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Section 116
02-08-2009, 10:03 AM
Seth Davis comments at halftime of Purdue-Illinois:

1. Davis says Reggie Theus likely candidate for Arizona job, UNLESS, UA puts together a good enough package, aka, a lot of money, and then Few will take the job. I have my doubts.

2. Davis says he talked to Randy Bennett this morning and he said the best case is Patty Mills is back in time for the WCC tournament. Also says Bennett and St. Mary's athletic director have been in touch with the NCAA to keep them apprised of St. Mary's situation of having a star player out for a while. I suspect St. Mary's is not the only program in the country suffering from this affliction.

ZagAddict
02-08-2009, 10:12 AM
Interesting comments by Seth Davis during the halftime show during the Purdue/Illinois game regarding Few. Is Few growing frustrated with not being able to recruit at the same level and compete with teams like Memphis?

I guess I look at it from a different angle even though it may be hard to see it this way after a devestating loss to Memphis though. Why would Few leave a place like GU, where he is happy, when he's already proved he can compete at an elite level here? I don't agree with Seth Davis on this one... and no Few doesn't chase dollars so it won't matter how much money Arizona throws at him.

Also, Davis mentioned that the Gael's AD and WCC commish have been in constant contact with the NCAA Select Committee to get preferential consideration with Mills being out. Unforturnately, losses speak louder than words and the Gaels continue to lose games in the conference... it will be a mute point after they get swept this week by GU and UP.

ZagAddict
02-08-2009, 10:19 AM
Section 116 beat me to it this morning ;) Quick more coffee :)

MDABE80
02-08-2009, 10:20 AM
116...I don't know why the NCAA should be kept appaised of Mill's injury. Is there some significance to that? As an aside though, Mills is staying shape and working hard. Hand injuries don't preclude working out ( like I should talk.....just occurred to me:(). If he gets his "touch" back, St Mary's could complete hard again.

Amazing what just one guy means to them. 18 pt loss to one of the WCC weaklings doesn't look very good. I wonder if the committee compensates somehow when it chooses teams.

ZagAddict
02-08-2009, 10:31 AM
L's speak louder than words. Does a 9-5 team deserve to get an at-large bid from the WCC conference? I just don't see it. The WCC is so weak this year and going 4-4 (in conference) with Mills out is something that can't be looked past. There are too many deserving teams in the country. Besides, who is St. Mary's marquee win against? Providence???

I know St. Mary's is telling everyone that Mills will be back for the WCC Tournament, but it is realistically more of a season ending injury. If SMC came out and said that though, they would definitely be flushing any hopes of making the NCAA Tournament down the toilet. At least by telling everyone that Mills will be back in March, they can hope to be evaluated by the Selection Committeee with their pre-Mills injury resume.

Birddog
02-08-2009, 10:33 AM
116...I don't know why the NCAA should be kept appaised of Mill's injury.
They need to know if he is likely to play for seeding and/or just team selection. Remember Kenyon Martin? I think Cincy lost a seeding spot because of his loss.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenyon_Martin

MDABE80
02-08-2009, 10:48 AM
Birdmeister.good response. More importantly though.....I listened to the Lee Dorsey "collection" the other night. Made me yearn for kinder days.......when all 400 of us could go to Kennedy Pavillion and get silly ( win or lose) from a beer or two. I hide mine out in the snow under the bleachers.

Better days my friend.......easier days too.....My Dad looks a lot smarter these days;)

wazZag
02-08-2009, 10:48 AM
Anyone else find the "if Arizona can put the money together" talk a bit strange? Granted, Theus would demand less money than Few, as would the other candidate mentioned by Davis (whose name is escaping me), but I don't think the challenge for Arizona to land Few would be money. It's more likely to be issues of getting him to uproot he and his family from a place where they have spent the last 20 years.

gamagin
02-08-2009, 10:50 AM
Interesting comments by Seth Davis during the halftime show during the Purdue/Illinois game regarding Few. Is Few growing frustrated with not being able to recruit at the same level and compete with teams like Memphis?

