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laszagas
04-28-2008, 08:55 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=katz_andy&id=3370718

"Gonzaga
Testing: Jeremy Pargo
Result: Pargo's brother, Jannero Pargo (who is currently with the New Orleans Hornets), hopefully will advise Jeremy correctly. If the Gonzaga junior guard is not in the first round, and there's no guarantee he is at this juncture, he should go back to Spokane. Let's assume he does return. If he does, the Zags should be in a conversation about Final Four teams -- at least offensively. There are scorers all over the court with Pargo, Matt Bouldin, Austin Daye, Josh Heytvelt and Steven Gray. Micah Downs should be better after regressing last season. Losing senior forward David Pendergraft hurts this team's chemistry a bit since he was the ultimate glue guy. But this squad is hungry to prove the first-round NCAA tourney loss to Davidson wasn't a true indicator of how far it could have gone this past season."

BobZag
04-28-2008, 09:51 AM
Jeremy needs to dish, dish, dish, and score just enough to make teams be honest. Assists are key for him in his senior year. The NBA will love a 12pts, 9asts PG on a team that makes a deep run. An improved shot would also be big for him.

As for Micah's lost confidence at the end of the season--part mental, part injured knee (it was scoped a couple weeks ago)--it is precisely why a kid like Kong would be of great value to this team. If Downs tails off again, plug in Kong. Same could've been said for Jeff Taylor if he had chosen GU. Plus, it may help keep Downs on his game all season if he is being pushed.

-----------------------------

Run the offense thru Austin
Heytvelt returns to RS soph form
Matt improves consistency
Gray adds slashing to his shooting
Downs keeps his confidence up
Sacre makes a giant jump (most important of them all, imo)
The Bench provides quality minutes in their roles

Zags should be a darn good team.

applezag
04-28-2008, 10:46 AM
Katz is usually spot on, but in this case I sort of disagree. If you look at weapons, the Zags look great offensively. But those of us who watched them this past season saw an offensive group that was less than the sum of its parts. This year was the first I can ever remember in which the Zags were actually better defensively than they were offensively. I still think they have ample room for improvement on defense, but they can be a ton better on offense if they can start executing and producing high percentage looks. As frustrated as I got w/ Pargo's shooting last year, he made big improvements in his approach to the game over the course of the season when it came to decision making with the basketball. I think pretty much all of us believe that if he can improve his outside shot it will be huge for not only him but the team. That and improved inside game from someone will have a lot to do with how far the Zags go next year.

roxdoc
04-28-2008, 11:05 AM
Apple I agree. FWIW I think it was just as much if not more of the offensive systems failure than individuals' performances. Of course once the players observed the system's limitations they probably lost a little of their edge. JMHO

CDC84
04-28-2008, 12:43 PM
Mike Decourcy at TSN has a different take from Katz, but they both agree that Gonzaga has a chance to be really good next year. MD is more aligned with what applezag feels, and what I have always felt.

Give me last season’s team defense with the offensive excellence of the 2005/06 team, and I’ll give you a serious threat to make the final 4 and possibly win it all. Especially with college basketball going thru a down cycle next season.

I am staying on task with this…..this is Austin Daye’s team now. The offense needs to be run through him. It must have that direction. The freshman getting to know you phase is over now. It doesn’t mean that he needs to put up as many shots as Ammo did, but it means that the ball must to be guided thru him. If he doesn’t score, his brilliant passing ability on the wing can create opportunities for others. And as Katz says, there are plenty of “others” with offensive talent. But I just think there needs to be a player that Pargo directs the ball to each time down the floor. That was lacking last season. Daye is simply the most skilled guy on the team, and I think he's got the right kind of mindset to be the featured guy. With an offseason of weight room work, and 1 year of D-1 basketball experience under his belt, it's now Daye Time. I think he can give the offense the direction in needs to succeed at the highest level.

MickMick
04-28-2008, 12:45 PM
Zags can shoot. The question is.....can they advance the ball past mid-court without making a mistake?


