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Gonzaga Comparisons

When I read these forums I don't understand why everyone thinks the only 2 choices for Mid-Majors is Gonzaga (regular season success with little postseason success) and George Mason (1 amazing postseason). When I think of where I want Gonzaga to be two programs come to mind.

1st- Memphis. While their success has dwindled since the loss of Calipari (and they have become more like Gonzaga with dominating conference seasons and little tourney success) they are actually bringing in Elite level talent. Perhaps Pastner isn't the correct coach, but they actually capitalized from their Evans/Rose runs and have parlayed it into big time recruits, something Gonzaga hasn't.

2nd- Xavier. Since 2008 they have been to 3 Sweet 16s and 1 Elite 8 all without top line recruiting classes. They have done it much the same way Gonzaga has with 4 year starters and solid role players. They have consistently made the tournament and had much regular season success. Granted it will be interesting to see where they go without Sean Miller, but this team has been the model Mid-Major IMO.

There is also the Butler comparison, though I personally think Brad Stevens is a T-5 coach in the country which Mark Few is not (love him or not, I don't think anyone disagrees with this).

I only write this because there seems to be a split on this forum and when someone complains about Gonzaga's success, people always respond with "well would you rather be George Mason"? I think we can reasonably expect more success out of GU with the talent we have without having unreasonable expectations. There are examples of Mid-Majors recently who have had post-season success and gotten elite level recruits without considering one year wonders. Why not compare ourselves to the Butlers and Xaviers of the world rather than the FGCUs and George Masons. I invite discussion and disagreement, however I do not think it is unreasonable to expect this team to make 1 decent tournament run in 12 years, even if we have been underdogs. Perhaps we are overdue for a lucky draw (though the selection committee hates mid-majors and especially Gonzaga, a discussion for another day) and a cinderella run with less talent, I merely posit that it can be done consistently.

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

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