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ZagNative
07-26-2009, 10:27 AM
Alrighty then, what do you think of Hoops Report (http://www.thehoopsreport.com/article.aspx?id=307)'s breakdown?
By Ryan Feldman
rfeldman@thehoopsreport.com

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gonzaga Bulldogs
Last Season: 28-6 (14-0)
Key Losses: Josh Heytvelt, Jeremy Pargo, Austin Daye, Micah Downs
Head Coach: Mark Few

Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Demetri Goodson 5-11 So.
SG: Steven Gray 6-5 Jr.
SF: Matt Bouldin 6-5 Sr.
PF: Sam Dower 6-9 Fr. PF
C: Robert Sacre 7-0 So. C
Key Reserves: Mangisto Arop 6-5 Fr. SF, Will Foster 7-5 Sr. C, Kelly Olynyk 6-10 Fr. SF

The 2009-10 Gonzaga Bulldogs may not be the same team Gonzaga fans are used to seeing over the last decade, but they still could be an NCAA tournament team. Not many teams can lose four of its top five scorers and still be considered a possible NCAA tournament team, but Mark Few has turned a formerly mid-major program into what is now a national college basketball powerhouse.

Back in March, Gonzaga got past Akron and Western Kentucky before falling to eventual national champion North Carolina in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. The Zags have had incredible success under Few, but they've yet to get over the hump and reach the Final Four. Unfortunatly, that is unlikely to happen this season, as they are in a sort of rebuilding year. But that doesn't mean the Zags can't still win the West Coast Conference title and reach their 12th straight NCAA tournament.Obviously, he missed Elias Harris in his breakdown, and also Bol Kong. What else?

Personally, I'd be delighted if we came into the season this far under the radar. It would nice for the freshmen to come in without excessive expectations.

CaliforniaZaggin'
07-26-2009, 10:48 AM
No mention of Grant or Andy either. I think Andy is going to surprise some people, and I wouldn't be shocked if he was the starting PF on opening night (FWIW, I still think Elias is the favorite to start at the 4). The big knock on Andy was always his frame, but he seems to have that taken care of that by bulking up to 240+ lbs since getting on to campus last year. One thing that worries me, however, is that Josh lost a lot of his explosiveness after he added weight, but some of that was likely do to all his foot problems as well. I don't think anyone has ever called Andy "explosive," but hopefully he can maintain his mobility despite bulking up.

A lot of us were really high on Grant when he first signed, but he's almost become the forgotten piece to the puzzle. He's got really nice size and length for his position, he's highly skilled, and I saw him in the gym a few times last year and he's a pretty solid athlete. Needless to say, there's going to be some fierce competition next year for the back-up minutes at the 2 and the 3, and I expect Grant to be right in the middle of that battle. Also, if G.J. redshirts (although I don't necessarily think that it will), Grant could possibly see some back-up PG minutes. Don't forget that he played a lot of point at Linn-Marr.

hoopster777
07-26-2009, 11:52 AM
I agree with CaliZag, Harris probably will be starting at the 4. No way Dower starts. Harris will be the most experienced newcomer. Dower may be on the shortlist for redshirt. Between Kelly, Dower, and GJ, someone probably will have a redshirt, that is if Bol Kong is in uniform.

GoZags
07-26-2009, 12:07 PM
I'm not sure if there'll be any redshirts (and I know that GJ will not be redshirted -- he'll be a contributing member of the rotation as a true freshman).

It could be that this year's Zag team has a 10 man rotation, similar to what happened in '98/'99. It seems to me that year had a bit of success.

A lot will happen between now and the opening tip. Hopefully the Zags will stay injury free -- but you never know.

I'm pumped that, although young -- the Zags will have incredibly talented depth. And that's a good thing.

Ezag
07-26-2009, 12:11 PM
It will be interesting to see the battle between Poling and Sacre. I think Andy will be more skilled but can he be the bruiser that I think Sacre will be?

GoZags
07-26-2009, 12:58 PM
It will be interesting to see the battle between Poling and Sacre. I think Andy will be more skilled but can he be the bruiser that I think Sacre will be?

