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CDC84
06-17-2008, 10:20 AM
http://nbadraft.net/index.asp?content=mock2009

No team in the country has more players on this 2009 mock list than Gonzaga. A couple of teams have just as many players as Gonzaga does, but nobody has more, and that's including the North Carolina Tarheels, who will be the #1 ranked team going into next season.

Looking over Katz's updated top 25 going into next season, there isn't a single team that seriously scares me besides North Carolina.....and they were the weakest team at the final 4, and they continue to be prone to defensive lapses.

All of the teams ranked ahead of Gonzaga have significant weaknesses, or they lost significant players:

2) Pitt = continues to be plagued by a lack of size in the frontcourt. Most teams that win national titles need more size than they have.

3) UCLA = Katz is way overestimating the impact of UCLA's incoming class. Morgan and Gordon are simply not going to replace Love, Mbah a Moute and Real-Mata, and not even Jrue Holiday will come close to having a Love-like impact next season. Westbrook was the best NBA prospect in the program, and he's gone.

4) Notre Dame = Overly reliant on offense. They were absolutely blasted by Wazzu in the tournament.

5) Louisville = Earl Clark maybe a potential POY candidate, but David Padgett was a skilled veteran post player who made their offense click. He had more of an influence than Katz suggests.

6) Duke = see Pitt.

7) Memphis = CDR and Rose are just too much to lose in one season. The mismatches they created were to the key to Memphis' team last year.

8) Miami = way overranked. They don't have the talent that some teams behind them have like UConn and Michigan State.

In sum:

I have said this before and I will say it again....college basketball is headed for a down season this year. Perhaps the most down season of this entire decade so far.

It's simply put up or shut up time for Gonzaga. They may never get a better chance, as a program, to make a final 4 than they will have this season. They need to make their move NOW.

I still maintain that this group of Zags is the most talented team they've ever put on the floor, and that the glass ceiling for this group is higher than some folks realize. I think it's a team that needed a season to get it together. Now is the time to produce.

They must galvanize as a team, and they must focus on all of the intangibles that made some of the previous GU teams so good. They also need to remain healthy (especially Josh). The team needs to continue to improve its defense, and the offense needs more purpose and direction, which should come with the emergence of Austin Daye as an offensive talent.

zagster318
06-17-2008, 10:22 AM
http://nbadraft.net/index.asp?content=mock2009 3) UCLA = Katz is way overestimating the impact of UCLA's incoming class. Morgan and Gordon are simply not going to replace Love, Mbah a Moute and Real-Mata, and not even Jrue Holiday will come close to having a Love-like impact next season. Westbrook was the best NBA prospect in the program, and he's gone.

If he goes undrafted, Mbah a Moute could still wind up back at UCLA. If that does transpire, they will scare me as well.

BroncoZAG615
06-17-2008, 10:43 AM
Am I the only one terribly unimpressed my Mbah a Moute's progression over his years at UCLA?

He was a stud his frosh year, but did he really make any big jumps to show that he is a big time difference maker.

Maybe it's me.

SteelCityZag
06-17-2008, 10:46 AM
Also regarding Pitt, even if they get Cook back for a 6th year medical redshirt, they still have problems shooting the three. It's their achillies heel next season either way.

BobZag
06-17-2008, 10:48 AM
I agree with CDC. My biggest concern for this edition of the Zags continues to be toughness. The Zags were not a very tough team last season, mentally or physically. GU didn't close out games it should've. When GU was punched in the mouth, too often they did not punch back. I heard more than a few people flat-out describe the team as soft, and some of these folks were inside the program. Too many teams just plain out-toughed and out-hustled GU.

So I guess I want most for this team to get mentally and physically tougher this coming season so all of the talent it has cen be maximized.

Zags are loaded talent- and skil-wise, though.

theothegreat21
06-17-2008, 10:49 AM
If he goes undrafted, Mbah a Moute could still wind up back at UCLA. If that does transpire, they will scare me as well.

That is totally dependent on Mbah A Moute not signing with an agent. You can only go undrafted and return to school if you dont sign with an agent. I was under the impression that he was going to if he already had not

zagster318
06-17-2008, 10:55 AM
That is totally dependent on Mbah A Moute not signing with an agent. You can only go undrafted and return to school if you dont sign with an agent. I was under the impression that he was going to if he already had not

According to Katz on ESPN Radio, he has not signed with an agent. However, this was last night, so take it with a grain of salt.

BobZag
06-17-2008, 11:01 AM
Am I the only one terribly unimpressed my Mbah a Moute's progression over his years at UCLA?

He was a stud his frosh year, but did he really make any big jumps to show that he is a big time difference maker.