Note: I do think the field goal percentage needs to improve a little.

dpouley
04-28-2008, 01:05 PM
Katz is usually spot on, but in this case I sort of disagree. If you look at weapons, the Zags look great offensively. But those of us who watched them this past season saw an offensive group that was less than the sum of its parts. This year was the first I can ever remember in which the Zags were actually better defensively than they were offensively. I still think they have ample room for improvement on defense, but they can be a ton better on offense if they can start executing and producing high percentage looks. As frustrated as I got w/ Pargo's shooting last year, he made big improvements in his approach to the game over the course of the season when it came to decision making with the basketball. I think pretty much all of us believe that if he can improve his outside shot it will be huge for not only him but the team. That and improved inside game from someone will have a lot to do with how far the Zags go next year.

Great overall post. However the first line..."Katz is usually spot on..." I strongly disagree with.

In my opinion Andy Katz as a reporter is okay, but when it comes to his own personal assessment of teams and players he is absolutely horrible. I don't mean to go off on the guy, but take a look at a couple of Andy Katz's assessments over the last couple of years:

NCAA Tournament Champion Pick:

2004-Stanford (lost in the second round)
2005-Wake Forrest (lost in the second round)
2006-UConn (Lost to George Mason in elite eight)
2007-Florida (he really went out on a limb on this one)

Here was his assessment of Brandon Roy coming out of High School:

Brandon Roy
High School: Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) | Ht: 6-6
2001-02 Stats: 22.9 ppg | 10.4 rpg
Andy Katz's take: Roy is a reach to be a dominant player at Washington and wouldn't even be the first option on a team that has Doug Wrenn. The NBA? Please. Roy should be in JC if anything.

When Andy Katz makes his own informed opinion on things, he is far from spot on. I know that he has been doing this for a while and some hold in high esteem, but in my opinion almost every reporter for ESPN that covers College Hoops is better than Andy Katz.

That being said, I think that GU has a TON of talent and could possibly be a Final4 contender next year. However, they will need to find a team chemistry that was a major problem for them last year.

Once and Future Zag
04-28-2008, 01:21 PM
Micah had his knee 'scoped?

So he had a dislocated finger - taped up for virtually the entire season.

Took a chomp to the head - got stapled up and back in that game.

Was playing a bum knee (probably all season)?

Any other injuries I missed there?

ZagNative
04-28-2008, 01:21 PM
That being said, I think that GU has a TON of talent and could possibly be a Final4 contender next year. However, they will need to find a team chemistry that was a major problem for them last year.
I like your post, dpouley, but I question the last paragraph. Few mentioned a handful of times during the season how good the team chemistry was, so I'm curious what you can point to specifically as an example of poor team chemistry at work, especially as a major problem over the season.

GoZags
04-28-2008, 01:27 PM
Great overall post. However the first line..."Katz is usually spot on..." I strongly disagree with.

In my opinion Andy Katz as a reporter is okay, but when it comes to his own personal assessment of teams and players he is absolutely horrible. I don't mean to go off on the guy, but take a look at a couple of Andy Katz's assessments over the last couple of years......................

[Here was his assessment of Brandon Roy coming out of High School:

Brandon Roy
High School: Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) | Ht: 6-6
2001-02 Stats: 22.9 ppg | 10.4 rpg
Andy Katz's take: Roy is a reach to be a dominant player at Washington and wouldn't even be the first option on a team that has Doug Wrenn. The NBA? Please. Roy should be in JC if anything.

When Andy Katz makes his own informed opinion on things, he is far from spot on. I know that he has been doing this for a while and some hold in high esteem, but in my opinion almost every reporter for ESPN that covers College Hoops is better than Andy Katz.


Dpouley -- Do you really think Brandon Roy was the first option his freshman year at Washington (the one he played with Doug Wrenn)?

Do you really think Brandon Roy was a dominant player at Washington his freshman year, when he averaged 6 points and 2+ rebounds per game?

Do you think that Brandon Roy should have kept his name in the '03 NBA draft? I'm pretty sure you're aware that he'd applied for the NBA draft while still at Garfield High School.

Do you think Brandon Roy should have been cleared academically and allowed to go to school at Washington from Sept. '02 - Jan. '03 instead of being declared academically ineligible and not allowed to enroll in school as a freshman until Jan. 16, '03 (10 days after the winter quarter began)?

