our tempo and control of the game so that we don't have to mount 18-0 runs (like last night) in order to win games against tough opponents?
Chris Paul (11:43 AM)
First of all, the Screaming Demons section is unbelievable this year! As far as our play fluctuating, that will be resolved in time, it will smooth out as we play more games and hopefully those rough edges will be smoothed soon! But, we have a lot more experience this year, so we're just going to continue to play hard and see what comes of it.
a.gates (san diego )
whats the hardest thing about being chris paul. and what new things can we expect to see from you this season.
Chris Paul (11:47 AM)
That's a really good question. The hardest thing is probably keeping in contact with all of my friends and family. At times, when you are busy and always on the go, people tend to think that you forget about them -- and that's never the situation. At times, people always want something from you for the wrong reasons. ... And, as for this year, hopefully, we'll take Wake to some new places that we've never gone before!
Will B. (Cavalier Country)
Chris, I'm going to need you to do me a favor and pretend to be sick on January 2 and Ferbuary 27. Thanks, buddy!
Chris Paul (11:49 AM)
Hopefully there is no way I'll be sick on those dates ... I have a date with Virginia on those two days. Big days, especially when we play at Virginia because we've never won there! Sorry Will B!
Chris Paul (11:51 AM)
Ok everybody, that's all the time we have today. Thank you so much for all the questions and support. I really appreciate it. This was fun, we'll have to do it again sometime. Thanks again. Go Deacs! Goodbye!
Showguy (College Park)
Come on showgirl, let Chris speak on his favorite indiviual matchups in the ACC or the experimental rules!! see Tenacious D entries....Thanks :)
The ShowGirl (11:53 AM)
Sorry Showguy, Chris had over 1,000 questions today. He promises to come back and join us again soon, though. I'll make sure he gets to all the rest that he didn't answer today, starting with yours. :) Buzz and I will chat with you next. I'm going to flip the switch. Stick around!