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View Full Version : Matt Bouldin: The Forgotten Leading Scorer



BobZag
08-04-2008, 02:58 PM
I find it a bit odd when starting lineups are talked about for this coming season or the season afterwards, Bouldin's name is omitted half the time. Inconsistent or not, he did lead the Zags in scoring and he is determined to become a better and more consistant player.

With consistancy and a stronger, more dominant mindset, Matt could very well be the best player on the squad. He is big enough to do some things other guards can't.

Plus, he will be an upperclassman. That makes a difference. A sense of responsibility to perform becomes a factor in an upperclassman's game. No more deferring to elders, so to speak.

I think we're sleeping too much on Matt.

What say y'all?

75Zag
08-04-2008, 03:32 PM
Matt B. seems like a talented young man, but when watching him play over the past couple of years, I get the (very unscientific) feeling that neither the staff nor the other players have the kind of confidence in Matt that would cause them to give him the ball for that last-second fall away game winner (or loser).

We were spoiled to an extent by watching Matt S, Dan D and Adam M showing (and earning) that kind of game winning confidence. I would like to see it in Matt B. as well. I will take my GU wins any way I can get em, and I hope that Matt B. gets his share of the spotlight and wins a few key games in the clutch.

SLOZag
08-04-2008, 03:42 PM
I will take my GU wins any way I can get em, and I hope that Matt B. gets his share of the spotlight and wins a few key games in the clutch.

My preference is that Matt gets almost no chance to make that clutch basket because we're so far ahead that he's sitting on the bench watching the scrubs finish the game. :D

everybodycougsit
08-04-2008, 04:05 PM
First of all, I think Bouldin is extremely valuable to the team. He's got great court vision, he's a good ball handler, he can run the offense and he compliments Pargo in the backcourt very well. My comment focuses on the mental aspect of his game rather than the physical(because clearly he has talent). Unless he really changes his approach and demeaner on the court , I think Matt Bouldin is better coming off the bench as an important role player. There is a reason that people who watch a lot of gonzaga games don't have him in the starting lineup, and that is up to this point in his college career, most of the time he looks like he's going through the motions. In my opinion, he just looks like he doesn't strive to affect the outcome of the game. True he was the leading scorer, but I think a lot of Bouldin's points are the result of him being the recipient of a good pass or a well executed play or a wide open three pointer against some of the second tier teams we play. The play that I remember most from last year involving him was against memphis when he attempted a three nonchalantly and Joey Dorsey stuffed it and took it in for a tomahawk dunk. I just think he's not reaching his potential, but as a fan, it is possible I'm being a little to critical.

Oregon Zag
08-04-2008, 04:17 PM
I think Matt is often overlooked. People tend to focus on his missed shots or his inconsistent play but he has had some really great games like the W over SMC where he had 21 points or his career high 26 against Utah. He also scored in double digits in 7 straight games. I think you are right, Bob. Being an upperclassman, Matt will not only feel more responsibility to perform, but he has that extra experience under his belt and will help mentor the younger players. I look for a great year from Matt.

gamagin
08-04-2008, 04:24 PM
have to decide if he's a role player or a leader.

Either way, he's a great athlete, a battler and a huge asset to the GU program.

And now he's an upper classman, having earned his journeyman status with some tremendous games and seasons, along with a few (my guess) crises in confidence along the way.

However, he needs to find his niche, imo, and get comfortable in it. And when he does, he will dominate it for the next two seasons.

ZagNut08
08-04-2008, 04:46 PM
One thing I think a lot of people have touched on, is the advantage lost when he has to play the opposing teams three. A lot of starting lineups have pargo steven and bouldin in them...which leaves matt at the three. If we are playing man, he will have to guard a bigger, and often faster man.

On offense, he will be guarded by the 3, and this takes away a lot of his size advantage inside. He has great post moves against a SG, but they dont always work on a SF.

I think he and steven are both too talented to sit, so finding a perfect balance will be tough.

tyra
08-04-2008, 05:09 PM
I agree Bob. In fact, I posted pretty much the same comment some weeks earlier when Matt was being left out of the proposed starting lineups about half the time. Then, I asked someone -- anyone -- to name a time when a starter for two seasons or more for Coach Few EVER lost his starting job as an upper classman in the absence of an injury (like Erroll coming back after the long knee problem). I think Coach Few sticks with upper classmen in the absence of something B-I-G and I just don't see it here. My Gawd, people, he was the leading scorer and some people want to bench him because he's not expressive enough (more or less). Sheesh.

roxdoc
08-04-2008, 05:19 PM
Bingo! - ZagNut I think you hit it on the head: in the 3-guard offense he is often mismatched. This year Pargo will definitely start, Gray will definitely start, and either Matt comes off the bench or as the 3rd guard he will be challenged. Challenged not because of a lack of talent, which he certainly has. I wish him all the best, and think he might have a "better" year off the bench. Go Matt!

