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Qhall43
09-11-2008, 11:13 PM
The Bulletin's running a look-back at the team that really vaulted the Zags into the national spotlight. Part 1 is this week, it focuses on Santangelo. Pretty decent read...


http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/09/12/Sports/the-Slipper.Still.Fits.Part.1.Of.9.Matt.Santangelo-3428399.shtml

gamagin
09-12-2008, 08:40 AM
the best team in the history of Gonzaga basketball. So far.

Kiddwell
09-12-2008, 09:26 AM
How 'bout a 10th Anniversary Commemoration in the form of...oh, say...a Final Four!

This team just might do it...

:]

75Zag
09-12-2008, 01:11 PM
What a great team. I remember watching them play like it was yesterday. Go Bulldogs!

ZagNative
09-12-2008, 01:49 PM
thanks for picking that up, Qhall43. (Name a pure coincidence, eh? ;) . Maybe a fan of a certain Bahamian on that squad?)

In my effort to refresh my memory about that team, I looked at the followng online story from Sports Illustrated dated March 2, 1999, this morning:

Gonzaga routs Santa Clara 91-66 to reach NCAAs (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/college/news/1999/03/01/gonzaga_sclara/)
"I told the team we were not going to play afraid," Gonzaga coach Dan Monson said. "We were going to dictate this game. We're the best team in the tournament. We just needed to go out and play."

And play they did.

Santangelo, the unanimous tournament MVP, matched his career high with 34 points, Quentin Hall had 19 and Richie Frahm added 18 -- all on 3-pointers.

"Tonight for us they were unstoppable," Santa Clara coach Dick Davey said. "We weren't able to defend them. They were too active and too efficient in their play. They created a lot of problems for us."

With the victory, Gonzaga (25-6) set a school record for victories in a season and secured an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament as the WCC representative. The Bulldogs were coming off a 24-10 campign last season.

Gonzaga was making its fifth appearance in the tournament final. Its only other victory came in 1995, when it went to the NCAA tournament for the first time and lost in the opening round.
....
"I thought our concentration was at an utmost high," Monson said. "We came to play. This is something we have worked for for a year.

"I could tell by the look in their eyes they were not to be denied. Everybody stepped up. To answer the question I've been asked for the last month, I think this gets us in."
...
Gonzaga relied on its outside shooting to build a 40-31 halftime lead, putting in nine 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes.

Santangelo accounbted for four of them, the last coming with 1:40 left to give the Bulldogs a 40-27 lead.
Matt's junior year profile on GoZags.com (http://gozags.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/santangelo_matt00.html).

There are two wonderful photos in the story QHall43 linked. Click on them to see blown-up versions. I have only one photo from Matt during that '98-'99 season, but I like it. It's from the December 9, 1998 game against Washington, according to my labeling.


http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/NBA/Santangelo/1998-12-09MattWashington.jpg

ZagNative
09-12-2008, 02:18 PM
From Dave Boling's Tales from the Gonzaga Hardwood, which you can order from the links here (http://books.google.com/books?id=HA_j7eXp6xsC&pg=PA70&lpg=PA70&dq=tales+from+the+gonzaga+hardwood+santangelo&source=web&ots=g9J8GrM-K3&sig=SZpJV7-bCBR0kIOU1uNj5jeCkqI&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA70,M1) - the source of the following -


The Santangelo Drive
Gather some of the great guards –John Stockton, Dan Dickau, Blake Stepp, Matt Santangelo–and you’d generate about as much conversation as a mime’s convention. The common thread is not their verbal restraint, but their drive and focus.

Maybe these guys have too much on their minds to spend time on chatter. Ryan Floyd arrived as a walk-on from a tiny school, while Matt Santangelo was a star waiting to emerge. But Floyd could see even then why Santangelo would turn into one of the best Zag guards.

