View Full Version : Fran Fraschilla Blog on GU

12-01-2008, 12:14 PM
A nice take on GU's play in the OSC:

Gonzaga shows some toughness
Gonzaga's win over Tennessee in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic showed me something I've been looking for in the Zags: a high level of defensive intensity.

The Zags have as much offensive firepower as anyone in the country except a healthy North Carolina team. Six different players can score 20 points on any given night. They can score in a variety of ways, as coach Mark Few ensures they share the ball.

Sunday, they went toe-to-toe with a Tennessee team that handled them easily in Seattle a year ago. In that game, the Vols scored 28 points off 18 Zags turnovers and chased down almost every loose ball.

This time it was different. Seniors Josh Heytvelt and Jeremy Pargo provide an inside-out combination of toughness and leadership that will be as important as all of the scoring ability the Zags possess this season.

You always can count on the Zags to win 23 or more games, blow through the West Coast Conference and reach the NCAA tournament, where the past two years they have been bounced in the first round. There's a different vibe about this team this year. They are no longer a "Cinderella" program, but a little of the grit that helped build the program before guys such as Matt Bouldin, Pargo and Austin Daye came to Spokane, Wash., is a really good thing for March and April.

This will be a fun team for Few to coach.

12-01-2008, 12:26 PM
This will be a fun team for Few to coach.

And for us to watch!

As Fran was calling Maryland and Tennessee, he was reluctant to fully embrace the Zags' potential for a deep run; old uncertainties tested by time lingered on his mind. It's nice to see him come around.

The guys are earning their respect.