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View Full Version : Few was the force in the Monson years



cggonzaga
03-22-2008, 05:33 PM
False statement and I'm tired of hearing it. Mark and Bill were the X's and O's guys and frankly Mark still should be. I have said this all year and will again one final time. A coach in any sport at any level needs to be first and foremost a motivator. That is not Mark's strong point. Mark is a great recruiter with HUGE assistance from Tommy Lloyd. Mark WAS a great X's and O's guys while he was an assistant. I don't know what happened to the offense this year but I've never seen a Gonzaga team move as little as this team did this past season. And no, that is not the players fault. Mark really needs to step back and try to learn from his mistakes, especially in game situations. He also needs to get out of the habit of not playing his best players. I don't know if it's ego, trying to prove a point or just not seeing his talent. The same standards need to be held for every player on the team. Anyone that has watched this team this year knows that Matt Bouldin and Josh Heytvelt are not treated equal by Mark. Neither one was very good this season yet Matt was hardly ever taken out of a game while Josh was pulled the instant he made a mistake. As someone previously pointed out, if we don't start winning NCAA tournament games soon, the recruits will stop coming.

Dan Monson was a great motivator and his players truly liked him. Players will play harder for a coach that they trust and respect. Please don't suggest that Few was the reason for Dan's success. Yes he was a part of it, as was Billy, but Dan was the one that got those players to play to the best of their abilities every time out.

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 06:00 PM
Um, Dan took the University of Idaho to the dance. That was an accomplishment in itself.

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 06:15 PM
Boy, I wish I could remember the year. I was around 16, 17 or 18. I know because I went to all the games and I lived here a long time.

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 06:17 PM
My bad! It was his dad.

xjzico
03-22-2008, 06:17 PM
It was Don, Dan's father.

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 06:19 PM
From WIKI

1981-82 season
The 1982 basketball team was the most successful in the school's history, and has yet to be surpassed. Building upon the success of the previous season, the Vandals won their first 16 games and went 24-2 in the regular season. They defeated Gonzaga, all four Pac-10 teams from the Northwest. They won the eight-team Far West Classic in Portland in late December 1981, winning all three games by at least 19 points (over Iowa State, Oregon State, and Oregon).

Their 26-2 record after the Big Sky tournament (& ten straight victories) earned the Vandals a #8 national ranking and a #3 seed in the West region of the 48-team NCAA tournament, which included a first round bye.

Idaho's first game (in the second round) was nearly a home game, conveniently played just eight miles west in Pullman, Washington on a Sunday afternoon. The opponent was 16th-ranked Iowa of the Big Ten, the region's #6 seed, then coached by Lute Olson. Iowa, a Final Four team two years earlier, had won their first round game handily, but Idaho won this close game by two points, 69-67 in overtime, and advanced to the Sweet 16 at the West regional in Provo, Utah. [3] [4]

There the Vandals met the nation's fourth-ranked team, Oregon State, the #2 seed in the West region. Idaho had defeated the Beavers by 22 points in December at the Far West Classic in Portland. This time the result was far different, as the Beavers prevailed 60-42. OSU was defeated two days later by the region's #1 seed Georgetown, led by freshman center Patrick Ewing. (Georgetown would advance to the national final, where they lost by a point to North Carolina.)

The Idaho Vandals finished the 1982 season at 27-3 (.900), and were ranked as high as #6 in the nation (AP poll) in mid-January, when they were still undefeated. The 1982 starters were guards Kenny Owens (6'0") and Brian Kellerman (6'5"), forwards Phil Hopson (6'6") and Gordie Herbert (6'6"), and center Kelvin Smith (6'6"). Just before their two losses in January, the team was featured in a two-page article in Sports Illustrated. (team photo)

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 06:20 PM
Obviously Dan and Don were both great coaches.

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 06:23 PM
Please don't suggest that Few was the reason for Dan's success. Yes he was a part of it, as was Billy, but Dan was the one that got those players to play to the best of their abilities every time out.

