PDA

View Full Version : What I think GU looks for in recruiting



Reborn
05-15-2008, 11:35 AM
I think history tells us that Gonzaga coaches have been a better job each year, whatever our needs are. When I think of Gonzaga I first thing of Guard University, as do so many. I think the top of our recruiting lists will always be good shooting guards. As is well known, Few likes combo guards the best. Few has been very able to recruit great 3 pt shooters, and though it was down this year, I think next year it will be back up where it should be. We have at least two very good 3 pt shooters in Daye and Gray, and it's no accident that their names rhyme. If we can keep these guys for two more years we will see a high powered offensive machine in the mold of days of old. We've talked a lot about Austin this Spring but so very little about Steven.

Steven Gray, as we saw late last year, can really shoot from the outside. In two of his last three games he hit, I believe, 7 three's in each game. I said from the very beginning that Steven Gray will one day be an all-american, and I believe that still. Few, as well, has been high on him from the beginning too. Last season Mark Few said he was the best shooter on the team...this before the first game. I was shocked when he said that but I think now that Few was right on. I'm glad Steven is now under the radar because we know it always helps our guys like Ammo, Dickau, Santangelo in the long run.

I continue to believe Austin will be a great player as well, but in my opinion, he will not be the shooter that Steven is, and he also may not be the scorer. Time will tell.

Behind these guys right now we have Gibbs and Downs fighting it out for that 3rd shooter. As you can see Matt is not on my list right now, and imo, he was my greatest disappointment last year. I would never object to Few moving Austin to the #3 and have Matt sub, but that'll never happen. My greatest wish for next year is that Matt will have a good (I think that's all we need) 3 pt shot...and we need it consistentlly, and most certainly against top 20 teams. IMO, the tougher the competition is Matt will begin to become fade. And that really hurts us. Because of our Model for offense (great wing shooters) we need improvement in this area. I hope Few sees the same thing. Matt needs to put in some heavy duty work this summer. If he does that I think he'll develop a good outside shot. His slasing ability is very good, an his low posting strength is a plus for him because it gives us options, but let's face it, Gonzaga is not the Zags without 3 pt shooting (imo).

I'm glad we're going after some high caliber wing players who can shoot. Guys like Honeycutt and Marshall. Personally, I could see where one of the two will be a starter and the other our first guard off the bench. The thing that makes this so nice is that we also have guys like Arop and Bol Kong coming in who will really challenge everyone ahead of them, and we will have Gibbs returning. Great competition can only make our team better.

Unless Matt shows a lot of improvement this summer, I see him following in the footsteps of PMAC. That may seem harsh, but sometimes coaching can be a very tough job where tough decisions need to be made. I now feel the same about LG. In the end, I think it was because he didn't have an outside shot that cost him making it at GU.

As I've consistently said, I think our biggest need is at the 4 and 5, and I think especially at the 4. We've had real weakness at this position for awhile, and I hope Few really begins to see how fatal this is getting. The last 4 was Pendo. A great Zag, with tons of Spirit and toughness, but I think everyone would agree that he was never a 4, and it always hurt the team and mostly last year. Before Pendo it was Mallon. Pendo, even though probably 3 or 4 inches shorter gave us more then Sean did his last year. Like some other Zags have done, I think Mallon went down hill his last two years at Gonzaga. Befoer Sean we had a pretty good 4 in Corey Violett. As you can see there's been two recruiting classes since Corey. We will have Austin at the 4 most likely, but in a way that is really not his position. Or at least say that if it is, he will not be at the top of his game even next year. He still does not have the toughness to be a four. Guys like Garnett are maybe lean but very, very tough four's. As has been suggested, I think Daye is a wing, much in the mold of Larry Bird. Larry, we must remember was 6'10', but larger. Austin should be a wing. And I wish he were.

