Musings from a real "old-school" GU basketball fan

I keep in contact with a real old-school fan, here are some of his thoughts:

I truly love Gonzaga Basketball and have been a Zags fan since ’48, ah, the two-handed push shot. The players in my day were hungrier (meal money wasn't much for away games), grittier ( washing machines weren’t very effective and those old gyms were dusty) and played with chips on their shoulders, literally (many players worked in the lumber industry so they had chips on their shoulders, in their hair, down their jocks). It’s time to tell it like it is about today’s team, even if it hurts. This team lacks pizzazz, I love those 30's colloquialisms . Previous teams played with a flair this year’s team lacks. No fire on this team is illustrated by the lack of reverse lay-ups, never mind the dunks. There’s nothing that illustrates a team’s toughness and cohesion than a good, old-fashioned reverse lay-up. I’d love to see Dranginis sail underneath the goal, look back, flip it up off the glass and in. Then turn to an opponent, bang his chest and get a tattoo for the next game……..PIZZAZZ!!!

I’ve watched every game this year and don’t think the team is good enough to make the WCC tournament. I’m going to stick to my prediction, I don't care if they are 10 -1, GU will not make the WCC tournament. I saw all this after the first game, guards not good enough, Karnowski didn’t punch anyone (no toughness), weak bench, no reverse lay-ups. Since the WCC added a team this year means one team won’t make it right? That team will be GU, but I really love GU basketball.

There is no way this team will be able to stop Santa Clara’s big 3; Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge, and Evan Roquemore. I know the three’s average height is only 6’1", but look how week our guards are playing. They can’t carry our team. Do you think any other D-1 school would like a Kevin Pangos or a Gary Bell Jr. starting for them? The only reason David Stockton plays is because his grandpa owns a bar and occasionally comps Few. I do love Gerard Coleman and think GU should give up running a set offense and run every play through him, He can make a reverse lay-up, he has PIZZAZZ.

This year’s team lacks swagger. Remember the 05 -06 team, the Phi Slamma Jamma, the Fab Five of GU Basketball. Remember the scintillating play of P-Mac, the grit and fire of Sean Mallon? How could this team compare? I’ll never forget a January game against Pepperdine, P-Mac gets the ball in the corner, drives the baseline, REVERSE LAY-UP!!! That’s the kind of toughness this team lacks.

This team should not be in the Top 25. Okay, so I haven’t seen the teams below us in the poll play (or 23 of the top 25 teams for that matter). Team’s just receiving votes like Massachusetts, Iowa, Pittsburgh, George Washington, or Harvard are certainly better than GU. I know the polls don’t mean anything, well they do mean something when GU is on them. It means those polled made a mistake, even though they don’t mean anything. It’s the weakness of our non-conference schedule, George Washington has gotten top 25 votes and should be ranked above us because they have beaten Radford, Maine, Delaware State and Rutgers. That’s a NCS.

Look who we play most of the time, WCC teams. How easy is it to have success against teams from similar schools, same budgets, same or larger enrollment numbers. Doesn't Gonzaga dominate the WCC in all sports? If you were an 18-year-old basketball phenom, would you want to play in Los Angeles? San Diego? San Francisco? Hell no, you’d want to come to Spokane. That’s the only draw since our program and the coach suck (but I love GU basketball). The AMC 20, Riverfront Park, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, what does California have to compare. Not to mention our weather. Dominating the WCC is nothing to be proud of.

Lastly, it doesn’t matter if GU fans celebrate when the school scores a single top 100 recruit while most basketball powerhouses score 3 to 5, we should not only compete with those teams, we should beat them. So what if players from Louisville, Kentucky, and Memphis transfer to Gonzaga for more playing time while our recruits transfer to Indiana State, Creighton and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Keita). I know it sounds counter-intuitive; consistently beat bigger schools with more athletic players but if we can't do that consistently our program is a failure. I’m not content with GU being an internationally known, the best record in Division 1 the past 15 years, 15 straight tournament appearances; the team played over its head in ’99 and should be able to do it every year. Sure a lot of small schools have a year or two of relevance before they slip back into obscurity while we have remained a national power, it’s just not good enough. I’m tired of all you GU fans being happy with a 10-1 record and I won’t join the bandwagon crowd. True, I started bitching about how bad this team was after the first game but that’s no reason for anyone question my loyalty to the program or my basketball knowledge. Now excuse me, I think I’ll watch a video cassette of my favorite movie; Haley Mills in Pollyanna.

This post does not reflect the views of the blog authors or SB Nation.

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