The First Fan was here Saturday for Arkansas' 91-82 elimination of Arizona. Arkansas needed Dillard for only 12 minutes. The coach pulled Al off the bench and told him to do his thing. He did it, bang, bang, two trips down the floor. Three-pointer from 25 feet. Three-pointer from 27 feet. In a close game, Arkansas suddenly was up by a dozen points, and Richardson called Dillard right back to the bench until he would be needed again.
Asked Dillard's shooting range, Richardson said: "When he walks into the gym."
And now he's going for a national championship. Has anyone older ever won one? Not lately.
"What about that guy (Ronnie) Highsmith, out of Georgetown?" Dillard asks. "How old was he?"
"Same as you, I think," someone says.
"Yeah, well, I don't know," Al says. "Being the oldest, is that a good thing or not? I guess it is. Especially when I'm thinking about where I could be now.
"My girlfriend said there are three things you can be. You can be below average, you can be average, you can be above average. She said it all depends on you. I said I'd prefer to be above average. It's, like, who wouldn't? Only you just can't sit there and wish for it. You got to go to school and make something of yourself."