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ZagNative
10-12-2007, 12:57 AM
The Oregonion (http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/119215954063120.xml&coll=7)


A look behind all the hoopla at OSU, UO
Friday, October 12, 2007

Daniel Deane, the one-time Mr. Basketball in the state of Utah, reportedly is enrolled in classes at Oregon State University.

The 6-foot-8 forward played at the University of Utah last season and must sit out the coming season, per NCAA rules, before he will be eligible to play for Beavers coach Jay John in 2008-09.

The kid's a gambler, you're thinking.

I suppose Deane and his new coach will be a wonderful fit if this all should work out, though. Deane is betting on John, who is betting on transfer C.J. Giles, who is betting that he can buck the prevailing psychological theory that the most accurate predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

They call that a parlay in the sportsbook.

It was Giles who dragged a woman off a bed, failed to pay child support, was booted from the Kansas basketball team, then promptly arrived at OSU where he was described by John, who desperately needs to win, as a "humble, engaging and motivated young man."

Also, understand, this isn't the only sociological experiment being conducted by one of our state's public universities. At the University of Oregon last season, coach Ernie Kent's team went 29-8 and reached the final eight. As Kent's reward, he was given a retroactive raise in salary to $1 million annually, but also, his contract was cleverly stripped of its buyout and any valuable future-year guarantees by athletic director Pat Kilkenny.

If Kent is fired at the end of this season?

Oregon pays him a flat $1 million for his work, then the university walks off toward its new arena project, rubbing its hands and figuring how it can lure coach Mark Few, a close friend of Kilkenny's, from Gonzaga.

So yes, welcome to the most compelling basketball season in state history.

At Oregon State, Giles is either going to make John, who went 11-21 last season, look like a genius or a moron. Maybe both. Maybe even on alternating possessions or days. And at Oregon, with four returning starters, Kent's season looks promising, but as long as the Knights Templar are in charge, he's on the grill.

We're about to witness a study in human behavior that will be fascinating, and enlightening, and at the end we will answer a single question: "What gives?"

I suppose we could always set up in a crowded parking lot and observe customers coming and going from the lot and answer the question, "Do people take longer to vacate a parking spot when they know someone is waiting?" Or we could study whether birth order affects grade-point averages. Or we might study the reliability of eye-witness information.

All good stuff, but we'd learn a lot less about ourselves, and the human condition. Because by observing Oregon State and Oregon, we're going to see experiments in second chances (Giles), and desperate measures (John), and fair, but high, expectations (Kent), and health and performance under a large amount of job-security pressure (Kent and John).

We're going to be able to watch the administrators at both universities publicly posture and privately plot. And we're going to see boosters assert their influence on both sides. A building hangs in the balance at one school and a program's legacy at the other. And the rest of us are going to get a rare, unobstructed view at all of this, and some basketball, as it plays out between now and April.

I've never understood the reasons why a coach needs more than a year or three of job security. When it comes to college basketball, performance should merit pay. But what we have this season is two coaches who must both win, albeit on different levels, to ensure their survival. And what we have are a couple of dozen college-aged players who have their own dreams, hopes and agendas. And we have too many others with their own ideas for this not to be interesting, win or lose.

John Canzano: 503-294-5065

LongIslandZagFan
10-12-2007, 06:03 AM
Wow, this guy has a serious crush on Coach Few. Talk about trying really hard to read between the lines.

GoZags
10-12-2007, 07:25 AM
"......Mark Few, a close friend of Kilkenny's......"
---------------------------
It's sure too bad that Mark Few hasn't made any friends or developed any close relationships whatsoever since he arrived at Gonzaga. (sarcasm alert)

This writer seems to think because Few knows Kilkenny it's pretty much a done deal. I disagree.

DavyZag
10-12-2007, 07:50 AM
Um... I didn't read anything about him thinking it's a "done deal". I read him saying that Kilkenny wants Few to come to Oregon and that he will be trying to figure out how to do it.

We've all heard the Oregon rumors before, and they've always been just that - rumors. Ernie Kent has been to two Elite Eights in the past five years. The Ducks will be right in the mix again this season - they'll be Top 10 most of the year, probably. I've never understood what people have against the guy.

Few is in a good situation in Spokane. He knows it... and he's turned down other schools in the past. Maybe he could be lured back to his hometown, but that will be a decision that will only come if and when the Oregon job becomes available.

But really - Ernie Kent is poised to have just as good of a season this year as last, if not better. How could anyone think that his job will be on the line?

To me, this article speaks more to Canzano's dislike of Kent than it does to his "crush" on Few.

former1dog
10-12-2007, 07:56 AM
To me, this article speaks more to Canzano's dislike of Kent than it does to his "crush" on Few.

