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Thread: Seniors - Thank you ( + Post Game Media Coverage )

  1. #1
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    Default Seniors - Thank you ( + Post Game Media Coverage )

    The last home game at the Kennel is always a bittersweet one. On one hand, it's the end of conference play (most times) and we all can start looking forward to postseason play. On the other, it's the end of the road for some guys who have represented Gonzaga for however long they've been here.

    Ryan Woolridge - grad transferred from U of North Texas, played 1 year.

    Ryan was originally going to end up somewhere else before receiving a phone call from GU & committed after visiting campus and speaking with Mark Few. Despite coming from a lower conference and having injury issues tied to him, GU took him in and made him an integral part of the rotation. Ryan's a true warrior, having spent the entire season playing with 2 screws in his knee from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his kneecap. The rep on him was that he was a very good defender with some questions about his offense. Few himself has heaped tons of praise on Ryan as a defender and his offensive game went up a level or 2 here at GU, yet another example of GU's elite development program. Ryan's on track to post the best shooting %'s of his collegiate career, 2P%, 3P% and overall as well as his best FT% (even though it's only 62%). He's doing all of that while chasing around the opposing team's primary/best ball-handler. It's just about unarguable that this team wouldn't be where it is without Ryan's threat of speed and timely plays and veteran presence. Thank you, Ryan.

    Admon Gilder - grad transferred from Texas A&M, played 1 year.

    Admon, like Ryan, came over from Texas with some injury questions; however a tantalizing level of talent. Before his strange blood clot injury in 2019, Admon had helped Texas A&M to the sweet 16 in 2018, including a massive beat down on #2 UNC. After 2017-18, Admon was hailed as a strong 2-way player with 1st round potential. Admon started the year as the starting 2 guard and had a very slow start to the year before being replaced by a hot Joel Ayayi in the Bahamas, mostly due to his nagging knee flaring up again and preventing him from consistently practicing with the team. Admon probably had the most to overcome of any Zag this year, from being away from his family (young daughter), having to learn an entirely new system and team, and being challenged to grow as a person & overcome some of his quiet, introverted nature. In the 2nd half of the season, Admon finally looks healthy & confident and that's resulting in some strong performances off the bench for a very short rotation. His growth from day 1 to now is one of the year's best stories, in my opinion. Thank you, Admon.

    To both Ryan & Admon, you've done a spectacular job of coming in and embodying Zag culture & showing what it really means to be a Zag. You two played very integral and significant roles in helping this year's team surpass expectations and carry the torch of the Zag brotherhood forward in a year of massive turnover. That alone deserves praise. I look forward to following your professional careers and hope the NBA gives you 2 at least a cup of coffee.

    Killian Tillie - 2016 - 2020, 4 years.

    Killian is easily one of the more *unluckiest players in Zag history with his diverse portfolio of injuries. However, his skill and tantalizing potential have always been undeniable. Had he not been injured at the most inopportune times, it's likely he'd have delivered some very big-time performances along with the ones he already has logged. Nobody will forget when he got thrown in late in the Final Four game against South Carolina in a tight game, high-pressure situation as a rebounder with GU only up 2. Tillie got the rebound, got fouled, and went ahead to send GU to its first ever National Championship in program history by icing the game with 2 clutch free throws after sitting nearly the entire game. To date, it's one of the most clutch moments by a Zag. With the amount of frustrating injuries, it would have been easy for Killian to get down on himself, perhaps give up. The man preserved and became a great voice in the locker room, a leader. His easy going and fun personality this year is consistently referenced as a big role in this team's success. His leadership and wealth of knowledge will pay off for Gonzaga one last time in the freshman bigs - Timme, Watson, Ballo, and Zakharov. On the floor, Killian is a nightmare matchup for 99% of teams. Mark Few loves referring to him as his "problem-solver". His unique combination of size, skill, and efficiency will be a huge subtraction next year when he moves on to a hopefully healthy professional career. In a career filled with what-if's, I truly and sincerely hope he gets the opportunity to rewrite the label of his career this March. Thank you, Killian.

    The 3 of those men carry a bulk of success for this year's team. They will be missed. Thank you. Now, one final time, beat the f'ing Gaels and go get that glory.
    Last edited by StatZag19; 02-29-2020 at 11:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    Thank you, indeed. Should be a nice night.