Poling and Sacre will compliment each other vs compete against each other. It's like how last season was supposed to be with Josh and Rob.

pbriz
07-26-2009, 05:36 PM
Just taking off the Zag colored glasses, this may actually be where we end up. We lack experience and a proven frontcourt, and turnovers may be a real issue with all the youngsters. I think this is more along the lines of a worst case scenario but by all means it could happen.

That being said, if we are ranked #53, we could still be the best team in the WCC (if Portland doesn't make a big improvement).

HOOTER
07-26-2009, 06:14 PM
Just taking off the Zag colored glasses, this may actually be where we end up. We lack experience and a proven frontcourt, and turnovers may be a real issue with all the youngsters. I think this is more along the lines of a worst case scenario but by all means it could happen.

That being said, if we are ranked #53, we could still be the best team in the WCC (if Portland doesn't make a big improvement).

:agreed:
As of right now, this is a fair assessment. The Zag's are packed with raw, unproven talent. Aside from a few guys there's just not much D-1 experience on this team. I really think we'll be competing for a national title within the next few years, but certainly not this year. We no doubt will make another trip to the tourney, but making a deep run is unlikely. Who knows though. These guys may gel right away and form the best team ever to play at Gonzaga. We've got a while before we find out for sure.

CaliforniaZaggin'
07-26-2009, 06:21 PM
Just taking off the Zag colored glasses, this may actually be where we end up. We lack experience and a proven frontcourt, and turnovers may be a real issue with all the youngsters. I think this is more along the lines of a worst case scenario but by all means it.

+1

GoZags
07-26-2009, 06:28 PM
I have no problem with the preseason 53 ranking. I'd much rather be ranked 53 in the preseason than 3.

As I've said in the past -- this year reminds me of '00/'01 -- when Few broke 7 new players into the rotation, and much of the season was played with only 2 guys on the floor who'd ever seen action as Zags.

That season ended with NCAA wins over Virgina and Indiana State, followed by a tough loss to 1 seed Michigan State in the Sweet 16.

The Zags would have not gotten an automatic bid that year (their RPI was 75 btw the highest ever in the Monson/Few era) so it's fortunate that they won the WCC tourney. My belief is this year's squad will gel after some growing pains -- and it could take a WCC tourney win to get them into the dance.

That being said -- I REALLY like the makings of this year's squad. They've got leadership, they've got talent, they've got depth -- and come January, they'll have experience. Combine that with GREAT coaching -- and this has the makings of the start of another great new era for Zags hoops. As I've maintained all along (and continue to maintain) -- the best is yet to come. GoZags

alaskazagnut
07-26-2009, 09:10 PM
The 09/10 Zags will dominate the WCC and get the automatic bid to the NCAA tourney again. San Diego will get an invite. St Marys will be NIT bound and our conference will be increasingly be seen as one of the strongest "non-BCS conferences in basketball. I believe we will also have success in our pre-conference games and only lose two games (Illinois, and Duke if we play them.) We should start the pre-season AP at 14 and the coaches poll at 18.

bigblahla
07-27-2009, 07:37 AM
Well the days of of sneaking up on other teams is long gone unless their coach has been living under a rock for the last decade.

I want to say rankings don't matter but in the grand scheme of a season they have an impact come tournament time.

No serious injuries and we be smiling! :D

Then again I'm always wearing my Zag colored glasses.


Go!! Zags!!!

LongIslandZagFan
07-27-2009, 08:01 AM
I think it is a fair assessment. It is hard to really gauge how the freshman will react in true D1 games. I think that this team could either be the team described in the article or top 25 material depending on how things go early on. This WILL be a very solid team come next year without a doubt.

CDC84
07-27-2009, 08:04 AM
Everytime Gonzaga is supposed to be headed toward a so called "rebuilding year," Few and Co. manage to win 20+ games and make the NCAA tournament with ease. It's just the way the program is at this point. They might not always get the best of seeds in such years, but they get there, and that is what ultimately matters.

lothar98zag
07-27-2009, 11:53 AM
...
Personally, I'd be delighted if we came into the season this far under the radar...


...I'd much rather be ranked 53 in the preseason than 3...

For the record, I want GU to be ranked #1 every day of every year. I don't need everyone/anyone to agree with me but I will never be able to understand why someone wants GU to be less than the best or thought of as less than the best.





