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cggonzaga
10-16-2008, 07:34 AM
This is just a hunch but I think Bouldin is the one that has the break out year this season. He's now a junior with 3 years in the program. You know he'll do everything right. I'm sure there is a fire burning inside him that wants to prove to everyone he's the man on this team. There's been lots of talk about Micah and Steven blowing up this year and I can just see a fire burning in Matt to get better. If he improves his stroke he could be unstoppable. Here's to hoping all the players have break out seasons!

GUZagDenver
10-16-2008, 07:56 AM
I would say that as a team, we need Matt to have a break out season the most, along with Josh. He has had a lot of hype around him the past two years, and has struggled in some big moments. I think one of his biggest problems is that he really hasn't identified what kind of player he is. He has not been a great shooter, is not a great ball handler, but has been effective inside at 6'5. He has always been a good passer and is very fundamental, but tends to turn the ball over frequently. Sometimes I think it feels like he is older than he really is. I was hard on him right away because Few praised him so much and he played older at times. I think if Matt has a break out year this year, we could be great. He has to be a huge part of the team because Few plays him so much. I don't have the numbers, but he had to lead the team in minutes last year. I think we will be good anyway, but he is a huge key.

MBOHNERT
10-16-2008, 08:02 AM
bouldin has the talent, needs the intensity. hopefully few has intensity, focus and toughness on the forefront of training this offseason.

CDC84
10-16-2008, 08:42 AM
I think Matt is wonderful basketball player who does a number of things really well. I am glad the Zags have him. But the concern I continue to have with him is that he kind of lacks a position in the Gonzaga offense.

While he causes all sorts of matchup problems at the 2 with his body and size, he is too much of a hot/cold, streaky long range shooter, and that's not ideal for a 2 in the GU offense. And it's really not good when the team has a starting PG who is a poor long range shooter.

At the 3, Matt's size advantage is negated, to a large extent, when GU is playing against elite teams. When a team like Memphis can put a Antonio Anderson on him, Bouldin is not quick or athletic enough to get by him, and he can't post up as easily because a guy like Anderson is just as tall and bulky as he is.

And he can't play at the 1 because his handles aren't strong enough, and he's too tall and slow to guard the point of attack against athletic, elite PG's like UConn's AJ Price and MSU's Kalin Lucas.

I have always felt that Matt's most ideal position in the Gonzaga offense was at the shooting guard spot. If he could somehow consistently knock down 3 pointers at a 42% clip, and not go on hot/cold streaks where he misses 17 in a row and then goes 8 of 12, he would be a horrific matchup problem for opponents because he could post up smaller off guards and drill outside shots. Opponents wouldn't be able to sag off of him. They would really struggle to defend him. When he started his career off at Gonzaga, this was the vision I had for him. It's the vision that a lot of people had for him when he was tearing apart North Carolina's defense at the preseason NIT. But in two seasons, I just haven't seen the kind of long ranger jumper that I like to see from a Gonzaga shooting guard....the kind of thing that Steven Gray provides.

That's just how I see it. Needless to say, I hope that everything I have said above proves to be wrong this season. I hope that Bouldin does take his game to a brand new level. It would really help Gonzaga if he could do that.

BobZag
10-16-2008, 08:58 AM
Matt certainly has it in him. He has been borderline great in some games, ie, UConn. I have heard from someone close to Matt that he is determined to be the player he knows he can be, and have a great season.

If Matt, Steven, Micah, Josh, et al, all have breakout seasons (and it's possible), with improvements from Daye, Jeremy, Ira!, et all, then Gonzaga will be poised to have a very special season. Very special.

But Matt's personal goals are set high for this season; that bodes well for the first post above to happen.

ZagNative
10-16-2008, 09:01 AM
From bbstate.com (http://www.bbstate.com/stats.php?s=GONZ&c=&sw=indiv&st=eFG&split=) (not sure if this part of the site is subscription only), minutes per game last year, in descending order:

http://img375.imageshack.us/img375/1863/20081016minutespergamefc4.jpg

Zagatron
10-16-2008, 09:33 AM
Do you find it interesting that he was selected 1st team pre-season All WCC? Or in all the college rankings he is always considered a draft pick? He has showed up in almost every big game. And the coaches seem to believe in him. I Hope Matt has a great year.

BobZag
10-16-2008, 09:58 AM
From bbstate.com (http://www.bbstate.com/stats.php?s=GONZ&c=&sw=indiv&st=eFG&split=) (not sure if this part of the site is subscription only), minutes per game last year, in descending order:

http://img375.imageshack.us/img375/1863/20081016minutespergamefc4.jpg

The departures of Pendo and Kuso sure leaves lots of minutes to be gobbled up by Micah and others. The opportunity should bring out the best.

