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gonzagafan62
03-30-2015, 09:15 AM
The Level has been met, the bar has been raised. As we glance back at the last 3 years alone:

1 35 Win Season
2 30 Win Seasons
#1 Overall Ranking
#1 Seed
#2 Seed
1 Elite Eight
1 First Team All Americans
2 Third Team All Americans

Wow. That's a lot accomplished! Some would say the birth of Gonzaga really took back in 1966, when we won our first conference championship, some say 1995, when we made our first NCAA Tournament. Some say 1999 when we made our first Elite Eight.

Now that we have won 30 games nearly in three consecutive seasons, and got back to the Elite Eight, is this the evolution of our program? An evolution that only shows that we are starting to break through into the Top 15 programs in the nation? Obviously to do that, we would have to start with going to the Final Four, obviously. The recruiting has not only gotten better EVEN JUST since we have gotten to the #1 overall ranking. We have seen the amount of great work that Kelly Olynyk has brought into a rebirth of certain players. Showing that redshirting does not mean your career is over at our school, and it just shows that you get better.

The training staff has been duly noted here many times. Kelly Olynyk, now Kyle Wiltjer have shown that they have been great with Travis Knight. Now Edwards is next. We've gotten Grade A transfers like Micah Downs (a long time ago) .... Angel Nunez, Kyle Wiltjer, and Byron Wesley. We have gotten notable International Players such as Ronny Turiaf, Robert Sacre, Przemek Karnowski, Domas Sabonis, Kevin Pangos, and you get the picture.

This is mostly all within the last 5 years. The recruiting has changed, Few and Lloyd have evolved, and breaking through and rebirthing this program was needed with a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. We finally got back to where the program started back in 1999. We have the tournament run. Recruits are seeing this. Heck we got Josh Perkins and Zach Collins both who are great players and in the Top 100 in High schools around the country. TOP 100! You kidding me? We are starting to know that we are getting great players whether they be Euros, or Transfers in the offseason. We know, instead of speculate now. This programs has come a long long way from even 5 years ago, and the transition is unbelievable.

I don't think yesterday was a set back, although it could have been a HUGE step forward. But this could really be motivation for Josh Perkins whom in his commitment video in Colorado said he "wanted to bring Gonzaga their first National Championship" .... and how bad do you think he feels that he couldn't do anything down the stretch. Do you think he will be even MORE motivated next year? I do. I think this will make him even more dangerous seeing how close we came to the Final Four.

This storybook is far from over. You see the progress and the most recent tournament run.

As Reborn always says: The best is yet to come.

Reborn
03-30-2015, 09:29 AM
Great thread. However, I wouldn't say rebirth. I'd just say that we're going up to the next level. And it's all about recruiting. The recruiting has risen to the next level. Being able to get Wiljer, McClellan and Wesley was huge. Being able to get Sabonis was huge. HUGE. You'd have to say that if Sabonis was raised here in the states, that he'd had been a high school All-American. I'm excited to see what Few does for next season. Can he find another transfer like Wesley? That would be awesome.

Zagdawg
03-30-2015, 09:30 AM
Great synopsis --- We are in for some great times in the future.

zagfan99
03-30-2015, 10:00 AM
Great synopsis --- We are in for some great times in the future.

Indeed!

MickMick
03-30-2015, 10:16 AM
There will be both good times and adversity.

Rebirth implies the program died. Instead, I think it just got better.

I think Few and his staff are getting wiser with time.

I think the recruiting, due to various factors, is better. Not just the level of recruits open to choosing GU, but the ability of the staff to identify good fits as well.

Angelo Roncalli
03-30-2015, 10:17 AM
Substitute "evolution" for "rebirth."

gonzagafan62
03-30-2015, 10:22 AM
Substitute "evolution" for "rebirth."

I was trying to think of a better way to phrase it before I posted it. I never was the guy who was too great in English class in college Thanks Angelo.

gonzagafan62
03-30-2015, 10:24 AM
I was trying to think of a better way to phrase it before I posted it. I never was the guy who was too great in English class in college Thanks Angelo.

