Daniel Dillon Q&A

Daniel Dillon was an unknown recruit when he signed with Arizona last November. Few had heard about the Australian native playing his high school ball in Kentucky. Lute Olson had known about him for years and was able to keep the combo-guard a secret.

How has it been so far now that you all are doing everything for real?

"It's been great. I'm just happy that practice started so we can get into things and hopefully be on track to win a national championship."

You were here most of summer, did it make the transition a lot easier?

"It's a lot easier than coming here fresh off. It is still tough practicing, coming from high school to college. Definitely getting into the weight program and playing in the summer league made it a lot easier."

What is the biggest adjustment you've had to make so far?

"Playing against stronger bodies and bigger people. The quicker game, Arizona is one of the quickest teams in the country, practice has been so quick. It is just one drill after another, with no rest time. You are going full on the whole time."

What is the biggest difference of style of play between the U.S. and Australia?

"(In Australia) It's probably a more fundamental, inside game. Here it is athleticism and speed compared to Australia. Here it is more speed, jumping and strength. In Australia it is a more fundamental inside game and a shooting outside game. It's definitely much tougher in Australia."

What do you think your role will be this year? Do you think you'll see the floor?

"I'll probably see a few minutes. I just want to contribute as much as I can. Hopefully I'll help out Mustafa at the point some times and just do what I can. If it is to grab rebounds or make shots, just do whatever I can to help us win a national championship."

I've only seen you play a few times, but you seem more of a pass first type player. Is that your game, or have you just been trying to get used to your teammates?

"I'm just trying to get used to playing with these guys right now, but that is most of my game. I'm just trying to get all of the players involved. If I'm not ready for a shot and someone is more open than I am, I'll get it off to them. I just try to make things easy for the team."

I've heard that some people consider you one of the best young guards in Australia and that you could be representing the country by 2008. Is that a major goal for you?

"Hopefully I can. I'm just trying to aim high and try to be the best that I can be. Hopefully I can play in the 2008 Olympics, that would be great."

When you signed, Coach Olson said you were the next door neighbor of the person who booked their tours to Australia and that you basically grew up wearing Arizona gear. Is it a real honor to be wearing the jersey for real now?

"Yeah, especially because Arizona came down after their national championship and played in my local club gym. To be actually be offered a scholarship to this kind of school where I have grown up seeing them play and seeing them win a national championship has been a dream for me."

This team has a real international flavor, has that been a pretty cool thing?

"It's kind of cool. Just seeing people from other parts of the world and just being exposed to those different types of people."

There is an Australian player on the women's team. Have you bonded with her or have you just bonded with everyone?

"I've bonded with everyone. Katrina (Lindner) on the women's team, I've spoken with her a couple of times. She's cool. I didn't know her when I was in Australia, but I've met her and spoken to her. We've kind of bonded."

Here's the million dollar question, are you sick of questions about Australia yet?

"I've had this since I was a senior in high school when I was in Kentucky, so I would get it a few times a day. I'm used to it by now. I was getting sick of it in the beginning, but I'm used to it by now."

A CLOSER LOOK AT DANIEL DILLON

Bio: Australian guard who was a surprise signee last October. Dillon was a big hit in the Summer Pro League, gaining great experience playing alongside former Wildcat Miles Simon. Played last season in Kentucky. He averaged 23.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists before being suspended for allegedly violating Kentucky transfer rules. Led VCIM to the Australia 18-and-under national championship during the summer of 2003 by averaging 13.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.6 steals. One of the best young guards in Australia, Dillon could very well contend for a spot on the Australian Olympic team come 2008.

Type of player: He's a combo guard who has great handles and loves to hit the boards. Big and strong, Dillon gets into the lane and can take on bigger opponents. He has an inconsistent outside shot and is a better scorer when he gets into the lane. He has great floor awareness and generally looks to get others involved instead of trying to score.


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