Zagatron
08-04-2008, 05:44 PM
Why is Matt not starting even in discussion? If I'm not mistaken, didn't he lead the team in GUnits this past season?

JosephZags
08-04-2008, 05:54 PM
The only reason Bouldin led the team in scoring is because he came out of the gate really hot, but then progressively got worse and less involved over the remainder of the year. If I remember correctly, he was averaging over 15 points or so heading into conference play but them fell off quite a bit after that. Shouldn't players get better as the year goes along?

kitzbuel
08-04-2008, 06:17 PM
The only reason Bouldin led the team in scoring is because he came out of the gate really hot, but then progressively got worse and less involved over the remainder of the year. If I remember correctly, he was averaging over 15 points or so heading into conference play but them fell off quite a bit after that. Shouldn't players get better as the year goes along?
I ain't buying that. Bouldin was the leading scorer against UGA, both the San Diego games and SMC - all the second half of the season. That showing is pretty consistent when compared to the first half.

75Zag
08-04-2008, 06:41 PM
One of you GU grads must be able to review and summarize Matt B. statistics during the year. Did he earn the scoring leader title against crap RPI teams, or did he earn it against the strongest part of the GU schedule? A simple graph with points scored on one axis and opponent RPI on the other axis should resolve this. And my apology to the GU students in my statistics class (as a TA) if my analysis is incorrect.

JosephZags
08-04-2008, 06:57 PM
That sounds like too much work for me.

It wasn't a matter of him playing bad against good teams. Actually, same of his better games were against really good teams (UConn, Tennessee), but his play just seemed to drop off as the season went along.

As you can see, following Jan 21, he only scored above 15 points in 2 out of 15 games. Quite a drop off from the first 17 if you ask me.

11/11 vs. Montana 13
11/13 vs. Idaho 12
11/17 vs. California Riverside 6
11/22 vs. Western Kentucky 18
11/23 vs. Texas Tech 11
11/24 vs. Virginia Tech 20
11/29 vs. St. Joseph's 16
December

12/01 vs. Connecticut 19
12/05 vs. Washington State 0
12/08 vs. Northridge 18
12/20 vs. Oklahoma 5
12/29 vs. Tennessee 21
12/31 vs. Utah 26
January

01/05 vs. Georgia 21
01/12 vs. Loyola-Marymount 17
01/14 vs. Pepperdine 16
01/19 vs. San Diego 16
01/21 vs. San Francisco 10
01/26 vs. Memphis 6
01/28 vs. Portland 3
February

02/02 vs. Santa Clara 11
02/04 vs. St. Mary's 11
02/09 vs. Pepperdine 2
02/11 vs. Loyola-Marymount 17
02/16 vs. San Francisco 9
02/18 vs. San Diego 13
02/25 vs. Portland 9
March

03/01 vs. St. Mary's 21
03/03 vs. Santa Clara 14
03/09 vs. Santa Clara 8
03/10 vs. San Diego 6
03/21 vs. Davidson 8

sittingon50
08-04-2008, 07:41 PM
One explanation of the skewed stats were injuries to Josh & Steven. Once they were up an running later in the season (particularly Steven) less was needed from Matt. Think of it the opposite way; when Matt had to step up more, he did.

BTW, r.e. Matt's drop-off: GU's leading scorer in WCC play= Matt B. 12.1PPG.

Nevtelen
08-04-2008, 07:59 PM
I think because people expected so much out of him after his freshman season, his sophmore effort was seen as something of a dissapointment because he didn't noticeably improve in those areas where he really needed to - notably consistency and ball-handling. He was an absolute monster during the meat of the schedule scoring-wise (barring the games he played injured, lest we forget that), but not long after the WCC sched started and - maybe someone can confirm - a bit after Gray began starting and Matt played more 3 - he started to be a lot less consistent. Just a hunch (I don't have the time to confirm this) but I'd bet that was when he stopped going inside as much and starting shooting more from the perimiter because he was being guarded by taller and (sometimes) stronger guys.