If the news about Will is as good as it sounds, then that's a huge plus because we could use Josh at the 4 more and Austin could then play the wing. That would be a real good team imo. It would look like this: Josh at the 4, Sacre and Will at the 5, Austin and Gray at the wings and Pargo at the point. We'd have two very good guys off the bench in Matt and Downs to sub for 3 guys. My expectations for Downs are high this year. He's going to be a Senior, and I hope he takes on that challenge. Pargo, Josh and Micah give us great Senior leadership, but if Micah can not step it up I think we're going to see a little more of Gibbs then some may think.

The Future......Biggest need is a 4. Second is a 5. At least in my opinion. I believe they're out there too. It's the coaches job to find them, and then go and get 'em.

spudzag
05-15-2008, 12:35 PM
I'd love to see a log jamb at the 4 and 5 spots for a change!

MickMick
05-15-2008, 12:36 PM
Matt can certainly score. He just has a heck of a time bringing the ball past mid court. If he were to lose time, I would think it would be over his handles....not his scoring ability.

Zags need guards that can do both. Blake Stepp was of similar stature to Matt, but seemed to have less turnover issues. In other words, Matt needs to approximate Blake Stepp's game to raise his playing level a notch.

Reborn
05-15-2008, 01:04 PM
Interesting post Mick Mick. Wouldn't that be nice if Matt were even close to Blake Stepp's game. I also believe that good research will prove me right about his shooting. He shoots best against WCC teams. The better the teams are the poorer he shoots, primarily the 3 ball which was what I was talking about. If we do not have very good outside shooting we can not get good low post scoring.

And it's my belief that you need 3 good to very good 3 pt shooters. And now that the line is moving back some good 3 pt shooters will be even more in demand.

The best news regarding Matt is he's only a Junior and he does have very good potential. But so did PMAC. Matt could be the most important player on next years team. If he raises his game this summer to a level we hope for, I think we have a great year. I look at him more then any returning player.

75Zag
05-15-2008, 01:15 PM
Nice post. I strongly agree that we need to return to the days when we had some dominant players at the 4 and/or 5. Not because they can win games by themselves, but because they open up the opportunities for our excellent outside shooting guards and wings. When there's nobody home in the middle, the defensive pressure is killing our otherwise very talented outside players. In my ignorant opinion, that's why we lost in the first round of the NCAA the last 2 years. Add even a mediocre power forward to the current mix (and no offense to the guys trying to play power forward), we would have won a couple more games in the NCAA over the past 2 years.

Gozags2
05-15-2008, 04:59 PM
Reborn, just out of curiosity, what teams did you consider were the toughest competition we played against last season? And closest fought games? Name the teams, say top 10 to 20.

ZagNative
05-15-2008, 05:21 PM
Behind these guys right now we have Gibbs and Downs fighting it out for that 3rd shooter. As you can see Matt is not on my list right now, and imo, he was my greatest disappointment last year. I would never object to Few moving Austin to the #3 and have Matt sub, but that'll never happen. My greatest wish for next year is that Matt will have a good (I think that's all we need) 3 pt shot...and we need it consistentlly, and most certainly against top 20 teams. IMO, the tougher the competition is Matt will begin to become fade. And that really hurts us. Because of our Model for offense (great wing shooters) we need improvement in this area. I hope Few sees the same thing. Matt needs to put in some heavy duty work this summer. If he does that I think he'll develop a good outside shot. His slasing ability is very good, an his low posting strength is a plus for him because it gives us options, but let's face it, Gonzaga is not the Zags without 3 pt shooting (imo).

....

Unless Matt shows a lot of improvement this summer, I see him following in the footsteps of PMAC. That may seem harsh, but sometimes coaching can be a very tough job where tough decisions need to be made. I now feel the same about LG. In the end, I think it was because he didn't have an outside shot that cost him making it at GU.
Boy, is this board's mood anymore "What have you done for me lately?" As in the last few games, especially the tournaments ...