I guess I look at it from a different angle even though it may be hard to see it this way after a devestating loss to Memphis though. Why would Few leave a place like GU, where he is happy, when he's already proved he can compete at an elite level here? I don't agree with Seth Davis on this one... and no Few doesn't chase dollars so it won't matter how much money Arizona throws at him.

Also, Davis mentioned that the Gael's AD and WCC commish have been in constant contact with the NCAA Select Committee to get preferential consideration with Mills being out. Unforturnately, losses speak louder than words and the Gaels continue to lose games in the conference... it will be a mute point after they get swept this week by GU and UP.


It's a never ending topic. A good, salient, timely, one, however.

Memphis, and other (bona fide) elite schools have a majority of their very best recruits coming to them from places that the Zags only stick their toes into once in awhile and rarely. Even when we do, it's not for a whole team, but a certain individual they hope will not just lead the Zags, but meet the school's standards.

Many of the best of the best also come from situations of poverty, crime, poor family structure, you name it. As such, they are generally not entering a program with myriad issues. The least of them, of course, is the ability to play basketball.

What they have is raw, NBA-like talent. The rest is up to whatever coach it is and school it is that will allow the time and attention and discipline and everything else to get that young man through his sport and that school.

Calipari has mentioned it often. He, like all good coaches, know where to find the best players. It's amatter of how much baggage they may be carrying and what you can realistically do about it. Ask Kelvin Sampson if there are limits.

It's THE core problem for every coach, especially the higher you go, if you hope to stay on top. How do you get the kids at the top of their game & how do you keep them and how do you satisfy all their needs and wants, balancing them off with the schools and everyone else ?

Gonzaga does not, for the most part, deal with this the way others do. It's a choice. But it is also limiting. We saw some of those limitations vs. Memphis.

The question, then, remains. What level do we really want and what are we willing to do to reach it, if the answer is the highest level there is ?

Conversely, if we decided to maintain, what will Few do, having reached about as far as it appears he can with the limitations he has. He says he's happy, but to be brutal, if the Memphis game is the culmination of 10 years of gleening and pruning and growing and coaching, it might just be very discouraging. The game was that stark a contrast, by the time it was over.

I vote we continue to sharpen our skills and our talent and shoot for the moon every chance we get. It is a niche we fill very well. It fits our circumstances very well. It might work one day. In the meantime, we keep on butting up against the elite dam -- until hopefully cracks & bursts one day.

We wind up being the little engine that might, instead of the little engine that could, so far. But I honestly believe that is the plateau we are at.

I have no doubt we will remain there as long as Few is in charge, until we address what it really takes, in energy, money and all of the above, if we hope to sniff the rarest of air among the elite schools more than once every light year.

Hell, we really haven't joined that elusive, exclusive club with a crown. Yet. We've only crashed the party a few times and raised alot of hell in the process.

Perhaps that is our lot. When the smoke clears, we are performing miracles compared to the hundreds and hundreds of other schools who are still hoping and dreaming of winning their conference and/or just making any kind of post-season tournament.

That was us not very long ago.

Maybe we need to remind ourselves of that and take great pride and satisfaction that we have been successful enough to even be able to worry about beating elite teams year after year. And, wonder of wonder, have them seriously worry about playing us.

It's an upper middle class problem among schools and programs that are starving, relatively speaking. No small accomplishment. Not to be ignored. Most certainly, best to be cherished for as long as it lasts.





Go Zags !

CDC84
02-08-2009, 11:53 AM
I know one college basketball analyst who believes that despite the loss last night, Gonzaga is STILL a more talented team than Memphis. He feels that Memphis is not a good offensive team (they could barely score against Tennessee), and that they are winning games with toughness and defense.

