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pbriz
05-21-2009, 06:08 PM
6. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Coach Mark Few regularly fields one of the better teams in the country. He does a great job of assessing and assembling talent and this recruiting class is no exception. At 6-foot-10, SF Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops, British Columbia/South Kamloops) has very good size for the perimeter and can score from 3-point range as well as in the paint. Six-foot-9 C Samuel Dower (Osseo, Minn./Osseo) has good mobility and will use the jump hook to score as well as connect on short jumpers. PG G.J. Vilarino (McKinney, Texas/McKinney), a 5-11 one-time Kentucky signee, excels in transition and has very good vision and passing skills. Six-foot-6 SG Mangisto Arop (Hamilton, Ontario/NEDA) has very good athleticism and an immense amount of upside.

We trail George Mason, UMass, Rice, San Diego State, and UNLV.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/basketball/mens/news/story?id=4185555

mainer6
05-21-2009, 06:54 PM
If that is really where we are, then that is a disappointment. We should out-recruit Rice every time. And, no mention of Bol. I wonder if his inclusion would change the assessment much. Any thoughts?

CDC84
05-21-2009, 07:08 PM
We trail George Mason, UMass, Rice, San Diego State, and UNLV.

I bet Gonzaga won't 2-3 years from now.

The problem that Gonzaga has (which really isn't a problem) is that they have too much talent returning, in addition to Kong and Harris coming on board, for Gilarino/Arop/Olynyk/Dower to have the kind of "freshman impact" that an intriguing prospect would have at Rice or Mason.

It's interesting to note that Sam Dower was once pursued by George Mason, but as soon as Gonzaga, Marquette, Cal and others got involved, the party was over for the Colonials.

I think this is turning out to be the most fascinating recruiting class that Gonzaga has ever brought in. There are so many people on the outside that have no idea how good these incoming players are. Few and Co. have a phenomenal recruiting track record since the early part of this decade. It's basically been (with a couple of exceptions) one high major talent after the next, regardless of the player's recruiting ranking. Zag fans have no reason to worry that Rice or GMU are getting better players than Gonzaga is.

OZZag
05-21-2009, 07:48 PM
Agreed CDC, even the admission by ESPN that Manny has great upside shows the little they actually know about him. Even with Olynyk now getting some recognition most of our recruits have been out of sight to the likes of ESPN. Now if we include Elias and Bol to this group, not only should the classs be #1, you have a team that could realistically take on many of the lesser D1 sides first up.

The best example of this "out of sight out of mind" is Cory Joseph who, last year playing in Canada, wasn't even rated by any of the sites, but after one year at Findlay Prep is now top 5 for 2010.

Martin Centre Mad Man
05-22-2009, 04:52 AM
I find it amusing that a program that has recruited talent the likes of Dan Dickau, Casey Calvary, Ronny Turiaf, Adam Morrison, J.P. Batista, Cory Viollette, Matt Santangelo, Blake Stepp, Matt Bouldin, Errol Knight, Micah Downs, Austin Daye, Josh Heytvelt, etc. never seems to receive any recognition for it's recruiting classes. How many times has Gonzaga had a Top 25 recruiting class in the past decade? Once? Twice? How many years has Gonzaga finished the season as a Top 25 team? Eight or nine?

Mark Few does a better job of assessing talent than anybody on ESPN.Com. This recruiting class will not be remembered as a Top 10 Mid-Major recruiting class. By the time these incoming players finish their careers, they will be remembered as a Top 10 recruiting class.

LongIslandZagFan
05-22-2009, 05:19 AM
Is it me or is Harris not on that list either.

75Zag
05-22-2009, 06:21 AM
The ranking seems like a bit of a slap in the face to the Bulldogs, since GU does not like to think of itself as a mid-major, and REALLY does not want to be a mid-major ranked behind some of the mediocre teams mentioned above us (excepting UNLV, which has a hell of a recruiting class including a couple kids GU was interested in).

The thing I love about NCAA basketball is that anybody can say anything about anyone, but in the end we all know who gets to the Final Four and who wins the National Championship. No political B. S. like the football championship. In basketball, the best team wins and the rest don't. I assume some of you brainy types can take these recruiting class ranking evaluations over the past 4 years and compare them to NCAA tournament performance over the past 4 years. That should demonstrate whether these evaluations are a worthwhile predictor of NCAA success or not, at least based upon a small sample.

