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VinnyZag
11-04-2009, 06:41 PM
Good read. Gray sounds like he's responding to Few's prodding:

“We’re trying to get to some sort of middle ground,” Gray said. “I realize I’ve got to step out of my comfort level. I need to talk a little more.”

Read the rest here:
http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2009/nov/04/gray-changing-in-many-ways-at-gonzaga/

Nevtelen
11-04-2009, 07:55 PM
This is a great feature and a nice read about Gray.


“Doing things different, I guess,” said Gray, a junior guard from Bainbridge. “Growing my hair out. Longboarding (a variety of skateboarding) places. My outlook on life in general.

“I’ve changed a little since I got here. I just feel there’s a lot more to life than basketball. Everyday things.

“I like to experience things. I guess that’s what’s kept me level-headed over the years in basketball. Breaking it down, it’s just a game.”


I'm not sure this bodes well for his game this season - guys that do the best are perhaps the 'lock themselves in the gym' type, or guys who are close to it. Distraction and significant interest in other areas during the season do not help anyone develop into a great player. Perhaps I'm wrong about that with Gray. We'll certainly see.

BUT, OTOH, I also think that this is primarily what the college experience is all about - fundamentally changing the way you look at the world and trying out new things you never would have tried before. It sounds like Gray is doing exactly that. Developing this way as a person, IMO, is a lot more important in the long run than developing as a bball player.

If only he could make a bunch of 3s while doing it... :p

MDABE80
11-04-2009, 09:39 PM
If he goes "Zack" on us, he should redshirt immediately!!! Manny!!... saddle up bro. Sounds like Steven's not going to be focusing on D1 ball. This is a shame but kids will be kids.

Somethings up and has been for a while. Hope he shakes it. These days, focus and training rule. If a kid wants to excel, basketball and studying is about all there's time for in a high end D1 program.

I know, I know...I sound too hardcore.....afterall....this is college right? I bet Few's happy he's got Manny though.

GU32
11-04-2009, 11:56 PM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3192/2786277180_526137f655.jpg


“He never talks about winning and losing but rather about the effort to win.” Bill Walton talking about John Wooden.

LongIslandZagFan
11-05-2009, 06:08 AM
Wow... some of you are certainly exercising some creative thinking. Only one quote you need to take out of the interview to get a feel for where his mind is at:


“You know, just doing things the right way. Leading more by example than (being) one of the vocal leaders. Trying to help out the younger players whenever possible.



“I’ll do whatever I can to help the team win.”


'nuff said. Stopping ragging on the guy. :mad:

Reborn
11-05-2009, 06:12 AM
Great article on Steven. Thanks for the "read", VinnyZag. I enjoy getting to know the guys better, afterall, they certainly are more than basketball players (at least some of them are). There have always been great athletes who have a life outside of sports. I've always liked Steven, but I've only known him as a basketball player. I like him even more now. He sounds pretty mature to me. I wish him success in the play he's in. It's awesome to see how his 'mates support him, and probaby tease him. Yes, we must remember that these really are real people under those uniform. And they are all trying to discover who they are. I am glad to see Few supporting him, and trying to understand him. That will make a difference. The article also helped me get to see the personal side of Mark Few. It reminds me again that coaching is much more than X's and O's. And maybe it's the most important part of coaching, helping our players grow up, helping them through challenging times in their pursuit of "sellf-discovery." Nevtelen said it well. College is truly the time for the beginning of that journey.

NotoriousZ
11-05-2009, 06:31 AM
Wow... some of you are certainly exercising some creative thinking. Only one quote you need to take out of the interview to get a feel for where his mind is at:

“You know, just doing things the right way. Leading more by example than (being) one of the vocal leaders. Trying to help out the younger players whenever possible.

“I’ll do whatever I can to help the team win.”

'nuff said. Stopping ragging on the guy. :mad:

My thougts exactly. Let's wait until after the Michigan State game and see what we see. But as far as I can tell right now, EVERYONE on the team is working hard.

vandalzag
11-05-2009, 06:50 AM
If he goes "Zack" on us, he should redshirt immediately!!! Manny!!... saddle up bro. Sounds like Steven's not going to be focusing on D1 ball. This is a shame but kids will be kids.

Somethings up and has been for a while. Hope he shakes it. These days, focus and training rule. If a kid wants to excel, basketball and studying is about all there's time for in a high end D1 program.

I know, I know...I sound too hardcore.....afterall....this is college right? I bet Few's happy he's got Manny though.

Wow Abe your right. But I think we should pull his scholarship not redshirt him. Better yet we may want to pull his sister's scholarship as well. He must be punished since he has let you down. I am sure if he knew how hard you worked at being a fan, he would up his effort level to match your "hardcore fan status".
Really tell me where in the article that says that he does not want to excel in basketball. Where in that article does it state that he is not focusing on D1 basketball? You say you knew something was up, what does that mean? If you were aware of something changing in Steven's approach to basketball should you not notified the coaching staff immediately, before they renewed his scholarship for another year.

I was under the impression that GU aimed to be more than a basketball factory. Is that what we want from this program, kids that just focus on basketball. I did not think that this was a program on the level of Kansas, Memphis, Kentucky,etc...where kids like DereK Rose are brought in just for the sake of winning.
The best comment of all was the "going Zack on us". So a kid that graduates with honors, never gets in trouble, plays all 4 years, and represents the school with class is now a bad thing. What exactly does you comment on Zack mean?
Finally, what good would a redshirt do. As silly as your other comments were, this makes no sense at all.

Tmac5360
11-05-2009, 08:29 AM
Totally agree Vandalzag! The reason that this team is so great is that they do things the right way. They go to class, they are SO much more than basketball players. Nobody wants them to win more than I do. But these are kids who are trying to figure out what and who they really are. If Steven wants to be an actor who plays hoops that fine by me. Abe you should be ashamed of yourself for insinuating that a young man not focusing entirely on hoops is not ready to play. One of the things that I hate is when sports fan say WE about a team they have never played on. This is why!

sonuvazag
11-05-2009, 08:57 AM
The first football players who tried ballet didn't know exactly how it would help their balance and agility, but now there are many examples of success using unexpected methods of cross training. Maurice Jones-Drew credits ballet he was forced to do by his grandparents for his success as a top-tier NFL runner.

I did an acting for non-majors course in college. I'm no pro actor by any means nor did I ever intend to be. I am a pretty easy going person like Steven and I can totally vouch for the value of getting on stage. It will force him to be more assertive, outgoing, vocal, demonstrative, intuitive, improvisational. These are the leadership qualities many have been saying he should do or be so good luck to him. This kind of growth transcends basketball.

BobZag
11-05-2009, 09:02 AM
Can somebody re-post the dates/times of "Take Me Out." Haven't gone to a play at GU for quite a while and this gives me an "excuse" to. I like seeing Zags I know involved in different activities.

Steven is competitive. He'll be fine on the court. It'll be cool to see him on the stage, as well.

jazzdelmar
11-05-2009, 09:05 AM
seems like steven has found a different drummer and isnt that what a great liberal education is all about? i think abie is talking tongue well into cheek...imo, few has an embarrassment of riches on the perimeter this year so steven's "distraction" will be minimized....rather than excoriate the kid, praise him...i was far more disquieted by few's dismissive attitude about 70s era hippies....he said it was evolution gone wrong? peace....

Baldwinzag
11-05-2009, 09:25 AM
I found myself smiling while reading the article and sincerely enjoy watching Steven play the game. He's always had an infectious way about him and seems to find joy in everything he does -- on and off the court. He's finding himself and we should commend him for it. Steven possesses a rare quality in living life to the fullest, which I admire about him. Personally, I'd rather a kid enjoy the game and perform respectfully, than have him be the star and not like playing or getting along w/teammates. We've seen both types of players at Gonzaga and I'll take the former anyday as a long-time fan. I hope Steven is more aggressive on the court this season, but if he's not, that's OK too. We know he's good for 9ppg and raining 3's when open. If Steven loses his starting spot at some point to a player whom outperforms him, so be it. The best players will play. And in all honesty, Steven is the type of person who is about helping the team and being a part of the team, moreso than being the guy. He'd understand better than anyone of us and he'd be great at coming of the bench as well. Do I think it'll happen? No, I don't. I'm just fine with either and so is Steven. He knows he has to perform to play and so do the other 14 players on this team.

ZagNative
11-05-2009, 09:33 AM
I read somewhere a quote that really struck me. It said the life of a Division I athlete in a competitive basketball program is "not normal." To succeed requires a degree of focus and dedication that most college kids don't have or need to succeed.

Steven is one of just thirteen athletes, chosen from around the world to compete with the Gonzaga team. That's a high burden, but with it come many perks, not the least of which is that he has a free ride. His parents turned their lives upside down, even to moving from Chimiacum to Bainbridge to give the kids their best shots, not only in basketball but in academics. With that, I think, comes a responsibility.

I had much the same attitude in college as Steven is exhibiting, and I've also been a person who marched to my own drummer. There's a price that comes with following that philosophy in life.

Steven could play in a Division II program and pretty much do what he wants and be as well-rounded as he wants to be. I believe, however, competing for Gonzaga demands a fire-in-the-belly and a passion about basketball that Steven doesn't sound like he has right now.

And Steven "negotiating" with Coach Few? I think we've seen what happens when kids pick and choose what direction from their coach they'll actually listen to. Adam decided he'd rather not learn and play defense. Josh decided he'd rather float around the perimeter than take advantage of his height close to the basket.