I'd just remind you of the GUNIT season totals for the year (http://www.guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?p=193477#post193477):


GUnits-

Bouldin- 6
Pendo- 5
Pargo- 3
Daye- 3
Kuso- 3
Downs- 3
Gray- 2
LG- 1I think you're being way too tough on Matty B.

BobZag
05-15-2008, 05:34 PM
Matt has a very high basketball IQ. His scoring average went from 8 points his first year to about 13 points his second year.

When he finishes his senior year we'll all wish we Zag fans could have another Matt Bouldin.

He'll be fine.

I'm far more concerned about the interior and staying healthy all season long. No fractures, no illnesses, no torn ligaments, no muscle tears, no high ankle sprains, you get the picture.

(I hope my obituary sounds more uplifting than that long post above.)

ZagNative
05-15-2008, 06:01 PM
Edited for second thoughts about just how much fun obit-writing can be.

Reborn
05-15-2008, 06:08 PM
It's a couple months since our last game, loss in first round again, and the board is a little slow. We Zag fans have been talking a lot about recruiting needs, and my just came apon our outside shooting needs. It's always been a tradition, and a strong one, that GU has had very good to outstanding 3 pt shooters, and for very good reasons. Few's offense. My memory of Matt is that he's not a good outside shooter, and it was the reason he played center on the 19 yr old USA team last summer. It wasn't meant to be throwing trash at Matt. I like parts of his game a lot, and he has some very good offensive strengths, driving and drawing fouls, posting guards up low, but he has other liabilities on offense, and one that stands out to me is his outside shooting. He's inconsistent and sometimes he can't hit a brick.

The last 3 games or 4 or 5 depending on how deep you go in the tournament are the most important games of the year, and we lost 2-3, and the one we won in the WCC tournament against a not real good Santa Clara team. I think we won by about 4 pts, and of course lost in the final, which did hurt our seed in the NCAA. Because I have some concerns about the Zags, and in particular Matts shooting and scoring, I'm somehow raggin on him. Maybe I am.

I hope Bob is right about him, and probably you too,ZN, and many others. I'd love to see that. And I sincerely hope I get to. It's up to Matt and how hard he works on his shooting.

Here are the reasons I have my concerns.
1. In the first game of the tournament against Davidson the Zags are up in the second half by 11 and we can't close out (a great theme for last year by the way in all of our losses). Pargo is playing terrific the second half and really carrying us. Matt has been struggling again. He ends up shooting 4-8 which isnt bad, but they are all on 2 pt shots...He is 0-1 on 3's, so he must have not had his confidence from out there. We certainly could have used more then 8 pts from our wing, our #3 spot. He also had 0 points from the line, and I really wondered why he wasn't driving more and trying to draw fouls because he is a good foul shooter.

2. Our loss to San Diego in the WCC tournament, and imo, the worst defeat of the year. It came after the Zags were beginning to look \as if they had their mojo back, and we got back in the top 25 AP poll. We were feeling confident about the championship game, even though we looked pretty awful the night before. Well we lose, and it killed our momentum really going into the tournament. Matt had 6 points on 0-1 shooting from the 3 pt line. Again all 3 baskets coming on 2 pt shots. Didn't score from the line.

3. Santa Clara in WCC tournament. A lousey game in my opinion. We play into their hands by slowing the game down. A style of play the Zags will mostly lose at. I think the game was in the high 40's. We almost lost it too. Matt again played poor. Again scored in single digits. 0-4 from 3 pt range.

Again these were the most important games of the year. And each and every year they will be. In the long haul, Zag greatness I think will betermined by our tournament play. Did we win the WCC. Did we make it to the Sweet 16 in any of the years a particular played played at GU. I know John Stockton didn' play in the NCAA, and that was a long time ago. WE are in a different GU era.

Other big games against tough teams that Matt struggled in.

