Frozen on National Gonzaga Day

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Wow, I’m really comfortable, warm, and relaxed in my tent right now…said no Zag ever.  Or at least not this week.  Welcome to National Gonzaga Day (week), the most exciting time of the year complete with a countless number of GU firsts.  Most pressingly, the news we just received word from Gonzaga Campus Security that no one will be allowed to sleep in their tents tonight due to the sub 15 degree weather.  The thought of KC t-shirt clad human icicles is where the administration is drawing the line, putting the health and safety of students above the frozen fellowship of Zag fans in their natural habitat. #Understandable.  But this cold weather Tent City advisory is only the tip of the iceberg, if you catch my drift, followed by another first, the mid-night mass in Tent City at 11pm on Wednesday night.

The real question is HOW ARE YOU GOING TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL GONZAGA DAY?!

– By sending selfie snapchats to your non-Zag friends, showcasing your best #duckface complimented by the beautiful GU campus in the background?

– By flying a Gonzaga Flag out of your window in Desmet while blasting T-Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble?

– Or treating yourself to a brisk morning dip in Lake Arthur? #OneWithNature

– Maybe by answering every question in class with a quote from Bing Crosby’s White Christmas?

– You could eat a COG cookie while sitting on top of the Bronze Bulldog.

– What if you wore a lock of Kelly’s magic hair around your neck?

Whatever you are doing, make sure that your attention does not waiver from the task ahead:  #BeatBYU

As you sit in your tent, the optimism in your decision to camp might be hard to see because your eyelids are frozen shut, but we promise the chilly, shiver-ridden wait to see the Zags take on BYU is going to be more than worth the toes lost to frostbite.  If you have those smart phone friendly texting gloves, be sure to take a second and scroll down through this #DIRT we’ve dug up on the BYU Cougars.  If you don’t have the gloves, Zag UP, tuff it out, and read this anyway.  We can’t have any uninformed fans on Thursday night.  Its National Gonzaga Day, for Pete’s sake.

2012-13 BRIGHAM YOUNG COUGARS
NO NAME POS HT WT CLASS HOMETOWN
0 Brandon Davies F 6-9 235 SR Provo, UT
1 Raul Delgado G 6-2 195 JR Chihuahua, Mexico
2 Craig Cusick G 6-2 185 SR Orem, UT
3 Tyler Haws G 6-5 200 SO Alpine, UT
5 Agustin Ambrosino F 6-8 225 JR Cordoba, Argentina
10 Matt Carlino G 6-2 175 SO Scottsdale, AZ
12 Josh Sharp F 6-7 185 SO Highland, UT
13 Brock Zylstra G 6-6 210 SR La Verne, CA
20 Anson Winder G 6-3 195 SO Las Vegas, NV
23 Cory Calvert G 6-3 185 FR Parker, CO
30 Cooper Ainge G 6-0 175 FR Wellesley, MA
33 Nate Austin F 6-10 230 SO Alpine, UT
42 Ian Harward C 6-11 215 FR Orem, UT
44 Bronson Kaufusi F 6-7 260 FR Provo, UT

As a relatively new WCC opponent, let’s just reorient ourselves with the Brigham Young University Cougars.  This year they have a 15-5 record with notable losses to both Baylor and St. Mary’s, which are both teams we have beaten.

Scoring Leaders:

#03 Tyler Haws averaging 21.6 pts

#0 Brandon Davies averaging 18.0 pts

#10 Matt Carlino averaging 9.9 pts

Although this is only their second season in the West Coast Conference, apparently they feel as though they have been seriously affected by the low quality of competition and challenge our beloved conference has to offer.  On Jan 15th an article from KSL, a Salt Lake City news source, said:

“Nearly halfway through the college basketball season, BYU is squarely positioned on the fence for getting into the NCAA tournament.  Will the Cougars make it for the seventh consecutive season? Not if the West Coast Conference can help it.  The WCC, where most BYU sports were dumped when the football program became independent, is a bad basketball conference. Simple as that.  Too harsh, you say? Try to name another time in its history when BYU was 14-4 and 4-0 in conference and not almost certain to make the Big Dance.  Can’t do it.”

