To understand the Cardinal's ego-free ethos, consider that Madsen and Jason met separately with Montgomery upon Madsen's return and asked him to start the other player. "Well, darn," the Sahara-dry Montgomery told them, "if nobody wants to start, then I'll just go ahead and start [freshman reserve] Joe Kirchofer!"
Both Jason and Jarron are convinced that one of the biggest reasons for Stanford's remarkable chemistry has been a course in group communications that the team's leaders—the Collinses, Madsen, Moseley and swingman Ryan Mendez—took last spring. "It's a diversity class where you talk about everyone's viewpoints on different issues: race, gender, class," Jason says. From Madsen, a Mormon from the small, mostly white town of Danville, Calif., Jason learned to appreciate his teammate's infectious curiosity. From Moseley, who was reared by a single parent in Las Cruces, N.Mex., Jarron learned the term latchkey kid. "We always had day care after school, so I had never even heard of it before," he says. "I learned so much about my teammates. Just sharing our experiences has made us a better team."
In fact the Cardinal appears better equipped for an NCAA tournament run than it did last year with a senior-laden team. Freshman sharpshooter Casey Jacobsen leads Stanford in scoring with 13.8 points a game, Mendez and Moseley have shot a combined 44.3% from three-point range, and the inside trio of the Collinses and Madsen has helped the Cardinal outrebound opponents by 9.8 a game. "With last year's group there was a sense that they had a certain level they could reach," Jarron says of the 1998-99 team, which made a disappointing second-round exit from the NCAAs. "Right now there's no ceiling on what we could do with our talent, as long as we keep working hard."
In the meantime, don't expect Jason and Jarron to cease their comedic sniping. Every day after practice Jarron will get so tired of waiting for Jason to shower and dress that he'll unleash a rapid-fire, eardrum-piercing harangue that goes something like this: LET'SGO!NOLET'SGONOW!C'MONHURRYUP!LET'SGO! FINE!GETARIDEHOME!
It's all an act, of course. Press Jarron, and he'll call his brother "a good listener." In a similar moment of weakness Jason will describe Jarron as "a good friend." Indeed, he may not want to admit it, but that I [LOVE] JERRY magnet on Jason's fridge? It could just as easily read I [LOVE] JARRON.