Katz comments on Brandon Roy taken out of context seem patently absurd.

However, Katz's comments centered more on the absurd nature of Brandon Roy declaring for the NBA draft while still at Garfield High School. Given Brandon Roy's unfortunate academic status and the significant delay in getting him into school -- the j.c. route was certainly an option for Brandon Roy .... an opinion that was shared by more than just Andy Katz.

theothegreat21
04-28-2008, 01:53 PM
Great overall post. However the first line..."Katz is usually spot on..." I strongly disagree with.

In my opinion Andy Katz as a reporter is okay, but when it comes to his own personal assessment of teams and players he is absolutely horrible. I don't mean to go off on the guy, but take a look at a couple of Andy Katz's assessments over the last couple of years:

NCAA Tournament Champion Pick:

2004-Stanford (lost in the second round)
2005-Wake Forrest (lost in the second round)
2006-UConn (Lost to George Mason in elite eight)
2007-Florida (he really went out on a limb on this one)

Here was his assessment of Brandon Roy coming out of High School:

Brandon Roy
High School: Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) | Ht: 6-6
2001-02 Stats: 22.9 ppg | 10.4 rpg
Andy Katz's take: Roy is a reach to be a dominant player at Washington and wouldn't even be the first option on a team that has Doug Wrenn. The NBA? Please. Roy should be in JC if anything.

When Andy Katz makes his own informed opinion on things, he is far from spot on. I know that he has been doing this for a while and some hold in high esteem, but in my opinion almost every reporter for ESPN that covers College Hoops is better than Andy Katz.

That being said, I think that GU has a TON of talent and could possibly be a Final4 contender next year. However, they will need to find a team chemistry that was a major problem for them last year.

I think its a little harsh to rate Katz's overall ability to assess college basketball based on his views on Brandon Roy and who he picked to win the NCAA title. Im pretty sure that Stanford was a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament the year he picked them to win the title, and Wake Forest was stacked with talent, and kind of choked away that game in the NCAA tournament. Katz usually displays very good knowledge of the college basketball world

BobZag
04-28-2008, 02:31 PM
With seemingly an extra emphasis on defense last season, could that have diminished the offense?

Once and Future Zag
04-28-2008, 03:16 PM
With seemingly an extra emphasis on defense last season, could that have diminished the offense?

Going of Ken Pomeroy's numbers not really - the last two years we were in the #39 for off efficiency (down from being #1 in the Ammo/Batista hammer and anvil year) so relativ;y consistent even if the '06 team was a statistical anomaly regardless of how you look at it when it came to offense.

On the other side, we've steadily progressed from #178, to #80, to #33 in terms of defense.

What does this mean? Hell if I know - I'm just waiting to go home from work...

MDABE80
04-28-2008, 04:53 PM
Yall know that I'm a HUGE proponent of defense. I wonder if anyone might clarify how a lock down defense doesn't favor the offense. Or put another way........well..hell there isn't any other way. <my thoughts. No or weak D= many fewer wins.

BobZag
04-28-2008, 05:02 PM
I've seen some teams expend so much energy on D that they have a hard time sustaining that energy on O. The offense appears to run ragged.

jim77
04-28-2008, 05:59 PM
[QUOTE=BobZag;216671]Jeremy needs to dish, dish, dish, and score just enough to make teams be honest. Assists are key for him in his senior year. The NBA will love a 12pts, 9asts PG on a team that makes a deep run. An improved shot would also be big for him.


AMEN Bob.

Jeremy might as well get used to what the NBA is gonna ask him to do. (assists) Personally, I think the guy is capable of putting up rediculous assist numbers. Between his scary abitlity to get to the hole and all-american talent that surrounds him...I could see double digit assists. If he develops a more accurate 3 pointer only a set of handcuffs will slow him down...I REALLY hope he returns.

applezag
04-28-2008, 06:00 PM
In my viewing experience, defensive effort inspires good offense. The one argument that could be made here is that when more time is spent on defense in practice and film, there is less time to be sophisticated on offense. GU's offensive attack this past year was as simple as anything they have ever done. I think it can be done both ways though. You can work hard and play smart all the time, numerous teams historically have done so.

