View Full Version : What is going to keep making this team better?

11-08-2009, 08:25 AM
I think that this team, as Mal has stated, is going to gel and be a super team by the end of the year. But I am not going to make super expectations in the beginning. They will be learning with every situation that they play through. So again (IMO), do not get too high on the wins or too low on the losses. Hopefully they will keep learning from them and use it the next game.

But I really believe that the practices are what is going to keep making this team better and better. When you think (as example) that Meech plays against GJ, Matt against Manny (Gibbs), Steven against Bol, Harris against Poling (KO), and lastly Sacre against Foster. Then you have Gibbs, KO, Stockton and the rest also playing. These players are going to all be practicing against players that are mostly PRO caliber players. This means that the speed of the players you practice against is equivalent to playing top caliber players. Therefore when all of them play in the games, the talent that they play against is not that much different that what they have practiced against.

To me, if I were a player (or a parent of a player) in high school that wanted to make it to the PROs, Gonzaga is a place I would like to come. Unless you are one of the players that are the one and out, you need coaching and playing against the best to improve your game to go to the next level. Too many of these young players do not evaluate themselves well enough to understand that in order to play at the next levels, you have to play and practice against those types of players. The speed and athleticism of the players as you go from high school to college, and then from college to the pros, is something that you have to experience. Look at the growth that we have seen in players like Matt from his freshman year to now.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that the reason that GU is always "reloading" and not rebuilding is because the coaches and the players in waiting are "for the most part" top quality and therefore bring the new players along quicker. This year we are especially lucky that we may be "reloading" but we have as set of guards that should be able to keep a consitent tempo of play. They also should be able to recognize and leverage each of the new players talents (because of their experience).

11-08-2009, 08:35 AM

11-08-2009, 08:46 AM
Actually, I really hope Bouldin gets guarded by Arop (and possibly Kong, depending on how his D is) in practice. Arop is, physically, exactly the type of player that Bouldin has struggled against in the past - long, athletic, the same height has Bouldin, and having a strong motor. Practicing against him should pay big divedends for Bouldin this season, I'd hope.

As awesome as the Texas scrimmage result was, I do think that there will still be some ups and downs (like 6 TOs late in games). This is a young team and needs time. But, man, what a ceiling they have...

11-08-2009, 08:48 AM
Coaching along with the humility by players to let go of what they think they know and begin to learn the Mark Few way of playing, as well as the teaching by all assistants. Few has a great staff.

11-08-2009, 09:08 AM
Don't buy into the early hype from two exhibition games! Sorry, but I'm looking forward to a return to the blue collar BBall some of us remember. I just hope these young kids stay focused and continue to play their hearts out. If they don't, MSU will sure help them focus. GO ZAGS!

11-08-2009, 09:28 AM
In addition to playing time, I hope we can:

Stay healthy this season, especially Sacre & Bouldin.

If these guys are able to play in every game this year, we'll have a chance to beat anyone.

Knock on wood.

11-08-2009, 12:27 PM

experience. Together.

11-08-2009, 12:54 PM
Kiddwell would opine that the following contests will contribute most to MAKING this Zags edition BETTER:

Nov 17 (Tuesday) @ MSU [AP No. 2; ESPN/USA Today No. 2]

Nov 23 (Monday) @ Maui [At least Colorado & U of A/Wisconsin]

Dec 05 (Saturday) vs. Wake [Media Poll's ACC No. 6 team]

Dec 19 (Saturday) vs. Duke, Madison Square Garden [AP No. 9; ESPN/USA Today No. 8]

Dec 31 (Thursday) vs. Oklahoma [AP No. 17; ESPN/USA Today No. 16]

Jan 02 (Saturday) vs. Illinois, Chicago's United Center [AP No. 23; ESPN/USA Today No. 27]

Stay tuned for some noteworthy "teachable moments" before, during, and after these key contests (and tournament). What Kiddwell's a tad nervous about is a gigantic upset...followed by an overly cocky thumping.

Of course multiple thumpings would be worse still (not that Kiddwell's forecasting the same!). A "well-timed thumping" on the other hand could prove, by NCAA time, the season's best teacher of all.


<Side note: Pretty cool that New Year's Day is being bookend'd by Zags games! At home, then on the road>

<Side note #2: "I've had multiple coaches in the [Big Ten] league tell me Illinois may be the most talented team in the league with D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul coming in." --Andy Katz, ESPNU