Now, usually I’d exert an extra effort to help the “new kid” feel at home, but this makes it seem like the Cougars don’t want any part of our WCC hospitality.  What they did want, just a few months ago was Jabari Parker, the National Men’s Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year and a senior in high school from Chicago.  Because of various reasons, including family ties in Utah, this elite recruit was strongly considering BYU in his college decision.  Cougar fans, as any decent fans should have been, were almost as excited by the prospect of Jabari dawning a BYU uniform as the coaching staff.  Their elation was so intense that a few of them created a music video to send directly to Jabari, pleading that he commit to BYU.  The vid got national attention from ESPN, blogs, and news broadcasts alike, however all Cougar dreams were CRUSHED on Dec 20th, when Jabari announced that he would be taking his talents to Durham, NC.  Coach K is no doubt still chuckling about this one,  but I give you “We Need Parker Style”, outdated, irrelevant, semi-embarrassing, yet still highly entertaining.

Brandon Davies is a name you can’t help but recognize if you have followed college basketball drama at all over the last few seasons.  All rumors, violatio

ns, and suspensions aside, Brandon is fully back in action this year, and force to be reckoned with.  However, his latest attempt to mimic the less than successful TV show, Shaq Versus, and challenge the BYU Women’s soccer team to a shootout ended much how we expect Thursday’s game to, with Brandon sickened in defeat.  All I’m saying is that we should ask Brandy if he would help with the Thomas Hammer T-shirt toss.  He could probably drop kick a tee all the way into the hands of an unexpecting top row dweller, no problem.

Fortunate for us, the Cougars and Zags will be competing tomorrow in a basketball game, not a kitchen cooking challenge.  BYU Guards Matt Carlino and Anson Winder are featured here on a BYU Christmas Cooking Show, competing for the title of Chocolate Peppermint Pie Master.  I’m intrigued by the different cooking styles these two Cougars chose.  Matt going with a cow-pie themed frosting arrangement, and Anson staying committed to 1) a larger pie to frosting ratio 2) his girlish figure.  Merry Christmas, Cougar fans.

The last and final thing to know about BYU basketball has to do with Rusty the Janitor.  I’m am still not confident that anyone, including the people who created this video series or the poor soul who was forced into wearing that sick beard and playing “Rusty”, really have a clear motive in creating the sketch.  However, as pointless, frightening, and absurd everything about “Rusty the Janitor” is, its sure to be a prime subject of Kennel Heckling.  There are literally 16 episodes.  I’ve chosen to include the three that were most entertaining.  Feel free to use your time in Tent City to watch the rest.  Also, just note that if you don’t get what’s going on, its not your fault.  No one actually gets it.

Rusty the Janitor – Episode 02 – Peanuts

Rusty the Janitor – Episode 04 – The Jersey

Rusty the Janitor – Episode 11 – Merry Christmas!

With that, get pumped.  On Thursday there will be a couple of half time announcements and activities, so be sure to stay in your seat when the first half of the game ends.  Don’t panic, there will be ample time to get Ben & Jerry’s and/or use the restroom after the first 5 mins of halftime.  This will surely be a game worth remembering, on a day devoted entirely to our gem of a campus, school, and community.  Keep it classy, Zags and #BeatBYU.

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Gonzaga vs. SMC: #BYOMG (still wondering #WhatTheHaelIsAGael?)

It’s happening again.  Winter  break’s end is drawing near, and you begin to realize that the time has come to return to the Land of the Spo, home of the Zag.  The change of pace was nice, sitting in a warm living room, chips and guac in hand, watching the Zags in recline from your leather lazy boy throne.  Gotta love mom, dad, and the sibs, especially when they all gather round the flat screen to watch the game.  But there comes a point when you grow weary of explaining that we aren’t the “Zogs” and don’t attend “Gon-zeg-uh” University.  Close your eyes, picture Kelly’s flowing locks, and inhale the smell of the Ben and Jerry’s cart in the southwest corner of the MAC.  You’re almost there, the St. Mary’s game is just two eves away.

Although Thursday is the inaugural Men’s Basketball game of 2013 at McCarthy, this isn’t our first rodeo.  It is widely known that the GU vs. SMC rivalry is one of the best in the west.  Our beloved Rob Sacre, who now dawns a Los Angeles Laker’s jersey in place of his Bulldog blue and red, was quoted last spring saying “I don’t think there’s anything like it in the country, to be honest.”  As the competition grows fiercer, the #DIRT gets deeper.  So even if you consider yourself a WCC Basketball expert, study up, because ish is about to get real.   

