The WCC won't be a cake walk next year - 8 Apr


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key points
Why didn’t Saint Mary’s dance “Randy Bennett is going to try and schedule a bit more aggressively next season, after essentially missing out on the NCAA Tournament because Saint Mary’s only had to ride a bike to play its road games in the non-conference slate.”

Gonzaga’s years of just waltzing through the WCC are hopefully over because “Mark Few’s comments about the WCC seemed to finally rankle some of our fellow schools’ feathers. Portland tapped ex-NBA star Terry Porter as their new coach. Santa Clara chose ex-Arizona State coach Herb Sendek. San Francisco plucked Kyle Smith from Columbia after he led the Lions to their best seasons in school history.”

Even our conference mates, let alone the national media can’t seem to follow the roster at BYU…“But Nick Emery, Kyle Davis and Zac Seljaas are all still there. But then, they add old Eric Mika, back from his mission. Then there is T.J. Haws, Tyler Haws’ somehow more successful in high school younger brother.” Apparently no clue that Brig, Dastrup, and Childs are waiting in the wings…

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This guy is an egghead. Seljaas won’t be playing. And, BYU is going to be full of talent.

Pretty funny article actually…

First off there are some major grammatical errors throughout and mistakes on who will be playing next season. The guy totally whiffs on the mission with Seljaas among other things. The only team Zac could possible play for next season or the season after that is one of the Iowa schools…

The thing that makes it funny though is the fact that even the Zags own fan publication panders away by making some phony claim that it might be tough for Gonzaga to waltz through the wcc next season. Does he really believe that? Did he forget they lost to St. Mary’s twice in the regular season and BYU once, at home? Did he forget they were a two seed in the wcc tournament? Of course he did. They are so full of themselves and blind to the fact that the reason they go to the ncaa tourney every season is because the league has been kissing their behinds all these years, that they don’t even acknowledge a wcc regular season loss.

He claims that the league is responding to Few by firing coaches and hiring big names in an effort to pick up the slack and make the league competitive. Insincerity is all I can say. He pretends that it is a cake walk because in his mind he knows it is… even though they lost 3 conference games, which he seems to pretend never actually happened. He thinks it’s good if they lose a couple of games in wcc play in the future… well earth to writer, they did!

The reason he doesn’t acknowledge it is because it doesn’t matter… they might as well have gone undefeated because for all intents and purposes, they did. Being swept by St. Mary’s? Losing at home to BYU? Neither one of those teams made it to the dance like GU does every year, so who cares and whether GU lost to them or not is irrelevant because the Bulldogs made it to the ncaa tourney, just like they do every year… might as well have gone undefeated as far as GU is concerned.

This is nothing more than pandering and insincere bologna from a fan publication that has nothing better to do at this point in the basketball season. They don’t do much in their other sports.

Earth to grasshopper… he doesn’t care. This “egghead” reflects the attitude of his fan base pretty accurately. They don’t even think they lose games to wcc opponents, let alone acknowledge it when they do. This is what happens when you are coddled along to the ncaa tourney every season… you begin to expect it and you lose touch with reality. This is exactly how I would anticipate them to portray it.

When people are given, and come to expect, the easy ride (as Gonzaga does with ncaa tourney basketball invites) they tend to get lazy and lose touch with reality. But the other reality is that they do get that easy ride into the ncaa tourney and Few, along with the rest of the Zags fans and players, half expect it. After 20 years you would too.

The pandering “respect” they show to BYU and St. Mary’s is entertaining and they try to keep it real. The truth is that Gonzaga and the wcc have been pushing BYU aside as irrelevant/insignificant ever since they got Jimmered in the ncaa tourney 5 years ago. Few’s comments about BYU being one of the competitive teams in the wcc ring hollow to me… he simply sounds like a big time basketball coach who pretends his team is “challenged” and must fight to get what they can. It’s called coach speak and you hear it all the time with guys like Calipari, Pitino, Kryczewski, Boeheim and others. That is how you talk when you are a big time program and you know, no matter what happens, your team is going to get the benefits whenever and wherever possible…

It isn’t going to change in the wcc next season or the season after that. The only time the Zags will acknowledge wcc competition is when they actually don’t win the league or conference tourney AND don’t make it to the ncaa tournament. That will never happen as long as they are in the wcc… the truth is a tough pill to swallow sometimes, isn’t it?

