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ZagNative
05-26-2010, 09:52 AM
Interesting comments from Bol on life as a D-1 athlete on the Drive basketball blog (http://drivebasketball.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/bol-kong/):
Bol Kong on NCAA Division I Basketball

Typical day at Gonzaga?

BK: Classes from 9am till 11… eat lunch… weights from 12-1.. than an individual 130 till 215… practice from 230 till 6… 3 times a week yoga after practice for 30min… then study hall till you get your work done… than thats it…

How hard is it to go Div 1? What should these kids do to give themselves a better chance?

BK: Its pretty hard.. Its not for the average players, you cant work as hard as the average athlete… Its like the nba its the next level made for the ones who will work hard and beyond… Ball should be a job, your life to make d1, nba gotta take it to a whole new level of commitment. “for the ones who like to cheat? it will all come back to bite you in the a–.” Tell them to be committed and be willing to do whatever it takes… and playing because they want to, not because their parents want them to…Read the original here. (http://drivebasketball.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/bol-kong/)

BroncoZAG615
05-26-2010, 09:59 AM
Interesting comments from Bol on life as a D-1 athlete on the Drive basketball blog (http://drivebasketball.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/bol-kong/):Read the original here. (http://drivebasketball.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/bol-kong/)

I sometimes forget just how rapid of a change it was for Bol coming from Canada. New country, new expectations, basically an entire new way of life and it has probably completely changed the way he approaches the game of basketball.

He might be the player I am most looking forward to seeing next year. A whole summer of intense workouts in such a competitve environment could pay enormous dividends. Keep working, Bol. Thank you for posting this, ZN.

cjm720
05-26-2010, 10:45 AM
Seems like he gets it.

Bol's the biggest question mark for me next year in terms of role...I'm rooting for him!

ZagNative
05-26-2010, 11:24 AM
I sometimes forget just how rapid of a change it was for Bol coming from Canada. New country, new expectations, basically an entire new way of life and it has probably completely changed the way he approaches the game of basketball.

He might be the player I am most looking forward to seeing next year. A whole summer of intense workouts in such a competitve environment could pay enormous dividends. Keep working, Bol. Thank you for posting this, ZN.BroncoZag, is he better off staying at the Drive program for the summer and working there, or would/will he be in Spokane working with former players and team members?

What do you think Bol needs to focus on improving most over the summer? You may recall that in the last Locker Room show, Richard Fox commented passionately his belief that guys like Bol needed to groove out their three-point shots, with hours and hours of repetition over the summer. Fox seemed to focus exclusively on the offense and shooting in his remarks, but wasn't one of the raps on Bol this year that he wasn't as good a defender as he needed to be?

I'd love to know what the coaching staff laid out for a suggested plan for Bol for the summer ... In lieu of that, what would be your suggested plan for Bol to help him make a big jump coming in this fall?

BroncoZAG615
05-26-2010, 11:47 AM
BroncoZag, is he better off staying at the Drive program for the summer and working there, or would/will he be in Spokane working with former players and team members?

What do you think Bol needs to focus on improving most over the summer? You may recall that in the last Locker Room show, Richard Fox commented passionately his belief that guys like Bol needed to groove out their three-point shots, with hours and hours of repetition over the summer. Fox seemed to focus exclusively on the offense and shooting in his remarks, but wasn't one of the raps on Bol this year that he wasn't as good a defender as he needed to be?

I'd love to know what the coaching staff laid out for a suggested plan for Bol for the summer ... In lieu of that, what would be your suggested plan for Bol to help him make a big jump coming in this fall?

I really don't know what Bol's summer plans are. I imagine/hope/PRAY he will spend a good portion of his summer in Spokane working out with the staff and strength trainers.

If he does put in the time, I really hope to see the staff just really work on his conditioning. I was very impressed with Kong's play up through the Oklahoma game and then sporadically after that. It's my opinoin that he hit a wall which we had to expect seeing as though he barely got here in time last fall and Coach Few even remarked before the season started that Bol was behind the rest of the team in terms of overall understanding of the offense and just being in shape.

