Villanova's Dante Cunningham Wants To Do the Dirty Work

Ryan MillerCorrespondent IJune 11, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 21:  Dante Cunningham #33 of the Villanova Wildcats shoots during the game against the UCLA Bruins during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Wachovia Center on March 21, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Q: I was just talking to Sam Young about this same topic. Do you see advantages in being a veteran college guy that had to work hard for everything you achieved at the college level, rather than being drafted as a one-and-done based on potential?

A: Definitely, at this point we have the experience. We’ve been through pretty much everything that most of these younger guys haven’t. The NCAA Tournament every year, the Final Four, and the grind in every sense that you’re going to come up against that maybe you don’t get after one year or two years.

Q: What are the best qualities that you bring to the table for an NBA franchise?

A: My work ethic and ability to continue to get better. Doing the defense and rebounding and all the dirty work that most people don’t want to do that I’ll get out there and do it day in and day out.

Q: Have you had workouts for teams yet and where have you been training?

A: I had two workouts, Miami and San Antonio. I’m still at school. My coach, Doug West, does my individual workouts.

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Q: Your mom and dad are in the Air Force. Have you heard Hasheem Thabeet’s working out with Navy Seals? You’re not doing any military training?

A: (Laughs) No, nothing crazy like that. I’ve got a weight trainer that pretty much should’ve been in the Army or something. He’s very hardcore and doing everything right to get me ready.

Q: You improved your scoring average every season at Villanova. I was at in Villanova covering your game against Syracuse for the SU media, and you torched the Orange for 31 points. How much did your ability to step out and shoot the mid-range jumper help you offensively this season?

A: I definitely made a great effort in extending my range out to the 15- to 17-foot area. Right now I’m still working on extending out to the three-point line.

I think I’ll be a great power forward just because I’m strong enough to handle a four man. I can also guard guards, but also as a pick-and-pop four when the come out on me. I can give them pump fakes and go around them and things like that.

Q: Last thing, my mom loves Jay Wright. Every time you play on TV she mentions what a great dresser and good-looking guy he is. Would you agree that he’s the best dressed coach around?

A: (Laughs) Of course. He stays in his sharp suits. You hardly ever see him with his tie down or messed up. He always looks the same when he comes into the game and leaves the game.

Q: Didn’t he also have a lucky pig or something for the NCAA Tournament?

A: His daughter gave him a little toy pig and it was good luck. All of a sudden it got out, and by the end of the tournament, everyone on our coaching staff had a pig somewhere. We all had pigs. It was something that was good luck, and it was working.

Q: So he’s a good dresser and a good dad?

A: (Laughs) Good dresser, great dad.

NBA Pre-draft Combine Results

Height w/o shoes: 6'7"
Height w/ shoes: 6'8.25"
Weight: 227
Wingspan: 6'11"
Standing Reach: 8'10.5"
Body Fat: 4.8 percent
No Step Vert. 28.0
Max Vert. 35.0
Bench Press: 18
Lane Agility: 11.18
3/4 Court Sprint: 3.26 sec.