Vanzagger
04-28-2008, 10:09 PM
With seemingly an extra emphasis on defense last season, could that have diminished the offense?

It seems to me, with Pendo trying to guard the 4 and Matt playing 35mn/game, there was no emphasis on D.

dpouley
04-29-2008, 07:28 AM
I like your post, dpouley, but I question the last paragraph. Few mentioned a handful of times during the season how good the team chemistry was, so I'm curious what you can point to specifically as an example of poor team chemistry at work, especially as a major problem over the season.

Well, maybe I didn't exactly mean chemistry. I guess when I mention chemistry I am thinking of the flow of the game, far too often last year the team would go through spells of absolutely flat and uninspired play. That and specific players would absolutely disappear which then put more importance on the play of the other four on the floor. Maybe, what I witnessed has more to do with a young team that is still perfecting their basketball IQ, maybe it was that they were a young team that is still establishing their roles on the team, for whatever reason, I believe that the identity of this team (I referred to it as chemistry) was a struggle for this team last year.

Looking back to last years team, I am not trying to make it seem like this team was a horrible failure. They absolutely were not. But I do think that if we are discussing them as a Final Four team that they have some things to improve upon.

dpouley
04-29-2008, 07:35 AM
I think its a little harsh to rate Katz's overall ability to assess college basketball based on his views on Brandon Roy and who he picked to win the NCAA title. Im pretty sure that Stanford was a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament the year he picked them to win the title, and Wake Forest was stacked with talent, and kind of choked away that game in the NCAA tournament. Katz usually displays very good knowledge of the college basketball world

I understand that using only the examples that I listed for my dislike of Katz, may seem like I am being to harsh. Those are the examples that I could come up with off the top of my head, in a matter of the five minutes that it took me to write the post, without searching the ESPN archives. All I did was give a few quick examples to explain my opinion of disliking Andy Katz, they are not the only reasons why I have formed the opinion that I have, just a sample.

Once and Future Zag
04-29-2008, 07:45 AM
It seems to me, with Pendo trying to guard the 4 and Matt playing 35mn/game, there was no emphasis on D.

What would you then attribute the improvement in Defensive efficency to?

dpouley
04-29-2008, 07:47 AM
Dpouley -- Do you really think Brandon Roy was the first option his freshman year at Washington (the one he played with Doug Wrenn)?

Do you really think Brandon Roy was a dominant player at Washington his freshman year, when he averaged 6 points and 2+ rebounds per game?

Do you think that Brandon Roy should have kept his name in the '03 NBA draft? I'm pretty sure you're aware that he'd applied for the NBA draft while still at Garfield High School.

Do you think Brandon Roy should have been cleared academically and allowed to go to school at Washington from Sept. '02 - Jan. '03 instead of being declared academically ineligible and not allowed to enroll in school as a freshman until Jan. 16, '03 (10 days after the winter quarter began)?

Katz comments on Brandon Roy taken out of context seem patently absurd.

However, Katz's comments centered more on the absurd nature of Brandon Roy declaring for the NBA draft while still at Garfield High School. Given Brandon Roy's unfortunate academic status and the significant delay in getting him into school -- the j.c. route was certainly an option for Brandon Roy .... an opinion that was shared by more than just Andy Katz.

GoZags, it is my opinion that Andy Katz is overrated as a commentator and reporter on college hoops.

I explained some of the reasons why I believe this.

You attacked my example, and implied that I was being absurd. But all I was doing was sharing my opinion.

Feel free to disagree, but i am going to excuse myself from another argument with you on this message board that is driven by your overwhelming dislike for Husky Basketball.

kitzbuel
04-29-2008, 08:42 AM
I've seen some teams expend so much energy on D that they have a hard time sustaining that energy on O. The offense appears to run ragged.

I've seen Steven Gray expend so much energy on D that his shot suffered.

CDC84
04-29-2008, 08:58 AM
Another way to look at it is this......

