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Malastein
03-24-2013, 07:42 PM
This time of year is always the most fun and the most painful. This year the pain is especially sharp because the Zags were voted the number 1 team in the country, which is something which can never be taken away. True, critics will point out that such a lofty ranking comes entirely from attrition of teams in stronger conferences. However, this is a year in which the Zags were a legitimate threat to go all the way.

There just isn't a dominant team this year, and the Zags came away from the contest wishing they had played differently in a good many portions of the loss. What the great program players have done in the past is look themselves in the mirror and ask what they can do to produce more for the team. Kelly Olynyk, Mike Hart, and Elias Harris are all players who have taken this challenge year to year, improving in all facets of their games, and leading the younger players to buy into a win in culture.

The result of the last game is unfortunate, but there is an enormous opportunity to watch the current and future develop into something greater than what the te is today. Many graduates come back and push the young guys, and these guys certainly respect the great tradition this program is growing. I believe guys will see themselves capable of the same growth in ability we've see from Olynyk, Hart, and Harris.

Don't dismiss the current talet on the team, or the players coming in. Theres always guys who have surprised by vastly exceeding expectations. This program is not dead or standing still. Perhaps we'll see Dower blossom into stardom next year without having to compete with great bigs like Olynyk, Harris, and Sacre. Perhaps Karnowski will become such a force with playing time and increased conditioning. Could Coleman be our next great transfer? Pangos might become a consistent outside shooter, and develop his dribble drive game to be much more dangerous. One of the incoming freshmen might be much better than any of us realized. There is not reason to give up hope. This program is consistent, and still looking to break through its glass ceiling.

Rbo
03-24-2013, 08:10 PM
We have major talent coming back. The bigs (which were ridiculously deep this year) might be thinner--especially if KO goes pro--but the 1,2 and 3 positions are rock-solid two deep, especially if Coleman is the real deal as I've heard. I'm down today, but sunnier days are ahead.

Oregonzagnut
03-24-2013, 08:43 PM
Gonzaga is part of my family and it is an integral part of my entire existence since I was 12. You cannot choose your family. I am part of Gonzaga just as much as Gonzaga is part of me. So I have unconditional love and perpetual hope that Gonzaga will continue to improve and LEARN how to peak mentally in March.

Few and staff have proven mastery of recruiting and development of the teams fundamentals, skills practice, and physical training. But they must now focus on our habit of playing not to lose. Conservatism and avoiding errors has no place in March. Being too careful and focussing on not making errors is the biggest distraction for us, IMO.

Few introduced his form of "nastiness" this year. and our team elevated for 4 months. Few elevated his philosophy in this way and that projected a "killer instinct" to our team. But Few did not stay nasty in March and we reverted as well. He will improve his game to be what these elite athletes need to have no fear and have confidence.

Few is showing growth and improvement year after year. He is still growing, learning and improving. I am VERY proud that he is part of my family!

Marcus
03-24-2013, 08:45 PM
I like this post. Part of learning and growing as a program, player, and team is taking the painful times and learning from them. It can create more determination and desire to work that much harder and smarter to make sure your not going to feel that way again. Each year can be a step up and something to learn from. The past players pass on what they know and the lessons learned and each year is a step up. There were a lot of firsts this year, uncharted territory. Take this as a growing and learning opportunity and know what to expect so next time it ends differently. After all, it did take a very long time for some very good programs and coaches to get to the promised land. Their time will come, I really believe this.

Zags11
03-24-2013, 08:50 PM
+100,000

Hoopaholic
03-24-2013, 08:53 PM
Sometimes I wonder if oregonzag nut is my brother in hiding....your circular, non meaning discussion really confuses this simple country boy...no clue what you mean by elevated his nastiness...nor do I know what you mean by playing tight? What does it mean to play not to lose?

Tmac5360
03-24-2013, 09:07 PM
It hurts like. Fast every year! But the biggest pain comes from knowing it will 7 months until we can watch the zags again. My son goes to camp each year and the players coach the kids. This years group was was the best group ever! I'm going to miss them a lot. But your right, next year somebody else will emerge and be a star. As hard as it is right now, we are so lucky in so many ways to have a team like GU!!

Tmac5360
03-24-2013, 09:07 PM
Sorry. Hurts like crazy every year.

MTZag03
03-24-2013, 09:08 PM
Life goes on. GU basketball goes on. Soon we will be fretting over the next Karnowski on these boards.

Thankfully after 15 years of being a Zag fan, the pain has started to diminish significantly each March. At least it doesn't manifest in the same ways.

