DoddsOnSports: John, now that you are a returning veteran, how is this year different from one year ago?
John Dawson: I would say a great part of my game has grown. I am a lot bigger and stronger than I was last year. I have a lot more experience. My body type has changed. I am much smarter, know what to expect and shoot better. Everything has grown in my game.
DOS: Describe your game.
John Dawson: I consider myself to be a lock down defender. I have a good basketball IQ and I am improving my shooting range.
DOS: What do you remember most about last year?
John Dawson: I remember all the adversity we faced and I didn’t think we handled it very well as a team. I thought that was the players’ fault not the coach’s fault at all. We weren’t as together as usual Marquette teams had shown in the past especially against the tougher competition in the Big East. That is something we have to work on this year.
DOS: You have to look back at the Georgetown game as your coming out party. Was that your best game?
John Dawson: As far as last year, yes, it was probably my best game. I don’t think it was just a flash of luck, I thought I was well prepared and the team was well prepared. Todd Mayo and Steve Taylor also had very good games against Georgetown. Todd had the major three to send it into overtime and Steve, on the glass both offensively and defensively, were keys. So, it was not my coming out party, it was the team’s coming out party.
DOS: You came here because of Buzz Williams and it has to be a shock when someone like that leaves. How are you reacting to the Wojo era?
John Dawson: It was a shock when Buzz left. Nobody knows why but I can’t say I don’t respect him for it. It is a business. He moved on for personal reasons and I do not fault him for it. I wish him the best for his team and his career. I hope he keeps excelling. Coach Wojo coming in has been a real good transition for us. He is interested in teaching us toughness and keeping up the tradition of success here. Wojo and Buzz are focused on discipline and team building but instead of working just on the toughness, with Wojo we are working on more skills [shooting and ball handling]. It is just a different style of play.
DOS: You were working with Todd Smith in the off season, is the weight lifting program similar under Wojo as it was under Buzz?
John Dawson: There is no different philosophy. Todd Smith trains us so we can meet our full potential. I wouldn’t say anything has changed. The only thing I can say is we now lift heavier weights and we have more of a variety of different lifts.
DOS: Can you compare Wojo’s off season workouts with the ones you had under Buzz?
John Dawson: In a lot of ways, they are very similar. In any college sport, the coaches are similar. It’s just a different technique or method. It is a way of controlling chaos on offense and defense. Coach Wojo likes to work on more of the skills while Buzz likes to work on things to get us ready for adversity, how to come back, what makes us who we are. Wojo wants to make us who we are through skill work.