Monday, January 13, 2014

What's next?

By Wally Jeter

I have been thinking about this Gonzaga win all weekend. Mostly where this is going to rank in my Pilot all-time memories. And going forward, having finally slain the dragon, would that take away any of the luster of the yearly Gonzaga home matchups? I mean we hadn't beaten them at home since 1996 (17 straight losses for us)!

This without a doubt is the biggest home game win I have been witness to. The 2009-2010 season where we were ranked #25 for one week might have been a more exciting time (we beat Oregon, UCLA, and #22 Minnesota in 3 consecutive games on the road). But for a one game experience, especially with the 10 years of shame behind it, this was a high point.

Now excuses will be made: such as Gonzaga's injuries and possible players with the flu. However, the word is that Pilots Kevin Bailey and Ryan Nicholas also had the flu last week (the Noravirus??!?!). The history books will show no asterisk, only a win. Portland made a habit of always coming out strong at home versus Gonzaga each year, but unlike past years their hot shooting never ended. Except for the last few moments of the game, it was pretty much a dominant performance by the Pilots. Long time fans, kept waiting for the bottom to fall out but it never did. We blocked 8 shots and really weren't giving up anything easy.

So what should we focus on now? For me this year it's all about the WCC tournament. We have been bounced in the first round way to many times to count. Now that we have the confidence that we can beat the best, hopefully this will give us the confidence we need to make a run. We may not have the most athleticism in the conference but we do have some skilled tough SOB's, and sometimes that's all you need.

For anyone that missed the game last Thursday, please see the entire ESPN-U broadcast below.

Gonzaga Bulldogs
Drew Barham, F213-82-60-1123010158
Przemek Karnowski, C263-50-05-82240000311
David Stockton, G222-60-31-4011120215
Kyle Dranginis, G353-40-02-2325621228
Kevin Pangos, G403-102-44-42136003112
Angel Nunez, F132-50-00-0145000154
Sam Dower, C247-130-10-00440101114
Gerard Coleman, G193-70-15-63141202311
Portland Pilots
Ryan Nicholas, F293-80-12-2279100138
Kevin Bailey, F254-101-14-52021033313
Thomas van der Mars, C304-60-03-42350202311
Bryce Pressley, G325-62-24-40229220116
Alec Wintering, G334-71-25-70224103314
Volodymyr Gerun, F90-30-00-0123001120
Riley Barker, C82-20-01-2123001005
Bobby Sharp, G244-84-80-00001001312
Korey Thieleke, G101-20-01-2000021113
 Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None
 Officials: Jim Giron, Frank Harvey, Glen Mayberry
 Attendance: 4,714