Monday, March 22, 2010

Will Few duck Spokane for Oregon?

Alright, I could have broke down the GU loss yesterday and been one of 1,000 media people doing the same. They got blown out by a one seed and that is that. The bigger concern should be whether or not Mark Few is leaving to go to Oregon. The normal reaction would be "no way" but this article from Bud Withers paints a different picture. You'll remember last year that the Ducks were already asking if Few was interested.

Few said no. What could have changed, then, in a year?

Two things: The Ducks have offed Kent, whereas a year ago, it's believable that Few might not have felt comfortable helping to unseat a colleague.

Then there's this: "I don't think he feels quite as appreciated as he did three or four years ago," said somebody familiar with Few. "People start bitching. They've gotten pretty unrealistic."

There are Zags zealots who have forgotten where they were a dozen years ago. They had never won an NCAA tournament game in 1998, and now they've won 15. But the monster has a big appetite in college sports, and the buzz is, there was a good deal of grumbling when Gonzaga got whacked by Saint Mary's in the WCC final.

It's fair to assume those folks were more perturbed with the NCAA loss to Syracuse than they were pleased with the opening-round victory over Florida State.

And that is the kicker, there's been more than a few grumblings about the coaching job of Few after the Duke game and the Syracuse game. Something that if you consider his considerable run with Gonzaga (11-years and 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament), is pretty unwarranted. Unless you expect a school that was a relative unknown until 1999 when they made their run to the Elite Eight to suddenly become a college basketball elite like the University of Kentucky or UNC, you have to like the job that Few has done.

Remember that he had to weather the Josh Heytvelt drug charge, and this year's rebuilding process. All indications were that this year's squad was going to be down big time due to their youth. Yet they won the WCC.

Then they got blown out by St. Mary's in the WCC Tournament Championship Game. Criticism for Few.

Zags bounce back to win their first-round game against Florida State, and then get crushed by Syracuse. More criticism for Few.

How many other mid-major coach has made it to ten straight NCAA Tournaments, and then get criticized for losing in the second round in the eleventh year of his run?

So for a guy that is looking for a high quality of living, a fanbase that suddenly expects unrealistic expectations from a program that he basically built might be enough to push him to Oregon. Just a thought.

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