“He was just so much more focused than anybody,” Floyd said. “I was there fighting to make the team, and he was kind of the Golden Child, but he worked so hard and was so focused. He was obviously a lot more serious about basketball than the rest of the bunch, which we all totally respected.”

Santangelo was gifted physically, with the vertical capacity to play the game somewhere between the rim and the roof, but also the ball skills and shooting range to pull up and bury one in your face.

“He was as athletic as any guard we’ve ever had,” Bill Grier said.

Casey Calvary, an intense customer himself, was awed by Santangelo’s single-mindedness. “He was always really serious about his game; always focused on achieving in the game” Calvary said. I need to dig further to find out more about the light side of Matt, the not-so-deadly-serious side. But maybe there wasn't a light side. Maybe it was all about focus, all about basketball, 24-7.

ZagNative
09-19-2008, 03:14 AM
From the Online Gonzaga Bulletin September 19, 2008, the feature on Richie Frahm. (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/09/19/Sports/the-Slipper.Still.Fits.Part.2.Of.9.Richie.Frahm-3440910.shtml)

rennis
09-19-2008, 01:36 PM
Matt was one year ahead of me at GU. I had a 300 level religion class with him and even worked together on a couple group discussions, etc. He was very intelligent and well spoken, and you could tell took his faith seriously. (much more so than myself!) He was a good student and a good guy on campus.

Re: his serious side: I once quipped that he couldn't cheat on the test we were taking. He didn't like that. At all. :D

Oh, yeah, and he was amazing to watch play ball. For any of you that never got to see him play in person, I'm sorry. Watching him and Frahm run the back-court for 3 years of my stay at GU was awe-inspiring. As good as our gaurds have been since, nothing compares to their focus, ability, and killer instinct. 99% of the time, one of those guys was going to step up and drain the needed shot. (Anyone remember Matt's last-second heroics against Texas Pan-American in '98? Wasn't that like a 30' 3 pointer at the buzzer?)

Vizagra
09-19-2008, 03:28 PM
Someone should sticky this and update it weekly as new players are featured. This was an awesome read. Being apart of this as a student still gives me chills. I am definitely happy that I went to GU 97-01. Those in my mind were the absolute best years in GU history (and my own)!

ZagNative
09-21-2008, 03:31 PM
From Boling's Tales from the Gonzaga HardwoodAbout Richie, p. 71, which you can read from and purchase online here (http://books.google.com/books?id=HA_j7eXp6xsC&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73&dq=%22richie+Frahm%22+tales+from+the+Gonzaga+hardw ood&source=web&ots=g9J9ErK4K2&sig=H0SWPlO1kH4lRM_QPzZXjN_pQQg&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#PPA71,M1).

An animated Pair

The instant transformation of Rchie Frahm and Mike Nilson from genial teammates to lethal adversaries the second they stepped on the floor caused Mark Few to recall a similarly schizophrenic twosome from Sunday orning television.

“Those two guys always reminded me of that cartoon where the sheepdog and coyote are always really polite to each other, say good morning, and then they punch the clock and then just beat the living daylights out of each other until it’s time to clock out for the day,” Few said. “That was Richie and Mike. They had the most unbelievable battles; no blows were ever thrown, but the battles were incredible.

Coaches, of course, did nothing to discourage the ferocity of the competition, knowing that the players were co-dependents, enablers, pushing the other to game-level intensity eveery afternoon.

“They’d have claw marks and open cuts after practice, and their jerseys would be all ripped up,” Grier recalled.

At times, the battle of wills overtook and obscured what might have been the focus of the drill, or even the tenets of fundamental basketball. This was something different entirely.

“When the two of them went after a loose ball it sometimes ended up not being an issue about the ball at all,” coach Tommy Lloyd marveled. “Richie might have Mike in a headlock and Mike would have Richie’s body wrapped up while the ball was nowhere even near them.”

And Frahm, of course, then returned to the scene of the crimes in the evening to refine his shooting mechanics. But it wasn’t just mindless wrote, taking shot after shot to improve by repetition alone.

