SPOKANE, Wash. - Few people know college basketball like Jud Heathcote. He recruited Magic Johnson at Michigan State and won a national title in his 45 year college coaching career. Following his retirement he moved back to Spokane and became a season ticket holder with Gonzaga.
"I said this year that this is the best team that Gonzaga's ever had," Heathcote said. "We bought season tickets. We've had them for 18 years and I tell everyone it's the best investment we ever made because they're so fun to watch.
When they first bought their season tickets his wife asked him a simple question.
"My wife said, ‘Is this division one basketball?" Heathcote said. "She said well there's no atmosphere. I said, ‘The students were gone (spring break) and they weren't that big of a following at that time."
It's funny how times have changed. The atmosphere is one of the best in college basketball and the team is at the top of the rankings.
So what would Heathcote tell the team if he were in charge now?
"I think you tell them keep a level head on, don't get carried away with the media attention," Heathcote said. "We still have to play basketball."
What would he tell Coach Few?
"It's your turn to buy lunch."