With mechanics, like Sacre's issues, I think it's easier to envision a player overcoming problems like that. After 2 years, I'm not sure Bouldin will overcome his inconsistency issues. Hopefully, at least the ballhandling problems will be gone this season. That would be a big step towards him busting out. It's always hard to predict that part of sports. For me, anyway, that's why I think Bouldin gets a little overlooked.

I do agree that Few will start him come hell or high water, barring injuries.

thespywhozaggedme
08-04-2008, 08:24 PM
I find it a bit odd when starting lineups are talked about for this coming season or the season afterwards, Bouldin's name is omitted half the time. Inconsistent or not, he did lead the Zags in scoring and he is determined to become a better and more consistant player.

With consistancy and a stronger, more dominant mindset, Matt could very well be the best player on the squad. He is big enough to do some things other guards can't.

Plus, he will be an upperclassman. That makes a difference. A sense of responsibility to perform becomes a factor in an upperclassman's game. No more deferring to elders, so to speak.

I think we're sleeping too much on Matt.

What say y'all?

Very respectfully disagree. There have been numerous incidences when a teams leading scorer has been it's 6th man. As I've stated numerous times, when facing more athletic teams, who either deny JP the ball or when MB is running the point, he is very shaky with the ball and turnover prone. Plus, he was a very inconsistent shooter last year. Ideally, I'd love for him to come off of the bench to lead the second unit With Rob and maybe Ira and/or Meech. Alas, Few loves MB and has shown in the past that he is a very loyal coach. It really doesn't matter what we think anyway, but it's fun to kill during the offseason.

My ideal starting 5:

PG: Pargo
SG: Gray
SF: Micah
PF: OKD
C: Josh

This starting 5 has EVERYTHING, ball handling, shooting, great defense, low post scoring, length and height. This starting 5 lacks NOTHING.

CDC84
08-04-2008, 09:14 PM
I keep harping on this, but the biggest disadvantage of the 3 guard attack is that Gray and Bouldin play at the same speed. It's too easy for top 25 caliber teams to defend GU's perimeter players. If they were speed demons, it would work better, but they just aren't. And then you add on what is also being talked about in this thread - Bouldin's size not being as much of an issue when he's at the 3 - well, it makes it even easier for high level opponents to defend the Zags.

I just can't help but fantasize again and again how much better everyone on this team would be if GU had a Batista or Turiaf to throw the ball down into. Everyone could go back to playing their more natural position. You wouldn't have skinny wings playing at the 4 and bulky shooting guards playing at the 3 and so on.

jim77
08-05-2008, 12:14 AM
I think the reason why some don't have Matt starting is he is not the best at any position. Pargo is our point...Gray is the best shooter on the team....Downs is 6'8"....you get the idea. Matt is probably the most versatile guy on the team. He's the only guy I trust playing point after Jeremy. He can also play the sg well...as evidenced by his scoring numbers. The guy can also give smaller guards fits. I guess in my mind Matt is a situational player...some games he'll start, others he won't. One things for sure, the guy is a big peice of the puzzle. If what folks are saying about him are accurate(chiseled build) then he could be a half step or so faster....which makes him even more dangerous. I also think he's the best passer on the team and with a healthy Josh should increase both Jeremy's and Matt's assist totals.

ZagMania
08-05-2008, 04:30 AM
Bouldin's assists #'s would have been a heck of a lot higher last year if Kuso and Sacre had better hands. He's such a great passer, but so many times our bigs just weren't aware of the pass or fumbled away great looks.

I'd like to see us use Micah more at the wing rather than the 3 guard offense with Matt being guarded by a SF. There's still plenty of time for Pargo, Gray, and Bouldin to share at two guard spots and it'd especially leave Pargo fresher by the end of the season. After Pargo, Micah, Josh, Ira, and probably Daye leave this season it will basically be Bouldin's team. I wonder who will step up us a leader then, because it appears that MB and Gray have such a laid back demeanor.

MickMick
08-05-2008, 07:26 AM
Hmmmm (http://www.guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?p=234434#post234434)

dim4sum
08-05-2008, 09:30 AM
I see Bouldin getting fewer minutes this year. He is in a dog fight for a starting position with Downs, both of whom seem to have had big time consistency problems. Few has to perform a delicate juggling act and in so doing may elicit the best out of both of them. Remember Micah is a senior and Few rewards his seniors, like it or not.