I don't know .... I'm concerned.

MDABE80
11-05-2009, 09:38 AM
1. The "redshirt" part is meant to be hyperbole....as if funny "ha ha".

2. Diversity is fine...encouraged.

3. If you remember the last year we had Zack, everyone had such ihg expectations and he simply got lost in his head and did little his senior year. Good player , nice guy but what did he do his last year? Was he focused?

4. The article does indicate Steve will be diluting his attention. Sounds to me like his focus has changed and he's figuring some other things out. Life in general is meant to be figured out....somewhat in college and when one goes through life. The collegiate conclusion rarely hold up.
If I was Few and I wanted to do well this year with a big part of my team, I would expect kids to be "nails" when it comes to basketball. IMO the "nails" part was there for a few games last year.....and his head is now into some other areas.....non basketball areas. Wouldn't that give a coach "pause"? It does me.

The article might not be accurate. If it is, reflect on what type of focus is required to be a superior player on a superior team....a nationally ranked team playing seven of the top 25 teams in the country. A team trying to recover from 5 major players gone.....

5. SO yes...nota bene I'm not throwing Steven under the bus. BUT as a practical matter do we need a player who has trouble shooting last year and now is poised to divert time to other things....instead of trying to get his shot back....sound good to you guys?

6. It's a different discipline but the prinicples do apply. In the past, 25-27 yr old kids in residency get the money fever. They see little profit but they know they do need training. A few have gone (in spare time of course) and bought some homes to fix up and flip. $10K profit per unit is what they thought. So instead of focusing on their craft, they became exhausted from working on homes instead of studying. "My time is my own time"!!! they say.
Abe reinforces the idea that they are in training...no so much for them...they are being trained for their patients and their own future. "Do what you do best and don't be distracted"! is what I've told them.

The ones who don't focus become marginal and barely finish training and NEVER become what they could be. SO when I see Steven wandering to other areas, it bothers me. It's simple. But that's just me...I'm betting Few is a bit stiff-jawed to see his prime scoring weapon headed to other areas. I know what young men must do in highly competetive areas if they want success. FOCUS. If this article is spot on correct, I'm disappointed. I hope I'm wrong. I'm just glad Manny, Gibbs and Bol are in the mix. We'll see. I'm open..

NEC26
11-05-2009, 09:38 AM
I read somewhere a quote that really struck me. It said the life of a Division I athlete in a competitive basketball program is "not normal." To succeed requires a degree of focus and dedication that most college kids don't have or need to succeed.

Steven is one of just thirteen athletes, chosen from around the world to compete with the Gonzaga team. That's a high burden, but with it come many perks, not the least of which is that he has a free ride. His parents turned their lives upside down, even to moving from Chimiacum to Bainbridge to give the kids their best shots, not only in basketball but in academics. With that, I think, comes a responsibility.

I had much the same attitude in college as Steven is exhibiting, and I've also been a person who marched to my own drummer. There's a price that comes with following that philosophy in life.

Steven could play in a Division II program and pretty much do what he wants and be as well-rounded as he wants to be. I believe, however, competing for Gonzaga demands a fire-in-the-belly and a passion about basketball that Steven doesn't sound like he has right now.

And Steven "negotiating" with Coach Few? I think we've seen what happens when kids pick and choose what direction from their coach they'll actually listen to. Adam decided he'd rather not learn and play defense. Josh decided he'd rather float around the perimeter than take advantage of his height close to the basket.

I don't know .... I'm concerned.

+1 Excellent post.

LongIslandZagFan
11-05-2009, 09:44 AM
1. The "redshirt" part is meant to be hyperbole....as if funny "ha ha".

2. Diversity is fine...encouraged.

3. If you remember the last year we had Zack, everyone had such ihg expectations and he simply got lost in his head and did little his senior year. Good player , nice guy but what did he do his last year? Was he focused?

4. The article does indicate Steve will be diluting his attention. Sounds to me like his focus has changed and he's figuring some other things out. Life in general is meant to be figured out....somewhat in college and when one goes through life. The collegiate conclusion rarely hold up.
If I was Few and I wanted to do well this year with a big part of my team, I would expect kids to be "nails" when it comes to basketball. IMO the "nails" part was there for a few games last year.....and his head is now into some other areas.....non basketball areas. Wouldn't that give a coach "pause"? It does me.

The article might not be accurate. If it is, reflect on what type of focus is required to be a superior player on a superior team....a nationally ranked team playing seven of the top 25 teams in the country. A team trying to recover from 5 major players gone.....

5. SO yes...nota bene I'm not throwing Steven under the bus. BUT as a practical matter do we need a player who has trouble shooting last year and now is poised to divert time to other things....instead of trying to get his shot back....sound good to you guys?

6. It's a different discipline but the prinicples do apply. In the past, 25-27 yr old kids in residency get the money fever. They see little profit but they know they do need training. A few have gone (in spare time of course) and bought some homes to fix up and flip. $10K profit per unit is what they thought. So instead of focusing on their craft, they became exhausted from working on homes instead of studying. "My time is my own time"!!! they say.
Abe reinforces the idea that they are in training...no so much for them...they are being trained for their patients and their own future. "Do what you do best and don't be distracted"! is what I've told them.

The ones who don't focus become marginal and barely finish training and NEVER become what they could be. SO when I see Steven wandering to other areas, it bothers me. It's simple. But that's just me...I'm betting Few is a bit stiff-jawed to see his prime scoring weapon headed to other areas. I know what young men must do in highly competetive areas if they want success. FOCUS. If this article is spot on correct, I'm disappointed. I hope I'm wrong. I'm just glad Manny, Gibbs and Bol are in the mix. We'll see. I'm open..

If that is the kind of program you would want out of Gonzaga, I'd want no part of it.

BTW, where does the comment of “I’ll do whatever I can to help the team win.” show a lack of commitment? Honestly, I just don't get it and while you may not think you have thrown him under the bus, you have AND you now just got into the driver's seat and backed over him a couple of times for good measure. Unless you are in the gym watching him practice you really have no room to say anything about his commitment or his work toward "getting his shot back", whatever that is supposed to mean. :mad:

VinnyZag
11-05-2009, 09:50 AM
To me, Gray's comments make him sound a lot like another GU shooter with long hair and a mustache. He had interests outside of basketball, too, and did things a little differently.

I realize that Morrison was a much better college player than Gray. But I'd point out that few people had complaints about his personality quirks. Nobody ever questioned his obsession with "Halo" or whatever that video game was.

I think some of you oughta give Gray a break. He didn't have any problem with 'fire in the belly' against Davidson in '08 or Tennessee in Seattle last season.

TheZagPhish
11-05-2009, 09:51 AM
Gray is fine, he will deliver and I will be cheering for him.

jazzdelmar
11-05-2009, 09:52 AM
imo, this is a spectacular thread.....goes to the heart of college sports at the highest level vis a vis the special place that is gonzaga.....opinions expressed have run the gamut. that's good. terrific points all around. let's just keep it cerebral and open minded, just like the monks taught us

JPtheBeasta
11-05-2009, 09:53 AM
Going Zack. I didn't know that was a verb/adjective in Zagsville. That's too funny, and I like it. I always wondered what happened to Gourd (his senior year?) when he went from a very good post player with Kevin Mchale-esque moves to a guy who seemingly couldn't catch the ball in the post without turning it over. I was young at the time and new to Zags bball but it seemed something did happen to him.

Why all of this Manny love at Steven's expense? I know it's mostly tongue-in-cheek but I still feel compelled to defend Gray. I think it's awesome when people start thinking beyond themselves and exploring new places that they have never let their brains go before. Like someone already said, more or less, that's what college is all about. I know almost everything I took for granted going into college was challenged. All the black and white stuff gets turned into shades of gray. There is most definitely time to play basketball, study, and pondering the deeper meanings of life. I think Steven will emerge better for it.
Baskbetball isn't everything. But it is while you have that jersey on, and I'm confident Gray will be fine. He hasn't shown us yet anything to think otherwise. Ammo went through this whole process and he turned out to be a slightly ok college player;). Few had a comment that Gray does things so smoothly that he doesn't look like he's giving max effort. Sam "Big Smooth" Perkins didn't look like he cared about anything and had a very good NBA career. The only problem at this point is with our perceptions. I'm totally fine with Gray leading by example, being aggresive on the offensive end and playing good defense on the other.

LongIslandZagFan
11-05-2009, 09:55 AM
To me, Gray's comments make him sound a lot like another GU shooter with long hair and a mustache. He had interests outside of basketball, too, and did things a little differently.

I realize that Morrison was a much better college player than Gray. But I'd point out that few people had complaints about his personality quirks. Nobody ever questioned his obsession with "Halo" or whatever that video game was.

I think some of you oughta give Gray a break. He didn't have any problem with 'fire in the belly' against Davidson in '08 or Tennessee in Seattle last season.

Perhaps for some, they just don't like the hippie kind of attitude, which somehow shows weakness to them? I'm just guessing. But Bill Walton was a "hippie" and did quite alright. In fact there are several examples of players with diverse outside interests that fall "outside the norms" that have done quite well. Kareem would be a perfect example. Just because you have interests outside of hoops, it doesn't make you less of a competitor... sorry... it just doesn't.

