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BroncoZAG615
07-15-2008, 02:08 PM
Everybody please calm down.

Micah is a senior at Gonzaga. He has been an excellent contributor to this team but I'm tired of seeing people say that he has got to fill in and change what he has been doing here because of Austin's injury. People compare Austin and Micah just because they are long players but I see few similarities. I'll be the first to admit that when Micah came here, I thought he was going to be a 20 point scorer and he was going to be a starter and play tons of minutes and do it all.

Things change. Micah's game went from a "shooter" to a do it all player. I'll shout out TKR's breakdown of Micah. We dubbed him an intangibles player, and he is just that. He is going to hustle, play defense, get nasty, but do we really expect him to fill in Austin's game?

Do we expect a senior to do something consistently that he hasn't done his whole college career? I love Micah, he's probably my second favorite player on this team and I think that if you guys are expecting him to be like Austin, you're fooling yourself and your setting yourself up for disappointment.

Just my humble opinion.

Once and Future Zag
07-15-2008, 02:23 PM
I think two days ago Micah was the odd man out for minutes this year, but now has an opportunity to "fulfill" the promise he seemed to have in HS. I think were also sort of relieved that we have someone of Micah's caliber to step right into that slot.

He now has a chance to try and step up as a scorer with Austin's injury though. I personally think he has it in him when he's fully healthy.

He was so continually battered all year, it's no wonder he felt more comfortable as a "glue guy" rather than a sniper - which he certainly had some moments of his soph year after Josh was suspended.

If your top 6 guys in your rotation are Pargo, Gray, Bouldin, Downs, Heytvelt, and Sacre - there's a lot of teams in D-I that would kill to have that level of talent for the bulk of the minutes. We can compete - and Micah (Austin or no-Austin) will be a large part of that.

I'm looking at Austin as being "frosting" this year. Depending on how long he's out he'll likely never quite get in sync with the offense - even come tournament time - since that was something he had to work hard at all last year.

MississppiZag
07-15-2008, 02:36 PM
Downs has been a great contributor and now he will be a starter. He will produce, but do not expect Daye type numbers, all the time.:D

We will be just fine. After taking a look at the schedule, we have a great chance of going into conference play with only 3 OR 4 losses. Then with Daye we will begin conference play. He has a chance to be ready for the Tennessee and Memphis games. Two of the biggest ones in which we will need him. No more than 4 losses is my prediction for the OOC. Again we ill be fine.

BobZag
07-15-2008, 02:45 PM
Micah can replicate what he did when Josh was suspended. He scored 16, 20, etc., in those games. He played PF. Zags lost to Memphis by 1 on OT with Micah tossed into heavy duty, and later won the WCC Tourney. Micah will do just fine, like he did the last time he was called upon to do so.

Nevtelen
07-15-2008, 02:54 PM
I agree with BroncoZag - Micah and Austin are just two different players. It's not that I don't have confidence in Micah and his abilities - I do - but I'm just not ecstatic about him having most of his minutes at the 4 position. He has done very well in that spot in the past (when Josh was out, a little vs UConn last year IIRC, etc) but I'm just hesistant to see him in that spot consistently for most of all of the season. He's really a 3 and should be able to play that position to maximize his talent, IMO. I have no doubt that Micah, like lots of great Zags before him, will pick up his lunch pail and get to work if asked, but I wish he didn't have to.

cggonzaga
07-15-2008, 03:29 PM
Sorry but I have to disagree with the original post. Not the part about what Micah's meant to this program the past couple seasons but rather how he needs to perform this season. He is going to have to pick up the scoring we'll miss by the loss of Daye. He can't just be a glue guy this season especially if Daye can't come back this year. He needs to be a double digit scorer and preferably in the 15-20ppg range imo. I say that even with a high probability that our starting 5 could average double digit scoring.

jim77
07-15-2008, 03:35 PM
I like Micah's game alot. The only thing different I'd like to see is Micah pulling the trigger a bit more. He'll do just fine.

kitzbuel
07-15-2008, 03:58 PM
I think the fact that we expect Micah to fill the gap left by Austin's injury bespeaks of the depth this team has. Many of us do not really see this team losing much quality-wise with Micah getting a bigger role. Without a doubt his role has to be different, but, as BZ said, Micah has shown that he can shine when the pressure is on.