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Before we get to the players themselves, let’s first take a look at the SMC students, with whom we’ll be up against.  Despite the fact that a fair number of us probably played high school basketball in a gym more impressive than the McKeon Pavilion, the “Gael Force” has grown recently and shows resemblance to an infant Kennel.  Rollin’ 1,200 deep (with 700 seats available during games) the GF is missing two ingredients vital to establishing WCC Fan/Spirit/In-Game Atmosphere dominance:  Zags and Swag.  But apparently, they are shaking things up and “going wild.”  I guess “wild” is defined a little differently when you live in Moraga, no offense to any Zags hailing from the area (but I’m guessing you’d agree).  Oh and with the pronunciation again…Our mascot doesn’t rhyme with polliwog.  It’s Gon-ZAG (as in bag)-a.  Get it right, especially if you are going to publicly diss us in a YouTube video.

The “wild” ways of the Gael Force may not actually be that appreciated by junior guard, #1, Jorden Page (@jordenpage1).  One of the four Aussie players on this year’s roster, Jorden seems to be in a little bit of a culture shock via the “wildness” of the SMC campus.

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He’s like a shooting star, he’s come so far, (all the way from Australia!) and despite his non-social tendencies, Jorden has found at least one way to enjoy himself in America.  Now it feels almost like A Whole New World.  If only pets were allowed in the dorms, Jorden, you’d never be lonely again.  Document10

Freshman guard, Treaven Duffy (@TrevD25), decided to redshirt this season.  The #OlynykClinic that KO has been conducting about twice a week for most of the season is proof that a year off can do wonders for a player.  But it seems that Treaven has been using his time off to work more on his rap game than his hoop game.  TD’s homies Kato and Leezy join him in a group that they call “The Roster” and they’ve been layin’ down the beats, #reeeemix.

Suns out, guns out for the Gaels.  Here are a few team members’ favorite nicknames.  From the left, we have “Scuba”, formerly known by his given name, Stephen Holt.  Next, it seems we have finally found (Brad) Waldow, who’s been sneakily been hiding behind the alias “Mandingo” all these years.  Who knew?!  Glad to see he’s lost the red and white stripes.  Don’t confuse Jorden Page with the real LL Cool J (Ladies Love Cool Jorden?  Didn’t think so).  And Beau Levesque, the next super swoll one, appropriately called “Flex.”  And there’s Waldow, out of hiding again…

NickNames

Junior guard #14, Stephen “Scuba” Holt or (a solid Jesuit High School Alumn from Portland) seems to have an ulterior career path brewing, just in case the ‘ol basketball thing doesn’t work out.  He’s recently taken a leaf out of Tiger’s book and picked up golf to supplement his play on the hardwood.  He’s disgruntled, however, because even though he keeps getting the highest score, he can’t seem to win a round.

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I’d say retire those clubs for the season, #Tiger2.0.

Hey, you can’t punish a man for preparedness.  Plan C for Holt/Scuba, if neither hoops nor golf work out, is fueled by his apparent entrepreneurial spirit.  If you are looking for somewhere to spend all your Christmas money from Grandma, I’d suggest checking out @SHolt503 on Twitter.  He’s been running quite a business, with interests in not only selling his own used stuff, but also buying used stuff off his followers.  Check it out, and show your support of his business aspirations.  “Hit his line” and see if he is interested in buying anything from you or stake your claim on his “grey/black AJF 10 Size 14’s” before they’re gone.

Stephen Holt

Shoes Holt

Shane Ryan, sports writer for Grantland, said it best. “Coming into the season, there were two things I vaguely remembered about Saint Mary’s: 1. For whatever reason, they have a lot of players from Australia and 2. They have that scruffy guy with the scariest/greatest mouth piece in the history of the game.”  And though I question it’s greatness, the oral accessory is the defining feature of SMC’s senior guard from Australia, our favorite bloke, #4, Mouthguard Dellavedova (@Matthewdelly).

But really, mate, Matthew Dellavedova has been the favorite of Kennel hecklers since the first time he graced Spokane with his mouthguard.  The funny part is that the Kennel is by no means the only place in which Matty’s two toned mouthguard is the butt of a joke or two.  Most of college basketball chuckles right along with us.

