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View Full Version : Is Steven Gray the greatest "Zag" ever?



Zag@LMU
02-28-2011, 09:39 PM
A lot of people outside of the GU fanbase don't understand what it is to truly be a "Zag." They think we judge our players based solely on their performance on the hardwood. However if I was asked who a real "Zag" was, I couldn't think of a better example of someone who epitomizes what it means to be a Zag better than Steven. He was a truly special player and we were extremely fortunate to have him for these four years. I wouldn't trade him for any player to put on that uniform before he did.

When he was at LMU my sister asked him for a picture after the game, and although he was with one of his old high school friends, he stopped and was more than glad to flash his signature smile for a huge Gray fan. Thank you Steven, for everything.

MedZag
02-28-2011, 09:44 PM
Ronny still holds aces in my book.

That being said, Steve truly took to heart what it means to get a Jesuit education.

Zagineer
02-28-2011, 09:51 PM
Nice post Zag@LMU. :)

Thanks for sharing what you could have chosen to be a completely private family moment.

.

Oregonzagnut
02-28-2011, 10:08 PM
I think most of us would have a hard time with quantifying that. For me I have about 5-6 guys who have typified the qualities we value as Zags.

So I go with a 5 way tie between Steven Gray, Ronny Turiaf, Blake Stepp, Brian Michaelson, and Dan Dickau.

Personally Jeff Brown comes to mind pre-1999. So many guys came before and did so much without ANY publicity like our guys get now.

Plus Jeff Brown was a Playboy All-American so he gets my vote. Lucky guy.

Zag@LMU
02-28-2011, 10:26 PM
I think most of us would have a hard time with quantifying that. For me I have about 5-6 guys who have typified the qualities we value as Zags.

So I go with a 5 way tie between Steven Gray, Ronny Turiaf, Blake Stepp, Brian Michaelson, and Dan Dickau.

Personally Jeff Brown comes to mind pre-1999. So many guys came before and did so much without ANY publicity like our guys get now.

Plus Jeff Brown was a Playboy All-American so he gets my vote. Lucky guy.

Some of those guys were before my time really. Being from Eastern Wa I always cheered for the Zags, but I never really understood the whole meaning "Zag" until about the Ammo/Raivio days.

CDC84
02-28-2011, 10:31 PM
One of my favorite memories of Gray was from this famous game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYSRSBui-uo&NR=1

The foul happened right below my feet (and it was a legit foul). The absolute definition of clutch foul shots.

I spoke with Steve after the game, and he didn't think that second one was going in. He was so relieved. It was his first really big moment in a Zag uniform. He wanted so badly to come through for his team.

I know it sounds cliched, but he's the kind of guy who you would want your daughter to take home to a family dinner. He's that kind of person. He has that kind of depth. And I don't say that about every guy who wears the Gonzaga uniform.

zagfan08
02-28-2011, 10:34 PM
Just wondering, what's your definition of "Zag?"

Zag@LMU
02-28-2011, 10:42 PM
Just wondering, what's your definition of "Zag?"

To be honest, I dont know if I could define it in words.

Maybe someone else can help explian it.

sittingon50
02-28-2011, 10:55 PM
Thanks for posting that link, CDC. A great Zag moment.

2wiceright
02-28-2011, 11:00 PM
One of my favorite memories of Gray was from this famous game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYSRSBui-uo&NR=1

The foul happened right below my feet (and it was a legit foul). The absolute definition of clutch foul shots.

I spoke with Steve after the game, and he didn't think that second one was going in. He was so relieved. It was his first really big moment in a Zag uniform. He wanted so badly to come through for his team.

I know it sounds cliched, but he's the kind of guy who you would want your daughter to take home to a family dinner. He's that kind of person. He has that kind of depth. And I don't say that about every guy who wears the Gonzaga uniform.

