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23dpg
03-25-2009, 08:06 AM
I remember that Gonzaga had a good shot at Deon. I found this article but it just gives the headline. Does any one have the inside scoop? Too bad for us. I think he would have been the perfect ingredient to this year's team.

http://heraldsun.southernheadlines.com/sports/18-1130363.cfm

BobZag
03-25-2009, 08:42 AM
Yes, Deon was recruited hard by UNC, Gonzaga, UK and UConn. Those were his four finalists. He visited Gonzaga and really liked it. Few and Staff were selling Deon on the fact that he'd step in for the departed JP Batista, that he was just what GU needed. Zags were fresh off a Sweet 16 and a near-miss on the Elite 8 (UCLA). But the other schools had much to offer, too, and in the end Deon chose UNC. The Zags finished with UK and UConn as runners-up for Deon. Doug Gottlieb's father Bob was Deon's AAU coach in SoCal and stated Gonzaga was in it but Deon just couldn't refuse UNC. Gonzaga gave it their best shot. But nobody could blame the kid for going to UNC.

NJZag
03-25-2009, 09:55 AM
The backstory.


CHAPEL HILL -- There's an alternate universe somewhere out there where Deon Thompson is a member of the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

It was almost this one after the recruiting battle for Thompson came down to the Zags and North Carolina, with the Tar Heels' power forward thinking long and hard about casting his lot with Gonzaga.

"They really have a good close-knit basketball family," Thompson said. "They got close with my mom, and my mom really liked them a lot and I really liked them, too. They have a good program out there."

Ultimately, two things worked against the Zags and for the Tar Heels:

* The West Coast Conference vs. the ACC.

"That was one of the problems -- small conference, small campus," Thompson said. "That was one of the big things."

The relationship that Thompson developed with UNC coach Roy Williams. Thompson still likes Gonzaga coach Mark Few a lot, but he couldn't say "no" to Williams.

"Coach Williams was a big factor in me coming here," Thompson said.

Tyler's home cooking

The distance from Memphis to Poplar Bluff, Mo., is 112 miles, which means Friday's NCAA Tournament game between UNC and Gonzaga will be the closest Tyler Hansbrough has played to his hometown since he suited up for the Tar Heels.

Hansbrough played his homecoming game in St. Louis, which is 128 miles from Poplar Bluff.

As a result, Hansbrough has had to ignore a lot of the calls to his cell phone in the past couple days from folks looking for tickets.

"It's a good thing, but also there's going to be a lot of people who are going to want to come and see you -- you just don't have that much time to see everybody," Hansbrough said. "They'll be a lot of friends that can't always afford a plane ticket out there."

J.J. and Tyler

J.J. Redick called to congratulate Hansbrough on Friday after the UNC senior broke the ACC scoring record, a gesture Hansbrough said he appreciated.

Still, since Redick and Hansbrough didn't really know each other, it begs the question: Was the conversation a little awkward?

"It was a little awkward because I haven't really ever talked to J.J. very much and I didn't really know him much," Hansbrough said. "But when you have a great college player like that call you, it means a lot.

"To kind of push away the Duke and UNC thing -- to try get over that was a little difficult, but it was something you have to grow and do sometimes."


He was highly recruited, and fielded offers from schools that had not received official visits.

http://rivalshoops.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?pr_key=39594&sport=2

COLLEGE CHOICES.......... INTEREST.............. OFFER................ VISIT
North Carolina(signed LOI).. COMMITTED ..........Yes.............. ... 9/30/2005 recruited by Steve Robinson
...................................... (10/5/2005)
Oregon State...................... None ....................Yes................ None
UCLA................................. None ....................Yes................ None
Wake Forest ...................... None ....................Yes................ None
Gonzaga............................. None ....................Yes................9/9/2005
Arizona State...................... None ....................Yes................ None
Connecticut........................ None ....................Yes................ 9/17/2005
Kentucky...................... ......None ....................Yes................10/14/2005