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View Full Version : Is This Too Much For The '09-10 Zags?



BobZag
04-29-2009, 10:36 AM
@West Virginia
Maui 1 (Colorado)
Maui 2 (Vanderbilt)
Maui 3 (Maryland)
@Illinois (in Chicago)
@Duke (in NYC)
Michigan State (could be @East Lansing or @K2)
Oklahoma (in Spokane Arena)
BIS (opponent not yet known)
@Memphis

* Maui opponents are hypothetical

Mark Few stated last season that he was going to rethink how he schedules, following a long six-game tour of the country and something like two home games in two months... But as we all witnessed in March, on Selection Sunday, if teams don't play the heavy-hitters and ooc schedules are looked upon as weak, those teams run a good chance of being left out. See St. Mary's, Creighton, San Diego State. Or teams receive a lousy seed that diminishes chances of advancing.

So, what is too much and what isn't? What is good for the team and what is suicide?

Thoughts?

GUZagDenver
04-29-2009, 10:53 AM
I think we have to play these games if these teams want to play us. This is the same type of schedule that a team in a major conference plays, but maybe with some more miles to travel. We have a good mix of experienced players next year who should be able to handle this. I say we play.

GoZags
04-29-2009, 10:57 AM
Add the Cougs and Oregon State and it'd be just about right.

thebigsmoove
04-29-2009, 11:03 AM
mark my words...Gonzaga will play the toughest schedule in the country this year. Of course we will not get the respect, but every game we play in conference is the premier game of the year for the other school. And now that we can get home and homes with the likes of Duke, Illinois, West Virginia, Michigan St., Oklahoma, why not? We need that to get enough respect to even get a decent seed in the tourney. Our traveling, our intra-conference games and our inter-conference games prove year after year that Gonzaga is no longer a Mid Major, but rather right below a High Major...

pbriz
04-29-2009, 11:06 AM
Although we typically play a rigorous OOC schedule, it would mean a lot to take that #1 spot. Over and over analysts come selection Sunday would be saying "well, Gonzaga did playthe #1 OOC schedule."

If we want to be #1, we gotta challenge ourselves to be #1.

Play it. Anytime. Anywhere.

GoZags
04-29-2009, 11:11 AM
The key to having a top ranked OOC schedule is to avoid multiple 300+ RPI games. USC Upstate made for a nice "Senior" night celebration -- but it doesn't take many 300+ RPI OOC games to negate GU's solid, tough BCS opponents.

Gonzdb8
04-29-2009, 11:11 AM
agree with much of whats been said above. as long as we play in the WCC do we really have a choice? seems we have to play this type of OOC.

CDC84
04-29-2009, 11:12 AM
No game at West Virginia before Maui. The non-league sked would still be one of the toughest in the nation without it.

The Zags have no choice but to play a great non-league sked. I want it to be one of the toughest around. I just think there is a more reasonable and sane way of doing it. GU needs to exert greater effort into making sure that the games are sequenced better so that they can minimize the impact of heavy travel, avoid playing too many heavy hitters in a row, etc.

Gonzaga needs to keep in mind that they will be playing Cal State Bakersfield late in the season. They could be a 300+ RPI team. If they want to fit in another easy team so that they can work on things, schedule a D-2 school. They make your record look better but don't influence your RPI.

MDABE80
04-29-2009, 11:30 AM
I like the schedule...... .except for that WVU choice. 1 game to go to the East is a bit much. I'd do it for Duke in the Gahhhhhhden but not 2 of those long Eastern trips for 1 game. Take the better game and call it good. Just too tough and not enough in return.

Angelo Roncalli
04-29-2009, 11:36 AM
I have reservations about the WVU game, because of distance and timing. Otherwise, it's clear and the handwriting is on the wall that playing this kind of schedule is an absolute necessity.

Winning 20 games and winning the WCC regular season isn't going to cut it with the selection committee any more. Ask St. Mary's what their schedule last season did for them (and I don't mean to suggest it is SMC's fault, they tried desparately to get better games and were rebuffed).

Gonzaga can get these games. St. Mary's, Utah State, Creighton, San Diego State, etc., can't.