Canzano has written several similarly themed articles regarding Few and the Oregon job, which is why this thread is titled like it is.

wazZag
10-12-2007, 07:56 AM
To me, this article speaks more to Canzano's dislike of Kent than it does to his "crush" on Few.

Fair point, but taking the article in the context of countless innuendo pieces written by Canzano before, it seems more like a "crush."

Rubbadub
10-12-2007, 08:07 AM
http://www.guboards.com/search.php?searchid=37003

GoZags
10-12-2007, 08:09 AM
Um... I didn't read anything about him thinking it's a "done deal". I read him saying that Kilkenny wants Few to come to Oregon and that he will be trying to figure out how to do it.

We've all heard the Oregon rumors before, and they've always been just that - rumors. Ernie Kent has been to two Elite Eights in the past five years. The Ducks will be right in the mix again this season - they'll be Top 10 most of the year, probably. I've never understood what people have against the guy.

Few is in a good situation in Spokane. He knows it... and he's turned down other schools in the past. Maybe he could be lured back to his hometown, but that will be a decision that will only come if and when the Oregon job becomes available.

But really - Ernie Kent is poised to have just as good of a season this year as last, if not better. How could anyone think that his job will be on the line?

To me, this article speaks more to Canzano's dislike of Kent than it does to his "crush" on Few.


I have heard the writer several times on the radio (KJR) discussing this topic, and I've read previous columns discussing this issue.

Bocco
10-12-2007, 08:19 AM
So another Canzano article with the theme of dump Kent and hire Few. I agree with DavyZag that for whatever reason he has a severe dislike for Kent. But, he also has a severe infatuation with Mark Few. Every dump Kent article he writes is coupled with something to the effect that this will pave the way for Oregon to hire Mark Few.

BobZag
10-12-2007, 10:14 AM
I like it when this guy calls Few and Kilkenny childhood friends. Few is 15 years younger than Kilkenny. So when Few was 5, he would play hopscotch with a 20-year-old Kilkenny? lol. I'm sure.

I appreciate Blanchette more and more.

zagster318
10-12-2007, 10:16 AM
I doubt Few leaves for Oregon. However, I will be very nervous when Lute retires.

DavyZag
10-12-2007, 11:12 AM
Eh... I don't get what people are worked up about. Few would obviously be a desirable get for the Ducks, and that's why Canzano is writing about him.

I mean... what is a school's dream scenerio for a coach? 1) Coach has proven past success at a high level. (Few - check). 2) Coach has a solid character and is "clean" (Few - check). 3) Coach is an alumni of the school. (Few - check). 4) Coach has an established friendship with the AD. (Few - check).

I mean... doesn't it make sense? Do you not think that Few would be a target of Oregon if Kent were fired???

Whether or not he will chose to go is up to him. But I think we can safely assume that Oregon will have plenty of interest.

ZaginLaw
10-12-2007, 11:30 AM
If Kilkenny and Few are such close friends then why did Kilkenny take the AD job at Oregon???

You'd think with the man-crush Canzano has with Few, he'd apply for staff openings at the Spokesman-Review.

englishzag
10-12-2007, 11:38 AM
Do we really need to be as worried about the AZ job now that Lute hired Kevin O'Neil and paid him $750,000 for 2 years. I know he was brought in as a defensive specialist, but could it also be to eventually take over the reigns and leave Few at GU for the next 30 years :-)

kylasdad
10-12-2007, 11:41 AM
I'm scared...I think WE'RE DOOMED!

thickman1
10-12-2007, 12:12 PM
I just get the feeling that Few will be at Gonzaga until he retires. He's recruiting at a level never before seen at GU; he gets to schedule heavyweights every season during the non-conference portion of the docket; GU hoops is the king of the city - and quite frankly the entire region. Plus, he actually gets to have a life away from the court where he can be with the family and do some much needed fishing. I just don't see why Arizona would be tempting to him - the only difference I see is that they play in a better conference. Oregon would make more sense since he grew up there but still - he's close to home and his kids are getting older. He's a family guy that does what's best for his family.

The Oregon Spike
10-12-2007, 12:42 PM
First post here. I live in Portland and constantly have running exchanges with Canzano over various topics. A couple things you need to know about him~

-He is a lightning rod for contraversy, as most decent sports columnists are. His job is to stir debate, conversation and thought.
-He hammers the same points over, and over, and over, and over again and hopes that they will "stick". That way he can say "see, I told you so!"

I emailed him after todays column and his last reply was: You heard it here first. Mark Few will be on the bench when the new arena opens".