Outside of Tyreke Evans, the guys on Memphis' team were no more recruited coming out of high school than what GU has. The problem with this group of Zags is what is taking place above the shoulders. If they approached the game with the mentality of Memphis, they would've won.

roxdoc
02-08-2009, 12:12 PM
Excellent post Gamagin - I for one hope we stick to our current approach. Maybe Sweet Sixteen is our FF most years, with the long chance that if the planets all align and the wind blows from the south we go further. I'm really fine with that, but its hard to keep your composure with the "Rosies" talking FF, and 5 potential NBA recruits!

DixieZag
02-08-2009, 12:34 PM
The first thread that I posted was a question as to whether it would be worth selling our souls and getting a "Carmelo Anthony" type, you know, the absolute for sure "One and Done" type, and win a national championship and my gut says NO. Because it wouldn't be "Gonzaga Basketball" to do it that way. We talk all the time about the GU family, all us alums know what that means, and the basketball team is the same way. I love GU basketball b/c we get to know the kids over years, even Adam played three years. And if we never go to the final four b/c we are not willing to take the kids that will simply be here a year and go, or we are not willing to comprimise our academic standards, then so be it. I can't imagine caring as much as I do about GU basketball if it were any other way. I think Few shares those same values. He is always talking about loving being around "such great kids"-- I don't think he would enjoy being around some of the kids that populate the top 5 nowadays.

Memphis kicked a kid off the team on their way to Spokane by the way, I commend coach Cal for doing so.

RenoZag
02-08-2009, 01:13 PM
Perhaps that is our lot. When the smoke clears, we are performing miracles compared to the hundreds and hundreds of other schools who are still hoping and dreaming of winning their conference and/or just making any kind of post-season tournament.

That was us not very long ago.

Maybe we need to remind ourselves of that and take great pride and satisfaction that we have been successful enough to even be able to worry about beating elite teams year after year. And, wonder of wonder, have them seriously worry about playing us.



QFT.

zag buddy
02-08-2009, 01:29 PM
Great post Gamagin. I basically agree. Either accept the wonderful kids we recruit who have not had the life experiences to develope a "killer instinct, or pay the price to recruit the kids that do.

mdZag23
02-08-2009, 01:56 PM
Personally, I think it is time that Mark Few moves on!

I'd love to have him stay, appreciate the last 10 years he's given us, appreciate his integrity, and I for one am content with what he has been able to accomplish by keeping us a top tier team.

That said, I don't think he or any coach is going to be capable of getting us to a Final 4. Could the Zags get there, sure. But I just think that the deck is stacked against a school of this size at every turn in the road. We recruit well, but not at an elite level and that is the single biggest reason that the UNC's, Dukes, M States, Texas, etc. are who they are and why they are routinely playing in April. Not only do you have to have superior recruiting and athletes, but you have to have incredible luck.

We've had incredible luck and our program has been built around a work ethic and system that has been incredibly fun to watch over the last 10 years.

I think all Zag fans should sit back and enjoy what we have and where we have come from!

Just my 2 cents.

ZagAddict
02-08-2009, 02:06 PM
...That said, I don't think he or any coach is going to be capable of getting us to a Final 4. Could the Zags get there, sure. But I just think that the deck is stacked against a school of this size at every turn in the road.

Absolutely... I suggest we forget about paying for any kind of coaching staff and pull names out of a hat before each game to pick coaches from the crowd in attendance at the MAC. ;)

Few is the best thing that has ever happened to this program. Few will be here for along time, and the GU program will be better for it. Coaches like Few are hard to come by... appreciate what we have :)

MickMick
02-08-2009, 02:13 PM
A thread worth responding to.

The current state of Gonzaga basketball will not be appreciated until it is gone. There are demanding forces at work that are unknowingly accelerating a demise of this program. Considering Gonzaga's (or any small private school) circumstances, there isn't a long term way to do it better. One only needs to look at the frustration of other small school fans to understand this.

How many small schools host "Gameday" to include a non-stop promotion within every televised game leading into a prime time affair against an OOC team that played for a championship in the previous season?

I'll answer that for you....

One

People calling for major change will be the demise of Gonzaga basketball. The Zag's best chance at doing something special is to remain on course. There will be a time when a collection like Calvary, Frahm, and Santangilo or Morrison, Batista, and Ravio will take the floor again. Those collections were much closer than many of you could know.