MDABE80
08-05-2008, 09:48 AM
3 bigs, 3 guards and 2 wings. Meech is a freshman and he won't be given the keys. Matt .....even though a 12.6 ppg isn't much of a top scorer.....will get his minutes. Ballhanding isn't his strong suit. His play in the past half dozen games didn't exactly instill confidence. I think this explains why he isn't mentioned as a starter....or why he isn't on everyone's lips as a starter.

CDC said it best......Matt's just out of position. He's not a point and he isn't a wing. He's a big guard...it's his spot. Hope he improves. There's lots of room for improvement.

It's a good thing most of our kids can play multiple positions. I like Matt posting up against smaller guards. But, while it's eyecatching and innovative, he MUST convert to more PPG or better feeds to others because it's such an advantage. Thus far, ...not so much. Best wishes to Matt........he has 2 more years. He could be a great one if he focuses. Such size in a guard is pretty rare.

zag944
08-05-2008, 10:30 AM
I think he should be in the starting lineup, no question.

What I don't understand is why he seems to have a longer leash than anyone on the floor, including Pargo. The guy plays at the deepest spot in our lineup, so when he is having one of his bad days or we have matchup problems cut back on his minutes a bit.

It seems remarkably unproductive and unfair.

Bouldin/Downs/Gray are all great Zags who could give us a variety of different things at that sg/sf area, much like say, the Knight/Bankhead/Skinner triad a few years back. I thought Few's management with the latter group was significantly better.

Zag2000
08-05-2008, 12:53 PM
Bouldin has more talent than anyone on the team. The first half of the year he played the 2 guard, and he did well. Once few started doing the 3-4 guard rotation, his numbers dropped off. Now that the red head is graduated, there is a better chance he will get more minutes at the #2 guard. We can all hope the 4 guard circus is over - it was not a good offense. It will be interesting. They will all be trying to win, but there will be many things unrelated to winning going on. Pargo will be trying to increase his draft pick #, the other 3 guards will all be battling for PT and hopefully Heytvelt will become a force down low again to draw the defenders down.

scott_fivefour
08-05-2008, 01:00 PM
In my opinion matt, for what ever reason, had a bit of a sophomore slump last season; it may have been confidence or playing out of position at times or just a combination of little things. What ever the reason, I think he will show all of us why mark few loves him so much this season. when matt plays well we are very hard to beat and this year I think he will develop a lot more consistency than we have seen from him in the past two seasons.

MississppiZag
08-05-2008, 01:03 PM
Bouldin has more talent than anyone on the team.

Well, let's see, where do i start....

First off, Austin Daye has more talent in his pinky. Pargo, Downs, Heytvelt, Gray, and let's go with Sorenson, all have more talent. Maybe not Sorenson. But you are just wrong with that assumption. He is without a doubt, one of the smarter players, but the title of "most talented" is stretching it way to much. I love what he brings to the team. He is one of the best contributors and keys to our success. Him coming off the bench, to give us a spark, is the best scenario, to me. If Few wants him starting and Downs off the bench, then that is fine with me. As long as we get the Win, who cares who starts.:)

Reborn
08-05-2008, 01:46 PM
Bob's point that Matt will be a Junior is a source of hope. I hope that we will see a different Matt. His 6 pts in our loss in the WCC chapionship game, and his 8 against Davidson, are the kind of showings that concern fans. Also the fact that his point production decreased at the end of the season also does not raise a lot of hope in his future.

It should be noted, that when his point production was at it's best was when Steven Gray was either out of the lineup completely, or in early recovery. As Gray got better, Matt's point production went down. Matt has played the 3 a lot over his first two years, and that will continue I think. Raivio played the 2 during Matt's Freshman year.

Do I think Matt will be the main scorer this year? No. He may be as low as 4th. Will he start? I believe he will. Micah's injection into the starting lineup would surprises some of us. Matt will start. Matt has beaten Micah out both years. That could change, and I think that the 3 spot is the most exciting spot on the team (which includes Ira Brown). I could see Matt coming off the bench, and it could be Micah again. It could also be Ira getting more playing time. Micah's performance definately went down as the year progressed last year, and I think more than Matt's. So I don't see Matt's poor performances against Davidson and San Diego as any help to Micah. It could be more of a plus for Ira. Isnt this fun?

Gozags2
08-05-2008, 01:51 PM
It's been said before that Matt is the best player on the team, even by the coaches. If he gets out of his shell and stops deferring or hesitating and plays his game--no doubt he will come up Big this year. His teammates love playing with him because they know he will find them.

