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Baldwinzag
02-11-2009, 02:51 PM
We hear it constantly: "This isn't the same team from the Old Spice Classic", "We haven't improved at all during the season", and "Last years team couldn't get out of the first round and neither will this one".

To me these are some of the laziest criticisms a person can make, because it automatically assumes that we should win all our games, every player must play perfect basketball, and we should make the Final Four or its a failure. That's a ridiculous notion in my opinion.

The Zags are 17-5 and ranked 19th. They easily could have beaten the #1 team in the Country. They could have beaten Utah on the road. Heck, they could have beaten Memphis. Obviously they didn't, but they could have(maybe not Memphis but you get the point).

You're basing your entire prognostication of our Tournament chances and a successful season on a few games played at the end of December and one against a Top-10 team. If that isn't a small sample size, I don't know what is. There were a total of two posts following our superb performance in Portland and at least twenty posts blasting our team following the game vs Memphis. I'm a supporter of solid critisism, yet expectations on this board by some are unreal.

When the team, coaches, or Zag fans use the phrase "Final Four caliber," it doesn't mean "guarantee" or "sure thing" -- it means the team is capable -- and they certainly are.

Objective analysts, efficiency stats, and Pollsters seem to agree. Why some of the team's own fans can't do likewise is beyond me.

/small rant over:D

Jakester425
02-11-2009, 03:11 PM
I agree, good post.

BobZag
02-11-2009, 03:16 PM
You basically echo my sentiments. This team was a very short ways away from being undefeated or once-beaten heading into the Memphis game. The Memphis game has been the only game the Zags were blown out in. All the others were there for the taking.

Lose to AZ by 5 after leading late, GU's 6th straight away game.
Lose to UConn in OT (we know the story here)
Lose to PSU by 7 (big upset after UConn heartbreaker)
Lose to Utah by 1 (Matt misses short shot, Austin misses tip-in for win)

All of the above were there for the taking but the opportunity was not seized.

Some folks forget just who the Zags have beaten.

Ok State
Maryland
Tennessee
WSU
Tennessee

Ok State is not that great but they are capable and gave rival #2 Oklahoma a big scare a few weeks ago; Maryland had just throttled Michigan State by 18; Tennessee had just throttled Georgetown when the Hoyas were rolling; WSU was at home in Pullman and Bennett and his pack defense had a two game win streak on the Zags; and Tennessee had a 39ish home win streak going (2nd longest in nation) and revenge fresh on its mind.

mdZag23
02-11-2009, 03:24 PM
I love the talent, it's top 10 talent with lots of depth and I just don't think that can be argued with.

The thing that REALLY bugs me is we have a bunch of kids that just seem to play with little to no emotion!

It drives me crazy that people have been harping on Austin Daye for complaining about fouls and his expressions on the court! If you ask me, I want all 5 guys out there doing the exact same thing! He's one of the only kids ON the court that is showing the emotion necessary to compete at that elite level.

I don't want to pick on players and I won't individually, but we have way to many guys on the court that don't get calls and just flip the ball to the ref and head back down court like it's no big freakin deal.

College Hoops is a big deal. It's a big deal to me. It's a big deal to ALL of you. It's a big deal to the student body! Problem is it just seems like it's not that big a deal to about 1/2 the SCHOLARSHIP players.

I may be oversimplifying this, but give me a Mark Spink, an Eroll Knight, a Mike Nilson type of player and let's go to WAR on the court and leave not only the effort but the emotion out there every single night!

Baldwinzag
02-11-2009, 03:39 PM
The thing that REALLY bugs me is we have a bunch of kids that just seem to play with little to no emotion!

Again, the subjective analyzing needs to stop. To be quite honest, I can't tell much of a difference in our team's so-called "emotion" when we are blowing out an opponent or on the losing end. Did we look much different in that short video clip vs WSU than we did against UCONN for example? This edition of the Zags are not a bunch of Pendo's and Mallon's huffing and puffing and getting red faced running down the court. Its not their problem the game comes a bit easier to them. I agree that talent means little with out execution or hard work, yet we can't deny the successes this team has had and are still capable of having.

