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theothegreat21
12-30-2007, 08:39 PM
I started this thread because I have become confused about what people mean when they say someone is a "true zag" or "mr.zag". I always see this referenced when discussing the elite 8 team and then certain individuals on teams since then. I dont know a lot about the elite 8 team as I was in middle school and actually really didnt like the Zags because I grew up a Stanford fan, and to say the least the Zags had stanford's number. However, I started to follow the Zags after that and have become an avid and passionate fan, which has only increased since I came to Gonzaga two years ago.

It just seems to me that many posters on the board have had trouble adjusting to the new found recruits and athletes that we have brought in as the program has became great. I always see Pendo mentioned on this board as "mr. zag" and see many people complain about the new players not having the Zag attitude, or playing the Zag way. This just perplexes me, as now in my Junior year at Gonzaga I have never seen a player not hustle or appear to be giving it maximum effort. However, when Pendo dives for a ball or lays out on the court he is lauded for great effort and praised as a true Zag. Yet when some of the younger players do it, it seems as if that is something that should be expected. It seems because Pendo plays a true "zag" way, he is not examined as critically as other players. I dont know if it is people not wanting to embrace the new type of players that come into the program, but I am just curious as to what makes someone such a "zag"

MedZag
12-30-2007, 08:52 PM
The whole "true zag" thing comes from our roots of being an overachieving giant killer. Guys like Pendo who weren't highly regarded to succeed at the D1 level, then go on to do it anyways, really appeal to the mantra of the against-all-odds teams which launched this program into the national spotlight. A lot of people became endeared to the Zags because those teams succeeded when they weren't supposed to. Unfortunately, for kids like Daye or Pargo, who pundits and fans all expected to perform at a high level, its a lot more difficult to "exceed expectations" the way some of our more blue collar players over the years have. Fair or not, those extra stars next to those kids' names change how they are perceived and treated by both fans and talking heads alike.

Personally, I think everyone deserves praise for the floor burns they take out there. To make it on the D1 level takes an incredible amount of skill and hard work, no matter whether the kid is bound for the NBA or not. I think people around here are a bit too hard on our more pretigious recruits without giving them time to go through the natural maturations of any college player. Then again, there is something romantic about the scrappy player who never backs down from a challenge and forces people to eat their words.

theothegreat21
12-30-2007, 09:03 PM
I understand that, but I dont get where the idea that Pendo wasnt supposed to succeed at a division I level. Wasnt he a state player of the year in Washington, and according to his rivals profile he was a top 150 recruit in his class. I think that with those credentials he should have very high expectations. It just confuses me that people on this board tend to have somewhat quick triggers to praise everything that Pendo does, or compare him to players on the Elite 8 team, while having equally quick triggers to be harsh on the newer generation of recruits, who are much more highly regarded

BroncoZAG615
12-30-2007, 09:04 PM
I couldn't agree more MedZag. Like theothegreat, I am also a younger Zag fan blessed with recruiting services like Rivals and Scout. These services make for drooling and fawning over 5 star recruits. I honestly have felt some utter disdain for Austin and our prized recruits because people fear Gonzaga might become somewhat of a factory school. To me, this is unfair. Everytime a picture of Pendo is taken showing him diving on the floor it is posted on the board, but there are an equal amount of photos of players like Matt and others diving to no avail.

It is my humble opinion that some people think guys like David are a dying breed. I do not see this. As long as Few is on the bench, I am not worried. Zags will always dive on the floor, whether they are blue chips or walk ons. I think people should really have more of a level head when judging the performance and effort of a player.

juliezag
12-30-2007, 09:06 PM
couldnt have said it better myself theothegreat21.

CDC84
12-30-2007, 09:49 PM
A true Zag for me is what others call a good "program player." I don't think it's exclusive to Gonzaga. Other good examples that exist in college basketball include: A.J. Abrams at Texas, Jonathan Wallace at Georgetown, Drew Neitzel at MSU, Michael Flowers at Wisconsin, etc. Lee Humphrey at Florida and Jawad Williams at North Carolina are good examples from the recent past.

