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Angelo Roncalli
10-30-2007, 04:58 AM
From today's LA Times:


The day he lost his job as the coach at San Diego, Brad Holland talked about the "monster up in the Pacific Northwest."

Dick Davey, pressured to retire at Santa Clara after 15 seasons, put it plainly: "The Gonzaga Syndrome has affected a lot of coaches in our league, I think."

Call it Zag Envy, if you will. The small Jesuit university in Spokane, Wash., has won seven consecutive West Coast Conference regular-season titles and, more impressively, made repeated NCAA tournament runs and become a regular in the Associated Press Top 25.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-wcc30oct30,1,5318599.story?coll=la-headlines-sports

lawzag
10-30-2007, 07:40 AM
some good quotes from Grier in the article - basically telling folks, the "Gonzaga effect" is not something that can necessarily be replicated because there are a multitude of factors that went into making Gonzaga what it is today & those factors were from outside the university athletic program - i.e. the support of the fans/community at large:)

DenDiegoZag
10-30-2007, 08:07 AM
Great Find! Got to love being a Zag...Often Imitated, Never Duplicated.

Nevtelen
10-30-2007, 08:14 AM
Only two coaches, Gonzaga's Mark Few, entering his ninth season, and St. Mary's Randy Bennett, in his seventh, have more tenure than a fifth-year senior.

And once again, Gonzaga is picked to win the league, with St. Mary's not far behind

Cooindicence? I think not. That logevity of coaching staff is an important element of quality programs is something that schools with Gonzaga envy often conveniently forget about.

DavyZag
10-30-2007, 08:35 AM
I think you are missing the point, Nevtelen. Brad Holland and Dick Davey were both coaching in the WCC before Few was. But neither of them could bring their respective schools anywhere near where we are, so they were fired. That's what Davey meant when he said that the "Gonzaga Syndrome" has affected the coaches in this league. Other school administrators see Gonzaga do it and expect that their coaches to do the same. But I think we all recognize that it took years of build-up under Fitzgerald, lightning in a bottle with the magical Elite Eight run, and an aggressive capitalization on the
NCAA success under Few.

No doubt about it - Holland and Davey were class acts all the way. No scandal, always graduated players, always put quality teams out on the floor... if those guys were in any other mid-major conference (aside from the MVC, which really isn't a mid-major anymore anyway), they would probably still have their jobs. But in a conference with Gonzaga, they've got an enormous amount of pressure.

rennis
10-30-2007, 08:46 AM
I thought this quote was funny:




"Developing a loyal following, whether you're winning or losing, that's the thing Gonzaga was able to establish."



Uh, last I checked, Gonzaga's been winning for the last 12 years. Not saying fans wouldn't be loyal if the team had a losing season, but I certainly think the loyalty is stronger when you average 26 wins for 8 years!

One thing that article fails to mention is the luck involved in getting to where Gonzaga has gotten. No one is going to replicate GU's success without a good measure of it. I remember Jud Heathcote's comments after the 2001 Sweet 16 run. I can't cite them verbatim, but it was roughly "After the 1999 team I thought there was no way on earth this team would return to the Sweet 16. To do it two more times in unfathomable. These kids are good, no doubt, but they are also really lucky bastids."

:D

Robzagnut
10-30-2007, 08:58 AM
>"Gonzaga effect" is not something that can necessarily be replicated because there are a multitude of factors that went into making Gonzaga what it is today & those factors were from outside the university athletic program - i.e. the support of the fans/community at large

1. No football. It's basketball here and now, and all the time. Recruits have been quoted stating this fact.

2. No other major sports within 250 miles. No pro basketball, baseball or football. It's the ONLY game in town.

3. No other Division I team in the city. This is Spokane's team. There's a tremendous amount of civic pride in this program. Just the number of 'Go Zags' placards you see during tourney time gives you an indication.

4. 'The Few Effect' Players want to play for a great coach. Just like the Don James era at UW. Once James left that program slid and hasn't come back. See also Tom Osborne and Nebraska.

5. GU took advantage of the void left by the poor basketball programs in UW and WSU in the late 90's and early 00's. Key NW recruits picked GU over those two majors.

