View Full Version : BZ's Answers to Future Zag Bigs

05-10-2008, 04:33 PM
Joshua Smith, of course. He'll be elite if he sheds the baby fat, which he will--


Joe Burton is a poor man's Joshua Smith with the same type of big, wide body with solid skills; he could be the banger we've all been hungering for--


And Ricardo Ratliffe, a very bouncy and skilled big who I'd love to see the staff pursue--


There you go. Nab one of these for 2009 (Smith is 2010) and we're sittin' pretty.

05-10-2008, 04:43 PM
I would take any or all of them.

To badly paraphrase Jack Nicholson, when it comes to further GU recruiting, "Sell guards someplace else, we're all stocked up here".

05-10-2008, 05:32 PM
Josh Smiths mother is a life long friend of Romar. Unless he blows up bigtime he will play for Romar

05-10-2008, 05:47 PM
And If Josh does blow up and not go to the UW, it will probably be a super major.:(

05-10-2008, 06:13 PM
Is he alreeady a UW commit??
Great guard prospect for a team that runs and attacks and keeps the playbook simple, but perhaps not a match for the Zags.

05-10-2008, 07:04 PM
from what I have been hearing/reading, siva seems to have Louisville as his #1 right now

05-10-2008, 07:25 PM
Gotta like Burton's mix of points, rebounds and assists. A lot of rebounds for someone without great hops.

05-11-2008, 08:41 AM
Gotta like Burton's mix of points, rebounds and assists. A lot of rebounds for someone without great hops.

He a big load in the middle at 270. He has minor offers from UCF and San Diego State, well within reach.

Ricardo Ratliffe is an 08 kid, a more complicated choice.

I find it interesting that Kevin Noreen an '10 SF is listing that he has an offer from the ZAGS. This hasn't gotten any attention here.

05-11-2008, 08:57 AM
Josh Smith is a long, longshot, but you never know; Romar could be gone by then or something.

I'm intrigued by Joe Burton; he strikes me as a big body ala John Bryant (not athletic but knows how to use his big body and has skills), kind of a poor man's Josh Smith, which is meant as a compliment.

I'm sure we'll be hearing more about 2010 kids later. Much to be done for '09 first.

05-12-2008, 12:29 PM
Is there such a thing as a "big" any more?

A very nice description of how the position (and the game) has evolved.

From this link (http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=12#s=12&f=1737&t=2461908):

Think about who's going to the league these days. Basketball culture now is way different than when Magic and Bird were running the show.

The main difference between the players of today and the players of yesteryear is undoubtedly basketball IQ. When this sentiment was echoed by Kareem during a Laker game, it was very refreshing for someone of his stature to publicly state the exact problem we have in basketball today.

If you think about it, it's all a cascading effect. The youth of today are watching me-first players in a me-first sport outlet. Instead of focusing on the intangibles and fundamentals, the ESPNs of the world are highlighting individual statistics and plays like points and dunks and fancy lay-ups. Even Brandon Jennings has managed to make the assist a selfish play. Rarely do you ever see someone highlighting a good screen, curl or anything else that goes into an offensive play. Defense suffers the same thing. Sport outlets highlight blocks and steals, but what about good positioning, rotations, and disrupted shots?

And it shows in high school basketball. How is a traditional center supposed to play when he's never delivered the ball? Guards dominate where the ball goes, and the only way to be more of an assertive is for a big to face-up. That's why we have a plethora of soft bigs, who tend to float on the perimeter and not rough it out on the blocks.

At the same time, players are getting more and more athletic, and likewise are becoming more and more dependent on that athleticism. Why bother with the jump stop and drop step or sky hook, when you can just jump over your defender for a highlight dunk? Forget doing working hard for position when you can out-run your man and get an alley-oop. Why learn to work off the ball, read screens, and jump shoot when you can just blow by your defenders for an acrobatic finish at the rim? On defense, kids pad their stats by gambling for steals because defensive stops and forced passes don't show up on your scoresheet. Why play straight-up defense in the post when you can run amok looking for a block (Marcus Camby anyone?) In some ways, guard-play and athleticism are double-edged swords.

As a result of this, bigs' skill-sets tend to polarize. They're either unathletic, yet highly skilled on the low-block; they're soft and love to jump shoot; or they're uber athletic, great for rebounds and blocks, but don't have a single clue of how to play offense. What happened to working on fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals since day 1? How come true point guards are such a commodity these days? OK, i think I'm just ranting now...

I agree with the author's concept of a "cascading effect". The fourth paragraph leads me to believe that players like Josh are the norm......not the exception. Excellent observations that describe my thinking to a tee.

05-12-2008, 01:13 PM
In reply to Mick Mick's post. A great post Mick, but I 'd like to add a little slant about centers. I think the main focus of basketball, yesterday and today alike, is to put the ball in the basket. If you can do it from the low blocks with the accuracy of Jabar and Walton, then of course you'll get the ball to those kind of players.

I think what purhaps changed the game of basketball has the the speed of the game and probably a little more is the 3 pt shot. Why should you go for two if you can get 3?

I think the biggest problem with low post players is that there just isn't too many great ones these days. And yet you still have your Tim Duncans who seem to always be on championship teams.

05-12-2008, 02:18 PM
Reborn, there is one other statement that might go with that. You win by the 3 and lose by the 3. There are many times when you need the 3, but if you build most of your offense around it, then there will be nights that you will have problems.

A big not only helps in the offense, but when it comes to rebounding and defense, then they also are critical. So I guess in some ways I agree with you that we probably will have troubles finding that type of person for offensive end, but we need to find one that can get us the rebounds and protect the center (like hopefully Sacre will be doing for the next 3 years).

05-12-2008, 06:21 PM
I'm not sure why I have this feeling in my gut, but I think Gonzaga is going to land a pretty good big, like say Burton. I don't get these feelings often, so I'm hoping I'm right. We're do for something nice down low. I think Sacre will be just fine. He's going to back Josh up this year, and will learn a lot. By his Junior year he'll be ready to score in low double figures. I'm a real big Sacre fan. I remember real well when we drafted him last summer. He was the hottest thing in Canada I believe, and there were several reports that he was the best Canadian basketball player since the guy playing for Phoenix Suns. I'd say that's pretty good. I think with Rob, we just need to be patient. I think GU has had very good success with bigs. I'd say we took a step back with Kuso, but Kuso played with so much heart we, the fans, overlooked his offensive liability. But in the long run not having a good backup for Josh hurt us because as it turned out Josh has turned into a liability. Hopefully, all this will change next year. I think that realistically, the Zags need to be ready for continue physical problems with Josh. It's pretty much been his story since he came to GU. But, once again, I hope that changes.

I think that for that reason, if we can get another Big this year that I'd really go after him. That's just my opinion. And that's just if Will hasn't made the progress that he needs to be able to fill that role. I still haven't counted Will out.

05-12-2008, 06:34 PM
Reborn, we may be wrong, but I am agreeing with you all the way. I also am a Sacre fan and feel he just needs the time to grow into the position. I also wish that Kuso had been here for 4 years. I think that we would have then seen a different and more accomplished player. But he did have heart. I also hope that you are right about picking up a big next year. Hopefully he is solid enough and he then could backup Sacre, Foster, and Poling.