PDA

View Full Version : Rivals: Zags at #34



SLOZag
10-03-2009, 07:43 AM
Rivals just released a thoughtful and comprehensive article about the Zags discussing their prediction for us -- #34. Its worth a read:

http://collegebasketball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=996639

Reborn
10-03-2009, 08:09 AM
"Without those three, Gonzaga likely will be unranked in the preseason AP poll for only the second time since 2002-03."

That's an incredible statistic. I thought it was a fair article only, and shows lack of true research. Manny Arop will not be playing the #4 position. It was nice to see he is a 4 star. I didn't know that. Nice. Also Gray started as a Freshman.

I imagine that if Daye had come back we'd be in the top 25. I think his departure was unexpected. There is a little bit of a gap there because of it, but as time passes I think we will be pleased with the guys who will come forward and fill that gap in the Zag way. It has been said that Few is one coach who does not rebuild but "reloads." That theory will certainlly be tested this year.

SLOZag
10-03-2009, 10:31 AM
I thought it was a fair article only, and shows lack of true research. Manny Arop will not be playing the #4 position.

I think Rivals' breakdown of the positions into "Frontcourt" (presumably SF, PF & C) and "Backcourt" (presumably PG & SG) is the source of any confusion on this topic.

zagfan07
10-03-2009, 11:19 AM
I thought he hit the nail on the head. He touched on the two biggest factors to Zag success this season: Sacre holding down the paint and Gray stepping up as another scoring threat on the perimeter.

If Gray doesn't step up his game this year, we're going to really be missing Micah's length at that SF position. Having a 6'9" athletic, dead-eye shooter at the small forward position is a luxury we don't really have this year.

CDC84
10-03-2009, 03:57 PM
Although I disagree with some of the details, I can't disagree with where Rivals has ranked the Zags....at least to start the year. They have them at about the right place.

Robert Sacre has really improved folks. I think people are going to be in for a big surprise. Not only has his scoring touch improved, but he's developed a mean streak and overall toughness.

MDABE80
10-03-2009, 04:40 PM
I hope you're right CDC. Sacre's in need every bit of talent he might have. I know Harris is a beast...it's just that nobody knows him. Dower and Andy should be plenty on the boards. One thing though, Steven Gray MUST pick up his game on both ends. Shooting is key for him...and he does need to dramatically improve from last year.....no matter if his wrist, knee, etc were hurt. He's a lot bigger, stronger and "springier" than when he showed up 2 years ago. In the guard corp, he's the only one I worry about.

The new kids seem to be stunning but they are untested in D1 competition. If there's any wrinkle in performance , we know soon enough is the new kids can step up in a serious way. All inexperienced on the D1 stage even though there's lots of international/Canadian experience. Let's hope the translation to upper level NCAA work is smooth. 1 month till the first exhibition.....which I notice is being televised. I hope this team comes together early. The new Zags show up on National TV multiple times and even in the early season, any huge flaws tend not to be forgotten.

ZagFanatic
10-03-2009, 05:06 PM
The one thing that continues to baffle me is the complete lack of talk about Andy. Here is a guy who at one point was ranked higher than any other recruit we've ever had and higher than any of the incoming freshman (top 10 in his class). He fell in the rankings due to his illness, loss of weight, and subsequent impact on his performance. But the weight/food issue is under control and the skillset doesn't just disappear. Unlike some of the other big men to have come through the program in the past few years, Andy is a true back-to-the-basket post, and has had a year to learn the system.

I don't write in very often, but wanted to comment on this because it just stymies me. He would provide such a different look when subbing in for Sacre. So many folks have questions about the post, and I hope he can be one answer. I would like nothing more for that to happen.

sittingon50
10-03-2009, 05:12 PM
I'm with you Fanatic, though I see Andy as more of a 4 than a 5. I think he starts, apparently ahead of Harris at that spot; mostly because of his knowledge of the system. I guess we'll all find out in a few weeks.

MickMick
10-03-2009, 06:58 PM
I think it is about time we let go of the Downs verse Gray debate.

Micah is gone and Gray is a Zag.

I'm going to have to start making bookmarks on this whole Gray thing. Another "I told ya so" link in my signature again....