Vanzagger
07-15-2008, 05:06 PM
player.

Micah=MJ
Daye=Magic

BobZag said it best. Look what Micah did when called upon. This kid can score with his eyes closed.

skan72
07-15-2008, 05:14 PM
Why are we talking Daye type numbers? Because Downs could easily average over 10 points a game this year, but if we're are talking what Austin could have averaged healthy this year than MAYBE Micah couldn't average that.
But which is it?
Also, having watched Downs this summer, I'm standing by my prediction of him being one of the top 3 or 4 players on this team, and in my opinion, putting him in the top 5-7 players in the WCC.
Dude is a stud, and looked much closer to his high school days, albeit more muscled, this summer then ever before. I saw him last summer and he was clearly injured and not playing so well, which reflected onto his play during the season. I think the same reflection will occur this year, only towards the extremely positive side of things!

EDIT: just read the entire post above me and I am in complete agreement, Micah can score from wherever and whenever he chooses.

rich
07-15-2008, 05:41 PM
You'd be hard pressed to find a perfect fill-in for any of our top players. Of course Micah is not Daye. I think Micah has had a hard time finding his niche, but if you ask me he's one the top 3 offensive talents we have. And I'm sure we all remember the portion of the Davidson game where Micah was in the lineup -- yeah that part -- the part where we kept Curry in check. If Daye is indeed out of commission at the start of season, its very likely that Downs will have more minutes, thus "filling in" for minutes that may have otherwise been allocated to Daye. Now that's a sweet plan B if you ask me.

zag buddy
07-15-2008, 06:33 PM
Daye is not Micah. I believe Micah is one of the most underated
Zags ever. He is extremely accomplished at all facets of the game. He is definately one of the best players we have.

btzag
07-15-2008, 06:52 PM
I'm sorry to rain on the parade a little but are we all talking about Downs as a PF? As in POWER forward??

Downs has a great all around game and can definitely score from deep as well in transition but he is a 2-3 and in no way a 4! Can you imagine him trying to guard a 220-240 lb 6' 10" player in the post? Can you see him fighting in the paint for rebounds trip after trip down the court? I don't see it at all.

I think the best we can hope for is Downs at his best position, the 3, Heytvelt at the 4, and Sacre at the 5. Then possibly Ira at the 4 if needed as I feel he has the muscle/build to handle bigger players inside. Also maybe Foster can chip in 10 min a game to spell Sacre... The Zags will get through this but I think having Downs try to be the main force at the 4 is laughable. Plus would that make Bouldin the 3? Where he has proven he is out of position? BAD IDEA.

jim77
07-15-2008, 08:03 PM
I don't think Downs will play the "4". I think Josh should slide down and Sacre and co. will fill the "5". As good as Daye is (which is darn good) when you figure in the defensive capabilities of Micah..I think their about even in overall production. I consider Micah the better defender. It'll be sweet to have them BOTH healthy...GET well soon Austin!

TimZag
07-15-2008, 08:11 PM
Uhhh... we all know Downs isn't a 4 man. But he's played very well there when needed. Has everyone already forgot how well he played there with Josh ineligible? He's a better player now than he was at that point. If he needs to play the 4 I won't be worried at all.

BroncoZAG615
07-15-2008, 08:16 PM
Sorry but I have to disagree with the original post. Not the part about what Micah's meant to this program the past couple seasons but rather how he needs to perform this season. He is going to have to pick up the scoring we'll miss by the loss of Daye. He can't just be a glue guy this season especially if Daye can't come back this year. He needs to be a double digit scorer and preferably in the 15-20ppg range imo. I say that even with a high probability that our starting 5 could average double digit scoring.

Why does he have to?

What in Micah's game has shown you that he can consistently put in the same amount of points as we expected Austin to (I'm assuming Austin would also be in that 15-20 range). I agree that Micah is not going to be a glue guy. He's much more talented than that. But I don't think he is going to be prolific scorer either. 15-20 ppg is a TON in college basketball, and I just can't imagine Micah being there. He is going to contribute in so many other ways though but I just hope people aren't expecting him to blow them away as a scorer.

