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March 29, 2011 at 7:15 AM

Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves not interested in Washington?

SlootandGraves.jpgThanks for your patience while I dealt with a family emergency. It’s a difficult time, but I also didn’t like missing out on stories like Gonzaga senior Courtney Vandersloot becoming the greatest college PG ever — male or female. The only solace was I wasn’t just catching on like most of the nation.
The other big story was, of course, Washington coach Tia Jackson resigning. It wasn’t a surprise given her record and the lack of energy around the program. I would have only considered one coach to replace her in Zags leader Kelly Graves (pictured right hugging Vandersloot by The Associated Press). But Spokesman Review reporter Dave Trimmer quoted Graves as intending to return next season.
“I know the questions are coming,” Graves told reporters. “I’m very happy where I’m at.”
Next season Oregon State transfer Haiden Palmer, a 5 foot 8 PG, becomes eligible and the Zags have a solid recruiting class. Given that Graves makes way more money in Spokane and his program is treated well by the community and school, I can’t blame him for taking his name out of consideration to rebuild Washington.
Don’t look for Vandersloot in Seattle either, as the WNBA draft approaches.
First, what was up with the Jackie Stiles comparisons during the Zags’ run to the Elite Eight? True, Stiles’ downfall was her body, yet I’ve got to predict that Vandersloot will have a better career and is a better player. Time will tell, beginning with the April 11 draft where Vandersloot is expected to be a first-round pick — just not 12th to Seattle. Indiana coach Lin Dunn is high on the PG, but selecting ninth, I doubt the Fever will have a chance to nab Vandersloot.
Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson has been all over the country to watch Vandersloot play and with the seventh pick, may scoop her up. It’ll take her time to adjust to the WNBA, but think of how tight and deep that roster suddenly becomes if the former Kentwood High star can transition quickly. Especially if WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes, who was signed by the Shock on Monday, really does still have game as rumor states.
Until the next phase, here are some articles about No. 11 seed Gonzaga’s end in the NCAA tournament, losing 83-60 to No. 1 seed Stanford on Monday for a trip to the Final Four. Be sure to tune in to ESPN on Tuesday to see who’ll fill the final two slots. Contenders Connecticut and Duke face-off at 4 p.m. PST while Big 12 foes Baylor and Texas A&M play at 6 p.m.
Vandersloot feels the love by John Blanchette
Stanford ends Gonzaga’s run by Dave Trimmer
Sisters lead Stanford to Final Four by Mechelle Voepel
If Monday snippet of Stanford’s latest video on ESPN2 was a first for you, here’s the full take of “I Got Bounce.”



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