View Full Version : TSN: Gonzaga May Learn Perfection Isn't Perfect, But It's A Heck Of A Ride

02-01-2017, 01:40 PM
A great article that relates what Gonzaga is going through to what Wichita State, St. Joe's and others went through who also flirted with perfection:


02-01-2017, 04:16 PM
Bump. Good article.

Along the lines of the same theme - and without starting a new thread - it seems to me that the number one ranking is being treated as a bigger deal this year, by the national media (not us) than it was last time. I wonder if it's bc last time was at the very end of the season and rankings meant less going right into conference play.

02-01-2017, 05:32 PM
Liked it, especially this part:

One thing Gonzaga has in common with that Wichita State team -- and the Jameer Nelson-Delonte West St. Joe’s team coached by Phil Martelli, and the teams at Massachusetts (1995-96) and Memphis (2007-08) that John Calipari took into the final weeks of February with perfect records – is that all were considered skeptically by some oriented toward believing only high-major conferences field elite teams.

This was true even though Nelson had been a significant college player who’d led the Hawks to three conference championships and two NCAA Tournaments. It was true even though Wichita had been in the prior season’s Final Four. It was true even though UMass and Memphis obviously had high-end NBA draft picks in their lineup, Marcus Camby and Derrick Rose.

And it’s true of Gonzaga even though the Bulldogs have made 18 consecutive NCAA Tournaments,have been to the Elite Eight twice and the Sweet 16 five times on top of that and own a 27-9 record against opponents from the top-six conferences over the past five years.

The Zags went 5-2 in the past two NCAA Tournaments, and still ESPN’s Jay Williams suggested the Zags would not be “battle tested” and “that could be a major issue when you go into the NCAA Tournament.”

Carroll and St. Joe’s heard similar things more than a decade ago, including CBS analyst Billy Packer openly questioning their claim to a No. 1 seed, claiming they’d built their record against “inferior competition.” Xavier, the team that ended the Hawks’ undefeated season in the Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinals, wound up in the Elite Eight. The Hawks came about as close to the Final Four as a team can get without boarding the plane.

“I do think we justified our No. 1 ranking,” Carroll said. “I think that’s always the way it’s going to be when you’re not a power BCS conference, regardless if you finish the regular season undefeated or one loss, there’s always going to be critics that support the BCS schools and kind of discredit what you’ve done.

“I think it’s cliché to say, ‘Enjoy the moment.’ But really I think it’s a skill to focus in on a single game, the present moment, forget about the past and not think about the future. Your main is trying to get better each and every day. As cliché as it sounds, that’s the goal. I think Coach Martelli and obviously Coach Few, I think they do an amazing job of each game, you’re never satisfied with simply winning. How can each player, we as a team get better every day?”

02-01-2017, 05:50 PM
I think that it is interesting how all of them say we are "not" "battle tested".
Just remember that our starting five of: PK, JWIII, Mathews, Perkins, and William Goss work out each week against our own team mates.

They practice against: Collins, Tillie, Melson, Norvell, Alberts, and Rui.
Then there are Edwards, Beach and Triano (great 3 point shooters)

That group is better than most teams in the nation. They would be starting on many teams. This is one of the first times that we have had enough qualified players to practice hard all season. Also they are good enough players to practice like the teams that we will play.

02-01-2017, 06:03 PM
It is funny to me, all the talk about lesser conferences etc. Every team in the NCAA Div 1 ends the season...but one, with a loss. They all end as losers, if you want to look at it that way. Of course, if you make the tournament you are already better off than the other 80% of teams, and it only gets more elite from there. To do that 18 years in a row, to lose players to the NBA and come back stronger, it speaks for itself. Some are just too myopic to see.

02-01-2017, 07:10 PM
I think that it is interesting how all of them say we are "not" "battle tested".
Just remember that our starting five of: PK, JWIII, Mathews, Perkins, and William Goss work out each week against our own team mates.

I get where you're coming from but that's not what they are talking about in regards to being battle tested. Yes with our talent the first and second stringers get pushed in practice but our two games that can count as getting battle tested would be the two games in Orlando. Going against Florida and Iowa St. pushed us to the brink and to a lesser extent the first half against St. Marys

02-01-2017, 08:34 PM
It's a shame that in NWG's 2 years in the Pac 12, in JWIII's 2 yrs. in the SEC & in JM's 3 yrs. in the Pac 12 that they were never battle tested. What a waste.

02-02-2017, 01:40 AM
Thanks for posting this article CDC. Mike DeCourcy and SportingNews reminding us what a well researched and interesting sports article reads like. A rare thing these days as internet is filled with sports articles that just skim the surface regurgitating the same topical facts and angles.