I don't know much about Few's early years, but Dan and Don were incredible coaches and I would think that Few learned a lot from them. Not the other way around.

cggonzaga
03-22-2008, 06:38 PM
I too have been in on a few inside conversations (from players standpoint) and can tell you the players liked playing for Monson much better than Few. Kind of like arguments about players around here, don't put down one coach to make another look better. Monson took us to the Elite 8 period.

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 06:43 PM
I am not knocking either coach. I can tell you that the players loved playing for Don down here at the UI and we have never ever seen anything like it before or after. Imagine the University of Idaho in the sweet 16? It is hard to believe. It took a very very special person to do that. It was a miracle.

zagco
03-22-2008, 06:56 PM
What's Giacoletti's reputation? X's and O's, recruiting, and/or motivator?

applezag
03-22-2008, 07:30 PM
Some were disappointed to see Monson go, but I would venture to say (and I was around those days) a majority were either neutral or even glad to see the change that occurred when he left. That really doesn't mean a whole lot, though, about who is the better coach. It is definitely a misrepresentation to say that Few was the brains of the operation doing all of the X's and O's. Those duties were shared. Monson was more of your stereotypical fiery motivator, but that's not the only way to motivate. If that were the case, Wooden would have been a terrible coach.

I think you can draw an obvious conclusion about the experiences of both Few and Monson. It is not the same working with what is perceived as better talent and higher level teams. You can't settle for lesser talent, but the issue of motivation is much more complex when you have players who have highly advanced skills from day one. It is also worth noting the success Billy has had this year with USD with a very unheralded group (in fact, far less talent than GU had when they started regular appearances in the NCAAs). It's amazing what players can do when they are motivated and bonded by the fact that they were not appreciated by the schools they are going up against and know that the greatness they will achieve together will always surpass that they can achieve individually.

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 08:00 PM
Oh, I think it hurt GU when Billy left. There is no doubt that the kids loved him and he loved them. Thinking back on it - Monson, Few, Billy all have their strengths. You need an scarey eye a hugger and a motivator. Hopefully Few can find that because we need a billy or a monson too.

cggonzaga
03-22-2008, 08:23 PM
It's amazing what players can do when they are motivated and bonded by the fact that they were not appreciated by the schools they are going up against and know that the greatness they will achieve together will always surpass that they can achieve individually.


Agreed Apple. Few wasn't the motivator of the 98 team. He definitely doesn't motivate this team which I understand would be more difficult because of the level of player now. He has to figure it out though if any of these teams are going to succeed past the first couple rounds of the tournament.

rennis
03-22-2008, 08:41 PM
Agreed Apple. Few wasn't the motivator of the 98 team. He definitely doesn't motivate this team which I understand would be more difficult because of the level of player now. He has to figure it out though if any of these teams are going to succeed past the first couple rounds of the tournament.

or change the Xs & Os if that's what needs to happen. GU's success in the last decade has been built around athletic post players that play well with their back to the bucket and a point guard that can bomb the rock from 3. We didn't have either this year.

Considering that fact, not a bad year really...

On the flip side, we have many other talents, they just need to be taken advantage of. I really think that will happen in the 2008/2009 season.

Zerogame
03-22-2008, 11:34 PM
It is obvious from what I read that if you don't make it to the second round It's time to be sent packing. Duke should have gotten rid of Coach K long ago. Kruger at Las Vegas, Brey of Norte Dame... it's off with thier heads! It's pretty damn obvious they can't motivate either. Good riddance to Few and his like.

zagco
03-23-2008, 07:09 AM
Are there any other successful coaches that are not motivators? If so, how do they handle that part of the job--see that it gets done?

applezag
03-23-2008, 08:10 AM
Every coach motivates, but not all in the same way. Just because a guy isn't overly demonstrative on the sideline or doesn't make dramatic speaches in the locker room does not mean he doesn't motivate. This aspect of coaching is one that the public often underestimates the challenge and complexity of. It is really easy for all of us to watch players play in what appears to be an uninspired fashion and say "the coach isn't motivating his team", but it happens to the best of them and is much more easily said than done. For what it's worth, some of those teams in the 2000-2004 period played as hard as any Zag teams and they were coached by Few.

