I'm Proud Of Gonzaga Even In Defeat They Lose But They're Still Best In The West
April 6, 2017
I’ve appreciated Gonzaga basketball for a long time without finding time to write about this impressive basketball team. Today the time has come even though Gonzaga has just lost the NCAA Championship game. It was an ugly contest with far too many fouls being called but the point is that little Gonzaga stayed with longtime powerhouse North Carolina until the final minutes.
And I’m hearing that Gonzaga will be highly rated next season again. I’ve been to Spokane several times on my Laker trips to Seattle. And I’ve learned that some elite recruits have gone there to play for a school with a long history of success. Right here in the past we’ve experienced important non-league games between UCLA and Gonzaga, a matchup of two of the best in the West. This season the Pac-12 had four outstanding teams in UCLA, Oregon, Arizona and USC. They all should be proud of their season. But Gonzaga advanced further than the Pac-12 teams. Mark Few is the Gonzaga coach and his reputation for turning out outstanding teams is known worldwide. He’s coached Gonzaga teams since 1999 and his teams have made it into the NCAA Tournament every season.
I was told by NBA people from the start of this season that Few now had his best team. The difference was quality guards to go along with the big guys he annually has. The team lived up to expectations by winning all but one game in the regular season, running up a 37-1 record with only a loss to BYU at the end. Gonzaga proved itself in the NCAA Tournament too with its abundance of excellent players including forward Jordan Matthews, the former Santa Monica High star who played for California until transferring to Gonzaga for his senior season. Matthews made a team high 85 three-point baskets this season. Next season’s roster will include 7-foot center Zach Collins from Las Vegas unless he enters the NBA draft, 6-10 Killian Tillie from France, star guard Nigel Williams-Goss, who was a junior
this season and forward Jonathon Williams, a transfer from Memphis who was a key contributor this season.Gonzaga’s massive center, Przemek Karnowski, was a senior and will probably move on to the NBA. But his championship game performance may have dropped him a notch or two in the upcoming draft. Nice going, Gonzaga and we’ll be looking for you again next season.