This just isn't the year. The current collection simply doesn't have "it." The collection will change in one very short year.

bigblahla
02-08-2009, 02:30 PM
People calling for major change will be the demise of Gonzaga basketball. The Zag's best chance at doing something special is to remain on course. There will be a time when a collection like Calvary, Frahm, and Santangilo or Morrison, Batista, and Ravio will take the floor again. Those collections were much closer than many of you could know.

This just isn't the year. The current collection simply doesn't have "it." The collection will change in one very short year.

That's the way I see it too.

We have a good team that for whatever reason sometimes forgets there is a game going on. Not top 10 or top 20 but definitely top 40 depending on matchups.

Let's hope there's no hangover from this on Thursday.

Go!! Zags!!!

El Voce
02-08-2009, 02:42 PM
Gamagin -- Great post! Well thought out and well written.

johnjohn
02-08-2009, 03:02 PM
Hi -- I grew up on Vandy b-ball and went to memphis for engineering school so a like a well thought out system like the G's run on offense.

G's are a smart team. Even smart teams have to change their system during a game.

One thing that I noticed was that Few did not give his boy's a good chance on the O-side of the ball. He may have thought that Memphis was the same team that lost 3 games in the early part of the season. They had to replace 3 players from last year. And if you watched the Tennessee game, well Tennessee got killed, BUT Memphis' poor shooting got them in trouble. Also, they are in state rivals so all bets are off.

Anyway, ZaGs have a nice offense. I think the system is better than Memphis'. In the first half, Few had the Zags do the gaurd pic up top. That is a bad way to go after a Memphis team that spends a good percent of its practices forcing the offense to go wide. That was why the Zag guards did so poorly. The coach did not make a spacing change during this time.

One of the reasons that the Zags had a nice run at the end. Memphis seemed to slow down, too. Was not that the GAURD played better. BTW, he has a long way to go. It was that the coach did a set w/o a gaurd pic. If the coach had done a triangle with the set and passed out to the wing shooter that would have been better. Yes, the gaurd did scorce some, but it had little to do with him.

Bottom, line for me is that G has a good team, the coach did not adjust quickly, Memphis is one of the best althetic defennses in the counrty. If a team is faced with this situation they must be direct and not play up top w/ teh gaurds like the G's did. I think the G's can beat Memphis. The Z's coach needs to give them a chance.

FINALLY, where is the weight lifting program for the G's.

BobZag
02-08-2009, 05:01 PM
A thread worth responding to.

The current state of Gonzaga basketball will not be appreciated until it is gone. There are demanding forces at work that are unknowingly accelerating a demise of this program. Considering Gonzaga's (or any small private school) circumstances, there isn't a long term way to do it better. One only needs to look at the frustration of other small school fans to understand this.

People calling for major change will be the demise of Gonzaga basketball. The Zag's best chance at doing something special is to remain on course. There will be a time when a collection like Calvary, Frahm, and Santangelo or Morrison, Batista, and Dickau will take the floor again. Those collections were much closer than many of you could know.

This just isn't the year. The current collection simply doesn't have "it." The collection will change in one very short year.

Bingo and Bingo. Two points that are spot on. Welcome back. The fellas you named above were very tough, not with fragile psyches. Fans demanding FFs and North Carolina type results will be the fall of Gonzaga's reign. El Voce said it best when he told me at the women's game today that this Gonzaga team is like Popeye: "I yam what I am an' tha's all what I yam, I'm Popeye the sailor man."

theirishzag03
02-08-2009, 05:46 PM
JJ- GUARD
Are we using the same guys Few recruited? Isn't Jeremy the same guy who lit up Ty Lawson. Isn't Josh the same Heytvelt who smashed Hansbrough? Isn't Ira the same "man" who took his JC to the FF and scored 16pts/game? Isn't Austin the same Daye who was listed in the top 5 in 2009 mock drafts last year?