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    Here, here! We will miss them all. Killian has been such a true Zag. And Ryan and Admon fit in as if they had been at Gonzaga for their entire playing careers. Looking forward to a win tonight and a long post-season run.

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    Thank you Seniors! I've loved seeing Tillie all these years, and like most of us, wish we could of seen more of him, injury free. He is such a great Zag player. Gilder and Woolridge are such great additions to this team, more than any of us could hope for. Thank you Senior Zags!
    GO ZAGS!!!

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    My wife and I will so miss Killian. So much so we named our new dog Tillie!

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    Nice summaries, StatZag, except that I think you misapplied the term "controversial" when referring to Tillie. You used it in connection with his history of injuries that unfortunately did not allow him the amount of playing time and national recognition he deserved. I think it is fair to refer to him as "injury-plagued" or "snake-bit," but I don't think he is "controversial."

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    Killian Tillie
    - Tillie has been to a Sweet 16, an Elite Eight and a run to the national championship.
    - He boasts a 96-9 record in games he has played in, a winning percentage of 91.4.
    - Career numbers: 982 points (9.4 ppg), 54.7 FG%, 103 3FG (44.6%), 482 rebounds (4.6 rpg), 143 assists, 84 steals, 75 blocks.
    - 56 career starts, including the last 21 straight
    - 48 points in 12 NCAA Tournament appearances
    - Karl Malone Award Late Season Watch List

    Ryan Woolridge
    - Grad-transfer from North Texas
    - 119 collegiate appearances, 30 at Gonzaga
    - 1,342 career points, 308 at GU
    - Career numbers: 615 rebounds, 568 assists, 197 steals
    - All-Conference USA Third Team in 2018-19

    Admon Gilder
    - Grad-transfer from Texas A&M
    - 128 collegiate appearances, 30 at Gonzaga
    - 1,381 career points, 326 at GU
    - Career numbers: 420 rebounds, 310 assists, 166 steals

    (Above from GU Athletics)
    Last edited by RenoZag; 02-29-2020 at 09:26 PM.

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    Good write up but I’m genuinely confused as to why Tillie has been so polarizing. Is there something I don’t know? I thought he was universally well liked.

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    Tillie can (with ease) volleyball-set a basketball from the 3-pt line and make the shot. So much skill...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 23dpg View Post
    Good write up but I’m genuinely confused as to why Tillie has been so polarizing. Is there something I don’t know? I thought he was universally well liked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zag365 View Post
    Nice summaries, StatZag, except that I think you misapplied the term "controversial" when referring to Tillie. You used it in connection with his history of injuries that unfortunately did not allow him the amount of playing time and national recognition he deserved. I think it is fair to refer to him as "injury-plagued" or "snake-bit," but I don't think he is "controversial."
    polarizing: causing strong disagreement between opposing factions or groupings

    I'm with 23 and 365; "polarizing" is a pejorative term and applying it to Killian's time at GU is inaccurate. Calling him polarizing is completely at odds with the rest of the write-up.

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    Thanks to all the seniors! It was a blast meeting you all in College Station.







    Killian is my grandson's favorite Zag, with Corey a close second. Big D was so thrilled to meet him for the first time after the Aggies game.

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    Jim Meehan did a series of feature write-ups on the Seniors for the S-R:

    Killian Tillie: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...st-medicine-f/

    “When I first came I expected to do four years because I didn’t know I was good,” said Tillie, who is averaging 13.6 points and 5.0 rebounds this season. “After a few years, my goal was to leave early so it’s a surprise, but it’s good, too. I’m excited I have a chance to say goodbye to all the fans.”
    Admon Gilder & Ryan Woolridge: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...-of-one-seaso/

    “It’s been a great season,” said Gilder, referencing Gonzaga’s 28 wins and an outright West Coast Conference title. “Great players come in and out of this program, so I just wanted to make sure to keep the tradition going.”
    “I talked to a lot of schools and they were like, ‘You can come here, but we don’t know,’ ” Woolridge said. Few “was 100 percent for me. As soon as I got here, he knew exactly what I needed to do to get back.”

    Woolridge leads the Zags at 32.7 minutes per game and produces 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds. 4.5 assists and 46 steals. He’s the team’s best perimeter defender.