CDC84
10-30-2007, 09:26 AM
The so-called Gonzaga syndrome is having an effect across all non-BCS conferences....not just the WCC. This link has been posted before, but the article is worth reading again:

http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=200829


What we could not have anticipated, though, was the impact of the Gonzaga Syndrome. It had been building through this decade, as the Zags elevated themselves from a top mid-major team to a college hoops power, and it got out of control as this season closed. That's when many colleges looked at Gonzaga's program and asked: Why not us? The fallout included the purging of coaches at Santa Clara, San Diego, Indiana State, Evansville and Illinois State among a staggering 52 changes.

BobZag
10-30-2007, 09:28 AM
Think of all the coaches that have been canned in the WCC once Gonzaga got on a roll. At USD, UP, Pepp, LMU, SCU, USF, SMC. Since Few has taken over--Holland, Mathews, Westphal, Aggers, Holton, Bollwinkle, Davey, others I can't recall, and there will be more in the near-future.

former1dog
10-30-2007, 09:33 AM
Think of all the coaches that have been canned in the WCC once Gonzaga got on a roll. At USD, UP, Pepp, LMU, SCU, USF, SMC. Since Few has taken over--Holland, Mathews, Westphal, Aggers, Holton, Bollwinkle, Davey, others I can't recall, and there will be more in the near-future.

:lmao:

I'm pretty sure Bollwinkle would have been canned with or without the Gonzaga effect. Just sayin'.

ZaginLaw
10-30-2007, 09:57 AM
I don't think the loyalty is stronger over the past 8 years - just wider (more fans). When talking to old(er) KC'ers it's pretty evident the loyalty during losing seasons was as strong or stronger.

Some old(er) KC'er may argue that recent KC'er would likely have do some "loyalty soul searching" if and when GU isn't as successful.

I wonder how many "new" fans (me included) will have to encounter a losing season to really appreciate the current GU success. Very similar to Monson's quote to Grier....

Great article.

former1dog
10-30-2007, 10:03 AM
I wonder how many "new" fans (me included) will have to encounter a losing season to really appreciate the current GU success. Very similar to Monson's quote to Grier....

I'm pretty sure if/when that happens they'll be a whole lotta folks jumpin off the wagon all together. Sorry to say it, that general how it works.

Thankfully, those days look far, far away given the current state of the team and more importantly the coaching staff.

rennis
10-30-2007, 11:48 AM
I'm pretty sure if/when that happens they'll be a whole lotta folks jumpin off the wagon all together. Sorry to say it, that general how it works.


Truth. There is no team in the world that wouldn't experience a shrinking fan base during troubled times. Just look at UW's football team. In the 90s the place was a mad-house...fans oozed Husky pride, much like we love our Zags. Fast forward to the middle of this decade and most fans are all but despondent over the team, even Tyee members. The tides can and usually will change for all but the luckiest of fans. I just cherish these years when we have it good, knowing it can change at any time.

Nevtelen
10-30-2007, 12:17 PM
I think you are missing the point, Nevtelen. Brad Holland and Dick Davey were both coaching in the WCC before Few was. But neither of them could bring their respective schools anywhere near where we are, so they were fired. That's what Davey meant when he said that the "Gonzaga Syndrome" has affected the coaches in this league. Other school administrators see Gonzaga do it and expect that their coaches to do the same. But I think we all recognize that it took years of build-up under Fitzgerald, lightning in a bottle with the magical Elite Eight run, and an aggressive capitalization on the
NCAA success under Few.

No doubt about it - Holland and Davey were class acts all the way. No scandal, always graduated players, always put quality teams out on the floor... if those guys were in any other mid-major conference (aside from the MVC, which really isn't a mid-major anymore anyway), they would probably still have their jobs. But in a conference with Gonzaga, they've got an enormous amount of pressure.


Yeah, but my point was that you can't duplicate the "Gonzaga effect" by just firing and hiring new coaches either and any school that thinks you can isn't looking closely enough.

kitzbuel
10-30-2007, 12:22 PM
I really think LMU had the possiblity of really growing their program in the early '90s after the Kimble/Gather years. They had national name recognition and had fielded quality teams with a very entertaining style of ball the could attract quality players, even luring them from other programs like USC. I guess it was Westhead's leaving that killed the growth, but I really don't know why it was not sustained.

