Bulldogs Rank High In Preseason Polls

The days of Cinderella and Gonzaga University men's basketball are a thing of the past.

David and Goliath might be a better analogy if the pre-season rankings that came out this past summer are any indication.

The Bulldogs were rated no lower than 12th in any of the 10 pre-season rankings that came out in recent months. And several other rankings expected to have the Bulldogs high on the radar were due out as the start of the season approached.

The Sporting News had the Bulldogs ranked highest in the early returns with a No. 5 spot. ESPN.com followed that with a No. 6 ranking and Blue Ribbon with a No. 7.

Athlon Sports Magazine predicted the Bulldogs would be an Elite Eight team rather than doing the traditional Top 25 poll. Street & Smith's Magazine and Basketball News each ranked the Bulldogs 10th. Lindy's Magazine and FOXSPORTS.com each ranked Gonzaga 11th.

"We are definitely the hunted," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "But this is what you strive for, to be an elite team. I think this speaks volumes of our players and our program.

"There's no added pressure. I think we've put the pressure on ourselves to succeed the last few years. But there's a bigger target on us every night. We are now the team everyone guns for, the team everyone wants to beat. The days of Cinderella are over. We're probably viewed more like David and Goliath now, and there are a lot of David's out there waiting for us."

Pre-Season Rankings
(As of Nov. 11, 2003)

Sporting News - 5th
ESPN.com - 6th
Blue Ribbon - 7th
Athlon - Elite Eight
Street & Smith's - 10th
Basketball News - 10th
Lindy's - 11th
FOXSPORTS.com - 11th
USA Today/ESPN - 12th
Associated Press - 10th



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