Stanford men's basketball head coach Johnny Dawkins was on KNBR 680 with Razor and Mr. T yesterday. Among other things, Dawkins was asked about his relationship with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the state of the Pac-10, and the Cardinal's improvement this season. Some of the highlights:
On how often he talks to Coach K:
"I talk to him quite a bit. As we're going through the process of developing our program. I'll pick up the phone anytime that I feel there's something I need to discuss with him. Probably the last time was probably a few weeks ago. We talked and we texted and he gave me some great ideas, and that's what it's about. He's been a friend, a mentor, and I wouldn't be here and have this opportunity if it hadn't been for him. I'll always be thankful for what he's done for me."
On whether the Pac-10 is sub-par this year:
"Difficult to say. I think a lot of is placed on the preseason games, and I guess that's the only way you can evaluate teams. But as Tom would tell you, teams get better as the year goes on. But not every team. Some teams are on the rise and some teams are on the way down. I think we have a lot of teams now that are on the rise. ...I think USC ended up beating Texas, right, in the preseason, and they're in the middle of the pack in our conference right now. I think that says a lot. It says our teams are capable of competing against the best teams in the country. I think we had a couple of close losses against Kansas by a few of our teams, Arizona being one of them. So our teams are right there. There are a lot of teams that don't have one senior in their program, so that says a lot about the upside for the Pac-10."
"We started the season off with one real goal in mind, and that was to continue to improve. With nine new players, seven of them freshmen, we knew trying to develop continuity, trying to get our chemistry right was going to be a process. I'm proud of our kids' effort. I think we are improving. We want to take the remaining games and try to get better in each and every one of them and then have the opportunity to go in the conference tournament and compete. There's a lot of parity in our league. When it comes down to conference tournament time, I think anyone has a chance to win."