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Glory Hounds: How a Small Northwest School Reshaped College Basketball.and Itself. (Paperback)
Almost a generation ago, a small school from the Northwest made its first noise in college basketball. For the first time, the Gonzaga Bulldogs won games in the NCAA tournament of 1999, going all the way to the Elite Eight. Then they validated their arrival with Sweet 16 appearances the next two years.
Unlike other unheralded programs that have emerged to make national headlines, the Zags didn't go away. They have stacked solid season upon solid season and as they enter 2016-17, they boast an 18-year streak of playing in the NCAA tournament -- a run of success that includes eight straight years of March Madness victories.
A few years after the men's program took off, the Gonzaga women also reached unprecedented heights -- partly with the help of a fan base that couldn't get tickets to the men's games, but pushed the women to a top-15 national ranking in attendance.
"Glory Hounds" is the story of how it all came together at Gonzaga for both men and women, how it changed the school, and how -- in a turbulent time of here-and-gone players in college basketball -- it continues.
The Gonzaga story is woven deeply into the longevity of head coach Mark Few and his choice to stay at the school in the face of multiple offers to move elsewhere. "Glory Hounds" takes a close look at Few, his small-town roots and his decision to stay put.
The book explores the rise of Few's longtime assistant, Tommy Lloyd, and his recruiting acumen overseas that has made Gonzaga one of the most popular destinations for foreign players. It documents the almost zany events that led to the construction of a new arena on campus in 2004; the unforgettable season of Adam Morrison in 2006; and the heartbreak and redemption of Josh Heytvelt. It chronicles the redshirt-year growth that has aided the program, and it details the paradox that keeps Seattle from becoming a productive recruiting pool for the Zags.
Gonzaga's women authored their own rise to prominence, and "Glory Hounds" recounts that ascent, as well as the wizardry of the best women's player in school history, Courtney Vandersloot.
"Glory Hounds" is the first attempt to bind together the various elements that, in a span now stretching into a generation, have made the Gonzaga story so compelling.