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    This is cool:

    Jim Meehan
    @SRJimm
    ·
    1m
    Zags introduce four senior managers, senior players Ryan Woolridge, Admon Gilder and Killian Tillie. And then a surprise: Rui Hachimura, who left after junior season for NBA.
    “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

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    Thank you to all the seniors. I enjoyed every minute you gave us. But honestly, I'm so glad we have the most important games of the year with you all. I think we have A LOT more games with you guys. I'll save my deepest feelings for after the season. But for now, we're all so happy you guys shared your lives and all your basketball skills with us here. It's been excellent for sure.

    Go Zags!!!
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    - great write ups reno and statzag.

    - thank you seniors!

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    The GPA’s of the players and managers was very impressive. Nice work in the classroom guys!

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    I'm with Reno,....I've never heard that term applied to Tillie. Oft injured but he did what he could and did it well when healthy.
    As for the 2 post grad kids from Texas, it couldn't have worked out any better. Those two really filled the bill of a team in need. I hope they're smiling come April. Definitely they contributed more than any of us expected.
    I hope we all are smiling.
    Amazing and unanticipated season so far.

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    Talk about being polarized, the forum was polarized over the guard situation going into this season. That part of the game was by far the biggest question mark for this team and deemed by many to be the team’s fatal weakness.

    Enter Ryan and Admon. Both were plagued with injuries coming in causing many of us too still have major concerns about the backcourt. The two of them, however, were complete revelations. The backcourt went from being a potential weakness to substantial strength despite the loss of another vaunted recruit. The playmaking, decision making, defense, and timely shooting completely disrupted opponents’ game plans.

    Without them we don’t win this league this year. I am so glad they are Zags.
    '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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    Killian will be surely missed by all. His incredible patience and attitude through his frustrating injury riddled college career deserve mention and recognition. For me it’s admiration and compassion. How do you not love Killian? I submit that not many are capable of being inactive for long stretches then returning to play at a high level like he did. His mature mindset and winning attitude make him so special. We’ll miss him and his smile for a long while.

    Remember us anxiously awaiting to see what Ryan was going to contribute? It was so amazing how Admon and Ryan were able to meld in and contribute so quickly. We were so lucky to get them! The three point shooting by both were a real surprise. I was never uncomfortable with the ball in their hands. Ryan did make us a little nervous driving hard into the lane at times but he pulled it off to score more than he got into trouble.
    Suggs better show up because these are tough shoes to fill.

    Thanks for a super fun season guys. Hopefully we go deep and these three will be a big reason if we do.
    To Fish & Game: Keep streams stocked well for Mr. Few!

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    What a truly enjoyable ride this season has been... Tils - you're the best... I still remember looking at your FIBA tape and thinking wow this guy is dangerous from all over the court... yes the injuries have held you back but the talent still oozes and your BB IQ is off the charts... let's make the last games you play in a GU uni something to remember for the rest of your life..... memories we all will share with you... Thank you...

    Admon, you filled the hole, your game is back and you are an integral part of the TEAM on offense and defense, your adaptation to Zags TEAM play has been seamless and you fit in like you have been here for years... keep it up, there is history in the making and games to play... your tenacity on "D" is fun to watch...Thank you...

    Wooly... Wow! who expected the most electric guard I can recall in a GU uni coming in as a grad transfer... NWG had a year to adapt... you came in took over the reins and are definitely the straw that stirs the drink... your game has reached new heights at GU and you will be paid $$ somewhere for your floor general talent... your toughness is unquestionable as it is obvious you are playing with ongoing injuries... looking forward to seeing you steer this TEAM through the WCC tournament to the Final 4 and our first Natty... it's there to be taken... Zag Nation is with you... Go make History.. Thank you...

    Go!! Zags!!!
    Last edited by bigblahla; 03-01-2020 at 12:30 PM.
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    Jim Meehan's Game Story: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...s-86-76-on-sp/

    It was a Senior Night that Killian Tillie and 6,000 fans jammed inside the McCarthey Athletic Center will never forget.

    Tillie battled his emotions when his parents joined him on the court prior to Saturday’s game against Saint Mary’s. Gonzaga’s senior forward had a warm embrace for former teammate Rui Hachimura, who made a surprise visit since his Washington Wizards were on the West Coast for a Sunday game against Golden State.

    Tillie’s emotions were powerless to stop the waterworks when senior manager Mac Graff, who has been in a wheelchair since falling out of a hunting stand in high school, walked onto the court with assistance of a walker and leg braces during pregame festivities.

    And the game, well, that was memorable, too.

