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View Full Version : Top 12 Zags of the last 12 years: #3



VanillaGorilla
03-31-2010, 05:19 PM
Alright, I think this one will create a little debate. I know most of you had Santangelo higher than I did. but for me its Blake Stepp at #3

12. Jeremy Pargo

11. Derek Raivio

10. Cory Violette

9. JP Batista

8. Richie Frahm

7. Matt Bouldin

6. Ronny Turiaf

5. Casey Cavalry

4. Matt Santangelo

3. Blake Stepp
http://graphics.fansonly.com/photos/schools/gonz/sports/m-baskbl/auto_action/a-blake_stepp_03UWah.jpg

Why he’s here: Stepp was one of the toughest dudes to ever wear a Zag uniform. We all remember the stories or saw ‘Decade of Excellence’. There was the 31 pt effort against UW after injuring his shoulder in the weight room. Or playing his entire sophomore year (and basically his whole career) with a bum knee. He never made excuses; he just consistently put up numbers. I think it’s safe to say he is Coach Few’s all time favorite. Whenever you hear Few talk about Stepp there is a reverence in his voice that isn’t there for anyone else.

Stepp’s Junior season was something special to watch. 18 ppg, 6 apg and 40% from 3. For my money that was the 3rd best season at Gonzaga in the last 12 years. (Behind Morrison’s Junior year and Dickau’s Senior year) Obviously a couple of guys could make an argument with that, but his Junior year was amazing. Blake dominated games. How many times did he pull up from 30 feet in the old kennel and splash it home. He had range that no one since has had at GU including Morrison. And he through an alley-oop better than any Zag ever.

Stepp is the only Zag to ever be twice named the WCC player of the year. Of all the greats we’ve had Blake was the only one to be the best in the conference two times. I’ve said on this list before that I think Both Bouldin and possibly Morrison were possibly denied in seasons where they were deserving, but the fact is Stepp was clearly the guy 2 years in a row, where as Matt and Ammo only won the award once. Stepp was a tremendous all around player. Everyone knows about the assists and points but he also had over 500 career rebounds, just behind Bouldin in career totals.

For me Stepp’s best game was the epic double overtime loss to Arizona. He missed the last shot, but his play kept us in that the whole way. Big shot after big shot. When Zona started to pull away there was the 4 point play, and just on and on that day. Unfortunately he couldn’t get that last one to drop.

For all the talk recently about Meech, GJ and point guards in general, Blake Stepp is exactly what you want in a GU point guard. He did it all. Shot, scored, distributed, defended better than I think he got credit for and he was a leader of his teammates.

7th all time in points (1,670, finished his career 4th);1st all time in 3ptrs made (288) and attempted (755);6th in FT made (386);2nd in assists (640);5th in steals (152)

Why he’s not higher: Realistically I think he could be anywhere between 2 and 4-5 depending who made this list. He’s probably not higher because his lack of tournament success. Never got passed the second round after his freshman year when Dickau and Cavalry led the way. He was one 10 foot leaner away from not only possibly climbing this list but also maybe going into national tournament lore. But he rushed the shot and ends up at #3. I know from the last post that a majority believe Santangelo should be higher, but for me Matt’s peak was lower than what Stepp did the 02-03 season. The difference is paper thin for me, but I go Stepp

zagfan24
03-31-2010, 05:35 PM
Blake controlled the tempo of the game better than almost any point guard I've seen, regardless of level. He had an innate sense of when to push the ball, when to slow things down, etc. that is difficult to teach but is extremely valuable to a team.

I'll never forget his barrage of threes against USF during my freshman year at GU, prompting the "Stepp's up 7" chant at halftime when he had 23 points to their 16.

vandalzag
03-31-2010, 06:12 PM
It would have been something to see him with healthy Knees his whole career.

jazzdelmar
03-31-2010, 06:27 PM
1. have watched that damn game over and over and he still misses

2. him at #3 just underscores how great 1 and 2 were

3. now thats a POINT GUARD!!!!!

krozman
03-31-2010, 07:43 PM
now thats a POINT GUARD!!!!!

don't make me cry again.

Zag79
04-01-2010, 01:43 AM
now thats a POINT GUARD!!!!!

and yet another awesome thread is ruined by someone who feels the need to throw a dig ad nauseum. is it a must to have one of the best guards in zag history or people just arent satisfied? it is ok to let it go jazzy. ;) im excited to see who is one and who got two on this list.

jazzdelmar
04-01-2010, 05:52 AM
and yet another awesome thread is ruined by someone who feels the need to throw a dig ad nauseum. is it a must to have one of the best guards in zag history or people just arent satisfied? it is ok to let it go jazzy. ;) im excited to see who is one and who got two on this list.


one last jibe: no fewer than 5 of the top 12 on this wonderful list are true points (and one can make a case for matt b as a pg as well); with a very clear first and second tier....so whats the problem? i suspect "nauseum" will rule as long as the problem is unsolved....

SamwiseTheZag
04-01-2010, 07:22 AM
Calvary at #5? Really?

Without that guy, this board wouldn't even exist.

Not sure how you put Stepp ahead of Bouldin either.

malmer7
04-01-2010, 07:28 AM
Calvary at #5? Really?

Without that guy, this board wouldn't even exist.

Not sure how you put Stepp ahead of Bouldin either.

there can be many arguments on people that could be moved up or down two to three spots on this list (although i think it's a great list so far). but it's absolutely right on to put Stepp ahead of Bouldin, no question there...

Robzagnut
04-01-2010, 08:36 AM
Not sure how you put Stepp ahead of Bouldin either.


NO WAY! NOT NOW, NOT EVER!

I would take Stepp with one bad knee over Bouldin any day of the week.

siliconzag
04-01-2010, 09:10 AM
That ball in Salt Lake City had not rattled out, and dropped instead, he would be either #2 or #1 on the hit parade. I am convinced that after that upset in SLC, the Zags would have gone to the Final Four. I can still see that stupid ball going in and climbing out again. It is a recurring nightmare, but nothing like the UCLA game.

I would raise Blake to Number 2. Why? Because he was always a Zag, from the start. No second thoughts, and never, as you say, complained about anything. Blake rocks. Always did, always will.

Sili