To be sure, I'll certainly eat crow if Gray doesn't pan out (he will). But I'm gonna hold a few people accountable to what they are currently writing about Gray in a few months from now.

Expect it.

BroncoZAG615
10-03-2009, 07:18 PM
Don't think anyone is really dismissing Gray at all, MickMick. The points being made in this post are all very good and spot on as to what this team needs. The strength is in the backcourt for Gonzaga and everyone knows this. But, the fact of the matter is that one could make the argument that Steven regressed from his freshman to sophomore year. His three-point and overall field goal percentage dropped as did his free-throw shooting percentage.

Many kids go through a sophomore slump, so to say. He showed some glimpses last year, however. His performance against UConn was one of the most impressive individual performances by a Gonzaga player all season. The reason I liked that performance so much was because he showed his quickness and desire by attacking the rim and using his size to score easy buckets. I feel like the people on this board that want Steven to sit back and fire up threes are mistaken. This team is going to be built on players getting to the hoop and creating plays for guys like Sacre, Harris, and Poling. Steven has the ability to be outstanding this season and I really hope that he doesn't rely on the three-point shot to really excel.

Like Mark Few says and Jay Bilas alluded to when he called a Gonzaga game, Steven has the physical tools and skill set to be one of the best guards ever to play at Gonzaga. I'm :pray: that it all comes together this season. I think the reason that we all want to see Steven play well is because he is so fluid when he is in rhythm. I really look forward to seeing what he brings this year.

CDC84
10-03-2009, 08:44 PM
I think what we all must remember - which came to light this offseason in various articles - was that Steven Gray had a badly injured shooting hand throughout the 2nd half of last season. I suspected that something was wrong with him based on his release and how things were falling off the rim.

My concern with Steven is that he can be "too nice" at times. He's got to want to dominate and make his ability an issue in games. Instead we get glimpses of what he could be. It also needs to be pointed out that Steven can score in many more ways than just from long range. He was used a lot in the paint when he was in high school, and he showed many times that he could do more than just shoot.

Jay Bilas is not the only analyst who thinks highly of Steven's ability. So does Seth Davis:

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/stark/2009/06/22/husky-hoops-gifted-steven-gray-gets-some-love/


“While 6-5 senior Matt Bouldin has proven he can be effective in all areas, much of the Zags’ prospects will hinge on whether 6-5 junior guard Steven Gray is ready to have a breakout season. Gray tantalizes NBA scouts with his size, his athleticism, and most importantly his butter-smooth shooting stroke. (He’s a career 39.6 percent shooter from three.) The only thing Gray lacks is a superstar’s confidence to go with his prodigious gifts. “We’ve been after Steve forever to hunt his shot more,” said Few, who served as a court coach during the USA trials. “It’s just not in his personality. I tell him, you’ve got a great stroke. Be aggressive.”

MDABE80
10-03-2009, 11:10 PM
I didn't have a chance to see Steven this Summer. I do know he's got the size that makes coaches drool. Hishooting will pick up . I do like Bronco's idea that Steven's a ot more than a 3 pt machine. It underserves him. He's quicker, larger and has the length and hops to really be a killer. As CDC says, He does need to get a harder ( badass ...if you will) attitude and mow down the opponents. Everything's there for this team. Hope they know it and I hope they do it. Among the best talent this year. No clear stars yet but Matt will generate a team. It's his group in his last year. Matt knows what to do. I keep getting a feeling that this team will surprise us.

cggonzaga
10-03-2009, 11:55 PM
I still say he's Ray Allen Jr. without Ray Ray's attitude. He could be better than Ray Ray if he develops that attitude because he plays way better defense.

GUDan07
10-04-2009, 12:10 AM
I still say he's Ray Allen Jr. without Ray Ray's attitude. He could be better than Ray Ray if he develops that attitude because he plays way better defense.

Wooah! I'm a huge fan of Gray and I think that he could easily score in the 20's this year but Ray Allen without his attitude? Ray Allen is one of the best shooters in the history of basketball, currently #2 all time in made 3's and will pass Reggie before he's done.

