And a tendency to
get bored. Gaillard asked a player about his idea of a good practice.
"About 2� hours of scrimmaging," he answered.
a bad practice?"
And when a
misunderstanding caused several players to miss a holiday workout, Chubby Cox
shook his head and told the coaches, "I don't think they should be
for five games," answered Belluomini with mock severity.
getting a new assistant coach then," said Cox.
Because of its
weak schedule the rest of the season, some critics term USF the Rutgers of the
West. But during December, playing most games away from its cramped, 6,000-seat
War Memorial gym, USF beat Tennessee, Utah, Florida State, Oral Roberts, St.
John's and Arizona State, whipped Houston twice and won three tournaments. As
the final seconds ticked off during an 81-63 victory at Seattle, which was
supposed to challenge for the WCAC title, Cox swaggered over to Gaillard and
said, "That was supposed to be hard?" And near the end of another game
safely won, Hardy missed the first of two free throws and was chagrined when an
opponent clapped derisively.
that?" said Hardy. "It's no big thing. Here, I'll miss another
one." Which he did, and Boynes tipped in the rebound.
"See what I
mean?" Hardy yelled as he ran downcourt.
This is the sort
of behavior that causes Gaillard to refer to Hardy as "the eccentric
genius." When he first saw him in high school, Gaillard told assistants
Larry Gillman and Belluomini, "He's too good. We'll never get him."
Last year Hardy led the team in rebounding in 17 of the first 26 games. Then in
the league championship game against Pepperdine, upset because the ball wasn't
moving around, he refused to play in the second half, and the Dons lost by a
point in overtime. Gaillard benched him throughout the ensuing NIT loss to
North Carolina-Charlotte. Says Hardy, "The debate was whether it was better
to take 35 shots a game and lose or take 13 shots and win. It made more sense