Maybe it's me.

It's not just you. He's no better now than he was as a frosh. He tries to shoot treys more now, which hasn't helped at all.

Nevtelen
06-17-2008, 11:07 AM
I agree with CDC. My biggest concern for this edition of the Zags continues to be toughness. The Zags were not a very tough team last season, mentally or physically. GU didn't close out games it should've. When GU was punched in the mouth, too often they did not punch back. I heard more than a few people flat-out describe the team as soft, and some of these folks were inside the program. Too many teams just plain out-toughed and out-hustled GU.

So I guess I want most for this team to get mentally and physically tougher this coming season so all of the talent it has cen be maximized.

Zags are loaded talent- and skil-wise, though.

To some extent, I agree, though considering all the injuries it seemed like there were, it's tough to call the team not physically tough. I'll bow to your superior information, tough. Mentally tough, definitely. That "killer instinct" we talk about so much on this boards certainly seemed to have evaded the team.

IMO, esp towards the end of the year, a lot of the skill was just going to waste becasue guys weren't using it. Downs the great 3-pt shooter - how often did he take a 3 vs drive? How often did Kuso try to pull an offensive post move down low and not get it? How often did Bouldin let himself get totally taken out of his game one way or another (usually because of ball-handling or going cold). How often did Pargo take an ill-advised 3 at crunch-time? There were times when team was just as unsure of the offense at the end of the season as they had been at the beginning. Everyone tried to do too much. If that gets fixed, I think the team will be better. If not, it's going to be a looong season.

IMO, it starts in the post. If the team has a good offensive and defensive post presence, it'll be a big step. I hope it's Sacre so Josh can play the 4, but I don't think that'll happen. I hope Josh can step it up inside and be the post he really hasn't been, because he'll probably be the starting 5.

theothegreat21
06-17-2008, 11:11 AM
According to Katz on ESPN Radio, he has not signed with an agent. However, this was last night, so take it with a grain of salt.

Here is a link that says he was planning on signing with an agent....but we shall see what he ultimately ends up doing

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/basketball/ncaa/06/16/mbahamoute/index.html

BroncoZAG615
06-17-2008, 11:14 AM
I agree with CDC. My biggest concern for this edition of the Zags continues to be toughness. The Zags were not a very tough team last season, mentally or physically. GU didn't close out games it should've. When GU was punched in the mouth, too often they did not punch back. I heard more than a few people flat-out describe the team as soft, and some of these folks were inside the program. Too many teams just plain out-toughed and out-hustled GU.

So I guess I want most for this team to get mentally and physically tougher this coming season so all of the talent it has cen be maximized.

Zags are loaded talent- and skil-wise, though.

This is precisely why I worry about Gonzaga's chances this season.

The top of the basketball world is loaded with tough teams. UNC has Hansbrough, Pitt has Fields and Blair who is a load. Purdue and Michigan State are both extremely tough teams that play in the slow and boring Big 10, something that GU has always struggled against. UConn, Duke, and some of those teams we match up well with but outside of that, their are some tough teams with som even tougher coaches.

I don't worry about talent, it's all there. But like Bob said, our toughness is a major question.

If we don't get tougher, MSU and the like will wear us down and pull us apart.

theothegreat21
06-17-2008, 11:19 AM
I think in terms of toughness, you will see the toughest team that GU has ever had. One of the main reasons for this will be the two freshman guards coming in, Meech and Grant. I think that these two will push the other's at their position very hard, and both seem to have an edge and a toughness that we don't see all that often here. All the competition in practice, should roll over to the court and we should see a toughness and tenacity that we have not seen very often here

CDC84
06-17-2008, 11:20 AM
I have to believe that some team is going to draft Mbah a Moute....even if takes until the late 2nd round for someone to pick him. nbadraft.net has him going at 46. It is interesting, though, that draftexpress.com has him as being undrafted.

BroncoZAG615
06-17-2008, 11:26 AM
I think in terms of toughness, you will see the toughest team that GU has ever had. One of the main reasons for this will be the two freshman guards coming in, Meech and Grant. I think that these two will push the other's at their position very hard, and both seem to have an edge and a toughness that we don't see all that often here. All the competition in practice, should roll over to the court and we should see a toughness and tenacity that we have not seen very often here

The question is how much impact can they really have through practice.

The core is still intact and Meech may get some good minutes but it will be a fight for Grant.

Theo has a point though because it may have a Rudy-esque effect on the team where Grant and Meech just keep pushing and pushing on Bouldin and Pargo.

My hope is that their are a couple of forearm shivers thrown during every practice...with no lasting injury of course