The house that Few built was barely a program until a little known player called Stockton came along. You have to hand it to Few, he took a little school and made it a perennial top 20 program. Even when BYU comes in with a top 40 recruiting class, Few comes in with a top 30 class.

While I do see that the WCC looks after it’s own, I don’t necessarily see a conspiracy. If there were a conspiracy, Gonzaga would be winning the WCC while doing it with lesser talent. The obvious truth is that Mark Few has out recruited every single school except BYU the one year when we got all the Lone Peak players to sign. So it we want to argue points, I would think it has to be whether run and gun with little defense beats a well rounded team.

Wrong. BYU will win it all next season…

I doubt that Few is as clueless as the fans.

He certainly knows that BYU is the only team to have beat his Zags 5 out of the last 6 years. and that BYU was close on his own court in the other year.
He certainly knows that they won two games against the Cougs this year by a total of 7 points.
He certainly knows that BYU has been the most competitive team in conference to his own for the last five years.

He and Coach Rose have been, since before BYU joined the WCC, and by all accounts, since joining the WCC, continue to be closer off the court than most of Coach Rose’s fellow head coaches.

You have misunderstood my comments Harold. Mark Few is quite the opposite. He is a great coach and very intelligent. That is one of the reasons he is where he is at this point - a big time basketball coach who says all the right things. That is one reason those comments ring hollow to me.

So after listing all of those things that he knows, can you tell me what the net effect has been on him or his Gonzaga Bulldogs in the last 5 years? Let me help you with a short, accurate answer… NOTHING. I’m glad that he and coach Rose are friends, but so too are big and little brothers. As long as the little brother knows his place it will stay that way. I’m pretty sure the wcc will keep perpetuating the myth of fair and balanced competition, as long as Gonzaga keeps going to the ncaa tournament it makes for an interesting side discussion… that competitive balance. It’s okay if one or two teams in the league beat the golden child once in awhile, as long as the golden child rises in the end, all is well.

Like I’ve said, this dynamic is unprecedented. It happens nowhere else in college basketball. I have backed up the assertion with factual evidence that cannot be disputed.

As for what Chris said, he describes the aspects of the very conspiracy that he says doesn’t exist and then proceeds to state that Gonzaga would be winning the wcc with lesser talent if it were true, which is exactly what happened this year. So they are swept by St. Mary’s yet win the wcc tournament and automatic bid, yet they won it because of superior talent? How does reality resolve itself with conjecture? It makes no sense.

I’ve explained the phenomena on many occasions by describing the fact that when it matters, they get what they need to keep it going. The wcc tournament game vs.BYU was the perfect example of this and ultimately so was the final vs. St. Mary’s. Just so there is no confusion, I will restate that this is what has happened every year and will continue to happen in the future. This isn’t going to change… it is just another chapter in the book of wcc basketball. The other teams changing coaches, pretending to believe they have a chance and appearing to compete every so often (this includes BYU and St. Mary’s) is just chapter whatever of a never ending book.

what part of the argument do you not understand? Gonzaga has out recruited both BYU and SMC every single year for the past 20 years with exception to the Lone Peak class.

We will see if your argument holds in the years 2017-18. Then we can surely call it a WCC conspiracy but until that time comes, Gonzaga has better talent and on paper should be the higher ranked team.

By the way…Rose, per Greg Wrubell, is the 4th winningest coaches over the past 11 years. Care to list who is listed ahead of him?

