(Note: This was written before the SE LA/Minnesota game. Review to be posted later this morning).
This smorgasbord of items from The Big Lead caught my attention, not for the lead item suggesting that both Kentucky and Minnesota are happy with Billy Gillipsie and Tubby Smith respectively. But I was intrigued by the second item on Gonzaga head man Mark Few.
The main take here is that Gonzaga is at its peak and Few should take the primo job when it comes along.
This is probably the most talented team in the Mark Few era at Gonzaga, but that doesn’t mean the Zags will even get to the second weekend of the NCAAs - a place they have been only once in the past seven seasons. Simply put, the WCC, as good as it’s getting, is a limiting factor. Much like Saint Joe’s in 2004, Gonzaga needs to be virtually perfect to get proper NCAA seeding and they don’t schedule that way in non-conference play because of the WCC-ness on the back end. Few basically has maxed out in Spokane. Arizona is sitting there and Oregon, his alma mater with Phil Knight’s open checkbook, may come open after this season. Can Few be happy as long-term Queen of the National Anthill? It’s nice to build a legacy, but that only really works when the program either has the resources to win it all in any given year (Smith, Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Calhoun, etc.) or no chance at all.
It's probably true that Few won't win multiple national championships at Gonzaga. But he'll be in the mix. His team too highly ranked UCONN to overtime last weekend (the 'Zags should have won). And in the right situation, Few could have a better chance at consistent dominance. Or he could flop.
We have to look no further than Gonzaga's last coach, Dan Monson, who helped start the building process in Spokane before bolting for a BCS job at Minnesota. That didn't work out very well for Monson. Sean Miller at Xavier is another example. He could have jumped last year for any number of jobs. He stayed put.
Unless a premier job opens up, or a job that is primed for immediate success, if I were Few I'd stay put.
- I finally figured out why Tim Brewster and the Gophers football team couldn't beat Michigan this year. Check it out.
- Here are some cool pictures from the Minnesota-Louisville game from an Arizona-based photographer.
- The College Hockey Blog has your primer for college hockey holiday tournaments, including a section on the Dodge Holiday Classic that includes the Gophers.
- CollegeHoops.net says Minnesota is a factor in the Big Ten.
- Stick and Ball Guy is celebrating Festivus, and that means the airing of grievances. Tim Brewster and Joel Maturi are mentioned.