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Thread: Elite Eight Pre-Game Media: Gonzaga vs. Xavier

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    Default Elite Eight Pre-Game Media: Gonzaga vs. Xavier

    Spokesman Review: Analysis - What Gonzaga can expect from (11) Xavier


    24/7 Sports: NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 11 Xavier

    Winning Factor: The Musketeers run through junior guard (and sometimes undersized 4) Trevon Bluiett. A mismatch for both guards and forwards at 6-foot-6, 198 pounds, Bluiett shoots 36.6 percent from behind the arc and a 75.3 percent from the free throw line, where he gets frequently. Xavier has a chance against anyone if Bluiett is on, and he has been in this tournament.

    Hero College Sports News: Xavier-Gonzaga Preview: No Pressure, Right?

    The storylines for Saturday's Elite Eight matchup between Gonzaga and Xavier are multiple. The strangest: with a win, Xavier will move to .500 since February 11 (they're 6-7 in that stretch). The most important: the winner of this game will advance to the first Final Four in program history.
    Speaking of series, Saturday's game will be the fourth meeting between Musketeers and Bulldogs since 2000. The first time they met was actually in similar circumstances, when 14-seed Xavier very nearly became the Cinderella story of the 2006 tournament when they pushed Adam Morrison's 3-seed Bulldogs to the brink in the first round, before ultimately falling 79-75 thanks to a Morrison three.

    Since then Gonzaga and Xavier have met twice, once in Spokane back in 2010 and once in Cincinnati on the very last day of 2011. The Zags won both games.

    The Mercury News: NCAA West Regional final: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 11 Xavier


    The Come Back: Gonzaga-Xavier sets up as an epic Elite Eight battle for a first Final Four appearance

    But the Zags already broke one streak Thursday, albeit a somewhat silly one. After losing all five games to fall on March 23 in program history, their 61-58 Sweet 16 win over West Virginia snapped that spell.

    Slipper Still Fits: Gonzaga Faces Hot-Handed Xavier
    _____________________________________________

    Zag Shop (Thrift Shop Parody)

    Gonzaga sind die besten! Gehe Zags!

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    The You Tube Live stream of the Xavier - GU press conference is up; it appears from the name tags on the dais X will go first. The emcee says X will begin around 2:50pm PDST

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycjdakrTZ-Y


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    Chris Mack says he found a monkey and is keeping it in the Xavier locker room in case Coach Few misses it. . .

    Zags portion of the Presser will begin at 3:40 pm. . .


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    Quote Originally Posted by RenoZag View Post
    Chris Mack says he found a monkey and is keeping it in the Xavier locker room in case Coach Few misses it. . . .
    Touche!
    This post is for March Madness seeding purposes only.

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    The last answer by Coach Few is worth the entire interview.


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    Wow! We - Gonzaga and the Spokane community - are so incredibly lucky to have Coach Few! What a guy!
    Quote Originally Posted by Virginia Zags Fan View Post
    The last answer by Coach Few is worth the entire interview.
    Quote Originally Posted by RenoZag View Post
    The You Tube Live stream of the Xavier - GU press conference is up; it appears from the name tags on the dais X will go first. The emcee says X will begin around 2:50pm PDST

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycjdakrTZ-Y

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginia Zags Fan View Post
    The last answer by Coach Few is worth the entire interview.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Yes it was. When the transcript gets posted, I'll cut & paste it in this thread


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    Few was terrific. Especially on the, um, vagaries of the NCAA tourney which often pits midmajors vs each other in early rounds, like SMC VCU and Dayton WSU. No one ever questions that, said F. He also spoke encouragingly about blowing the WCC for "whatever is best for GU." Only hiccup was pronouncing it EX-a-veyer..

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzdelmar View Post
    Few was terrific. Especially on the, um, vagaries of the NCAA tourney which often pits midmajors vs each other in early rounds, like SMC VCU and Dayton WSU. No one ever questions that, said F. He also spoke encouragingly about blowing the WCC for "whatever is best for GU." Only hiccup was pronouncing it EX-a-veyer..

    Q. Back when the Big East was coming together, with Xavier, when they went in, there was some talk that you guys might be interested in some sort of arrangement with them, whether it was membership or affiliate or some sort of thing. How close was that ever to becoming a reality? And how much input did you have on whether or not you guys could do that?

    COACH FEW: I don't really know how close it was. I know there was talk, and how serious it was, who knows. And again it's kind of above my job description and grade. But I certainly voiced -- my message to them has always been whatever's best for us, whatever is best for Gonzaga that will continue to grow us at the highest level is what we want to do.

    So I think we're open to anything. The West Coast Conference, it gets maligned sometimes at times this year, but I think everybody got to see how good Saint Mary's was. And it was nice to have another top-20, top-25 team in there you could play three times. And BYU was a top-100 team. And Santa Clara rose up as did San Francisco.

