View Full Version : Congrats to the Zags and a big thank you!

03-17-2009, 06:29 AM
As we get ready to head into the final part of the season I would just like to thank the Zags for a great year with lots of memories. This team has grown a lot this year, and I think that that's what has made it fun and interesting. I would also like to congratulate the team for their total body of work this year, and that because it's been so outstanding the NCAA Tournament Committee has awarded the team one of their better seeds in many years. I believe that I feel like the committee. The Zags deserve this seed.

Bracket Sunday was like a game night for me. The build up to the event was as big as an important game. The outcome of the seeding and placement would indeed set the tone for the NCAA tournament. In essence, the Zags' season was being judged, and we all awaited to see what the Committee thought about our team. When the results finally came, I felt like we had won our first tournament game. I felt the results were that positive. The results have also placed the Zags in a very positive light, both in Zag Nation and I bellieve, in America. Suddenly, the Zags are back in the spotlight that they lost in December. We are back in the national conversation of "those little guys who just might be able to do it." The Zags are back, and that's great news. The Zags are certainly not a favorite to win the tournament, nor even a favorite to make the elite 8. But they have returned to their most familiar place, where they are the favorite dark horse. Once again, the Zags have aroused that wonderful place in our mind where we dream once again about being the David who knocks out Goliath. Once again we remember one of our favorite chldhood books, The LIttle Engine That Could. It's been three long years since I've been able to feel what I felt in '06. And for that I am very grateful. One of the greatest feelings in life is having the ability to BELIEVE. And I mean real belief. I can honestly say that I believe in this team.

03-17-2009, 07:21 AM
I believe for those who do believe in the Zags, that their belief is, for the most part, real. I have certainly had my fill this year of all the "kool-aid" talk. It's been fun and interesting to listen to people outside of Zag Nation talk about the Zags, and I'm talking about the basketball pundents. Here are some reasons that I think people bellieve in this team.

1. They are Zags. For some reason Gonzaga is able to arouse those special feelings in millions of people who just want to believe in the "Little Guy." I personally believe that Gonzaga, no matter how good we are, will always be the little guy when it comes to NCAA basketball. The fact will remain, that we are a very small university. And what a group of idealists have done at Gonzaga is truly remarkable. When the little guy becomes as powerful as the giant, the story is truly truly remarkable. People WANT to root for the Zags. People want to believe them. The Zags fulfill a deep inner desire in all "little people" to believe. If March Madness is anything. It is about about this.

2. The Zags have very good talent (the best ever according to Mark Few), are now athletic enough to compete against the BIG BOYS, and are now playing their best basketball of the year. These facts spell confidence, and it's one of the necessary ingredients to move forward in the tournament.

3. These Zags, for the most part, have been considered to be failures for three years. For two consecutive years they didn't make it out of the first round. That spells failure. For most of this season, this team in the eyes of most, have been seen as failures. I heard one a coach of one of the great teams say that "a characteristic of a great team is being able to turn adversity into success." This sums up this year's Zag team to me. I made a statement earlier in the year, when things were going bad for the Zags, that sometimes losing is not always bad. I was highly criticized for that statement. Steve Lavin, one of the announcers in our last St. Mary's game in the conference tournament, said that he thought the turning point for the Zags this year was our loss to Memphis because it really forced the team to take a more honest look at themselves, and see what they needed to do to get where they wanted to go. This Zag team has overcome a lot of adversity in the last 3 years, and it will help them in the tournament.

4. This team is playing solid offense and solid defense, and is ranked in the top ten in both categories (the only team that is). The Zags have been pretty solid all year on defense, as our offense lagged for most of the year. I think our offense has finally caught up, and maybe now even surpassed, our defense. The Zags have become a well-oiled machine, and are playing with a fluidity that I have not seen since '99. The '06 team, as good as it was, did not have the total talent that this team has. There were weaknesses on that team that this team does not have.

5. WE have the players to do it, and can do it if we remember to play as a TEAM, first and always. I think the guys have finally learned that important lesson. Jeremy Pargo and Matt Bouldin are becoming a dang good tandum of combo-guards. Are turnovers have decreased immensly. Micah Downs is now playing as we all hoped he would. He is the only Mac Donald's All American that the Zags have ever had. He's beome a pretty big concern for opposing teams, and he has really helped make us solid in every way. Josh Heytvelt is at the peak of his colegiate game. I am so anxious to see him in the tournament. He has a chance to become one of best centers in America. He's been such a big question mark for this team, and I think he is ready to just be who he is. He's worked so hard, and we finally see the result of all that work. Austin Daye is going to be a very important factor as the Zags begin to prove who they are. It's been a challenging year for Austin, and I think he's come a long ways. If he can hold his own at the 4 spot, the Zags will certainly achieve a lot of success. He needs to stay out of foul trouble, and keep a calm head about him. Austin could be the big surprise of all the surprises in this tournament. Steven Gray is a very solid player off the bench. He's been a starter for much of his two years as a Zag. To have a bench player with his ability is great. He's been averaging about 10 points a game in the last few games, and if he continues to do that, we'll see a lot of success for the Zags. Goodson will fill in for Pargo, and keep him fresh. Goodson is a player we have not had coming off the bench at the point since Quintin Hall in '99. And Ira and Will will have their chances to contribute, and as always, they will do some good things while on the court.

These guys, along with a Great head Coach, and assistant coaches, have made me come to believe in this Team.

03-17-2009, 07:36 AM
If the last two games are an indication of what this team is capable of then I am very optimistic.

What I saw in Las Vegas was a team that when it had SCU and SMC down in the first half, instead of letting up the last 5 minutes of the first half, they kept the pressure on and put them away. They then kept the intensity up in the second half.

03-17-2009, 08:39 AM
I just pray we can shock the world, this year in the dance.... We still get very little respect from BCS teams' fans. I think its just amazing what Gonzaga has become... A tiny non factor of a program, in Spokane Washington, and the national stage for 10 years now? Its hard for me to believe even after all these years.

Go out, give it your all, play your hardest, and shock the world!