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Tag:Mark Few
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:55 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 1:04 pm
 

Mark Few isn't going anywhere -- ever

By Jeff Goodman

SPOKANE, Wash. - Now I get it. 

Mark Few's name is seemingly always out there circulating in late-March and throughout April. When Arizona was looking for a coach a couple years ago, Few's name was near the top of the list. Same for Indiana and, of course, Oregon. 

Few isn't going anywhere. Ever. 

Trust me on this one. 

I never quite understood it, but after taking my first trip to Spokane for the Zags' win over Saint Mary's last night, I'll no longer question why Few spurns just everyone. 

Life is good for Few in Spokane. 

No, life is great

He's an outdoors man, a family man, one of the few in this industry who seem to walk the walk and truly put the balance of work and family from words into action. 

"He sees things in a different light than most people," said Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti. "And he has the balance to make it work." 

There's multiple fishing spots an hour away in just about every direction. He wakes up, steps outside his log cabin and looks out into a picturesque view of the valley. 

"The worst day of the year for me is the first day of school," Few said to me a few hours prior to Thursday night's win over the Gaels. "And the best day is the last day of school." 

That's because the 48-year-old Few has a chance to spend more time with his four young children (ages 3 to 12). On Wednesday night, just 24 hours or so before the Zags biggest game of the season, he could be found at his oldest son A.J's trumpet recital. He heads to his favorite lunch spot and no one bothers him as he blends in with all the natives. 

He'll never be confused with Tom Izzo for his unrelenting work ethic, but that doesn't bother him. He's at peace with himself and what he does to keep the program as one of the elite and most consistent in the country. He doesn't have to go out and speak to alumni on a nightly basis like some coaches, but he has helped organize an annual Coaches vs. Cancer event that has raised more than $5 million -- second only to Syracuse. 

Few understands what he has and is more than just content with it. The Zags have one of the elite student sections in the nation, Few is able to take private plans just about everywhere he needs to go out recruiting -- and his team charters just about everywhere as well. 

Few's an icon in these parts, having taken this program to an unparalleled level for a non-BCS outfit. There is the 334-87 overall record. There's been an NCAA appearance every single season he's been at the helm and also that 11-year streak of winning a league title that's in jeopardy with the Zags currently trailing Saint Mary's by one game. 

Those will criticize him for his inability to get to a Final Four, but Few isn't consumed by it. Instead, he beckons back to the consistency for this program, one that has become a fixture in the Top 25 over the past decade or so. 

Few could have gone to Indiana and had an opportunity to play in the Big Ten. He could have gone to Arizona and had a chance to regularly compete for Final Fours. He could have gone back home to Oregon, where he went to school. It's a stone's throw from where his parents reside. 

But he opted to remain in Spokane -- and he's never leaving.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 22, 2011 10:10 am
Edited on: November 22, 2011 11:42 am
 

Long Beach State coming up on The Stretch

By Jeff Goodman

Long Beach State may just need one more. The 49ers couldn't get San Diego State, but Dan Monson's team -- which has as potent a non-conference slate as anyone in the country -- will have no shortage of opportunities.

Long Beach got Pittsburgh in the Peterson Events Center last week. One more could put the 49ers in position for an at-large bid -- pending they roll through the Big West, but don't win the league tourney. Next up is Boise State at home, tonight, then a road contest at Montana -- before The Stretch.

It starts at Louisville on Nov. 28. Then comes BYU, followed by trips to Kansas (12-6) and North Carolina (12-10) before opening with Xavier on Dec. 22 in the Diamond Head Classic.

"It's great for our program," Monson said of the brutal schedule. "Every mid-major strives to be in the upper-level. For us, a nice November win helps build our resume and maybe can put us in the at-large conversation.

"Our schedule also helps recruiting. All the kids want to play at that level. Everyone says they play a tough schedule, but we point to ours and it's tough to argue with that."

One guy who could is senior point guard Casper Ware.

"He's an NBA guy," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of Ware. "He's like Brevin Knight. He's quick, makes great decisions, is tough and defends."

The 49ers also have seniors Larry Robinson, T.J. Robinson and Eugene Phelps -- and have added junior college wing James Ennis. The talk in the first meeting of the season wasn't about just competing with the big boys this year. It was about winning -- and building that resume that could put Long Beach in position to, at the very least, be in the mix by the NCAA Selection Committee.

"To get that first one certainly helps," Monson said. Few, who basically grew up and was an assistant under Monson, said his buddy is having more fun these days.

"None of us could even talk to him after he got fired at Minnesota," Few said. "Now he's totally at peace with everything." If you have any doubts, just look at his non-league slate for proof.

Photo: AP
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:49 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Mark Few: Kevin 'Pangos still a freshman'

By Jeff Goodman

Mark Few knew Kevin Pangos could shoot.

"What impressed me most was his poise," Gonzaga's coach said on Thursday afternoon. "He was rock solid."

Pangos erupted for 33 points and was 9-of-13 from deep on Tuesday. The freshman from Canada even became a trending topic on Twitter.

Few that there aren't any plans to build a statue of Pangos in Spokane. Not yet, anyway.

"He's a freshman. He'll have great games and he'll have games when he gets a donut."

"He was just OK against Eastern Washington," Few added. "And if you talk to the Texas coaches (Gonzaga played Texas in a scrimmage), they probably don't even remember him."

That's not to say Few doesn't like Pangos.

"The coolest thing is that it wasn't an out-of-body experience for him shooting the ball," Few said. "Every time he shoots it, we think it's going in."

Few raved about the chemistry of this group - and also the ability of the young kids (including Pangos) to pick things up.

He also said that athletic junior college wing Guy Landry should help when he becomes eligible after eight games. The NCAA suspended him for the start of the season for playing on a club team in France.

"He's big, strong and athletic," Few said. "He's physical."

Photo: AP
 
 
 
 
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