PDA

View Full Version : Inside the G/I Temple



Birddog
01-01-2013, 12:24 PM
Arena and atmosphere:
I've been to G/I before but it is still impressive with it's steep seat angles and incredible noise. I don't think TV captures just how steep the arena is. Had they not elected to remodel they would have had to build to a more modern code which would have prevented the steep angles and noise supression rules would have been in force. I have never been lucky enough to get floor seats to any game in any arena until last night.

I entered about 35 mins before game time expecting to see the Zags still warming up but they were already in the locker room. I took my seat, row 1 halfway between the baseline and mid-court, across from the Zag bench and watched the OSU boys warm up. One thing that stood out real quick is how you can feel the boys dribbling on that floor, it was more like pounding. Some teams don't like the floor there, it is the original floor from before the G/I rebuilding.

Not long after taking my seat, one of the Officials (Big 12/MVC) I think it was Gerry Pollard came by and noticed that I was the only fan in Blue in a sea of orange with a Zag shirt. In a voice that could be heard by all around he pointed to my shirt and said "If I make a call that looks to favor the Zags are you gonna back me?" I answered "absolutely". That got mix of chuckling and guffaws from the fans. I'm sure the guy behind me didn't like it as he turned out to be one of those fans that doesn't really watch the game, but only looks for missed calls and fouls. He was also really loud.

I would guess that G/I was about 98% filled, a surprise really, as last new years game was only about 85%, but then it wasn't the Zags either. The Cowboys have their own ritual intro with the pep band (no zombie nation here) and the crowd gets rockin and loud. After the lineups and anthem it was game on.

Everybody was polite and respectful to me and quite frankly, I didn't expect anything less. Cowboy fans are pretty knowledgeable about the game, unlike a large % of fans that follow another state team. At halftime, a geezer older than me came down the line and asked me if Stockton was John Stockton's son. I informed him that yes he was, and that the three of us were all born and raised within a couple blocks of each other and the University. He seemed to think that was pretty cool.

Gallagher/Iba deserves it's rep as an iconic basketball venue. It is a good mix of the old with the new, it's loud as hell, and even in the clouds, you can see the game fairly well. The traditions are all good. I'm glad our Zags got to play there and more importantly, come away with a win.

TheZagPhish
01-01-2013, 12:29 PM
Great report, Birddog.

http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/images/icons/icon14.gif

GoZags
01-01-2013, 12:30 PM
Thanks for the report, BD. I'd been looking forward to it. Glad you saw a "W" (and one for the ages, at that).

SLOZag
01-01-2013, 12:30 PM
Really nice post. Thanks.

Hoopaholic
01-01-2013, 12:32 PM
Sweet read....

maynard g krebs
01-01-2013, 12:32 PM
Great report. Thanks.

ZagsGoZags
01-01-2013, 12:37 PM
that was fun to read
it makes me want to go there if zags play there again (reading their discussion board, I don't think it will happen very soon)

gamagin
01-01-2013, 12:47 PM
btw, did you get a chance to meet Bob Finn, director of GU alum relations, at the pre game function ?

His family roots are St.Al's/GP/GU. Good kid. Does an excellent job.

CaliforniaZaggin'
01-01-2013, 12:55 PM
Cheers, Birddog. Thanks for sharing.

Rangerzag
01-01-2013, 01:04 PM
Nice read, BD. Thanks for the report.


One thing that stood out real quick is how you can feel the boys dribbling on that floor, it was more like pounding.

I also noticed the noise from the floor while watching the game live on the tube. It is a curiously hollow or drum like sound, even at times making players sound like they were not wearing cushioned shoes.

sittingon50
01-01-2013, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the report, BD. What a great experience.

hondo
01-01-2013, 01:20 PM
Great report BD. Thought I may have seen you on the tube but not sure.

Birddog
01-01-2013, 01:23 PM
Part II Game Impressions:
When you're on the floor, the game looks different than on TV or in even good seats a short ways away. From time to time your view is blocked by a player or the officials and your view is straight ahead or up, not down, on the action. I noticed right away how confident the Zags were. They had a plan and they were methodical in execution. You can really feel their confidence, at least I thought I could. At no time did I see anything that would indicate less than a 100% belief that they could and would win this game. I personally had a slight doubt with about 3 mins left when Harris had a TO on a pass to Kelly, but I was quickly back on the bandwagon and with about 2;30 to go I felt confident we would win.

