"Jon Brockman and Spencer Hawes showed our guys what playing hard is all about," said Brady in regards to Washington's two big men. "That was the game. The rest of it was not much. Those two guys just beat us every which way possible. That has not happened to us in a long time."
Ever since he arrived at Washington last season as a freshman, Jon Brockman has
earned a reputation as a relentless hard worker at the forward position.
Recently, as he sat in his Los Angeles hotel room a day before his team was to
take on #1 UCLA, Brockman spent a few minutes with Dawgman.com. He began by
describing the childhood origins of his admirable work ethic.
"Ever since I was a little kid I have always been going at full-speed, breaking
stuff, running through screen doors," he said. "That's just always been my
personality—GO GO GO. When I was first born, I was a little terror. Not that I
wanted to do things wrong, but I have always just been high-energy. And the chores
that my Mom and Dad had me do, they were always telling me to do my best. Those
two aspects just combined, and that's a mentality that I took up long ago and have
correlated into basketball."
When asked if his childhood travails were compounded by being a big kid,
"I've always been huge," he said. "That was probably part of the problem when I
was growing up, I didn't realize how big I was. I was always the tallest kid in
the class, and also have always been a pretty thick kid all my life. I always
wanted to do what other kids were doing. But when you're the size of a sixth
grader while in the first grade, and you try to do what the first graders are
doing, it doesn't always work out."
It was pointed out to Brockman that college basketball must seem drastically
different after possessing a year of experience.
"Oh, definitely," he said. "I can focus a lot more on just basketball now, because
I know our system. I have a year's experience under my belt, and I can just play.
I know where I am supposed to be. It shows itself in the little stuff, like being
in the right position on defense and getting the quick steal. I have recognized
that a couple of times, where I have made a steal and I thought to myself, `I
wouldn't have been in the proper position last year.' "
Reflecting on last year, Brockman described his most enjoyable and humbling
"Going to the Sweet Sixteen," he said. "That was a pretty crazy experience,
especially being a freshman and getting a taste of being that close to a
national championship. It leaves a little taste in your mouth and makes you
want to work hard and come back and get some more. As for the most humbling
moment, I would say it just the ups and downs of the college season. I started
off the season pretty hot, winning the MVP of the first tournament. Then, with
so much to take in, you're thinking so much out there, and it's so different from
high school. I learned that there are so many ups and downs as a freshman, and
when you hit those lows, you realize that `Man, this is college basketball and
you've got to bring it every night.'"
When pressed for a specific detail, Brockman paused to consider before speaking.
"There was a game in the pre-season right before Christmas break last year,
where I didn't even score a bucket," he said. "It was a shock to me, because it
had been a long while since I hadn't scored in a game. It was shocking. It
gave me the realization that there is a big adjustment to be made between the
high school game and the college game."
The talk steered to the different atmospheres in the arenas around the Pac-10.
Brockman liked Oregon's in particular, for its rowdy and old-style atmosphere.
But the dialogue concluded with the rowdy student section at Hec Ed
Pavilion—known to all as The Dawg Pack. The mention of them made Brockman
chuckle, and he was asked to choose his favorite antic.
"I really loved it last year when Gonzaga came in to Hec Ed," Brockman said.
"Everyone had been talking about Adam Morrison's moustache, and then at game
time everyone in the Dawg Pack had a little moustache on. I loved that one.
There have been some classics, and it's always fun to see what they are going to
come up with. The LSU one this year was also great for (the dieting
All-American) Glen Davis. I don't remember how the Dawg Pack's chant went, but
it had the names of several fast food restaurants.
"But my personal favorite is probably when they start chanting your name after a
big play," said Brockman. "It's pretty amazing. Their chants have gotten into
the heads of some opposing teams, including the (former) Cougar coach (Dick Bennett)
and the Oregon coach (Ernie Kent). The Dawg Pack has definitely been a great
sixth man for us."
Derek Johnson can be reached at
A visit with Jon Brockman
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