“If you watched Richie work, it was exactly what you’d wish every player did,” Few said. “The effort and intensity–even out there by himself–so much that he’d just be dripping sweat. What was important was that he did everything at full speed, so it was like the shots he would get in games. Not that half-speed stuff.”

Terrific pic in the 82-74 second-round win over Stanford at the NCAA Tournament, March 13, 1999, in Key Arena:


http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/NBA/Richie/1999-03-19RichieStanfordNCAA2ndRoun.jpg

Washington Post story (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/colbask/longterm/1999/men/articles/stanfordgonzaga14.htm) about that game:

West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga eliminated the tournament's last remaining Pac-10 team today, upsetting second-seeded Stanford, 82-74, with three-point shots and gritty play. The Bulldogs led nearly the entire game, fighting their bigger opponent inside and holding steady when Stanford tied the game with just over 11 minutes left.

They got key three-pointers from point guard Matt Santangelo and 5-foot-8 guard Quentin Hall, both classic underdogs. Hall's shot made it 66-57 with 3 minutes 20 seconds left, shutting the door on Stanford in the West Region second-round game.

Just to be sure, the Bulldogs made 13 of 16 free throws in the final two minutes – "the longest two minutes of my basketball life," said Coach Dan Monson – and with that, the Pac-10 champions were gone. Upsets in this NCAA tournament are nothing new – 12 lower-seeded teams won in the first round – but Stanford became the highest seed to topple.

"This wasn't a fluke situation for this team," Monson said. "We've been a good team for a while."

The 10th-seeded Bulldogs advanced to the round of 16 Friday in Phoenix, where they will play sixth-seeded Florida. We were a ten-seed playing 300 miles from home. Kind of amazing, in retrospect.

Das Zagger
09-21-2008, 04:22 PM
From Boling's Tales from the Gonzaga HardwoodAbout Richie, p. 71, which you can read from and purchase online here (http://books.google.com/books?id=HA_j7eXp6xsC&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73&dq=%22richie+Frahm%22+tales+from+the+Gonzaga+hardw ood&source=web&ots=g9J9ErK4K2&sig=H0SWPlO1kH4lRM_QPzZXjN_pQQg&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#PPA71,M1).

Terrific pic in the 82-74 second-round win over Stanford at the NCAA Tournament, March 13, 1999, in Key Arena:


http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/NBA/Richie/1999-03-19RichieStanfordNCAA2ndRoun.jpg

Washington Post story (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/colbask/longterm/1999/men/articles/stanfordgonzaga14.htm) about that game:
We were a ten-seed playing 300 miles from home. Kind of amazing, in retrospect.

I was at both the Minn/Stanford games in Seattle with a couple of friends. We were over there for the WIAA basketball games and lucked into GU playing the morning/early afternoon games while our school played the late night games. For whatever reason, the NCAA (or whoever) put the GU fans waaaay up in the rafters, the bigger name schools got better seating. Anyways, friends and I decide to sneak down lower so we parked ourselves in the Florida section as they played after Stanford/GU and some people had yet to show up. We almost make it the whole game, until 3 Florida fans show up wanting to sit down. They came in a bit rude (which, in hindsight, is somewhat expected) so we give up the seats. As a parting comment I drop the "Thanks for the seats, boys. I look forward to Gonzaga kicking the hell out of the Gators next week." The guys just laughed, I don't think they were laughing the next week.

Good times man, good times.

SintoZag
09-22-2008, 04:44 PM
This stuff is great. The bad news is it reminds me that my ten year reunion is coming up next summer :confused:

Zag79
09-22-2008, 07:20 PM
the best zag team assembled as far as getting it done come march. what a gutty performance they put on for us. i remember going to the games that season and what a treat it was. thanks again to kyle for sneaking me and my buds in every home game! ;) my prediction, this years team will make a deep run in march as a nice little symbolic thank you.

bullzag23
09-23-2008, 07:07 AM
Those truly were the glory days....but I'm really thinking they should bring back those unis, I like those better than the new ones.