(I also want them to win every game they ever play, but don't worry - I do realize I don't always get what I want)

Reborn
07-27-2009, 12:58 PM
No Poking, no Gibbs, No Bol, and no Harris. That about one-third of our team. I would rank the Zags as #53 as well if these four guys weren't on the team. Maybe some of the higher earlier rankings had us rated so high because the analysts thought Daye was coming back. Well some fans believe that the Zags might be even better now that he is gone.

The 2010 team is going down in Zaglore as the biggest Zag Surprise of all time. The # 2010 is just too good of a number to miss this opportunity.

cjm720
07-27-2009, 01:03 PM
#53 isn't too bad considering we lost 4 out of 5 starters on a Top 20 team. Any sport's writing hack who doesn't do his homework can make the connection that we won't be as highly ranked. I would have like to see Poling and Vilarino mentioned, but can understand why Harris and Kong were not at this point. I for one have high expecations for this team and can't wait to hit the first polls, whether it's in November or March/April.

GO ZAGS!!!!

sittingon50
07-27-2009, 01:15 PM
As has been mentioned before, being in the ESPN Top 25 means more highlights on SportsCenter = more visability = improved recruiting access.

Got to keep the product in front of the consumer.

ZagNative
07-27-2009, 01:53 PM
You left out the rest of that paragraph you quote from, Lothar. My concern and wish is not about sneaking up on other teams or flying under the radar early on so we can stage surprise strikes on the enemy camp. My concern is about what too-high expectations for an overwhelmingly rooky squad do the kids.

These newcomers have to know they don't come in "entitled" to anything but a chance to play and prove themselves. They have to earn respect and prestige just like those who came before them did.

A Mark-Few-coached team is going to earn pre-season brownie points because prognosticators have come to respect whet he's done at Gonzaga and to know you can't sleep on him.

Reborn
07-27-2009, 02:20 PM
I'd have to agree with Lothar on this one. I'm not sure if the guys on the team even care about the poll ranking, especially in preseason. These polls are for the fans, for people like us who have spare time to debate the significance of poll positioning. ZagNative makes an interesting point, that we don't want to be too hard on the guys and get our expectations set too high. But honestly, I bet the players expectations are way higher thatn most fans this year. As a player I would always prefer to be #3 in the polls rather than 53. But If my team was ranked 53rd then it would definitely make me play with a chip on my shoulder. I think these guys coming in here are all winners. They are fighters. And Mark Few's Zags always seem to do well in these preseason tournaments. I think Mr Feldman, the writer of the article, simply made a mistake because he didn't really know everyone on the team. I listed 4 guys earlier that he missed, and I even missed one, GJ; so that's five guys he missed, almost half the team. And I think the other thing about this team, even though they are young, is that they have 3 really good players coming back, one who is certainly going to be WCC player of the year, and one who will be Freshman of the year. We have a guy also coming back who has been with the Zags for two years (Sacre) and who will know the system and be very mature. To me that makes four players who know the system of Mark Few very well. There are also two more guys who were read-shirted last year who will have some familiarity with the system. It's not like we really have seven new guys. This is one reason this team will catch many people by surprise. The more I have been thinking about this team the more I like it. The more I think about Robert Sacre the more I think people are going to be surprised.

I would rank the Zags as #32 in the poll. It is not a great ranking,and it leaves room for improvement. However it does say what most analysts are saying, "We'd better keep an eye on the Zags.

ZagNative
07-27-2009, 02:26 PM
Collegehoopsnet (http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/preview/2009/) is a few days into their annual ranking of 144 teams in 144 days, and they've pegged WSU fourth from the bottom, at 141.

ZagsGoZags
07-27-2009, 02:35 PM
I think we will end the year in the top 25 in the nation, because there will be one or maybe two 'surprises' that display great D1 talent by February 2010. Hopefully the way ammo exploded in his junior year. There are just too many individuals with 'potential', I think, to not have at least one to be an 'actual' standout.

lothar98zag
07-27-2009, 03:54 PM
You left out the rest of that paragraph you quote from, Lothar. My concern and wish is not about sneaking up on other teams or flying under the radar early on so we can stage surprise strikes on the enemy camp. My concern is about what too-high expectations for an overwhelmingly rooky squad do the kids.

