Feb. 23, 2006
By Jeremy Herb
The Santa Clara
Santa Clara basketball coach Dick Davey is in his 14th year as head coach of the Broncos. Despite his team's struggles this year, the University of Pacific graduate has compiled a 227-179 overall record. Behind the Santa Clara bench, he has led the Broncos to three NCAA Tournament appearances and three WCC regular-season titles. He also coached NBA MVP Steve Nash when the Broncos pulled off their upset of second-seeded Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 1993. Davey sat down with sports reporter Jeremy Herb to discuss the upcoming conference tournament and his coaching tenure at Santa Clara.
JH: What are your team's expectations for the WCC Tournament?
DD: I think everybody goes into the tournament trying to win it -- that's the concept. I think our players are going in with the idea that it's going to be tough, but we'll see what we can do to try to win it.
JH: If you only win one or two games at the tournament, will your team be disappointed?
DD: You're disappointed every year when you don't win it. We're also trying to improve in what we're doing, and from a long-range standpoint, it's good if you see any growth and development in your team, too.
JH: How will you miss Travis Niesen's presence next year?
DD: Tremendously. He's had a great year, just a tough-minded, hard-nosed guy that's really done a great job of leading our group. His energy and effort on the court is outstanding.
JH: What role does the element of luck play in recruiting?
DD: I don't think there's much luck. Occasionally, you might get lucky on a guy, but there's a lot of things that go into recruiting.
JH: At what point did you know Steve Nash was going to be an NBA superstar?
DD: You know, you always hope for those kinds of things, but it never entered my mind. What entered my mind was how competitive and hard-nosed he was, and how demanding he was of himself to try to improve himself. He had a special motor that most guys don't have. To be MVP of the NBA, that's a dream for people.
JH: Do you think your coaching style has become more relaxed as you are getting older?
DD: I think as people get older, they tend to change and add or take away parts of what they do. If you're talking about energy, no, I think my energy level is the same. As far as being more understanding of individuals, yes, probably.
JH: What do you say to those who are calling for your retirement?
DD: That's a part of the process as being a coach. When you have good years, everybody's pretty much involved and behind you, and when you don't have good years, people want to see you leave. It's the nature of the beast.
JH: How has e-mail changed recruiting?
DD: There's so much that goes into it, that's a portion of it. I think the best part of recruiting from our standpoint are home visits, when we go in the home and visit with kids. Phone calls, where you have real personal contact, are also important.
JH: How has your pregame routine changed over the years?
DD: You always change it a little bit. Really, it's kind of a no-nonsense type thing in getting down to walking through what they do and how we want to cover it.
JH: On a Saturday night, would you rather watch a college basketball game or an NBA game?
DD: College, unless Nash is playing.
JH: If you had to remove one player from your team, who would cause the greatest loss?
DD: You don't like to pick individuals, but I think the team would agree Travis would be a tremendous loss because of what he does rebounding-wise and scoring-wise, and we're so young after him.
JH: How much longer do you think Gonzaga can remain dominant in the WCC?
DD: As long as they continue to do a good job in recruiting, you never know. Usually things cycle, and their cycle has been a little bit longer than some. What really helped them was they have been able to recruit the Northwest, and have had a large number of good players from Spokane.
JH: What's the most entertaining thing to do in Spokane?
DD: I don't really look for entertainment up there, but 10-12 years ago, we took the team out bowling.