Qhall43
09-25-2008, 11:02 PM
http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/09/26/Sports/the-Slipper.Still.Fits.Part.3.Of.9.Mike.Nilson-3453833.shtml

ZagNative
10-04-2008, 08:41 AM
Installment #4 - Axel Dench (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/10/03/Sports/Playing.Big.From.The.Land.Down.Under-3468398.shtml)

ZagNative
10-08-2008, 06:59 AM
Sorry - I don't think there's a new installment up yet, but I meant to give some attention earlier to Mike Nilson, from installment 3 of the series (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/09/26/Sports/the-Slipper.Still.Fits.Part.3.Of.9.Mike.Nilson-3453833.shtml)

It was Senior Night in 2000 and the Bulldogs had a large lead late in the second half. As is the tradition, Coach Few called a timeout in order for his seniors to get the applause they deserved from the home fans. Instead of heading straight to the bench, however, Nilson began jogging toward the center of the court. As the Gonzaga faithful watched, Nilson knelt down and kissed the Bulldog emblem at midcourt.

"I was trying to think of a way I could pay my thanks for everything the university had done for me," he said. "I guess it just kind of came to me. I just thought it would be a good idea to kiss the Bulldog because it was kind of a symbol of everything that's great.

"Everything in my life that I strive to be is what a Zag is. I wanted to give my appreciation in front of all the fans that had been so good to me and just make sure they knew that I really felt lucky. I just felt really humbled and blessed to be a part of the Zag community."

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/NBA/Others/MikeNilsonkissingfloorSenioryear.jpg

From page 150 of Boling's Tales from the Gonzaga Hardwood


Spink’s Toughest Zag: Mike Nilson

Mark Spink spent a lot of time in the paint being pinballed around by the powerful Casey Calvary, but for the toughest teammate he could name, it was Mike Nilson, whom he claims to be the strongest man, pound for pound, he’d ever seen.

“When he popped his Achilles’ tendon, there was hardly a tear out of the guy,” Spink said. All he said was, ‘My season is done, you guys have to step it up.’ That just showed the mental toughness this guy had.”

Nilson brought a fearlessness to the floor, too, that won over and inspired his teammates.

“Mike wouldn’t hesitate to challenge anybody, even Casey, because he was a guy who was willing to get his nose dirty and would call guys out if they weren’t playing as hard as they could play.”
WCC Defender of the Year - 1999 - 2000


Nilson's not mentioned in this December 11, 1999 story in Sports Illustrated, (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/college/news/1999/12/11/gonzaga_ucla_ap/index.html) but you have to believe his defensive prowess had a lot to do with the outcome:
Ugly UCLA
No. 11 Bruins set school record in 59-43 loss

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The little school that shocked the NCAA tournament with its run to the Elite Eight last season pulled off another big surprise Saturday.

Reserve Ryan Floyd scored a career-high 17 points, including five 3-pointers, and No. 24 Gonzaga held No. 11 UCLA to its lowest point total ever at Pauley Pavilion in a 59-43 victory.
....
"They just took our heart and our pride from us," UCLA freshman Jason Kapono said. "They started hitting shots and crashing the rebounds and we couldn't answer that. That's when our heart was taken and it was all downhill from there."

With John Wooden watching from behind the bench, the Bruins narrowly avoided the school record for fewest points in a half (14) at Pauley Pavilion when Earl Watson scored their final five points in the last two minutes to give them 17.

"I'm surprised at losing to any team," Watson said. "Almost every game, I think I'm going to win it, especially in Pauley Pavilion."

UCLA (3-1) shot 26 percent for the game -- a school-record low in Pauley -- and had 16 turnovers.

"The odds on us ever shooting the ball this poorly again would be very unlikely," coach Steve Lavin said. "We were probably 19 percent until a couple of late baskets."