These newcomers have to know they don't come in "entitled" to anything but a chance to play and prove themselves. They have to earn respect and prestige just like those who came before them did.

A Mark-Few-coached team is going to earn pre-season brownie points because prognosticators have come to respect whet he's done at Gonzaga and to know you can't sleep on him.
I editted the two posts I quoted because I wasn't going to get into rebutting all the different reasons people list in favor of being ranked "poorly", but since you replied, I'll state that I agree with most of this post, but I think the new players can learn about earning things the "right" way by the coaches, the upperclassmen, and others. They don't need a bad ranking to teach them anything. (Fans on the other hand...)

Since schools like UNC, Kansas, etc seem to thrive with lots of new people AND high ranking fairly regulary, I don't see why it can't happen at GU (or at least be the goal)

zaguarxj
07-28-2009, 08:22 AM
Hey, quit foggin' up my Zag-colored glasses!!!


* wipes glasses *


* sees national championship *


Ahhhh, that's better.

hoopster777
07-28-2009, 08:34 AM
I think we will end the year in the top 25 in the nation, because there will be one or maybe two 'surprises' that display great D1 talent by February 2010. Hopefully the way ammo exploded in his junior year. There are just too many individuals with 'potential', I think, to not have at least one to be an 'actual' standout.

A lot of our newcomers possess long term potential, the only immediate impact guys could be Harris and Kong simply because they are older and have more experience. But even then, they are playing in a new rotation and a new country (for Harris that could be a challenge). I think Kelly, Dower, GJ, even Gibbs and Poling will show their youth early on. Of the freshman, Arop probably will be the most consistent because of his defensive abilities and his frame.

hoopster777
07-28-2009, 08:40 AM
Since schools like UNC, Kansas, etc seem to thrive with lots of new people AND high ranking fairly regulary, I don't see why it can't happen at GU (or at least be the goal)

But these schools land highly recruited freshman after they lose a full class of players.....we have four incoming players who were playing in foreign countries last season. That means the Kansas' and UNCs are going to get the preseason praise, whereas most college basketball writers won't know anything about Bol Kong or Elias Harris to make a fair assessment.

I could really care less about the preseason hype. If they beat the teams early on in the schedule, GU is going to get the praise from the writers. If they lose the games, well then the writers were accurate in their assessment.

lothar98zag
07-28-2009, 09:04 AM
But these schools land highly recruited freshman after they lose a full class of players.....we have four incoming players who were playing in foreign countries last season. That means the Kansas' and UNCs are going to get the preseason praise, whereas most college basketball writers won't know anything about Bol Kong or Elias Harris to make a fair assessment.

I could really care less about the preseason hype. If they beat the teams early on in the schedule, GU is going to get the praise from the writers. If they lose the games, well then the writers were accurate in their assessment.
I didn't say the 09-10 Zags should currently be ranked in the top 5. I said that's what I want - as an overall goal. I used the other teams to show that bringing in a bunch of new players, being ranked extremely high in the preseason, and having a very successful season can work.

I understand the realities of the current situation and why GU won't be ranked top 5. (although if someone wanted to rank this Zags team top 5 right now, I'd be very happy) But, like I said earlier, I do not understand why a Zag fan would not want GU to have the best possible ranking.

SLOZag
07-28-2009, 12:25 PM
Dickie V. has us penciled in at #34:

"Matt Bouldin leads Mark Few's team, the favorite in the WCC."

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/dickvitale/news/story?id=4361336

marczagfan
07-28-2009, 01:35 PM
I can understand the ranking based on what we lost and the unknown of what we have coming in...but we are definitely better than #53.

- We will have a lightning quick pg in Meech, who is a true PG, not a great scorer but finishes well around the rim, and is a great defender that brings some attitude and confidence to the team.

- we have a superstar in the making in Mr. Gray. He has not been asked to step up yet, but he has the ability to be great. With a good chunk of the scoring gone from last year and injury free, Gray will be given the green light at all times. Don't be surprised to see Gray average 18-19 PPG (he is that good).