CDC84
10-16-2008, 10:01 AM
Not only has Bouldin delivered in a number of big games, but there is almost a scary correlation between him not playing well and Gonzaga losing games, and him playing well and Gonzaga beating really good opponents. At the same time, we aren't talking about a guy like an Adam Morrison or a Dan Dickau who is a "go to" offensive power. Matt is a very peculiar player in that sort of way. He effects the game in so many ways, which is why I know the staff likes him. It's also why I like him. I just wish he could fit more neatly into a position on the floor at times.

cggonzaga
10-16-2008, 11:01 AM
Agreed CDC. Matt's basketball IQ is so high he does things the casual fan wouldn't understand or see. A consistent jump shot would complete his game in my opinion and make him a legit 2 guard. He's definitely big enough to play the 3 but maybe not quite athletic enough. The handles could be stronger but he is still a more than capable ball handler.

Bob, I kind of figured Matt was that type of kid. You can kind of tell the fire burns pretty hot on the inside. He may not show it outwardly but I'm sure he wants it bad.

duper
10-16-2008, 02:14 PM
Matt is one of the rare talents that can come right in and play D-1 basketball at a high level. He is also however in my opinion, "what you see is what you get type of player." By that I meen he doesn't have alot of room for improvment. He is not going to grow, he is strong enough now, his shooting is good and probably right where it is going to stay and as stated above his IQ is already very high. Some of this might sound bad but in reallity wouldn't we rather have a guy show up on campus ready to contribute at the level Matt did vs a player with a huge "up-side" who may or may not pan out.

gamagin
10-16-2008, 06:24 PM
I just hope he can set himself free and play the game he has shown he can. each and every game. all season long.

if he does, he could be the mvp of the league, imo.

Fonebone
10-16-2008, 08:44 PM
Matt just needs to do one thing - shoot consistently well from outside, and he will have a break out season. The problem is, though one can work on outside shooting, it is one thing that is, in a sense, outside one's control. If they aren't falling all the fight, will, determination etc won't make them fall.

MickMick
10-16-2008, 10:36 PM
I agree with CDC's version of the ideal place for Matt. College hoops is all about match ups. Matt matches up best against the shooting guards. Especially when he takes them inside.

If Micah can finally live up to his potential, I believe the 2 spot is where Few really wants to play Matt. As it is, the coach seems to want Matt on the floor. He also wants Gray on the floor. That seems to leave Micah as the odd man out.

My concern with Matt is his handles. The 2 guard needs some semblance of ball handling or teams like Tennessee will rob us blind. When the match ups stack up like that, I would prefer to see Pargo, Meech, and Gray at the 1, 2, 3 spots respectively. But only in those situations when elite defensive pressure is too much for Matt and Micah to handle (with respect to ball handling).

I just have this uneasy feeling about turnovers again. I really believe that is the Achilles heel of this team.

jim77
10-17-2008, 06:35 AM
Agreed CDC.

Matt is a great player that doesn't quite fit into any particular position. I myself lean towards gray at the 2 and Downs at the 3. So where does Matt fit in???? To me he's kind of the Jim Jenson type player. (Miami Dolphins multi purpose guy) The guy is another deadly arrow in our already full quiver. If theres one thing we could use that Matt posses right now, its his passing. To me when he first came up it was his passing to me that made him special. That talent is really in need right now since we have Josh and Daye healthy. I think the best thing Matt can do right now is play smart. Because that is what he does best.....he's going to get his minutes. He might not be as athletic or tall or particularly quick. He's kinda like a million dollar insurance policy. No matter what happens you always have a warm fuzzy feeling with him. I just can't get those surgical passes he pulled on NC out of my head..we probably lose that game if it weren't for the comeback he started. Great player...this team is so stacked it is rediculous. It is at this point that we really need playmakers to stand up...guys like Matt.

bartruff1
10-17-2008, 06:45 AM
Matt is one of the rare talents that can come right in and play D-1 basketball at a high level. He is also however in my opinion, "what you see is what you get type of player." By that I meen he doesn't have alot of room for improvment. He is not going to grow, he is strong enough now, his shooting is good and probably right where it is going to stay and as stated above his IQ is already very high. Some of this might sound bad but in reallity wouldn't we rather have a guy show up on campus ready to contribute at the level Matt did vs a player with a huge "up-side" who may or may not pan out. Matt would get big minutes with any team in the country and every coach in the the country would love to have him . As far as break out...not so much. I would love to see him become a lock down defensive player and I believe he can offset any disadvantages with his smarts and determination. I would consider him to be the Ultimate Zag Act Two ! I suspect that personal recognition is not all that important to him and that the team success is the joy of College Basketball. Party on Dude and enjoy your time here.

zag47
10-17-2008, 04:12 PM
It's ALL about Matt playing his game. He will, count on it!