View Full Version : Long Ago DeCoursey Article

03-04-2013, 06:14 PM
Did anyone save the Mike DeCoursey article from YEARS ago, "They have been with us for _____(don't remember the number of days) days - it was in the thousands! I emailed him and it is no longer in his computer files.

03-04-2013, 06:33 PM
If it was posted online you could try the google archives

03-04-2013, 07:47 PM
The Sporting News, 1/14/2005, Vol. 229 Issue 2, p49-50

"More Dangerous Than Ever"

If you insist on calling Gonzaga a mid-major, then the NBA is basketball's only high-major league.

As of New Year's Day, 2005, they had been with us for precisely 2,121 days. They are nothing like the cicadas, which pop up every 17 years and make one heck of a racket, then disappear quietly. No, these pesky critters are sticking around.

The Zags arrived in March 1999, when they dusted off Pac-10 champion Stanford and reached their first Sweet 16. Their imminent extinction has been predicted many times since, most prominently during the recent offseason. But the current Gonzaga players haven't merely extended the chain of excellence. Even with a disappointing defeat at Missouri, this group just completed the best preconference season run in the program's history.

Gonzaga has won 80 percent of its games since arriving on the national scene and advanced in the NCAA Tournament five times in six years, but defeating Washington, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State in December was as impressive as any previous achievement. The Zags will get another high seed in the NCAA Tournament, and they will be more dangerous than ever. Here's why:

Novelty. Who else employs a 6-8 shooting guard whose best move is driving to 12 feet for a pull-up jumper? Though he is not an accurate 3-point shooter, sophomore Adam Morrison is averaging 19.2 points. There is no player like him in Division I, so opponents aren't comfortable defending him. Center Ronny Turiaf's ability to bank shots from the post causes similar problems.

"A lot of guys either shoot the 3 or it's all the way to the hole," Morrison says. "I hardly ever get to the basket because I'm not that fast. I try to use my body, use angles, use up-fakes. It works out."

Gonzaga's emphasis on the running game compounds the distress for opponents. They must deal with uncommon tactics at a high rate of speed.

Size. Gonzaga is one of the few teams that has two legitimate post scorers. Turiaf is 6-10, 250. Junior college transfer J.P. Batista is 6-8, 265. Each can score from the block or pass out of a double-team. Coach Mark Few turns to Batista when Turiaf encounters foul trouble or fatigue and uses them together when neither factor is an issue.

"People try to make it their emphasis to stop Adam or me," Turiaf says. "J.P. is such a great player that people are realizing if you focus too much on one of us, he can hurt you."

Versatility. The most recent Gonzaga teams were deeply dependent on the dominance of star guards Dan Dickau and Blake Stepp. This team can use Turiaf or Morrison as a primary option. Complementary players such as forwards Sean Mallon and Erroll Knight and point guard Derek Raivio are better able to deliver big numbers when necessary.

This is a product of Gonzaga's improvement in recruiting. Before, Few and his coaches worked to emphasize the strengths and disguise the weaknesses of capable but limited players. Now, the job is to get skilled players to reach their potential and function as a team.

Just how dangerous Gonzaga can be is evident in the 12-point margin of its victory over Georgia Tech. But the Zags will be challenged in the West Coast Conference to a degree they've not experienced recently. St. Mary's, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine figure to be legitimate title contenders. Gonzaga will struggle to match its average 13-1 league record of the previous four years.

This still is not a great defensive team. Whereas Syracuse makes a statement with its zone, the Zags use theirs to hide. The team's frontcourt size hasn't resulted in productive rebounding. But that means Gonzaga has plenty of available room for improvement.

"This team has the ability to rise up to a level that is extremely high," Few says.

How high? If the Zags hang around 91 days into 2005, guess where that would put them?

03-04-2013, 08:56 PM
Good find. How many days is it now?

03-04-2013, 09:04 PM
Good find. How many days is it now?