- boldin should be the conference player of the year, and is a great all around player, he will be asked to step up more with PG and Scoring duties, but he should be the best player on the court in 90-95% of the games the zags play this eyar.

- sacre is a beast, if he can score, he will become a stud. He gained a lot of experience by playing and starting his freshman year and he will be a post presence like we havent seen the past 2-3 years (since batista).

- we will need a power forward to step up, Poling seems the most natural fit with his skills and a year in the system, but I've heard great things about Harris and Dower.

Bottom line is that 4 of our 5 expected starters will have played valuable minutes from prior years. We will need a newcomer to step up and start (most likely at the 4 position). We will also need valuable minutes from 3 freshman off of the bench. We also cannot forget Mr. Gibbs, he may be a very special player before the end of his career.

I can't wait for the upcoming season and I look forward to the fresh faces mixed in with the zags we have come to love. Regardless if we are ranked 3rd or 53rd, it will be a special year.

bballbeachbum
07-29-2009, 09:34 AM
Everytime Gonzaga is supposed to be headed toward a so called "rebuilding year," Few and Co. manage to win 20+ games and make the NCAA tournament with ease. It's just the way the program is at this point. They might not always get the best of seeds in such years, but they get there, and that is what ultimately matters.


right on! my first reaction was...I hate that term, that idea, of rebuilding. That's just ridiculous. Each team is its own...let's work hard and peak, all together, and see where that takes us on the way!

can't argue with any concerns with youth, tho, I have them as well, and those concerns are always real until put to rest on the floor by the individuals, the team. of course I want to win, but watching so many progress game by game, opportunity by opportunity, I just love that about college basketball and our staff, and this team may share many of these experiences...will need some patience, yes, but with purpose...rebuilding? blah

and I think the biggest difference for us and say Kansas or UNC re.expectations is that they play in the BCS conferences and thus get super mega crazy support from, well, everything in this business, like the media, who will use their rhetorical skills to praise and support their folks while using the same to knock others down; who will use their powers in the committee room to set up the matchups they want...this is HUGE imo; it's basketball, matchups are super KEY!

anyway, this team hasn't earned anything yet so really, whatever. It's not where we start the race.......

this year as much as any, it will take some Zag will. Good that ours is strong.

GO TEAM ZAGS!!!

ZagNut08
07-29-2009, 11:17 AM
Youth didn't seem to hurt us here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aiue_5fODiw&feature=fvw

baitcast
07-29-2009, 11:35 AM
Just watched it three times,forgot how exciting that was,another example of the fat lady singing:D great stuff.
Rob in nowhere az.

Reborn
07-29-2009, 01:14 PM
Youth didn't seem to hurt us here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aiue_5fODiw&feature=fvw

Thanks for digging up that video. It was so nice to see that play again, as well as the clips from both the WK game and Akron. That play by Meech is so awesome and so exciting. I watched it a half dozen times. What a moment. I"d say 3rd best play in Zag History after Calvary's in '99 against Florida in the Sweet 16, and I'd say behind Morrison's game winning bank shot from 25 feet left with 3 guys hanging on him. :D Keep it up Meech. 3 more years.

ZagNative
07-29-2009, 01:29 PM
"3rd best play" in Zag history? Coach Few gave Meech's play in that WKU game this ranking on the Jim Rome show, quoted here from a guboards thread (http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?t=19767):
JR speaking on Demetri Goodson
Amazing shot to win the game for a fresman- he is a different sort of a freshman though isn't he?

MF
He is. Rice and the other coaches worked EXTREMELY hard to get him. He was so highly recruited out of Texas. He is the toughest guy on the team. He has made that shot a lot in practice. I had a peaceful, easy feeling to use an Eagles lyric when he had the ball in his hands on that last play.

JR
Better not to call a timeout in that situation?

MF
It is in my opinion, especially if you trust your guards. When you have a Bouldin and a Pargo and a Goodson out there. Best analogy I once heard was that a coach with 1 year left on his contract calls a timeout in that situation to prove their coaching ability.

JR
Where does that shot rank in all of Gonzaga’s biggest moments which have really come all while you were there?