TheZagPhish
11-05-2009, 09:57 AM
Perhaps for some, they just don't like the hippie kind of attitude, which somehow shows weakness to them? I'm just guessing. But Bill Walton was a "hippie" and did quite alright. In fact there are several examples of players with diverse outside interests that fall "outside the norms" that have done quite well. Kareem would be a perfect example. Just because you have interests outside of hoops, it doesn't make you less of a competitor... sorry... it just doesn't.

Agreed.

Yours truly,

The resident board hippie

Baldwinzag
11-05-2009, 09:58 AM
Not really sure what we're concerned or worried about. This is the year for Steven to go through this stage given the depth we have on this team. Every Coach Manny has ever played for, including Coach Few & Rice, have stated he plays with 110% effort, hustle, and grit. If Steven finds himself wandering this year, he will be replaced by someone who is completely dedicated to playing bball, just look at how he spends his Summers. Manny is not a drop off in anyway and will give anything to play, even his own health.

On the other hand, I applaud Steven for experiencing other things outside bball, but if his focus and heart waivers when its time to play, he'll be on the bench, simple as that. He'll learn either way.

If Steven decides to become a "hippie" this season -- on and off the court, he'll learn the hard way. That is what life is all about, folks. You know it and I know it. Zagnative said she learned the hard way when she "beat to her own drum" at some point in her life. Steven is going through this during his Junior year of College and I personally went through it 2 years following graduation. Everyone goes through it at some point in their lives. Either way, you learn from it, become better for it, and realize life is actually about hard work, dedication, and following suit. There is no other way around it. Trust me, I've tried and failed many a time. I wish the best for Steven and think he'll do just fine. We already know everyone, including Coach Few, wants more from Gray but it ain't gonna happen he said so himself. We must live with what Steven gives us -- a nice shot and 9 ppg. I'll take it.

Colbyspapa
11-05-2009, 10:01 AM
I'm with Zagnative and Abe. I'm sorry if it sounds harsh but to be an elite level athlete at 100% of your potential requires focus and sacrifice. Other activities, retreats, Searches, plays, intramurals, etc... need to happen outside of the season as they take your focus off the prize.

These student athletes have too much on their plate with academics and basketball to try and add other activities that will take focus like acting in a play.

I watched Decade of Excellence recently and it talks about how Derek Raivio used to know all the janitors of the Martin Center because he would be shooting at 2AM. That is the "fire-in-the-belly" quoted above.

I hope Steven finds it if this article is indeed capturing his interest level in basketball.

LongIslandZagFan
11-05-2009, 10:01 AM
Perhaps for some, they just don't like the hippie kind of attitude, which somehow shows weakness to them? I'm just guessing. But Bill Walton was a "hippie" and did quite alright. In fact there are several examples of players with diverse outside interests that fall "outside the norms" that have done quite well. Kareem would be a perfect example. Just because you have interests outside of hoops, it doesn't make you less of a competitor... sorry... it just doesn't.

BTW... I certainly have some "hippie" type of leanings, but get me on the basketball court and I will have no problems knocking someone on their butt to get a rebound.

DADoZAG
11-05-2009, 10:03 AM
While composing a post, this thread did a beautiful 180! I'll just say I agree that Steven needs to be Steven in order to be Steven.

Nice to be a part of such a great venue of expression.

Go ZAGS!

LongIslandZagFan
11-05-2009, 10:03 AM
I'm with Zagnative and Abe. I'm sorry if it sounds harsh but to be an elite level athlete at 100% of your potential requires focus and sacrifice. Other activities, retreats, Searches, plays, intramurals, etc... need to happen outside of the season as they take your focus off the prize.

These student athletes have too much on their plate with academics and basketball to try and add other activities that will take focus like acting in a play.

I watched Decade of Excellence recently and it talks about how Derek Raivio used to know all the janitors of the Martin Center because he would be shooting at 2AM. That is the "fire-in-the-belly" quoted above.

I hope Steven finds it if this article is indeed capturing his interest level in basketball.

“I’ll do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Simple is that. What more fire would you want. Those are his words.

MDABE80
11-05-2009, 10:09 AM
Before this gets away from us...let me say this: these opinions are nothing personal. Let's remember that. We love Steven...we all do. I don't think he can do both at a high end level. Time constrains one's level of excellence when trying multiple activities.....if nothing else.

And too, we are all GU people on this board. We are and should be friends. Some disagree....some don't. Just so we all THINK before we cut loose! :)

BobZag
11-05-2009, 10:22 AM
November 11-12 at 7pm in Magnuson Theater, and Nov. 13 at 10pm.

I think I'll go watch the play the 12th.

Admission is "Voluntary donation." Is that food? Books? Anyone know?

Postplayer57
11-05-2009, 11:01 AM
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, goes the cliche. And if we all thought alike, life would be very boring.For myself ,maybe its a cultural thing. I've always loved the game itself more than any indiviual playing it. Thats why my finest hours in sport have been when David knocks Goliath on his arse or when the freshman super jock annointed for instant success gets his clock cleaned by the fifth year Senior plodder. I've always loved efficiency more than style, and sportsmanship more than braggadocio. I respect anyones right to differ and would be lying if I said I did'nt hate to lose. But if you've given it your all, and still fall short, its not the end of the world. More than anything, sport means having fun, and if you don't enjoy it , its not worth doing. As for the lineup,I leave that to Coach Few, and as long as Gonzaga ends up with the win, who was the star does'nt matter to me.

jim77
11-05-2009, 11:23 AM
"LONGBOARDING" thats what got my attention. How about something with a little less danger....ok, at least wear a helmet. Join the band or something.

I do think the "hair" thing is sorta "GONZAGAESQUE". I wouldn't worry too much about that. As far as the guy's being laid back, thats a good recipe for a long life. Its also a good recipe for a guy to take the last shot as he's not all tensed up. I'm not worried at all about him....Its hard to make a quiet guy a vocal guy. Keep shooting Steven!!!

I also understand some folks concearns with not focusing.....it takes a lot to get to the upper echelons and stay there.

"The collegiate conclusion rarely hold up"....Dead on abe.....and thank goodness college only lasts so long or the liver wouldn't either.

ZagNative
11-05-2009, 11:38 AM
I watched Decade of Excellence recently and it talks about how Derek Raivio used to know all the janitors of the Martin Center because he would be shooting at 2AM. That is the "fire-in-the-belly" quoted above.

I hope Steven finds it if this article is indeed capturing his interest level in basketball.Agreed. I too thought about Derek when I was writing my post. If you have two prospects coming in, one of whom is so fierce about improving his game that he's in the gym at 2:00 am, and one who's dividing time between basketball, the skateboard park, and theater, which one has the greatest likelihood of of reaching his potential in the basketball arena?

And my concern is not so much about the team. I know we have some nice options for a Plan B if Steven doesn't step up. My concern is that I may not get to see Steven be the Star I was expecting of him ever since he signed to play for the Zags. This was and is a special, special player. Would any of us have expected, with Steven's arrival, he'd choose to max out at 9 ppg, with the talent and potential he had coming in and has shown in some games?

I don't begrudge Steven his choices to plow other ground. And if he delivers on game day, none of it will matter. The question is: Can he deliver on game day enough to meet expectations and his potential if he doesn't have his primary focus on getting better and is willing to do whatever it takes to approach his potential?

I also think leadership on this team for upperclassman is about more than being vocal on the court: It's about helping the younguns understand what it takes in terms of commitment and discipline to contribute and reach their own potential on a competitive Division I team.

I know I've read stories of champions in other sports who look back on their youth and question in retrospect whether they gave too much for their craft, missing out on social and cultural experiences other kids were having. But ultimately, that's what it takes to be a champion.

I have a hunch Steven is rebelling against expectations and the role everyone seems to have laid out for him and he wants to decide for himself what he wants. I hope he wants for him what I want: For him to be a champion.

vandalzag
11-05-2009, 11:44 AM
Before this gets away from us...let me say this: these opinions are nothing personal. Let's remember that. We love Steven...we all do. I don't think he can do both at a high end level. Time constrains one's level of excellence when trying multiple activities.....if nothing else.

And too, we are all GU people on this board. We are and should be friends. Some disagree....some don't. Just so we all THINK before we cut loose! :)

OK you love steven but you say:
5. SO yes...nota bene I'm not throwing Steven under the bus. BUT as a practical matter do we need a player who has trouble shooting last year and now is poised to divert time to other things....instead of trying to get his shot back....sound good to you guys?

One article written on the premise that he is changing as a person, aimed at showing that he is actually fulfilling the student part of student/athlete and you are ready to write him off.
Where in the article did it say that he was not working on his game during the off season? Few has a bunch of quotes in the article, but none that indicate that he is unhappy with the progress that Gray has made since last year. Nor were there any indications that he thought that Steven was letting the team down or that his game has suffered because he is in a play. If we have learned anything a bout Few, it is that he is not above calling a player out in the media. The only thing that was brought up was Few's desire for him to be more of a vocal leader. Which would be the natural progression for him, given that he played on a senior dominated team last year. But from that you are saying that Gray is wandering and not dedicated to performing up to your standards. You question his focus, yet nothing in the article suggests he has any less focus than when he walked on campus.

If you are all about winning basketball games than at least come out and say it. If your only desire is to have athletes focus on basketball, than stick to your guns. Maybe the school should create a curriculum just for the players, that does not require class attendance or studying, ensuring that they will not be distracted and able to focus on basketball.