When these guys set and move around screens, it is really, really physical. Hart is very good at slipping by screens, well not really always slipping by because it is physical as I said, but he seems to have a sixth sense about where the screen is and how to get by. He's much quicker than he looks too. Most of the team members are pretty solid. Karno is probably down to 290lbs and could still stand to lose about 10 and re-mold about 15lbs of what is left. I have no doubt that he will and that he knows he needs it. He's not soft, but he could be better ala Violette when he went from "chunk" to "chisel". Stockton is solid as a rock but he'll never be able to put much on his frame, he's just been genetically deprived. He's surprisingly tough though and he got credit for 3 RB's (I thought it was at least 4) and he snatched one from in front of Jurick, OSU's tallest player. One of the nearby fans mentioned that Stockton had some surprising hops.

The team chemistry is also quite obvious. Those guys just really have a knack for knowing where to be when things break down and how to handle adversity when it pops up. When one player tells another "whats up" there is no pouting or petulance, it's just right back to the business of winning. Any line-up out there seemed to work as well as could be expected given individuals limitations.

Dranginis didn't light up the stats, but he provided good minutes and his block was amazing as he had just recovered. He's going to be very good and those kind of minutes are very valuable. I didn't notice any sagging defense with Hart in the line-up but it is hard to see from that angle. I got the feeling that OSU respected his shooting even though he doesn't make many attempts.

Pangos always has his head up, is that where the term "heady player" comes from? He was a rock , took what they gave him and dished when nec. Bell has a great motor, he works his tail off on defense. When he lofted "the shot" it was about 10" in front of me and I knew it was good. He was WIDE open.

Olynyk must be taking ballet lessons. he gets more off balance tip in and repeat tips than any Zag player in recent memory. He's a master at put backs and getting better. You could really sense that he put the team on his back there for a stretch and he relished it. Anyone else noticing how KO's shots have an amazing rotation and touch? If they linger on the rim, they almost always fall through the iron.

Birddog
01-01-2013, 01:36 PM
I think only my back with the bulldog on my shirt made the tube. The cameras were behind me except for the baseline camera on Zags goal in 2nd half.

ZagLawGrad
01-01-2013, 02:15 PM
Super report. Thanks!

Reborn
01-01-2013, 02:27 PM
thanks birddog. Super effort, and supper report. I really enjoy the kind of post you wrote.

BobZag
01-01-2013, 02:54 PM
The court was very light-colored. I have lightened my TV due to some dark DVDs and I almost had to squint at times, the floor was so bright.

No commando kilt?

zagitup
01-01-2013, 03:03 PM
Fabulous.

Reports like these from BD make GU Boards the best fan forum in CBB, hands down.

bigblahla
01-01-2013, 03:04 PM
Great report Bird. What an awesome experience for the few Zag fans at the game when the final buzzer went off.

Go!! Zags!!!

sittingon50
01-01-2013, 03:16 PM
When Gary made that 3 I heard more than a few screams (of approval) on the tube. Saw Pendo behind the bench & another guy whom I've seen at (away) games before. How well would you estimate the Zags were represented?

Birddog
01-01-2013, 04:58 PM
The floor is very light and many of the joints have been filled. It has been well cared for but it is still old. Looks kinda classy though, hell I got to stand on it.

Bob Finn said that they sold 51 tickets through the Alumni Assn. I'd estimate that there was another 35 to 50 behind the bench where the heavy hitters get to sit. Perhaps a few others bought tickets through other channels but at the most there were probably just a little more than a 100 Zags in attendance.

Baylor was a great tune-up for the Zags with their athleticism. The Cowboys had Smart, Nash and Brown but the Zags were up to the task. That Forte kid has about a size 14 shoe, amazing for a guy his size. Smart is one of the steadiest freshman PG's I've ever seen. He's a rock. I felt bad for the guy after he bricked those free throws because he played a great game. BTW, Pangos stat line was almost exactly the same as Smart's. Totally different styles and the stats were basically equal. To me, that says something about KP's game.

