Dickerson awaits word on Charleston job

Assistant among several vying to be head coach

College Basketball

April 06, 2002|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

By early next week, University of Maryland men's basketball assistant coach Dave Dickerson should find out if he is going home again.

Dickerson, a native of Olar, S.C., and a former Maryland player who has coached under Gary Williams for the past six seasons, is hoping to land his first head coaching job, at the College of Charleston. John Kresse recently retired after 23 seasons at the Southern Conference school.

"It's a great job, and it would be enticing to go back to South Carolina," said Dickerson, who interviewed earlier this week and was expected to talk more with Charleston officials yesterday.

Others who have interviewed: Virginia assistant Tom Herrion, Charleston assistant Ben Betts and East Tennessee State head coach Ed DeChellis. Among other possible candidates: Winthrop head coach Gregg Marshall and Ohio State assistant Paul Biancardi.

"Dave Dickerson is just a class individual. He does everything," Williams said. "He's not just a recruiter. He's an on-the-floor coach, does a terrific job scouting, breaking down tape, things like that. He did a great job this year. He's ready [to become a head coach]. I want all of my guys to become head coaches."

Dickerson, who was an assistant at James Madison for a year and then coached at Radford for four seasons before coming to College Park in 1996, said he is not interested in Radford's head coaching vacancy.

Dickerson would be filling some large shoes at the College of Charleston, which beat Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament five years ago. Kresse posted a 560-143 record there, and his .797 winning percentage was the highest among active coaches before he stepped down. Kresse guided Charleston to four NCAA tournament appearances and at least 21 victories in each of the past nine seasons.

Blake rumor dismissed

While he awaits the decision of sophomore power forward Chris Wilcox, who is considering early entry into the NBA draft, Williams dismissed rumors that junior point guard Steve Blake is planning to return for his senior year - but only after putting his name in the NBA draft for exploratory purposes.

"Get serious," Williams said, when asked about the rumor, which began circulating during the NCAA tournament.

Speculation has grown that Blake intends to declare himself eligible for the draft without hiring an agent. That would allow him to work out for individual NBA teams before pulling out no later than a week before the June 26 draft. That was the course taken last year, for example, by Kentucky forward Tayshaun Prince and guard Keith Bogans, and Arizona point guard Jason Gardner.

Blake could not be reached to comment. His father, Richard Blake, would neither confirm nor deny his son's intentions.

"I haven't talked to Steve about it, so I don't know what he's thinking. I know that he looks at every opportunity where he can get better," Richard Blake said. "I'm surprised more kids don't look into that kind of opportunity. It's a freebie. It beats playing against your high school buddies in the summer. I fully expect to be watching him play at the University of Maryland next year."

Miller update

Do you ever wonder what Danny Miller is thinking these days? Miller chose to transfer from Maryland to Notre Dame after his junior season a year ago.

He made the announcement shortly after the Terps made their first Final Four. Miller, who was unseated as a starter at small forward by Byron Mouton and came off the bench for the final 32 games for the Terps, wanted more playing time, which Williams refused to promise him.

Miller sat out this season with the Fighting Irish, and presumably followed Maryland's national championship run closely from South Bend, Ind. Miller declined to be interviewed this week.

Miller, a fifth-year senior next season, and Notre Dame will play Maryland in the annual BB&T Classic at MCI Center on Dec. 7. Texas and George Washington are the other participants in the two-day tournament.

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