The DIRT on National Gonzaga Day! (and Memphis)

So here’s the thing.

I know, it’s already game day.

And you’ve been out in your tents for almost 24 hours now.

And it’s National Gonzaga Day, so are you guys are ready to SERIOUSLY have some fun tonight?!

BECAUSE I AM! Really though, how many schools can celebrate their school’s own holiday?! That’s pretty freaking sweet, if you ask me. I know there are a lot of really cool things happening today and a few really nice surprises (read: GET STOKED), so take everything in today and enjoy it!

With that being said…. IT’S GAME DAY. We’ve got Memphis tonight, and it’s an ESPN(2) game, so we want everyone on their best, rowdiest behavior. Signs, costumes, the whole deal – lets make everyone watching know how proud we are to be Zags.

With wanting the Kennel to be loud tonight, we decided that it would be good to give you guys a little extra boost…. So, here’s a very brief DIRT ON MEMPHIS!

Memphis rolls into the Kennel is a… Respectable way, let’s say. They’re sitting at 13-7, 6-3 in the American Athletic Conference and have had kind of a rough year. We all remember what happened last time these two teams faced each other – last season, in Memphis, College Game Day was there, we LOST and everyone immediately started talking about the quality of the rematch this season. Wellllllll, let’s just say we hope it’s that kind of quality. Memphis has had a rough season across the board, with players leaving and rough losses and just a general sense of “well oopsie”, so hopefully this turns into a good game. Just remember that Memphis was the first (and temporary) home of Drew Barham before he became a Zag, so some good things do come out of Memphis every once in a while.

Let’s start with the coach: Josh Pastner looks like a college kid thrust into a coaching job, and he could easily pass for a student that belongs in the Kennel. He’s done a pretty good job at Memphis, and has left himself with a few pretty great moments over the last few seasons:

1. He can’t dance. At all.

2. He’s all about positivity

Now, I’m just gonna throw this out there: once the game is over tonight, I don’t think he’ll have too many Positive Pauls to go be around. However, we’ll have a Positive Pangos and that’s all that matters!

We move to Austin Nichols, who could best be described as one of the stars for Memphis – his most recent ‘big play’ was a made basket with 3 seconds left to give the Tigers a 2-point win. Whoa. He also still has his high school recruiting highlight tape in his Twitter bio which, if I’m not mistaken, is kind of outdated considering he’s a sophomore in college now. He’s a generally positive person and doesn’t leave a lot of things around to make fun of, so let’s just try to put a frown on his face so Coach has a Negative Nichols to be around.

Then, Jordan Manse is having a ton of standard college issues in his first year away from home, and I can kind of relate:

I mean, yeah that’s a personal problem and I wish I could help you out, but that’s all on you man.

Jake McDowell, who’s tweeted this video at least five times, all related to having a bad basketball game:

So I think it’s safe to say if you brought Starburst tomorrow, it’d help him out a little and maybe things would get a little more competitive.

Avery Woodson, who has over 20,000 tweets and it seems like 75% of them are all praise from fans. I’m all for positive reinforcement, especially when you need to feel good about yourself or if you’re having a rough day, but seriously?? THAT MUCH?! I think something’s wrong and there’s either a major ego or major confidence problem here.

D’Marnier Cunningham, who has a ton of Twitter selfies that stare into your soul:

I’m traumatized. That’s horrifying. Really.

We’ll go ahead and stop here, but please be loud and proud for your Bulldogs tonight! We’ve got one of the best home courts in the nation and it’s our HOLIDAY! So let’s show the country what the best student section is capable of!

The DIRT on Saint Mary’s!

This is it.

Honestly, this is the day I’ve been waiting for since first stepping into life as a Zag back in August of 2012. I had heard about this week at GEL Weekend, I’d watched the games on TV and finally….

IT’S. HERE. 

For the first time in three seasons, our Bulldogs get to take on their heated rivals with a full Kennel. For the seniors, this may bring back fond memories of three seasons when the Zags clinched a 14-point win to move to 19-4 on the season. For the juniors, sophomores, and the freshmen, this is all new. We’ve never been here, due to the WCC scheduling the game over the Christmas holiday the last two seasons. But we’re ready. And we’re excited.

Oh boy, are we excited!