Maybe Gonzaga's issues on defense were so disconcerting that it was necessary to, in essence, sacrifice a season to bring a new defensive culture to the program? Even if it meant that the offense had to be put on the back burner for a year....

Now that the defense has been righted to a certain degree, maybe more time this offseason can be spent on making the offense more formidable.

I think the guys this past season saw just how important defense can be. They won several games when their offense was just plainly off....games that I don't think they could've won with some of the defensive teams they've had in the recent past. I would like to think that these guys can work on bettering their offense without losing sight of the defense.

roxdoc
04-29-2008, 09:35 AM
You make an interesting point CDC. I sure hope you are right that they will address the offense now.

In earlier discussions about chemistry. I think the word was that the team got along fine, off the court, ie had good social chemistry. But they certainly did not have good court chemistry or cohesiveness. At times it was almost painful to watch. Don't know if it was injuries early, lack of a big man scoring threat, freshmen inexperience, or just a poor offensive system. Whatever they have 6 months to work things out.

I did hear from an experienced someone close to the situation that Rob's game is continuing to improve.

MickMick
04-29-2008, 11:27 AM
I've seen Steven Gray expend so much energy on D that his shot suffered.

I agree 100&#37;

The emphasis on defense taxed the offense somewhat. Nothing comes for free.

cjm720
04-29-2008, 11:58 AM
I've seen some teams expend so much energy on D that they have a hard time sustaining that energy on O. The offense appears to run ragged.

This shouldn't have been an issue given our depth. I think it was less of a D issue of when they're trying to run plays and the D's not giving it to them, they had a hard time altering the agenda. Some may say that would be a lack of a go-to-guy but I think there's a slight difference. I expect this will be less of an issue next season.

applezag
04-29-2008, 03:14 PM
I agree 100%

The emphasis on defense taxed the offense somewhat. Nothing comes for free.

Maybe at times, but I've never seen him work as hard as he did vs. Davidson. Didn't seem to hurt his shot there (though one might argue that it did very late in the game).

Reborn
05-01-2008, 08:42 AM
I felt the problem with our offense last year were mostly in our post positions. Josh got injured early in the year and was never up to full speed. Kuso has never been an offensive threat. He started most of the year. Sacre was a freshman, and was very raw offensively, so there was not a lot of points there. Even when Josh returned he was never at 100% and I'd say he played mostly at about 50-70%. That was our biggest problem.

Pendo was never what I'd consider an offensive threat. He was also very up and down. He had some very good games, and some bad ones. He seemed to lose his shooting touch at the end of the year and it hurt us.

His back up, Austin Daye did a very good job for a Freshman, but in the biggest and most important games he really faded. I think he was like 3-13 in the NCAA game, and missed two huge free throws near the end of the game.

If Josh plays at 80-100% this year you will see a different team, and if Sacre can really get some skills and confidence down low, then our offensive will be back on track and as good as any we've had I think. Austin will be very very solid at the 4.

Bouldin is also a key. I hope he can become much more consistent, and really improve his 3 pt shooting.

zagco
05-01-2008, 07:56 PM
UNLV played crazy defense back in the day, a lot of which was an "ameboa" or matchup zone or box and one defense, to go along with a frenetic, fast-paced, fast-break offense. The way they played defense, with Stacey Augmon in the middle of the key with those super long arms, is what basically led to the Chicago Bulls playing Scottie Pippin in what was basically a zone--he was long enough to make it technically a man defense.

While they were playing awesome defense, they could shoot from anywhere, and they scored often.

The way they got there, Zagco heard from knowledgeable college basketball insiders who knew, was a practice regime that was, bar none, the most difficult in the nation. Tark would run his guys silly. They were in KRAZY shape.

OZZag
05-01-2008, 08:14 PM
You make an interesting point CDC. I sure hope you are right that they will address the offense now.

In earlier discussions about chemistry. I think the word was that the team got along fine, off the court, ie had good social chemistry. But they certainly did not have good court chemistry or cohesiveness. At times it was almost painful to watch. Don't know if it was injuries early, lack of a big man scoring threat, freshmen inexperience, or just a poor offensive system. Whatever they have 6 months to work things out.