Kind of off topic a little, (with all due respect to our great Senior Steven Gray), but as I looked thru some of those Youtube highlights- I got caught up in the one when we beat Stanford in double OT. With our current bigs, I could sure use the "problem" of having Pargo and Ravio in our backcourt for the rest of the season! That game Pargo- 23 pts, Ravio-23 pts., Heytfelt 12 pts and 12 rebounds! No wonder as Zag fans we've become so spoiled!!! (no complaints here) (-:
Back to now...Thanks for the great memories Steven. Those two clutch free throws your freshman year to enable us to win a lost game was just a hint of what you would bring to Gonazga. You will be missed but never forgotten!

Saxon_zag
02-28-2011, 11:11 PM
To be honest, I dont know if I could define it in words.

Just take the opposite of Austin Daye and there you go :)

-1, boooooo

Zag@LMU
02-28-2011, 11:15 PM
-1, boooooo

Haha sorry man, I loved Austin on the court as a player, but, and I never had any interaction with him individually, but he seemed to be a bit immature and I think that his involvement with the recent Detroit Piston "protest" scandal shows that he could have used some of the fine tuning that helped make Steven who he is today.

MDABE80
02-28-2011, 11:36 PM
Look at all that talent on the floor! Josh, Steven, Jeremy, Matt, Austin......it's a FF lineup talent wise. Didn't deliver but wow.what talent.

There are several amazing Zags.

Zag@LMU
02-28-2011, 11:49 PM
Look at all that talent on the floor! Josh, Steven, Jeremy, Matt, Austin......it's a FF lineup talent wise. Didn't deliver but wow.what talent.

There are several amazing Zags.

Battle in Seattle 2008...probably the most fun I have ever had watching GU lose. Anyone there can probably remember every second of that game.

From Pargo's ill-advised pass, to Daye throwing that inbounds pass off the UConn passer, Thabeet getting his 4th foul...

Man, what a game.

Zagquette
03-01-2011, 05:42 AM
All time GU guards

1 Stockton
2 Dickau
3 Santangelo
4 Stepp
5 Bouldin
6 Pargo
7 Frahm
8 Gray
9 Hall
10 Raivio

Thoughts?

kclubfounder
03-01-2011, 06:09 AM
All time GU guards

1 Stockton
2 Dickau
3 Santangelo
4 Stepp
5 Bouldin
6 Pargo
7 Frahm
8 Gray
9 Hall
10 Raivio

Thoughts?

Which Stockton do you have at the top? :)

TexasZagFan
03-01-2011, 06:39 AM
I think most of us would have a hard time with quantifying that. For me I have about 5-6 guys who have typified the qualities we value as Zags.

So I go with a 5 way tie between Steven Gray, Ronny Turiaf, Blake Stepp, Brian Michaelson, and Dan Dickau.

Personally Jeff Brown comes to mind pre-1999. So many guys came before and did so much without ANY publicity like our guys get now.

Plus Jeff Brown was a Playboy All-American so he gets my vote. Lucky guy.

Pre-1999, one has to include Frank Burgess for what he accomplished on and off the court.

A bright future is ahead for Steven. I'm looking forward to see how his life progresses.

Zag4Hire
03-01-2011, 07:08 AM
Just like many subjective topics, I don't think there is any right answer in particular as people value different concepts and have their own particular favorite players. The only wrong answer would be bashing any of the players.

I think of different ideal Zags throughout this past decade:

Nobody said Few so far, how could that be? A coach that has truly made his mark at this school and when many jump ship from the mid-major conferences to the BCS, he has grown comfortable with community and I believe he truly loves the support.

Ammo was the ambassador to the nation for the Zags.

I think Ronny and Gray have been the best ambassadors for remaining in school and developing during the course of your education.

Raivio was the embodiment of loving basketball and showed it is all about hard work and practice. Maybe he could come back and teach how to shoot FTs.

However, when I hear the term 'Zag', I immediately think of Pendo. Truly scrappy, gets the job done, and could put up some surprising numbers. So much emotion and so supportive of his fellow players.

U Zig, I Zag
03-01-2011, 07:22 AM
Not sure any one player mattered more for the 4 years he was here than Matt Bouldin. He was the x-over from what was to what is. We were a rudderless ship this year until they learned to play without him.