In a Sports Illustrated article from the NCAA tournament in 2010 called: Style Archive: Best of the Dance, Luke Winn dubs Delly’s style “The Ralfie” and asks “is the Aussie wearing a mouthguard, or being forced– a la A Christmas Story’s main character– to put a bar of soap in his mouth?  We shall never know.” 

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Jeff Eisenberg nailed the most mind boggling aspect to Delly’s whole mouthguard stint in his article titled The Six Most Outrageous Styles from the NCAA Tournament, when he wrote:  

A two-toned blue and white mouthpiece is already a daring look, but Saint Mary’s guard Matthew Dellavedova made it so much worse because he could not seem to keep it inside his mouth.  Each time TV cameras showed a closeup of Dellavedova during the Gaels’ surprising Sweet 16 run, the mouthpiece was so conspicuous that CBS analyst Bill Raftery couldn’t resist chiming in.  Said Raftery with a wry chuckle, “That’s a man who has a lot of confidence.”

The best mouthguard related press, however, has got to be from AP Sports Writer, Kristie Rieken in 2010.  Catching Delly mouth(piecing) off, Rieken managed to get him to directly address the point of the obtrusive two-toned hunk of plastic between his teeth.

“Saint Mary’s guard Matthew Dellavedova, a shaggy-haired freshman from Australia, doesn’t understand why people are so interested in the mouth guard he wears during games.  There have been several blog posts and tweets calling the oversized, two-toned mouth piece ugly since the start of the tournament. Dellavedova, who is averaging 12.3 points a game, said there really isn’t a story behind it, he simply wants to protect his perfectly straight teeth.  “I got my braces off and I wanted to get a mouth guard to protect the teeth,” he said with a smile to show his pearly whites. “When you go through that you don’t want to lose it.”  When he wore it while playing in Australia, no one seemed to notice.  “In Australia, I never really got a comment about it,” Dellavedova said. “It’s just over here people talk about it. Everything here is sort of a bigger deal, I guess.”  

It seems to me that someone so dedicated to their dental health should probably not chew their fingernails, Matthew.  Also, don’t forget to wear your retainers to bed.  

Back to Mr. Shane Ryan’s article on Grantland.  Here’s a little more insight behind the mouthguard. Ryan writes:

“Dellavedova (which literally translates to “the teeth of the leopard,” maybe) leads the team with 15.5 points and 6.4 assists per game.  From this interview, I also learned some other fun facts about “Delly.”  [[Perhaps the mouthguard is actually an attempt to mask his insecurity about having leapoard teeth?]]

  • “He thinks people are more “in your face” here.”  [[And by “people” Delly probably means “Zags, in the Kennel”, because yes, Matthew, we do enjoy getting up in your grill during games.  Surely by using our American-ness to get in his face, we’ll be able to also get in his head on Thursday.]]
  • “Except for Whole Foods, he doesn’t like American cuisine.” [[I found this answer odd, because Whole Foods is actually a grocery store, not a type of food or restaurant.  Regardless, a quick canvass of Delly’s twitter did prove his love of health, vegetables, and Whole Foods is legitimate.  Sorry, Mouthguard, but Spokane doesn’t actually have a Whole Foods.  You better pack yourself an extra smoothie.]]Delly
  • “His favorite food is “garlic bread with spag’ bol’.”  [[What the hael is spag’ bol’, you ask?  A British dish that looks dangerously identical to Spaghetti (an Americanized-Italian favorite).  For such a health conscious veggie lover, I would have guessed Delly would steer clear of such disgusting “American” dishes.  I’m going to guess spag’ bol’ is just as difficult to find in Spokane as Whole Foods, but maybe, if he’s lucky, Coach Bennet would take Delly to Olive Garden for some garlic bread after the game.]] 
  • “If he could have dinner with five people, throughout history, they would be Steve Nash, Mick Malthouse (a former Australian rules football player), Carol Dreck (no idea), J.K. Rowling, and his girlfriend. Which is easily, EASILY, the worst answer to that question I’ve ever seen.” [[“Carol Dreck” doesn’t exist, at least not on Google’s search database.  (If anyone knows her, enlighten us!)  What a waste of a dinner date.]]
  • “If he could be an animal, he’d either be a bird or a deep sea creature.”  [[If I had to guess, I’d say Delly’s Patronus would probably take the form of something a little furrier, larger front teeth.  Tell us what you think Delly’s spirit animal is.]]   
  • “When asked about pregame rituals, he said: “Well, I don’t know if it’s alright to say this but I always like to have a pregame leak before the game, just to compose the thoughts and relax.” Who doesn’t, brother?”  [[Translated from Australian to English, this means take a pee.  Nothing like a full stream to rev your engine and really getcha going.  Really, “bloke?”  C’mon, “mate.”]]

