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View Full Version : "don't buy it" says Hartford press



Masszag
12-20-2008, 08:26 PM
http://www.courant.com/services/newspaper/printedition/sports/hc-onthefly1221.artdec21,0,5758049.story

... The Zags are about to start a lengthy winning streak, and expect comments to follow such as: "Combined with their strong early play, this will mark them as a Final Four contender." Don't buy it. The Zags can't improve against their West Coast Conference competition. They stand still while the rest of the nation gets better."

ZagLawGrad
12-20-2008, 08:29 PM
Hope it is not a premonition. But we all know the rap on the WCC.

LongIslandZagFan
12-20-2008, 08:39 PM
http://www.courant.com/services/newspaper/printedition/sports/hc-onthefly1221.artdec21,0,5758049.story

... The Zags are about to start a lengthy winning streak, and expect comments to follow such as: "Combined with their strong early play, this will mark them as a Final Four contender." Don't buy it. The Zags can't improve against their West Coast Conference competition. They stand still while the rest of the nation gets better."

Hartford... as in where UConn is? Wow, way to go out and discount your local team's biggest win. But again, I guess this guy wouldn't be writing in the metropolis of Hartford, Ct... if he actually had half a brain.

RenoZag
12-20-2008, 08:42 PM
An East coast journalist who dismisses the level of competition in the WCC. . .??

There's a shocker !

( I would be happy with the lengthy winning streak part, though ;) )

JohnOGU
12-20-2008, 08:50 PM
Again, more journalists who lack knowledge on the topic of college basketball. Completely disregarded.

Fishy
12-20-2008, 09:39 PM
I wouldn't sweat it - I think you're stretching the definition of journalist to describe his current gig with the Hartford Courant. They seem to have asked the driest writer in the newsroom to pen a throw-away humor column.

If you put a gun to his head and asked him who Gonzaga has played, who's left on their schedule or even the names of the other teams in the WCC, you'd have to shoot him because he'd have no idea.

bartruff1
12-21-2008, 06:33 AM
WCC has something to prove in the NCAA .....

wsulax
12-21-2008, 07:29 AM
Besides St. Mary's and Paddy or Patty (However you say his name) the WCC is one of the weakest conferences. Usually I would not say this, but as a whole the west is terrible this year. UCLA, not top ten team. UW, hasn't had a solid team in 4 years. WSU is like GU of last, rebuilding. Arizona, in the middle of a power change. Then you have WCC teams who have always struggled to develop talent. GU should be undefeated through regular season play. They might get some resistance from St. Mary's.

LongIslandZagFan
12-21-2008, 08:13 AM
Besides St. Mary's and Paddy or Patty (However you say his name) the WCC is one of the weakest conferences. Usually I would not say this, but as a whole the west is terrible this year. UCLA, not top ten team. UW, hasn't had a solid team in 4 years. WSU is like GU of last, rebuilding. Arizona, in the middle of a power change. Then you have WCC teams who have always struggled to develop talent. GU should be undefeated through regular season play. They might get some resistance from St. Mary's.

There are 32 conferences and the WCC is currently ranked 12th by Saragin. Not what I would necessarily call one of the weakest conferences. But feel free to spread the stereotype.

bartruff1
12-21-2008, 08:36 AM
There are 32 conferences and the WCC is currently ranked 12th by Saragin. Not what I would necessarily call one of the weakest conferences. But feel free to spread the stereotype. A fact... not a stereotype at all. With the 32 teams getting automatic bids and some "power" conferences getting between 6-10 at large bids. The WCC is weak relative to it's representation and results in the tourney.

LongIslandZagFan
12-21-2008, 08:40 AM
A fact... not a stereotype at all. With the 32 teams getting a automatic bids and some "power" conferences geting between 6-10 at large bids. The WCC is weak relative to it's representation and results in the tourney.


Again, they are far from the weakest conference. BTW two teams from that weak conference manhandled Oregon. One of the "weaker" teams beat Washington. But feel free to keep believing what ever you want.

Kinda like certain campaign tactics... if you keep saying something long enough people will believe it is true.

B Wayne
12-21-2008, 08:42 AM
The Zags are about to start a lengthy winning streak. Expect comments such as: "Combined with their strong early play, this will mark them as a Final Four contender." Don't buy it. The Zags can't improve against West Coast Conference competition. They stand still while the rest of the nation gets better.[/I]


So that's how San Diego managed to defeat UConn in the NCAA tournament last year! San Diego stood still all year while UConn became stronger with the Big East schedule.


That comment is the biggest alley oop pass we've had come our way in our long time.

McZag
12-21-2008, 09:00 AM
Mc Zag,
Thanks for reading. I quite clearly did not dismiss UConn's victory. The point is that Gonzaga is as good right now as any team in the country (except North Carolina) but they won't be in March. (Come to think of it, it might have been better to write it just that way...) Two tough non-conference games don't make up for a conference that will not test them.
As for UConn, I think the jury is still out....I liked their on the ball defense in the second half - as good as it has been since Taliek Brown was there - but want to see more of it before we proclaim them a Final Four team.

The UConn teams I covered were tougher on the ball defenders than this team has been. It looked to me like that was starting to change in the second half against the Zags but I want to see more. The one thing I do know is that UConn is going to get better from here...

But thanks for reading and taking the time to write,

Matt Eagan

gamagin
12-21-2008, 09:00 AM
http://www.courant.com/services/newspaper/printedition/sports/hc-onthefly1221.artdec21,0,5758049.story

... The Zags are about to start a lengthy winning streak, and expect comments to follow such as: "Combined with their strong early play, this will mark them as a Final Four contender." Don't buy it. The Zags can't improve against their West Coast Conference competition. They stand still while the rest of the nation gets better."


the only thing GU can do about such talk is shut them up, with wins, or games like the UConn game, every time out.

