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RenoZag
01-03-2013, 09:02 PM
the Zags:

LINK (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8803018/kansas-overtakes-duke-top-spot-mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings)


9. Gonzaga

If Gonzaga wants to get involved with conference realignment and leave the WCC, the Big 12 seems like the best destination. It would never happen because the Zags don't have a football team, and they may not want to face Kansas, which has won so many back-to-back conference championships that even Tom Emanski is impressed. Still, given that the Foreigners are 5-0 against Big 12 teams this year, including wins over two of the conference's better teams last week, you'd have to think Mark Few wouldn't mind switching conferences.

It's amazing to think that in the early 2000s Gonzaga gained a reputation as an NCAA tournament Cinderella and played a pivotal role in improving the reputation of mid-major basketball, but in the 14 years since Dan Monson took the Zags to the Elite Eight, Gonzaga has never advanced past the Sweet Sixteen. Meanwhile, mid-majors like Butler, George Mason, and VCU have made it to Final Fours and Xavier has made two Elite Eights. If you haven't been paying attention, you might think that Gonzaga has the best mid-major program in the country, but until the Zags do some damage in March, that's just not true. This year, expect the Foreigners to do something about this.

As much as I worshipped Adam Morrison and loved his Zags from 2004 to 2006, there's no denying that this year's group of Foreigners is the best team Mark Few has ever had. Kevin Pangos is playing out of his mind right now and Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris have emerged as possibly the best frontcourt in the country.4 The Foreigners have depth and size, they've got a great glue guy/X factor in Gary Bell Jr., and they have the most entertaining walk-on in college basketball in Rem Bakamus (otherwise known as the guy who did the air guitar during the Illinois game). A lot of people counted Gonzaga out after Illinois beat them on their home court, but the Foreigners have responded well and they're back to playing to their potential. The WCC isn't as good as it typically is, so the Foreigners aren't going to be tested much during what remains of the regular season, but they are traveling to Butler in a couple of weeks. And as Xavier fans who remember 2010 can attest, winning a highly anticipated game in Hinkle is never easy.

Ekrub
01-03-2013, 09:29 PM
We are the best mid major of the past 15 years.

GodZaga76
01-03-2013, 09:29 PM
I don't agree with his saying we are not the best mid major. VCU really

Saxon_zag
01-03-2013, 09:38 PM
I don't agree with his saying we are not the best mid major. VCU really

Dang guys i guess george mason has a better bball program than the zags :( :(. 1 final four run in a crapshoot of a tournament > 15 years of sustained success (at least according to this guy)

GodZaga76
01-03-2013, 09:47 PM
Dang guys i guess george mason has a better bball program than the zags :( :(. 1 final four run in a crapshoot of a tournament > 15 years of sustained success (at least according to this guy)

Yeah, sang we suck lol. I am also getting tired of this guy referring to this team as the foreigners, really dude last time i checked the scores of this years team the name still said Gonzaga, same as Ammo team.

RenoZag
02-15-2013, 08:17 PM
January 23rd

Following the Butler game:


10. Gonzaga

I know Saturday's loss at Butler was tough, but Zags fans shouldn't feel too upset, because it's nearly impossible to win a marquee game in Hinkle Fieldhouse for a variety of reasons.1 The place is older than Jerry Tarkanian by two years,2 yet the original floor is still in use and I'm pretty sure the baskets are the first model that came out after peach baskets fell out of use. This means the place has a ton of quirks that require getting used to. We played at Butler my senior year at Ohio State, and during practice in Hinkle the night before the game, most of my teammates spent a good half-hour complaining about the lighting, trying to figure out where the dead spots on the floor were, and investigating how tight or loose the rims were. This isn't meant to be an excuse. It's just a fact — Hinkle is unlike any gym in America. It's like playing Xbox when you own a PS3. It's similar enough that you can't use it as an excuse, but it's still uncomfortable enough to have some impact on your performance.

Of course, if you watched even 10 minutes of the Gonzaga-Butler game, you heard plenty of Hinkle Fieldhouse history already. As far as the game is concerned, I thought Gonzaga played pretty well. The same issues that have plagued the Foreigners all year were present — defending the 3-point line and, really, just defending in general.

But the loss to Butler isn't too devastating for Gonzaga when you look at it this way: The Bulldogs, a top-15 team playing at home, needed a miracle to beat Gonzaga. That's how good the boys from Spokane are.

Sure, the Foreigners got little from their guards (including absolutely nothing from Gary Bell Jr.), but we knew going in that they'd have a huge size advantage over Butler, so it makes sense that Gonzaga relied so heavily on their frontcourt.

So chin up, Zags fans. This loss stings now, but it will make the Foreigners better in March, which is why I'm sticking by my claim that Mark Few will advance further in the NCAA tournament this year than ever before.

