May 27, 2014

Let's Talk About Windows

If you are a fan of a mid-major basketball team, you have to accept the fact that you will probably never see your team win a championship. So, in a sense, you are accepting the fact that your team, the one you spend an inordinate amount of time cheering for and obsessing over, is destined to fail in some fashion at the end of the season. This is kind of a relief, actually, because that knowledge always exists in the back of our minds, so we can take joy in other accomplishments (beating the hell out of the University of Washington, for example, or making the tournament a bunch). We’ll never be Beyonce, but maybe if everything falls into place, for one magical year, we can be Nicki Minaj. Lorde? Whatever, you get it.

Elite schools reload and compete for titles. Mid-majors have down stretches (that can last, oh I don’t know, a decade or two) and eventually piece together an interesting roster. We are spoiled in that Gonzaga consistently attracts high level recruits (bolstered by our international pipelines), so we end up having these “interesting” teams more often than most. By “interesting,” I mean that they are good enough to play deep into the tournament and compete with/beat schools outside of the top 6. I’d say they generally happen every 2-4 years. Starting with the Morrison run, these are the teams I’m talking about:

May 19, 2014

Byron Wesley: Final Piece Of Gonzaga's Puzzle?

It comes as no big surprise that USC transfer Byron Wesley has officially decided to commit to Gonzaga. All signs pointed to him signing, but now it is official. Not sure if he is the "final piece of a puzzle" or not, but he is an upgrade at the wing position and a very talented offensive player. He has size and length which will also help the Zags on D. This newest acquisition puts the Zags squarely in the top 10 lists in a lot of peoples minds before the season even gets here. We'll be following his progress this summer at Gonzaga and let you know how he is assimilating into Coach Few's system. Watch the video from Campus Insiders below...GO ZAGS!

May 1, 2014

Transfer Bryon Wesley Closing in on a Decision: Zags in Top 3

Byron Wesley was a prized recruit coming out of High-School. A two time MVP at Etiwanda in California, he was ranked #1 in the State by Cali Sports and graded a very respective 91 on ESPN.

In college he landed at USC and improved every year. His junior season he ave 17.4 ppg, 6.4 rebounds & 2.3 assists, while draining 47.6% from the field and hitting 72% from the free-throw line. Byron even tossed in a couple of 31 point games for fun (see: WSU & Northern Arizona). At 6'5 215 lbs, he is a slasher who can create and finish at the rim with both hands while going right or left. He has a solid mid-range game and strong upper body. Defensively, he is very active with excellent D out to the perimeter.

But things were not all roses at USC. He had previously been suspended twice for violation of team rules. Additionally, his team finished his junior year 11-21, going a woeful 2-16 in conference. Also, the 2014/15 campaign, although adding some exceptional young talent (UNLV transfer Katin Reinhardt & Jordan McLaughlin), looked to be more of the same. Rebuilding while losing. He wanted out and he wanted to go out with a bang.

Given this, when the coveted guard decided to transfer from USC to play his senior year elsewhere, the phone was ringing off the hook. Teams lined up for a look at this skilled veteran. Dozens of early inquiries were whittled down to approx. 8 teams, which were subsequently cut to 5, and now to a final three: Gonzaga, Pitt & Oklahoma State.