For myself, if GU makes the Final 4 with these new kids that nobody has ever heard of, I will dance on the graves of the ESPN - Scout - Rivals evaluators. If not, then perhaps the ESPN - Scout - Rivals recruiting class evaluators are right.

PS - this is my #666 post. I am thinking of having that number tattooed on my forehead, but I think Charles Manson beat me to it. Would you trade your soul to the Devil for a GU National Championship? How about a GU National Championship plus Jessica Alba? Hmmmm.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

CDC84
05-22-2009, 08:04 AM
The ranking seems like a bit of a slap in the face to the Bulldogs, since GU does not like to think of itself as a mid-major, and REALLY does not want to be a mid-major ranked behind some of the mediocre teams mentioned above us (excepting UNLV, which has a hell of a recruiting class including a couple kids GU was interested in).

It should be noted that UNLV doesn't belong on this list anymore than Gonzaga does. The Rebs were an elite program from the mid-70's thru the early 90's before the school's administration killed the program for several years after Tark left. They went to final 4's, won a national title, played in one of the best arenas around (which seats 18,000+) and put dozens of players into the NBA. Their program, even today, doesn't resemble Rice in anyway, shape or form.

As assistant coach Leon Rice said in that one article, Gonzaga guns for players who are also being recruited by UCLA, Kansas, etc. The Zags may not land all those guys, or even most of them, but they’re in the discussion. You just don’t see Old Dominion and South Alabama on Josh Smith’s school list. On the other hand, guys like Meech Goodson and Steven Gray wouldn't be playing in the WCC if they didn't choose Gonzaga. They may have been underestimated by some recruiting experts, but high major coaches from all over were very aware of who they were.

BobZag
05-22-2009, 08:20 AM
This must mean the Zags will be the 6th best mid-major.

Darn it anyway!

DADoZAG
05-22-2009, 09:53 AM
The pride of the ZAGS runs within the team (both old and new), within Coach Few and the staff, within the fans and within those that post this board.

The respect we have for this program is what makes us yearn for news on the King, search for video on KO and Harris, and yes, look to ESPN for rankings.

The rest of the college basketball world just doesn't know yet. But they will...

Go ZAGS!!!

former1dog
05-22-2009, 11:15 AM
I think some of the reactions to this prognostication are a bit thin skinned.

Personally, I don't care where a recruiting class "ranks", I care about the results of the team.

spudzag
05-22-2009, 12:06 PM
Mark Few does a better job of assessing talent than anybody on ESPN.Com.

BINGO

FlatheadZag
05-22-2009, 01:18 PM
Recruiting rankings mean very little at this point other than to sell magazines and get us fanatics to look at websites listing them in May. I mean look at Notre Dame in football, they always rank very high. The real results will be over the next several years on the court, I have faith in Few. Our incoming class contains quite a few international players which aren't as well known to the so-called recruiting media experts, thus our lower rating also.

dim4sum
05-22-2009, 01:27 PM
What with Canadians, Africans and even a half-German in the mix, methinks the powers that be at the rating services, don't have a good handle on how to rank this year's incoming class. Few of the gurus, if any, follow the Canadian and European prep scene. Even a talent like Lowe, from Hawaii, was vastly under the radar screen.
It will be interesting how this year's multinational corporation comes to fruition as a unit.
From what I've observed , the prep hoop scene in Germany tends to be a tad above the Canadian version, because the good teams tend to be sprinkled with American kids who are sons of GIs.

MJGoGaels
05-22-2009, 02:34 PM
If that is really where we are, then that is a disappointment. We should out-recruit Rice every time. And, no mention of Bol. I wonder if his inclusion would change the assessment much. Any thoughts?