Someone please edit my thread title please. Thanks

MJ777
03-30-2015, 11:11 AM
Great thread. However, I wouldn't say rebirth. I'd just say that we're going up to the next level. And it's all about recruiting. The recruiting has risen to the next level. Being able to get Wiljer, McClellan and Wesley was huge. Being able to get Sabonis was huge. HUGE. You'd have to say that if Sabonis was raised here in the states, that he'd had been a high school All-American. I'm excited to see what Few does for next season. Can he find another transfer like Wesley? That would be awesome.

Getting the "Mountain masquerading as a man" was HUGE!

RenoZag
03-30-2015, 12:00 PM
Someone please edit my thread title please. Thanks

Done

gonzagafan62
03-30-2015, 12:43 PM
Done

Thank you

rennis
03-30-2015, 01:03 PM
Speaking of evolution - one of the silver linings of this loss is 1. how it happened and 2. who it happened to.

I have a long-held belief that Few builds his teams around a prototype NCAA tournament team - that of the 2000 and 2001 Michigan State Spartans. I feel like this is the first NCAA game in a very long time that Gonzaga both got beat by the better team AND got out-coached. I really think this game will help refresh the coaches perspective on how to both model a team for NCAA tournament success and what preparations need to be made when going deep in the tourney. Gonzaga definitely had the look of a team that hadn't been there...

gonzagafan62
03-30-2015, 01:12 PM
Speaking of evolution - one of the silver linings of this loss is 1. how it happened and 2. who it happened to.

I have a long-held belief that Few builds his teams around a prototype NCAA tournament team - that of the 2000 and 2001 Michigan State Spartans. I feel like this is the first NCAA game in a very long time that Gonzaga both got beat by the better team AND got out-coached. I really think this game will help refresh the coaches perspective on how to both model a team for NCAA tournament success and what preparations need to be made when going deep in the tourney. Gonzaga definitely had the look of a team that hadn't been there...

Yup. More big runs in the tournament to at least the S16, and more great recruiting will help us continue this success. IN all honesty we haven't been there, at least that group of kids. Just like being the #1 seed. When the perception is how it is, the only way to fix it is to keep getting back to the same position. Kept getting bounced in the Round of 32, and then the kids went out and fixed it. Just keep getting back to the mountain and keep trying to climb to the top of it. We are on the verge of a serious breakthrough.

Like you stated rennis, Few got outcoached, and our team wasn't as good. Did we have the horses to run with them? Sure, but again: Gonzaga didn't look like it had been there. We make it back very shortly, within a year or 2 or even three, things might fall into place.

I can tell you one thing though, if we are going to break through and evolve fully, it can't be another 16 years.

surfmonkey89
03-30-2015, 02:16 PM
I think the key is to chain together enough successful seasons, i.e. Sweet 16 or better, that 1) the current players get the experience of playing at that level, and are hungry to go deeper, and 2) recruiting players who believe they're what we need to break through.

They can't use the "Yea, but Few hasn't really taken his team very far in the tourney" against us, and Few can use the "you're the missing piece" argument.

IMO, we're on the right track wrt our frontcourt recruiting. What we need are bigger and quicker guards. That's a really tall order, considering the competition from the power schools for that talent. But it can be done.

seacatfan
03-30-2015, 03:37 PM
Duke is obviously a very storied program and Coach K has accomplished more than any active coach. Their current players however...2 out the last 3 previous years they were one and done in the Tourney and 3 freshmen were among their biggest contributors. You really can't say their players are used to deep runs in the Tourney and have "been there, done that." Obviously their coach has and that counts a lot.

surfmonkey89
03-30-2015, 03:46 PM
Duke is obviously a very storied program and Coach K has accomplished more than any active coach. Their current players however...2 out the last 3 previous years they were one and done in the Tourney and 3 freshmen were among their biggest contributors. You really can't say their players are used to deep runs in the Tourney and have "been there, done that." Obviously their coach has and that counts a lot.

Well, yea, but...we're not Duke. They're going to get great players regardless.