Reborn
05-15-2008, 06:30 PM
It's a couple months since our last game, loss in first round again, and the board is a little slow. We Zag fans have been talking a lot about recruiting needs, and my just came apon our outside shooting needs. It's always been a tradition, and a strong one, that GU has had very good to outstanding 3 pt shooters, and for very good reasons. Few's offense. My memory of Matt is that he's not a good outside shooter, and it was the reason he played center on the 19 yr old USA team last summer. It wasn't meant to be throwing trash at Matt. I like parts of his game a lot, and he has some very good offensive strengths, driving and drawing fouls, posting guards up low, but he has other liabilities on offense, and one that stands out to me is his outside shooting. He's inconsistent and sometimes he can't hit a brick.

The last 3 games or 4 or 5 depending on how deep you go in the tournament are the most important games of the year, and we lost 2-3, and the one we won in the WCC tournament against a not real good Santa Clara team. I think we won by about 4 pts, and of course lost in the final, which did hurt our seed in the NCAA. Because I have some concerns about the Zags, and in particular Matts shooting and scoring, I'm somehow raggin on him. Maybe I am.

I hope Bob is right about him, and probably you too,ZN, and many others. I'd love to see that. And I sincerely hope I get to. It's up to Matt and how hard he works on his shooting.

Here are the reasons I have my concerns.
1. In the first game of the tournament against Davidson the Zags are up in the second half by 11 and we can't close out (a great theme for last year by the way in all of our losses). Pargo is playing terrific the second half and really carrying us. Matt has been struggling again. He ends up shooting 4-8 which isnt bad, but they are all on 2 pt shots...He is 0-1 on 3's, so he must have not had his confidence from out there. We certainly could have used more then 8 pts from our wing, our #3 spot. He also had 0 points from the line, and I really wondered why he wasn't driving more and trying to draw fouls because he is a good foul shooter.

2. Our loss to San Diego in the WCC tournament, and imo, the worst defeat of the year. It came after the Zags were beginning to look \as if they had their mojo back, and we got back in the top 25 AP poll. We were feeling confident about the championship game, even though we looked pretty awful the night before. Well we lose, and it killed our momentum really going into the tournament. Matt had 6 points on 0-1 shooting from the 3 pt line. Again all 3 baskets coming on 2 pt shots. Didn't score from the line.

3. Santa Clara in WCC tournament. A lousey game in my opinion. We play into their hands by slowing the game down. A style of play the Zags will mostly lose at. I think the game was in the high 40's. We almost lost it too. Matt again played poor. Again scored in single digits. 0-4 from 3 pt range.

Again these were the most important games of the year. And each and every year they will be. In the long haul, Zag greatness I think will betermined by our tournament play. Did we win the WCC. Did we make it to the Sweet 16 in any of the years a particular played played at GU. I know John Stockton didn' play in the NCAA, and that was a long time ago. WE are in a different GU era.

Other big games against tough teams that Matt struggled in.

4. Memphis. After the above games, probably our toughest and most important game of the year. Matt scored 6 pts. 2-9 shooting and 1-5 from the 3 pt line.

5. St. Joe's in their gym (cracker box) is always a TOUGH team and tough game. WE came away with a win but Matt was 1-4 from 3 pt land.

6. Of couse WSU has to be right up there as one of the biggest and toughest games of the year. We were in K2 and surely we believed it was our year to beat them. They were ranked in the top 10 so it was a chance for us to make a statement. I think it was one of the worst offensive games we ever played. We couldn't hit anything. I hate losing to WSU and at home it's twice as bad. Matt scored 1 pt. He was 0-9 shooting, and 0-2 from the 3 pt land.

7. I'd say Texas Tech is always a test for the Zags. With Bob Knight as their coach, one would say they ARE TOUGH. We lost in an early game of the year, and it was not a good sign for things to come. Matt had a so so game and scored 11. I think maybe 1 three. I forget.