MF
I would rank it #1. Casey Calvary’s tip-in shot is up there. He didn’t really have any time for that just made the play jumping over a guys back and tipping it in. Meech had time to survey the floor, took his time and really up until the last second really was either going to pass or shoot. So I would have to say those two plays are 1 and 1A with Meech and Casey.I wonder if MF will ever listen to that Eagles song again without smiling as he remembers Meech's play ...

Reborn
07-29-2009, 03:29 PM
Thanks ZN for the Few quote. Great one. You got to love Mark Few's qoute from the Eagles' song. I may never be able to listen to that song again now without thinking of that shot. Meeche's shot going in like that seemed like divine justice to me. The "09 team had so many problems in their careers. A whole scrap book of 'em. It just seemed so awesome to me that something finally went good for these guys. Those seniors, imo, just never gave up. It was also great that Micah Downs finished his career on a positive note, and finally becoming the player at the end of the year that he should have been. And now to see he's going to be playing pro gall where he is has just made my heart come back to life. I have loved all Zag guys, but the '09 team will always have a special place in my heart because of what they overcame.

Baldwinzag
08-17-2009, 04:49 PM
Portland checks in at #45, ahead of the Zags @ #53. The Pilots are the real-deal this year and shoud surprise some folks. I'd love to see their RPI ranked in the Top-50 come WCC time, which could be a real possibility this season.


Gonzaga lost Josh Heytvelt, Jeremy Pargo, Micah Downs and Austin Daye. St. Mary's lost Patty Mills. Portland returns its starting lineup that is now made up of all juniors and seniors. The West Coast Conference is up for grabs, and the Portland Pilots are in the driver's seat.


Portand Pilots at #45 on Hoops Report (http://www.thehoopsreport.com/article.aspx?id=316)

75Zag
08-17-2009, 05:14 PM
Speaking on behalf of the GU fan community who also likes to place the occasional (legal of course) wager, having the Bulldogs ranked poorly will give us the opportunity to bet on the underdog and support GU at the same time which has not been possible very many times in the past couple of years. So long as GU wins, nobody will care or remember anything about the preseason rankings.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

MickMick
08-17-2009, 07:09 PM
Perhaps I am the only regular poster on this board that expects the team to be better than last year.

Meech will distribute wisely. Gray and Bouldin will score more (picking up the slack) with Daye and Heytvelt gone. More importantly, I expect this to be the best rebounding squad since the days of Turiaf and Knight. I expect the team will be at least as good defensively as they were last year. The only weaker area I expect will be in the ability to consistently score from every position.

There will be some scoring droughts when opposing teams take away Gray and Bouldin. This will be more than made up for with players taking on a team concept. The days of individual stars attempting to beat the opponenets with a "one on one" mentality are behind us. Instead of individual playmaking, I expect a "back to the basics" brand of team basketball. Players relying on each other instead of themselves. The kind of Zag basketball we became accustomed to several years ago.

CaliforniaZaggin'
08-17-2009, 07:16 PM
Portland isn't going to catch anyone off guard this year. USD didn't fair so well last year when they were in a similar position, even before BJ's injury.

CDC84
08-17-2009, 08:24 PM
I think Portland fans have a lot to look forward to this season, but the Pilots need figure out how to win games on road and neutral floors before they can be considered serious contenders for the WCC title. The Pilots were 7-11 in road/neutral games last season, and that's with a non-league SoS in the 150 range. Their last 5 games were on road/neutral floors, and they dropped 4 of them. They have to perform better than that. That being said, the way this group of guys have gotten better each year they've been together suggests that they might show some improvement in this area.

zag67
08-17-2009, 09:34 PM
You are not alone and I also agree with MickMick. On day 1, I do not see them being at the level that last years team ended the season, but as the season goes on I can see them improve by quantum leaps.

JohnOGU
08-17-2009, 10:09 PM
Not that it's a big deal, but you'll never convince me that there are 52 teams better than us this year. Talent-wise we're just as good as last year. My favorite part about this squad though is that I feel that all of these guys can/will get down and get dirty. They're scrappers for lack of a better term. They're tough. Being young is our only downfall in my eyes.

Nevtelen
08-17-2009, 10:10 PM
Perhaps I am the only regular poster on this board that expects the team to be better than last year.

