The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Dale Anderson
Sports Columnist 

Worst Seat In The House: I like the hype

 

April 25, 2019



This is the time of year where a lot of things are going on but deciding what is interesting to write about is a little more difficult. I’m sure that a lot of people have their ideas of what a good story would be but those thoughts may not be something I want to talk about.

I do think it is interesting that we hype the college basketball season so much and get riveted with the conference tournaments and try to figure out ways to watch as much March Madness without getting fired from our jobs only to say ho hum once the final buzzer sounds crowning the next NCAA champion. By the way, since I’m retired now I got to watch a lot of the basketball games and it was wonderful.

I know that the Virginia fans celebrated and the Texas Tech fans must have welcomed their heroes back to Lubbock, but for a lot of fans whose teams went home early I’m sure the mantra became “Wait til next year!”

Gonzaga fans probably aren’t thinking wait until next year because of the five players that have declared for the NBA draft. For Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke it was no surprise that they were going to announce because NBA scouts were drooling over the athleticism of both these guys. In the next five years there is a good chance that they will be starting for some NBA team.

Zach Norvell Jr. also announced that he will see where his game will take him. He can come back and play for the Zags next year if he thinks another year will give him a better opportunity come draft day. I think he sees that so many of the people that he played with in the last two years will be gone. He should look at it that he would be the go to guy next year because of his experience. But he is a streaky shooter and his defense will need to improve against the best in the business to have a chance. Which means instead of playing at GU he may be playing in the developmental league next year.

Killian Tillie announced that he will test the NBA waters as well. The oft-injured big man from France has had an injury prone year. When he is shooting the three and he is on he can be deadly. He is a very talented athlete and I would love to see him come back to GU just to see what he could accomplish as a healthy player. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that he will overcome those nagging injuries.

Adam Morrison declared after his junior season and it paid off for him financially. But he knew that his run would be short because he had diabetes. A knee injury in his second season changed his ability to play against stronger NBA players. Tillie may figure that he has this one shot but he has to prove he can play and not have to fight through leg or hip injuries.

Filip Petrusev has also declared but will most likely be back at GU and have a starring role with the Zags. He’s young and talented but will need to be physically stronger on defense as well as his low post game. He will be a tough guy to defend because he can shoot the three ball. He is putting his name out there more to find out about what he needs to do in order to be a high draft pick next year, my words not his.

This season had a lot of high hopes for Gonzaga but they were way too good for their conference which may have hurt them when they played close games at tournament time.

The Bulldogs will be good again next year with a great recruiting class but the difference in how good will depend on how many of those individuals that declared will decide to return for one more year. I’m sure that is a burning question for Coach Mark Few as well.

So yes, I miss all of the hype about this past basketball season. It’s fun to see all of these talented players. But once the nets are cut down the only thing that makes us nostalgic is finding out who is going to leave their college team early.

 

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