How did Gonzaga do it?

Gopherfan1000

Active member
Joined
Apr 22, 2019
Messages
190
Reaction score
125
Points
43
This makes sense, except no one but Gonzaga is really successful doing it. San Diego State's never been past the Sweet 16 and that was a long time ago. Wichita had about a 2 year window of great teams and then crashed. Same with Butler.

I really think had Brad Stevens committed to staying at Butler they would have still being a consistent Sweet 16 Team or better and similar to the Gonzaga of the East. Their back-to-back Championship appearances were pretty cool. Almost won at the buzzer vs. Duke. But, Few elected to stay and loves coaching college. There may never be another Gonzaga for many years.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
24,268
Reaction score
5,856
Points
113
Good question, I went to school at Wazzu for a couple years and always thought Spokane was kind of a dumpy city.
It's Billings, Montana, with a couple hundred thousand extra folks.
 


Face The Facts

Fleck Superfan
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
8,899
Reaction score
1,308
Points
113
The impetus for the growth of their program was the scandal here. Had that not broke when it did, they likely would have not won their first-round game in '99 against us that lead to Monson's run to the elite eight. Clem had a good club that year that likely would have beaten Gonzaga with a full roster. if that happened, we never would have hired Dan Monson and he would have stayed at Gonzaga for many years with a decent program. Thus, Few would have either stayed an assistant or likely would have built a different Gonzaga somewhere else.

It is a great example of how college basketball is cyclical and so influenced by the coach. If Few leaves at some point does Gonzaga stay where they are at? Unlikely given the conference they are in. In the 80s and 90s the U was a much stronger program year to year than Wisconsin, and now they have been on a run the past twenty years. It is so dependent on who the coach is - Wisconsin hired Ryan following Bennett and it totally shifted their trajectory.

The coach matters more than anything. Few at Gonzaga. Wichita State had their run with Marshall. On the other end, Indiana was a blue blood but has never risen to that status with any consistency since Knight left. UCLA has not been a consistent program despite a blue blood status in the past. Georgia Tech was a great program with Bobby Cremins, but have never really replaced him. UCONN has not been a top 20 program like they consistently were under Jim Calhoun. Michigan State was not a blue blood until Izzo brought a consistency they had never had (yes they had a run with Magic but that was a once in a lifetime player). Baylor was a laughingstock program no one ever thought of 10-15 years ago. Virginia was a mid to low-tier ACC program until Bennett went there. The coach matters more than "the program", except a Duke, Kentucky, UNC that sell themselves, but that's even fragile (itcan shift like we saw at UCLA and Indiana who were thought of that way).

Let's hope we have the right coach now. It's not as much about the program as it is who is leading it. We have everything in place to be as good and better than Wisconsin, Baylor, or even Michigan State, we just need our Ryan, Drew, or Izzo.

I remember looking at that 1999 NCAA bracket, and I didn't know Gonzaga well, but when the bracket came out, I could see whoever won that game could make a run. I think I indeed had the Gophers going to the Elite 8 that year just because the matchups in that region were not strong.
 



Bad Gopher

A Loner, A Rebel
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
20,598
Reaction score
5,141
Points
113
I remember looking at that 1999 NCAA bracket, and I didn't know Gonzaga well, but when the bracket came out, I could see whoever won that game could make a run. I think I indeed had the Gophers going to the Elite 8 that year just because the matchups in that region were not strong.
They dispatched Stanford pretty easily; I don't remember that game ever being in doubt. Then the Sweet 16 game against Florida, where they won on Calvary's last-second tip-in. It was a fun and thrilling run.
 

Joined
Sep 29, 2010
Messages
672
Reaction score
9
Points
18
I don't know why Gonzaga is doing so well versus many other schools, but there is a big difference between Spokane and Minneapolis. Fans and media notice the Gophers basketball program AFTER they've read and reported about the Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild, (and Gopher hockey). Top college recruits have egos. They want to be noticed. There are no major league pro programs in Spokane or in most college towns competing for the attention of their college programs.
 

builtbadgers

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
7,474
Reaction score
3,368
Points
113
I don't know why Gonzaga is doing so well versus many other schools, but there is a big difference between Spokane and Minneapolis. Fans and media notice the Gophers basketball program AFTER they've read and reported about the Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild, (and Gopher hockey). Top college recruits have egos. They want to be noticed. There are no major league pro programs in Spokane or in most college towns competing for the attention of their college programs.
Many players like living in a college town, playing in a winning program for a great coach and a great guy. He gets guys that match values, he has the USA coaching platform that that is a great introduction. Few is really a special person that resonates with kids and parents.
 




Top Bottom