They're basically players that stick around the program, and who serve as tremendous leaders when it comes to directing younger, more talented players. The great ones like Jawad Williams command the total respect of their teammates. They tend to be guys that will do anything to win a game, and in many ways, they are the embodiment of their head coach's vision. Needless to say, they are also pretty good players in their own right, whose own skill level and talent is often underestimated.

rawkmandale
12-30-2007, 09:51 PM
I think Pendo is still in the top 10 all-time scorers in Washington State high school basketball. He lost one (1) game in his entire high school career.

He hasn't been featured as a scorer in college becasue he is so incredibly proficient at team basketball. When a guy sets great screens and can defend the toughest opponents (usually larger guys), his offense is muted, because his team needs those skills.

Someone recently suggested in another thread that Pendo could make an NBA team better by doing the "team" things that get overlooked. He may never get that chance, but his life will clearly prosper regardless.

JAGzag
12-31-2007, 03:29 AM
Theo, perhaps some of your answers can be found in your youth. Those of us that grew up with the program just developing into what it is today were fortunate enough to have the types of players like Pendo - blue collar types that would jump off a bridge if it helped the team. That's not to say the younger players wouldn't do that, but keep in mind we've had four years of seeing his hustle and heart and just a few games of the younger guys. Also, pendo also seemed to play a bit out of position, especially last year with Josh going out. But I've always felt that Pendo was our best 3pt shooter bar none and I continue to scream for him to throw up the rock when he can, but with today's team, he understands his role - as a team player - and you won't see him doing this.

LynetteG
12-31-2007, 07:12 AM
http://graphics.fansonly.com/photos/schools/gonz/sports/m-baskbl/auto_wide/1633428.jpeg

Mr. Zag: also known as 'being a zag', an 'ultimate zag', 'true zag'. 'Zag' short for Gonzaga University, a cinderella basketball powerhouse from Spokane, WA. Used in reference to a team player who selflessly sacrifices by doing whatever is needed by his team to achieve an optimal outcome. The heart and soul of the team. May not necessarily be the most gifted athletically, however, Mr. Zag's participation is crucial to the success of the organization.

bzzz61
12-31-2007, 09:04 AM
Theo, perhaps some of your answers can be found in your youth. Those of us that grew up with the program just developing into what it is today were fortunate enough to have the types of players like Pendo - blue collar types that would jump off a bridge if it helped the team. That's not to say the younger players wouldn't do that, but keep in mind we've had four years of seeing his hustle and heart and just a few games of the younger guys. Also, pendo also seemed to play a bit out of position, especially last year with Josh going out. But I've always felt that Pendo was our best 3pt shooter bar none and I continue to scream for him to throw up the rock when he can, but with today's team, he understands his role - as a team player - and you won't see him doing this.

The key for me in this is that we have seen Pendo for 4 years. He's had his moments where shot selection was a bit shaky or he didn't grab the rebound he needed to but over time he's grown on us. He's become synonomous with Gonzaga basketball and we know that he would do anything to help us win. Like JagZag said he has some talents behind the 3pt line that don't always get utilized because that is not what the team needs him to do. I for one will be a bit sad this year at Senior Night to watch him start his final game at home.

MedZag
12-31-2007, 09:44 AM
I understand that, but I dont get where the idea that Pendo wasnt supposed to succeed at a division I level. Wasnt he a state player of the year in Washington, and according to his rivals profile he was a top 150 recruit in his class. I think that with those credentials he should have very high expectations. It just confuses me that people on this board tend to have somewhat quick triggers to praise everything that Pendo does, or compare him to players on the Elite 8 team, while having equally quick triggers to be harsh on the newer generation of recruits, who are much more highly regarded