ZagNative
10-10-2008, 04:27 AM
The Bulletin (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/10/10/Sports/Remembering.The.Winning.Formula-3480560.shtml)

ZagNative
10-17-2008, 11:38 AM
Online Gonzaga Bulletin: (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/10/17/Sports/Starting.It.All.With.A.TipIn-3493107.shtml)


Starting it all with a tip-in
'The Slipper Still Fits' Part 6 of 9: Casey Calvary
Zach Stratton

Every Gonzaga basketball fan remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when it happened.

For those 15.4 seconds on March 18, 1999, the faithful Bulldog fans around the country stopped everything they were doing, held their breath and watched history unfold in front of their eyes.

Down by one to the sixth-seeded University of Florida in the Sweet Sixteen, 10-seed Gonzaga was coming off a timeout and Richie Frahm took the ball out on the sideline. He found forward Casey Calvary at the top of the three-point line, who passed to Quentin Hall. The speedy guard split the defense and attempted a runner from a step inside the free-throw line.
The shot bounced off the rim and looked as though it were going to fall directly into Florida forward Brent Wright's hands, putting an end to the Zags' magical run.

But Calvary wasn't ready to go home just yet.

As the ball was just inches from Wright's fingertips, Calvary came flying down the middle of the key and elevated over the Florida forward just enough to tip the ball up and into the net.

Florida managed a final shot, an off-balance three-pointer that bounced off the front of the rim as CBS commentator Gus Johnson screamed, "And it's over!...Gonzaga!...The Slipper still fits!" What ensued was a celebration
unlike any other in Gonzaga basketball history, with Calvary right in the middle of it.

Ten years later, Calvary is still known as the person who made the most famous play in Bulldog history. It would be understandable for him to put in the tape of the game every once in a while and relive that moment.Nice pic in the story, too:
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/NBA/Others/Casey/2008-10-17BulletinEliteEightstorySm.jpg
"Casey Calvary throws it down during the Dan Dickau Charity Classic Sept. 5 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The former Zag averaged 9.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game during the 1998-99 Elite Eight run."

Looks pretty good for an old guy, doesn't he?

Read the rest of the story here (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/10/17/Sports/Starting.It.All.With.A.TipIn-3493107.shtml).

ZagNative
11-08-2008, 06:10 PM
Somehow, I got behind in updating the links to the stories in this series, so no need to get fancy, here is the link to the story on Mark spink (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/10/24/Sports/Practice.Paid.Off.For.Underdog.Spink-3504914.shtml).

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/NBA/Others/Spink/20081024MarkSpinkBulletinSmaller.jpg
Practice paid off for underdog Spink
'The Slipper Still Fits' Part 7 of 9: Mark Spink
Zach Stratton
Issue date: 10/24/08 Section: Sports

Mark Spink came to Gonzaga with something to prove. Coming out of high school in Bellingham, Wash., he had received scholarship offers from the University of San Diego and the University of Portland as well as several Division II schools in the Northwest. But Spink knew that he wanted to be a Bulldog, even if it meant he was not guaranteed a scholarship. He would have to earn it, and he was up for the challenge.

"I went through recruiting and through discussions with Coach (Dan) Monson.
He noted that I would not have a scholarship offer my redshirt year, but that I could earn a scholarship through my efforts during my redshirt year," Spink said in an e-mail from his home in Connecticut. "Additionally, there were guys that had done this, so I knew that earning a scholarship wasn't just a pipedream promise."

When Spink arrived on campus in fall 1996, he was 6 feet 7 inches tall and weighed only 169 pounds. He found out immediately that for him to be effective and earn playing time, he needed to get stronger and put on weight.

"The hardest part was the step up in size, strength and quickness," Spink said. "I came into a program with guys like Richie Frahm, who was a 6-foot-5-inch, maybe 200-pound point guard and Axel Dench, who was, in a word, enormous. Whereas in high school, I was often the tallest guy on the court. When I stepped onto GU, I immediately became undersized and under strength."

