All Eyes on Alec Wnuk '14, UNCA Basketball
Christ School graduate a senior for preseason conference favorite
Alec Wnuk '14 can visualize himself climbing a ladder in March, scissors in hand. Sure, it's a dream scenario for now. But most experts think there will be some celebratory net-cutting in the future for Wnuk and the UNC Asheville men's basketball team. Coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons, the Bulldogs are the preseason favorite to win the Big South Conference. Wnuk is one of his team's most valuable reserves. As a junior, the 6-foot-7, 205-pound forward came off the bench to average 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. The website College Court Report has even called Wnuk one of the most underrated players in the country. The Bulldogs play their season opener Friday night at Rhode Island, and Wnuk had a few minutes to chat about his senior season.
Question: This is the first time since the 2011-12 season that UNC Asheville has been picked to win the Big South. How are you and the team handling all the preseason hype?
Answer: We're very excited for what's ahead. We know we've been picked as an overwhelming favorite in the conference by a lot of publications. Coach Nick (McDevitt) definitely has our heads on straight. He tells us those are just projections for what could be. We're definitely excited to see how much the team can grow, and where we can be in March. We're focused, and taking it one day at a time, one game at a time.
Question: I imagine you are feeling some personal urgency with this being your final college season?
Answer: Absolutely. This is my last go-round. This is all I've got left. I'm going to give 110 percent or more. I'm going to do everything I can for this team. If I'm the guy who doesn't get the most attention, that's fine by me as long as we are putting wins in the column.
Question: How have you improved since your junior year? Have you worked on anything in particular?
Answer: For me, specifically, I've worked on the mental side of my game. I didn't shoot the ball much at all from the outside last year, I think was 3-for-10 from (3-point range). I've never had the prettiest form. I'm just working on the mental side of things to know I can knock shots down. I can add that element to my game and be an inside-out type of player. I think the mental side of things can get you a long way in any sport. Just knowing you have the confidence to push through obstacles. That was my biggest takeaway from the work I did over the summer.
Question: How many hours do you need until you graduate?
Answer: I'm majoring in Business Management, and I'll be graduating in the spring. I'm only going to be taking six hours next semester. I've been taking summer school here, so I'm well on schedule.
Question: Lastly, can you talk about your time here at Christ School and what it meant to you?
Answer: I'm sure you'll hear a lot of guys say this, but the brotherhood meant the most to me. Just the overall bond between the guys. That is what makes Christ School different. There's a lot of guys I still keep in touch with. It's nice to go back to Christ School and see some familiar faces. And it's a good balance. I'll be out around Asheville, maybe downtown, and I'll see people I know, too. It's nice.