WPH: Tell us about Dezmine Wells.
TE: I've know Dez since he was 10 years old. He's always been extremely athletic, active, playing multiple sports. He's always loved the gym. He actually started playing with me as a PG, then hit a big growth spurt and moved to the forward spot. He's just a really well mannered kid. He loves to get better, he loves to compete. He's just really good to be around. He asks a lot of questions, he's not afraid to ask questions. He's just very inquisitive.
WPH: You said he started as PG and moved to the forward positions. Where do you see him playing this year, and how do you feel he projects at the next level?
TE: I see him as a combo. This year I played him at point, but offensively I think he's best suited for the wing positions, but he really surprised us at the point. We needed him to slot in at point for us and he did a great job. He's one of those hybrid players, but you just let him play and he'll put up great numbers for you.
WPH: We've had the opportunity to speak with and watch Dez on numerous occasions, and while he's well mannered and well spoken, one thing you really notice is how enthusiastic he is. Tell us how you feel his enthusiasm and passion pay off on the defensive side of the ball.
TE: Oh he definitely brings it. He steps right in and wants to guard the best guy on the other team. He loves a challenge. His energy 9 times out of 10 is what we fed off of this past year. He's very emotional and passionate on the floor. You'll hear him yelling, see him attacking the rim, urging guys on, you know, he's very aggressive on both sides of the ball.
WPH: His game has really developed a lot this last year. How do you feel Dez has improved the most over the past year?
TE: I'd say his discipline. He's added more discipline to his game. Before he used to try to force a lot of stuff but he's a lot more patient now. His basketball IQ has also jumped way up this past year.
WPH: You've seen and coached a lot of talented players (Reggie Bullock, John Wall, etc...) and I think as a coach you can see a player and say "he just has 'it'" and sometimes even when analysts and recruiting websites don't see it right away. One thing we saw happen this year was Dezmine go from a recruit that maybe 'has potential' to all of the sudden, its like the light bulb came on to a lot of these analysts and all of the sudden it hit them that Dezmine Wells was a force to be reckoned with. Is that something you saw from the beginning, and what do you feel it was about this summer that made Dez start getting more recognition?
TE: With Dez the lights been on. I feel like I have a really good eye for talent. Something I like to do, when I first get a kid, is run him through one of my workouts, which is very intense. Thye come back or they show certain things, I dont exactly know how to say it, but it's certain things they do on the floor and a certain attitude in a game that show me what kind of kid we're working with and what kind of player I think they can be. I feel Dez has always had 'it.' It's a fight, an aggressiveness and a competitiveness. I've coached all these kids when they were small, and I've known they had it. Reggie Bullock, Rodney Purvis, Mevlin Tabb...I just knew they had it. It's just something when I see someone like that...it's like "He's got it."
WPH: This summer was big for Dezmine, and I think it's because people got to see him handle the ball a lot more. At Word of God he was stuck down at the forward position, something Dez told us, and people didn't get to see what he could really do. This summer I think you got to see him at the guard more, handling the ball, and you got to see him create, which I think opened a lot of peoples eyes.
TE: Oh yeah, yeah, he's always had those skills and you would've seen it last year when he was a rising sophomore, but he broke his leg in the first play of the first tournament last year and no one saw him the rest of the summer. We had started putting the ball in his hands all spring, and no one saw him all summer. During his rehab when he came back to Word of God, they already had John (Wall) over there and he didn't really get to handle the ball a lot and nobody knew it. So when they saw him this summer it was like "Oh my God!", but that skill has always been there. Now, it really improved this past year with his IQ and making better decisions, but it's always been there but he broke his leg.
WPH: From watching him, I'll say that I'd want no part in guarding him. When you get a guard with that type of body and that type of physicality it's intimidating.
TE: Yeah, he's very strong. He's going to go up and finish against anybody and they'll bounce off him. Unless you're 6'10 and carrying some major weight, he'll go up and try you.
WPH: Now, this summer Coach Lowe and NC State took notice of Dezmine and started recruiting him a little bit. What have you heard from Coach Lowe and what type of interest is NC State expressing?
TE: He said he definitely wants Dez and he checks up on Dez through me. He does things the right way, and he's definitely a Dezmine Wells fan, a big one.
WPH: There's also been a lot of confusion and talk on whether Dez has actually been offered a scholarship. Is that something you can confirm or talk about?
TE: I know they said they are going to offer, that's if they haven't already, but I'm confidently saying that they have offered him.
WPH: When we spoke with Dez he said it made him feel good that a school right in his backyard was noticing him and recruiting him. Do you feel like NC State's recruitment really means a lot to Dezmine, to know a school right here in Raleigh wants him to play for them?
TE: It does, it does make him feel good. For him to know that an ACC school right here really wants him, it's good. A school that has tradition and a Coach that is really trying to get the program turned around. He's going to be watching State. He's been to a few games last year and he'll go to a few games this year. He'll be watching, but really he just wants to play. At practice if you're not going hard, he gets pissed. If you're not coming at him, making him better he's going to let you know, like "Stop wasting my time."
We'd like to thank Coach Tony Edwards for taking time out of his day to talk with us in such great detail. We'll have more with Coach Edwards on 2013 guard Rodney Purvis later in the season, so stay tuned!
Here is a pretty insane Dez Wells mixtape by our friends over at ONE Entertainment, enjoy.