8. Oklahoma, or any of the Big 12 teams must always be considered to be tough. That's why I like playing them. It's a toughness test. Last year we had Oklahoma, and another stunning loss, and another bad omen about the remaining season. It was the beginning of our downward slide for the next month or two and the beginning of their prominence. I think Matt had around 7, and shot1-3 from the 3 pt line.

8. I think our St. Mary's loss down their was a real tough loss. St. Mary's had been ranked almost the whole year, and it was our chance to knock them out. It was a good game, but a tough loss. Matt had 11, but 0-3 from the 3 pt line.

9. We had a pretty tough game with San Diego down there. I thought we might lose, but we pulled it out, barely. It was not a real good win in my opinion. In the sense that we dominated them, and our previous coach. Matt had 13 pts in an ok showing, but again mostly on 2 pt shots and I think 4 foul shots. A strength of his that he didn't fully utilize, imo. He was only 1-4 from 3 pt range.

10. I just have to throw in Tenn. It was a big game, and again we lost but Matt did have one of his better games. He scored 21 and was 3-7 from 3 pt range.

I would be interested to know who did win the GUnit of these 10 games because imo they were the most important of the year.

Now the good news could be that we won't need Matt for scoring, and especially from the 3 pt line and beyond. With the line moving backwards I can't see his 3 pt shooting improving, and I HOPE I'm wrong. But as Mick Mick said he will certainly need to improve his ball handling and passing. I hate to say it but I just don't see any resemblence to Blake Stepp, or Richie F. I don't even see Derek R. I long ways from it. AS I SAID I think he's a very important player to watch next year.

Vanzagger
05-15-2008, 06:45 PM
I think Matt's handles are going to prove to be his strength.

I could care less if he doesn't score one point next year. If we try to mold this guy into an Adam Morrison I'm gonna puke.

Well, I trust he has a good feel for a game and ala Dennis Johnson (of our Super Sonics) Matt can score when needed. Note DJ has some Bling!

Now does anyone want to know about how I feel about the Sonics?

Vanzagger
05-15-2008, 06:49 PM
I think the city of Seatte should call David Stern's bluff and tell the NBA to kiss their A$$.

Draft Rose. Trade for Adam. And go out WORLD CHAMPS.

Gozags2
05-15-2008, 08:01 PM
Reborn, pretty good information on Matt. If you take a look a little closer at some of the toughest games this year you will see Matt did step up - Western Kentucky-18, Tx Tech-11, Virginia Tech-20, St. Joe's-16, UConn-19,
Tenn-21, Utah-26, Georgia-21, St. Mary's-11, St. Mary's-21, San Diego-17, San Diego-13.

You seem to dwell on Wash State-0, Oklahoma-5 (note sprained ankle-torn calf), Memphis-6, San Diego-6, Davidson-8. (Everyone dwells on losses) Take all these tough games and he shot 44% from 3 and 47% from 2. Matt contributed big time for some big wins for our resume. As far as comparing him to Blake Stepp, check out Blake's sophmore stats: 2 pt range 39%, 3 pt range 35% - Matt stats: 2 pt range 46%, 3 pt 36%. Go all the way down the line and you will see Matt shows pretty good. Matt needs to put it up more and not stop shooting after one or two misses. This isn't even taking into consideration of how they have played through injury. The more Matt has the ball in his hands the better he plays.

It's a shame you think he is your greatest dissapoinment when he is the leading scorer on the team (which isn't saying much) and an All Conference player.

Hope he doesn't read this.

duper
05-15-2008, 08:30 PM
Matt is a solid D-1 player on a solid D-1 team. Is he Morrison? no but then who is?
My problem with Matt and its not his fault or for that matter is it a problem, what you see is what you get. By that I meen he showed up on campus ready to play and play he did. What we got from Matt as a Freshmen is what I expect to get from him as a senior. Of course more maturity and confidence will improve him but I don't see potential for major improvment. He is not like Daye who we all want to put on muscle, or a player who needs a yr to season himself. Matt came ready made to play and that is a good thing, but I think he might have peeked.

