Q&A With Dan Fitzgerald

Every player knows he has to work hard to improve during the off season, and they also know what they need to improve on. For Marquette's do it all guard-forward-center Dan Fitzgerald, it might be a bit tougher....Does he work to become a better point guard? Shooting forward? Power forward?'s John Dodds went 1-on-1 with Fitz to get the answer.

DOS: I am here with Dan Fitzgerald at the Awards Banquet. Well, after sitting out a year as a transfer from Tulane, what was it like to get back?

Fitz: It was great. It was a lot of fun. It couldn't have been a better situation with the change that we are going into the Big East and all the excitement. It was a lot of fun.

DOS: Coach Crean said you had the toughest role of any player he had ever coached. You had to know the point guard position and the 4 (PF) position. He said it required looking at a game in two entirely different ways.

Fitz: It's tough. It's definitely a blessing and a curse. It's definitely a difficult position but if you can play different positions, it's just that many more minutes to play, so I really don't mind whatever gets me on the court. It's tough. Seeing it from a point guard, when I played against Travis all practice that whole year when I was sitting out, playing point guard is by far I think the toughest position to play. And when you see everything from there, you see how important all the other positions are and all the little things we have to do, so when you go from point guard to the two guard, to the three to the four, your mindset has to change a lot and it's difficult, but it's a lot more fun. There aren't many players who can play all those positions, so I'm fortunate to get the chance.

DOS: What would you do on the bench? Did they tell you you're ready to spell Dominic or would they tell you to just kind of pay attention because you might be in for Novak if he gets two fouls?

Fitz: I always tried to figure it out. Like, be ready, OK, if this happens. It's the likelihood I could do this this game but I was usually wrong every game, but it was fun. I have great teammates. Everyone plays their roles tremendously. Everybody makes everyone else's job a lot easier. That's what is so great about our team.

DOS: And then with PG Cubillian coming and having Acker the year after that, are your point guard days, unless it's an emergency, are those over?

Fitz: I would think so, which is fine by me. Whatever we need, you never know, it could change.

DOS: One thing during the DePaul game, sitting near the floor, I noticed your shot seemed to have a different arc to it … it was a different release. Did you make an adjustment sometime during the season?

Fitz: Well, my dad would like to take credit for that game. He was always telling me to shoot high. He is always talking about that. He told me that yesterday. I didn't really change too much. I might have been shooting better. When I shoot better, I always shoot higher. The basket is always bigger when you are shooting up and it's coming down rather than straight ahead.

DOS: So, then next year you are going to play more in the power forward?

Fitz: Again, I don't know, but probably some twos, some threes, some fours, five whatever. Like I said, I think its wide open. We have so many players in so many different positions and with Lazar Hayward coming in, he's a real good player, you never know. That's kind of the least of everyone's concern, where you are playing. As long as we're playing and we're winning, that's all we care about.

DOS: Everyone has something to improve on. What are you going to work on during the summer?

Fitz: We have already started on me getting tougher in the weight room. I've already gained six pounds since the season is over so that's definitely going to help, but still continue with that and getting stronger in everything really. My strength is shooting but I've got to be better at everything and two things that Coach has made sure I need to keep working on and getting great at is defending anywhere, whoever it is, and rebounding. Those are the two big things. If I can do those two things better, then I'll see the payoffs.

DOS: Good luck in the off-season.

Fitz: Thanks.

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