As to the point about the player liking the coach and playing harder for him because they like him, it's kind of a moot point for two reasons. One, there are plenty of great coaches who are not liked by their athletes (think Bill Parcells). Second, that is just not the case with Few. I have been around the program and spoken with many players and families. I have never heard a complaint about Few from them. I haven't spoken with him directly, but from what I've heard and read even a guy like PMac won't bash Few. For all the complaining on this board about Daye's PT this year there is no resentment in that direction either. In my estimation Few has a great relationship with his players--even those who are on a short leash.

As to the question of are there any successful coaches who are not great motivators?... I don't think so. They all motivate but in different ways. There are plenty who do not strike us as the Knute Rockne style rah-rah motivators who found other ways to motivate their teams. Another that comes to mind locally is Don James.

webspinnre
03-23-2008, 09:04 AM
I'm confused... Is this thread suggesting that Mark Few isn't the right fit as GU's coach? If so, then that's absurd. If it's suggesting that he's got weaknesses as a coach, well, that's fine, as all coaches do. But, if we lost Few, we'd have some problems, as there's no way we're going to get a better coach to replace him.

johnwzag
03-23-2008, 11:12 AM
I'm confused... Is this thread suggesting that Mark Few isn't the right fit as GU's coach? If so, then that's absurd. If it's suggesting that he's got weaknesses as a coach, well, that's fine, as all coaches do. But, if we lost Few, we'd have some problems, as there's no way we're going to get a better coach to replace him.

I was not suggesting that. Only that Billy and Monson were assets.

bigblahla
03-23-2008, 11:18 AM
if we lost Few, we'd have some problems, as there's no way we're going to get a better coach to replace him.

I'm not advocating Coach Few leaving GU but I do not believe that the above statement is true. We are fortunate to have coach Few but as I said in an earlier post on a different thread. The sun does not rise or set because of Mark Few. No one man is GU basketball it was here before him and will be here after him.

Go!! Zags!!!

LongIslandZagFan
03-23-2008, 11:47 AM
False statement and I'm tired of hearing it. Mark and Bill were the X's and O's guys and frankly Mark still should be. I have said this all year and will again one final time. A coach in any sport at any level needs to be first and foremost a motivator. That is not Mark's strong point. Mark is a great recruiter with HUGE assistance from Tommy Lloyd. Mark WAS a great X's and O's guys while he was an assistant. I don't know what happened to the offense this year but I've never seen a Gonzaga team move as little as this team did this past season. And no, that is not the players fault. Mark really needs to step back and try to learn from his mistakes, especially in game situations. He also needs to get out of the habit of not playing his best players. I don't know if it's ego, trying to prove a point or just not seeing his talent. The same standards need to be held for every player on the team. Anyone that has watched this team this year knows that Matt Bouldin and Josh Heytvelt are not treated equal by Mark. Neither one was very good this season yet Matt was hardly ever taken out of a game while Josh was pulled the instant he made a mistake. As someone previously pointed out, if we don't start winning NCAA tournament games soon, the recruits will stop coming.

Dan Monson was a great motivator and his players truly liked him. Players will play harder for a coach that they trust and respect. Please don't suggest that Few was the reason for Dan's success. Yes he was a part of it, as was Billy, but Dan was the one that got those players to play to the best of their abilities every time out.

What a friggin' joke of a post. How many other coaches have 3 Sweet 16s under their belts in only the first 9 years? How many other coaches were withing 2-3 points of 2 more sweet 16s in those same 9 years and you have the nerve to say he can't coach or motivate?!?!?

Tell you what, why don't we fire him and hire you since you know so much about it. In the words of John Stossel. GIVE ME A BREAK!

bigblahla
03-23-2008, 12:11 PM
I appreciate the PM and advice LIZF.

Go!! Zags!!!

alaskazagnut
03-23-2008, 12:54 PM
Coach Few is doing a great job. We jsut lost. We have not fully recovered from the Josh and Theo episode. Our momentum, team chemistry, and coaching plan that Few had created was completely shook up. Now the entire program needs to step it up a notch. We shouldn't try and fix what is not broken but we do need the the entire program to adjust for the depth we will have as a team. Since the talent is pretty solid across the bench I might suggest we stick with guys who are most familiar with each other and set up the team with 2 mini teams or sub teams.

