In a never-ending quest to match up the greatest players in Gonzaga basketball history – not to mention find ways to pass the time until the REAL games begin – we’ve come up with a new one: You have $15 to spend on five GU greats, ranked by position, and whose values range from $1 to $5.
For instance, if you pony up $5 for Adam Morrison at small forward, and another $5 for Nigel Williams-Goss at the point, you have only $5 more bucks to fill your shooting guard, power forward and center positions. Though to be fair, that could snag you Derek Raivio ($1), Brandon Clarke ($2) and Cory Violette ($2).
That team looks pretty frightening on paper.
In fact, every team does.
How about a lineup of Josh Heytvelt, Zach Collins, Austin Daye, Jeremy Pargo and Gary Bell Jr.? That one wouldn’t cost you a penny. Incredibly, not one of those players made our final list.
And maybe it’s just a flawed premise, paying money to build a team of college athletes, but that’s what you get when you borrow an idea from Twitter. (For fun, look up the NBA version: Bill Russell for $2 bucks? Really?)
How did we come up with the list? First, we determined the guidelines: Only players during the current NCAA streak dating back to 1999 were eligible. That’s why there’s no John Stockton or Frank Burgess. And players were judged on entire bodies of work at GU, which is why a player like the Portland Trail Blazers’ Collins – who played just one year as a sixth man for the Zags – didn’t make the cut.
A crack team of three (Jim Meehan, John Blanchette and myself) drew up the list and groaned every time a player like Pargo didn’t make the Top five. (Meehan: “Ugh, I’m going to get a call from Jeremy.”) Next we divided them into positions, fudging a few when it seemed overly necessary.
That’s how we settled on our final 25.
Point guards: Nigel Williams-Goss ($5), Blake Stepp ($4), Matt Santangelo ($3), Kevin Pangos ($2) and Josh Perkins ($1).
Shooting guards: Dan Dickau ($5), Steven Gray ($4), Zach Norvell Jr. ($3), Matt Bouldin ($2) and Derek Raivio ($1).
Small forwards: Adam Morrison ($5), Rui Hachimura ($4), Kyle Wiltjer ($3), Elias Harris ($2) and Richie Frahm ($1).
Power forwards: Ronny Turiaf ($5), Domantas Sabonis ($4), Casey Calvary ($3), Brandon Clarke ($2) and Johnathan Williams ($1).
Centers: Kelly Olynyk ($5), J.P. Batista ($4), Przemek Karnowski ($3), Cory Violette ($2) and Robert Sacre ($1).
It’s not a perfect list, as many on Twitter have pointed out. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
From former Zag Rem Bakamus: “I must be too expensive to make the list.”
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