Josh, Jeremy, and Austin have showed signs of previous form. Matt has had a few brilliant games. Micah is a little hit and miss.

But ask yourself this... How much have these guys improved in their time here?
If (Josh, Jeremy, Austin ) were your son, would you be happy with their progress?

Who has REALLY taken their game to the next level? Did the entire core of this team "peak" as freshman and sophomores?

Micah and Ira haven't really had consistent minutes to prove much, but they both have at least been great examples of "team" players not whining or complaining about getting screwed while others putting up half the effort get 30 plus minutes a game.

odeasmcgu
02-08-2009, 06:53 PM
These are such interesting types of posts...

Over in Gael land the same debate has begun as to whether or not RB should be let go or to "let him walk."

What I find interesting is that both programs really are facing similar crossroads type of situations. Here are two teams who had really high hopes for this season, GU being a final four prediction by some and SMC stated by most to be a lock in the tournament. And here we are three months later, after disasterous double digit losses, one to a team which I still believe GU is better than and the other to our archrival, without an injured star player.

Because of all the disappointment we have begun to ask outselves "what went wrong, how could this seemingly surefire season get screwed up." Naturally we are looking for scape goats. Here's the thing, I don't think changing coaches is the answer.

One of the biggest reasons for success is good continuity. Look at our conference, the two most successful programs over the last 8 seasons are SMC and GU...It shouldn't be missed that during that time both schools have had one coach and very little assistant turnover. On the otherhand, look at Loyola (four coaches Gervais, Tention, Bayno, and the new guy) or Pepperdine (Westphal, Wahlburg, Ashbury) or even USF. Those teams are in siginificantly worse shape then either SMC or GU.

The problem isnt coaching for either team...Contrary I think both teams have been really unlucky and in a midmajor type program where certain positions are at a premium an injury will significantly hurt you. Last night the Zags suffered from dribble drive penetration all night. What if Sacre were there to help clog the middle, things may have been different. Or what if SMC had Mills, thing would have been different.

Bennett and Few have exceeded expectations relative to each program and although they should shoulder the blame, a call for their heads has no validity. Look at the talent they have brought in. No way ten years ago Downs, Pargo, Meech, or Daye show up in Spokane. In Moraga no way Simpson, Samhan, or Mills get there. These are good coaches with good records and guys who bring continuity to the program. Like many of you have said, you won't understand until you dont have it anymore.

bballbeachbum
02-08-2009, 07:23 PM
Like how gamagin put it..."the little engine that might ".........

Have got to keep fighting, man, keep the faith. Attempting to develop, or better, to create what would sate the expectation of an elite program is not a little hill to climb...but keep climbing!

That expectation bugs me anyway, but that's for another discussion.

GO ZAGS!!!

rawkmandale
02-08-2009, 11:02 PM
This is perhaps a "classic thread." We do save those, correct? Character really is important. "It is not important whether you win or lose, but how you play the game." So simple, so true, so easy to forget. I'd like to see Mark Few put in another 30 years here as our head coach - end up in the NCAA Hall of Fame. I like stability. I like consistent quality, even if that means bringing in the character kid, not the NBA thug. I'm really proud of the guys that wear the Gonzaga uniform. I like those kids. I wish them well, win or lose. They took responsibility for the lack of execution against Memphis, and plan to improve it. That attitude is missing from so much of our society.

DixieZag
02-09-2009, 06:39 AM
On Thursday night we played about as well as we could play, Matt demonstrated huge improvement, Pargo was at the top of his game, Austin was blocking shot after shot, Josh was huge inside.

Oh, I know, I know, it was just a WCC game. Well, winning our league has to be a priority and THAT WAS A GAME WE COULD HAVE LOST, for as well as Portland played, and their confidence level, and as I keep repeating, Portland could have beaten many many "Good Basketball teams" that night, however you want to define it.

