Friday, November 28, 2008

Zags Around the Web

- What a fantastic story Gary Parrish was able to put together about Josh Heytvelt. Obviously this story is appealing to all Gonzaga fans, but even the casual sports fan would enjoy reading this story about the evolution of Josh Heytvelt.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

The average college basketball fan knows Josh Heytvelt in one of three ways -- either as the bouncy center pre-drug arrest, the injury plagued center post-drug arrest, or for the drug arrest and only the drug arrest. If you're not a Zags fan, you almost certainly fall into one of those categories. But there's a new version of Heytvelt on display here at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex -- JH 4.0, if you will -- and it's not as noticeable in the basketball games as it is in the postgame press conferences, where Heytvelt sits at the table beside his coach, jokes around, laughs and presents himself as normal.

"He's totally different now, 300 percent more mature," Few said. "It used to drive me nuts just trying to talk to him because he'd never engage with you. He was just so socially inept."

"If the basketball thing works out it'll be the greatest story ever," Few said. "But it's already a great story."

While I provided these quotes as a context to the story, I would really encourage everybody to take the time to read the article in its entirety.

- As TKR has previously reported, Coach Few and the rest of the staff are heavily recruiting Brett Kingma. If the quotes from this recent HeraldNet article are any indication, it appears that they may be closing to securing a verbal from the elite 2011 prospect.

Here are some revealing quotes from the interview with Gregg Kingma (Father of Brett):

"Certainly Gonzaga is at the top of (Brett's) list right now because of their history of being real successful with players like him," Gregg Kingma said. "He's real excited about that and I wouldn't be surprised if he did commit early at some point."

How soon might that happen? Greg Kingma said it wouldn't surprise him if Brett made a verbal commitment in the next few months. A verbal commitment is non-binding.

TKR's Take: This is terrific news for Gonzaga fans. Many people have compared Kingma's game to Blake Stepp and Dan Dickau, who were terrific performers in the Gonzaga system. It would be nice to secure this early 2011 verbal, and then build the rest of the class around Kingma. As we learned with Brock Osweiler, this verbal is not binding, but it sure would be nice to lock up one of the top players in the state this early.

- Jeremy Pargo and Josh Heytvelt were part of an Andy Katz story regarding the Old Spice Classic and the impending game between Gonzaga and Tennessee. The story focuses on the decisions of Jeremy Pargo, Josh Heytvelt, and Tyler Smith to return to school this season.

Here are some quotes:

Meanwhile, Heytvelt's senior classmate, Jeremy Pargo, couldn't be more pleased to pass the ball around, not seek his shot, and compliment everyone else on the team that is contributing like reserve Ira Brown Thursday night and fellow stand-in Steven Gray Friday night.

"We're all playing with self-confidence and a sense of urgency, including myself," Pargo said.

"There aren't many guys in the NBA who get to be on the national stage and actually play a lot of minutes," Few said. "They're going to play in big games this season but they wouldn't have been playing in big games had they come out, maybe for a minute, or sit on the pine."

"I'm pretty happy [with the decision] and will be happier if we win the game Sunday," Pargo said. "If we do that, I'll see the light at the end of the tunnel of what we can accomplish."

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