When Saint Mary’s comes to town, it seems like everyone becomes a little more passionate – more and more people will stop you and ask if you’re a GU student, if you go to basketball games and how you feel about the season. It’s always something special (see here for further proof from a friend) to be a part of this, and yes it has been a magical year so far, but this is the big one as far as everyone is concerned. It’s SMC. The Gaels.

Saint Mary’s comes in with a (respectfully impressive, we have to admit it) 15-3 record, and sits 7-0 in the WCC, tied with the Bulldogs for first place. In the past few years a little of the magic of our rivalry has gone away with the rise of BYU, but the Cougars sit solidly in 4th place in conference at the moment.

Since it’s been so long for all of us, we have to ask: What the hael is a Gael?! One of the marks of our conference is the “uniqueness” of our competitors’ mascots (we’re looking at you, Pepperdine Waves and USD Toreros) and the Gaels are certainly no exception. A quick Google search turns this up:

a5350ce70bf18a721ed9cd7fecf0f0bc-getty-140746778

Their mascot’s name is Gael Force One – more like Gael Force NONE!

And I feel like I’m looking at a slightly less-decently-dressed version of Michigan State’s Sparty. Even the girl in the picture doesn’t believe that this is the guy that’s supposed to be pumping them all up. As a freshman, I thought that they were the Saint Mary’s Gales, like the wind. A few of my friends I was talking to this week were talking about how, as seniors, they just learned that it wasn’t a kind of bird. Someone else joked that it might be a displaced Canadian (“Geh?-els”…? Don’t really know.) And, one girl who I can only hope was a freshman pronounced it like “jail” while she was waiting for her BARC omelet the other morning.

So, clearly, nobody really knows what a Gael is. Doesn’t matter. While we struggle to find out, here’s what we know for sure a Gael ISN’T:

SMC dirt 1

That’s Brad Waldow. He’s kind of their “big deal”, even though he wears their zeroes. God is not a Gael. That’s just blasphemous. I reported that as inappropriate, because attributing holiness to something as lowly as a Gael is entirely inappropriate.

More on Brad: Though he was never as bad as Matthew Dellavadova with the mouth guards (may he rest in peace), there’s still this gem:

SMC dirt 2

And he might actually have a reason to wear a mouth guard: a few years ago, he took one for the team in Vegas for the WCC tournament… Well, actually, his tooth did.

smc dirt 3

Yeah that’s reaaaaaaal nice.

That’s right. His tooth, or what was left of it, became an overnight star. It even got its own Twitter account, which generated more hits for the rest of the tournament than Waldow’s did for a few months.

waldow's tooth

Feel free to tweet and abuse this as you please – after all, it is a tooth, and I don’t think it’s feelings will be hurt too much.

We’ve got this:

and pretty much anything you can do to get him to this level would be great:

Because if he can get frustrated enough at BYU to only throw a mouth guard, he’s gonna be in for a rough ride tomorrow night.

Moving on, we’re gonna take a look at the rest of the starters: Garrett Jackson, Desmond Simmons, Aaron Bright and Kerry Carter. We’ll start with a couple of Pac-12 transfers (COPYCATS) in Desmond Simmons and Aaron Bright.

Desmond came to the Gaels from the University of Washington, and apparently still thinks that based on the fact that all of his background pictures and profile pictures are still Husky related.

In addition, he’s got a couple really interesting pictures on his IG account: one of the last time he was a decent basketball player:

Ahh yes, the MySpace era...

Ahh yes, the MySpace era…

And one of how he’s going to feel when he’s done playing in the Kennel tomorrow night:

smc dirt 4

He also seems like a little bit of a scaredy-cat:

desmond spider

And a little bit of a wanna be philosopher:

desmond 1 desmond 2desmond 3

I mean…. Dreams without goals are just dreams without goals are just dreams…? I feel like that could go on and on forever.

