It was a moniker bestowed by a coach trying to keep youth basketball pupils entertained.

While it's not commonly known yet, the nickname "Dragon" is an appropriate alias for Maple Grove point guard Angie Davison, a fiery on-court competitor in stark contrast to her fun-loving nature.

"We were coaching in a youth camp and one of the other coaches was giving us nicknames," Davison said. "She looked at me and said 'You'll be Coach Dragon.' It fit. I like it."

Davison talked with Star Tribune reporter Jim Paulsen about expectations for the season and beyond.

Q Maple Grove made a state tournament appearance two years ago but had a difficult season last year. Why?

A We graduated seven of nine players and we were really young. It was a rebuilding year.

Q So you expect to be better this year?

A A lot better. We're a lot more familiar with each other.

Q How is your game?

A I'm better at hitting the jump shot now. I've always liked to create things for others. And I'm looking not to foul so much. I was getting like four fouls a game.

Q Why?

A I love playing defense. It's my favorite part of the game. I like getting up in someone's face and frustrating them. I really enjoy it, but sometimes I get a little too aggressive.

Q What does your defense do for the team?

A Getting defensive stops gets the whole team fired up. In basketball, offense comes from defense and when I'm working hard on defense, it will translate into offense.

Q So you're the kind of player that teammates love but opponents hate?

A [Laughing] Kind of. On my AAU team, there are girls who told me how much they hated playing against me but that now, when we're on the same team, it's so much fun. And then there are some girls on the other teams that I just don't like.

Q What is your AAU team?

A The Minnesota Sun. A few years ago, my team took second in the nation.

Q What is more fun, AAU or high school basketball?

A Probably AAU, because you can be so much more aggressive and it doesn't get called. And I like getting to know girls from other schools. Two of my best friends are girls who don't go to school with me. But high school is fun, too, because you're playing for your school.

Q Where has AAU basketball taken you?

A We went to Orlando for the nationals and we go to Chicago two or three times a year. And every single time we went, our coaches would say we might go to Six Flags [Amusement Park] but we didn't until this year. It was about our 12th time there.

Q You're going to play at Northern Iowa next year. Why there?

A I just love it there so much. It gets me excited just talking about it. My older sister [Stephanie] plays there and when I went down there, I knew right away that's where I wanted to be. When I got back, I wanted to call them right away.

Q Who wins when you and your sister play one-on-one?

A She usually wins because she's a little stronger than me, but I don't go down without a battle.