This season’s list of disappointing teams is a veritable Who’s Who of college hoops. Michigan State, Illinois, Kansas State, Memphis and Butler. Ouch.
But perhaps the most perplexing is Gonzaga.
The Zags haven’t missed the NCAA tournament since 1998, which means Mark Few’s never missed or been. They’ve owned the WCC, been March Cinderellas and elevated themselves from the plucky mid-major to a program that can play with the big boys.
So what happened this season? Let’s ask Rush the Court.
The best independent college hoops blog on the web (you know, the one without backing of a TV network or a web portal) asked that very question this week and had a few (har!) answers.
The Zags lost some guard recruits – G.J. Vilarino, Grant Gibbs and Keegan Hyland all began the season on the roster, but have since left. That’s a drain on the backcourt.
The team also lost forwards Bol Kong and Andy Poling before the season.
Meanwhile, forward Elias Harris is enduring a sophomore slump, center Robert Sacre is limited and senior guard Steven Gray hasn’t been able to fill Matt Bouldin’s role as the do-everything leader.
Fear not, Zagnuts! RTC says Gonzaga’s season isn’t over provided it can get a road win at St. Mary’s and have the Gaels stumble once or twice in league play — which is probably asking too much.
So here’s a new question: Is Gonzaga misses the tournament, does it become the season’s biggest disappointment?
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