Steven needed Matty... but learned to play without him. Steven handled a lot of adversity this year (W/L, down 3 in the WCC, injuries, etc) and handled himself with grace for 4 years on some pretty awesome basketball teams (as well as off the court).

Sounds like a great Zag to me. The greatest? Tell you what - this team gets to an EE, then yes - greatest Zag ever. :D

TacomaZAG
03-01-2011, 08:35 AM
Not sure you can limit that description to a single individual, so many variables come into play. I will say this about Steven though, he belongs in the discussion. His offensive numbers are comparable to 5 previous Zag greats (DD, Stepp, Raivio, Bouldin, Pargo) but the thing that sets him apart (not necessarily ahead, but apart) is his defense. IMHO Steven is the best defender of the six players considered here. He consistently drew the oppostion's best wing threat and was very effective on both ends of the floor.

I also love the fact that Steven committed himself to every aspect of the ZAG experience, from the arts, to the humainities, to athletics. He is definitely a fine ambassador for GU, up there with many others, including many non-athletes.

For me personally, the greatest ZAG will always be Pendo. He did everything on very good teams, always played out of position without a word, scrapped and hustled and rebounded and everything else asked of him, as well as a lot of things that just came from his heart.

I will really miss Steven, he makes me proud to be associated with the University.

Go ZAGS

DixieZag
03-01-2011, 08:58 AM
There is no greatest Zag ever, its a contradiction in terms, being a Zag means team first, not an individual - so if you speak of great Zags there has to be a cluster and ANY cluster under Zags has to have Ronny, Pendo, Steven, Stepp, Santangelo, Calvary . . . there are about 10 MUST haves under the "great cluster" - I doubt anyone could argue about the players I put up there and there would be several others that I am leaving out - - - but it is really beside the point, once you have been annointed a Zag (and not all players really were) then you are among a group that really can't be defined further.

Once and Future Zag
03-01-2011, 09:38 AM
Wow, you really have little idea about how good Bouldin was for the team either. Notice the drop off this year, as well as the lack of drop off last year.

I'll take Bouldin as being clearly a top-10 GU Guard every single day though., but sorry Mal, the data doesn't back up your assertions about the overall team performance.

There were huge drops in efficiency from '09 to '10 on both offense and defense. Then post-Bouldin, this year's team's offense is about the same (with a slight drop-off), but significantly better on the defensive end than lat year's.

2011 Efficiency ratings (rank)
Off - 109.9 (58)
Def - 91.3 (30)
Overall Rank - 36

2010 Efficiency ratings (rank)
Off - 110.6 (47)
Def - 94.7 (66)
Overall Rank - 57

2009 Efficiency ratings (rank)
Off - 118.4 (5)
Def - 90.5 (18)
Overall Rank - 7

That being said - least year's team was better from the beginning of the year, but didn't improve as much.

WILLYMCG
03-01-2011, 10:29 AM
The image of Matt S saluting the crowd after the NCAA effort against UConn was a definition of Zagdom.

Zag Man
03-01-2011, 10:53 AM
Iím not sure where Steven Gray will rank in the greatest players in Gonzaga history, but I believe he will be in the discussion when itís debated. To me thatís pretty good company! The thing that is remarkable about Steven is that he has been a consistent player and a team player from the get go. Listening to him during the raw video interviews on KREM one can see an intelligent and articulate young man that will be a success in life in whatever endeavor he chooses and a credit to the University. Weíre all lucky we got to go to Gonzaga at one time in our lives and a lot of us graduated from this great school. As a result, we were given the skills and attributes to be pretty successful ourselves. For that, Iím grateful and I continue to support the school with gifts and certainly the basketball team with an intensity that my wife and two daughters find bizarre and funny at the same time! Iím a Gonzaga basketball fan through and through. Iíd like to see us win the NCAA tournament one day; hopefully before I meet the Lord again. Seriously, I think this year is as good as any! I think our team is peaking at the right time, and I donít see any ďsuperĒ teams out there that we couldnít beat, given the right circumstances. I think Steven will be all fired up at the WCC tournament and I believe he will lead us to even greater glory in the NCAA!

lothar98zag
03-01-2011, 02:03 PM
One of my favorite memories of Gray was from this famous game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYSRSBui-uo&NR=1

The foul happened right below my feet (and it was a legit foul). The absolute definition of clutch foul shots.