Meech will distribute wisely. Gray and Bouldin will score more (picking up the slack) with Daye and Heytvelt gone. More importantly, I expect this to be the best rebounding squad since the days of Turiaf and Knight. I expect the team will be at least as good defensively as they were last year. The only weaker area I expect will be in the ability to consistently score from every position.

There will be some scoring droughts when opposing teams take away Gray and Bouldin. This will be more than made up for with players taking on a team concept. The days of individual stars attempting to beat the opponenets with a "one on one" mentality are behind us. Instead of individual playmaking, I expect a "back to the basics" brand of team basketball. Players relying on each other instead of themselves. The kind of Zag basketball we became accustomed to several years ago.

I hope you're right and I'm wrong MickMick, but i just don't see it. Too many new faces that haven't had time to adapt to each other yet and lots of questions. Next season might be amazing, but I think this one will be bumpy.

Agreed about Portland - they finished the season loosing on the road in the CIT (or was it CBI?) to Pacific IIRC. I'd love to see the Pilots get it going this season, though, and figure out how to win on the road. I'm sure their Australian trip in the off-season helped in that area.

Zag79
08-18-2009, 12:52 AM
Perhaps I am the only regular poster on this board that expects the team to be better than last year.

Meech will distribute wisely. Gray and Bouldin will score more (picking up the slack) with Daye and Heytvelt gone. More importantly, I expect this to be the best rebounding squad since the days of Turiaf and Knight. I expect the team will be at least as good defensively as they were last year. The only weaker area I expect will be in the ability to consistently score from every position.

i fully agree. no way this team is behind 52 others in talent, coaching, and putting it all together. i would be shocked if this team isnt in the top 25 at he end of the year. i dont know if they can get to the sweet 16 ala last years team, i think the losses of pargo, downs, daye and josh will be too much to overcome and be better than that team. how will sacre handle being the main big, and more importantly how does matt do if hes at the 3? theres a huge difference in his game when hes at the two and bigger than his opposition compared to when hes at the 3 and smaller. i cant wait to see it all unfold!

cjm720
08-18-2009, 06:30 AM
I'm with Mick and 79. I think overall we'll have a team with more depth at each position that will prove to be a better overall team. It's difficult to compare a team from year to year by review of the win loss column, because scheduling can vary. This year's schedule is more difficult IMO (which says a lot), likely resulting in another loss or two. One of the major worries I have for this year's team is 1) turnovers and 2) free throw shooting. TO's have been discussed at length and could affect our team due to youth. Free throws could really hurt us...we lost 3 really good shooters from the line in Austin, Josh, and Micah, and Pargo wasn't bad. I have no idea how the new bigs and wings will perform at the stripe, but I'm fairly certain they won't be better than the group we just lost. In consideratiion that close games are won at the line and many of the newcomers will have to step into the departed roles, this could be a huge factor along with turnovers.

Go Zags!!!

titopoet
08-18-2009, 07:04 AM
My view about be #53 in Hoops Report is: "who cares." The hoops report is that annoying kid who picks team because of the cool colors of their jersey, as he is picking his nose all the while doing his best Dicky V impression.

Remember, this kanker picked Pepperdine to challenge GU in 2008 season, http://www.thehoopsreport.com/article.aspx?id=20. Most professional sports writers see GU as a team to watch and just outside of the top 25 at the start of the season, which is what you would expect with the questions about the new players and the unproven front court. They all still see GU as the favorite to win the WCC. None of them would be surprise to see GU in the top 15 at the end if the player gel. The jokers at the Hoops Report have teams like Lasalle, Portland and Niagara above GU. No disrespect to Niagara, but they start a 5 who 6'6, a 4 who is 6'5 and a 3 who is 6'2, npt what you call a killer front court. They really are a four guard one sf type of team. Lasalle was 18-13 last season, and while they got a great recruit in Aaric Murray, no way are they better than GU. Hoops report should be renamed silly guys pretend to be sports guys.

zaguarxj
08-18-2009, 08:04 AM
You could put together a pretty nice looking team with the players not mentioned in the original article. Admittedly, they are all unproven against D1 competition but it'd be fun to see them play against the writer's projected starting 5.