This school and this program has never been about just basketball. As good as the players have been on the court, the pride comes from what they have done off the court and the type of person the become after playing here. I can think of many things that a member of this team could do that would disappoint me and what Steven is doing does not even come close.

Postplayer57
11-05-2009, 11:48 AM
For myself, I just hope he has a happy, healthy, and successful life, where ever it takes him, on the court, or on Broadway? For my moneys worth either would be great.

LongIslandZagFan
11-05-2009, 12:05 PM
OK you love steven but you say:
5. SO yes...nota bene I'm not throwing Steven under the bus. BUT as a practical matter do we need a player who has trouble shooting last year and now is poised to divert time to other things....instead of trying to get his shot back....sound good to you guys?

One article written on the premise that he is changing as a person, aimed at showing that he is actually fulfilling the student part of student/athlete and you are ready to write him off.
Where in the article did it say that he was not working on his game during the off season? Few has a bunch of quotes in the article, but none that indicate that he is unhappy with the progress that Gray has made since last year. Nor were there any indications that he thought that Steven was letting the team down or that his game has suffered because he is in a play. If we have learned anything a bout Few, it is that he is not above calling a player out in the media. The only thing that was brought up was Few's desire for him to be more of a vocal leader. Which would be the natural progression for him, given that he played on a senior dominated team last year. But from that you are saying that Gray is wandering and not dedicated to performing up to your standards. You question his focus, yet nothing in the article suggests he has any less focus than when he walked on campus.

If you are all about winning basketball games than at least come out and say it. If your only desire is to have athletes focus on basketball, than stick to your guns. Maybe the school should create a curriculum just for the players, that does not require class attendance or studying, ensuring that they will not be distracted and able to focus on basketball.

This school and this program has never been about just basketball. As good as the players have been on the court, the pride comes from what they have done off the court and the type of person the become after playing here. I can think of many things that a member of this team could do that would disappoint me and what Steven is doing does not even come close.

+1000

vandalzag
11-05-2009, 12:06 PM
Agreed. I too thought about Derek when I was writing my post. If you have two prospects coming in, one of whom is so fierce about improving his game that he's in the gym at 2:00 am, and one who's dividing time between basketball, the skateboard park, and theater, which one has the greatest likelihood of of reaching his potential in the basketball arena?

And my concern is not so much about the team. I know we have some nice options for a Plan B if Steven doesn't step up. My concern is that I may not get to see Steven be the Star I was expecting of him ever since he signed to play for the Zags. This was and is a special, special player. Would any of us have expected, with Steven's arrival, he'd choose to max out at 9 ppg, with the talent and potential he had coming in and has shown in some games?

I don't begrudge Steven his choices to plow other ground. And if he delivers on game day, none of it will matter. The question is: Can he deliver on game day enough to meet expectations and his potential if he doesn't have his primary focus on getting better and is willing to do whatever it takes to approach his potential?

I also think leadership on this team for upperclassman is about more than being vocal on the court: It's about helping the younguns understand what it takes in terms of commitment and discipline to contribute and reach their own potential on a competitive Division I team.

I know I've read stories of champions in other sports who look back on their youth and question in retrospect whether they gave too much for their craft, missing out on social and cultural experiences other kids were having. But ultimately, that's what it takes to be a champion.

I have a hunch Steven is rebelling against expectations and the role everyone seems to have laid out for him and he wants to decide for himself what he wants. I hope he wants for him what I want: For him to be a champion.

ZN I usually agree with your posts. But I do believe that you are reading too much into what was written. Where is it stated that Steven is choosing to max out at anything? There is nothing in the article that says that Steven is choosing to sacrifice his growth as a player. Nothing is written stating that he is rebelling against expectations. Nor is there anything written indicating that he lacks commitment to helping the team win. In fact he is quoted as saying he will do whatever it takes to help the team. Really, if it is just about basketball than every player is making a mistake going to college. A player that is just focused on maximizing their potential in basketball should be playing in Europe, where they would not have their practice time limited, attend class, and face all of the other distractions that college offers. That being said until I read that Steven has quit GU to join a traveling commune that goes from town to town performing Hair and selling skateboards made of hemp, I will assume that he is dedicated to helping his team win.

sonuvazag
11-05-2009, 12:06 PM
Fascinating thing about Steven's basketball career is there is such a range of possiblity in how it turns out. I would love to see him drive more to create scoring opportunities. Free up his outside shot and make defenders guess. And I would love to see it because of the flashes of brilliance he's shown. Like others, I don't know how being in a play helps that, but stranger things have happened. Sometimes a player does better if his mom calls him the day before. Sometimes a player does better because he wears one sock higher than the other. In the psychology of an athlete, cause and effect are not always linked in obvious ways.

zagfan24
11-05-2009, 12:18 PM
Outside interests, "marching to the beat of a different drummer", etc. are not mutually exclusive with competitive fire. I think Ronny Turiaf is the greatest example of that. Ronny had several outside interests (in fact, I saw him at a GU play at one point) and yet when he was on the court he was the definition of fiery. ADHD at times, sure...but very, very competitive.

That said, if Gray doesn't have that competitive fire, and if he chooses to spend more time outside of the gym than others have -- so be it, that's really his choice, not ours. If he loses playing time as a result, there will be those that are willing to step into it. The greater point is that he's making different decisions, not bad decisions...and the Zags will be just fine.

MDABE80
11-05-2009, 12:19 PM
ZN reallu does find the heart of the matter on this. I cannot improve on her thoughts. See below:

"Agreed. I too thought about Derek when I was writing my post. If you have two prospects coming in, one of whom is so fierce about improving his game that he's in the gym at 2:00 am, and one who's dividing time between basketball, the skateboard park, and theater, which one has the greatest likelihood of of reaching his potential in the basketball arena?"

We'll have to wait and see. The reason I loved Rotnei Clarke was his work ethic. He shoots 800 balls per day. Something in my brain "went off" when I saw that. This was the type of kid that cements a future in basketball. Rotnei's 6 ft but he will achieve no matter. Steven has SO much more going if he wold do the work. 6 ft 5 in guards at 210 to 220 lbs is what the prototype SG is these days. Tools galore that need resurrection and improvment. He's got the goods in spades and it kills me that he's changed so much. He/;ll have some good games....just not the consistency needed to be an AA.

Fully known though is that Steven has every right to be a kid with diverse interests. Hope he's healthy and happy with his choices. I mean that too.
Manny, Grant and Bol will be more than enough should Steven falter.

Shanachie
11-05-2009, 12:30 PM
A constant throughout the years is Gonzaga’s educational philosophy, based on the centuries-old Ignatian model of educating the whole person – mind, body and spirit. At Gonzaga, students discover how to integrate science and art, faith and reason, action and contemplation. "Cura personalis," or care for the individual, is our guiding theme.


http://www.gonzaga.edu/About/default.asp

GUBoardsAreCrazy
11-05-2009, 12:44 PM
I'm with Abe on this one... As a D1 scholarship athlete for the Gonzaga Basketball team, I want him to be committed to basketball a little more than being a hippie.

Nothing personal, I just want to get the full potential out of him, because we all know what he CAN do. That has be kind of a theme for Gonzaga that last few years. All this "potential" and we can't quite get ALL of it. Daye, Heytvelt, Pargo, Downs.. All guys that never became what we thought they would.. great players, but fell short of expectations. I don't want that to become a theme at Gonzaga. No more mental headcases. Work your ASS off, or go play at Eastern. (Not that Gray isn't working hard, now I'm speaking in general).

Watching Gray play the other night though, he was very agressive and was looking for his shot. They'll fall. I'm not worried about him.

Tmac5360
11-05-2009, 01:13 PM
Abe, bear with cause I don't know you. But did you play D-1 and if so was it for GU? You seem to have a vast knowledge of what it takes to be a success in college hoops. I want to know what makes you an expert. Again not saying your not, but give me the background.

Angelo Roncalli
11-05-2009, 01:21 PM
So, are we going to tell scholarship athletes that they can't have difficult majors like engineering because their labs and studying would keep them from borrowing the keys to the MAC so that they can work on their shooting late at night?

I applaud Steven for making use of the opportunities his education at Gonzaga has presented.

CDC84
11-05-2009, 01:25 PM
As much as you want your players to have a strong work ethic and commitment toward the game, I think it is possible to be overly committed to the game or to your team, and that it can actually adversely effect your athletic performance. As much as I admired Derek Raivio's work ethic, there were times where I felt he took it too far. At a certain point you have to get away from it. This is why I think people way overreact when they criticize player X or player Y for not socializing with his teammates enough or whatever while he's away from the basketball floor. It's overrated. Most of Blake Stepp's closest friends while he was at Gonzaga were outside the basketball program. He had other interests besides just basketball. But when he was on that court, he would give it his all.

TheZagPhish
11-05-2009, 01:45 PM
A lot of 'I want, I think, I expect' in this thread. Thank heaven Steven is forging his own path, eh?

titopoet
11-05-2009, 02:03 PM
I have always like Steven. He has a calm demeanor and it is just who he is. He is also one heck of a basketball player. He has play through pain. He listens to the coach. He has gotten better as a defender and as offensive present. He put up numbers on a team last year that had five other scorers. He does go about his business in a quiet manner, but so what? The team is 53-14 with him. At the end of his career he will have been critical part in over a hundred wins and will probably score 1000 points. A success in any league. His all numbers have improved since he has been here. He has the sweetest shot and with his experience in the rotation the last two years, invaluable this season and next. What more do you want?