PLUS, GU needs to have these games for recruiting purposes. The biggest negative recuiting theme used by those against whom GU competes for recruits is "Gonzaga plays in a weak conference." There's no ability for GU to change conferences. Our coaches have to be able to respond to the negative recruiting line by saying (1) the markets in which the WCC plays are vitually the same markets as the Pac-10 (sans AZ); and (2) if you come to Gonzaga, you'll be playing top-notch teams from around the country in the pre-season, BIS and Ronald McDonald games...teams like Duke, UConn, Ok. State, Ga Tech, Oklahoma, etc. Water down the schedule with Cal Davis, Idaho State, and the like, and recruiting will suffer. A lot.

Absolutely. Have. To. Do. It.

4AmericasTeam
04-29-2009, 11:49 AM
Maui Classic is always a tough tourney, although I don't see Colorado as being too tough of a first round opponent -- they are kind of a lower half WCC caliber team.

75Zag
04-29-2009, 12:05 PM
GU is in a very strange position due to the WCC. Whereas most BCS and Elite schools play cupcake teams in the pre-season, GU plays its cupcake games during the course of the WCC regular season. So to balance things out, I believe GU has no choice but to schedule as many top 25 opponents in the non-conference schedule as possible. Unfortunate, but necessary to stay in the hunt for premier seeding into the NCAAs.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

GUZagDenver
04-29-2009, 12:27 PM
Colorado will be improved next season, and would finish in the top 3 in the WCC. They'll be a lot tougher as most of their significant players become sophomores(some look like they could take a jump up with Bzdelik's coaching), and Cory Higgins(son of Rod) looks like he's the read deal. Gonzaga is clearly better, but you can't exactly sleep on them and expect to win. They might be capable of a top half finish in the BIG XII. Coach Bzdelik has the makings of a top tier college coach, but he doesn't have the players quite yet. He's got NBA credentials and is well respected in the state. I think Colorado is a year or two away from being a perennial top 25 team.

Colorado looks just about as good as any of the other teams in the tournament, and I don't think any of them are as good as Gonzaga. The Zags are taking home the trophy.



I think the Colorado program is a dumpster fire, and this is a totally non-biased opinion. I am not from CO, went to Gonzaga, and follow college hoops.
There is a big difference between young and talented and just young. Higgins is a nice player, but the rest of their team is brutal. The arena is a joke and they have no fan base. They were 9-22 this year!! A perrenial top 25 team?????????

"It's the BIG 12!!!! It's Division 1 basketball!!!" They have a bunch of guys who need to "Go play intramurals brother!!!!!!"

whatazag
04-29-2009, 03:19 PM
We should play them if we are getting a return in K2 the next year. Yes, it is brutal travel, but they should be a top team next year, and we need to take every opportunity to get signature wins for the tournament and seeding. If we lose it will not be the end of the world, and we will have a good team finally coming to K2.

Reborn
04-29-2009, 04:08 PM
First, I would not play Duke in MSG. Duke never comes out here, and I just don't like that about them. If we play them we must play at MSG, which all should know is almost like a home game for them. I'd play Duke if they're willing to come and play us in the BIS. I would also not play both Mich ST and W. Virginia away in the same year. These are top ten and top 20 teams and to play them both on the road is murder. I do NOT like this schedule at all, and it could hurt the Zags deeply.

We are already going to play some quality teams in the Maui, no doubt. Let's go with BZ's picks. Colorado, Maryland and Vanderbilt. All very good teams and hopfully Ws, but my take is that we are going to lose a game there because of our inexperience. Maryland and Vanndy should be top 50 teams. We are already at Illinois, and at Memphis who are most likely top 25 teams. Those could easily be losses. We have Oklahoma in the Arena. This will be a very tough game. Oklahoma will probably be a top 15 team. I would try to get W. Virginia to come to Seattle to play. Otherwise I would not play them.

If we play Duke in the Garden and at Mich St, we could easily have a 7 or an 8 Loss season. I personally hope that Few does rethink his "play anyone anyplace philosophy. HE should adopt a play anyone any time philosophy but get teams to come to Spokane. That definately would eliminate Duke. Personally I like the W Virginia home and home better than the Mich ST. Why take on two of the best programs in the Big 10? Playing Illinois away is bad enough.

