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zagfan24
02-17-2015, 08:44 AM
http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/12334076/gonzaga-coach-mark-comfortable-winning-fishing-away-spotlight

GonzagasaurusFlex
02-17-2015, 09:11 AM
http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/12334076/gonzaga-coach-mark-comfortable-winning-fishing-away-spotlight

Thanks for posting this really excellent article by Myron Medcalf. Very good glimpse into what makes Coach Few tick...great, down-to-earth story about what makes the basketball program so unique as well as the community.

Medcalf's description of Spokane mirrors my own first impression when I moved there in August of 1992. He mentions the impression one gets from flying into Spokane. I arrived via Greyhound bus from Portland, and that trip across the high desert gave me an even more palpable sense of delight and awe upon arriving in Spokane and seeing the Spokane River and surrounding hills. The fact I was really hungover during the bus ride and also ate my first meal in Spokane at Dick's Burgers within an hour after getting off that bus definitely helped too!

CDC84
02-17-2015, 09:12 AM
From a guy who after the Arizona loss basically trashed Gonzaga:

http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/101276/new-season-same-gonzaga

Zagceo
02-17-2015, 09:15 AM
Myron might get NCAA picks wrong but he sure did a nice job on this profile piece.

Few has built his program with a strong foundation and it shows.

Woodenesque

gonzagafan62
02-17-2015, 09:21 AM
Best read that I have seen all year. Terrific piece.

CDC84
02-17-2015, 09:23 AM
Naturally, the contrarian comments have already started below the article:


Adam Wittman Follow Top Commenter

What better job could you have? You have one of the easiest schedules, easiest conferences, and are consistently over-rated. Yet in spite of all that you are "in the running for a number one seed". He is right. Why leave and prove himself in a conference that isn't cupcake u every night when you don't have to.

GonzagasaurusFlex
02-17-2015, 09:26 AM
From a guy who after the Arizona loss basically trashed Gonzaga:

http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/101276/new-season-same-gonzaga

Medcalf's article after the Arizona game was pretty harsh, but it was also factual, so while I did not like the tone I don't think he "trashed Gonzaga." One way to change the national narrative about the Zags...just win baby!


Another year, same story, it seems.

This is Gonzaga.

The team that’s gone 2-4 against ranked squads in the regular season since 2012.

The team that has reached the second weekend of the NCAA tournament just once since 2006.

The team that has never gone to the Final Four.

The latter might change this year. Few has it all. A strong backcourt with Pangos, Gary Bell Jr., Byron Wesley and the hybrid Kyle Wiltjer. He has size inside, a talented youngster in Domantas Sabonis and a defense that’s ranked in the top 30 in efficiency for the second time since 2002.

But it probably won’t face another top-25 team until March. A run through the West Coast Conference won’t do much for its Selection Sunday stock or reputation. Brigham Young scored 85 points and still lost to Purdue. Saint Mary’s is barely a top-75 squad per Ken Pomeroy. And those two programs could be Gonzaga’s toughest tests in the WCC.

Saturday was a chance to send a message to the nation – This isn’t your older brother’s Gonzaga squad – and get a quality win.

The talent's there for Gonzaga. So perhaps it will ultimately validate the early hype.

Or maybe we’ve all seen this Gonzaga act before.

And we all know how it ends.

DixieZag
02-17-2015, 09:47 AM
Man, there is a lot of pressure going into this year's tournament. One can feel it.

LongIslandZagFan
02-17-2015, 09:54 AM
Medcalf's article after the Arizona game was pretty harsh, but it was also factual, so while I did not like the tone I don't think he "trashed Gonzaga." One way to change the national narrative about the Zags...just win baby!

Many teams have about a .500 record or less against ranked teams, but they may have more wins due to more opportunities... I think it is a poor gauge to look at. Zags have 6 chances in 2 years, Duke, UNC, etc. get that in a year.

Zagger
02-17-2015, 12:02 PM
Sweet! Yep, there is more to life than one or two things - balance; having an 'escape' where you can clear your mind a bit and get better at something - Spokane is a great place for that (not too big, not too small, lots of places to head off to, pretty darn good people, a great college BB program to be a fan of, 4 seasons [although this winter kinda sucks], etc.). Good write-up.
Go Zags!