Players come in all forms of temperaments. From Ronny's high energy to Pendos passion, from Ammo's mania to JP power, all found ways to be great. Steven is finding his own way of being great. What more do you want?

I like that it sounds like he has his priorities right. He is right, basketball is just a game and there is more to life than basketball. If he has had that realization, he is way ahead in life than most kids his age. What more do you want?

I think Few is pushing both Matt and Steven out of their comfort zones. Steven will put up better numbers this season. He will continue to grow as a player and as a man. What more do you want?

He has already given this Zags fan more than I deserve.

NotoriousZ
11-05-2009, 02:04 PM
A lot of 'I want, I think, I expect' in this thread. Thank heaven Steven is forging his own path, eh?

Eh (Meant as Canadian for yes of course).

MDABE80
11-05-2009, 02:07 PM
Some people don't seem to understand. Nobody is criticizing Steven...if he wants to do other thing that'll edify him as a braod based person..so be it. Just so we understand things (like his 20% shooting in the scrum with Alberta) when he shooting his off. Its fine..honest..it's fine and permitted.

Divided attention is permitted. My opinions are my own. Nothining about this thread is stupid. It's valid discussion. I hope Steven pulls everything off. I have my doubts. The "redshirt " comment was intended to be funny as I said above. TMac yes and yes. It's even harder nowadays.

Remember fellas and gals...opinions are accepted/permitted here. No offense but ad hominem stuff is the stupid part. Again, let me stress this: I hope Steven succeeds. If not, I'm glad we have others to help out.

ZagNative
11-05-2009, 02:20 PM
Few said in the story,
“We expect a lot out of Steven,” Few said. “I think it’d be great if it ever got to the point where he expected as much out of himself as we expect out of him.

“He can certainly be a complete player,” Few said. “He’s a really good defender on the ball and off the ball. Obviously, he can shoot.”So Few thinks Steven doesn't expect as much from himself as the staff does. Does the staff expect too much?

I remember Coach Few commenting in the press about Micah early in his career at Gonzaga, saying that he'd hoped that with a year to work with Morrison, Micah would pick up Morrison's work ethic, which didn't happen early on. Staff expects a lot from its scholarship players, especially from those as gifted as Steven.

I confess to being surprised by the majority of the opinions expressed here, especially because I'm not a hardnose in expecting too much from our kids.

We'll see how it plays out, but this year.

CDC84
11-05-2009, 02:22 PM
Steven Gray has the exact same on court demeanor as JP Batista - the most offensively skilled and productive big man in the history of this program. When things went well for JP, the most you would ever get out of him was a wry smile. Steven is the same way.

Baldwinzag
11-05-2009, 02:39 PM
Few said in the story,So Few thinks Steven doesn't expect as much from himself as the staff does. Does the staff expect too much?

I remember Coach Few commenting in the press about Micah early in his career at Gonzaga, saying that he'd hoped that with a year to work with Morrison, Micah would pick up Morrison's work ethic, which didn't happen early on. Staff expects a lot from its scholarship players, especially from those as gifted as Steven.

I confess to being surprised by the majority of the opinions expressed here, especially because I'm not a hardnose in expecting too much from our kids.

We'll see how it plays out, but this year.

I wholeheartedly agree with you, ZN. Personally, I've never held high expectations for Steven. I think its the reason my standards are a bit lower for him. I've always been much tougher on players like Bouldin than Steven. There is no doubt he is a terrific sharpshooter who has flashed the ability to be a dynamic guard, but hasn't really progressed much since his Senior yr at Bainbridge, IMO. I'm not denying his work ethic and potential to be special, yet I've come to expect 9ppg and catching fire from downtown every so often. In all actuality, He's been tremendously consistent the past 2 seasons: 9ppg and shooting around 40% from 3. Those are solid #'s from a starting 2-guard. I expect the same from him this year. If more, great; if not, no biggie. I really hope, for our sake and Steven, he has a breakout year, but I've always stated from the beginning I never understood the hype surrounding Steven as an AA-type player. All that said, he's one of my favorites to watch and he puts a smile on my face when he succeeds on the court.

DenDiegoZag
11-05-2009, 02:45 PM
So, are we going to tell scholarship athletes that they can't have difficult majors like engineering because their labs and studying would keep them from borrowing the keys to the MAC so that they can work on their shooting late at night?

I applaud Steven for making use of the opportunities his education at Gonzaga has presented.

Agreed. We have absolutely no idea how he spends his time just by reading some quotes in an article. As long as he stays a good young man, who works hard and is the best teammate he can be what more can you ask for. I know I spent more than a few hours playing tennis ball golf around campus with a player or two during the season. Not every player becomes better by being a robot. Some talents need time and space away from their passion in order to tap the height of their talent. While many on this board may prefer the "gym rat" method of athletic excellence, it is not the only way. Steven is fine and will have a great season.

Go Zags!

cjm720
11-05-2009, 02:51 PM
I remember Steven talking about his sister, Brittany, who was a junior in high school at the time. He talked about her being a good player, but to be a great player she had to put in the time. She had to want it.

Does Gray really want it is my question? You can talk about the merits of a liberal education, the college experience, etc. and that's all important, but let's all be honest: He came to Gonzaga (and committed early) because he is great basketball player.

Gray's been my favorite player the past two years. He was pheonomenal as a frosh and earned a starting rotation. Last year he was behind 4 seniors, and some could argue (me) that he should have started over Micah, but Coach made the call (I am not coach). He also had a bum wrist his first two seasons and often times played hurt. He no doubt has the talent to continue to improve and be a high impact player for a nationally recognized program.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is we're seeing a player mature before our eyes. He's a good kid that wants to have a rounded experience. I just hope he wants it on the court.

Go Steven!!!!

Go Zags!!!!!

VinnyZag
11-05-2009, 03:26 PM
Thanks for pointing out the bum wrist, which seems to have been forgotten in this conversation. Wrist problems make a difference when you're talking about a shooter.

And if you're wondering about his work ethic or how much he 'wants' it, take a look at how much he's improved defensively since he got to GU.

ZagNative
11-05-2009, 03:42 PM
In all actuality, He's been tremendously consistent the past 2 seasons: 9ppg and shooting around 40% from 3. Those are solid #'s from a starting 2-guard. I expect the same from him this year. If more, great; if not, no biggie. I really hope, for our sake and Steven, he has a breakout year, but I've always stated from the beginning I never understood the hype surrounding Steven as an AA-type player. All that said, he's one of my favorites to watch and he puts a smile on my face when he succeeds on the court.I love Steven and always have.

But when you talk about consistency ... consider Steven's stats by game. Does this look consistent?

http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/6113/stevensstatsin09809.jpg

So what does a kid take from three tournament games in which he has seven ppg? With Steven's talent? Does he come out, take a break, and recommit himself to getting better to maximize his potential? Or does he come out asking himself, "Is that all there is?" and "There's more to life than basketball?" I don't fault him if he ultimately decides he's got other fish to fry. I just know I'll be dialing my expectations back a bunch if he decides the latter.

Reborn
11-05-2009, 03:49 PM
It's getting more difficult to put athletes into a cerain basketball mold as coaches and institutions once did, including Gonzaga. Athletes are more than players on a team. I think we see this even more in women's basketball. The idea that an athlete must give 100% of his time, and his life into his sport is tremendously "outdated". ZN. You say you are surprised by those of us who support the idea that an athlete doesn't need to give 100% of himself to his/her sport, I am surprised by your position more than others because how I've perceived you to support the individulity of our guys. It's good to learn about this side of you too. I doubt sincerely that it is in their scholarship contract that they need to do that.

I too, was surprised by Few's statement on the Hippies in the 60's and 70's, as well as him putting Steven in a category like Hippy because he is a free thinker. This is 2009 folks. Not 1967.

NotoriousZ
11-05-2009, 03:59 PM
Come on, ZN. I know you love Steven, but let's give him a chance to prove himself on the court this year before we start calling him out. The stats from the last two years don't mean that much to me because: (1) his freshman year was limited by playing time (and he was a freshman) and (2) his sophmore year was limited with a nagging wrist injury. I personally think he's going to have his "breakout year" and I'm going to be cheering the whole way through. And I really don't think his basketball will suffer because he's in a play or because he's longboarding or whatever. But like I've said in an earlier post, I think we could wait until we've played a couple games before we start commenting on what would be best for Steven--he might surprise you.

zag67
11-05-2009, 04:24 PM
So REBORN, what is wrong with 1967?:)
Some of us think that this was a very good year.....

Zagaholic
11-05-2009, 04:26 PM
Reading this story about Steven brought back memories about a somewhat similar story back in 2005 regarding Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes wherein Coach Few labeled P-Mac a philosopher.

Does this ring a bell?


Does the philosopher …

“Frustrate the living blankety-blank out of me?” Few said, happy to finish the question. “Yes, he does.”

Take the concept Few and his staff are trying to drive home to their youngsters in a hurry – that at this level, every possession counts. That may sound strange at GU, where if the tempo isn’t up it’s off, but it’s something that must be grasped nonetheless.

Altidor-Cespedes acknowledges as much – but also insists that “as a player, there’s a fine line and sometimes you”ve got to let your instincts go. At the same time, you try to do what the team needs you to do, but you can’t be afraid to play with your instincts.”