Also, name one team that hasn't had a terrible game this season? We've had ONE loss by more than 7 pts and it was against the former Championship game participant and Top-10 team. Heck, even Duke has more losses by 10+ points than we have on the season. Are they habitually enigmatic or heartless? I agree we've been passive at moments, yet I suggest we keep our expectations in check and celebrate the great things about this season.

sdzag
02-11-2009, 03:42 PM
Baldwin such a positive outlook. I would say the glass looks half full!

Baldwinzag
02-11-2009, 03:47 PM
Baldwin such a positive outlook. I would say the glass looks half full!

SDzag, its unlike me I know. Don't forget, Baldwinzag is my manic alter-ego. "He" keeps me sane when all things Zag look dismal;).

BobZag
02-11-2009, 04:20 PM
Well, I'm not sure the Zags are more talented than, say, Georgetown or Notre Dame or Syracuse or blue bloods like Kentucky... But I think Gonzaga is outperforming them. And I don't think Gonzaga is a one-dimensional team like Purdue where if one good player can't play they're toast. And unlike Nevada or Wake Forest or Ohio State or Tulsa or Oregon or UW, schools of all sizes and status, BCS and non-BCS, etc., Gonzaga manages to be in the discussion year in and year out, not up a couple years and down more years to the point of missing the postseason.

People, listen, Gonzaga is a tiny school in a small private-school conference, in a small western city, and the basketball team is among the best anywhere in the country.

Lil ol' Gonzaga is 3-1 vs Maryland, 1-0 vs North Carolina, 3-0 vs Rick Barnes (1 vs Clemson, 2 vs Texas), etc.

Few & Co. are doing extraordinary things. Memphis beats Gonzaga and it validates the Tigers, raising their ranking several spots.

vandalzag
02-11-2009, 04:22 PM
I love the talent, it's top 10 talent with lots of depth and I just don't think that can be argued with.

The thing that REALLY bugs me is we have a bunch of kids that just seem to play with little to no emotion!

It drives me crazy that people have been harping on Austin Daye for complaining about fouls and his expressions on the court! If you ask me, I want all 5 guys out there doing the exact same thing! He's one of the only kids ON the court that is showing the emotion necessary to compete at that elite level.

I don't want to pick on players and I won't individually, but we have way to many guys on the court that don't get calls and just flip the ball to the ref and head back down court like it's no big freakin deal.

College Hoops is a big deal. It's a big deal to me. It's a big deal to ALL of you. It's a big deal to the student body! Problem is it just seems like it's not that big a deal to about 1/2 the SCHOLARSHIP players.

I may be oversimplifying this, but give me a Mark Spink, an Eroll Knight, a Mike Nilson type of player and let's go to WAR on the court and leave not only the effort but the emotion out there every single night!

Wow if only the players played as hard as you post on the internet. You are spot on, next time a player does not get a call, he should just punch the ref right in the neck. This will show the true fans that they care. Better yet Few should do a Bobby Knight the next time he thinks there is a bad call throw a chair across the court. Yeah we want that boys complaining every time, since that is that way to get the refs to make a call for you, just get in there face and show how much you care. Mandatory technical foul for each player every game, or they will lose their scholly.

vaboris
02-11-2009, 04:41 PM
While I agree with most of these posts - it's tough to watch a team flat out quit on nat'l TV while getting blown out. The dance is only a month away. I hope they can turn it around and hopefully play as a team. We shall see.

BobZag
02-11-2009, 04:43 PM
Some kids show emotion, some don't. Blake Stepp was stoic. Richie Frahm was stoic. Batista was stoic. There's a long list of outstanding Zags who rarely showed emotion. Turiaf and Ammo were most emotional.

To paraphrase Frahm (or was it Santangelo?), the teams he played on would be creamed by the teams the Zags now schedule and play and often times beat.

HOOTER
02-11-2009, 05:08 PM
Some folks forget just who the Zags have beaten.

Ok State
Maryland
Tennessee
WSU
Tennessee



Forgive me for playing devils advocate here, but this isn't as impressive as some would like to think. These teams have a combined record of 55-36. They all have 8 losses or more. WSU, for example, is barely above .500 and has practically no shot at making the tourney. This list consists of a bunch of underachievers. Sorry for the brutal honesty, but this just isn't very impressive Bob.

Let the neg reps fly, I can handle it.

BobZag
02-11-2009, 05:20 PM
Forgive me for playing devils advocate here, but this isn't as impressive as some would like to think. These teams have a combined record of 55-36. They all have 8 losses or more. WSU, for example, is barely above .500 and has practically no shot at making the tourney. This list consists of a bunch of underachievers. Sorry for the brutal honesty, but this just isn't very impressive Bob.

