Dickau Steals Show With His Wit
March 18, 2001
By ELIZABETH A. DAVIS
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Gonzaga's Dan Dickau seems to be just as at ease in the interview room as he is on the court pulling up for 3-pointers.
For every question - and even ones not addressed to him - he had an answer and usually had reporters laughing.
With Gonzaga and Indiana State in the same regional, many reporters have used - and perhaps overused - terms like upset, Cinderella and mid-major.
One reporter asked Dickau if he could come up with another buzzword or catch phrase.
Talking straight into the microphone, he responded, "Damn good team?" as everyone in the room erupted in laughter.
Further probed on the subject, Dickau said he wasn't as tired of those phrases to describe Gonzaga's tournament success. He sat out last year after transferring from Washington.
"I haven't heard it as much as these guys. I know Casey is sick of it," Dickau said, looking over at the senior forward.
Calvary just laughed.
"I doesn't bother us at all," he said. "We're the Zags. We're Gonzaga. We just come out and play."
Gourde sat quietly through most of the questions until he was asked to evaluate how his teammates represented them to the media.
"I think both are fairly articulate. Dan has a tendency to say 'you know,"' Gourde said.
But Dickau got in the last jab.
Patting Gourde on the back he said, "This guy right here might be the brightest guy in the world, but he tries to make himself sound even smarter."
MEET JOHN: Before Gonzaga made its appearance in the tournament in 1999 and nearly went to the Final Four, it was mainly known as John Stockton's alma mater.
The Utah Jazz point guard visits the school and knows the players.
Dickau met Stockton last year soon after he arrived on campus. He enjoyed telling his story of meeting the NBA veteran:
"I walked over there and introduced myself, 'Hi, I'm Dan Dickau.' He looked at me with a dead straight face and said, 'Hi, I'm John Stockton.' I was like you don't have to tell me who you are. I have watched you on TV for 12 years. You're the best point guard to ever play this game."
Indiana State also boasts a former star and NBA great. Larry Bird led the Sycamores to 1979 title game.
Apparently Bird doesn't visit his alma mater as much as Stockton does.
"In four years, he's come to two of our practices. I think," Indiana State's Matt Renn said. "Aside from that we haven't heard much from him.
CLOSE-MOUTHED: Indiana State's Kelyn Block was back at practice on Saturday after three of his teeth were either knocked out or chipped against Oklahoma. He had three root canals.
When he collided under the basket with another player, some of his front bottom teeth flew out of his mouth and landed in front of a cheerleader on the floor.
Block said it didn't scare him to see his teeth laying on the floor.
"It didn't bother me too much. I just didn't know how many teeth I had lost," Block said, opening his mouth just enough to reveal a jagged-looking row of teeth.
AGE DIFFERENCE: At 70, Fresno State coach Jerry Tarkanian is about 50 years older than his players.
But the Bulldogs say they get along fine, even when Tarkanian reminisces about his days as coach at UNLV.
"In the past he had a lot of headcases at UNLV. I am a headcase. I think we relate pretty well," first-year player Tito Maddox said.
Sophomore Chris Jefferies said the players don't really have to remind Tarkanian that they weren't even alive during parts of his coaching days.
"Sometimes he refers back to the old UNLV days. Sometimes he refers to me as Stacey Augmon. Everyone on the team thinks that's funny, but I don't think that's funny," Jefferies said.
Augmon was one of the stars of the 1990 national championship team.
RECRUITING CROSSROAD: Tarkanian and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo crossed paths during the recruitment of former Spartans star Mateen Cleaves.
Tarkanian talked to Cleaves' mother about coming out to Fresno State, but it was too far away from Flint, Mich.
Tarkanian realized that Cleaves would likely choose between Michigan and Michigan State.
Because Michigan was getting many of the good recruits still, Tarkanian took sides with the Spartans and put in a good word for them.
"That probably wasn't the reason (Cleaves chose Michigan State),"
Tarkanian said. "But I was happy for them."
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