What They Are Saying About The Bulldogs
Nov. 16, 2001
SPOKANE, Wash. - The college basketball magazines have hit most of the bookstores across the country, and most prognostications are favorable toward Gonzaga university capturing a fourth straight West Coast Conference Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth.
The Sporting News hit the newsstands this week, and the publication picks the Bulldogs to win the WCC and has Dan Dickau as the Player of the Year. The Sporting News doesn't pick the traditional preseason Top 25, but rather predicts its Sweet Sixteen. The Bulldogs aren't included in the Top 16, but are one of seven teams listed "On the perimeter." Senior writer Mike DeCourcy says, "The Bulldogs' run of three consecutive Sweet 16 appearances will reach four only if the frontcourt can survive the loss of PF Casey Calvary."
Point guards were the emphasis of The Sporting News College Basketball Preview, and Dickau was one of the five points guards singled out, being selected the Best Shooter in the country by writer Kyle Veltrop. There's a picture of Dickau, as well as a "Dickau on shooting" feature where the Vancouver, Wash., native talks about shooting. He got the nod ahead of Brett Nelson, Florida, Jason Williams, Duke, Steve Logan, Cincinnati, and Tony Adkins, Georgia Tech.
Street & Smith's College Basketball has the Bulldogs ranked 22nd, picks Gonzaga to win the conference crown and has Dickau tabbed as the Top Player in the conference as well as a third team member of its All-America team.
Reports Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle who authored the WCC preview, "The 'Gonzaga Decade' finally may be easing toward an end...But maybe we're jumping the gun here...And while the analogy strains to the point of a groin pull, the Yankees remained the Yankees until someone took them out. In the absence of a logical inheritor to its crown, Gonzaga remains not only an established popular favorite when the tournament begins but the league's best bet to go back yet again. Besides, in an era in which decades don't get made the way they used to, the Zags still have some time left on their meter."
In its "Best of the West" section the magazine states, "Gonzaga: When will the NCAA finally give the Zags some respect when it comes to NCAA seeding? Dan Dickau is one of the best point guards around."
Athlon Sports picks Gonzaga to win the WCC, Dickau as the league's Best Player, Mark Few of the Bulldogs as the Best Coach and Zach Gourde as the best Underrated. The Kennel is the toughest place to play, according to the editors.
In it's final analysis of the Bulldogs the editors say, "Gonzaga has suffered through worse graduation losses, number-wise, but the Bulldogs have never lost a player that meant as much to the program as Calvary...That means Gonzaga will be more perimeter-oriented than last year and will need to keep Dickau and Stepp, who is recovering from off-season surgery, healthy."
On its "back page" section, current Bulldog assistant Bill Grier is listed among 10 "head-coaches-in-waiting (who) could soon be leading your favorite college basketball program. Athlon presents the Next 10 Geniuses of College Basketball." Listed as the reason to hire: "Contributed to three consecutive Sweet 16 NCAA tournament appearances." Dustin Villepigue, a freshman forward from Simi Valley, Calif., who has since decided to redshirt this season with the Bulldogs, was listed by Athlon as one of the Top 100 College Freshmen.
Lindy's joins the other slicks in picking the Zags to win the WCC with Dickau named the Player of the Year. Dickau is also tabbed the Best Shooter and Best Playmaker in the conference. Sophomore guard Blake Stepp of the Bulldogs is a second team selection.
The magazine has the Bulldogs 18th in its preseason rankings. "Hey, Cinderella only went to the ball once," the magazine reports. "With three Sweet 16s in a row, can we please dispense with the Cinderella references? The program is solid..." Dan Wetzel of Lindy's picks Few in the top spot among his "5 Coaches on the Rise." Says Wetzel, "Two years as a coach, two Sweet 16s. Only a matter of time before someone makes him rich and (more) famous."
The magazine also has Gonzaga advancing to the Sweet 16. "Can't keep the Bulldogs from fourth consecutive Sweet Sixteen."
Craig Staszkow writes of the Zags, "In what is becoming an overmatched WCC, any victory against Gonzaga is satisfying, especially when it irks third-year coach Mark Few, who has marched through WCC play with a 24-4 mark since his promotion to the top in 1999...Despite the loss of honorable mention All-American Casey Calvary, the Zags should surprise nobody this season. A spot among the Top 25 is no longer news in Spokane."
Dickau is also selected as the fifth-best point guard in the country behind Jason Williams of Duke University, Frank Williams of the University of Illinois (Dickau's and Gonzaga's first opponent in the season opener Friday at Assembly Hall in Champaign), Troy Bell of Boston College and Brett Nelson of the University of Florida.
Gonzaga's backcourt of Dickau and Stepp is ranked 10th by Lindy's, stating: "Edges out New Mexico as best of the West, if only because Dan Dickau will push hard for All-American honors. Blake Stepp makes for a perfect running partner, even if he looked a bit overwhelmed in his first NCAA Tournament."
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