GoZags
08-05-2008, 01:54 PM
Matt has two years left. He has the talent and the chance to go down in the annals as one of the great Zags. I'm looking forward to watching the continuation of his development.

sittingon50
08-05-2008, 02:10 PM
That "4 guard" offense pretty much took UNC apart 2 years ago.

jim77
08-05-2008, 03:40 PM
....ahhhh the NC game. We were down something like 10-0 and Bouldin/Kuso checked in. Boulding proceeded to dissect the NC defense....we came roaring back and scored the "W"....Matt got that one turned in the right direction in a hurry. Hope we get to see more of that from Matt.

zag67
08-05-2008, 04:55 PM
I think that many people are caught up in the scoring and forgetting about the versatility and intangables that Matt brings to the table. In the last 9 games he shot about 50%, averaged about 3 assists, and averaged about 3 rebounds per game. Are there going to be teams that he does not set well against? Yes and an example being WSU (they set up a defence to not let him post up (big man guarding him and double teams).

If we look at the team next year:

Point Guard - JP, backup Matt, with Meech learning
Shooting G - Gray, backup Matt, Gibbs and Micah
Wing - Matt, backup Micah, Gibbs, Ira, and Daye
Forward - Daye, backup Josh, Ira, and Micah
Center - Josh, ackup Sacre, Foster, and Daye


The key to this team is going to be the depth at each position. We have Matt, Micah and Daye (and no I am not saying that he will have major minutes at center) that can all play 3 positions. And we have others that can play at least 2. We can mix and match to get the best matchups. There is not one position that we cannot handle fouls (but I would prefer that JP does not get to many in the wrong games). We need to not worry who starts and let the coaches and players work that out. I think that you are going to see JP, Gray, Matt, Micah, Daye, Sacre and Josh all get major minutes. And in certain games (or against certain teams) you will see Meech, Gibbs, and Ira get major time. Now I will say if Foster steps up, then the coaches will have more "opportunities", but that is one that any coach would love.

Vanzagger
08-05-2008, 05:47 PM
for thought.

More Alley oops please.

spudzag
08-05-2008, 07:01 PM
I see Bouldin getting fewer minutes this year. He is in a dog fight for a starting position with Downs, both of whom seem to have had big time consistency problems. Few has to perform a delicate juggling act and in so doing may elicit the best out of both of them. Remember Micah is a senior and Few rewards his seniors, like it or not.

I agree. Would also add that both have been working extremely hard in the off season and seem improved. I'm afraid that Matt has lost his starting spot a shooting guard to Gray permenantly.

Let them fight it out in practice and see who earns the minutes.

zag67
08-05-2008, 07:47 PM
I will also agree with Dim4 and Spud. But I think that playing less time might not be so bad, if the coaches figure out how to get quality time for all. I think that the coaches will need to also generate quality time for Meech, Sacre, and Ira.

Most players that have to do over 30 minutes a game have learned how to rest at one end or the other. This means that they are not doing as much as possible. Pargo, Gray, Bouldin and Micah need to learn to play harder while they are in and therefore should require more rest to be able to generate the energy for stretch runs. Daye, Sacre and Josh need to do the same at the center/power forward. This means that Meech, Gibbs, Ira and Foster should be able to help in certain games. Also the coaches need to evaluate the play and figure out the correct players to play in that game.

Hopefully the players will recognize the benefits of harder work and how the team must come first. Individual stats mean nothing if you keep losing. Giving up an open shot to get the ball to the open man nearer the basket, giving up your body for a charge, recognizing when you are suppose to be "helping" your team mate to stop a certain player. These are the types of attitudes that will be needed to make the run we all are hoping for. Lets hope that this is what we see next year and the years to follow.

roxdoc
08-05-2008, 08:52 PM
No question about it, we have lots of proven talent this year - not just potential - I'll leave that for the "rosies" to go on and on about.

We had quite a bit of talent last year, but IMHO it never gelled - the chemistry angle was not so good. A big part of this was the injuries to key players that resulted in people playing out of position and looking like they really didn't know what to do at times (painful to watch at times). It seemed like we had Plan A but no plan B when disaster struck. People can play multiple positions but if they don't know the plays they aren't effective. This is one of those tough coaching decisions on how to be versitile if needed.

I complained last season about our "system" being inflexible. I pray we don't get forced into it by injuries, but if needed I hope the coaches have better alternatives this year.

cjm720
08-06-2008, 07:18 AM
I'm hoping Bouldin makes a sophmore to Junior leap ala Richie Frahm. His dedication to the weight room is a start! He's without question one of the most important players on this team.