While he gained 25 pounds and put in his time in the weight room that year, Spink recalls that the most beneficial aspect of his redshirt season was the relationship he developed with Bill Grier, who was an assistant in the program at the time and is currently the head coach at San Diego.

At the time, Grier was a restricted earnings coach and did not travel with the team to away games. Instead, he would stay back with the redshirts, and Spink remembers getting together with Grier when the team was away and scrimmaging older men in the Spokane area.

"Building this relationship was great because as I grew older, and as the coaches turned over, Billy eventually became the lead assistant to (Mark) Few," Spink said. "And because of our existing relationship, there wasn't a lot of the yelling, directing or coaching you'd expect. I understood what Billy was going to say or critique even before he said it."

While Spink gained weight his first year in the program, he was still under-sized. But what he lacked in size, he made up in hustle and effort, becoming a fan favorite over his four years for the constant desire that he played with.

In practices, Monson would split the team in half, putting the starters on one team and the practice players, who did not see much time in the games, on the other. It is this tactic that Spink credits for his ability to always hustle.

"Because clearly the first team was more skilled than we were, guys like Carl Crider, Mike Nilson, Ryan Floyd and myself would have to do our damndest to push the first team as hard as we could, which translated into us having to try our best to outwork them," he said.

By bringing such a high level of effort to practice, Spink thinks it paid off in the long run and translated to a special year in 1999.

"To the extent that we had to hustle to compete with the first team to get a loose ball or to grab a rebound, they in turn pushed harder to pound on us," he said. "We never backed down, and neither did they. The result was that it made everybody just continue to work harder each practice, which translated into the games - well, for the red team at least, they made us proud."Read the rest of the story here (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/10/24/Sports/Practice.Paid.Off.For.Underdog.Spink-3504914.shtml).

ZagNative
11-08-2008, 06:36 PM
'The Slipper Still Fits' Part 8 of 9: Quentin Hall, from The Bulletin (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/10/31/Sports/Doing.Whatever.It.Took-3517452.shtml):

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/NBA/Others/Quintin%20Hall/QuentinHallintheBulletinSmaller.jpg

Doing whatever it took
A fierce competitor, Quentin Hall would 'lie, steal and cheat' to win games
Zach Stratton
Issue date: 10/31/08 Section: Sports

In the winter of 1997, the Gonzaga men's basketball team traveled to Michigan State University for a tournament. In one of the games, the Bulldogs went up against the host team, and the two teams exchanged the lead multiple times before Michigan State finally won on a last-second shot.

As the Gonzaga players filed into the locker room with their heads low, knowing how close they had come to pulling off the upset, one voice could be heard above the rest, encouraging the team to stay positive.

"He was almost kind of laughing, saying,
'Man, that was a great game. I can't believe how great of a game that was,' " remembers teammate Mike Nilson.

Quentin Hall knew that the team had given its all and competed, and if anyone knew what it meant to compete, it was he.

"In practice, just doing drills and stuff, I don't want to say he was lazy, but he was not competitive that way, until it turned into me- against-you or until it was a game," Nilson said. "And then he would lie, steal and cheat to win. I mean it's brutal. I've never seen anyone go to the lengths to win that he does."

Hall, a 5-foot-8-inch guard who captured
the hearts of fans around the country when he helped elevate Gonzaga into the national spotlight during the 1999 NCAA Tournament, found himself at Gonzaga in an unusual way.

Growing up in the Bahamas, Hall did not get much attention from American scouts until one summer when his team was fortunate enough to play in a tournament in Las Vegas. It was there that the Gonzaga coaches noticed the energetic point guard competing and going head-to-head with Jason Terry, the Seattle high school standout and current Dallas Mavericks guard.

