Do we have to put up with of not making it past the sweet 16 with Mark Few? He's been to it 12 years now and has failed to make it to the elite 8. Most great coaches make the elite 8 within the first 5 years of taking over a program. But Mark Few was handed an elite 8 team. I know must schools, considering there are 300 + of them would dream of making it to the sweet 16, or even the tournament for that matter. But we're not like most programs, we've established ourselves as a legitimate program, at what point does not advancing get old?? It's nice getting to the tournament every year and winning our league, but is that enough? I would rather finish 4th in our league and reach the final four. Sure, winning the WCC 11 years in a row is no small feat, but Peyton Manning doesn't give a crap if he wins the AFC South 20 years in a row.
Sometimes I wonder about the competitive nature of Mark Few as well as the philosophy. I wonder about how he teaches help defense in practice. We have some of the best big men in the country, yet our guards continually sag off of great shooters to help defend in the post. After tournament losses, he always talks about the tournament being a crapshoot or the season being a success, or how they defended BYU well, but they scored anyways. I still don't understand how David Stockton got so many minutes against BYU. Jimmer went the first 9 minutes without a field goal, but then in the second half Meech was barely even on the floor.
Maybe Mark Few has done the best with what he's had, or is simply the victim of unfortunate shooting performances by opposing teams? But after 12 years of blunders and repeated letdowns, I start to doubt it. I think that if this 2011 recruiting class fails to make it past the Sweet 16, then we have to ask ourselves some serious questions about who should be leading the team.
Then again there's a chance that if Mark Few steps down that our program goes into shambles, other WCC teams rise up and beat us and we fail to win the league or make the tournament. Do we just accept winning the league and making the tournament?
Mark Few has helped put Gonzaga on the map, and 4 sweet 16 appearances in 12 years is impressive for a mid-major, heck even a power conference. It's a remote place in the US, and it certainly must be difficult to get some recruits to travel all the way NorthWest into the icy cold winters . Maybe as fans we should just be happy that we have a team playing in the tournament every year.
Unfortunately we're in a comfort zone. It's probably better for a coach to make the tournament every year than to make the final 4 in his first year, and follow that up with 10 straight NIT appearances. Hopefully Mark Few can finally put it together for a deep tourney run.