PG: GJ Vilarino
SG: Grant Gibbs
SF: Bol Kong
PF: Elias Harris
C: Andy Poling

- vs-

PG: Demetri Goodson
SG: Steven Gray
SF: Matt Bouldin
PF: Sam Dower
C: Robert Sacre

bballbeachbum
08-18-2009, 02:13 PM
1) turnovers and 2) free throw shooting. TO's have been discussed at length and could affect our team due to youth. Free throws could really hurt us...we lost 3 really good shooters from the line in Austin, Josh, and Micah, and Pargo wasn't bad. I have no idea how the new bigs and wings will perform at the stripe, but I'm fairly certain they won't be better than the group we just lost. In consideratiion that close games are won at the line and many of the newcomers will have to step into the departed roles, this could be a huge factor along with turnovers.

Go Zags!!!

good points imo. free throws, and pressure play in general as a unit...we'll have to see who steps up and delivers, and typically it's not the strength of young players or teams, but it certainly can be done and gets done every year. the opportunites will be there for the taking, for sure

GO TEAM ZAGS!!!

OZZag
08-18-2009, 03:34 PM
53 will end up top 30 in my opinion, and the main reason is the "unknown" quality of the "international" players.

One of the most interesting things for me is the fact that four of the new Zags have had considerable post-high school experience. Yes they are all "Internationals" who some on this board want to place question marks against, but only time will tell.

Bol has played and impressed against D1 teams before, he also helped his team win a national college championship in Canada. Many people have commented on his defensive abilities just as much as his offense.

Manny has played at least 20 games at international level, shown he can not only match it with 5 star recruits, but excell against them. I have seen many comments on this board, that he has that look of hunger in his eyes, someone who will not give up, one who will leave it all on the floor.

Harris is older and has played against men before, and is impressing his national team coach. His international experience this summer will pay dividends during the upcoming year.

KO is the least likely to make an immediate impact, he has the international experience, but has not really excelled against any of the American teams he has faced, I believe that he will take the longest time to adjust of the four here and may end up redshirting to make the transition easier. I believe that he may well end up as the best of the bunch though.

I think that the first three players will help ease the loss of Daye and Micah almost immediately. A healthy Rob, and motivated Andy and some assistance from Sam and Will will give the team a solid low post presence.

Reborn
08-18-2009, 03:40 PM
I do not see turnovers being a big factor this year. I hate to admit it but I think our two biggest problems last year were turnovers and rebounds, and I think a couple of the guys who are gone sometimes showed poor judgement. I think Meech, Matt, Steven and Vilarino will do better.We have two wing players with a lot of experience, and I think respectable to stats. I feel the same with Meech. I like Meech's ability to put pressure on the enemy in transition basketball. I think he played very well against North Carolina and Memphis, two pretty good defensive teams.

And Meech's defense is phenominal, imo. We may not have to be behind at halftime every game next year. Meech did a respectable job on probably the best point guard in the country in Ty Lawson. He completely shut down the point guard for Western Kentucky after he was killing us the first ten minutes of the game. I think the same goes for Patty Mills. Meech is going to make a huge difference, I think. Matt has come a long long ways on defense, and has a great nack for stealing the ball, I think. Gray is definitely respectable on D. I also feel Valarino will have the speed to defend the great point guards that GU will face (Lucus (Michigan St.); Walker (Oklahoma), Johnson (San Diego); the point guard at Portland is very good......

A lot of the focus lately has been on our youth and thus, inexperience. But we do have an experienced backcourt, which I think is very very important. Gonzaga is also returning guys who do have experience and do have a lot of talent. And the incoming class, we all believe, is talented, but must develop. That's why the second of Bob's scenarios is most likely. I really don't think it's going to be an up and down season. It's going to be a season where we see steady improvement, game to game. I do not think the schedule is as frightening as some do. Yes, we will definitely take our lumps. But don't most teams? Carolina lost 4 games last year, and one in the ACC tournament I think because of Lawson's toe. We will certainly take our lumps on the road. That's where youth gets hurt the most. That's taken for granted. The younger player will play better at home, and wouldn't it be great if we beat WSU, Wake Forest and Oklahoma? Playing all these road games like we do will help us in the WCC tournament and in the NCAA's. Few has a very good plan. Like CDC says, it works some how.