Your point is well taken. I may word this a bit cumbersomely, but I think a lot of it has to deal with the wonderful "upside" word that gets thrown around in college ball. I think most would agree Pendo was always destined to be a solid D1 player. But I think expectations never really exceeded him being a solid role player and contributor to the team. But you look at others, like Heytvelt (who had NBA lottery pick written all over him before he stepped on campus), Pargo (whose family has NBA pedigree with his brother), Downs (first hamburger boy), and this year's class (highest for the program ever with solid NBA potential), and expectations aren't just that these individuals will be solid role players, but that they will be centerpieces responsible for taking the program farther than it ever has before. Anything less than that and they are "disappointments" in some people's eyes. I don't think its fair, but thats the reality of the situation.

Note: Pendo isn't the best example of a "Mr. Zag," he's just the one people throw about because he's the best example on this year's team. A more classic example would be someone like Kyle Bankhead - who wasn't recruited, walked on to the team, and developed into one of the solid cornerstones of the team his senior year.

BobZag
12-31-2007, 10:03 AM
Tyler Hansbrough = North Carolina
Miles Simon and Jason Terry = Arizona
Earl Watson = UCLA
Derrick Low = WSU
Brandon Roy = UW

I think a Mr. [insert school] is just someone the fans associate by name with the school. There's no real definition. To me, Ronny Turiaf is the all-time Mr. Zag, his love for Gonzaga is/was incredble. But it could be Casey or Cory or Blake or Batista or Q or .......................... Michael Jordan and UNC probably define it best, but the player doesn't have to be a star by any means.

MedZag
12-31-2007, 10:51 AM
Tyler Hansbrough = North Carolina
Miles Simon and Jason Terry = Arizona
Earl Watson = UCLA
Derrick Low = WSU
Brandon Roy = UW

I think a Mr. [insert school] is just someone the fans associate by name with the school. There's no real definition. To me, Ronny Turiaf is the all-time Mr. Zag, his love for Gonzaga is/was incredble. But it could be Casey or Cory or Blake or Batista or Q or .......................... Michael Jordan and UNC probably define it best, but the player doesn't have to be a star by any means.

I think there's a little disparity between our conceptions of the term Bob. I would agree with your point in the terms you defined it. However, and maybe I'm jumping to conclusions here, but I think the way people define a "Mr. Zag" like Pendo are more wrapped in up the popular terms around here: "playing like a zag," "he's zag material," "putting in a zag's day work." In those terms I would associate it more with the principles of a hard work, achieving against the odds, sacrificing the body attitude rather than being a poster for a program. But I guess I'm scraping at semantics here.

And I agree, there will never be a better ambassador and representative for Gonzaga basketball than Ronny. He was and is a truly special individual.

Reborn
12-31-2007, 11:02 AM
The term "Zag" to me in it's simplist concept is anyone who wants to be associated with either the University or the team. Thus Zag.

On a deeper level, in which we are asking I think, for me is to be in the Zag (Gonzaga FAMILY). You feel like you belong to a family and have the same feelings for other Zags as you do for your own..that's assuming you love your family. It's all about Love. And Zag identity. If you get a chance to go to an event where alumni are there, and mixed in with past and current players mixing. It's very specilal to feel that kind of identity with others, and the admiration and respect in the room.

On a basketball level a Zag to me is a person who refuses to lose at all costs (as was shown in the Tennessee game) leaving it all on the court; and a willingness to play anybody. Never turning away from teams that might be better. A Zag isn't afraid to lose because he knows that sometimes he wins when he loses. And I'll throw in forgiveness....because of the family thing, and what the University and Team did for Josh and Theo.

MDABE80
12-31-2007, 12:13 PM
Zag= tough, determined, plays hard even if overmatched, gives everything for his TEAM and TEAMMATES, example of what we want GU kids to be like, gives up his body with reckless abandon to make his TEAM better even at the expense of putting up individual points or accolades, other centered and selfless in playing the game.........shall I go on? Nope...Pendo's the best example we've had in years..........best I can remember in a lot of years. AND he'll NEVER embarrass the University.