Perhaps if you knew that Ben Braun formerly of Cal Berkeley was the coach you might have a different thought process. Ben is a pretty good recruiter and Rice is very interested in raising the status of their program. I hope Saint Mary's can get Rice back on our schedule with one and one's again.

kitzbuel
05-22-2009, 08:48 PM
Make your feeling known in this poll.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/174542-mid-major-recruiting-top-classes-of-2009

mainer6
05-23-2009, 05:29 AM
Perhaps if you knew that Ben Braun formerly of Cal Berkeley was the coach you might have a different thought process. Ben is a pretty good recruiter and Rice is very interested in raising the status of their program. I hope Saint Mary's can get Rice back on our schedule with one and one's again.

I am sure your thoughts on Rice are accurate, but my point is that Goanzaga, with their decade of success, should be able to out-recruit a school that has not been in the national spotlight. I have no doubt that many other programs are growing and thriving, but isn't one of the major complaints about college b-ball is that the gap between the haves and the have nots continues to grow?
Great for Rice if they are improving their program and finding a good coach. But, I still feel that there is no way that Rice should have a stronger pull than a proven program.

75Zag
05-23-2009, 06:15 AM
I am frustrated by the fact that NONE of the top 100 players ranked at Scout for 2009 are coming to play for GU. I don't expect elite kids to be breaking down the GU doors to be admitted, but not one single top 100 kid wants to play for GU? Ouch!

http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=9&c=4&cfg=bb&pid=88&yr=2009

I blame the failure to land any top 100 kids in 2009 on the Bulldog NCAA disasters of 07 and 08. Hopefully with the Sweet Sixteen in 2009 we will have better luck recruiting in 2010 and beyond, but as was mentioned above, men's BB recruiting seems to be rapidly devolving into extreme examples of "have" and "have not" programs and for 2009 at least, I rank GU in the "have not" side of the equation.

Perhaps our incoming batch of foreign players will make Scout and Rivals and ESPN recruiting evaluators look like morons. Certainly GU staff has had good luck turning unknown and unwanted kids into respected college BB players. But I can't help believing that if GU wants to move up in national stature from an "occasional Sweet 16" team to a "probable Elite 8" team, we have to start landing some of the higher ranked kids.

Happy Memorial Day, and God Bless those with friends and loved ones who are serving in the armed forces.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

MickMick
05-23-2009, 06:44 AM
Who is to say that Gonzaga did not "out recruit" Rice? No one will know for sure until 2-3 years from now. After a decade of great success on the court, I would expect that most of us might trust Mark Few's judgment with respect to recruiting players that fit.

The whole is greater than than the individual parts. If individuals contribute to Few's specific roles within the framework of a "team", then they are quite capable of competing at a high level. That is Gonzaga basketball.

After a decade, shouldn't we give the coaching staff more credit for bringing in players that will maintain the level of excellence that we have all grown accustomed to? Give them the benefit of the doubt until they give you good reason not to. I would interpret that "doubt" as 2 or more consecutive seasons of failing to reach the big dance.

Once you "punch the ticket," anything can happen. I will ask this. Who gave UNC a better contest in the last tournament than Gonzaga did? Given a different bracket, the Zags could have possibly gained a final four birth.

The Zags are much closer than many think. One must consider how the Zags have annually ranked in the last decade with respect to recruit rankings. Especially with reference to the specific media rankings mentioned in this thread. Yet Mark Few has continuously delivered.

He will deliver again.

deathchina
05-23-2009, 07:03 AM
I'm really excited about our class...I think this is just a case of guys that haven't been properly scouted not getting the benefit of the doubt. It's gonna be super exciting to watch them develop.


As for our recruiting...I just wish we could do a better job of locking up the stud instate talents. I went back and looked at scout rankings for the last 8 years or so. There have been 22 players in the state of Washington ranked as a 4 or 5 star recruit, and we've landed 3 of them. Micah Downs , Heytvelt and Pendo. 3 out of 22 is not a great percentage..we should be able to do better in our own state. Lots of quality guys go elsewhere....Broy, Brockman, Aaron Brooks, Marvin Williams, Terrence Williams, etc etc....I understand that some kids will never play for a non BCS conference school...for whatever reason...but 3 out of 21 seems lower than it should. It's not like we didn't want any of these guys....

MDABE80
05-23-2009, 10:38 AM
1. It's a 2 way street....coaches pick the ones they want and players pick the school they want. The Top 100 kids usually go to factory or big time BCS schools..we're neither. Something about the ype of big buildings and 25,000 students is a draw......wasn't for me in college but bigger is better now in the players' minds......except for those precious few who look at GU because it has a great program and has a homespun feel.