Few could have 2, 5 man rotations and when one goes out all of them go out. Talk about matchup problems and tired legs for the opponents.

Starting 5

Sacre
Heytvelt
Pargo
Gray
Downs

Bench 5

Daye
Bouldin
Ira!
Gurganious
Foster

the freshman coming in can rotate around in team 3.

Obviously this is not practical or feasible but I like the idea of guys becoming very familiar with each other and building confidence to know what the other guys are always going to do.

To those who are attacking frivolous ideas and condemning alternate opinions please just remember basketball is supposed to be fun.

Few had TOO MUCH talent to work with and he has to grow as a coach just as other human beings have to do when they learn.

I think even Coach K will be the first to admit that even he will never stop learning or ever stop making mistakes. I LOVE COACH FEW!!!

LongIslandZagFan
03-23-2008, 06:47 PM
LIZF. For you to call someone eles post a joke is ironic. Do you ever read any of your own posts? Please feel free to neg rep me as much as possible.


Since when have I ever called for the firing/ripped a coach to shreds over one game. It was just that one game. If that was an attempt at calling moronic then bravo to you. If you think that anyone on here telling us how bad our coach is due to losing a tourney game is highly intelligent then please extrapolate a touch more. I guess Coach Thompson just can't motivated his kids. I guess he ought to lose his job as well.

I could care less what you think of me King... really. If you'd like to think I am a moron then so be it... at least at most points up until this post you have the common sense to keep it to yourself. But when I see people jump all over the kids and the coach(es) for one game against an inspired Davidson team... then I guess I let my emotions get the better of me.

To take one game or even a handful of tourney games as a basis for everything is a joke. Duke hasn't gotten past the first weekend two years in a row, heck they were lucky to get past game 1 again this year. I would hardly begin to think that people in K-town are looking to get rid of Coach Mike. My daughter has been watching the games with me. Her main comment was how close almost every single game is. IMHO, in King's eyes its a moronic opinion so I guess I should say IMMHO, when you are in ANY game that is that close at the end, it could go either way. That is the beauty and the curse of March Madness. Which, by the way, is what my intelligent 12 year old said to me... "I guess that is why the call it March Madness".

But by all means lets get rid of Coach Few and all the kids we have now and start over if that is what we all want.

TrueLiz
03-23-2008, 10:23 PM
Who still consistantly gets his team to the big dance???

I've been in on a few inside conversations...

consensus is that Few WAS the force, not Dan...

Monson has not been to the dance since 1999...

Do the math.

Just one little correction - during Dan Monson's tenure with the sanctions ridden Gophers up here in Minnesota, they did get to the Big Dance in 2005, but bowed out early against Iowa St. in the 8/9 game. But they were there to close out the last season of the sanctions that had been hanging on the team since the 1999 season began, so Monson did have one trip since the Zags Elite 8 run.

cggonzaga
03-24-2008, 08:10 AM
Hey LIZF, how about before you fly off the deep end again, you re-read the original post. It is in defense of Mr. Monson who has taken this program further than any other coach here. Also, please speak to some former players and current if you have access and see what they think of Mr. Few as a "motivator". Believe it or not LIZ but not everyone on this board has to be in love with Mark. If you believe he is without flaws as a coach than you have every right to feel that way but I also have every right to feel the way I do. And while I am a basketball coach and would love to be able to coach in college I don't believe I ever once said I could do a better job did I? Some people on this board, especially the "Zags for lifers" need to chill out a bit. Just because you may have been around longer and our in complete love with the program doesn't necessarily make you greater fans.