My main goal with this thread is just hoping that we don't set Micah up to fail with insanely lofty goals because he has been such a great Zag and an even better story.

cggonzaga
07-15-2008, 09:13 PM
I'm sorry to rain on the parade a little but are we all talking about Downs as a PF? As in POWER forward??

Downs has a great all around game and can definitely score from deep as well in transition but he is a 2-3 and in no way a 4! Can you imagine him trying to guard a 220-240 lb 6' 10" player in the post? Can you see him fighting in the paint for rebounds trip after trip down the court? I don't see it at all.

I think the best we can hope for is Downs at his best position, the 3, Heytvelt at the 4, and Sacre at the 5. Then possibly Ira at the 4 if needed as I feel he has the muscle/build to handle bigger players inside. Also maybe Foster can chip in 10 min a game to spell Sacre... The Zags will get through this but I think having Downs try to be the main force at the 4 is laughable. Plus would that make Bouldin the 3? Where he has proven he is out of position? BAD IDEA.


I believe the Spokesman article about Daye stated Downs would probably start at the 4 now. Maybe even quoted by a coach. It's pretty obvious the the 3 starting guards are Pargo, Gray and Bouldin. Downs was going to back up Bouldin & Gray but now must be moved to the 4 to start and/or play significant minutes there. This is a must because we can't have a 3 man rotation with just Josh, Rob and Ira at forward.


What in Micah's game has shown you that he can consistently put in the same amount of points as we expected Austin to (I'm assuming Austin would also be in that 15-20 range).

Other than pure talent alone...nothing. He is more than capable though. Outside of Daye he is probably the most talented all around scorer we have imo.

tyra
07-16-2008, 08:03 AM
As in the other thread about Austin's injury, posters on this thread assume Micah will start. I'm a BIG fan of Micah's but I'm not convinced he will start. More minutes now? Yes, but it seems very possible to me that Coach goes with Josh, Rob, Matt, Stephen & Jeremy to start. To start Micah is to either 1) Keep Josh out of his desired/natural #4 position OR 2) not to start one of the three guards each of whom started all last year when they were healthy.

zaguarxj
07-16-2008, 08:23 AM
As in the other thread about Austin's injury, posters on this thread assume Micah will start. I'm a BIG fan of Micah's but I'm not convinced he will start. More minutes now? Yes, but it seems very possible to me that Coach goes with Josh, Rob, Matt, Stephen & Jeremy to start. To start Micah is to either 1) Keep Josh out of his desired/natural #4 position OR 2) not to start one of the three guards each of whom started all last year when they were healthy.

Because the Spokesman Review wrote this in their article about the injury:


If Daye is sidelined for an extended period, Gonzaga figures to move Micah Downs to the power forward position that Daye shared with the graduated David Pendergraft last season. GU coaches already were planning on shifting Ira Brown to power forward after he saw limited time at small forward last season.


I though Micah played really scrappy blue-collar bball last season. He's become one of my favorite players on the team.

webspinnre
07-16-2008, 08:25 AM
Downs has a great all around game and can definitely score from deep as well in transition but he is a 2-3 and in no way a 4! Can you imagine him trying to guard a 220-240 lb 6' 10" player in the post? Can you see him fighting in the paint for rebounds trip after trip down the court? I don't see it at all.


The good news is that how many of these types will we run into this year? vs. UConn, UA, and Memphis? In those games I would see Sacre getting a bigger role, but for a lot of our other games, many of those teams have guys playing the 4 who are in the 6'7"-8" range, and Micah with his athleticism will do fine against those guys. I think this shifts Micah's role from the 2/3 to the 3/4 - similar to Austin's role last year. The starting lineup isn't nearly as important as the amount of minutes each plays. As others have mentioned, Rob and Micah are likely to get the largest increase in minutes, with guys like Ira or Will having a chance to make a splash in the rotation.

scrabble08
07-16-2008, 08:26 AM
Tend to agree with Tyra. If Micah is the player we need him to be this year coming off the bench might be the best fit. If he is aggressive with his shot, while continuing to play the solid defense he displayed last year he is the perfect 6th man. Though if Rob shows no improvement, and if Josh is the Josh we had last year, we need Micah to start in place of one of those 2 cause the offense just would not be there. Tough call.