Walking out of G/I most everybody was somber and they all said about the same thing "Helluva game"! It really was about trading punches, the Zags landed the last effective one.

wazZag
01-01-2013, 05:04 PM
Arena and atmosphere:
I've been to G/I before but it is still impressive with it's steep seat angles and incredible noise. I don't think TV captures just how steep the arena is. Had they not elected to remodel they would have had to build to a more modern code which would have prevented the steep angles and noise supression rules would have been in force. I have never been lucky enough to get floor seats to any game in any arena until last night.

I entered about 35 mins before game time expecting to see the Zags still warming up but they were already in the locker room. I took my seat, row 1 halfway between the baseline and mid-court, across from the Zag bench and watched the OSU boys warm up. One thing that stood out real quick is how you can feel the boys dribbling on that floor, it was more like pounding. Some teams don't like the floor there, it is the original floor from before the G/I rebuilding.

Not long after taking my seat, one of the Officials (Big 12/MVC) I think it was Gerry Pollard came by and noticed that I was the only fan in Blue in a sea of orange with a Zag shirt. In a voice that could be heard by all around he pointed to my shirt and said "If I make a call that looks to favor the Zags are you gonna back me?" I answered "absolutely". That got mix of chuckling and guffaws from the fans. I'm sure the guy behind me didn't like it as he turned out to be one of those fans that doesn't really watch the game, but only looks for missed calls and fouls. He was also really loud.

I would guess that G/I was about 98% filled, a surprise really, as last new years game was only about 85%, but then it wasn't the Zags either. The Cowboys have their own ritual intro with the pep band (no zombie nation here) and the crowd gets rockin and loud. After the lineups and anthem it was game on.

Everybody was polite and respectful to me and quite frankly, I didn't expect anything less. Cowboy fans are pretty knowledgeable about the game, unlike a large % of fans that follow another state team. At halftime, a geezer older than me came down the line and asked me if Stockton was John Stockton's son. I informed him that yes he was, and that the three of us were all born and raised within a couple blocks of each other and the University. He seemed to think that was pretty cool.

Gallagher/Iba deserves it's rep as an iconic basketball venue. It is a good mix of the old with the new, it's loud as hell, and even in the clouds, you can see the game fairly well. The traditions are all good. I'm glad our Zags got to play there and more importantly, come away with a win.

I read somewhere that T. Boone Pickens bought 4,000 seats and gave them away for free.

Birddog
01-01-2013, 05:25 PM
I read somewhere that T. Boone Pickens bought 4,000 seats and gave them away for free.
Yes, that's right. T-Boone wanted the arena to look full on National TV. Last year they were in a similar circumstance against a mediocre opponent (I forget who) and they just about gave away tickets but the arena didn't fill up. The problem both this and last year is that the football team was in a bowl game right after the basketball game and lots of fans have basketball tickets and bowl tickets. Last year they were in the Fiesta so it was a bigger deal, this year they were in a crap bowl, but it was nearby (Dallas) so it was still a conflict. Fan dollars and loyalties can only be stretched so far.

ZagMan in Philly
01-01-2013, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the great report Birddog, you are a lucky man to have been there in person.

bballbeachbum
01-01-2013, 06:51 PM
Thanks Birddog, that was great! Cheers to representing on the road

hondo
01-01-2013, 07:23 PM
Bird Dog is clearly visable for much of the game if you watch the ESPN3 replay
Dark Blue Zag tee with a huge bulldog head on the back. Row 1, back to the camera at about the top of the 3 point arc at the basket Zags were shoot for in the second half. Must have been on best behavior as we never saw police or security speak with him.