This Zag team is going to be very inexperienced. IF they get beat up too much, it really could hurt them in the long run. There has already been way too much talk, imo, already about this being a Final 4 team next year. I think it is non-sense. This kind of talk went on last year too, and there was a huge let down by the fans, and we were fortunate the Zags had a Senior laiden team because they were able to bounce back after some tough losses. Last years team did have high potential, and who knows what could have happened if we hadn't gotten N. Carolina so early. The reason we did was because of our OOC losses. Our loss to MEmphis at home was what kept us from getting a higher seed. If we are to believe we will make it to the Final 4 then the Zags will need a #1 or a #2 seed. Otherwise forget it. With the schedule as presented by BZ, the Zags will either be one and done or at most win 1 game. Last years team had some great Seniors on it. We must remember that. And we must remember that too many losses will kill anyone.

kyle dixon
04-29-2009, 05:12 PM
Any time you get a chance to play in the Mecca of basketball, you take it. Play Duke this year.

If we are going to skim games, take out the West Virginia game to begin the season. I like starting with Idaho and maybe a D-2 team and then heading to Maui.

A trip to Illinois, Memphis, and to NYC. Spread these games out over the season with the Thanksgiving trip to Maui and that is a tough, but good non-conference schedule. If MSU wants to play us in the MAC and Oklahoma in the Arena. Return to East Lansing the following year. Great schedule which will push forward in to the conference games.

I cannot wait until hoops season!

Kyle

gamagin
04-29-2009, 05:26 PM
past ones (future ones, too) are indicative of this program's continued goal of maintaining GU as a highly competitive, respected & successful college basketball program throughout the country and the world.

the process necessarily dictates that to move forward means to not stand still. Maintaining is not moving forward, either. The only way to move forward is to move. Forward.

Given the innate limitations of a Gonzaga program, starting with our location, we willingly go wherever we must to jumpsart our recruits and challenge our veterans against the best teams we can.

Before our league even begins, most of our charges have already faced many of the best athletes and a few of the best teams in the country.

That's the idea.

The team jet shortens the distance and time required for all this exposure and access to it changes, imo, almost all of the down sides everyone else has to deal with.

While concerned Zag fans think the travel and timing can be a bit much, I tend to worry, when I worry, about the intangibles, like injuries, interrupting the process. Rob Sacre is a good example with this year's team.

We'll never know if he'd have been a game changer because his foot never healed in time. And we can only hope RS is back, at full strength, and that the rest of the team will enjoy good health all next season.

In the meantime, I like what I see, including the idea that even with its success, Gonzaga is not going to change its core philosophy of taking on the world whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.

Go TEAM Zags !

229SintoZag
04-29-2009, 05:48 PM
I am leery of too much travel, but I also think we need to step up and get our sleeves rolled up early.

T.R.'s thoughts are apropos here:


It is not the Monday morning quarterbacking, armchair scheduling critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

Zags should dare greatly in next year's OOC schedule. Even if it means WVU at WVU. Gonzaga is simply not in a position where it can turn down Big East teams willing to come to K2. The team/athletic department is a couple seasons behind on delivering a team of that caliber to the players and the season ticket holders at K2 and the debt needs to be remedied.

I also now agree we should play Duke at MSG no matter what. If we get a BIS in return, great, but I am not counting my chickens. I mean, Duke is Duke.

Even if the Zags just go .500 in these games, we are still better off. In terms of "scalps" for our March nitty gritty report; in terms of RPI, in terms of toughness developed through the school of hard knocks.

I would not have this position if we did not have a chartered jet, which makes a WORLD of difference in travel. I have on a few occasions been lucky enough to travel this way to the east coast and it is day and night in terms of the fatigue of travel.

Can we play Duke, MSU, WVU, the Maui field, Oklahoma, and Memphis in our OOC next year and survive? Yes.

Should we? Tough call, but at this point I do not see who we say no to.

Remember, we have to compensate for our senior night Cal State Bakersfield game.