Why can't we just break through once though? How the #$%#%&%*$%&*$&*$&*$%* does Butler and VCU and George Mason manage it so smoothly? Why can't we shoot 3s? Why can't other teams miss a 3 with their redshirt backup center?

It reminds me of Sacre talking about watering the bamboo. You just keep at it and nothing happens. Then suddenly overnight it grows. I thought this was the year. It wasn't. It hurts. I can only hope that if we keep at it it will eventually happen.

The coaches need to learn from their mistakes. By now they should have, but you can always learn if you look objectively at things. The staff will keep recruiting, the players will keep coming, the fans will keep cheering, and the alums like most of us will keep spending. It will happen, and when it does it will be sweet. It will be unreal. 15 years of heartbreak and counting.

Oregonzagnut
03-24-2013, 09:37 PM
Sometimes I wonder if oregonzag nut is my brother in hiding....your circular, non meaning discussion really confuses this simple country boy...no clue what you mean by elevated his nastiness...nor do I know what you mean by playing tight? What does it mean to play not to lose?

Did you hear Few at the start of this year when he spoke of playing with "nastiness". Not just once either but several times in interviews. That attitude and choice of words is not Few's MO, at least from what I ever heard from him. If you didn't hear Few use the word "nasty" then it won't make sense to you that I saw in our team more of a "killer instinct" and continuing to play our game even when we are up with big leads. He "elevated his nastiness"

Pedal to the metal? Nail in the coffin? The Dagger? Do those terms make sense?

Terms like "play not to lose" isn't meant to be taken literally if you haven't been following the conversations for all these months. If you think "playing not to lose" makes no sense then I don't think you will understand what it means when we tried to preserve a win rather than just playing our game regardless of the score or time left on the clock.

If that is circular then, I am sorry.

I am not sure where in my post I said anything about "playing tight", but IMO, that is how we played against Southern and WSU. That is just my opinion. we did not play our confident loose transition offense. Tight is the opposite of loose. Do you want the team to play tight and rigid or do you want the team to play loose and confident?

zagcheer78
03-25-2013, 12:58 AM
After a day to let the loss sink in. You would think after 30+ years of being a Zag I would take these things a bit better but it seems worse.

I find the panic of some over the top. Fire the coach, change conferences, sell out the culture of Gonzaga to recruit kids from basketball factory H.S.'s just so some unknown powers that be will accept us as legit? I don't think so.

We need to remember who we are, we are Gonzaga. We are unique and we do things the Gonzaga way. That means that we continue improving the program and make changes where needed but it also means having the wisdom not to panic and throw out what does work.

To be honest with you all, one one hand I am thrilled that we were named #1 but at the same time I was a tad uneasy as now the team would have an even bigger target on their backs. It has been normal to have the teams we play actually play their best game of the season against us,but to have the talking heads ramp up their verbal assault was over the top. The icing on the pile (of you know what) was having the commentator "gott-awful" announcing our games. We all were insulted and thrown off our game but we must get up and keep working and improving and we will continue to be in the big dance and we will survive and advance all the way to a national championship. You can bet on that!

bartruff1
03-25-2013, 07:24 AM
The Coach always gets the credit or the blame...that is fine... he also gets the big money...

I have little doubt Gonzaga will be competitive and entertaining next year, in fact, I have little doubt that Kevin and Gary will win more games in their careers than any other pair of guards in Gonzaga Basketball History. They are off to a good start.

The whole run has been a joy to watch, it is always amazing to me that some people have missed it. Fools abound.

I had no idea till I stumbled into this forum how spoiled some fans are, how somehow they feel they are entitled to this and more.

Oregonzagnut
03-25-2013, 11:06 AM
The Coach always gets the credit or the blame...that is fine... he also gets the big money...

I agree. Few is open for criticism. But I haven't heard anyone who wants him to get fired. Every multimillionaire coach deserves honest critique. No one deserves bashing or insults. But everyone knew the stakes this tournament and how much Gonzaga needed to go deep to prove there isn't a ceiling in our program. But here we are again.

Yet we still improved as a team and went higher than any other year. So that mythical ceiling still has not been reached yet and Few is still learning and improving as a coach.

TacomaZAG
03-25-2013, 11:40 AM
+1 Million.

Some of the people on this board have had it so good for so long they don't appreciate it anymore. Losing hurts a lot, and I wanted to put my ZAG boot on the east-coaster's necks as much as the next guy, but it didn't happen this year. Maybe it will next year, maybe not.........Enjoy the journey!!!

Using a dollar metaphor......."How" matters a lot more than "How Much".

Go ZAGS