This is not exactly the issue that concerns Few when it comes to his sophomore guard’s growth.

“He’s got a long ways to go to understand this is a competitive arena he’s put himself into,” Few said, “where everything he does matters. Like (assistant coach) Tommy Lloyd says, it’s like he’s painting a picture out there and that’s not what it is.

“He’s got all the athleticism in the world and he’s got a beautiful shot, and we try to keep encouraging him to shoot and come up ready to shoot and still he turns the shot down, or shoots when he’s out of rhythm or when he shouldn’t. But he’s got a wonderful stroke and if he would start giving us that, it would really help this team.”


http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2005/dec/09/pargo-p-mac-develop-poise-in-tough-times/?print-friendly

I like Steven's game quite a bit but I think he has been too passive in the past. He needs to step his game up as far as being more aggressive and more consistent this year. I understand that in the past he probably held back a bit and deferred to older teammates. But he's a junior now, and he has the talent and god-given ability to be a very important part of this team.

Let's hope his story turns out better than P-Mac's did at Gonzaga. (I believe it will, but.....)

LongIslandZagFan
11-05-2009, 06:37 PM
Some people don't seem to understand. Nobody is criticizing Steven...if he wants to do other thing that'll edify him as a braod based person..so be it. Just so we understand things (like his 20% shooting in the scrum with Alberta) when he shooting his off. Its fine..honest..it's fine and permitted.

Divided attention is permitted. My opinions are my own. Nothining about this thread is stupid. It's valid discussion. I hope Steven pulls everything off. I have my doubts. The "redshirt " comment was intended to be funny as I said above. TMac yes and yes. It's even harder nowadays.

Remember fellas and gals...opinions are accepted/permitted here. No offense but ad hominem stuff is the stupid part. Again, let me stress this: I hope Steven succeeds. If not, I'm glad we have others to help out.

Really, not criticizing? You have all but called for his schollie to be pulled since he must not be hitting the court all that well because he has turned into some sort of hippie. So naturally that MUST translate into a) having no competitive drive and b) him not working hard in practice. Those points were NOT brought up as jokes.

What was also not brought up as a joke and was actually written in black and white in the article is that in his own words that he would do whatever it took to help the team win... yeah those sound like the words of a quitter and someone who just plain doesn't care about the game anymore. Trying to parse his every word in the article besides those to somehow make him out to be a total and utter failure really does border on sad.

CaliforniaZaggin'
11-05-2009, 06:57 PM
Gaining perspective doesn't necessarily mean you lose your work ethic. Work is far from the most important thing in my life, but I still love my job and bust my hump at the office everyday. Personally, I like that Steven has gained some perspective on life over the last 2 1/2 years.

sonuvazag
11-05-2009, 07:06 PM
Something to consider is that whatever Steven has done so far in his life to get him to this point has worked. He seems committed to doing whatever it takes for the team to win. Gotta love that attitude. His stats game-by-game look pretty normal to me for someone averaging 9 a game. There were a lot of guys looking to score last year.

Coach Norman Dale's advice:
You have special talent, a gift. Not the school's, not the townspeople, not the team's, not Myra Fleener's, not mine. It's yours, to do with what you choose.

mainer6
11-05-2009, 07:20 PM
i was far more disquieted by few's dismissive attitude about 70s era hippies....he said it was evolution gone wrong? peace....[/QUOTE]

+1
I know Few was just responding to a question. I don't put too much weight on it at all, but Few does sound a bit judgemental there.

FuManShoes
11-05-2009, 07:29 PM
Everytime I watch or read about Steven I think of Ray Allen. Their shots are remarkably beautiful. They both are more than shooters and can get to the rim. They are both smooth as silk and highly athletic. Ray is also one of the more thoughtful and articulate guys in the NBA. Many an interview I've watched and thought, "Here you have what A-Rod isn't: a supremely talented athlete whose grin isn't chicken ####." I see that in Steven, too, and that potential on the court. Yes he needs to bust his butt a bit more out there - to seek out the ball, run his defender silly and bury him alive in a flurry of jumpers and drives. But he doesn't have to sacrifice introspecton or his quiet manner to do it. Give the dude a chance. Don't read so much into a lousy shooting night and a play.

mainer6
11-05-2009, 07:42 PM
Many have made the comment that college is about finding who you are. I suppose, but isn't that what life is about? And for a guy as gifted Gray, isn't college about playing basketball?

I am not saying that Steven hasn't invested everything. I am not saying he will underacheive. For me, this is a philosophical question. Should a person with a special gift and a small window of opportunity put some of their personal growth on the backburner for a short time? Or, should person always have personal growth as proirity #1?

Reborn
11-05-2009, 08:26 PM
Zag67. I think 1967 was the last year before, what has been termed, The Hippie Generation. Around 1969-1970 student athetes began to change right along side The Hippies. Athletes began to think in a new way (for themselves) too, and there were signs of protest from athletes. They too wanted to grow their hair long, or grow a beard or mustache. Some wanted to get involved in politics of the times, The African-American movement, the Anti-war movement (people like Bill Walton and Kareem, Julius Irving, on and on). Athletes, at least those at GU, in 1967 had not yet been toched by the social revoluton of the late 60's and 70's. I think that it was around '68 or '69 that athetes began to change the way they thought and acted.

I also believe that there is a whole new generation of people who are begnning to think in a whole new way (and in this sense Hippy-like, and I think that this is what Few is refering too) and are questioning many things that have been accepted for a long time. I think its so awesome how many people on this board can identify with Steven in a positive way. Right on fellow "free thinkers" or Hippies if we must be called that. I think Bill Walton should give Steven a phone call, or Adam, or Ronnie, Blake Stepp or any others who might belong to the brotherhood of Freethinkers.

FuManShoes
11-05-2009, 08:41 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-s3jDluVTY&feature=related

zzzjag
11-05-2009, 09:20 PM
I too agree with Abe and Zagnative and the sr year of Zach popped into my mind during the first post.

I watched a TV interview online the other day and it reminded me of listening to Ricky Williams (miami dolphins RB). Although in a different sport, I feel he has all the talent in the world to be an all star yet thats not what his main concern/drive or focuss was for him as a person. He has aspirations of a medical career after the NFL. Long term (in life) that is probably a better path to choose. However, in the NFL and during 4 years of college hoops, a fan puts alot of energy into their team. This is truly selfish from a fan's standpoint but what most root for...team success over a student athletes future in life.

Like a post said before, whatever he does, I just hope he hits a ton of 3s along the way on his journey through GU and life....and wish him the best as a person.

Coach O
11-05-2009, 11:09 PM
If the Zags had 4 starters and an experienced bench coming back we wouldn't be talking about Steven. What it comes down to is he IS the wildcard and we want the Zags to be as great as they have been in the past.

When I first got into coaching/teaching I would go to coaching clinics and hear guys like Roy Williams, Dean Smith, and other inspirational coaches talk. As a young coach, I would go back to my team and try to be like these legends and try to match their behaviors. I would fail miserably and my players often wondered who this guy was standing in front of them with a whistle. What I finally figured out is that if I was simply myself I was at my best and it was the best for my team. I hope Steven is feeling comfortable with who he is because I have a feeling it will help him be the best for his team.

The emotions in this post do not surprise me because we are all passionate for our own reasons and when it comes down to it we want to see W's and a nice NCAA tourney run.

This is going to be a great year and I am excited about Bouldin, Gray, Goodson, Sacre's progress, the new International crew, and how the staff will mold this group into a team that climbs in the polls each week.

Go Zags!

MDABE80
11-05-2009, 11:50 PM
Really, not criticizing? You have all but called for his schollie to be pulled since he must not be hitting the court all that well because he has turned into some sort of hippie. So naturally that MUST translate into a) having no competitive drive and b) him not working hard in practice. Those points were NOT brought up as jokes.

What was also not brought up as a joke and was actually written in black and white in the article is that in his own words that he would do whatever it took to help the team win... yeah those sound like the words of a quitter and someone who just plain doesn't care about the game anymore. Trying to parse his every word in the article besides those to somehow make him out to be a total and utter failure really does border on sad.


Good hallucination LIZ. Like I said, let's not let this get too personal or a bit crazy. I didn't say anything like you say in your paragraph 1. Never said he was a quitter either. Never insinuated he's a failure either bud. Best go read my own words in multiple posts. Nobody puts words in my mouth. Not this time..not anytime.

MDABE80
11-05-2009, 11:51 PM
Nice post Coach. I hope the returnees and the new crew really do mature nicely and bring us good fortune in the upcoming season.

ZagNative
11-06-2009, 12:15 AM
Thank you so much, Coach O. What nice balance and perspective you bring!

I think all sides have made their points on this subject. If we don't understand each other's perspectives by now, we likely never will. If it were up to me, I'd want your post to be the one on which this thread ends.

Hope all is well with you and yours! Thanks for dropping by! It will be fun to see what happens in East Lansing in a couple of weeks!

seasontixholder
11-06-2009, 05:10 AM
I hope that, as part of his education and broadening experiences at Boone St., an adult mentions to Steven that he has to make a living some day. Generally, there are too many adult hippies and utopians on college campuses, and that important facet of life is overlooked outside of the reality-based study areas. I (and everybody) knows of the sociology or poly sci major who "grew", but didn't spend an equal amount of time addressing the ability to pay the bills once the 4 (or 5 or 6) years in CandyLand has ended.

