Catholic University's senior center, Kevin Dziwulski, should have been there to hear the epithets. After everything he has suffered in four seasons at CU, he deserved it.
"This guy Dimwitski is killing us." roared Hofstra University basketball Coach Roger Gaekler. "He's got 20 points at halftime. Who is he anyway?
"This Dullskullkiwitz can't jump.He sure isn't quick. And he can't drive to his right. They gotta set three picks just to get the ball to him," fumed Gaekler, who limped around the lockerroom because he had kicked a chair after one Dziwulski basket.
"Why he's 6-6 and we're covering him with guys 6-10. Whatsamatta with you people? We gotta find a solution to this what's-his-name."
Hofstra found a solution by attacking the rest of the vulnerable Cardinals. Dziwulski seldom got the ball, although ending with 27 points, and Hofstra won, 81-78.
In the closing days of one of the most thankless and overlooked careers in Washington basketball lore, "Kevin D" is finally forcing people to learn his name. Ja-wool-ski. Not a "D" in the whole thing.
In recent days he has rattled off games of 34, 29 and 27 points, passing the 1,000-career-point mark and closing in on becoming the seventh-leading scorer in CU's 65-year-old basketball history.
His achievements are as well kept a secret as the pronunciation of his name.
Dziwulski symbolizes the entire CU basketball program.
"Kevin is very average in everything," CU Coach Jack Kvanez (Kavance). "Except determination."
That's CU in the Kvanez era. No height. Little talent. Infinite doggedness. And a competitive record.
Like many a Cardinal, Dziwulski has made a career of being a pest to bigger and better players. And beating them almost half the time.
"If there's a smaller center anywhere than me," said the slim Dziwulski, "I've never played against him. I look up to everyone. It's a neverending battle. I try to be a pain to them, wrestling for position, chopping away at them like a lumberjack."
CU's records during Dziwulski's four seasons, 8-18, 12-14, 13-13 and 9-11, would seem to indicate negligible progress. On the contrary, the Cardinals have moved from playing a weak Division II schedule to fighting Division I schools like Clemson, Fairfield and George Washington. Instead of searching for a victory, CU talks of topping .500.
Dziwulski has made that transistion to major college ball, too. And thrived on it.
Coming out of Cheektowaga, N.Y., (pronounced Chi-ca-go), Dziwulski was considered too small and too injured (knee) to play center even in small college ranks.
Now, 100 games and 100 taller centers later. Dziwulski is CU's leading scorer (16.5 points per game) and its deadliest shooter (56 percent).
"I don't remember all the shots those guys stuffed in my face," he said with a laugh, "and I don't remember their names. I try to forget them as quickly as possible."
What the big guys don't forget about Dziwulski is the heady way he conserves his energy, seldom wastes a leap, boxes out religiously, runs them through a million screens, collects garbage baskets and seldom misses an open jumper.
"If Kevin gets the ball with his feet set and nobody in his face," said Kvanez, he'll bury it for you every time."
"He's the man with the bionic left arm," said teammate Pete Gruzinskas (Grew-sin-cuss).
Even for a man with a good shooting touch, Dziwulski admits that this February has been a magic month for him, unlike any other in his four dogged, sometimes depressing years.
"My confidence is even better now than it was in high school before I injured my knee," he said. "Everytime I touch the ball, I seem to do something right."
"Kevin deserves to have a streak like this. Everything either hits the net or bounces around the rim and goes in," said Kvanez. "He's worked for it. I always talk to him about his limitations, about how he has to run, run, run to do what comes naturally to other players.
"He's a marked man these days, but he seems to love it."
The day may come that Kvanez' longrange hopes come true -- a new multi-million dollar CU gym populated by blue-chip recruits, tall ones. Dziwulski, the Kevin D who battled in the pivot for four undermanned years to bring CU to respectability, will be long gone by then.
But Kvanez won't forget. "Kevin is what college basketball ideally should be about," Kvanez said. "He's a top student with a 3.4 grade point in business management. He's a candidate for postgraduate academic scholarships.
"He's got so many evening seminars in his dual major that he hasn't been able to come to a single practice this semester. But that's the way we both want it."
Obviously, the things Kevin D has learned to do right come from the inside. They can't be practiced.