Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Zags Around the Web

With the season rapidly approaching, and National Signing Day beginning today, there was not shortage of GU related news. Before we get into the stories, TKR can confirm that Grant Gibbs hurt his shoulder in practice. The plan has been for Grant to redshirt, and this probably will only confirm the decision.

- Jim Meehan at the Spokesman Review had two terrific stories today. This story deals with the signing of national letters-of-intent by both Sam Dower and Mangisto Arop.

Here are some key portions of the article:

"Sam Dower, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward at Osseo (Minn.) High School, followed up his word in September with his signature in November.

Dower signed a letter-of-intent Wednesday to play for Gonzaga, becoming the first official member of the Bulldogs’ 2009 recruiting class.

“I liked the coaches. They really know what they’re talking about,” said Dower, who verbally committed to GU in September. “And I like the players. They really communicated a lot.”"

And for some of the Gonzaga fans that were getting worried about Manny not having officially signed yet:

"The Bulldogs received a verbal commitment in May from 6-5 guard/forward Mangisto ‘Manny’ Arop, who plays for Canada Basketball’s National Elite Development Academy in Hamilton, Ontario. Arop’s paperwork is expected to arrive in the next few days."

TKR's Take: Terrific news on all fronts for Gonzaga fans. The beauty of both Arop and Dower is that while they are highly skilled athletes at this point, their best years are down the road. These two have incredible potential, and along with Meech, Gibbs, Poling, Sacre, and Gray, they form a terrific nucleus for future Gonzaga teams.

- Meehan also released a fantastic story about the healthy and motivated Josh Heytvelt.

Here are some quotes from this story:

"Gonzaga had just finished a 51-point exhibition victory over Wayne State when Josh Heytvelt noticed a familiar face in the McCarthey Athletic Center crowd.

“I saw my doctor,” Heytvelt said. “I just yelled at him, ‘It works!’ I had a big smile on my face – to not have any pain after the game.”"

"By all accounts, Heytvelt has worked harder to forge tighter bonds with his teammates, including one who described him as more calm, relaxed and confident than a year ago. And now the 6-foot-11, 260-pound Heytvelt appears poised for a big senior season, health willing.

“It’s my last go-around,” he said. “My last time being around my friends, my last time I can for sure play organized basketball. I have to come out and prove myself to myself, my team, the country and the school, just to have a chance to move on with basketball.”"

TKR's Take: While I included some quotes from the story, I would really encourage people to read the full story. There has never been anyone who denied the physical gifts that Josh possesses, but it sounds like Josh has finally matured. It's great to read that Josh has gone out of his way to forge closer relationships with his teammates, and it seems that he really understand the finality of this season. This is his last "go-around", and he needs to make the most of it.

- Here is the official press release from Gonzaga and Mark Few about the signing of Sam Dower.

- Finally, here is a good interview with Mark Few from The News Tribune.

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