INDIANAPOLIS — What do Gonzaga coach Mark Few and Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight have in common?
For starters, they both love to fly fish, and Few revealed Sunday that he and Knight have had several discussions about coaching over the years – fishing poles involved.
Most notably, both coaches have an undefeated label attached to their name. Few’s 31-0 Gonzaga team is trying to do what Knight’s team did in 1976 – finish as national champions with a perfect 32-0 record.
“We’ve had some great discussions, never really about that particular team,” Few told reporters Sunday on a national championship news conference. “Just about coaching, in general. I had the opportunity to play his teams (when Knight was at Texas Tech) a couple times. I just try to sit and listen.”
Gonzaga coach Mark Few coaches his Bulldogs during the national semifinal against UCLA.
Few said he has fond memories of the 32-0 Hoosiers team that Knight coached. It was the last Division I men’s college basketball team to finish undefeated. Several teams have come close, namely UNLV in 1991 and Kentucky in 2015, only to crumble in the Final Four. Gonzaga meets Baylor Monday in the national championship.
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“That (team) was one of the all-time greats,” Few recalled of the ’76 Indiana squad. “What a team that was. I remember watching them and rooting for them. Because they were a team. That’s what I have. We’re a team. So, all along, as (an undefeated season) has started gaining steam, it’s just been an honor to be even mentioned in the same breath with those guys.
“We’ve never really been thinking about (going undefeated). We’re just trying to win the next game. Our goal all along is just to win this (NCAA) tournament. Now here we are one game away.”
Knight, 80, retired from coaching in 2008 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.
Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gonzaga coach Mark Few reflects on matching Bob Knight’s 1976 team