Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Notes on My Napkin: With Dan Monson at the Century Club

It was Dan Monson’s first visit to the dinosaurs of the Long Beach Century Club and before he finished the new Niner basketball coach had scored a runaway victory (a laugher you might say) over the grizzled gin and tonic crowd. So in the popular Notes on My Napkin format here is some of what Dan said.

His opening comment was a salute to veteran Long Beach City coach, and one time applicant for the Beach job, Gary Anderson who was backed up by his son Ricky, a force for Lute Olson at Arizona and a well traveled international pro player. “I want to announce that Gary and I have signed an agreement that all of his players will come to Long Beach State and that after a red shirt year and some rehab on his Achilles, Ricky will play for us in 2008.”

On life at Minnesota. “When I went there people said that there are five things in life that are really hard to deal with--moving to a new town, taking a new job, building a new house, and getting married. I did four in one month but at least I didn’t get a divorce.”

His goals—short term: “Field a team. We’ve got six guys right now and they are now in open gym but it is all three on three…and two of those guys think they are hurt”

Long term: “we want to really immerse ourselves in this community…all of our players, coaches…give us some time and we will be there”

Asked if he was as good a coach now as he was at Gonzaga (2 years as head but a total of 11 with the Zag program): “Am I as good, NO. I am better because at Minnesota I had to learn how to adapt to what was there….”

On recruiting: “we are like the guy that is shopping for the prettiest Christmas tree in town on December 24th…but we will keep looking and we have some contacts out to some really good area kids…our assistants are really good at this and we have until May 15…I need at least three more so I can have an Iron Nine…but likely we will save some rides for good freshmen next year…”

On the returning players: “I had all six of them in conference room and I went around the table and asked them what position they played. Andrew (Fleming the 7 footer) said he was a 5 and the rest of the guys all said that they were 3’s…so I got to wonder about the 1s, 2s, and 4s…”

On what recruits are saying to him, “some are worried about the possible NCAA sanctions but I told them I am here and that they should not worry about that…so of the guys we aren’t going to get, they usually ask me if we are recruiting anybody else at their position…”

What will he say during his first time out: “it depends, if they are playing hard and not just jacking up shots I don’t care if we are down by 10 I will pat them on the (uses a family term for backside) …if they aren’t I expect to fix that"


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