I did hear from an experienced someone close to the situation that Rob's game is continuing to improve.

Tell us more please! don't dangle that worm in front like that.

What training/competition would he be getting now, does anyone know what he will be doing in the offseason (perhaps the Canadian teams training camp?).

Vanzagger
05-01-2008, 10:08 PM
What would you then attribute the improvement in Defensive efficency to?

I dont know. They all play tough and hard. They are all great atheletes. What gets me is how everybody was raving about Foster's defence against the Cougs only to have him sit the rest of the year.

Keep everybody fresh and in their own position. I hope Matt is are starting pg next year(if pargo doesn't come back) Give the kid the ball and let him pass. If a quicker point guard can get by him who cares. We got more shot blockers than UNLV could have ever dreamed of.

cjm720
05-02-2008, 07:13 AM
We got more shot blockers than UNLV could have ever dreamed of.

Greg Anthony would have a laugh at this one...LJ, Ackles, and Augmon were a nice combo...not sure if we can put Daye, JH, and ? in that company yet.

We need a big man for next year...period. I hope it's Sacre, but with JH hurt again, it becomes even more of a priority..

Reborn
05-02-2008, 08:46 AM
I enjoyed Katz's article, and especially being able to take a good look at who's taking a look at going pro as well who are the one's who'll be gone.
After reviewing all that I really do think the Zags have a reasonable chance of making it to the Elite once again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed about Josh's recent surgery.

Memphis will certainly be depleated. Lunardi's has them at a 3 seed in the tournament. I can't see it. Are we playing Memphis next year?

I also don't see Arizona a 2 seed if Bayless and Budinger leave.
If Anderson (for West Virginia) turns pro it will certainly hurt WV.

Regarding Pargo. I thought he was a pretty good assist man for us this year. Do any of you know where Jeremy ended up Nationally on the assist leaders. And where he stands for # of assists for GU in one year. I thought he averaged around 6 per game, which really is pretty good. I think his biggest need is in making better judgement and fewer turnovers. A big key for next year.

MDABE80
05-02-2008, 11:23 AM
6 was the number Reborn. As far as defense making the offense suffer....well that's the way it goes! Welcome to Championship level College D1 basketball!!
Those kids should be able to go both ways 100&#37; all the time. Although some kids just can't do that, most can. If a kid can't get in shape to go full out, he needs to sit or be a roll player.
I remember when Loyola won it all in the early 60's ( I was watching on our 12 in black and white), the one thing George Ireland ( coach) made those kids do is run, run and run some more. They absolutely wore Cincinnati out. Oscar Robertson and his mates were gassed by the end of the first quarter. Cinn had superior talent but Loyola beat em at the end because they were in better shape. I hope it's still PC enough to let the kids know that they need to run their a**es off or else. Conditioning will win games...close ones. Sorry for the digression. Good thread.

Reborn
05-02-2008, 12:36 PM
I looked up the national statistics on ESPN. Pargo was ahead of most Div I players in NCAA. Congrats to Pargo. The only guys ahead of him that were pretty good were Richards from Davidson, Vasquez from Maryland and Emmerneker from Drake. I'd say that's great. I think he was tied with Augustine from Texas. In a way this stat has me a little worried because maybe Jeremy will get drafted in the 1st round. Pargo was the only Zag player who won national honors on offense, and as you can see, very high. I think people really need to back up on all this criticism of Jeremy. He's darn good folks. May be the best point guard in the country next year. I'd say Collison or him.

Austin Daye made the top 100 in blocked shots. I think he was 44th which isn't bad for a Freshman, and maybe now you know why he's a 4.

I was very surprised by the very poor showing for the Zags in the top 100. I think this may be our worst year in a long time. No one was ranked on Free Throws, Fields goal, Field goal &#37;, 3 pt shooting and %. I sure hope our guys play a lot of ball this summer and especially work on their shooting. My God. How pathetic. I thought Austin would have made the top 100 in some of these areas, but none.

As a team we were right around 50 in the top 100 teams in most areas. I really think that's poor for GU. So those of you that said we struggled offensively this year. These stats really agree.