Walkons: A Gonzaga Tradition - II

A championship golfer, a 6th in state 400 meter sprinter, a two-way football player, somehow Colin Floyd found the time to be Washington State B Basketball Player of the Year and another quality walkon for Gonzaga.

When Harrington's Colin Floyd isn't playing a round of golf at the 9-hole course that's within walking distance of his home, or when he's not at Lake Roosevelt at his family's cabin, or when he's not placing sixth in state in the 400 meter dash, or when he's not playing football, he's hooping it up. Oh, that's after he's finished working for his dad at a farming equipment company. The 6'1", 180 pound Combo Guard is waiting for the NCAA rules to allow him to start working out on the weights under the guidance of the same trainer at Gonzaga who took Colin's brother and former Zag great Ryan from 160 pounds to 200. That'll be later in August. I caught up with the Harrington Falcon multi-sport star at work. We chatted for about twenty minutes. It took about two minutes for me to realize I was talking with a guy who knows all about what'll it take and what it takes to be a Zag.

Colin is a sensational golfer, winning State as a freshman and placing third his sophomore and junior years. He now has a two handicap, only because he tried out for track this past season instead of concentrating solely on golf. A lightbulb lit up. I asked if Gonzaga's golf program might be interested in him. The answer was yes, but alas, no scholarships are given for golf. There went my bright idea of a two-sport GU student-athlete on scholarship. However, the Zags' golf coach has contacted him and he still might play some college links before it's all said and done.

Colin describes his strengths as being an all-around player. He sees the court well and has good basketball savvy while playing the point, something he's totally comfortable doing. He also plays the shooting guard and had 8 three-pointers in one game, 41 points on just 17 shots taken. His three-point percentage was in the mid-40's. He likes to drive to the rack or penetrate and dish. In other words, Colin can score from anywhere. He also prides himself on being a solid rebounder for his size.

Asked what he needs to work on the most, and Colin will tell you his strength and defensive quickness. He knows full well what he needs to improve on before he can walk on the court against a Florida or a Kansas or an Illinois. But he's confident in his ability and can't wait to get to GU to start the quest.

Colin doesn't think playing for a school of 45 (about 85 when combined with Sprague for sports) is a hindrance or detriment versus playing at a 4A school. Instead, he views it as a positive, being called upon to play all the position, from the point to the shooting guard to the post. It helped his all-around game, plus he now knows what the big men have to do and how they think, something that will help him as a guard. He understands all the positions. Floyd did admit, however, that the exposure that larger schools receive help those athletes be noticed more. A lot of it is just hype and Colin knows that, too.

Ryan told Colin what to expect as a walkon at Gonzaga. All the hype in the world makes no difference to the coaching staff. Work as hard as you can (yes, harder than the scholarship student-athletes) and then work even harder. For the first time in his life, he'll be focused on one sport, year-around, and it's exciting for him to think about just how much he'll improve. The sky is the limit.

The coaching staff has made no promises for Colin. This is a challenge that hinges 100% on his talent, both tapped and currently untapped. They've told him he'll be treated like any other player and given an equal chance. His brother backed up what the coaches said, so Colin is going for it with no guarantees. It'll be tough, he knows that, but if he's intimidated, he sure didn't sound like it. He simply can hardly wait!

The plan is to redshirt the first year, something Colin welcomes. He knows the value of TWO years as a freshman as opposed to one. Look for him to be a chiseled 200+ pounds this time next year.

Since high school has let out in early June, Colin has helped in all three of brother Ryan's hoops camps, in Harrington, Colfax and Wilbur. All had great turnouts and Zags like Casey Calvary, and other famous Zags graduated and undergrads like Zach Gourde. This is the second year that "Ryan Floyd Hoops Camp" has been going for younger kids, so you could say Colin kind of knows how a coach feels, too, as he has helped out at the camps. After the camps, the younger Floyd went to work for his father in nearby Davenport at a farming equipment company. He'll be working until he can get on up to Spokane.

Can you beat Ryan one-on-one?

"We play against each other and I hold my own but he's better than me right now… But I beat him sometimes." Colin is confident but humble, you won't hear him bragging… And, after all, Ryan is headed back to Germany in early August to play pro ball, so I suppose big brother SHOULD be better…for now.

Asked what it meant to him to be a walkon in the tradition of Mark Spink, Mike Nilson and Ryan, and Colin feels a little extra pressure to succeed, more than if he didn't have a brother who blazed a trail before him. As young as Colin is, he knows the names of Jim and Bryce McPhee, Scott and Mark Spink, and what it's like to be brother number two. It's a challenge he welcomes, though.

Soft-spoken and a real nice guy, Colin Floyd will represent Gonzaga well. He's the typical Zag, his actions do all the shouting. Will Colin have his day against a foe like UCLA and help sink the Bruins in Pauley Pavilion while holding them to an all-time low in the hallowed gym? This is one family tradition that will have every chance to do so, lengthening the Floyd legacy another five years at GU. I know one thing, it'll be great to see another Floyd take the court in a year and a half.

Inside The Kennel Top Stories