2. Pretty rare for a top 100 kids to NOT be from a large city..with all those hyped things that a big city brings. Spokane just isn't a big time hyped place. Seattle and the larger places make fun of the town. Some kids and their parents like a smaller, more intimate place. I did.

3. Weather isn't a peach at Spokane,...worse the past few years. It's the picture painted of excitement, beaches, temperate climes are things that attract youngins. It shouldn't matter because the kids are busy with school....studying or playing ball....seems to though.

4. Culture...not so diverse in Spokaloo.seems to be elsewhere.and for many kids , it's a draw.

We cannot be what we're arent/ What we aren't seems to attractive the Top 100 kids. 75 makes a good point when it comes to Brockman and BRoay....which are the 2 kids we really tried hard to bring to GU. Just didn't work.......hometown program won out....and often times will. As an aside, I think Brockman is the one kids in the past 10 years who could have gotten this past team to a FF.

Some kids want what GU has....big time kids are drooled and fawned over. We don't do that. We offer solid academics, a smaller conference (BIG drawback), great facilities....and major oversight and discipline. Outside of facilities, not all kids want the other things. We do offer what few programs have though: results. We win 80% of the time.

zag67
05-23-2009, 11:44 AM
MDA, very well stated. Like you said many of the top 100 like to go to the top schools that have a football program and are in major cities (or warm weather). Also many of the top 100 players have other issues that might not fit into a program like GU. Either grades, not like the Northwest, one and out mentality (no time to create a team player), or ????? These are not the type of players that a coach like Few can easily mold into the team type concept that is built at GU. Also, it is not easy to build the type of team (both offensive and defensive) with many one or two and out players.

The teams that Cal develops are built around run and gun and require 8 (or more) super athletic players to make it work. I just think that they are a different breed. The Duke, UNC, Kansas, Texas, UCLA, and now Kentucky have many top 100 players. I think that you would see that every time they loose multiple one or two and out players, they also struggle the next year. Also how many of these top 100 players, do not pan out? There is no way to be sure that the player will keep maturing and improving to play at the next level.

I think that from what I have read about our class of players, I would rather have them for 3 to 4 years, than a top 20 player for 1 year. They may (or may not be ) a top 100 player now, but wait for 2 years and then let us compare our players to the top 100 players. At that time I think that you will see that on the average, our players will out perform them.

But this is just my opinion.

Martin Centre Mad Man
05-25-2009, 07:31 AM
I agree with Zag67. I don't want Gonzaga to recruit players who do not want to stay in school long enough to develop as players and human beings. I have never liked coaches or programs who sell short the academic reputation of the university to recruit athletes who do not want to be at least part-time students.

For the Kentucky faithful, one of the biggest draws about Coach Calipari was his ability to recruit, "One and done," talent, essentially those top-tier players who plan to play exactly one collegiate season before jumping into the pros. I don't think that this is necessarily something that a university should be looking for in a college coach. The Kentucky fans are looking for someone who will give valuable scholarships to kids from out of state who will stay at the school for one year. They want their coach to compete for kids who have no intention of graduating and no intention of doing anything in the classroom beyond the bare minimum to retain their eligibility through the end of the season. These are kids who will never return to the state of Kentucky and will never give back anything of value to their community and state. These are kids like O.J. Mayo, and DeJuan Wagner who add nothing to the university except for a few wins on the court during a single season. They don't stay at the school long enough to really develop their potential as athletes and they do nothing to contribute to the school in any other ways.

I would much rather that Gonzaga recruit student-athletes who value the entier Gonzaga experience and hope to earn a degree from the university, even if they also hope to use the scholarship as a stepping stone to a career in professional basketball. All five of this year's Gonzaga seniors have earned degrees from Gonzaga. In all likelihood, three of them will play some sort of professional ball, either in the NBA or Europe. When their athletic careers are finally over, they will always have college degrees and will be able to advance their future careers in something beyond professional sports.

This is a much better reflection of our coaching staff than their ability or inability to recruit the top-rated high school "talent."