RenoZag
02-15-2013, 08:21 PM
LINK (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8897796/mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings-best-defender-big-ten)




7. Gonzaga

I watched Gonzaga play BYU in a Tucson bar after the Arizona-UCLA game, and although I couldn't focus on the game as much as I would've liked because I was burying my face in pizza and beer, I'm not sure it mattered. That's because you didn't need to watch closely to see that the Foreigners couldn't miss on Thursday. Yes, Gary Bell Jr. continued his January slump by shooting 2-for-10, but the rest of the Foreigners lit it up, including Kelly Olynyk, who had a perfect night, going 9-for-9 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

Gonzaga is second in the country in field goal percentage, so it's not that surprising that they torched BYU. What's more unexpected, though, is that they held BYU to 36 percent shooting. Defense has been my biggest gripe about the Foreigners this year, and it will determine how far they go in the NCAA tournament, so it's encouraging to see them put the clamps on a not-awful BYU team.

Unfortunately, Gonzaga won't be tested much for the rest of the regular season, as the WCC is down this year and only BYU or Saint Mary's seems capable of testing the Zags. Then again, with the way this season is going, nothing would surprise me.

RenoZag
02-15-2013, 08:28 PM
LINK (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8921774/mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings-why-ohio-state-fans-feel-fantastic-buckeyes-loss-michigan)




4. Gonzaga

Before I dive into Gonzaga's game against San Diego, let me first say that the West Coast Conference has some of the worst college basketball officials I've ever seen. By my count, there were at least four different calls made in that game that weren't just bad calls — they seriously made me wonder if the refs knew the rules of the game or had legitimate eye trouble.

These guys officiated like they were working in a church league that paid them with coupons for Chicken McNuggets. They were so bad, in fact, that if you proposed a trade that would send Ted Valentine and Ed Hightower to the WCC and bring two of them to the Big Ten, I'd think about it for at least three seconds before saying yes.

Now that I've got that off my chest, let me address something that's starting to bother me with this crop of Foreigners: leadership.

I've watched every loss and close win Gonzaga has played this year, and the common theme in all these games is that they don't have that guy who, when things start heading south, can grab his teammates by their jerseys and tell them to pull their heads out of their asses. Kevin Pangos seems like he should be this guy — he's the point guard and he's the one who gathers the team into a huddle before free throws. But that doesn't seem to be his personality, and often when the Foreigners are taking bad shots or not playing particularly hard, he's a big reason why.

This leaves two other candidates: Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris. Olynyk is the best player on the team and an All-American candidate, but he also looks like someone who sells candy in between games to raise money for his Little League baseball team. If he started yelling at his teammates, I'm guessing most of them would laugh in his face and he'd promptly shut up. And Harris is basically a West Coast version of Deshaun Thomas in that he always seems to have blinders on. He robotically goes about his business to the point that he almost seems oblivious as to everything else that's happening on the court.

I don't think teams necessarily need an obvious leader, but I do think that it would help this club immensely, especially since Mark Few is a laid-back coach. Success in college basketball can often be attributed to containing opponents' runs, and the best way to do this is to have a guy who can rally the troops at the slightest hint of a momentum shift.

If Pangos can step up and be that guy for Gonzaga, there's no telling how good the Foreigners can be.

RenoZag
02-15-2013, 08:33 PM
LINK (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8943939/mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings-tyson-zone-florida-conundrum-prediction-michigan-state)


5. Gonzaga

Gonzaga took the week off by playing two of the worst teams in its bad conference, so I'm not going to write much about the Foreigners. Expect this to change next week, though, since Gonzaga has its toughest test of the conference season on Thursday when they travel to Saint Mary's. In the meantime, I ask this question in hopes that one of you can provide an answer:

Is Kelly Olynyk having the best season following a non-medical/non–eligibility issue/non-transfer redshirt year in the history of college basketball? What if that redshirt comes before his junior year instead of his freshman year?

(I seriously would love an answer to this. If anybody knows of an instance when someone had an All-American season after being voluntarily redshirted, let me know.)

Malastein
02-15-2013, 08:36 PM
I hope Coleman is doing as much with the coaches as Olynyk did this past year. I hope they get lots of players to buy into having a super redshirt year. Wowza!

RenoZag
02-20-2013, 06:12 PM
# 2


I wanted to grab your attention with that little Space Jam nugget because if you plan on filling out a tournament bracket this year, this is something you need to know: Gonzaga is good. Like, really good. Like, they have the best frontcourt in the country to go along with skilled, athletic guards. They aren't just power-ranked second in the most powerful power rankings in college basketball by default. The Foreigners can hoop.

The knock on the Foreigners from people who haven't been paying attention to them this year is that they don't play anybody. And while the West Coast Conference certainly isn't great, this isn't exactly the truth, because according to Joe Lunardi's Bracketology, Gonzaga has won seven games against tournament teams with an average margin of victory of more than 12 points. Plus, all but two of these wins came away from home.