ZagNative
10-04-2009, 03:08 PM
Interesting to note our December 5 opponent in the MAC, Wake Forest, comes in at #33 on today's listing in Rivals (http://collegebasketball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=996656&PT=4&PR=2) ...

kclubfounder
10-04-2009, 05:33 PM
The article mentions a transfer by the name of Bol Kong, who might be in the mix. Who is Bol Kong?

CDC84
10-04-2009, 06:48 PM
Wake Forest is going to be better than 33. Rivals has got that wrong. The TSN Preview mag has them at #18. This is their brief take on WF:


The worst thing for any program is premature early entry - players leaving for the NBA before they've accomplished a lot as collegians. Wake was hit hard by the departures of Jeff Teague and James Johnson, the team's two top scorers, but there is room now for Al-Farouq Aminu to star and Ishmael Smith to take full command as point guard. This team might be more defense-oriented, but in the end it could be more focused on collective achievements.

Zagtana
10-05-2009, 07:21 AM
If Gray is healthy, this will be his breakout year, IMO. Last season, he was one of several super shooters and scorers - Austin, Micah, Josh, Matt, and even Pargo with his drives to the basket. Steven wasn't the targeted one to score big. In contrast, this year, with many young and/or other team members learning the system and taking time to get in the flow, Few and company will be looking to Gray (and Matt) to step up - especially the first half of the season, to provide the bulk of the scoring. I'm thinking Few will have many variances of options to set up Steven to shoot, and will be pressing him to do so, and I'm confident Gray will respond in spades. He's a year older, a year stronger, and very capable of joining with Matt as the team leader in all aspects - including scoring. Again, if he's healthy, Steven is going to be this year one fun player to watch.

sittingon50
10-05-2009, 09:18 AM
+1

Nevtelen
10-05-2009, 10:26 AM
If Gray is healthy, this will be his breakout year, IMO. Last season, he was one of several super shooters and scorers - Austin, Micah, Josh, Matt, and even Pargo with his drives to the basket. Steven wasn't the targeted one to score big. In contrast, this year, with many young and/or other team members learning the system and taking time to get in the flow, Few and company will be looking to Gray (and Matt) to step up - especially the first half of the season, to provide the bulk of the scoring. I'm thinking Few will have many variances of options to set up Steven to shoot, and will be pressing him to do so, and I'm confident Gray will respond in spades. He's a year older, a year stronger, and very capable of joining with Matt as the team leader in all aspects - including scoring. Again, if he's healthy, Steven is going to be this year one fun player to watch.

In my time watching college bball, I've seen a lot of players step up their game by adding pieces they were missing - a 3-pt shot, better handles, etc - but I've seen very few change their mentality on the court. Gray just hasn't had the right mentality to use his gifts to the fullest and dominate up to now and, well, I hope that changes this season, but I'm not intending to hold my breath.

Baldwinzag
10-05-2009, 11:05 AM
If Gray is healthy, this will be his breakout year, IMO.

I can't help but notice the amount of talk surrounding Gray's supposed breakout season. I am crossing my fingers for this to come true for Gray and the team.

However, I find it very intriguing that we've heard off-season reports on every single player on this team, except Steven Gray. Why do you think that is? Has Steven been as committed this off-season as prior years? Has he been participating in pick-up games, workouts, etc? I'm not accussing, just curious is all.

We've heard about Rob Sacre during pick-up games and playing in Canada, Matt Bouldin's work with the Colorado Buffs and running sprints to no end, Meech's long-stay in Spokane this summer and locking himself in the gym and weightroom, Dower shining birght in late-night scrimmages, Arop & Kelly representing Team Canada all over the World, Poling putting on muscle and weight, Gibbs non-stop shooting drills and getting in game-shape, Harris playing on the German National Team, Kong hitting the streets and developing his game with NEDA, and the list goes on.

Why the lack of reports on Steven Gray? Where has he been? We've only heard how well we think he'll perform, yet haven't seen him around much. Again, not accussing just can't help but wonder why we've heard so little compared to others. We can always count on Gray's natural ability as a shooter but what has he been up to during the off-season?

Anyone know?

Eroop22
10-05-2009, 12:12 PM
Good article ranked a little higher than I thought we would be. Hopefully everything comes together and we have a great season.