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ZagNative
11-11-2009, 09:08 AM
From ESPN this morning:
The mid-majors' best teams and players

Here's a look at the best mid-major teams, coaches and players for the 2009-10 season.

Ten best mid-major teams

Butler
The Butler Bulldogs are on the verge of playing themselves into a perennial Top 25 program. Following the Gonzaga formula for success, they will take on a murderer's row of a nonconference schedule that includes Georgetown, Ohio State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Davidson and potentially UCLA, West Virginia and Clemson in the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. The Bulldogs have three high major-players in the starting lineup (more than many BCS conference teams), a bevy of solid complementary players and a terrific young coach in Brad Stevens.

Gonzaga
A lot of familiar faces have departed Spokane and Mark Few has one of his biggest rebuilding jobs at Gonzaga. But he's been in this situation before. Although the Zags lost five seniors, and sophomore Austin Daye opted to leave early for the NBA, Gonzaga has enough talent to take on the always brutal nonconference schedule and compete for a 12th straight NCAA bid.

Senior Matt Bouldin leads the way as the best all-around player in the WCC. Guards Steven Gray and Demetri Goodson have shown flashes of brilliance as role players, and they have a great opportunity to step up this season. Six-foot-7 freshman Elias Harris just finished playing for his native Germany in the recent European men's championships and has the maturity to be an instant-impact player.Portland, WKU, and Akron are in his list too.

Ten best mid-major players

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/1110/ncb_g_bouldin_200.jpg
"Surprise, surprise: Matt Bouldin and the Zags will be relevant on the national scene once again."

Matt Bouldin (6-foot-5, Sr., Gonzaga)
You and I know that the Zags are not a mid-major program, but since they are in the West Coast Conference, we had to put them somewhere. And since we want to honor the best players in the country, regardless of where they play, Bouldin needs to be recognized. He was clearly the Zags' best and most complete player a season ago, and he will be one of the best all-around wing players in college basketball this season. He is an excellent passer who is good at attacking the rim, and he's a solid open shooter. Look for him to take on an even more expanded role as coach Mark Few breaks in a lot of newcomers.

bballbeachbum
11-11-2009, 09:46 AM
defend hard, rebound hard, find Meech, run the lanes hard, finish hard, and Meech decides...and if no bucket, then find Matt often to make some decisions...and the team evolves from this and becomes itself over the course of the season.

sounds like there's lots of new guys who can get after it and make the plays from reports, with 2 main decision triggers in Meech and Matt (don't know the bench/new guys, but GJ and Manny in there, too? Grant Gibbs? Bol Kong? Can Elias handle the rock/make good decisions? of course I believe, and we'll know soon enough)

if Steven embraces having a blow up season, truly enjoys it and has fun being the man his teammates LOVE to have finish plays, our backcourt could be IT.

November 17


Thanks ZagNative.