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Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge understands why other teams keep calling to see if he will trade Rajon Rondo or even his newest player, former Gonzaga University standout Kelly Olynyk. The Celtics traded away coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for a first-round draft pick. And a deal to send the team’s biggest stars, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, to the Brooklyn Nets for a package including three more No. 1 picks is just waiting for the NBA signing period to begin. “Maybe the assumption is that we’ll give away any of our players,” Ainge said on Monday, listing not just Rondo but Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger and first-round draft pick Olynyk as players who have attracted interest. “There’s been calls for all those guys. And maybe the assumption is we are just changing everybody, but we’re not. “We’re starting to get younger”/AP. More here. (AP photo: Colton Iverson, left, and Kelly Olynyk had few choices when it came to numbers)
Question: Do you follow the careers of former Zags who play in the NBA?
All things considered, Kelly Olynyk landed in the right spot in the NBA draft. Home. The Gonzaga star spent Thursday night with family and friends in Kamloops, British Columbia, while teams dealt players and picks in far-off New York. Olynyk was among them, being chosen with the 13th pick of the first round by the Dallas Mavericks before being traded to the Boston Celtics for other draft picks. He will fly to Boston this weekend to meet team officials as well as the media. “It’s a great feeling to see all your hard work and patience and work ethic pay off,” said Olynyk, a 7-foot center whose draft stock rose during a standout season at Gonzaga and a strong performance at the draft combine. He is expected to be a perimeter scorer and versatile big man, perhaps replacing the aging Kevin Garnett/Jim Allen, SR. More here.
Question: Are you glad to see Olynyk become a Boston Celtic?
SR City Editor Addy Hatch tweets: “Zag Kelly Olynyk declaring for NBA draft got higher traffic on the @SpokesmanReview site last week than the Boston Marathon bombs.”
Question: How do you explain this?
The awards continue to stack up for Gonzaga junior forward Kelly Olynyk. The 7-footer from Kamloops, B.C., became the third Gonzaga player to be honored as a first-team Associated Press men’s basketball All-American, joining Dan Dickau in 2002 and Adam Morrison in 2006. Frank Burgess (1961) and Blake Stepp (2004) were AP second-team selections. Olynyk was joined on the first team by Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Michigan’s Trey Burke, Georgetown’s Otto Porter Jr. and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo. Burke and Porter led the way with 62 first-place votes and 319 points. Olynyk received 278 points, fifth behind McDermott’s 279. Olynyk made 63 percent of his shots and averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds. He blocked 36 shots and averaged 1.7 assists per game/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you think Olynyk will have a successful NBA career?
The John Stockton statue titled Theading the Needle” by artist Brian Challis was installed in 2005 outside the Energy Salutions Arena in Salt Lake City and visited by his son, David, before practice on Wednesday afternoon. (SR photo: John Pelle)
SALT LAKE CITY – He shot baskets with his brothers on the court here at EnergySolutions Arena while their dad iced his knees and custodians cleared the detritus of another Utah Jazz game. Maybe it was the trainer treating them to a Gatorade, or comparing shoe sizes with 7-foot giants, but for David Stockton there is a memory attached to everything in this building. That banner, this seat, that echo, this Coke machine. Coke machine? “I bet we walk right by it on our way into the building,” he said. Before they do, Stockton and his Gonzaga Bulldogs teammates will walk into the NCAA tournament past the statue of his father, John, in the plaza at the arena’s southeast corner, commemorating a Hall of Fame career with the Jazz. But this is David Stockton’s Hall of Fame story/John Blanchette, SR. More here.
Question: Who is your favorite Gonzaga role player?
Good thing ESPN set aside 24 hours for its Tip-Off Marathon that started Monday night at Gonzaga’s rollicking Kennel. West Virginia needed nearly that long to make a shot. Does Spokane’s new single-stream recycling program take bent rims and cracked backboard glass? How would a club pro help a 3-point shooter with a slice? Is it possible that Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins actually went out and restocked his team with worse marksmen than he had a year ago? All good questions, but not nearly as intriguing as this: Just how far will the Zags take their peeps in 2013?/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (Jed Conklin AP photo: Zag Gary Bell vs. West Virginia)
Question: How good do you think the 2012-13 Gonzaga Bulldogs are?
Gonzaga and BYU are accustomed to hanging conference championship banners. The Bulldogs have won 11 straight WCC men’s basketball titles, a run that will likely require two wins this week and help elsewhere to continue. The Cougars won or shared four Mountain West championships under seventh-year head coach Dave Rose prior to joining the WCC this season. The teams share second place entering Thursday’s clash at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Both are trying to keep their title hopes alive with the winner taking a huge step toward a bye into the semifinals of the WCC tournament in Las Vegas. “One of your goals at the start is you want the last week of the regular season to mean something,” Rose said/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (AP file photo: BYU Coach Dave Rose during gestures to players during Cougars' 83-73 win over Gonzaga in Provo, Utah, Feb. 2)
Question: Although Gonzaga is in danger of having its consecutive streak of WCC basketball titles broken, do you enjoy the fact that the conference is more competitive than ever?