I spoke with Steve after the game, and he didn't think that second one was going in. He was so relieved. It was his first really big moment in a Zag uniform. He wanted so badly to come through for his team.

I know it sounds cliched, but he's the kind of guy who you would want your daughter to take home to a family dinner. He's that kind of person. He has that kind of depth. And I don't say that about every guy who wears the Gonzaga uniform.
Thanks again for letting me use the 2nd half of your pair of tix to that game so I was able to have the best view in the house of that foul. I do forget - did we have 2nd or 3rd row seats?

Pure
03-01-2011, 03:14 PM
That's like trying to pick your favorite child... They are all special , and I appreciate each of them.

No favorites... they all ROCK .

Eroop22
03-01-2011, 03:27 PM
Patchin, Osso, and the wingman were talking about Steven Gray today. They were saying they doubt Steven is even a top ten zag all time. It is always hard for me to make lists like this but I think Gray would probably be in my top ten. Oh also wondering if anyone else heard Dennis Patchin call Steven Gray Steven Gay today. To still a line from Patchin "Are You Kidding Me" I think Patchin needs to apologize to Steven.

Oregonzagnut
03-01-2011, 03:36 PM
That's like trying to pick your favorite child... They are all special , and I appreciate each of them.

No favorites... they all ROCK .

I don't mind stating my all time favorite. Jeff Brown. Its a matter of perspective and when you went there or when you started following the Zags. Deep down, parents often have the favorite. They won't say it but just ask which one is the least trouble and you probably have your answer.

My problem was the OP asked if Gray was the greatest "Zag". That really is, once again, asking what a Zag is.

My bad for trying to answer it.

jim77
03-01-2011, 03:44 PM
He said he wanted to be remembered as a nice person....mission accomplished. He's a pretty darn good ballplayer too......How about a deep run Steven!

I do think his offensive numbers would have been higher except for the fact he expends so much energy on the defensive end. He is top 10 when you look at both...GREAT PLAYER.

SunDevilGolfZag
03-01-2011, 04:38 PM
Mike Nilson also deserves mention. A quintissential Zag, who, to my knowledge, is the only one to kiss the floor on Sr. night. That was a pretty compelling moment. All of that said, Gray is pretty darn special; all league ballplayer, play actor and helper of starving children. Wow!

CDC84
03-01-2011, 10:03 PM
Thanks again for letting me use the 2nd half of your pair of tix to that game so I was able to have the best view in the house of that foul. I do forget - did we have 2nd or 3rd row seats?

Second row off the floor. I'll never forget the Ruff Riders getting ready to storm the court. You could feel the intensity brewing up in back of us.

titopoet
03-02-2011, 07:18 AM
I have to post a philosophical point. The "greatest" is from a Platonic world view that there is an ideal. Asking the question suddenly makes us compare various players from different areas, and while it makes for "my Dad is bigger than yours" type of conversations, it really makes it hard to appreciate both the current players and the former players. I believe the point was to remember how much Gray brought to the program.

Just say no to Plato.

Reborn
03-02-2011, 07:47 AM
When I think of who best exemplifies what a ZAG is I go with Casey Calvary. Casey is from Tacoma, Washington (Home Grown) and went to Bellermine Prep. He came into a basketball program that had very little national attention. He was from a very small school. As we all know Casey grew into one of the Best Zag basketball powerforwards of all time. Talk about being able to throw 'em down. In many ways, there may not even be a term Zags if Casey had not tipped that missed shot in that was the winning shot against Florida back in '99.

I also talked to Casey for quite awhile after a ballgame and he exemplies what a Zag is as much off the court as on it. And his contributions to Gonzaga basketball continues to this day. He gives a lot of his free time to helping out guys like Rob Sacre, Josh Heytvelt, and I'm sure Sam Dower.

