View Full Version : Zags v. Pacific: First-time to see game in K2

01-25-2015, 08:59 PM
My wife and I were at Saturday night's game thanks to some friends who got us tickets. First time in K2 after having seen many games in the Kennedy. For a long-time fan, I couldn't ask for a better experience.

KC: Good energy; well-coordinated; kept it up throughout the game. A little louder in person than what I expected from tv/radio.
The non-students love it that "the students" (as the put it) are there. I been to a lot of big-time college stadiums/arenas and wouldn't say K2 is unique but the experience is Top-20 befitting a Top-20 program.

Crowd: More into it than what I thought from reading this Board. It's a middle-aged, blue-collar crowd. Not much shouting, not much standing, but definitely focussed, emotionally involved, and knowledgeable (based on conversations with those around me). I'd analogize to church where there is a great choir (in this case KC) such that the congregation seems to think they are supposed to watch them perform rather than take the lead. Half the place came out of their seats with a standing "O" when Connor Griffin dunked.

Access to players: If you wait near the tunnel at the end of the GU bench, players and coaches will gradually straggle out starting 20 minutes or so after the game. There were only a couple dozen of us fans hanging around so it was very easy to get the attention of the each player or coach. All were polite, willing to engage in small talk and give autographs. The only three that I didn't talk to were Sabonis and Nunez (didn't come out that way) and GBJ (several players came out at the same time and I couldn't catch him). Had great, brief conversations with Shem (it was fun to hear Wiltjer yell "Shem" to him as he tried to catch his attention because they apparently were both planning to hang out together afterwards --never know if nicknames we use on the Board are what the players use among themselves), Edwards (says he's working out hard and really benefiting from RS year), Griffin (we talked about Nunez setting him up for the dunk - he said it was just in the flow, nothing either planned), Dranginis (humble, but with a veteran's presence), McClellan (soft-spoken, but confident), Melson (very down-to-earth), Wiltjer (who, among other things, patiently explained to one little girl who confused him with Dranginis that he was the "tall" Kyle), Wesley (talked about how glad he is to be at GU and how he likes to be a calm presence keeping the game under control), Alberts (looking forward to next year), and Pangos (who is taller than I expected - a legit 6'2" IMO). Pangos was one of the last ones I talked to. He and his grandparents walked my wife and I up the stairs and through the concourse until we got to the north entrance by the Bulldog statue where they peeled off in one direction and we headed for the lot behind Crosby. Great conversation. Everyone was so familiar and at-ease, it felt like I was walking out of my son's/daughter's CYO game and talking to one of my kid's classmates who plays on the team and the kid's parents. The whole experience shows me that the basic Zag culture/experience hasn't changed since back in my day.

Coaches: Got to talk to Judd Heathcote during half-time because he was only a few seats away. Oddly (at least to me), no one else around him engaged with him (or maybe didn't know who he was). We had a great time talking about his time coaching the WSU freshman and his battles with GU frosh who were coached by the legendary Bud Presley. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=860&dat=20030104&id=mSUfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=iMcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1320,274135. The Kennedy would be packed for those WSU games starting with the frosh game prior to the varsity game. I reminded Judd that, at the time, he was a villain to Gonzaga fans because it was a big rivalry game and he was very aggressive/demostrative. He shared a great Presley story. After the game, I got to talk with Tommy Lloyd, then Mark Few. I had to wait a few minutes for Coach Few because he and Coach Michaelson were talking with what appeared to me to be a recruit and his father. Obviously you don't go over and interrupt that conversation. Coach Few then came over and was very engaging. I told him that I had kept stats for MBB when I was a GU undergrad. He immediately smiled and said, "So, tell me, how did that Vermillion guy end up with all those rebounds." I told him that was a little before my time and no one seems to have that figured out that one.

It was a great visit - you should do it if you get the chance.

01-25-2015, 09:05 PM
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the experience, 365. Well worth a second read-through (which I just did )

Appreciate very much your taking the time to provide those reactions and details.

01-25-2015, 09:10 PM
Thank you for sharing.

"Wiltjer (who, among other things, patiently explained to one little girl who confused him with Dranginis that he was the "tall" Kyle)"---this made me chuckle...

01-25-2015, 09:17 PM
This is one of the coolest posts I've read here I think. We often get posts from great fans talking about their first experiences seeing GU live, but you just seem like such a true positive fan and your excitement shines through. Not to mention you got to engage with the players and ask meaningful questions. Awesome. I've always known you can stay after and talk to players, but I always thought it seemed like an annoying thing they had to do. You make it seem like a truly genuine experience and I'm going to have to do it sometime now.

01-25-2015, 09:25 PM

Put it in the hall of fame.

01-25-2015, 09:25 PM
Wow, what a great post. So happy that you had the full Zag experience.

Just one question. What do you do on leap years?

01-26-2015, 06:30 AM
Thanks for sharing...quite the special place.

01-26-2015, 06:33 AM
Such a great post, thanks for sharing your experience.

01-26-2015, 06:55 AM
Great post!

01-26-2015, 06:57 AM
A couple of great lines in here. I love the Wiltjer one, but my favorite is Few's Vermillion one. It sounds like he's simultaneously taking a bit of a crack at your age and showing off excellent knowledge of GU's history with the reference to Vermillion's height. No one is ever going to mistake Few for a comedian, but I love his understated humor.

01-26-2015, 06:58 AM
Loved reading this, thanks. Glad you had a great experience!!! (and I wouldn't have expected it any other way!)

01-26-2015, 08:00 AM
Great post!!!! Thanks for taking the time.

01-26-2015, 05:07 PM
Awesome. Posts like this are why I read this board every day. Looking for the diamond in the rough... Thank you.

01-26-2015, 05:12 PM
Very well written. You must have been one of my law students.

01-26-2015, 05:16 PM
365. Da. Man.

01-26-2015, 07:49 PM
365. Da. Man.

Awesome post.

01-26-2015, 08:34 PM
Thank you, Zag365. Glad to hear that you and your wife had a "Zagnificent" time...Go Zags!