Then we’ve got Aaron Bright, who came over from Stanford. Sadly we couldn’t find his Twitter account (what do you have to hide, dude? Huh?! HUH?!?!), but we did find his Facebook and he too has a fair number of pictures from his days before SMC… Maybe it’s just a trend. He’s a pretty boring guy overall, but the one thing that stands out is that he loves Coca Cola. Don’t know what you all could do with that, but seriously. He has a lot of pictures of it on his Instagram account.

smc dirt 6

smc dirt 7

Then we’ve got Kerry Carter and Garrett Jackson, who are both incredibly lucky that they switched their accounts to private in the last 24 hours. NO JOKE, as I was beginning to compile all of these things into a single post, I went around collecting tweets and pictures and all of a sudden… They weren’t there. And I couldn’t access my dirt on them. Because they blocked me.

smc dirt 9

smc dirt 8

PARANOID! Kerry, I’m onto you. You’re gonna get some special treatment over the next 24 hours and I’m gonna figure out what you’re hiding.

smc dirt 10

Garrett, on the other hand, didn’t protect his tweets, so…….

You know what. Nah. He’s a good guy. I’ll give SMC the fact that they could have one player that I don’t want to dig anything up on. We’re from the same area. He really seems like a nice dude. We have the same home church. Garrett, if you ever read this – if you see a college kid in a Gonzaga shirt at Solid Rock sometime, say hey!

Other facts:

  • They’re actually pretty rich with transfers and foreign pick ups. Couple other transfer kids (Joe Coleman, Garrett Jackson) and THREE from Down Under: Dane Pineau, Jock (lol) Landale, and Emmett Naar. Chant idea? “Why Saint Mary’s?” Just because it’s a question that we all should be asking of everyone on this team.
  • Here’s Evan Fitzner, and a list of all the schools that were recruiting him…. Note one fairly significant team that ISN’T on the list:evfitz
  • So, again…. WHY SAINT MARY’S?!
    He also competed in this, and I have no words:
    smc dirt 11So i mean, if you wanted to go Lumberjack crazy and “Chop down the Gaels”, do. Go for it. I will support you 100%.
  • Calvin Hermanson is suuuuuuch a hipster
    smc dirt 12AND, coincidentally, is from the same town as our very own Connor Griffin. I’d love to see them get some playing time against each other.

That’s all that we dug up, so here’s our plea to you all reading this: This is a HUGE game for Gonzaga. It sucks to have to think about it as a once-every-three-years kind of event, but hey thanks WCC, that’s what it’s been and may be again! We want you to be rowdy. We have a reputation as one of the top (and we mean TOP) student sections in the entire country, and this is our chance to prove it. We’re ranked in the Top 3 hardest environments in the COUNTRY for teams to play in – we have the winningest home court in America (142 wins against 8 losses in McCarthey), and a huge chunk of that is the energy that fans bring every single game.

Bring it. If you have ideas for chants, please tell us! We LOVE the creativity of the Kennel. We’ll spread ideas like wildfire over the next day so EVERYONE knows. We’ll be having an event where you can make signs for the game with your tent groups and your friends, dress up and be as insane (in the best way) as you can, because this is our night to shine. 75% of our student body has never experienced this game – let’s make it one to remember.

GO ZAGS!

The First VEGAS Post of the Year!

It’s the mooooost wonderful tiiiiiime…. Of the year!

That’s right… VEGAS!

Well not quite. But it is time to look ahead and start planning for the WCC Tournament over Spring Break! So, with that being said, here’s the first Vegas post: HOTELS! Which one? None other than the fabulous…

monte carlo1 monte carlo 3 monte carlo 2

MONTE CARLO!

So here’s the deal: We’ve pulled together a package that gets you a discount on any nights you stay between March 6 (Friday) and March 10 (Tuesday). So, if you’ll be in Vegas for the whole tournament (fly in Friday, fly out Wednesday), we’ve got you covered and you can use the deal for all five nights.

Here’s the skinny: use the link below to access the reservation site

https://resweb.passkey.com/go/XGONZA5

and place your reservation. The deluxe room comes with 2 beds so it can comfortably sleep 4, so perfect for you and three friends! The price shown won’t initially include tax (12%) or the resort fee ($28/night), but is still a great deal compared to booking without the Kennel Club deal.

If you’re going to call over the phone to make your reservation, you’ll need to call 800-311-8999, and the instructions are a little different. You’ll need to identify your affiliation with the Kennel Club Group, which is under The Corporation of Gonzaga University (fancy, I know) and use the group code XGONZA5. If you use the above link to make your reservation, it will take care of all of the affiliation stuff for you!

So excited this is all coming together! Next up will be information about the social clubs in Vegas in the next few weeks, so we’ll update you when those are all available! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask: contact kcsocialclub@zagmail.gonzaga.edu.

