A Silent Giant Awakens

LOS ANGELES - Dan Gadzuric is a mysterious person. On-court, he is a massive center who goes out game after game and bangs around with the nation's best centers. He plays aggressively and throws down monster dunks.

Off the court, his persona is quite different. He is just another member of the UCLA community, trying to blend in with a diverse student body. If he wasn't wearing athletic apparel, he might be mistaken for just a tall student with a book bag.

One word that dominates all of Dan Gadzuric's thoughts about basketball is "physical." During an interview, many his answers involved something about the physical nature of basketball. Whether talking about his game or opponents, being physical is an important part of playing his position. He lists Jerome Moiso as one of his favorite opponents because he goes up against him every day in practice and it helps him to improve his game. Another favorite opponent is Stanford's Mark Madsen, who brings a tremendous degree of aggressiveness to each contest.

Gadzuric's affection for basketball's physicality is accompanied by a quiet "go about your business" attitude. When asked which cartoon character he would compare himself to, he chose the Tasmanian Devil "because he is physical. You can't joke around with him."

Indeed, joking around is something that is not associated with Gadzuric's college basketball career. As one of the nation's top high school prospects, he was in the process of exceeding all expectations as a college freshman. He led the Bruins in field goal shooting (54.0) and blocked shots (1.3/game). He was the fifth leading scorer (8.6 ppg) and third leading rebounder (5.7 rpg). Twenty-six games into his freshman year, his season was cut short by a knee injury. He turned to his teammates for motivation following his setback.

"I tried to support my teammates, even though I wasn't playing, and their feedback really helped me," he said.

Since last year, Gadzuric has been making the long recovery journey. And, after a stellar 18 points, 11 rebounds performance against Syracuse, he is well on his way. A true sign of an outstanding athlete is the ability to acknowledge weaknesses and to work to correct any problems. Gadzuric is aware of the weaknesses in his game, primarily his free throw shooting and footwork.

"Before each game, I shoot a lot of free throws because my free throws are suffering right now," he explained. "I also practice my post moves in order to prepare before the game." In addition, he admits that his "mental approach needs improvement."

Reserved off-court, this silent giant prefers to maintain his privacy, yet he did provide a glimpse into his personal side. The following are a few answers that not only distinguish him from his teammates, but help to learn more about him.

At what age did you start playing basketball?
I started playing basketball around the age of 14 or 15.

Why did you choose to attend UCLA?
It is a great environment and it is very diverse. I feel very comfortable here and that is important to me.

If you could travel back in time, which of Coach Wooden's teams would you want to be a member of?
I would want to be a member of one of the teams with either Lew Alcindor or Bill Walton.

What's your favorite class at UCLA?
I have really enjoyed the math classes that I have taken.

Who do you go to for advice?
I get advice from a lot different people. I don't go to a specific person because I like to have a broad perspective.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
I wouldn't trade places with anybody. I'm happy with myself!

What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is meat. I eat a lot of meat, like New York steak.

What are your hobbies and interests?
My hobbies include reading, going out and socializing. Actually, I don't go out that often. Basketball takes up a lot of my time, so I try to make the most of my "off time."

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself in a positive place, whatever or wherever that may be.

By Marisa N. Schwertfeger
UCLA Media Relations Assistant


EVENT INFORMATION
UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
W, 77 - 45
Thursday, Dec 03
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 77
Sunday, Dec 06
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 76
Saturday, Dec 12
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
W, 71 - 66
Tuesday, Dec 15
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
W, 89 - 80
Saturday, Dec 19
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
L, 76 - 89
Tuesday, Dec 22
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 67 - 53
Friday, Jan 01
at Washington
Seattle, WA
L, 93 - 96 (2OT)
Sunday, Jan 03
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
L, 78 - 85
Thursday, Jan 07
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 84
Saturday, Jan 09
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 74
Wednesday, Jan 13
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 75 - 89
Wednesday, Jan 20
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
W, 82 - 73
Saturday, Jan 23
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
L, 72 - 86
Thursday, Jan 28
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
L, 84 - 86
Saturday, Jan 30
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 50
Thursday, Feb 04
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 61 - 80
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 25 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Saturday, Feb 27 - 1:30 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Wednesday, Mar 02 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Mar 05 - 3:30 PM PST
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Mar 09 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, Mar 10 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 8:30 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, Mar 12 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, Mar 15 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Four
Dayton, OH
Thursday, Mar 17 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Round
TBA
Saturday, Mar 19 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Second Round
TBA
Thursday, Mar 24 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
TBA
Saturday, Mar 26 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
TBA
Saturday, Apr 02 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
Monday, Apr 04 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
BRUINS ON PAC-12 NETWORKS