LongIslandZagFan
10-30-2007, 01:36 PM
Truth. There is no team in the world that wouldn't experience a shrinking fan base during troubled times. Just look at UW's football team. In the 90s the place was a mad-house...fans oozed Husky pride, much like we love our Zags. Fast forward to the middle of this decade and most fans are all but despondent over the team, even Tyee members. The tides can and usually will change for all but the luckiest of fans. I just cherish these years when we have it good, knowing it can change at any time.

All I know is that when I went to GU (back in the late 80s) there was always a strong following of the team win or lose. The fan base has been there all along... we just gained a ton of bandwagon fans.

I was talking to a kid on my son's soccer team, who is a huge Pats fan (something wrong with that kid :p). I told him that one day in his lifetime the Pats will stink... they'll go 1-15 or 2-14. I then said that if you stick with them at that point... then and only then are you a true fan. I reminded him that when my Seahawks were bad, they were outdone in badness by none other than the New England Patriots.

True fans love the team for the team alone and not the record. What else would explain a Detroit Lions fan.

gamagin
10-30-2007, 01:54 PM
the post.

GU is firing on all cylinders, but as the article points out, other WCC teams on the outside looking in have been where we are now.

that means nothing is constant (except change) and nothing is guaranteed (except change). What goes up must come down.

To the extent that we (players, coaches, fans, regents, students, well wishers) stick together and encourage growth and development, it will continue and we should stay up.

The GU coaches, to me, have essentially continued to grow and challenge
themselves the same way they have challenged their teams with a rigorous, competitive schedule and ever more discerning selections of talent.

I like the risk-taking and I believe that continuing to grow & stretch, as Few
et al have done, means the management and success and interest level in the Zags will also continue to improve & grow for the foreseeable future.

While our WCC competition take aim at us, we are taking aim at the NCAA,
realizing fully that in order to get from point A to point B is through the WCC.

Uncle george patton had this to say about how GU must look at the WCC. I concur:

"Now there's another thing I want you to remember. I don't want to get any messages saying that "we are holding our position." We're not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose and we're going to kick him in the ass. We're going to kick the hell out of him all the time and we're going to go through him like crap through a goose!"

ZagNative
10-30-2007, 02:03 PM
That Patton quote is great! ;)

Thanks, Gamagin.

rennis
10-30-2007, 04:04 PM
the post.


that means nothing is constant (except change) and nothing is guaranteed (except change). What goes up must come down.

To the extent that we (players, coaches, fans, regents, students, well wishers) stick together and encourage growth and development, it will continue and we should stay up.

While our WCC competition take aim at us, we are taking aim at the NCAA,
realizing fully that in order to get from point A to point B is through the WCC.

Uncle george patton had this to say about how GU must look at the WCC. I concur:

"Now there's another thing I want you to remember. I don't want to get any messages saying that "we are holding our position." We're not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose and we're going to kick him in the ass. We're going to kick the hell out of him all the time and we're going to go through him like crap through a goose!"

wisdom. Let's hope this train keeps rollin'

DenDiegoZag
10-30-2007, 04:29 PM
Note: The whole Patton Speech is not PG rated, but...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y9gXgcW5xs

GO ZAGS!!!

HOOTER
10-30-2007, 04:42 PM
There was a great article in this season's Lindy's college basketball edition by John Blanchette about this very same topic. The headline reads "The rules have changed for mid-major coaches. It's no longer enough simply to win...it's all about becoming the next Gonzaga." It seems Gonzaga has raised the bar to an unattainable height, at least to this point.

Air Force Zag
10-30-2007, 08:33 PM
The Patton quote is great...but I always liked this one better (appropriately updated):

"Men, all this stuff you've heard about Gonzaga not wanting to fight, just trying to win the WCC, is a lot of horse dung. Zags traditionally love to fight. All real Zags love the sting of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion free throw shooter, "the runner", talented point guards, the toughest defenders. Zags love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Zags play to win all the time. We wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Zags have never lost, and will never lose a game (this year)... because the very thought of losing is hateful to all Zags."

That is all...as you were.