LongIslandZagFan
03-24-2008, 08:27 AM
Hey LIZF, how about before you fly off the deep end again, you re-read the original post. It is in defense of Mr. Monson who has taken this program further than any other coach here. Also, please speak to some former players and current if you have access and see what they think of Mr. Few as a "motivator". Believe it or not LIZ but not everyone on this board has to be in love with Mark. If you believe he is without flaws as a coach than you have every right to feel that way but I also have every right to feel the way I do. And while I am a basketball coach and would love to be able to coach in college I don't believe I ever once said I could do a better job did I? Some people on this board, especially the "Zags for lifers" need to chill out a bit. Just because you may have been around longer and our in complete love with the program doesn't necessarily make you greater fans.

What do I need to re-read? Three Sweet 16s and being close to 2 more is somehow a testament to how he cannot motivate the players? You really can't be serious. As to whether I need to talk to a current player, all I need do is look at the recruiting classes that are and have been coming in and how every recruit makes a point of seeing how much of a family they are. Just because his approach to motivating is not yours doesn't mean you are right.

No you don't need to be in love with him, but give us all a break in your total dismissal of him... you just make yourself look silly at best. Your points about how players are treated are based on what you see in games and not what is seen in practice and what is actually happening. If you actually thought that Mark would sit Josh out of spite, or what have you, then you are truly mistaken. Josh was NOT healthy nearly all season even after he came back from the foot injury. He REQUESTED to come off the bench. He GOT progressively more minutes as the season went on... but he still has had lingering stamina issues that stayed with him all season.

I coach as well and I could second guess substitutions I have made with the best of them... but if you know the team like he does and are part of the interaction with the player in the locker room and on the bench then you have a better idea of where they are at on any given day. Sorry, I trust him more based on his actual track record.

cggonzaga
03-24-2008, 09:20 AM
What do I need to re-read?

The fact that it was in defense of a former coach who apparently many around here give no credit to despite the fact that he took us to our only Elite 8 appearance and was 4 points away from taking us to the Final Four. How quickly people forget.

As far as Few being a motivator goes, he's not dealing with the same talent anymore as the Sweet 16 teams. The kids we get now are blue chip players that were not only the best players on their high school teams but some in their states. Egos and attitudes are much different than the players we used to get that had chips on their shoulders. Few needs to learn how to mesh them all together and motivate the ones that end up having to go from All Americans to sitting on the bench. If you think he's done a good job of that than maybe I'm not the "silly" one afterall.

IUWestCoast
03-24-2008, 09:30 AM
Keep the negative talk up, regarding Few. He would be perfect for IU's opening. Monson was a great coach that went to the wrong Bit Ten, with no chance of winning. Few would not have that problem at a school, like IU, that is one of the top five elite programs in the country.

gum797
03-24-2008, 05:13 PM
Since when have I ever called for the firing/ripped a coach to shreds over one game. It was just that one game. If that was an attempt at calling moronic then bravo to you. If you think that anyone on here telling us how bad our coach is due to losing a tourney game is highly intelligent then please extrapolate a touch more. I guess Coach Thompson just can't motivated his kids. I guess he ought to lose his job as well.

I could care less what you think of me King... really. If you'd like to think I am a moron then so be it... at least at most points up until this post you have the common sense to keep it to yourself. But when I see people jump all over the kids and the coach(es) for one game against an inspired Davidson team... then I guess I let my emotions get the better of me.

To take one game or even a handful of tourney games as a basis for everything is a joke. Duke hasn't gotten past the first weekend two years in a row, heck they were lucky to get past game 1 again this year. I would hardly begin to think that people in K-town are looking to get rid of Coach Mike. My daughter has been watching the games with me. Her main comment was how close almost every single game is. IMHO, in King's eyes its a moronic opinion so I guess I should say IMMHO, when you are in ANY game that is that close at the end, it could go either way. That is the beauty and the curse of March Madness. Which, by the way, is what my intelligent 12 year old said to me... "I guess that is why the call it March Madness".

But by all means lets get rid of Coach Few and all the kids we have now and start over if that is what we all want.

I am confused, where does cg or someone else say fire Few? I am so tired of reading posts like the ones by LIZF. Why is it that when there is a post criticizing Few, people go off and post comments like "what a friggin joke" and misquote them throughout their comments. People like you need to relax and understand that not everyone has a man crush on Mark Few and that more people than you think agree with the original poster.