Rangerzag
04-29-2009, 06:09 PM
Lots of teams look really good this time of year. It is the nature of the beast. The schools who usually have great years are the ones the Zags need to schedule for the OOC. Seems like every year teams who this time of year look like they will be dynamite fizzle through the actual season and turn out to be an anchor instead of something to brag about. December of 03 the Zags beat then #3 Missouri in the Battle in Seattle. The end of season Pomeroy RPI of that Missouri team was 46, not at all what would have been expected the prior April. Last April Arizona looked a lot better as an opponent than they did by the beginning of this February. Ya can't predict this stuff so you have to make your choices as strong as they can be so by the time the season is all over but the shoutin' you still have something to show the selection committee.

seasontixholder
04-29-2009, 07:47 PM
Play that schedule without Austin, and it will boil down to having to win the WCC tournament in order to dance.

bballbeachbum
04-29-2009, 09:31 PM
baptism by fire...I like it. Plus, early in the season, and for so many of the brand new faces, it gets everyone's attention big time, like hey, this is what it takes, learn it right now...do it right now! the strong will survive it, thrive in it; find out who they are right away, and more than that, challenge all to meet the task, all together...rise up and meet it!

the new guys, and the mentalities we are hearing they bring...I like this tough schedule stuff. who is for real?

another thing: if what seasontixholder says is true, and it might be, then we'll be that much tougher for our our league and WCC tournament having played and exposed ourselves to the best early, knowing that it's just the starting point of the season, not the ending, for next year's team.

But hey, that potential schedule is thick, no doubt. I oculd argue against it, and do remember some past year's pains. what dosesn't kill you, etc., and I just don't think it will kill us.

Many thought the UConn game killed us last year, the Memphis game killed us last year, but I believe they just made us a heck of a lot better. That Utah game, taht second half was big, the recovery began. All three were losses but integral to later succes, imo.

the gains here could pay off later for some of the new guys, years later, probably not what some prefer to hear

I'm with gamagin.

and Final Four talk, with 7 new faces coming and the team's potential leading scorer in limbo? :lmao: let's at least see the new faces scrimmage before anointing them to such heights, I mean, weights

GO TEAM ZAGS!!!

Reborn
04-30-2009, 04:14 PM
A lot of fans were not happy last year when the Zags lost I think 3 or 4 in a row. This board went into a deep depression. I know it's Spring, and it's all about new life right now. And summer will be fun as well. But do we really want a lot of losses this year that are not necessary any more. We are become an elite team, which means we can pick and choose to some extent. Yes we will need to play great teams always. It's part of being a Zag. But we can now get a little balance I believe and not Have TO TRAVEL so much. It's only my very small opinion.

hoopster777
05-01-2009, 06:40 AM
Colorado will be improved next season, and would finish in the top 3 in the WCC. They'll be a lot tougher as most of their significant players become sophomores(some look like they could take a jump up with Bzdelik's coaching), and Cory Higgins(son of Rod) looks like he's the read deal. Gonzaga is clearly better, but you can't exactly sleep on them and expect to win. They might be capable of a top half finish in the BIG XII. Coach Bzdelik has the makings of a top tier college coach, but he doesn't have the players quite yet. He's got NBA credentials and is well respected in the state. I think Colorado is a year or two away from being a perennial top 25 team.

Colorado looks just about as good as any of the other teams in the tournament, and I don't think any of them are as good as Gonzaga. The Zags are taking home the trophy.

Colorado will be improved but they certainly wont finish higher than 8th or 9th in the Big 12. They did have a ton of close games against good teams, but the team is completely driven by whether or not Cory Higgins scores 25 points or more. Higgins will be an NBA player, he's got the body and has a great overall game. The only other returning player who has some potential is Austin Dufault. The rest of the players aren't that good. Bzdelik also plays a style similar to WSU's under Bennett. Its very hard to play that kind of style in the Big 12, a conference that perennially has top frontcourt players. Unless Bzdeliks freshman class has some surprises Colorado is going to have a tough year again in a VERY tough Big 12 (watch out, the Big 12 could be the best basketball conference next year).

zag67
05-01-2009, 07:04 PM
Let's assume that we play all of the above teams plus we will be playing WSU and probably Portland State. Now let's assume that Austin gets a great offer and decides to go to the NBA.
If we could come through that set of 12 games, with a 7-5 or 8-4 record, that to me would be super. When we have that many new players, this would lead them into the league prepared to make another great run.