If it isn't Casey it's John Stockton. Ha ha! Stockton's contributions to Gonzaga basketball today is just incredible. And his past speakes for itself. I mean he may be the best point guard in the history of the NBA. And Because of his association with Gonzaga basketball today, why would an aspiring young high school point guard NOT WANT TO GO TO GU?

Stockton was one of those little known high school basketball players whom everyone said was NOT good enough to play Division 1 basketball, and look what he did!!! He is Zag material for sure.

MDABE80
03-02-2011, 10:38 AM
And the answer is..........."NO".

bballbeachbum
03-02-2011, 11:02 AM
my answer is...who cares? as it always is with these arbitrary competitions of #1ness. I like things decided on the floor, or on the filed, etc.

anyway, did you all see his interview on the Mark Few show? Steven's book is still open, and he knows it. in many respects, could still all be ahead of him...and this team.

hope he makes some of the prognosticators who have already determined rankings look premature, of course. that would be good for all Zags :)

GO ZAGS!!!

Oregonzagnut
03-02-2011, 11:08 AM
is there because of heart, ethics and their personality. It just so happens those things made them stellar basketball players too. They will be good at anything they do in life, not because they were first good basketball players, but because they were first good people.

duper
03-02-2011, 04:11 PM
All time GU guards

1 Stockton
2 Dickau
3 Santangelo
4 Stepp
5 Bouldin
6 Pargo
7 Frahm
8 Gray
9 Hall
10 Raivio

Thoughts?
Probably doesn't belong on the list but I really liked Doug Spradley. He is still involved in the game as a pro coach in Germany.

Oregonzagnut
03-02-2011, 04:19 PM
Mark Armstead. Great rebounder, with a trigger happy posse.

gamagin
03-02-2011, 05:48 PM
[QUOTE=Zagquette;644532]All time GU guards

1 Stockton
2 Dickau
3 Santangelo
4 Stepp
5 Bouldin
6 Pargo
7 Frahm
8 Gray
9 Hall
10 Raivio


hint: his jersey is hanging in the rafters, retired.

Oregonzagnut
03-02-2011, 07:06 PM
[QUOTE=Zagquette;644532]All time GU guards

1 Stockton
2 Dickau
3 Santangelo
4 Stepp
5 Bouldin
6 Pargo
7 Frahm
8 Gray
9 Hall
10 Raivio


hint: his jersey is hanging in the rafters, retired.

Although it is his opinion, I agree with damagin,

I put Morrison between Santangelo and Stepp at #4 and put Courtney Vandersloot at #6!! I move out Quentin Hall and Jeremy Pargo. Sorry Quentin and Pargo but Ammo and 'Sloot beat you out in my book. Sloot will have her jersey retired and that earns her a spot at #6 in my 10 all time ZAGS!!!!

dawgfather11
03-02-2011, 07:49 PM
when you say greatest zag I just have trouble putting gray anywhere near the level of Santangelo Frahm Calvary Dickau Stepp Turiaf. I don't think he would make my top 10 all time, just my opinion atleast.

Zag@LMU
03-03-2011, 08:24 AM
is there because of heart, ethics and their personality. It just so happens those things made them stellar basketball players too. They will be good at anything they do in life, not because they were first good basketball players, but because they were first good people.

This. I didnt mean "who is the best overall player to put on a GU uniform" I meant, "who is the best overall person/player to put on the uniform."

Oregonzagnut
03-03-2011, 08:55 AM
This. I didnt mean "who is the best overall player to put on a GU uniform" I meant, "who is the best overall person/player to put on the uniform."

Me too. Although Morrison was not a public philanthropist and verged on Communist, he still gave his entire heart to his college and sport. And with no alterior motives other than winning for the college he was a ball boy for when he was a kid. Leaving early for the NBA was a consequence of his total passion, not the reason. I like Austin Daye, but Daye came here knowing he would be leaving early. Daye knew he would never graduate in 4-5 years. Maybe someday he will finish here. But most would agree he is not even in the top 25 on your list unless it is for basketball reasons only. Then I am not so sure he is even in the top 25.

