In tribute to the loyal Gonzaga fans who continually endure "soft schedule" criticism I offer the following:
Top Ten teams all around us are tanking
On Mark Few's squad we surely are banking
And after we give Brigham Young a good spanking
We'll humbly accept the NUMBER ONE RANKING!!!
Well, thanks to the commitment and dedication of the Gonzaga coaching staff – especially assistant coach Tommy Lloyd – Zags fans will even get the chance to offer up their best pronunciation attempts.
Karnowski toured the U.S. in April and visited or spoke to California, Duke, Kansas and Ohio State among others. But Big P’s message to those schools was clear: "They asked me if I wanted to come. I told them: ‘You wrote me two weeks ago, and I’ve been in touch with the coaches at Gonzaga for two years.’ It was the main reason."
But another thought weighing heavy on the senior front court star is his recently signed letter of intent to play for Mark Few and the Gonzaga Bulldogs after graduating next year.
"It will be a great thrill to go to a great school and play for such an outstanding program," said Meikle. "They treated me well on my visit this year; it will be a great experience."
The get-acquainted period had been building for quite a while. "They started contacting me after my sophomore year, and I got to know assistant coach Ray Giacoletti and coach Few real well."
Assistant coach Ray Giacoletti called Harkins in May to ask for film of Edwards. Within a month, Zags had offered Edwards a scholarship and had him visit the campus. And on Monday, Edwards decided there was no use dragging the process out any longer, selecting a nationally acclaimed program that is only a four-hour drive from his home.
"Being from Montana you don't get a lot of exposure, so it's kind of hard to believe I'll be playing with a top 25 program," Edwards said. "I don't want to say it was an easy decision, but it wasn't too hard. They told me from the beginning the believe in me."
Gonzaga: "I saw them play a couple times on TV. They have a very disciplined program. I've seen a picture of their campus and they have an amazing campus, great facilities and that offer excited me a lot."
I spoke with Wright recently and he gave me a rundown on his recruitment.
"I have offers from Fresno State, Utah, USC, Gonzaga and New Mexico," said Wright. "Some other schools I'm hearing from are Stanford, UNLV and UC Irvine."
One local school that Wright hasn't heard from much is UCLA.
"I get some mail and stuff from them but haven't really talked much with them," said Wright.
C Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga
Background: 7-1/280; unranked prospect from Torun, Poland
Buzz: Karnowski (his name is pronounced Puh-shemick Car-now-ski) signed with the Zags last month, and if he lives up to the hype – he has been compared to Marc Gasol – Gonzaga will be one of the top three teams on the West Coast. As with many European big men, Karnowksi has a high basketball IQ and has a nice all-around game. He has played on the Polish Junior National team and in several European championship tournaments, among them the 2008 U16 European Championship, the 2009 U16 European Championship, the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship, the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship and the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship. This past season, Karnowski played in Poland's top league and averaged 10.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and shot 54 percent from the floor.
"Since Minnesota [two weeks ago] and Hampton last week, I’ve been getting a lot of calls and my phone has really been blowing up," Rathan-Mayes said. "Baylor and Kansas called me today (Sunday) and I’ve heard from Minnesota, USF, Oregon, Syracuse called my coach, Missouri, Florida, Alabama, UCLA, Gonzaga, LSU, Seton Hall and a few more."
He also knows several schools who fit that description and who can help him get to where he wants to be. "Kansas, Louisville, Baylor, Florida State, UCLA, Oregon, Alabama, Gonzaga and a lot of other schools that I’m forgetting all fit that," Rathan-Mayes added.