They only have a few set plays, they’re rarely able to practice together and some are juggling work schedules.
No problem for Few Good Men, a collection of mostly Gonzaga alums that trounced two foes two weeks ago in Los Angeles and will try to continue their run in The Basketball Tournament this weekend.
Few Good Men, the third seed in the West Regional, faces No. 6 Team Utah on Friday in Philadelphia. A win would send the squad against No. 1 Team 23 or No. 5 Team Colorado on Saturday for a trip to the final four in New York.
Few Good Men, playing off the name of longtime Zags coach Mark Few, routed Air Force Bomb Squad 110-78 and 7outz 98-54 to advance to the Super 16 of the 64-team, winner-take-all $2 million tournament.
“I think Blake (Stepp) and I did a good job of mixing and matching skill sets and the personalities of the guys,” said Dan Dickau, an All-American for Gonzaga in 2002. “It came together the way we were hoping, the sharing of the ball, moving the ball and defensively being active and aware. Not all of us played together, but we have an idea of how to play the game in the same fashion.”
Former Zags include Drew Barham, Ira Brown, Casey Calvary, Austin Daye, Micah Downs, Mike Hart, Jeremy Pargo, Dickau and Stepp. They filled out the roster with 6-foot-9 forwards Leo Lyons, who played at Missouri, and Justin Burrell (St. John’s) to reinforce the interior.
The team is allowed to add a “Ringer” for Philly because it reached 2,000 fan votes online. Dickau declined to identify the newcomer to keep Team Utah guessing before Friday’s game.
Few Good Men had a ringer of sorts on the sideline in L.A. with Hall of Famer John Stockton serving as coach.
“When we initially wanted to put this together, I told John about the tournament and I asked him if he would coach,” Dickau said. “He said, ‘What, you don’t want me to play?’ We said you can play, coach, do whatever you want. He’s coaching his son in summer ball and he has some family commitments. If he makes it (to Philadelphia) Blake and I will be happy to hand him the clipboard.”
Pargo has 30 points and 17 assists in two games. Downs has scored 37 points in 31 minutes. Burrell has 34 points and 12 rebounds. Lyons has contributed 24 points and 19 boards.
“Blake and I have the understanding that Jeremy at this point in his career, let’s ride him as best as we can,” said Dickau, who, along with Stepp, has played limited minutes. “We believe we have the best point guard in the tournament.”
Few Good Men was responsible for travel costs to Los Angeles. Northern Quest helped cover lodging. The Tournament, which is in its third year, pays for travel to Philadelphia.
Dickau and Stepp have studied Team Utah’s first two wins. Team Utah has players from Utah, Utah State, BYU and Weber State.
“We think we have a chance to win another game and advance,” Dickau said.
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