    That helped better -- our metrics were really, really good this year coming into the tournament. But that being said, whatever is going to be best for Gonzaga moving forward is what we're going to do. Just kind of the way it is.
    ...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginia Zags Fan View Post
    The last answer by Coach Few is worth the entire interview.
    Here's the Question and Few's Answer:

    Q. In talking to you over the years, I get the sense that you probably care less about your legacy than maybe other people around you do. Is that a fair way of putting it, and can you explain would making a Final Four change the way you view your career at all, if you guys are able to win tomorrow?

    COACH FEW: Again, my legacy is I guess built on a lot of other things. I mean, it's built on the respect my players have for me and how they feel about they were treated and coached and developed and all that.

    I'm schlepping along right now like vastly far behind my father who is 54 years a Presbyterian minister, man. He's saved thousands of souls. He's helped hundreds and thousands of people through all their tough times, you know. And that's kind of the legacy that I'm looking at.

    And just, like, I've got a long ways to go to get to first base living up to that guy's standard. He's a titan of a man, talking about the impact he's had on people. I've always just wanted the guys to just have the best that they could possibly have at Gonzaga. The year they were there, the four years they were there, the five years they were there, the two years they were there, I want it to be absolutely the best. And that's all I cared about.

    Never at one time have I focused on my record, my winning. So as far as going to a Final Four, I mean, I want it, desperately want it for this group of guys. I desperately want it for everybody who has played at Gonzaga, the players who have been such a huge part of that.

    It would be awesome for the school and for the Spokane community to be able to feel good about and hang their hat on. But my legacy is going to be about other things, at least as far as I'm concerned.
    The entire press conference transcript is available here: http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=128666

    You can also find the Xavier Press Conference transcript at the same site
    Last edited by RenoZag; 03-24-2017 at 05:12 PM.


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    I listened to that answer and Mark's comments about his Dad and it brought tears to my eyes. I would do anything for his Mom and Dad if needed, while not family, they were a constant in our family during good times and hard times. I believe that is true for many families around Creswell, Oregon.

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    Default Mack has his squad practice cutting down the net

    From the Cincy Enquirer:

    SAN JOSE – Xavier had one final practice Tuesday prior to departing for San Jose and the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, and the session likely took the form of so many dozens that had come before it during the 2016-17 season.

    Until the end of practice. That’s when a ladder appeared and was placed below one of the nets in the Kohlhepp Family Auxiliary Gym.

    The Xavier coaching staff employs all manner of pads for rough-and-tumble rebounding drills, basket plugs and other tools.

    Ladders, though? That’s not part of the typical repertoire.

    “We were kind of confused,” Xavier junior guard J.P. Macura told The Enquirer Friday at the SAP Center.

    Musketeers head coach Chris Mack had a final command: Cut the net down.

    “I just think that in order to do something, I think you have to visualize yourself doing it," he said. "We’ve been in this position before going into the second weekend and I wanted to do something different. I was tired of us losing.

    “I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity of sitting there watching UCLA (in 2008) cut down the nets and I want that to happen to our team.”

    Then it clicked with the players. This was preparation for Saturday night at the SAP Center.
    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/spor...ence/99606444/


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    A feature on Jordan Matthews transfer.
    https://theundefeated.com/features/n...jordan-mathews
    I walked over 20 miles to watch the Zags

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    Zags face red hot Xavier, from Jim Meehan: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/201...al-four-spot-/

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    Quote Originally Posted by RenoZag View Post
    From the Cincy Enquirer:

    SAN JOSE – Xavier had one final practice Tuesday prior to departing for San Jose and the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, and the session likely took the form of so many dozens that had come before it during the 2016-17 season.

    Until the end of practice. That’s when a ladder appeared and was placed below one of the nets in the Kohlhepp Family Auxiliary Gym.

    The Xavier coaching staff employs all manner of pads for rough-and-tumble rebounding drills, basket plugs and other tools.

    Ladders, though? That’s not part of the typical repertoire.

    “We were kind of confused,” Xavier junior guard J.P. Macura told The Enquirer Friday at the SAP Center.

    Musketeers head coach Chris Mack had a final command: Cut the net down.

    “I just think that in order to do something, I think you have to visualize yourself doing it," he said. "We’ve been in this position before going into the second weekend and I wanted to do something different. I was tired of us losing.

    “I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity of sitting there watching UCLA (in 2008) cut down the nets and I want that to happen to our team.”

    Then it clicked with the players. This was preparation for Saturday night at the SAP Center.
    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/spor...ence/99606444/
    Impressive.

    Coach Mack is amazing at the mental/psychological aspect of these moments.

    When they faced a 6-game losing streak in February, he had everyone bring a calendar and write what they would sacrifice for the team on the month of February. He collected all the calendars and burnt it in front of his team. He gathered the ashes of the calendar and put them in jar.

    He has since brought the jar to every game and practice since that moment. They have went 6-1 since that moment.