Let the neg reps fly, I can handle it.

I know, that's why I explained how and why Gonzaga ended up playing them. I would've much rather played Michigan State, for example. But I wonder if Gonzaga had beaten Memphis, would that be impressive?; they had really only beaten Tennessee till they beat GU. One could argue no.

So #7 Wake Forest loses to below-average NC State tonight to lose 3 of their last 4, or 4 of their last 6, after being #1. And #14 Xavier goes down at average Dayton.

It happens.

HOOTER
02-11-2009, 05:27 PM
I know, that's why I explained how and why Gonzaga ended up playing them. I would've much rather played Michigan State, for example. But I wonder if Gonzaga had beaten Memphis, would that be impressive?; they had really only beaten Tennessee till they beat GU. One could argue no.

So #7 Wake Forest loses to below-average NC State tonight to lose 3 of their last 4, or 4 of their last 6, after being #1. And #14 Xavier goes down at average Dayton.

It happens.


Point taken. College basketball is crazy sometimes, especially this season. Dang those brackets are going to be tough to fill out this year!

zag944
02-11-2009, 07:33 PM
out of curiousity, do most people really think we have "top 10 talent"? Usually looking at best recruiting class lists we place in the mid 20s or so, if that. We arent drawing names like Duke, UNC, Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Michigan State, Syracuse, Uconn, Memphis etc (to name 10+ teams). In our own state, Washington's recruiting classes probably get as much if not more attention then we do year after year.

Because we ARE drawing more talent then we've ever had, it really seems like people are overrating our players skill sets, and seriously underrating our team's work ethic, teamwork, and coaching

BobZag
02-12-2009, 09:34 AM
I am not sure if anyone can out-recruit Tobacco Road and some of those Big East squads or the blue bloods. The staff does a nice job of collecting talent that fits and meshes well. The parity in college hoops is amazing. The gap between Sam Dower, for instance, and any other top college PF is miniscule. Arop is ranked 80ish by Jerry Meyer, probably would be 50ish if he lived in the states. Ditto for Kong. Elias Harris is very good, there's talk in Germany about Elias making their Olympic team in 2012. Few has to gamble and project years ahead of time more than the teams you name. Who knows how good Olynyk will be with a redshirt under his belt and down the road?

But that's the fun of it as a Zag fan. Few can't hand-pick burger boys, he has to do it the old-fashioned way. And we get to watch the kids grow and mature through the weeks, months and years.

What has actually been most difficult to do is instilling passion in players. Put Pendo's or Ammo's or Casey's or Dickau's or Ronny's passion in these guys and, yes, GU's recruits are closer than many think to those teams' recruits.

I enjoy recruiting but those recruiting rankings have never interested me. There are too many unrated Morrisons out there, or Currys, or foreign kids like Mills. The way UW recruits, they'd have you believing FF every year, and yet, not even an NIT bid the past two years.

HOOTER
02-12-2009, 11:13 AM
The staff does a nice job of collecting talent that fits and meshes well.


What has actually been most difficult to do is instilling passion in players. Put Pendo's or Ammo's or Casey's or Dickau's or Ronny's passion in these guys and, yes, GU's recruits are closer than many think to those teams' recruits.



I don't think recruiting is a problem whatsoever for Gonzaga. The talent is there, year after year. The problem is that these players don't necessarily mesh well. Sometimes they're a well oiled machine, and sometimes it's like they're playing together for the first time. There's an inconsistency that exists in this program that seems to be worsening as the talent improves. Is it a lack of passion? Partly. Is it Few's coaching style? That clearly plays a part also. The goal is to instill passion, motivation and teamwork into these players who come in with raw talent and little else. It can be done, and has been done, but I think Few is struggling with this challenge. Recruiting talent has gotten much easier for Few and staff, it's getting these talented players to gel and play as a team on a consistent basis that has become the challenge.

collegebasketballfan
02-12-2009, 01:33 PM
Last nights game between Duke, and NC was great. It was the top 2 teams in the ACC slugging it out. Where they have a huge advantage is that they play in a conference that is so deep with good teams it helps the team get better, or else they sink. It is a huge recruting tool for top athletes, and a huge plus when it is tournament time seeding, and TV exposure to the whole East coast.