Even though the Illinois game is a distant faded memory, @BP3 somehow found his way into this St. Mary’s #DIRT report.  Take note of senior center, #5, Kyle Rowley (@Kyle5Rowley), because, let’s just say that no friend of @BP3’s is a friend of ours.  Kyle Rowley, you should choose your company more carefully.

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SCOUTING REPORT SUMMARY

  1. Unfortunately, despite all of my research, the most important question remains unsolved:  #WhatTheHaelIsAGael?  It’s time to cut the crap and get right down to the source.  Hit up the SMC guys before Thursday, to find the correct answer.  How are we supposed to cheer against a team with an undefined mascot?  Use the hashtag #WhatTheHaelIsAGael and let’s get to the bottom of this.
  2. Also, just to be fair, you should probably add in a courteous #BYOMG (bring your own mouthguard) to any Tweets directed at @MatthewDelly or any of his Gael Mates.  I’d hate for them to make the false assumption that we provide mouth guards free of charge in the Kennel.
  3. Be sure to #BYOMG, yourself.  Take a tip from Delly, and protect your teeth.  Also, maybe if he sees 1,200 students imitating his fashion disaster, he’ll realize how bad it is and spare every person who has/and will ever watch another one of his games.
  4. Find the Dudes on social media and don’t forget to cash in on @SHolt503’s Twitter Pawn Shop.  #Bidding’sOpen:  Brad Waldow (@bradwaldow), Jorden Page (jordenpage1), Mitchell Young (@Mitchyoung3), Mouthguard Dellavedova (@matthewdelly), Kyle Rowley (@Kyle5Rowley), Stephen Holt (SHolt503), Beau Levesque (@BeauFlex15), Treaven Duffy (TrevD25), Tim Williams (@TimDunk5).
  5. Lastly, hide your scissors on game day.  When the mouthguard comes out, things get weird and people get hurt.
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#UPDATED (1/9): New year, same fun ~ Monte Carlo Room Deals #ZagsTakeVegas2013

Happy New Year!  We hope you are all enjoying your time away from school, books, and homework.  After the epic victory over Oklahoma State and conference play upon us, it’s time to start planning for the Grand-daddy of all basketball weekends, the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas, March 6-12.  By some divine agreement between Gonzaga’s Academic Calendar and the Basketball Gods, this year, the tournament kicks off the first weekend of our Spring Break, which calls for two things:  more Zags in Vegas and more reason to celebrate.

To make your trip more enjoyable and affordable, we’ve been working hard to wrangle up some killer deals, including a contract with the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino for discounts on hotel rooms.  We partnered with this casino last year as well, and for those of you weren’t there, it was unreal.  Ideally placed on the South Central end of the Strip, we encourage everyone to book a room at the Monte Carlo so that we can make it the Gonzaga and Kennel Club headquarters.

To book your room and receive the Kennel Club discount click “LINK” below or past the URL into your browser.  

LINK:  https://resweb.passkey.com/Resweb.do?mode=welcome_ei_new&eventID=10440538

***Also note you can receive a discount for the nights of Thursday (3/7) through Monday (3/11).  Gonzaga usually doesn’t play until Saturday evening (because of seeding), but make sure to stick around for Monday night (the WCC Championship Game) before engaging in other Spring Break activities on Tuesday.***

If you need to call Monte Carlo at 702-730-7000.  USE THE CALL CODE:  XGUKC13

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Be sure to book a room with only two guests, because the Monte Carlo will charge you an extra $30 per person per night for over two guests.

Cheers to 2013, new beginnings, a 12-1 record, and the second weekend in March!  As always direct your questions/concerns tokcboard@zagmail.gonzaga.edu.

#ZagsTakeVegas2013