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Thread: The Final Four: Pre-Game Media Thread

  1. #26
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  2. #27
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    This is my favorite thread, thx to all contributors
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

  3. #28
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    A really cool look at what is going on behind the scenes:

    Zag Logistics this week by Bud Withers

    Gonzaga serviced about 750 boosters for the regional in San Jose. For this weekend, there are more than 3,000, all taken care of via the athletic department’s priority-points system based on annual giving. Hotel space for boosters is partly funneled through travel packages, but the athletic department has a finger on that pulse and must provide continual updates to hotels to hold or release rooms.

    Players’ families also score this weekend. For the third straight year, the NCAA has in place a pilot program that allows for $3,000 per player family to attend the Final Four, $4,000 for the teams making the final game.
    “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

    ~ Desiderius Erasmus

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    Love to see the parents get some love

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    Quote Originally Posted by thespywhozaggedme View Post
    With Rick Neuheisel and Chris Childers. I had never heard Withers before, but he was amazing, they gave him 20 minutes of airtime and it was basically a North American infomercial for Gonzaga and Few, it was awesome. The publicity that the FF has garnered us is invaluable. Great interview!
    Here's a link to an XM interview (excerpt) done with Coach Few where he acknowledges turning to his coacjing friends for Final Four week prep advice: Jay Wright and Billy Donovan.

    https://soundcloud.com/siriusxmcolle...van-for-advice

    He was on the Packer & Cremins Show


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    “ We tend to forget in times of reversal that life without risk is endless rehearsal.” -- Fran J. Polek

  6. #31
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    Default Withers: Zag logistics this week

    "I think we're all Bozos on this bus."

  7. #32
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    Mathews Brothers Keeping Tabs on Each Other: Spokesman-Review

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/201...ping-tabs-on-/

    When Gonzaga’s Jordan Mathews looked behind him last week, he saw one familiar face he doesn’t ever see in the stands – his younger brother, Jonah. It’s not often that Jonah gets to watch Jordan play in a Zags uniform. Last week, however, Jonah was able to get to San Jose from his home in Los Angeles for his brother’s historical run through the NCAA Tournament, almost two weeks after Jonah’s first run in the tournament ended.

    Jonah followed his brother’s footsteps this year to college basketball and is now a guard for USC’s basketball team. The Trojans earned an at-large bid to the tournament this season and fell to Baylor in the round of 32.

    “It’s been kind of crazy, making the tournament your freshman year and winning two games,” Jonah said on Thursday. “It’s been kind of hectic, but it was so fun. I want to go back the next year.”

  8. #33
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    Jim Meehan feature on SC's Thornwell: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/201...d-south-carol/

    “I convinced him to wrap his heart with two names, the state he comes from and his family name to help us build something special. (Former South Carolina football standouts) Marcus Lattimore and Jadeveon Clowney, I told him you can be what they were to our basketball program.”

    After a few lean seasons, that’s essentially what has happened, though there was bitter disappointment last year when South Carolina’s 25-win team didn’t land an NCAA tournament berth.

    Thornwell has been the cornerstone of the Gamecocks’ turnaround. The senior guard averaged in double figures in his first three seasons before elevating his points to 21.6 and rebounds to 7.2 to earn SEC player of the year, a program first.

    Thornwell has been even better in the tournament at 25.7 points and 7.5 boards. He’s also a two-time SEC All-Defensive team selection.

    “He’s going to be a really hard guard,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few, whose Zags face the Gamecocks in a national semifinal Saturday.

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    Default WSJ: The Angriest Team in College Basketball

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/south-c...all-1490738205

    South Carolina head coach Frank Martin has earned a reputation as one of the angriest coaches in college basketball with a repertoire of gesticulations and outbursts that can turn his cheeks the color of his garnet jackets.

    Now he has taken his No. 7 seed Gamecocks on a furious run to the Final Four—the first in school history. And this surprising run happened because Martin somehow found players who are even angrier than he is.

    “If you’re not matching his intensity, you’re not going to be on the floor,” said freshman guard Tommy Corchiani. Adds sophomore guard Hassani Gravett: “That anger, that aggressiveness, that passion, that’s how we bring it.”
    South Carolina’s unbridled ferocity is most obvious when the other team has the ball. The Gamecocks play physically and push the limits of how much contact referees will let them get away with before calling a foul.

    This style has produced one of the most impenetrable defenses in the country, a unit that ranks second nationally, according to KenPom.com and a vast improvement over a year ago. The only team that ranks better happens to be their opponent on Saturday: No. 1 Gonzaga.
    There are moments where the team’s intensity simply isn’t enough or can backfire—the Gamecocks, after all, lost 10 games this season. Because of their aggression, they also frequently send opponents to the foul line. No team that made the NCAA tournament yielded a higher percentage of its points on free throws. But the players say that’s a trade off they’re comfortable with because that same physicality is why their defense is so stingy the rest of the time.


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    “ We tend to forget in times of reversal that life without risk is endless rehearsal.” -- Fran J. Polek

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    I hope nobody's buying into all this. Reality bites. We've won nothing yet even though this FF is our first. It's a big deal but my superstitious self thinks all this adulation ( Love Bud's piece) doesn't mean much come Saturday/Monday. It's asking for trouble.