Steven has a tremendous talent. The apprehension isn't that the Zags will lose an extra game or two due to his liberalization (in the best, traditional sense of the word). It is that he doesn't quite appreciate his gift and put it into a broader perspective that includes functionality in addition to the aesthetic regions of life.

Maybe acting or sociology is his passion, and he will thrive. But as a practical matter, any mature, educated graduate from Gonzaga should have a workable fallback position that maximizes his chances. After all, people like "growing" in all the other years after college, and it's a lot easier and more fun when the resources are available.

Good luck, sir.

Angelo Roncalli
11-06-2009, 05:47 AM
I hope that, as part of his education and broadening experiences at Boone St., an adult mentions to Steven that he has to make a living some day. Generally, there are too many adult hippies and utopians on college campuses, and that important facet of life is overlooked outside of the reality-based study areas. I (and everybody) knows of the sociology or poly sci major who "grew", but didn't spend an equal amount of time addressing the ability to pay the bills once the 4 (or 5 or 6) years in CandyLand has ended.

Steven has a tremendous talent. The apprehension isn't that the Zags will lose an extra game or two due to his liberalization (in the best, traditional sense of the word). It is that he doesn't quite appreciate his gift and put it into a broader perspective that includes functionality in addition to the aesthetic regions of life.

Maybe acting or sociology is his passion, and he will thrive. But as a practical matter, any mature, educated graduate from Gonzaga should have a workable fallback position that maximizes his chances. After all, people like "growing" in all the other years after college, and it's a lot easier and more fun when the resources are available.

Good luck, sir.


Quick, someone take Steven up Upriver Drive so that he can enroll in a welding class at SCC.

Reborn
11-06-2009, 05:53 AM
The apprehension isn't that the Zags will lose an extra game or two due to his liberalization (in the best, traditional sense of the word). It is that he doesn't quite appreciate his gift and put it into a broader perspective that includes functionality in addition to the aesthetic regions of life.

That is a pretty heavy judgement. It makes me wonder how people like Steven (who we know is nice and has never said anything about you and your "wonderful" way of life) can make you so judgemental? Are you really as happy as you would like us to believe, or are you just fooling yourself?

LongIslandZagFan
11-06-2009, 05:56 AM
Good hallucination LIZ. Like I said, let's not let this get too personal or a bit crazy. I didn't say anything like you say in your paragraph 1. Never said he was a quitter either. Never insinuated he's a failure either bud. Best go read my own words in multiple posts. Nobody puts words in my mouth. Not this time..not anytime.


BUT as a practical matter do we need a player who has trouble shooting last year and now is poised to divert time to other things....instead of trying to get his shot back....sound good to you guys?


The ones who don't focus become marginal and barely finish training and NEVER become what they could be. SO when I see Steven wandering to other areas, it bothers me.


If he goes "Zack" on us, he should redshirt immediately!!! Manny!!... saddle up bro. Sounds like Steven's not going to be focusing on D1 ball. This is a shame but kids will be kids.

Whose words are these? Not putting any words in your mouth. lets see, because he has diverse interests, per your own quotes, he

a) shouldn't be on the team, I mean hey, per your post you asked if we really need a player like that?

b) He is going "Zach" on us... btw part of Zach's issues had to do with the officials making calls on moves that he was able to get away with the prior 2 years. Yes, he should have adjusted, but it is not an easy thing to do... but I am sure it had more to do with his complete lack of interest in hoops... I mean its not like Zach played up through last year in Europe. Zach must have really hated playing hoops as it kept him from his bohemian lifestyle.

c) Steven isn't focusing on hoops. How you are making this determining this I have no idea. I am sure you have taken the time to have detailed discussions with him to come to this conclusion, because I am sure you wouldn't try to gleem that off an article on the web.

d) He is wrong to have diverse interests as it MUST be keeping him from being all that he can be which bothers you.

LongIslandZagFan
11-06-2009, 05:59 AM
I hope that, as part of his education and broadening experiences at Boone St., an adult mentions to Steven that he has to make a living some day. Generally, there are too many adult hippies and utopians on college campuses, and that important facet of life is overlooked outside of the reality-based study areas. I (and everybody) knows of the sociology or poly sci major who "grew", but didn't spend an equal amount of time addressing the ability to pay the bills once the 4 (or 5 or 6) years in CandyLand has ended.

Steven has a tremendous talent. The apprehension isn't that the Zags will lose an extra game or two due to his liberalization (in the best, traditional sense of the word). It is that he doesn't quite appreciate his gift and put it into a broader perspective that includes functionality in addition to the aesthetic regions of life.

Maybe acting or sociology is his passion, and he will thrive. But as a practical matter, any mature, educated graduate from Gonzaga should have a workable fallback position that maximizes his chances. After all, people like "growing" in all the other years after college, and it's a lot easier and more fun when the resources are available.

Good luck, sir.

What is wrong with you people? Un-friggin'-real. :explode:

siliconzag
11-06-2009, 06:21 AM
Steven is a unique Zag. In fact, I think in some ways he is one of our most fascinating players. The interest in the theater can just as easily be viewed as cross training. Perhaps acting is a way for him to explore new roles, as the coach is asking of him. Perhaps it is part of developing himself, as Adam Morrison did by reading avant garde political commentary.

This thread is full of judgment, and I find it a bit disconcerting frankly. He may not have the fire in the belly in exactly the same observable way as Casey or Matt or DD. Neither did Blake actually. He always had a calm demeanor and there was a time when Few played mind games on him too. Does anybody remember the infamous SR article just prior to the NCAA games in SLC?

Steven has had some brilliant games. He has yet to find his groove. Sometimes athletes never develop the kind of consistency we would hope for them. But dallying in the theater, I suspect he is just trying something new and different, which is what the coach was asking him to do, and what his critics want. I would lay off the kid. If you want to complain about his performance, go ahead, but stay out of his head, and check your judgment at the door. In the meantime I would say again for the sake of emphasis, Steven Gray is a unique Zag.

Sili

jazzdelmar
11-06-2009, 06:28 AM
Steven is a unique Zag. In fact, I think in some ways he is one of our most fascinating players. The interest in the theater can just as easily be viewed as cross training. Perhaps acting is a way for him to explore new roles, as the coach is asking of him. Perhaps it is part of developing himself, as Adam Morrison did by reading avant garde political commentary.

This thread is full of judgment, and I find it a bit disconcerting frankly. He may not have the fire in the belly in exactly the same observable way as Casey or Matt or DD. Neither did Blake actually. He always had a calm demeanor and there was a time when Few played mind games on him too. Does anybody remember the infamous SR article just prior to the NCAA games in SLC?

Steven has had some brilliant games. He has yet to find his groove. Sometimes athletes never develop the kind of consistency we would hope for them. But dallying in the theater, I suspect he is just trying something new and different, which is what the coach was asking him to do, and what his critics want. I would lay off the kid. If you want to complain about his performance, go ahead, but stay out of his head, and check your judgment at the door. In the meantime I would say again for the sake of emphasis, Steven Gray is a unique Zag.

Sili


perfect, sil.....

vandalzag
11-06-2009, 07:27 AM
Substitute volunteering at the cancer ward for acting in a play. Instead of longboarding say he was mentoring children in the big brother program. If he had chosen these activities to broaden himself would there be anybody questioning his dedication to the team or his commitment to maximizing his basketball potential?
The laughable part of all of this is that people are reading an article and inferring the state of mind of an athlete, yet nothing in the article comes close to assumptions made by people on this site. As I have said before there is nothing in this article that questions his dedication (common sense in riding a skateboard yes, but not his commitment to the team).
He has been written off by some as inconsistent and not reaching his potential, while his career is only half over, the first part being spent as the 4th or 5th option in the offense yet still managing to put up 9pts a game(while battling injuries). There also people taking shots at him for not being basketball focused, yet were not happy with Daye leaving early to pursue his primary focus of basketball.

Baldwinzag
11-06-2009, 07:29 AM
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Where did I come from?
Where am I going?
What is the purpose of life?

Why should I act?
How should I act?
What is good?
What is to be sought?

--"If his [a student's] reading is confined simply to one subject, however such division of labour may favour the advancement of a particular pursuit . . . certainly it has a tendency to contract his mind."

--"General culture of mind is the best aid to professional and scientific study, and educated men can do what illiterate cannot; and the man who has learned to think and to reason and to compare and to discriminate and to analyze, who has refined his taste, and formed his judgment, and sharpened his mental vision, will not indeed at once be a lawyer, or a pleader, or an orator, or a statesman, or a physician, or a good landlord, or a man of business, or a soldier, or an engineer, or a chemist, or a geologist, or an antiquarian, but he will be placed in that state of intellect in which he can take up any one of the sciences or callings I have referred to, or any other for which he has a taste or special talent, with an ease, a grace, a versatility, and a success, to which another is a stranger. In this sense, then, and as yet I have said but a very few words on a large subject, mental culture is emphatically useful."

--"The more you learn, the more you can learn. Knowledge builds upon knowledge. When you learn something, your brain remembers how you learned it and sets up new pathways, and if necessary, new categories, to make future learning faster. The strategies and habits you develop also help you learn more easily."