The WCC works against Gonzaga for all those same reasons. We need to continue to scheduale out of conference games against the absolute best teams available. The only thing we need to do better is to get them to come back and play in Spokane at K2.

HOOTER
02-12-2009, 02:23 PM
The only thing we need to do better is to get them to come back and play in Spokane at K2.

I agree. One little problem though. K2 is too small. Why play teams like UConn or Memphis in front of 6000 fans when you can play these marquee programs in front of double (or more) the fans in Spokane arena or Key arena? Calipari refused to play the Zags in K2. He wanted to play them in Seattle but had to settle for Spokane arena instead. It's no coincidence we're playing teams like Idaho and Texas Southern in K2. Big time programs have no desire to play in the Mac.

Reborn
02-12-2009, 03:51 PM
My biggest concern about the Zags this year is Pargo. I expected him to have a great year, and in fact, he has not even had the year that he had last year. For some reason he has regressed, and I am not sure why. It really looked like he was coming back before Memphis, and then again, a dud. If something doesn't shake him up, and get him to start playing, I fear the Zags are in bad shape. The truth is that the point guard is the most important player in the NCAA tournament. Pargo should be one of the best point guards in America this year, and he just hasn't performed. He's one of two guys I have my eyes on. Fortunately, he has eight games left which is a lot, but he had better be putting it together.

The other disappointment this year has been Daye. Yes, at times Austin has looked good, but unfortunately, he has been very up and down. His game vs Memphis killed us. That's the truth. He got beat on the boards, didn't play Defense, and pouted half the game like a seventh grader. I expected Austin to really have a great year this year. He has shown promise, but he, like Pargo, has not been there in tough games when we need him.

I think the rest of the team has really improved this year, especially Josh. Josh is going to be there at the end. I really believe that. I think the Zags need to start getting him the ball a whole lot more. Bouldin is twice as good this year, imo. He has made more progress than anyone. He didn't have a great game against Memphis, but he had the best defensive player in Amercia guarding him, and I am sure Matt learned a ton from him. Micah, I think is getting stronger and more confident with each game. I hope he keeps it up. He can be a great player as we move toward the end. Meech showed us he's completely capable against Memphis, and Ira is always going to give us some good minutes with lots of energy and hustle. I think he's a good sub.

Pargo and Daye. It's time for them to begin to step up. Every game. There can not be any more losses, nor should there be. If we lose again, the Zags, in my opinion, will not make it to the Sweet 16.

HOOTER
02-12-2009, 04:01 PM
Pargo and Daye. It's time for them to begin to step up. Every game. There can not be any more losses, nor should there be. If we lose again, the Zags, in my opinion, will not make it to the Sweet 16.

If they win tonight, do we make it to the sweet 16? I'm not convinced either way. If the Zags do go on a winning streak to end the season, just remember the competition in the NCAA tourney is far better than anything the WCC has to offer. We're just not in a position to even mention the sweet 16 right now, regardless of the outcome of any remaining WCC games.

Reborn
02-12-2009, 05:06 PM
I disagree, Hooter, I think fans have thought about the NCAA tournament all year long. Why? Because from the very beginning, we, the fan and analysts, believed this was going to be a very good team with special talent. If the WCC was a tougher conference this year, I would never make the kind of statement that I made. But, if the Zags have any pride, and any guts, they will stop easing up on their opponents even for a single second. It's time to play with complete intensity for 40 minutes and move through the conference the way we did the first time around. This time will be tougher, much tougher, which will only help the Zags because 6 out of the next 8 games are on the road. This will toughen up the Zags. And we need a heck of a lot of toughness that's for sure.

Teams that do well in the tournament begin to shine at the end of February and beginning of March. Teams like Villinova, Michigan State, Carolina, UCONN, Pitt, Oaklahoma, Memphis, UCLA, Clemson. I think these are the teams playing best right now. Gonzaga needs to move into the next tier immediately and I think that's Illinois, Marquette, Utah St., Xavier, Kansas, UW and Gonzaga. I don't have Louisville nor Arizona St or Purdue in the Sweet 16 right now. Teams that will challenge in my opinion are Butler and Davidson. I'd also keep my eyes on BYU, Utah and Arizona and Tennessee to upset someone (hopefully not the Zags).