Tournament Talk: Gonzaga Bulldogs

March 17th, 2009
2009 TOURNAMENT Q&As: CONFERENCE CALL HIGHLIGHTS's Jon Teitel spent a lot of time Monday on conference calls with some of the biggest coaches & players in college basketball. Here's highlights of what the coaches & players had to say about their team's chances in the 2009 NCAA Tournament


Coach Mark Few
Q: What do you think of your upcoming game?
A: I think the seed was fair, and I am happy we were kept in the northwest, which is a great thing for Zag Nation, and our friends/family/staff/students who often have to travel across the country on short notice for the NCAA tourney. Our accomplishments stack up well with other great teams, which is why I schedule the way I do. Many other #1-4 seeds were kept close to home, which is to our advantage.

Q: What do you know about Akron?
A: Their defensive numbers are great, and they made it out of a tough, hard-nosed league. They have great balance on offense (just like us).

Q: What does it take to make the Final 4?
A: The bottom line is that you have to be really good, but you also have to be lucky, get some good match-ups, stay healthy, etc. Officials' calls in particular have huge implications for how far you go.

Q: Is it different this year because Josh Heytvelt has not had to deal with injury/suspension?
A: Josh has been healthy and focused all year long: he even graduated and is focusing on his masters' degree. He had a great weekend in the conference tourney.

Q: How does this year's team stack up to past teams?
A: Comparing teams from year to year is apples and oranges, but it was an incredible accomplishment to go 16-0 in conference, especially with a team like St. Mary's in our league.

Jeremy Pargo, Sr
Q: What do you think of your upcoming game?
A: It is exciting to play close to school, and allow our fans get to come out and see us. March is an exciting time of year, and our non-conference schedule had prepared us for everything that will be thrown at us. I watched Akron in their conference tourney, and was impressed.

Q: What did you learn from your difficult non-conference schedule?
A: It was frustrating that we had some of the games in hand and gave them away (especially the ones that were my fault). It is nice to know that we can hang with them, but a loss does not mean we accomplished anything.

Q: Have you looked ahead at all to your 2nd round match-up?
A: I got quite a rush to see the possibility of playing Illinois, as they did not recruit me very much.

Josh Heytvelt, Sr
Q: What do you think of your team's chances?
A: We are clicking on all cylinders, and playing some of the best ball I've seen since I've been here. I don't think we could be in a better spot or have a better match-up. There have been times in the past when we have had seeds that we did not deserve (unlike this year), and I like our location a lot.

Matt Bouldin, Jr
Q: What do you think of your team's chances?
A: We haven't played well entering the NCAA tourney the last few years, but our performance at the conference tourney in Las Vegas has put us on the right track to being successful. I feel great about being in Portland with a lot more Zags fans, which will help a lot.