Along with Indiana and Michigan State, the Foreigners are one of the few teams in college basketball this season without an embarrassing loss. I'm not saying they should be national title favorites or that they won't get bounced from the tournament in the first weekend. But I am saying that this isn't a typical Gonzaga team. They aren't a good mid-major team — they're a good college basketball team. And if they can get Elias Harris and Gary Bell Jr. to play well at the same time, there's no telling how good they can be.



Gonzaga's December victories over Oklahoma State and Kansas State aren't why I'm power-ranking them so high. What convinced me to power-rank the Foreigners second was the way they destroyed Saint Mary's on the road last week. The Gaels will likely be an NCAA tournament team and are Gonzaga's biggest in-conference rivals. Emotions run so high for rivalry games that winning in your rival's home gym is hard enough, let alone blowing them out when they're an NCAA tournament–caliber team. No other team in college basketball has done that this year, which is why I'm convinced the Foreigners are for real.

LINK (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8966901/mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings-indiana-hoosiers-prohibitive-favorites-national-championship)

jazzdelmar
02-20-2013, 06:17 PM
Waste of electrons, on their website and here. Please make the drivel stop.

tobizag
02-20-2013, 06:22 PM
Waste of electrons, on their website and here. Please make the drivel stop.

ah c'mon jazz! grantland is fantastic site! and club trillion is hilarious.

jazzdelmar
02-20-2013, 06:32 PM
ah c'mon jazz! grantland is fantastic site! and club trillion is hilarious.

Grantland can be great and dreadful. The long form reporting is enjoyable when the subject is worthy of length. But too often, as this ding ding does, they spend way too much time on a nugget of facts. As an antidote to dot dot dot journalism I agree Grantland is welcome relief. Even founder Simmons can be too verbose. I rather like it more when they write about popular culture and not sports. Try Real Clear Sports for the best of both worlds.

Chone Figgins
02-28-2013, 02:09 PM
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8999365/mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings-gonzaga-no-1-happens-all-other-top-teams-keep-losing (http://http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8999365/mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings-gonzaga-no-1-happens-all-other-top-teams-keep-losing)

Never thought I'd see the day that the Zags would be front and center on this site. There are always some good reads here, but just last year I'm not sure if they even knew Gonzaga existed.

Roll Zags!!!

TokyoZag
02-28-2013, 02:28 PM
Fixed link:

Titus's Top 12 NCAA Power Rankings (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8999365/mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings-gonzaga-no-1-happens-all-other-top-teams-keep-losing)

upan8th
02-28-2013, 02:29 PM
Sorry-link not working. Anyone else?

Chone Figgins
02-28-2013, 02:30 PM
My bad on the link guys. Sorry about that. Some great stuff on the Zags though.

RenoZag
02-28-2013, 02:34 PM
1 LINK (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8999365/mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings-gonzaga-no-1-happens-all-other-top-teams-keep-losing)


1. Gonzaga

I spent well over an hour writing at least 1,000 words about why Gonzaga belongs atop college basketball's most powerful power rankings. I ripped into everyone who criticizes the Foreigners despite never having seen them play. I defended the Foreigners' supposedly weak schedule by pointing out that they're blowing out teams. And I explained that this is the best Gonzaga team ever during a down year for college basketball, so it shouldn't be that surprising to see them at the top of the most powerful power rankings in the sport.

And then I deleted everything I wrote because this thought hit me: That's not fair to the Gonzaga fans. Why should they have to deal with people who think their team is overrated? Why should they have to defend their team on message boards, comment sections, and Twitter instead of just enjoying the moment? You remember that friend growing up who would turn off video games at the last second when you were beating him so that he could say that you didn't actually win? That's what America is doing to Gonzaga right now. "Nuh-uh. You can't be the best team in the country because, um, because it's just not fair!"

So instead of using this space to make an argument that nobody is going to take seriously, I'm going to let Gonzaga fans enjoy their moment by linking to three of the best moments in Gonzaga basketball history. Drink it in, Zags fans, and celebrate being atop college basketball's most powerful power rankings for as long as you can.

Because when the NCAA tournament rolls around, Gonzaga is going to get exposed as the soft, unskilled, overrated frauds that everyone knows they are.



Et tu, Titus ?

OZZY
02-28-2013, 02:40 PM
1 LINK (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8999365/mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings-gonzaga-no-1-happens-all-other-top-teams-keep-losing)



Et tu, Titus ?

I believe that the last line is actually meant to be giving it to everyone else.....as sarcasm.

His #1 ranking, and the the words above is what he really thinks

sittingon50
02-28-2013, 02:42 PM
I took it that way too, Ozzy.

adoptedzag
02-28-2013, 02:50 PM
Very dry sarcasm, but sarcasm indeed

titopoet
02-28-2013, 02:53 PM
I believe that the last line is actually meant to be giving it to everyone else.....as sarcasm.