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    Default John Blanchette Column on Senior Night

    LINK: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...ht-sentiment-/

    “It was unbelievable,” Few said. “Mac Graff – I’ve never seen Mac Graff walk in four years! That was about as powerful a moment as I’ve seen in this building.

    “And then when Rui walked out there – he so wanted to have a Senior Night and how cool was that? He’s in the NBA having all kinds of success, and he’s just dying to get back here. He’s the one who wanted to do that.”

    As the number grows of Zags who take the professional leap before their eligibility runs out, it’s easy to forget sometimes there’s still an umbilical cord that ties most of them to Gonzaga – and that missing out on the grand goodbye of Senior Night can be a regret. And Rui’s return wasn’t unprecedented. Kelly Olynyk pulled a similar surprise during his rookie year with the Boston Celtics.


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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizZAG View Post
    Killian will be surely missed by all. His incredible patience and attitude through his frustrating injury riddled college career deserve mention and recognition. For me it’s admiration and compassion. How do you not love Killian? I submit that not many are capable of being inactive for long stretches then returning to play at a high level like he did. His mature mindset and winning attitude make him so special. We’ll miss him and his smile for a long while.

    Remember us anxiously awaiting to see what Ryan was going to contribute? It was so amazing how Admon and Ryan were able to meld in and contribute so quickly. We were so lucky to get them! The three point shooting by both were a real surprise. I was never uncomfortable with the ball in their hands. Ryan did make us a little nervous driving hard into the lane at times but he pulled it off to score more than he got into trouble.
    Suggs better show up because these are tough shoes to fill.

    Thanks for a super fun season guys. Hopefully we go deep and these three will be a big reason if we do.
    100% on Tillie. He is such a great basketball player. Has there ever been a player to put on a Zag uniform that can do what he can do? I am going to miss him greatly. It damn near brought tears to my eyes last night when he walked on to the floor for the last time. He ranks very high on my all-time great Zag list. I hope he has the best March/April a Zag could ever have. It would be well deserved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagOD7540 View Post
    100% on Tillie. He is such a great basketball player. Has there ever been a player to put on a Zag uniform that can do what he can do? I am going to miss him greatly. It damn near brought tears to my eyes last night when he walked on to the floor for the last time. He ranks very high on my all-time great Zag list. I hope he has the best March/April a Zag could ever have. It would be well deserved.
    A few things that stand out to me about Tillie:

    -He has been the most or second most talented player on the floor for GU in many of his games the final 3 years of his career, but I don't ever recall him playing with a selfish or me-first attitude. That's amazing.

    -How many elite skilled young men, upon having the quantity of repeated various injures he's had, would have handled them with such grace and resilience and steadfast optimism? He left home and parents at 17 or 18 and moved around the world, but he grew up fast. I think the Zag culture including staff and the team he joined (NWG, Shem, Matthews) helped set that example. I think a huge number of elite prospects playing far from home would have resorted to throwing towels, kicking chairs, or just generally some incident of getting in trouble or immaturity or having behavior/academic/law-enforcement issues in lieu of the obvious massive frustration from these setbacks which kept him off the court for stretches. I've never read or seen any indication that Tillie ever brought a bad or immature attitude. Ever. You just KNOW that the next time the Zags are in the final 4, even if it;s years from now and Killian is oversees, he'll find a way to be right there cheering on the program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LTownZag View Post
    A few things that stand out to me about Tillie:

    -He has been the most or second most talented player on the floor for GU in many of his games the final 3 years of his career, but I don't ever recall him playing with a selfish or me-first attitude. That's amazing.

    -How many elite skilled young men, upon having the quantity of repeated various injures he's had, would have handled them with such grace and resilience and steadfast optimism? He left home and parents at 17 or 18 and moved around the world, but he grew up fast. I think the Zag culture including staff and the team he joined (NWG, Shem, Matthews) helped set that example. I think a huge number of elite prospects playing far from home would have resorted to throwing towels, kicking chairs, or just generally some incident of getting in trouble or immaturity or having behavior/academic/law-enforcement issues in lieu of the obvious massive frustration from these setbacks which kept him off the court for stretches. I've never read or seen any indication that Tillie ever brought a bad or immature attitude. Ever. You just KNOW that the next time the Zags are in the final 4, even if it;s years from now and Killian is oversees, he'll find a way to be right there cheering on the program.
    Spot on. Could not agree with you more

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