It has been 10 years since the Gonzaga Bulldogs' magical run to the Elite Eight in the 1999 NCAA Tournament, and that means it's also been about 10 years since Mark Few took over for Dan Monson after he departed for Minnesota following that tourney run.
In the time since, Few has done what nobody thought he could. Not only has he turned the Zags into a fixture in the NCAA Tournament, but he has also raised the team to a level of national prominence no one could have imagined.
However, since taking over the reins, each of Few's teams have been labeled as tourney underacheivers. Though Few-led Gonzaga teams have made four Sweet 16s in his tenure, he has yet to match the trip to the Elite Eight that Monson orchestrated in his last year in Spokane.
Every year, just after the Zags' season comes to a close, the rumors begin. Few's name shows up with almost every major coaching vacancy, and the question of whether or not it is time for him to move on begins to float about.
But perhaps a more appropriate question would be whether or not it is time for Gonzaga to move on from Mark Few.
Gonzaga has achieved unprecedented success under Few's watch. As already noted, the team has made the NCAA tournament in each of Few's nine seasons, but for all that success, there seems to be a ceiling on this team.
The Zags have received top -our seeds in the NCAA Tournament four times in the last six tournaments and still have not moved past the third round.
The team often has great success in early-season matchups against top opponents, but when March rolls around, they cannot seem to capture that same form.
Just how much of this is Mark Few's doing?
There are, of course, other factors that weigh into every season. The Zags can hardly seem to go through a pre-conference slate without suffering a big-time injury, and try as they might, the WCC schedule hinders their ability to adequately prepare for March.
Still, my query is one that Gonzaga administration should ask themselves the next time a big-time college job opens up and Few is a name on the list. As difficult as it would be for the team to bid farewell to the man that brought them to national prominence, perhaps it would not be the worst thing in the world.
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