The current coaches with best winning percentages are:
Mark Few
Roy Williams
John Calipari
Mike Krzyzewski
Bill Self
Thad Matta
Rick Pitino
Dave Rose
Sean Miller
Jim Boehim

So in the Rose years Wrubell is saying only three have better records.
Mark Few is obviously one of them
I would guess the other two are Calipari and Self or Calipari and Coach K.
Matta and Pitino I think had some early years to keep their overall numbers above Rose’s
Self has dominated at Kansas Coach K has had some rough transitional years Calipari had that one awful for him NIT year.

With Rose getting a consistent team the next few years I think he’ll pull ahead of his razor thin margin over Miller and probably pass Matta. But top ten is pretty hard to make headway against.

Oh and right now Rose is number 30 all time. If he can put together some more conference championships and a final four or few then HoF is not unreasonable.

So according to your theory and belief, the best teams out there are lined up according to the ranking of their recruiting classes. In other words, the team with the best recruiting class should be #1, second best is #2 and so on. In fact, I would go so far as to say that in each and every league in ncaa basketball, the finishing places of each team are directly connected to the ranking of their recruiting class. Correct me if I am wrong but that is the impression I am getting from you as to the reason why BYU finishes second, third or worse every year. I guess it’s safe to say that St. Mary’s had the second best recruiting class in the wcc last year (or the year before) or whatever. Of course, based on this assumption there is really no reason to play the season because Gonzaga, with the best recruiting class in the wcc, will win the league every year. Do I understand the argument better now?

I honestly don’t put all of my stock into the ranking of a recruiting class. Sure, it can be one of the factors, but there are many others. My argument is that, like this past season, it doesn’t really matter. If anyone in here is capable of being honest and recognizing the truth, Gonzaga was a mediocre team this season. They showed it throughout the year and generally speaking they showed it in the wcc. It was apparent in watching several of their games.

All I am “arguing” is that it doesn’t matter how good/average they are, Gonzaga will always get the bid to the ncaa tournament while they are part of the west coast conference and they will always “win” the league. In theory, St. Mary’s actually won the regular season wcc title… and how did that work out for them? It worked out great for Gonzaga, particularly being that they were in a weak bracket. Ultimatley, all that matters is who gets the ncaa tournament bid. They are the real winner and in the wcc, that is always Gonzaga.

And now we can’t even say “wait until next year”? We have to say wait until two years from now because that looks like the only opportunity for BYU to win the wcc, as a result of having a better recruiting class? It isn’t going to matter, just like it hasn’t ever since Gonzaga got Jimmered.

Some more conference championships? How about BYU start with one in the wcc? and it isn’t like they won a whole lot of them in the mwc either. Honestly I get the impression that you are baiting people now… like the grasshopper does all the time when he makes some crazy, unreasonable claims… like “final fours or a few of them”.

Agreed more conference championships does include winning the WCC championship.
Rose has done it before, and I expect him to do it again.
Rose’s teams won or shared the regular season 4 times in the MWC–and was never worse than third and that only once.
In the WCC too Rose’s teams have never been worse than third.
Third or second is in a legitimate conversation to jump up to first. Yes that does mean I don’t believe the Gonzaga conspiracy or bias or whatever henny penny theory name it goes by at this point. But you already knew that didn’t you.
As to Final Fours, Rose made no bones about it in the first few years, and especially in the most successful years that that was one of his yearly stretch goals.
I’ve heard several players mention that with the number of four star recruits and hard work and staying together and playing as a team that they expect Final Four berths during their time at BYU.
Admittedly having won a HS national championship is not the same…but they are openly talking about their hopes.

Yes, of course I knew that. I also know that it is difficult to believe something you don’t understand. I also believe that many of you won’t understand or believe it after the next few years when BYU plays the role of little brother again… that is their place in this league, much like Jimmer’s place is not in the nba. At some point everyone must find and accept their role and place… whether it be in their family, society or whatever. Also, that henny penny thing is a good one, but it would be a lot funnier if it weren’t true. The sky isn’t falling but BYU is a perennial also ran in the wcc. That is a fact.

