Gonzaga’s Mark Few begins his 15th season as head coach and 25th overall at the school. He has a record of 374-93, and his feat of never having missed the NCAA tournament in his first 14 seasons is an NCAA record.
Seattle Times: Catch any fish in the offseason?
Few: Of course. I took A.J. (13) up to some fjords around Petersburg, Alaska, a cool father-son deal. We caught king salmon and some big rainbows.
ST: Did it take longer than usual to get over the Wichita State loss?
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Few: We were so busy, to be honest with you, both recruiting these underclassmen, and it was a long, hard, drawn-out situation with Kelly (Olynyk, who declared early for the NBA draft). I don’t think we took the proper time to grieve. I’ve always said this: Players get over those types of games very quickly. It takes about a month for the staff, and I don’t think fans ever get over it.
ST: Did Brad Stevens leaving (Butler, for the Boston Celtics) surprise you?
Few: I was shocked. We talked a lot over the years about staying at places, how the place grows. You never say never. It’s a heck of an opportunity. I think there was probably some uncertainty about what league Butler was going to be in.
ST: Which is the best team you’ve had?
Few: Last year’s – No. 1 in the country, No. 1 seed, win the Orlando (Old Spice) championship, 16-0 in the league, and the league’s added BYU.
ST: I thought you might say 2006, that Morrison team.
Few: Adam’s team would just kind of play possum with everybody; we were in a lot of barnburners. Practices weren’t as easy. That team last year, I wish every coach in every sport would have a chance to coach a team like that. There was no drama, nobody upset over playing time. Talk to any college coach, and you never have that. They were so team-oriented.
ST: Did getting to No. 1 do anything for the program?
Few: Yeah, I think it does. It lent some legitimacy to the idea that you can accomplish at Gonzaga what you can at any of these other powers. Probably as important, we were a No. 1 seed, where you really get picked apart.
ST: Can you see yourself doing this in 10 years?
Few: I don’t think I’ve ever looked 10 years down the road at anything. I just kind of plug along year to year.
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org