demian
01-01-2013, 07:36 PM
Great report BD, I enjoyed you taking me down memory lane with your post. I actually attended Oklahoma State University the year they advanced to the Final Four with Bryant "Big Country" Reeves as thier center. Great team and fun to watch that year. I enjoyed so much watching that game on tv last night cuz it did bring back memories for me but man that place has changed alot since 1995 when I was last there. It appears to be twice the size as it was back then it looks to be a beautiful new arena. Back in the day it was very low quality. It was tiny. It was old with no "frills" and not appealing to the eyes in any way. But it was a cool old arena and the Cowboys had a great homecourt advantage back then. Definetly a place where if OSU was at least halfways decent it was a VERY tough place to get a road win. It is amazing how much that sports program has elevated itself over the last 20 years. There football stadium is incredible compared to what it was 20 years ago. It is cool to see them become a contender and be relevant. This years version of OSU Cowboys has a chance to be a special team. Smart and nash are studs and that other real athletic kid (I cant remember his name, Morris I think, he had 16 points last night) is good to and all there guys are tough on defense and long and athletic with a good three point spot up shooter in Forte and The big guy Juric is decent, Cobbins ( i think that was his name) is a good solid role player who was tough and athletic as well. Great win for the Zags

gozagswoohoo
01-01-2013, 07:52 PM
Great reporting, great thread, great win, great gatsby.

ZagLawGrad
01-01-2013, 08:06 PM
Great reporting, great thread, great win, great gatsby.

you forgot great balls of fire.

zaguarxj
01-02-2013, 09:02 AM
I could hear the Gonzaga coaches yelling out defensive instructions on the TV broadcast. It made me wonder if the crowd was really into it or not.

rennis
01-02-2013, 09:30 AM
rewatched the end of the game, saw you behind GBJ when he hit The Three.

Perfect form on the fist pump Birddog!! Shoulders back, 30 degree bend at the waist, perfect extension from shoulder to elbow, and through the wrist...way to help the team win!

Birddog
01-02-2013, 09:38 AM
Perfect form on the fist pump Birddog!! Shoulders back, 30 degree bend at the waist, perfect extension from shoulder to elbow, and through the wrist...way to help the team win!
Post of the Day

I'll have to rewatch the game now.

rennis
01-02-2013, 09:49 AM
Post of the Day

I'll have to rewatch the game now.

when they replay his shot they show the play develop from the baseline camera angle to illustrate Hart's screen. You are in the shot the whole time.

gamagin
01-02-2013, 10:26 AM
Bird Dog is clearly visable for much of the game if you watch the ESPN3 replay
Dark Blue Zag tee with a huge bulldog head on the back. Row 1, back to the camera at about the top of the 3 point arc at the basket Zags were shoot for in the second half. Must have been on best behavior as we never saw police or security speak with him.

junk ??

scott257
01-02-2013, 10:41 AM
My wife and I attended the game. We did not have court side seats but we were well situated up one section behind the Oklahoma State bench. The view was excellent although we were the lone GU fans in that section.

We attended the pre-game function as non-alumni and met Mr. Finn. Everyone was very nice and it was a good time. There evidently was a Gonzaga section but I am not sure where it was located. Mr. Finn extended an invitation to us to sit there.

The arena was nice and the people near us were very nice. The people I sat near didn't complain too much about the officiating other than to say that it seemed they were calling the game very close on both sides and at times were missing the obvious. I thought that as well.

My link to Gonzaga is through Mark's family. I called his mother on the way up to Stillwater and told her I was headed to the game. Mark is 6 to 8 years younger than me, but I have kept up with his parents over the years as my family attended church where Mark's dad was the pastor. His mom was excited about our getting to see the game and indicated that she always worries about the kids and hopes they don't have any injuries. As important as basketball is, they (his mom and dad) are always most proud of the work that Mark does with Coaches V. Cancer and I always get an update on that when I visit with them.

One thing for certain, the game was very exciting and the arena was excellent. It can certainly get loud. My wife and I were really happy about how well we were treated by the opposing fans.

sittingon50
01-02-2013, 10:48 AM
Thanks Scott.

gamagin
01-02-2013, 10:57 AM
Thanks Scott.

thanks !

scott257
01-02-2013, 11:59 AM
Two other items of interest. Mark's mom said everyone was home (at their house) for Christmas, but she also said Mark and his family left early because he had a practice Christmas evening to prepare for the Baylor game. I was surprised by that. It certainly makes you think about all of the hard work these kids put in during the season.

Also, a funny quote from one of the OSU fans : "We are the largest privately financed state university in Oklahoma."