CDC84
02-17-2015, 12:22 PM
Many teams have about a .500 record or less against ranked teams, but they may have more wins due to more opportunities... I think it is a poor gauge to look at. Zags have 6 chances in 2 years, Duke, UNC, etc. get that in a year.

And as we have discussed, most of these games over the years have taken place on road and neutral floors. Duke over the past 15 years has probably played the majority of its games vs. ranked opponents at home.

TheZagPhish
02-17-2015, 12:28 PM
Nice piece of writing. You wonder if Myron himself learned a bit about reality vs. television impressions.

Few (among many others) has often said that the tourney is all about matchups. It stands to reason that if he can just get the team on the precipice year in and year out, at one point the variables will click and the run will happen. To his enormous credit Few has found a way to get there every year. Not many other coaches can deliver consistency on that point, and the approach will eventually pay huge dividends.

webspinnre
02-17-2015, 12:58 PM
Nice nugget buried in there:



Only one player in Few's tenure has exhausted his eligibility without graduating from the school.

GoZags
02-17-2015, 01:15 PM
And as we have discussed, most of these games over the years have taken place on road and neutral floors. Duke over the past 15 years has probably played the majority of its games vs. ranked opponents at home.


"25-47 against teams in the top 25 going back to their first run in 1999". Do you suppose if Gonzaga were in a Power Conference they would have played more than 7 of the 72 games you've referenced above at home? (where they are 148-8 since the building opened) The Zags are 5-2 (.714) at home against ranked opponents and 20-45 away from the Kennel (road/neutral sites). Also, 9 of those 45 road/neutral losses have been season ending NCAA dance losses where GU's seed averaged 9 and their ranked opponent's seed averaged 2. Of course our mutual friend OregonDawg would call that "underperforming" in the dance. The fact of the matter is Gonzaga has failed to play to it's seed twice in the last decade. Those 2 times? In '08 GU lost a close game to "favored" #22 Davidson in a game played in Davidson's back yard. Steph Curry's Wildcats were a last second shot away from the Final Four. In '11 "heavily favored" Gonzaga lost to unranked and Final Four bound Wichita State ... who have subsequently gone 60-5 (AND been a 1 seed) since beating Gonzaga.

"... their conference is VERY weak" There are 33 conferences that play NCAA D1 Men's hoops. A/O today, KenPom ranks the Pac 12 5th and the WCC 7th (out of 33). The current RPI has the Pac 6th and the WCC 9th (out of 33).

"next year will be somewhat of a rebuild with the heavy losses that they will be sustaining and nothing on it's way in the form of new recruits" Huh? Gonzaga's highest ranked recruit ever (guard Josh Perkins) will be back after being injured (broken jaw) in the preseason NIT in MSG. Eric McLellan (14.3 ppg at Vanderbilt) and 6' 4" Silas Melson are two other guards. The Zags' frontcourt (currently ranked #3 in the nation behind Kentucky and Wisconsin by ESPN Insider 2/10/15) returns 100% intact (Wooden Top 20 - 6'10" Kyle Wiltjer, 7' 1" Shem Karnowski and 6' 11" Domantas Sabonis) and will be complimented by 7' 2" Ryan Edwards, who after his freshman year took a redshirt year this season to go through the "Olynyk" Clinic. Also, because the public hasn't heard of any "new recruits" for the April signing period doesn't mean there aren't any. Add to that the handful of "recognizable" Power Conference names who have had 3rd parties (i.e. their AAU or high school coaches) reach out to inquire about potentially transfering. Both "traditional" and Senior "graduate --- eligible next season" guys. The cupboard at Gonzaga is far from bare (but your concern about "heavy losses" is noted and appreciated).

BTW I missed a "home game" ... in reality the Zags are 5-3 at home against ranked opponents (somehow incorrectly remembered SDSU as an "Arena" game. E6 ...booted that one). Also forgot to mention one of our key "glue" guys ... Kyle Dranginis (booted that one, too)

mtnZag
02-17-2015, 05:16 PM
http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/12334076/gonzaga-coach-mark-comfortable-winning-fishing-away-spotlight

Great article. I enjoyed it very much!