When it became clear that Hall's grades would make him ineligible to play at Gonzaga, the coaches encouraged him to take the junior college route. After one year at North Idaho Junior College and another year at Yakima Valley Community College, where current Gonzaga assistant coach Lean Rice was the head coach at the time, Hall finally found himself at Gonzaga.Read the rest of the story here (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/10/31/Sports/Doing.Whatever.It.Took-3517452.shtml).

ZagNative
11-08-2008, 07:05 PM
The Slipper Still Fits' Part 9 of 9: Don Monson (http://media.www.gonzagabulletin.com/media/storage/paper375/news/2008/11/07/Sports/Former.Coach.Monson.A.Bulldog.At.Heart-3531431.shtml)

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/Zags/Mark%20Few/Other%20Coaches/DonMonsonTheBulletinSmaller.jpg


Former coach Monson a Bulldog at heart
Zach Stratton
Issue date: 11/7/08

The 1998-99 Gonzaga men’s basketball team will always be remembered for its run in the NCAA Tournament. To head coach Dan Monson, however, that Cinderella season began with the first game.

After finishing 24-10 the season before and feeling slighted out of an NCAA Tournament at-large bid, the Bulldogs
had the opportunity to start off the ’98-’99 season with a bang by opening on the road against the University of Kansas Jayhawks.

Gonzaga knew it was a good team, and it was not going to back down or allow itself to be intimidated by the national powerhouse Jayhawks. After a close, competitive game, Kansas pulled away for an 80-66 win.

While the loss may have hurt, what happened after the game is what defined the Bulldogs’ season.

“I went into the locker room and I was really upset because I felt like we should have won that game,” Monson said. “And normally, in a situation like that with young people, they don’t understand the opportunity that had gone away.”

“Before I got in the locker room, they were already throwing water bottles and hitting lockers and I knew these guys weren’t just satisfied to play with teams like that, but wanted to beat them.”

Monson’s attitude that his team could compete with anyone in the country was rubbing off on his players, and it was that state of mind that took the Bulldogs all the way to the Elite Eight.

It is every Division I coach’s dream to compete in the NCAA Tournament, and while Monson may have enjoyed it at the time, it was not until he was able to look back on the experience that he was fully able to comprehend just what he had accomplished.

“When you’re in the middle of it, it’s kind of that cliché,
it’s like you’re in the middle of the eye of the storm and you don’t really realize what’s going on around you, until it’s over and you can reflect back, either days or months or years later,” Monson said.

“Almost a day doesn’t go by that you don’t think of it and it doesn’t get more special because every day you realize more and more how hard it was to do that and how it just doesn’t happen every year.”

UberZagFan
11-08-2008, 10:13 PM
10 yrs ago? Really? I'm that old?

Yup.

ZagNative
11-10-2008, 01:56 PM
BUMP! In case you missed the update featuring Quentin Hall over the weekend ...

Vizagra
11-10-2008, 02:32 PM
Great recap on Q. I miss watching that guy. Glad to hear he is doign well in the Bahamas!

MJGoGaels
11-10-2008, 10:38 PM
In the 1958-59 season. Winning the WCAC and losing to Cal who went on to win the national championship under Pete Newell.

So it's our fiftieth anniversary. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959_NCAA_Men's_Division_I_Basketball_Tournament
I think it's time to win a few in March, again.

ZagNative
11-11-2008, 12:25 AM
Congrats, MJGoGaels! Here's hoping you do it again soon with that at-large birth we grudgingly let you have, after we win the regular season championship and the WCC tourney title.

gamagin
11-11-2008, 08:18 AM
and should be required reading.

thanks, all

UberZagFan
11-11-2008, 08:46 AM
In the 1958-59 season. Winning the WCAC and losing to Cal who went on to win the national championship under Pete Newell.

So it's our fiftieth anniversary. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959_NCAA_Men's_Division_I_Basketball_Tournament
I think it's time to win a few in March, again.

It be nice if GU could get a bye into the sweet sixteen this year....