He is thoroughly convinced that it is a done deal, and more articles will come out like this over the next few months.

Personally, I doubt Few leaves GU for Oregon, which will always be a 3rd-6th place team in the PAC-10. They just ain't gonna surplant UCLA and Arizona, leaving them to fight for the next precious spot with USC, Wazzu, UW, and Stanford and CAl.

When and if Few leaves....he will be looking for much higher profile gig than what Oregon could ever provide.

TheZagPhish
10-12-2007, 01:21 PM
I just get the feeling that Few will be at Gonzaga until he retires.

I think this too, allowing for myriad alternatives.

ZaginLaw
10-12-2007, 06:39 PM
"I emailed him after todays column and his last reply was: You heard it here first. Mark Few will be on the bench when the new arena opens".

There is a rumor that the 1st game in Oregon's new arena will be against GU. That would be Canazno's best bet to be right.

MickMick
10-12-2007, 08:52 PM
We should not be offended that Coach Few is a desireable hire by any team. On the contrary, I was much more offended by some of the Kentucky faithful that wrote things like "If Billy Donovan takes the job with the Orlando Magic instead of Kentucky, then we might have to settle on Few until a bigger name becomes available."

No one will ever convince me that Gillespie, Donovan, Williams, Self, Olsen, etc. is a better coach than Mark Few. And if you doubt me, then ponder this: would any of those forementioned coaches have taken the Gonzaga program this far given the identical circumstances as Mark Few? If any of them had relieved Don Monson in 2002, would the Zag faithful realize the same (let alone more) success? The best winning percentage among active coaches is damn hard to argue against.

I personally believe that the best coach in the country resides in Spokane....but that is just my own belief. Mark Few will always be a target hire for major programs.

kylasdad
10-12-2007, 09:27 PM
I think one of the big advantages at GU is the pressure is so much lower than most other schools. You look at many of the big universities, Oregon and Kentucky are two major programs that have had recent success and that wasn't good enough for Tubby to stay at KU and supposedly Ernie Kents deep runs aren't good enough either. I don't know why coach Few would leave a very low pressure situation where he definitely has all the fixins to win it all or at least get darn close.

Plus he can live less than ten minutes from work, have a hassle free commute, make great money, be close to great fishing, and be king of the town.

deathchina
10-12-2007, 11:03 PM
I agree that I don't think Few is going anywhere anytime soon, but even if he DID. Would that really signal the end of our success? He's a great coach but if he goes I think we keep on winning anyways.


(also, I'm not sure that Gonzaga is such a "low pressure" job anymore. People expect the team to win a LOT. And they are beginning to expect a final four bid or at least an elite 8)

MickMick
10-13-2007, 06:46 AM
I agree that I don't think Few is going anywhere anytime soon, but even if he DID. Would that really signal the end of our success? He's a great coach but if he goes I think we keep on winning anyways.


(also, I'm not sure that Gonzaga is such a "low pressure" job anymore. People expect the team to win a LOT. And they are beginning to expect a final four bid or at least an elite 8)

You gotta wonder if Bill Grier moved to San Diego because he knew that Few wasn't going anywhere soon. He certainly would have been in the driver's seat to inherit the Gonzaga job, and as of now, the Gonzaga job would probably be considered the better position of the two.

Nevtelen
10-13-2007, 08:01 AM
You gotta wonder if Bill Grier moved to San Diego because he knew that Few wasn't going anywhere soon. He certainly would have been in the driver's seat to inherit the Gonzaga job, and as of now, the Gonzaga job would probably be considered the better position of the two.

Grier more or less said as much when he took the USD job - that he had to take a good opportunity when it came up because he didn't see Few leaving anytime soon. his actions speak even louder than what he said.

While Few is definitely an integral part of the program and a new coach is always dicey, I do think the staff has built the program to the point that a new coach could win at GU. I'm sure the school would promote from within, since that has, you know, worked out pretty well in the past.

Still, if Few left anytime soon I'd be stunned.

MickMick
10-13-2007, 08:25 AM
Grier more or less said as much when he took the USD job - that he had to take a good opportunity when it came up because he didn't see Few leaving anytime soon. his actions speak even louder than what he said.

While Few is definitely an integral part of the program and a new coach is always dicey, I do think the staff has built the program to the point that a new coach could win at GU. I'm sure the school would promote from within, since that has, you know, worked out pretty well in the past.

Still, if Few left anytime soon I'd be stunned.

A new coach could win at GU. I don't believe a new coach would win as much. It is my belief that Gonzaga couldn't bring in a Mark Few caliber of coach from the outside. Hopefully, the Gonzaga assistants are learning well.