He wouldn’t be a very good coach if he didn’t state that this was one of his goals. Of course it is, just like one of his goals should be winning the mighty west coast conference and being champion of the high school gym league. I hope BYU can do that… at least it will be familiar territory for the national “high school” champions.
I imagine that things are going to get real frustrating for the Lone Peak Boys and coaches over the next few years too as they just can’t seem to get over the top… and worse, can’t figure out why.

Lastly, the fact that Gonzaga had a mediocre season until it mattered just reinforces in their minds that they can do that and still expect to make it to the ncaa tournament. They know their place and they know it won’t change and they don’t have to do much to make it.

Your conspiracy theory is not that hard to understand.
You’ve repeated it ad nauseam just in case somebody missed the larger points apparently.
The finer points too you have repeated repeatedly and they too need no more repeating.

You seem to mistake understanding for agreement.
Understanding and agreement are very different.

I found your presentation of the facts meant to bolster your theory tend to be far less than persuasive. As do many others on the board. but yada yada yada…I think I just used a Seinfeld for the first time in my life. yada yada yada.

If you are looking at the “conspiracy” theory through the same glasses that grasshopper wears, I guarantee you that you don’t understand it. There is no mistaking understanding for agreement either. I don’t care if you don’t agree with it, but it seems important to you to do everything you can to not understand it. The evidence for it is there, so why there is no understanding is beyond me. You are right, understanding and agreement are very different.

I don’t need to present any facts, they are already there. The conference doing what they can to help Gonzaga doesn’t always end with Gonzaga being the winner, just most of the time. What it does always end with is Gonzaga getting an invite to the ncaa tournament and for a piddly little conference like the wcc, that is very important.

It’s fine if the facts don’t persuade you or grasshopper, because I can’t persuade those that can’t understand it. Lots of people who post here on cougarfan understand it. Chris understands it but has a hard time accepting it. That is fine. I don’t need to bolster a theory but I will be interested to see how you justify (or continue to deny) it once the “lone peak boys” have run through the gauntlet and BYU is still on the outside looking in…

it iis not difficult to understand.
you have explained you views regarding the conspiracy ad nauseam.

I simply do not agree that your explanation fits all the facts that you regularly leave out.


I guess the simple facts are that Gonzaga’s dominance runs deeper than just the fact that they might have better talent and better coaching every single year. I think they do for the most part. Those facts can’t explain why they are the team from the wcc that wins the tournament or regular season AND gets the ncaa tournament invite every single year for the past 20. Talent, coaching and skill aren’t enough to carry that… it is unprecedented, particularly from a small, obscure conference.

I do not believe their dominance is something that requires outside help every single year. Most years they can rely on those factors I have already stated. Unfortunately, during those mediocre years (like this past one, ncaa 11 seed) when they don’t have as much talent or they have injuries or whatever other reason they might have for not being as dominant… it is during those times they get the extra little help that can carry them over to the place they need to be, the place the wcc needs them to be. It happened a couple of years ago when they were gifted a win in the wcc tourney vs. Santa Clara. It happened, to a degree vs. BYU this season when they beat the Cougars by 4 points in the wcc tourney. It happens often enough for astute fans to recognize it and acknowledge it. There are times when the “help” isn’t enough to carry them and they lose to a Delavedova or some other team… but they still make the ncaa tournament.

Let’s just say that I am not the least bit shocked that they won the wcc tournament this year. It was their only real hope to make it and when I say “their” I am talking about the wcc as much as I am talking about Gonzaga… they are really one in the same in this discussion.

Can you say with 100% conviction that the wcc has no interest in keeping Gonzaga happy and assisting in this run of ncaa tournament bids going?

I cannot say with 100% conviction. But neither can you. And I doubt you even know who the people who have decision making people are, or how corrupt or not corrupt they are or many other details that would add up to 100% conviction.
I doubt you can provide enough evidence to rise to the level of beyond a reasonable doubt.
I doubt you can provide enough evidence to even rise to a preponderance of the evidence.
The limited level of facts that you continually marshal are less than convincing to a sizeable majority of even interested parties let alone disinterested parties.
But you persist in bloviating.