BOISE – In his playing days, UNC Greensboro coach Wes Miller identified as a short, scrappy guard who aptly personified the old adage of “heart over height.”
So, whenever a high school-aged Miller flipped on the television during the NCAA Tournament, and Gonzaga happened to be playing, he saw a mirror image of himself in a 6-foot, 180-pound All-American Bulldog guard named Dan Dickau.
“I saw (Dan) out there running around winning games in the NCAA Tournament,” Miller said Wednesday during his media session in Boise. “That’s my first memories (of Gonzaga), as a young guy you look up to people like that you can relate to.”
Both carry for the torch for “the short little white guy,” said Miller, who’s led the Spartans into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001.
The UNCG coach was startled when he arrived at a radio interview Wednesday at Taco Bell Arena and the interviewee was none other than Dickau, who’s working the tournament for Westwood One.
Dickau’s alma mater, a No. 4 seed in the tourney, is squaring off with Miller’s 12th-seeded Spartans Thursday at 11:30 a.m. MST in Boise.
“I walked in (to the interview) and laughed at myself,” the UNCG coach said.
Both carry the torch for “the short little white guy,” according to Miller, though Miler never achieved the personal success Dickau did. The ex-GU guard is revered as a legend around Spokane’s McCarthey Athletic Center, landing WCC Player of the Year honors in 2002 and becoming the first Zag to earn first team All-Associated Press All-American honors.
Miller didn’t do bad for himself, though, and he captured something Dickau never was able to: a national championship. The UNCG coach was recruited by Roy Williams at North Carolina and led the Tar Heels to a title in 2005 before becoming a team captain in 2006-07 and taking the Chapel Hill program to the Elite Eight.
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