    It represented the fact the past is out of their control. Its done and gone. To focus on what is ahead of them, what they can control.

    The team responded and been on a roll the very moment they burnt the month of February, as if it never occurred or existed.

    Now, the team shows up to practice and they cut down the nets. They have already visualized and felt themselves winning the West region.

    So impressed with honing into the mental aspect of winning and believing.

    We'll see how well it worked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raise the zag View Post
    Impressive.

    Coach Mack is amazing at the mental/psychological aspect of these moments.

    When they faced a 6-game losing streak in February, he had everyone bring a calendar and write what they would sacrifice for the team on the month of February. He collected all the calendars and burnt it in front of his team. He gathered the ashes of the calendar and put them in jar.

    He has since brought the jar to every game and practice since that moment. They have went 6-1 since that moment.

    It represented the fact the past is out of their control. Its done and gone. To focus on what is ahead of them, what they can control.

    The team responded and been on a roll the very moment they burnt the month of February, as if it never occurred or existed.

    Now, the team shows up to practice and they cut down the nets. They have already visualized and felt themselves winning the West region.

    So impressed with honing into the mental aspect of winning and believing.

    We'll see how well it worked.

    From Jim Valvano and North Carolina State.

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    Eamonn Brennan feature on Xavier's Sean O' Mara: http://www.espn.com/blog/collegebask...the-final-four

    So, too, does O'Mara's metamorphosis -- from a little-used, all-but-forgotten reserve into, perhaps, Xavier's most vital frontcourt performer.

    Xavier's coaches began the season with high hopes for the 6-foot-10 junior, who had always displayed a knack for the old-school art of playing with his back to the basket, but had struggled to add defending and rebounding to that equation. O'Mara averaged 17 minutes per game in the first seven games of the season, but quickly lost minutes to Rashid Gaston and Tyrique Jones. Mack stashed O'Mara on the bench. Short minutes led to compressed in-game pressure, which sapped O'Mara of his confidence on the offensive end.

    "I think Sean had some in the beginning of the year, lost it, and then didn't play as well," Mack said. "And I give credit to Sean for being able to pull himself out of that rut and play his best basketball in the last month of the season."


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    ESPN's John Gasaway previews GU vs. Xavier: http://www.espn.com/mens-college-bas...ent-final-four

    The winner of this game is exceedingly likely to be the casual fan's sentimental favorite at the Final Four.

    Make that a sentimental favorite who could win it all. Gonzaga and Xavier got here by playing some outstanding basketball.

    The Bulldogs have ably navigated their way through a rather profound tournament-long shooting slump -- they've made just 29 percent of their 3s -- by visiting this same fate upon their opponents. No, the Northwestern Wildcats and South Dakota State Jackrabbits don't have the most high-powered offenses. Nevertheless, when you're limiting tournament opponents to just 37 percent shooting inside the arc, you are doing something very right on defense.
    There's also video of Dickie V with his take ( he picks GU ) at the link


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    A really nice, quick read on Karno.

    https://theringer.com/2017-ncaa-tour...a7e#.j5mejwwwa
    'I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.'
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    Foo Time

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robzagnut View Post
    From Jim Valvano and North Carolina State.
    YEP - Derivative.

    And Valvano did it during the FIRST practice of the year, when the team was expected to be terrible.

    I applaud the effort, but the fates should not allow this uniquely Valvano move to be rewarded. Our team practiced being a band of brothers on a mission throughout the year and found one loss to be devastating. That's what we practiced and I like our approach better.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

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    S- R Story on NWG Offensive slump: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/201...ams-goss-offe/

    Williams-Goss shined the most at the line in the regular season. He topped the West Coast Conference in free throws after hitting 73 of 79 attempts in conference play and is 15th in the nation for his overall performance at the line this year, shooting 89.5 percent. The guard went on a streak this year with 43 consecutive makes at the line before he missed a shot against Santa Clara in the WCC semifinal earlier this month.

    In the NCAA Tournament, Williams-Goss has hit 77.7 percent of his free throws (14 of 18). Two of those misses came in Thursday’s game against the Mountaineers when Williams-Goss was handed eight opportunities at the line.

    Even with so much riding on the guard’s shoulders to lead a team in what could be a historical run in the NCAA Tournament, Williams-Goss said doesn’t feel the pressure. And he’s certainly not paying attention to the noise about his offensive slump in the postseason.

    And neither is anyone else on the team.

    “There’s more to him than just scoring. Nigel is one of our best and most consistent perimeter defenders. He rebounds the ball pretty well every night,” Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd said.

    Williams-Goss has led the team in two NCAA Tournament games on boards, pulling down a total of 22 for the Zags. Only Johnathan Williams has grabbed more, 23, in the last three games.


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    Quote Originally Posted by kitzbuel View Post
    A really nice, quick read on Karno.

    https://theringer.com/2017-ncaa-tour...a7e#.j5mejwwwa
    I liked that, thanks
    Bring back the OCC

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