BobZag
05-25-2009, 09:15 AM
I'm really excited about our class...I think this is just a case of guys that haven't been properly scouted not getting the benefit of the doubt. It's gonna be super exciting to watch them develop.


As for our recruiting...I just wish we could do a better job of locking up the stud instate talents. I went back and looked at scout rankings for the last 8 years or so. There have been 22 players in the state of Washington ranked as a 4 or 5 star recruit, and we've landed 3 of them. Micah Downs , Heytvelt and Pendo. 3 out of 22 is not a great percentage..we should be able to do better in our own state. Lots of quality guys go elsewhere....Broy, Brockman, Aaron Brooks, Marvin Williams, Terrence Williams, etc etc....I understand that some kids will never play for a non BCS conference school...for whatever reason...but 3 out of 21 seems lower than it should. It's not like we didn't want any of these guys....

Few managed to have Broy to visit GU, and Few really wanted Brockman, tried to get him to visit. Grier liked Terrence Williams a lot, and the staff offered Brooks/Raivio/Appleby all the same time and Raivio pulled the trigger first.

If the Zags can get Joe Harris in 2010, and Brett Kingma and Gary Bell, Jr., in 2011, that would be three top prospects from WA. Whether they are 4 stars or not, I don't know.

titopoet
05-26-2009, 08:15 AM
I actually like the fact we are getting more foreign players. Some points about the ratings:

Because we are getting more Canadians and now one German, the rank services are not going to give us a good ranking. The rate Kelly higher than Manny, which shows they haven't seen Manny too much. (They tend not to see the foreign players)

The AAU system has ruined the team concept of basketball. We are getting players with a higher Basketball IQ, which Few use so well.

Remember Patty Mills went to St. Mary because Utah turn him down. If they had more reliable rankings for foreign players, Mills would have been recognized as one of the top point guards available.

This is not so with the pro rankings services. The NBA already recognizes the quality of foreign players.

I laughed when I heard that some on the board thought the best point guard in the draft was Ty Lawson. He will be a good pro, but Ricky Rubio can already start in the league. If was the starting PG for GU last year, we would have blown out the Tarheels by twenty (He is that good). I mean he was on the silver medalist team, Spain as a 17 year old.

The pros already have an eye on Harris.
(http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Elias-Harris-1382/)
Our rankings would at least be 15 period if not top 10, if the ratings of foreign players were decent, but for now let the rankings systems have their fun. We will be happy with the Ws, sweet 16s and maybe final fours.

OZZag
05-26-2009, 04:43 PM
I actually like the fact we are getting more foreign players. Some points about the ratings:

Because we are getting more Canadians and now one German, the rank services are not going to give us a good ranking. The rate Kelly higher than Manny, which shows they haven't seen Manny too much. (They tend not to see the foreign players)

The AAU system has ruined the team concept of basketball. We are getting players with a higher Basketball IQ, which Few use so well.

Remember Patty Mills went to St. Mary because Utah turn him down. If they had more reliable rankings for foreign players, Mills would have been recognized as one of the top point guards available.

This is not so with the pro rankings services. The NBA already recognizes the quality of foreign players.

I laughed when I heard that some on the board thought the best point guard in the draft was Ty Lawson. He will be a good pro, but Ricky Rubio can already start in the league. If was the starting PG for GU last year, we would have blown out the Tarheels by twenty (He is that good). I mean he was on the silver medalist team, Spain as a 17 year old.

The pros already have an eye on Harris.
(http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Elias-Harris-1382/)
Our rankings would at least be 15 period if not top 10, if the ratings of foreign players were decent, but for now let the rankings systems have their fun. We will be happy with the Ws, sweet 16s and maybe final fours.


Well put.

All three Canadians coming down have shown that they can play in teams, NEDA has given Manny and Kelly a good grounding in teamwork, and Bol proved when he played at Douglas that he was flexible and team focussed.

All of these players will improve and become part of the Zags folklore over the next 4-5 years!

DADoZAG
05-27-2009, 08:18 AM
I laughed when I heard that some on the board thought the best point guard in the draft was Ty Lawson.

It might seem that you have some good experience for which to edjumacate us.