His #1 ranking, and the the words above is what he really thinks

I think that is right. Last week when he had GU at #2


The knock on the Foreigners from people who haven't been paying attention to them this year is that they don't play anybody. And while the West Coast Conference certainly isn't great, this isn't exactly the truth, because according to Joe Lunardi's Bracketology, Gonzaga has won seven games against tournament teams with an average margin of victory of more than 12 points. Plus, all but two of these wins came away from home.5 Along with Indiana and Michigan State, the Foreigners are one of the few teams in college basketball this season without an embarrassing loss. I'm not saying they should be national title favorites or that they won't get bounced from the tournament in the first weekend. But I am saying that this isn't a typical Gonzaga team. They aren't a good mid-major team — they're a good college basketball team. And if they can get Elias Harris and Gary Bell Jr. to play well at the same time, there's no telling how good they can be.

novazag2
02-28-2013, 02:53 PM
Hmmm....but it could be more valuable as motivation for players if taken seriously.

DixieZag
02-28-2013, 03:30 PM
No way was he being serious. Just the post before he was warning bracketists that they had better be aware of how good the Zags were.

He was making fun of people who dismiss us without having seen us.

RenoZag
03-14-2013, 01:37 PM
. . .
1. Gonzaga

with all the missed 3s, physical play, and kelly olynyk's hair, gonzaga's game at byu last thursday was nothing if not ugly. The throngs of gonzaga haters could point to the fact that the foreigners won by only five as proof that they shouldn't even be sniffing the top of the polls. But given the nature of that game, gonzaga deserves credit for slogging through and getting the win. Byu's game plan was to muck things up and let the atrocious wcc officials do their worst. The cougars even took a page out of john chaney's book and used bronson kaufusi, who fouled out in 10 minutes because his only job was to push people around, as a "goon." it was the type of game that reminds me of the old saying: Never wrestle in the mud with a pig, because you're both going to get dirty and tom crean's hair gets more absurd with each passing day.

Despite the close call at byu, i haven't lost faith in the foreigners. I promised last week that i wouldn't waste time arguing why gonzaga deserves to be no. 1. Zags fans are sick of these arguments and there's no way to reason with the blind hatred of gonzaga skeptics. Besides, as charles barkley will likely say in a couple weeks, when he covers the ncaa tournament despite having not watched any college basketball all season, all of this debating over something so meaningless is getting "ridickaluss." so instead, here's my plea: if you are reading this and you haven't seen the foreigners play, just watch the wcc tournament championship game. If you still think the zags are frauds after that, so be it. My guess, though, is that you'll realize how good these guys are. But even if the wcc title game doesn't convince you that they have what it takes to win a national championship, at the very least it should prove that the people saying "gonzaga would go .500 in the big ten" have no clue what they're talking about.

RenoZag
03-14-2013, 01:42 PM
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9048035/mark-titus-top-12-ncaa-power-rankings-why-teams-win-ncaa-championship-suffer-early-round-upset


2. Gonzaga

Why they'll win the national championship:

The Foreigners have won more games than any other team in college basketball, and despite the outcry that their schedule has been way too easy, many of their wins came against pretty good teams. Most impressive, though, is that Gonzaga hasn't lost to any unranked teams.

How well Gonzaga would do in the Big Ten is something that has been brought up ad nauseam in recent weeks, but what about flipping around the question? How would Michigan State or Indiana do in the WCC? You think they'd go undefeated and dominate even the second-best team in the conference? Well, funny story: THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT GONZAGA DID. The Foreigners have had to listen to America tell them they suck for the past month and change, so when tournament time comes around, they're going Stone Cold on college basketball by driving their trucks into the arena, chugging two beers at once, slamming them together, throwing up double middle fingers, and opening up a can of whoop ass on all comers.3

Why they won't make it out of the first weekend:

Why should I have to tell you why Gonzaga will get upset early, when ESPN.com user "ANTH0NYinCALI" already made this flawless argument in the comment section of an article discussing the latest AP poll?

How the hell is Gonzaga number 1??? I can almost guarantee that Duke, IU, Georgetown, Louisville, Michigan, MSU, or even UCLA would destroy them! I mean come on their best player is freakin' goldilocks sunshine and they lost to Butler man really? I'm sorry I just don't have any respect at all for non power conference schools. Gonzaga won't get past the sweet 16 unless they get lucky seeding and play weak teams the whole time.

The three question marks at the beginning let you know he means business. And he does bring up a good point: Gonzaga "lost to Butler man really." How can you trust a team that lost to Butler man really???

FWIW: Titus has moved Duke ahead of GU in his Top 12. . .

BTB
03-14-2013, 02:10 PM
That part from the ESPN user is hilarious!