Look at what we have next year:
PG - Meech (GJ depending on if he is strong enough, otherwise RS)
SG - Bouldin, Gray, Gibbs (backup for Meech)
Wing - Arop, Kong, (Olynyk - RS)
PF/C - Poling, Sacre, Dower, Harris, Foster

Individually they might not be ready, but as a group that to me looks like a super stong group to build on. They would be practicing against each other and then playing some of the top teams in the country to make them learn how to play as a super team. In the beginning their are going to be lots of "freshmen" erros, but this would prepare them for trusting each other, working hard on the defensive end of the court, rebounding, finding the open person, and lastly (but not least) making the open shot. I think it would be fun to watch them grow.

In the beginning they will depend alot on Bouldin and Gray to be the leaders. Meech to control the point and Sacre to control the boards. Then lastly we need one or two more to step up early. But I then think that there will be others that step up as the year goes on.

Reborn
05-02-2009, 07:55 AM
The thing is bballbeachbum, if GU had won of either the UCONN or Memphis games they would have probably been a 3 seed and would not have played UNC until the elite 8 or we may have gotten into the West Regional. Losing lots of games does matter in the seeding of the tournament. Gonzaga, in my opinion, although a mid-major school, is considered an ellite basketball program. Mid-major teams now look to knock off Gonzaga in the way they would want to knock off Duke UNC, UCLA, ect ect. Im not saying to stop playin those schools we're talking about, but to balance the schedule between home and away. Unless this class is EXTREMELY talented, they will still be Freshman, and new to college basketball. With so many first year players on the team I feel that this schedule is dangerous. And the final 4 talk is kind of funny at this point, especiallly when we havent seen any of these guys play at the college level. But as I said earlier it is Spring, and it's a time to dream great dreams.

bballbeachbum
05-02-2009, 08:54 AM
The thing is bballbeachbum, if GU had won of either the UCONN or Memphis games they would have probably been a 3 seed and would not have played UNC until the elite 8 or we may have gotten into the West Regional. Losing lots of games does matter in the seeding of the tournament. Gonzaga, in my opinion, although a mid-major school, is considered an ellite basketball program. Mid-major teams now look to knock off Gonzaga in the way they would want to knock off Duke UNC, UCLA, ect ect. Im not saying to stop playin those schools we're talking about, but to balance the schedule between home and away. Unless this class is EXTREMELY talented, they will still be Freshman, and new to college basketball. With so many first year players on the team I feel that this schedule is dangerous. And the final 4 talk is kind of funny at this point, especiallly when we havent seen any of these guys play at the college level. But as I said earlier it is Spring, and it's a time to dream great dreams.

good points Reborn, and on the majority we agree. You make total sense to me re. our relative youth next year, the target we wear on our back, the seeding stuff, and the desire to play more home games vs. that crowd who doesn't want to come here. With the youth, even if the new players are good, which I'm sure they are and believe, they still have to learn to be good together, which typically takes time, seasoning, experience together...what can I say? I agree, the schedule looks freakin' tough man!

But I like that, too, and disagree re. UConn, Memphis; if we don't play them, we don't improve like we did last year imo. Those pivotal games taught us who we were and what to address, helped us peak. I know when WKU tied us, it was like deja vu, we've been here...the coaches and players, because they had learned that situation bitterly and intimately, made that calm pay off, both in the huddle before the play happened with the coaching decisions, and then on the court. we can disagree on this, but that's definitely how I feel :)

Another thing too is to assume we would have won the way we did in the rest of our schedule, played as well as we did, like running the table vs. the WCC, and thus achieving a 3 seed. I just don't think it's so cut and dried. Playing the tough OCC prepares us for our league and sets us up to dominate it. Nobody else does this successfully; to me it's also our ante to the big stage.

Is it out of balance? too tough too early for the too young? I cannot passionately disagree with that, OK? I mean, yes, I can see that feeling, and wrestled with it.

But we're in the WCC. We've created this anomaly in the national power structure by doing it this way, "anyone anywhere.". I'm not for messing with that formula. Again, it's our ante to the big boy table imo...although I understand we have evolved to a different platform from the one for which this formula was initially designed.

Anyway, fun discussion.

These guys are going to have to get tough early. Then, when the WCC starts, the young guys will be hardened by having tested the best, the toughest OCC schedule in the country. I respect that pursuit and believe we will represent. I'd like to dump the WVU game.

GO TEAM ZAGS!!!