--"The world becomes understandable. A thorough knowledge of a wide range of events, philosophies, procedures, and possibilities makes the phenomena of life appear coherent and understandable. No longer will unexpected or strange things be merely dazzling or confusing. How sad it is to see an uneducated mind or a mind educated in only one discipline completely overwhelmed by a simple phenomenon."

--"More is experienced in one day in the life of a learned man than in the whole lifetime of an ignorant man."

--"Knowledge makes you smarter and smarter is happier."

--"General knowledge is an ally of faith."

--"Life itself is a whole, not divided into majors. Most jobs, most endeavors, really require more knowledge than that of one field. We suffer every day from the consequences of not recognizing this fact. "

--"General knowledge enhances creativity. Knowledge of many subject areas provides a cross fertilization of ideas, a fullness of mind that produces new ideas and better understanding."

--"You will be able to think for yourself. The diverse body of knowledge you will gain from a liberal arts education, together with the tools of examination and analysis that you will learn to use, will enable you to develop your own opinions, attitudes, values, and beliefs, based not upon the authority of parents, peers, or professors, and not upon ignorance, whim, or prejudice, but upon your own worthy apprehension, examination, and evaluation of argument and evidence."

--"You will develop strength of mind and an ordered intellect. The mind is like a muscle; exercise makes it stronger and more able to grasp ideas and do intellectual work."

--"A cultivated mind enjoys itself and the arts."


What are all these quotes, you ask? They are taken directly from one of Gonzaga's brochure books, "On the Purporse of a Liberal Arts & Jesuit Education". I'd suggest taking a moment to read each one of these nuggets of wisdom and ask yourself if Steven is fully embracing his education experience or not.

seasontixholder
11-06-2009, 07:31 AM
Who's being judgmental here besides the tut-tutters? I didn't criticise, I didn't state, I didn't judge. I expressed hope that Steven is getting a broad range of advice and experience that includes practical matters. In return I got a simplistic, mischaracterizing remark about a welding class.

I expressed no comment regarding Steven's statement or actions, or whether he is going all out. I wished him the best. I acknowledged that he might have success in other pursuits. On other threads, I praised his bb work this year. Who could interpret that as negativity?

I DO have experience with certain young ones not maximizing their special gifts, and then later regretting that they didn't dedicate themselves at the time. That's all. Period. All of this other comment is the imagination of others or projection.

My one hope for this gentleman is one that I have for any young person ... and that is to avoid that moment. Without knowing a thing about his or anyone else's day-to-day details, where's the mortal sin in that?

Oh, brother, spare us the histrionics.

GU69
11-06-2009, 07:33 AM
Substitute volunteering at the cancer ward for acting in a play. Instead of longboarding say he was mentoring children in the big brother program. If he had chosen these activities to broaden himself would there be anybody questioning his dedication to the team or his commitment to maximizing his basketball potential?


Yes.

Also if he had gone 8 for 10 against Alberta rather than 2 for 10. Maybe we should give it more than one exhibition game.

seasontixholder
11-06-2009, 07:36 AM
That is a pretty heavy judgement. It makes me wonder how people like Steven (who we know is nice and has never said anything about you and your "wonderful" way of life) can make you so judgemental? Are you really as happy as you would like us to believe, or are you just fooling yourself?

Exactly where is any "judgement"? Let alone heavy judgement.

MDABE80
11-06-2009, 09:13 AM
There is no severe judgement on Steven. LIZ doesn't seem to see the "If's" as an "IF" or the "Going Zack" as the joke it was intended to be. Nobody said it was "wrong" to have other interests. All these are your outcomes LIZ.

As I said in the beginning and in multiple posts....there is no right or wrong here. When a kid picks other areas outside of basketball and studying, there is concern. Nobody in this post said "Yank his scholarship". Nobody said "kick himoff the team till he gets his mind right". Kids have options...they can choose many at GU. They can do other things and still play basketball. Nobody has said different.

The only concern is for dilution of focus and dilution of time spent on Steven's part. LIZ and others have turned this into a Drama piece when there is none. Boil it down guys. ZN's one paragraph I quoted is the guts of it. Everything else is window dressing and is very tangential to any argument.

I'll post her comment again. It's a treat to see such insight boiled down.

"Agreed. I too thought about Derek when I was writing my post. If you have two prospects coming in, one of whom is so fierce about improving his game that he's in the gym at 2:00 am, and one who's dividing time between basketball, the skateboard park, and theater, which one has the greatest likelihood of of reaching his potential in the basketball arena?"

That's all this is. No drama...just a simple question begging for a simple answer. Insightful. No judgemental, not mean nor is it angry. I added that I bet Few (myself too) are glad we have Manny, Bol and Gibbs handy should this foray into normal college living doesn't work well. DRAMA meisters!! ;)

TheZagPhish
11-06-2009, 09:21 AM
So..... Crêpes everybody?

http://thepartygoddess.com/blog/media/blogs/Food/crepes_pic.jpg

We're a passionate crew.

Happy Friday!

BobZag
11-06-2009, 09:27 AM
Just fwiw, this thread has just about run its course. Or as Leonard Cohen sings...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVt6vhRAu3k

sonuvazag
11-06-2009, 09:31 AM
I simply posit that just because he's not in the gym all the time (do we know this for a fact?) doesn't mean he's not doing what's best for his basketball career. Few mentioned how efficient and effortless he seems. Maybe he is really good at using the 80/20 principle.

seasontixholder
11-06-2009, 09:33 AM
Good post, ABE.

Following one's star and thinking out of the box are highly encouraged. Following pleasurable pursuits? Go for it. One would be crazy to tell a kid from the alma mater of Bing Crosby - who cold-called on Hollywood - to be a college grind. However, the first obligation of a learner is to pay attention the nuts ands bolts.

Take Steve's name out of this discussion and apply it to a generic kid that you care about. If some apprentice actor with European BB (or better skills) inquired, reasonable people might recommend investing a few years in BB drudgery in order to provide the funds for later indulgement of his real dream. Or maybe just to keep his options open. Judgmental? No, sensible. Acting is a lightning-strike occupation. If a generic kid has already been bestowed with another lightning-strike set of skills, aren't the odds in his favor if he devotes another short years taking them to the max?

It's not like life ends at 22.

ZagNative
11-06-2009, 09:36 AM
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/Junk/Misc/Iseecrazypeople.jpg

gamagin
11-06-2009, 09:43 AM
you all ought to fire yourselves and hire a good editor.

ZagNative
11-06-2009, 09:45 AM
Time to pull up a lawn chair and just watch and enjoy!

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/Junk/Misc/OfftheRails.jpg

CaliforniaZaggin'
11-06-2009, 09:56 AM
The article made no specific references to how much time Steven has, or has not, been spending on improving his game, nor did it discuss whether other players are working harder than Steven. There's a lot of unfair negative inferences being made, and that absolutely shocks me. The writer clearly wanted to play a certain angle with this article, and he likely chose which quotes to use accordingly. I think we owe Steven the benefit of the doubt.

P.S. I look forward to bumping this thread the first time Steven drops 20+ this season.

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0dgL0dmabG6C0/610x.jpg

CDC84
11-06-2009, 09:57 AM
I hope that, as part of his education and broadening experiences at Boone St., an adult mentions to Steven that he has to make a living some day. Generally, there are too many adult hippies and utopians on college campuses, and that important facet of life is overlooked outside of the reality-based study areas. I (and everybody) knows of the sociology or poly sci major who "grew", but didn't spend an equal amount of time addressing the ability to pay the bills once the 4 (or 5 or 6) years in CandyLand has ended.

http://www.usm.edu/antsoc/socio/careers.html


The vast majority of sociologists do not teach, although some do. Many sociologists work for government agencies conducting research as staff members in policy areas dealing with social issues, e.g., health care or crime. In 1988 the U.S. Office of Personnel Management established a position classification for sociology, and the government notes that sociology is an appropriate degree for work in areas such as public health,consumer safety, employee relations and civil rights. You will find sociologists employed by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institutes of Health. Other sociologists work for private businesses, such as AT&T, General Foods, The Gallup Organization and American Express, as well as media organizations like NBC and CBS. Still others work for nonprofit groups directly dealing with social problems – poverty, women’s rights, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency and others. Sociology is clearly a uniquely diverse field, and students of sociology are well-prepared for success in a variety of career paths.

How is sociology not "reality-based"?

In addition to what is described above, there are thousands of sociology majors like my sister who have taken what they've learned in sociology and have applied it to another field. She's currently preparing to go to law school, and the areas that she's interested in working in all have to do with things she learned as an undergraduate.

seasontixholder
11-06-2009, 10:02 AM
Asked and answered: "Maybe acting or sociology is his passion, and he will thrive."

LongIslandZagFan
11-06-2009, 10:02 AM
My last point on this abe would be this...

YOU questioned why we should have a kid such as Steven. Regardless of any "IFs" that may be around it, I find it unacceptable to actually question whether a PSA should be on the team because of his perfectly legal and quite benign actions off the court.

Again... your exact words were:


BUT as a practical matter do we need a player who has trouble shooting last year and now is poised to divert time to other things....instead of trying to get his shot back....sound good to you guys? I guess THAT was some kind of weird joke too?

ZagNative
11-06-2009, 10:12 AM
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/Junk/Misc/flying-monkeys-oz-tin-sign1.jpg

Oh, dear God. Let this thread sink into oblivion before Coach O visits the neighborhood again and witnesses our shame....