DenDiegoZag
07-16-2008, 08:34 AM
I'm sorry to rain on the parade a little but are we all talking about Downs as a PF? As in POWER forward??

Downs has a great all around game and can definitely score from deep as well in transition but he is a 2-3 and in no way a 4! Can you imagine him trying to guard a 220-240 lb 6' 10" player in the post? Can you see him fighting in the paint for rebounds trip after trip down the court? I don't see it at all.



I doubt you could find more than 10-15 teams in the final field of 65 last year that featured a 6'10" player at the power forward in addition to a taller/bigger player at the center position. I mean you do have Georgetown, UConn, and Stanford; but typically in college your Power Forward in college is more in the 6'8"-6'9" range with very few being in that 240 lb range. Micah is more than capable, as he proved last year of guarding your typical "College 4." Additionally, when we do face teams that feature more of an NBA style Center and Power Forward, I am sure that Few and Co. will try to have Sacre and Josh in there to counter any possible advantage. After looking at some of the games from last year (thank you DVR), I think that too many people are too quick to forget that when health and springy Josh had a very healthy and polished set of post moves that fully allow him to play well as a 5 in college basketball. Too much is made of his "wanting" to play the high post and shoot from the outside. Josh knows full well that in order to play at the next level he must demonstrate his ability to play in the low post consistently, and I am fully confident that with a healthy season Josh will do just that.

And one final question to the group: If Micah isn't capable of playing the 4, how on earth was an even skinner Austin going to do it? I do not think that Austin starts at the 3, so if he was going to start as many people think it would have been out of the 4. Just judging from last year and Few's proven track record of not demoting starters from one year to the next without serious cause, it seems that the only locks to start are Pargo, Grey, and Bouldin. That really only leaves the 4 and the 5 up for grabs, so Austin as a starter would have played one of those positions, right?

GO ZAGS!

DenDiegoZag
07-16-2008, 08:35 AM
The good news is that how many of these types will we run into this year? vs. UConn, UA, and Memphis? In those games I would see Sacre getting a bigger role, but for a lot of our other games, many of those teams have guys playing the 4 who are in the 6'7"-8" range, and Micah with his athleticism will do fine against those guys. I think this shifts Micah's role from the 2/3 to the 3/4 - similar to Austin's role last year. The starting lineup isn't nearly as important as the amount of minutes each plays. As others have mentioned, Rob and Micah are likely to get the largest increase in minutes, with guys like Ira or Will having a chance to make a splash in the rotation.

Good Post/Point...You beat me to it...

Go Zags!

zzzjag
07-16-2008, 09:39 AM
On defense last year was at the point on the 1-3-1 Defense (specifically) against Davidson in the 1st half.

Rather then worry about how he would guard a 6'8" PF in the post, I would say HOW would they get out and guard him?

cjm720
07-16-2008, 09:58 AM
Rather then worry about how he would guard a 6'8" PF in the post, I would say HOW would they get out and guard him?

Great post! Micah's a match-up nightmare. Assuming we have three guards starting, we're never going to have a traditional line-up. I'd like to see Micah start with Sacre and then Brown off the bench to sub in at the 4/5. I miss LG already.

GO ZAGS!!

theothegreat21
07-16-2008, 10:02 AM
I actually like Micah at the 4 and think that the Zags can put out the kind of 3/4 guard lineup that Villanova had 3 years ago. If the Zags were to start Pargo/Gray/Bouldin/Downs/Heytvelt, then I really believe each player at their position would be able to break down the person guarding them and score. Also eveyr player would be able to step out and hit the 3 which will spread the defense. It is a very international kind of lineup that can spread the court and really create a lot of mismatches

Zagtana
07-16-2008, 12:54 PM
Yes, Downs will have to step up, and I believe he will jump at the chance, a chance he hasn't really had since transferring to GU. And Josh will have to be healthy and regain his attitude. Sacre will, I believe, be 100% better than last year. Bolden must find consistency, because when he is good he is really good. And Pargo must play smarter as a pg. But, IMO, it will be Grey who will step up and knock our socks off. He'll be the one to pick up the scoring we will miss from Daye's injury. That young man can shoot! I'm hoping Stephen is at work this summer perfecting his shot off the dribble and coming off screens, and that Coach Few is setting up plays to get Stephen more open shots. If the team can find that Zag toughness and focus they at times didn't have last year, we'll be just fine. Abraham told me so.