Now many so called Zags are questioning Few and the team, how typical. I agree that if the focus is on a NC or the FF, then we will ruin what we have. It is not time for Few to move on!!! In fact, with all the openings, it is time to re-do his contract, extend it with a little more money, justified by how much his success has done for the university. I remember in 1999, enrollment was way down, now the school is more selective than ever in its enrollment, its not a coincidence. Our women are beginning to follow up on the success of the men's program, it goes on and on, but the roots are in the family, and the head of the family is Few and his staff.

dpouley
02-09-2009, 12:00 PM
But ask yourself this... How much have these guys improved in their time here?
If (Josh, Jeremy, Austin ) were your son, would you be happy with their progress?

Who has REALLY taken their game to the next level? Did the entire core of this team "peak" as freshman and sophomores?


Look at things a different way, maybe those games that we all witnessed were flashes of greatness. Flashes of players playing a bit out of their heads or a bit above their actual talent level. Maybe not. But in my opinion, you do not measure a player and what you should expect from them based on their very best game.

If that was the case then people would be disappointed when Kobe doesn't score 81, or when LeBron does not put up a triple double with over 50 points. The point is, to measure the ability and the production that a player gives you you have to look at more than one game.

To take Josh, Jeremy and others on this team and expect them to play how they did one time against UNC in Madison Square Garden might not be fair. It may be more telling to look at how Josh played at home this year against USD (what I think was one of his best games this year, but hardly what we saw against UNC.)

I do believe that we have seen progress and development in Jeremy's game. This year he seems to have some issues with what is going on between his ears, but all in all he has developed tremendously and is an excellent point guard. Josh is a little harder to judge because of his health and his legal troubles, but I still believe that neither can be held to an expectation that is the absolute best that they have ever done.

gamagin
02-09-2009, 03:32 PM
well said. thanks.

theirishzag03
02-09-2009, 03:51 PM
By the time you are a senior you should be consistent! You should be better! Josh has had a few great games since UNC, 22 RB game vs. Pepperdine etc, Jeremy had great games through the OSC and again at Portland, and Austin is having a bit of a sophomore slump (injury or ?) over 90% FT to under 75%, but has taken over a few times this year. Matt was the most consistent until Memphis.

Lots of guys need a "Checkup from the Neck up" including the one in charge

MississppiZag
02-09-2009, 04:29 PM
Austin Daye is having a sophomore slump? His PPG is up from 10.5 to 13.4, RPG up from 4.7 to 7.2, BPG up from 1.6 to 2.2, and his FG% is up.

What is your idea of a slump?

Also a sidenote. I was surprised to see that Austin has 6 double-doubles.

theirishzag03
02-09-2009, 05:07 PM
His numbers are up, but so are his mpg...also up are his tantrums

Also down is his FT%

PattheZag
02-09-2009, 07:23 PM
I don't know what Ernie Kent's contractual situation is at Oregon, but given that he's 0-12? in the Pac-10, and given that Few would probably love that job, I think we may need to get used to the idea that Few will move on after this year, and that the Leon Rice/Tommy Lloyd era may be next.

I've felt for several years that Few has a limited vision of what can be accomplished on the basketball court, and it's time to let someone else give it a try. I get the impression that he's very frustrated with the team's inconsistency, but has no clue how to get past it.

GeorgiaZagFan
02-10-2009, 01:07 AM
..... or we are not willing to comprimise our academic standards, then so be it. I can't imagine caring as much as I do about GU basketball if it were any other way. I think Few shares those same values. He is always talking about loving being around "such great kids"-- I don't think he would enjoy being around some of the kids that populate the top 5 nowadays.

Memphis kicked a kid off the team on their way to Spokane by the way, I commend coach Cal for doing so.

The fact that this kid was even on the team IN THE FIRST PLACE lets you know the difference between Memphis and Gonzaga!!! Simpkins came to Memphis with a history of discipline and academic issues. He bounced around to six different high schools and prep schools around the country, and his transcript did not pass through the NCAA Eligibility Center until mid-December.
I'd rather have what we have than what Memphis has any day of the week ... and that includes playing in the National Championship game.