Oh, I still believe that Ty Lawson was the best point guard... ...in the NCAA. :)

titopoet
05-28-2009, 05:57 AM
Oh, I still believe that Ty Lawson was the best point guard... ...in the NCAA.

I think you are right about Ty Lawson being best PG on the NCAA. He did put up better numbers than Ricky Rubio. Though Ricky plays in the highest level in Europe (the second best league in the world) The reason the NBA is looking to draft him 2 or 3 this year, which includes a large buyout is his upside is so high. Ty maybe the best in NCAA, Ricky is the best in the draft.

DADoZAG
05-28-2009, 07:15 AM
Ty maybe the best in NCAA, Ricky is the best in the draft.

I won't argue, but tell us more about the NBA having their sites on Harris already. Do you have first hand knowledge?

And what about the comment regarding AAU hurting the team concept? Is that opinion or...?

titopoet
05-28-2009, 08:38 AM
On Elias Harris http://www.nbadraft.net/players/elias-harris the knock on him has been ball handling and "He needs to show that he can be consistent and take over to be widely considered an NBA player, but he has the skills to do so."

On AAU, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/magazine/22basketball-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine is great article. To quote from the article: They passed only as a last resort. They played indifferent defense, or none at all. To watch this up close was to gain an understanding of the roots of the decline of team play in American basketball.

CDC84
05-28-2009, 09:13 AM
Those Harris evaluations are from a couple of years ago. Harris is a better ballhandler now, he's grown to 6-8, etc. In short, he's just better. How much better remains to be seen.

I think what's important to note is that the guy wouldn't be written about at draftexpress.com, etc., if he didn't have some nice upside.

75Zag
05-28-2009, 09:31 AM
This thread is veering well off topic, but in response to the above posts re AAU ball. The AAU basketball world is good, bad and ugly. You get to see some amazing basketball. High talent kids demand and receive tremendous attention even if they are 12 years old. They have coaches, handlers, managers, advisers, etc. hanging around the edge of the arena and as I have posted before, I am not convinced that everything that goes on at these venues is necessarily in the best interest of the kids (or legal by NCAA rules).

But, if you want to see the best kids in the state, region and/or nation before they hit college and the NBA, there is nothing like a major AAU event. The best AAU event in the Northwest in my opinion is the Rose City Showcase which is coming up the weekend of June 12 - 14 here in Portland. Check out their web site for participating teams, games, etc. and get there early for parking as some of the gyms are not well suited for drive up fans. Also, bring your love for urban / hip hop music or, in my case, your ear plugs. They have an official DJ for the games and a music list is posted on the Rose City Showcase web site. I am too old and too grumpy to appreciate the music, but I love the basketball.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

DADoZAG
05-28-2009, 10:50 AM
This thread is veering well off topic...!

Is it?

The topic of the thread is that the ZAGS have a recruiting class coming in that most on this board are pretty exited about, but the ranking services are not. Why is that, more ZAG Kool-Aid?

Or, could it be that the major ranking services use AAU as a prime marketing source for young players (an environment that does not seem to encourage ZAG type players), and to the greatest extent, are ignoring foreign players not involved with AAU?

If thatís the case, perhaps the Kool-aid is not all to blame, and itís easy to see why Rice would have a higher "ranked" class.

Further (and I'm shooting for the moon here), if the AAU environment encourages players to think "me" not team, and that's the environment that a good percentage of rankings come from rewarding players for not thinking defense, not thinking assist, not thinking team, should we ever expect Coach and the staff to recruit what the rankings call 4 or 5 star recruits?

Yea, I'm bored waiting for news on Bol. :o

zag67
05-28-2009, 11:25 AM
I think that at this time we should be pretty proud about ranking 6th. We still have 2 players that are not being counted on their list. Those are Kong and Harris. Both of them are expected to be starters before the end of their carrers and also are suppose to make major contributions this next year. So getting at least one of them and hopefully both, then this class makes a quantum leap in talent. Therefore, Yes I am proud and believe we will all be happy before the end of the carrers for the 2009 class.
I think that with the leadership of the existing players of Meech, Bouldin, Gray and Sacre, these players will be able to grow quickly. We also have Poling and Gibbs that will allow the new players to come along slowly.