Halftime’s over – LET’S GO!

HELLO AGAIN BULLDOGS!

Let me tell you… It was a long, dark, cold winter break without you all to warm my heart! But now that we have crossed the halfway point of the academic year (and the basketball season), let’s hit the high points of the first half and take a look ahead at what’s coming now that halftime is over…

With everyone returning, we aim to continue the trend of TOTAL. ZAG. DOMINATION. We come back to Spokane to the Women’s team with an outstanding 12-4 record, and the Men’s team with an awe-inspiring 16-1 record – and both teams have matching 5-0 records in WCC conference play, cementing their current places at the top of the West Coast Conference. With only two months (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT) left, here’s what we’re looking forward to for the rest of the season:

  1. BIG games in Spokane:

With the boys starting WCC play with a three game road trip and the girls starting their WCC season with a huge home win over BYU, there are a LOT of huge games left in Spokane this season! In total, there are only 14 home games left this year between MBB and WBB… A sad thought, but when you take a look at what some of them are, it actually gets pretty exciting:

  • Thursday, January 22: Men’s game against St. Mary’s: a TENT CITY game, and the first time in three years that this game ISN’T over Christmas Break – we’ve got already got the DIRT on this one all pulled together!
  • Saturday, January 31: Men’s game against Memphis: a TENT CITY game, National Gonzaga Day, and looking to complete a 12-1 nonconference slate with a revenge win from last season
  • Thursday, February 19: Women’s game against St. Mary’s: always a huge game!
  • Saturday, February 21: Women’s game against Pacific: Senior Night against a team that is currently 14-3 and 5-0 in the WCC – this game could have HUGE tournament implications!
  • Saturday, February 28: Men’s game against BYU: the final TENT CITY game, Senior Night, and the final game of the regular season!

So yeah… There’s a lot to be excited for in the next few weeks.

  1. Heading into the home stretch means one thing… VEGAS!

That’s right… First week of second semester and, let’s be real, we’re already thinking about Spring Break. SO, why not spend it with us in Las Vegas for the WCC Championship Tournament? March 5-10 of this year, we’ll be there, will you?!

We’re already working on hotel packages and hope to have them out and posted to you guys in the next few weeks, there will be social club packages, Alumni get-togethers, too many things to count. Ticket information will be released sometime in February, so keep an eye out for that as well!

  1. What we’re working on….

We’ve got a few projects that are in the works, and a lot of them require your help!

The FIRST is happening RIGHT NOW! Our beloved Coach Few is participating in ESPN’s Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge! By participating, Coach Few automatically wins $1,000 for Community Cancer Fund, which helps provide treatment to cancer patients here in the Inland Northwest.

http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/infiniti/2015/index?next=home

HOWEVER, by voting for Coach Few with your ESPN account at the link above, you can help him win even more! If he makes the second round (Top 24), he wins $2,500; the third round (Top 16) earns $10,000; making the Top 4 will earn $15,000, and being the Champion will be worth $100,000!! All it takes is a few seconds to log in to your ESPN account and vote, and this little action every day can help change a lot of lives! The first round ends January 25, so help us out and VOTE!!!!

SECOND: we’re making a run at Naismith Student Section of the Year!

Ask any Gonzaga fan about the Kennel and they will say that we’re definitely one of the best student sections in the country – we’ve been consistently recognized by ESPN and CBS Sports as one of the Top 5 student sections, so why not make it official?? By entering in to Naismith’s competition, we’re aiming to get the recognition that you all truly deserve – the Kennel is definitely something that sets Gonzaga apart from other schools and provides a huge advantage when playing other schools!

Here’s where you come in: if selected as a Semifinalist, we’ll need all the help we can get in voting! This will be a huge campaign, and will definitely be a title that we will wear with pride! In addition, the winning school gets $10,000 for scholarships, which would definitely be HUGE to give back to the school! We’ll keep you posted as this all gets going, but expect us to make a huge push as it moves along!

THIRD: Keeping the Kennel rocking!

We’ve got great promos and some cool new ideas that are going to start rolling out… With the new year comes new events, and we’re excited to keep our competitive edge and provide you guys with some great experiences during the games this semester!

That’s it for now – good luck with the beginning of the semester, so glad to be back with all of you, and can’t WAIT to see what happens this semester!

ZAG UP!