JohnOGU
07-16-2008, 01:12 PM
No doubt Gray is an extremely talented shooter, but i have watched micah play recently, and he absolutely shot lights out. By far looked like the best player on the court. I think he'll be just fine in Daye's absence. the thing we're missing is Daye's unbelievable ability to create matchup problems. Micah will be fine though. Only game im somewhat worried about is uconn. Thats the only one...

MississppiZag
07-16-2008, 01:34 PM
Not that it means anything but Daye was uneffective in the UCONN game, Josh and Gray did not play, and we still beat them. We can still beat them with or without Daye in my opinion.

btzag
07-16-2008, 04:25 PM
You all make some good points...but after watching an undersized 4 battle for the last couple years I am not looking forward to it again. In my opinion it just does not work if you want to make a DEEP run in the tourney. Pendo was the toughest and scrappiest Zag ever and significantly more muscular than Downs, oh and by the way a matchup problem for any lumbering big who had to guard him outside, and he still was overmatched.

I have no doubt that the zag coaches will try this strategy as they have played guys out of position for years but again it's my opinion that it is not a good idea. I am hoping Heytvelt and Sacre come out and are just monsters at the 4 and 5 and that Daye will recover quickly and be ready for tourney time. Otherwise, I see a similar record and tourney to last year.

TimZag
07-16-2008, 05:58 PM
I am hoping Heytvelt and Sacre come out and are just monsters at the 4 and 5 and that Daye will recover quickly and be ready for tourney time. Otherwise, I see a similar record and tourney to last year.
How many minutes do you see the Sacre/Heytvelt duo playing per game? They're not guards, they're big men. Somebody else HAS to play significant minutes at the 4,.

roxdoc
07-16-2008, 09:22 PM
My hope - along with probably everyone else - is that Sacre makes a good advance and become at least a credible 5 for his soph year. But even so, I think it is realistic that we will see Sacre and Josh sharing the 5 with someone else at 4 (Downs?). Big Will does not seem to be a credible backup at 5, so once again Josh will probably be playing a bit out of position. Of course it would have been the same set up with Daye at 4.

MDABE80
07-16-2008, 11:09 PM
Been a while since we had a true center. Few's made do but we reallly have needed one. Bob needs to grow......and soon. Micah has a pile of talent..good speed, good defense, good rebounder too. He needs to finally come into his own. It's his time. Let's hope he arrives.

Gray will have to play bigger and I think he'll made that jump we see when frosh become sophs. Major talent comes with him. Ask Davidson.......he put up 21 and 7 treys. He didn't look like a Frosh by the end of the season. He'll be better this upcoming year.

I saw Jeremy and Matt with Meech tonight as they converted a soccer field into a golf game with short irons. Those kids look huge.........easy Summer evening. They seemed resolute though..serious even. I think they'll be ready for a tough season.

btzag
07-17-2008, 07:52 PM
If Sacre develops and has a big soph jump and Heytvelt can return to the movement and athleticism of two years ago, I would love to see:

5 - Sacre 25-30 mins per game, backup Josh 10-15 mins
4 - Josh 20 mins per game, backup Ira and Downs remaining 20 mins
3 - Downs 20 mins per game, backup Bouldin and Ira remaing 20 mins

I think that is our best starting lineup if my first sentence actually happens, but I think it is a reasonable expectation and would put the Zags best lineup on the floor. I just want to see the players at their most natural positions and I think this would accomplish it.

btzag
07-17-2008, 07:59 PM
On second thought, after reading the 'news' on Daye I will keep my fingers crossed and pencil him in at the 4 for 30-35 a game.:)