No one is going to lace up against GU and have or can expect a day of rest. No one. It takes an A game to beat us. everyone knows that.

But it is my opinion that it is fruitless and makes no sense to attack every writer who states an opinion that one or all GU fans don't like. There's a little or a lot of truth in the worst of posts & columns and accounts.

I suggest we mine the nuggets and forget the source.
'
So, that said, whether I agree with this guy in Conn or not, we DO have a weak league and thus a weak number of competitors in our future.

What do we do about it ? How do we develop throughout the season ? Even whether we heal and prepare for each game as though its UConn or UNC or whomever, will determine our readiness at the other end of this season.

What others say means nothing.

Our success and our failure will be, if/when it happens, between our ears and in our hearts.

Nothing written, said or shouted, for that matter, will change that.

And frankly, I learn alot more from the variety of critics than I do from only those who agree there is only one kind of zag fan.

So here's one more reason to prove we belong in the elite corps of basketball teams.

The best reason, however, doesn't change. We need to keep on learning, growing, maturing, planning, executing and winning.

fwiw.

Go Zags !

bartruff1
12-21-2008, 09:40 AM
Again, they are far from the weakest conference. BTW two teams from that weak conference manhandled Oregon. One of the "weaker" teams beat Washington. But feel free to keep believing what ever you want.

Kinda like certain campaign tactics... if you keep saying something long enough people will believe it is true. Is that there will be facts come March...I didn't say they were the weakest conference...we will see if Gonzaga got better (I supect it will) and if the WCC is a weak conference (I suspect it is) and if your innuendos are merited ...... have a Happy Holiday and enjoy the season...

jpwils
12-21-2008, 10:46 AM
Clearly San Diego and St. Mary's are programs on the upswing, as evidenced by thier participation in the big dance Santa Clara and USF are programs with new coaches that will be "spoilers" on their home floors this year.

Gonzaga lacked the physicality in years past but yesterday showed how tough they can be against quality teams that do have a physical presence.

Zags will have to learn how to get more out of their bigs. But the balance of Heytvelt and Daye being htreats outside opened up the cuts for Pargo and
Gray.

Gray is taking his game to a much higher level it seems.

bartruff1
12-21-2008, 10:59 AM
Clearly San Diego and St. Mary's are programs on the upswing, as evidenced by thier participation in the big dance Santa Clara and USF are programs with new coaches that will be "spoilers" on their home floors this year.

Gonzaga lacked the physicality in years past but yesterday showed how tough they can be against quality teams that do have a physical presence.

Zags will have to learn how to get more out of their bigs. But the balance of Heytvelt and Daye being htreats outside opened up the cuts for Pargo and
Gray.

Gray is taking his game to a much higher level it seems. Appears to be much improved...but the Zags and the Conference have to prove it in the tourney... I am more confident of the Zags than the conference..

McZag
12-21-2008, 11:03 AM
Mc Zag,
Thanks for reading. I quite clearly did not dismiss UConn's victory. The point is that Gonzaga is as good right now as any team in the country (except North Carolina) but they won't be in March. (Come to think of it, it might have been better to write it just that way...) Two tough non-conference games don't make up for a conference that will not test them.
As for UConn, I think the jury is still out....I liked their on the ball defense in the second half - as good as it has been since Taliek Brown was there - but want to see more of it before we proclaim them a Final Four team.

The UConn teams I covered were tougher on the ball defenders than this team has been. It looked to me like that was starting to change in the second half against the Zags but I want to see more. The one thing I do know is that UConn is going to get better from here...

But thanks for reading and taking the time to write,

Matt Eagan

Matt,

Interesting opinion. I believe that the truth is in the numbers. The Zags have four (4) Sweet 16 appearances over the last ten (10) NCAA Tournaments. Considering the Zags play 14+ West Coast Conference games each season leads me to believe that, on a fairly consistent basis, Gonzaga comes into March Madness fully prepared to compete against the nation's best squads. How many Big East teams have 4 Sweet 16's or better since 1999? If the league did such a thorough job preparing the teams for March, logically we would see 2, 3, 4 Big East teams consistently win two or more tournament games. That said I agree that this year's Big East group is impressive. But please don't discount the Zags oligation to play the WCC when there is next to no evidence that it ill prepares them for March. If it did, you would still be pronouncing the school Gon-zaw-ga. Best of luck to you.

McZag

Shanachie
12-21-2008, 11:35 AM
I only read the excerpt (and the email from the author posted by McZag), but I don't think that he's expressing anything really negative about the Zags. Many people on this board have complained about the rest of the WCC beyond the top 2 or 3 teams each year. How many "peaking too early" threads have we seen over the years?

It's what prompted the Zags to start scheduling out of conference games with the likes of Memphis and Stanford in what is typically the conference season. Memphis is the only other top team in a similar situation. It's a challenge that the Zags have to contend with every year, and this year will be no exception.

I do agree that the comments are odd coming from a writer from Hartford, especially one whose team lost to a WCC school in last year's tourney.

McZag
12-21-2008, 12:23 PM
McZag

In the last seven years, Gonzaga has been seeded to go to three Sweet 16s. They have been to one.They have been consistently over-seeded in the tournament because of their strong December schedule and gaudy record against the WCC.They were a 2 seed in 04 and lost in the second round.They were a 3 seed in 05 and lost in the second round.They were a 3 seed in 06 and reached the Sweet 16.They were a 10 seed in 07 and lost as expected in the first round.They were a 7 seed last year and were upset in the first round.That's three upsets in the last five appearances.

This is what my opinion is based on. Again, thanks for taking an interest, thanks for reading and taking the time to engage in reasoned debate.Have a great day.

-Matt