All that being said I would take A player like Matt any day of the week!!!!

Reborn
05-15-2008, 08:53 PM
I predict that Matt's playing time goes down next year, and for sure his scoring will. He will have a lesser role on next years team, and his role will not be to be our top scorer. I see him averaging under 10 pts per game next year. His challenge will be to accept this new role.

I see Gray and Daye leading the Zags in scoring next year, followed by Josh and then Pargo. These four guys will all averae in double figures. I think Downs may even get more playing time then Matt.

Unfortunately, the game of basketball is really a lot about egos, and I wonder how well Matt will handle the fact that he is not going to be the star of this team?

Like I said I hope I'm wrong, but I think some facts need to be looked at, and I am sure that they are. There are some things that need to be fixed with this team, and that will be Few's biggest challenge. I am sure he will too. Managing egos, like some have said, can be the toughest job in coaching.

MickMick
05-16-2008, 08:57 AM
With respect to comparing Matt to Stepp, I wrote:


Matt can certainly score. He just has a heck of a time bringing the ball past mid court. If he were to lose time, I would think it would be over his handles....not his scoring ability.

Zags need guards that can do both. Blake Stepp was of similar stature to Matt, but seemed to have less turnover issues. In other words, Matt needs to approximate Blake Stepp's game to raise his playing level a notch.

And this response puts up a scoring comparison:


As far as comparing him to Blake Stepp, check out Blake's sophmore stats: 2 pt range 39%, 3 pt range 35% - Matt stats: 2 pt range 46%, 3 pt 36%. Go all the way down the line and you will see Matt shows pretty good. Matt needs to put it up more and not stop shooting after one or two misses. This isn't even taking into consideration of how they have played through injury. The more Matt has the ball in his hands the better he plays.


I don't get it. My first line was "Matt can certainly score."

Matt's 2 point shooting percentage will always be high because of the offensive design. Matt may be the Zag's best post player. Whenever he had a size advantage, the goal is to post up Matt. He is taking high percentage shots. This is his strength and the staff takes advantage of it.

My comparison to Stepp has nothing to do with scoring and everything to do with taking care of the basketball. I'm not just picking on Matt with this. I shudder when Downs puts the ball on the floor as well. In fact, no Zag player is really immune to this problem. When they turn it over, they all seem to turn it over in bunches.

duper
05-16-2008, 10:15 AM
The player I have heard most often compared to Blake Stepp is Michael Harthun who is going to WSU next yr. Both came from south medford most people say they play very similar games. Blake was considered a better shooter but overall game goes to Harthun (according to thier highschool coach). Wish we could have been arguing where to play Harthun next yr.

Gozags2
05-16-2008, 10:58 AM
Regarding turnovers and taking care of the basketball - comparisons. Seems like we have had a little problem in this area for a while.

Freshmen Soph Jr Sr
to/min to/min to/min to/min
Stepp 78/1021 67/826 110/1172 93/1065
Dickau 88/809 92/1110
Pargo 53/540 111/1142 111/1120
Bouldin 69/946 79/1024

SteelCityZag
05-16-2008, 11:41 AM
I think Reborn makes some interesting points, but I'd like to offer a different take on them.

If we have no true 5, then we hurt at three positions. Josh gets most minutes at the 5 (he's better at the 4), Austin gets most minutes at the 4 (he can be a dominant 3) and Matty / Micah split minutes at the 3 (MB's strengths come in posting up at the 2). Jeremy holds down the 1. (He's a senior, and a potential AA, Few's going to take him out only to get a breather and to give Meech some minutes to get him ready for next year).

Now, if we have a true 5 (Sacre? Foster?) Then a healthy Josh can play 35 minutes as a dominant 4, Austin / Micah can play 40 minutes as dominant 3s, Matty and Steven can split time at the 2 (playing to both their strengths) and of course we still have Pargo and Meech at the 1.

A serviceable 5 makes us a better team at at least three positions.