That is following your dream.

Z@L, you have a lot of good posts.

johno
03-03-2011, 10:44 AM
I try not to use someone's excellence on the basketball court, or any sport, as a reason to attribute to them "excellent human being" status. I've known plenty of sports stars that were miserable to be around and treated others like dirt. Fact is you can't really know a person just by watching their play on the court. You really need to be a peer of that person and I don't suppose many on this board are. All our players could be the second coming of St. Aloysius, but I don't know that. I do appreciate our players for their play on the court though and their representation of GU to the nation. I just take them for what they are, young men who play good basketball for a team, university, and town I call my home.

Johnzaga
03-03-2011, 11:21 AM
My greatest zag is named Roney Spinktongraftepp.

This Name breaks down to:
(Ron)ni Turiaf for his love of the school, emotion and intensity!
Cas(ey) Calvary for his power, size, and athleticism crossed with sportsmanship and class!
Mark (Spink) for his devotion to go all out and leave it on the floor (literally)!
Stock(ton) BOTH! John is a perfect face of Gonzaga Basketball and David is so far doing a great job of extending the legacy! Love the class and the game that is built on smarts and ingenuity to use a small body to get the job done at a high level!
David Pender(graft) - Selfless! Had the skills and ability to do so much more - but played out of position and worked extremely hard to help the team in any way that he could and how we needed!
Blake St(epp) One of the best to play at Gonzaga in so many ways. Wonder how different he would be looked at if that floater would have dropped.

Gray will need to show me a little something extra this NCAA tourney to make a spot on this name!

GrizZAG
03-03-2011, 11:24 AM
Shouldn't Frank Burgess be in this conversation somewhere? I don't know much about him except he held some pretty serious records for a long time and maybe some still stand today?? Someone who knows more about him should comment. I know he ended up a Judge and has a lot of respect. He was a scoring machine as I recall, but maybe not during a time when the Zags were relevent as they are today. Shed some light please..thx.

Oregonzagnut
03-03-2011, 11:44 AM
Shouldn't Frank Burgess be in this conversation somewhere?

YES. this list is here to be a work in progress and will never be set in stone. Most only can judge by what they have seen themselves. Very few here ever even saw Burgess play.

mdZag23
03-03-2011, 02:41 PM
NO!

Not even close!

Love Steven but.....

Oregonzagnut
03-03-2011, 03:27 PM
what a "Zag" is, may possibly be the biggest taboo subject possible.

Its, totally subjective and if you do attempt, it will merely set you up for everyone to disagree with you because it means something different to each individual.

Its a no win.

Even if mdZag23 says


NO!

Not even close!

Love Steven but.....

Try telling that to Stevens mother or father. Plus, it just becomes fodder for endless debate that never get anywhere.

My final conclusion (for myself only) is that the best and the simplest definition of "A Zag" is a member of the current basketball team. Everyone else is a Zag fan (me), former Zag (John Stockton), or future Zag ( Gary Bell). That way all of us can just chill and let the current 20-30 players, coaches, and trainers have the honor of being the Zags. Because they really are. We root for the Zags, we do not root for ourselves (well I did last night with my GF) but I digress.

Right now Gray is the 2nd best Zag. Hands down. Right next to Mark Few. That makes it a whole lot easier and less complicated. Now we can just debate over who is the best "Zag fan" and start all over again.

BJZags
03-03-2011, 06:20 PM
Greatest Zag "ever" would have a different answer depending upon how you define "ever" or even "Zag." From a purely basketball contribution standpoint, being forced to draw one name from the hat, I'd go with Casey Calvary, solid four-year career, and he almost individually lifted us to our only EE with his tip-in with time running out.

Oregonzagnut
03-03-2011, 07:19 PM
being forced to draw one name from the hat, I'd go with Casey Calvary

Put the names of every player that has ever played basketball for Gonzaga in an excel spreadsheet then random pick one for the "Best Zag Ever...of the Day" award.

It seems to change every day, so why not give everyone the chance.