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    Win or lose, at least the Zags are most likable by far: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/this-li...185546221.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDABE80 View Post
    I hope nobody's buying into all this. Reality bites. We've won nothing yet even though this FF is our first. It's a big deal but my superstitious self thinks all this adulation ( Love Bud's piece) doesn't mean much come Saturday/Monday. It's asking for trouble.
    Our guys on the court will be ready. No way do they underestimate or look past S. Carolina.
    "The best players will play. That's the way it will always be." Larry Bird

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagLawGrad View Post
    Our guys on the court will be ready. No way do they underestimate or look past S. Carolina.
    http://www.fowlplaces.com/zags/GoZagsTinySignGuyGlassesColor.png

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    Default All Access Zags Interview w/ Matt Santangelo

    Matt comes on at the 4:47 mark talking all things Zags and even looking ahead to a potential Championship matchup!


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    Great interview. Thanks for posting.

    Santangelo mentioned a lot of his fellow former Zag players are going to Phoenix. Hope we see some pics and who's who list of former Zags there.
    “I don’t expect us to be perfect anytime soon,” guard Silas Melson said, “but one thing I do expect is trying to get better every day and playing tougher, harder and more physical than the opponent.”

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    This from Boling in the News Tribune. Credits Few plus adds some known history:

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/sports...141113913.html
    .
    .
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    "thnk god for few" jazzdelmar(12/12/11 12:50pm)
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    "When most of us couldn't buy a basket. Where do we get off anyway?!" siliconzag (11/17/06 5:45:41 pm)
    .
    I am monitoring the price of a donut
    .

  17. #42
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    Default Sports Illustrated: Sindarius Thornwell & The Gamecocks' Toughness

    http://www.si.com/college-basketball...nce-final-four

    Frank Martin, who left Kansas State in 2012 to coach a program that had not reached the NCAA tournament since 2004 and had not won a game in it since 1973, embraced his mother, whom he later called the strongest woman he’d ever met. On the other end of the floor his wife, Anya, told reporters about how even she had questioned Martin’s move to South Carolina but that she had never known him to steer clear of a challenge. The country singer Darius Rucker, an alumnus, meandered the court with moist eyes and recounted his comments to a friend in the stands during the game. “We’re in the Garden watching the Gamecocks play to go to the Final Four,” Rucker said. “If you’d have told me that 10 years ago, I’d have told you that you were on crack.”

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    USA Today Sports: Oregon's Courtship of Few, Hiring of Altman

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...four/99740336/

    Kilkenny finally met with Altman and realized he was in important ways a lot like Few. Altman had also built a powerhouse program at a small Jesuit school, this one in Omaha. Unlike Few, though, after 16 years Altman was ready to leave for the right opportunity. (Three years earlier, he’d taken the Arkansas job, only to back out a day later.)

    When Kilkenny asked Altman why he would leave Omaha — noting both the Arkansas reversal and how similar Altman’s situation was to Few’s — Altman responded with an anecdote. Over a couple of years, Creighton’s coaches had built a very good relationship with a player in Florida. He was a perfect fit for Creighton. And then a Power Five school jumped in late and signed him.

    “He said, ‘How do we compete?’ ” Kilkenny said, adding that Altman said Oregon provided a platform to compete at the highest levels. It was a very different message than he’d heard from so many others — including a close friend the year before.

    ***


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    “ We tend to forget in times of reversal that life without risk is endless rehearsal.” -- Fran J. Polek

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    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bill Murray... And now Darius Rucker. Let's send em all home sad!

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    https://www.fanragsports.com/cbb/old...al-four-field/

    Gonzaga returning Karnowski for a fifth season marked one of the key victories for Mark Few’s Zags in the 2016 offseason. The NCAA granting him a redshirt after career-threatening injury the season prior gave Gonzaga a central building block to this historic run.

    Karnowski creates space for the Zags offense to operate, then takes away space on the other end of the floor by clogging the lane. South Carolina’s Silva can neutralize Karnowski’s size advantage by following the Roy Williams game plan for bigs: Make the opponent sit.

    Getting to the free-throw line is a vital component of Silva’s interior game. He scores primarily at the rim with a variety of rim-rattling dunks, which begs opposing defenses to stop him. That leads to fouls, and foul shots.

    Silva has shot 29 free throws in the NCAA Tournament. When he goes to the charity stripe for at least seven attempts, the Gamecocks are 7-2 on the season, and 6-0 since the calendar turned to 2017.

    South Carolina can also throw multiple big-man looks at Karnowski with Kotsar. The 7-foot freshman came up huge against Florida with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He showed off a mid-range jumper that can be used to pull the lane-eating Karnowski away from the rim.
    Sounds a bit SC centered --- I'm itching to see some better reporting on the Zags.
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  22. #47
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    Four X-Factor players in the Final Four who could spearhead championships
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...yers/99775130/

    ► Jordan Mathews, Gonzaga: Coach Mark Few said he'll use a handful of players to try to limit Thornwell's explosiveness against South Carolina on Saturday. Mathews will be one of those guys. His offense could be crucial as well. He's scored in double figures every game of the tournament, including 11 three-pointers. Any production he has takes the pressure off Williams-Goss and other catalysts.
    Yes, or maybe Perkins or Melson .... or all 3
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    What Gonzaga's first Final Four means to Mark Few's legacy: ESPN's Eamonn Brennan


    http://www.espn.com/mens-college-bas...as-never-there

    Sure, sure, but really: Deep down, how much did Coach Few crave this?

    "I think what he says, he means," Williams-Goss said. "He's a very straightforward guy. I honestly don't think, if we wouldn't have gotten there, that it would have killed him. It would have killed him as a competitor, but it wouldn't have killed him for any of the reasons that the outside world would made have made a big deal of about him not getting to the Final Four."
    Last edited by RenoZag; 03-29-2017 at 07:10 PM.

  24. #49
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    Gonzaga leads lucrative year for WCC hoops

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/201...for-wcc-hoops/

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    Enrollment, endowment soar with Gonzaga hoops success

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/201...a-hoops-succe/

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