What a week for area Division I women's basketball teams. Read below for a roundup of the week's action.
A raffle prize of two free tickets to the Gonzaga Bulldog home game this weekend will be offered to an entrant in this week's News Quiz, prepared by colleague Jim Camden. You don't have to win to be eligible for the tickets to the Zags' game against Loyola Marymount Saturday at The Kennel. Also, the usual prize for the top entry will be rewarded again — a $50 gift certificate to the Davenport Hotel in Spokane. Elaine Luniuck-Olson of Edgewood, Wash., was the winner of last week's contest. A Coeur d'Alene woman won the week before. You can enter the contest by clicking on this link here — or on the “Take the News Quiz” button in the right rail. Make me proud.
BYU fans hold up a sign during a game against Gonzaga during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Provo, Utah, Thursday. The Mormon university was embarrassed Saturday when unruly fans forced multiple stoppages in an 80-66 loss to St. Mary's by throwing debris onto the court over disputed calls. BYU jumped out to a 14-point lead at half and led by as much as 19 points in the second half last night in beating Gonzaga 83-73, defusing possible follow-up bad behavior by their fans. (AP Photo/George Frey)
- Zags men fell flat at BYU/Jim Meehan, SR
Question: Time to put a fork in the 2011-12 Gonzaga men's basketball team?
Just got heads up from handlers of Jim Camden's weekly SR News Quiz that the odds of winning tickets to Gonzaga's home game against San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 19, are about 100-to-1. About 30 Merry Hucksters have entered the contest so far. All entries in the weekly News Quiz are eligible for the drawing for the Gonzaga tickets. A top prize of lunch for two at Davenport's Palm Court Grill will be awarded for the best score. The first question is pretty easy: “The Inland Northwest experienced a drier than expected December as a result of (five choices given).” You can take Jim's News Quiz by clicking here. Or you can click on the News Quiz button in the righthand rail.
Anyone who enters Jim Camden's News Quiz this week will be eligible for a drawing that will award 2 tickets to the Gonzaga Bulldog game against San Francisco in The Kennel Thursday, Jan. 19. You don't have to score a perfect 10 to win either. A prize of lunch for two at Davenport's Palm Court Grill will be awarded for the best score. The first question is pretty easy: “The Inland Northwest experienced a drier than expected December as a result of (five choices given).” You can take Jim's News Quiz by clicking here. Or you can click on the News Quiz button in the righthand rail.
Greg Gumbel, the Bert Parks of Selection Sunday, hadn’t even taken his first breath when the yowling began drifting in from Bracket Nation. UAB? Clemson? If the NCAA committee was going to put anyone in, why not Northwestern, which has had its nose against the glass for 73 years? The overall No. 1 seed, Ohio State, in a region with North Carolina, Syracuse and Kentucky – while Pitt gets valet parking to the Final Four? More teams – 68 – are in the NCAA basketball tournament than ever before and still the complaints and conspiracy theories topped all previous records, except at Gonzaga University, where both opportunity and perspective have been hard-won. “This is one year,” coach Mark Few said, “I would have crawled on broken glass to Cleveland to play”/John Blanchette, SR. More here.
Question: Who will win opening round game between Gonzaga & Saint John's?
David Stockton is reminded of his famous bloodlines in every opposing gym he visits, but one taunt from a game back in December stands out. “The best sign was at Washington State,” he recalled. “It said 'Stockton's Money = Stockton's Minutes.' That was my favorite one.” It's hard to ignore the fact that the Gonzaga redshirt freshman reserve is the son of NBA Hall of Famer and all-time assists leader John Stockton. For 19 professional seasons, he was the epitome of consistency and savvy on the floor for the Utah Jazz. But to think that David arrived at this point on name alone is flat-out irresponsible/Ryan Greene, Rivals.com (via Yahoo Sports). More here. (SR file photo/Jesse Tinsley, of game b/n Gonzaga & San Francisco Feb. 19)
Question: Are you looking forward to watching David Stockton lead Gonzaga over the next 3 years as much as I am?
In the garden of Gonzaga basketball have grown any number of dubious truths. The Bulldogs are dragged down by a weak league, say. Their thoroughly spoiled devotees take the program’s prolonged dominance for granted. And the players – each recruiting class more highly regarded than the last – are increasingly nonchalant about the whole Zag thing. It doesn’t mean as much to them. Some of these can be weeds, mistaken for flowers. One undeniable truth: The Zags’ run of NCAA tournament appearances will end sometime. Maybe next year’s addition of Brigham Young to the West Coast Conference and another round of young recruits will be the tipping point. But whatever the fears of the fan base were in January, this is not that year/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Christopher Anderson)
Question: What seed does Gonzaga deserve in NCAA Tournament?
The Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrated Monday night in a way they haven’t in at least a decade. They celebrated like it mattered, because it did. One more time, they turned back the challenge of Saint Mary’s, the Frazier to Gonzaga’s Ali here in the West Coast Conference, 75-63 in the championship game of the league tournament – and the NCAA Tournament pass that came with it, extending that residency to 13 consecutive years, was by no means incidental. But, really, this was about something else. “It was real,” Gray said. “It was … over.” Not the season, not by any means. But the climb/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (SR photo/Christopher Anderson: Marquise Carter of Gonzaga drives hard to the basket against the defense of Matthew Dellavedova of Saint Marys during their WCC Championship game on Monday. Carter was named the tournament’s MVP.)
Question: What do you think of this year's Gonzaga Bulldogs team now?
Gonzaga’s David Stockton (11,) left, Robert Sacre (on floor) and Washington State’s Abe Lodwick (31) chase a loose ball in the first half tonight in Pullman. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
Klay Thompson scored 24 points and had six assists as Washington State beat cold-shooting Gonzaga 81-59 on Wednesday night in the annual battle of eastern Washington rivals. Gonzaga (4-4) is suffering its worst start in Mark Few’s 12 years as coach, with three of the losses to teams ranked among the top 16. Gonzaga once again was victimized by 3-point shooting, giving up 11-of-21/Associated Press. More here. And: ESPN boxscore here.
Gonzaga’s Steven Gray (41) fouls Illinois’ D.J. Richardson in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday in Seattle. ESPN boxscore here. And: Jim Meehan’s initial game story here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Question: Is it time to give up on the 2010-11 Zags yet?
Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge(12) dives for a loose ball against Detroit Pistons’ Ben Wallace (6) and Austin Daye (the former Gonzaga Bulldog) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland Tuesday. Aldridge had a team high 19 points as the Trail Blazers beat the Pistons 100-78. Daye, the former Gonzaga Bulldog, is averaging 8.6 points per game in 21.4 minutes per game this season. Player profile here. He is teammates with former Eastern Washington star Rodney Stuckey. Stuckey profile here. (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)
Winston Brooks used to patrol the courts of the WCC as a point guard with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. These days he’s wearing a different uniform, patrolling the streets of Coeur d’Alene as a police officer in a community that embraced him before he ever landed at Gonzaga. … Brooks spent two years as a point guard for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, playing on some of the most talented teams in school history. But before that he spent a year at Christianson Gym in Coeur d’Alene with the North Idaho College Cardinals/KXLY. More here.
Question: Do you have any family members working in law enforcement?
When the Knicks, not unpredictably, lost out in the LeBron James me-stakes, Turiaf came into play. New York launched its latest rebuild with a sign-and-trade of forward David Lee to the Warriors, bringing Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Turiaf in return. Earlier, the Knicks had signed free agent Amar’e Stoudemire, and since have added guards Raymond Felton and Roger Mason to the makeover. “I feel fantastic about people wanting me to be part of their organization,” Turiaf said, “part of the movement. I can’t wait to get started on the East Coast. I’m not looking forward to the weather, but the basketball side is something else. I thank the Warriors for what they did for me and the fans and wish them nothing but good luck – and I can’t wait to play them twice. “This has brought happiness to my life”/John Blanchette, SR. More here.
- Former Gonzaga men’s basketball standout Ronny Turiaf acknowledges the audience and fellow 2010 graduates May 9 in Spokane. Turiaf received his degree in sports management. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, J. Bart Rayniak)
Question: Who is your all-time favorite Zag?
Former Gonzaga guard Matt Bouldin didn’t hear his name called during the NBA draft on Thursday, but there was plenty of activity behind the scenes. Late in the second round, Chicago Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson phoned Stu Lash, Bouldin’s agent. “They were very excited Matt was available to them and for John to call at the tail end of the draft is a strong indication of how they value Matt,” Lash said. Lash said Bouldin has agreed to a free-agent contract and will join Chicago’s summer league team. The Bulls’ first summer league game is July 13 in Las Vegas/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (AP Photo)
Question: Do you think former Zag Matt Bouldin will make the NBA as an undrafted free agent?
Ronny Turiaf is returning to Spokane – at least for a day or two. The former fan-favorite member of the basketball team will join 47 other student athletes at Gonzaga’s commencement ceremonies at Spokane Arena on Sunday. Turiaf, who is currently a member of the Golden State Warriors NBA team, will receive his degree in Sport Management from Gonzaga. After playing out his eligibility at Gonzaga, Turiaf was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers and spent his first three seasons there until signing with Golden State in 2008. Turiaf underwent heart surgery in July 2005 when Lakers doctors discovered he had an enlarged aortic root. He rejoined the team six months after surgery and played 23 games for the Lakers to close out the 2006 season/SWX. More here.
Question: Ronny Turiaf, with his enthusiasm and ability, may be my all-time favorite Zag. How about you?
Gonzaga University Head Coach Mark Few leaves the NCAA tournament media interview room after taking questions about the upcoming game with Akron in Portland during the first round of the 2009 Tournament. Every time there is an opening for a Head Coaching job it seems Mark Few is mentioned as someone to interview for the position. Lately his name has been linked to Oregon. (Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review)
Question: Will this finally be the year that superb Gonzaga men’s basketball coach Mark Few receives an offer from another university, like Oregon, that’s too good to pass up?