So, if it was me, I would condition the hell out of him. It's not like you constantly have to have him running wind sprints but just make sure he is always working for shots and not just standing there casting up threes. A lot of people want to see Bol become a three point specialist that is more of a luxury than a necessity but I really think that would be selling his skill set way too short. He was a dynamic scorer in Canada and everyone we talked to before he arrived said he could strike in a variety of ways. We didn't see that because the game seemed to get too fast for him last year. Again, work on his strenght/speed/and agressiveness and we could see a whole new player.

But, there is only so much the coaches can do. A big part will be Bol just taking the time to understand where he "fits" on the team. He needs to learn the offense and know when to attack. Too many times he just seemed to camp out on the three point line and wait for the kick out.

I know a lot of posters here think he will be the player to get lost in the shuffle next year but I really think he can do the opposite and play some big time minutes. He's got the size to really make Gonzaga a tough team if he can provide a smaller option along side Sam Dower at the four position. Sending in Bol as a four will take this very tall front line (Rob, Dower, Olynyk) and make them very quick and versatile. The lineup I can't wait to see is Meech, Steven, Elias, Bol, and Dower. That's a lot of athleticism and a lot of guys that can score from many places on the court.

ZagNative
05-26-2010, 11:54 AM
Great post, BroncoZag! Thank you very much!

Edited to add: It's not clear to me how much NCAA rules allow staff to work with scholarship athletes over the summer. Anyone know for sure? I'm pretty sure that anything the athlete does must be voluntary (i.e., not mandated), but I don't know whether the rules would at least allow supervision, if not instruction.

Billfish'80
05-26-2010, 12:52 PM
I'm not going to read a lot between the lines,but Seems to me that Bol was intending to share his experience with younger players, when he said “for the ones who like to cheat? it will all come back to bite you in the a–.” Many of us commented at one point or another last year that he seemed to hang around on the outside waiting for a pass. There were indications "hints" really that Bol may have started out-of-shape or maybe just a little lazy (because he could be, in Canada) and that affected his PT and also his affectiveness in games. I'm with CJM720 that Bol seems to "get it", and I expect a renewed drive and stronger work ethic to give him the opportunity to live up to his potential (wouldn't that be nice! We can all agree about where that potential could take him.) Go get 'em, Bol! The next two years are your ticket to your dreams. Make the most of them!

bigblahla
05-26-2010, 03:14 PM
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!


Me thinks we may all may hear the drums loud and clear this coming season. :D

Go!! Zags!!!

Reborn
05-26-2010, 05:28 PM
I know a lot of posters here think he will be the player to get lost in the shuffle next year but I really think he can do the opposite and play some big time minutes. He's got the size to really make Gonzaga a tough team if he can provide a smaller option along side Sam Dower at the four position. Sending in Bol as a four will take this very tall front line (Rob, Dower, Olynyk) and make them very quick and versatile. The lineup I can't wait to see is Meech, Steven, Elias, Bol, and Dower. That's a lot of athleticism and a lot of guys that can score from many places on the court.

I disagree with this assessment of Bol's talent. He definitely is not a 4. I don't see him gettting any minutes at the 4. Manny Arop played significant minutes at the 4 last year, and played reallly well. Did you already forget Manny? A rebounding freak. Bol is NOT a rebounder and it may be his biggest weakness. He is NOT TOUGH, which is a requirement for the 4. He does have offensive skills and they are from the wing. He is much more than a 3 pt shooter. His 6'7" frame and wingspan make him a really good size 3. But even 3's must rebound. How does a guy get tougher? To me he playes against TOUGH competition this summmer, guys that will beat him up bad. Bol needs to do this. The 4's will be Harris, Olynyk, Dower maybe and Manny Arop. I really believe that Few and staff are planning on improving defensively next year, so Kong, if he wants to play, must improve defensively. I think if he can, he will really contribute some at the wing.

zagfan24
05-26-2010, 06:15 PM
He is NOT TOUGH, which is a requirement for the 4. He does have offensive skills and they are from the wing. He is much more than a 3 pt shooter. His 6'7" frame and wingspan make him a really good size 3. But even 3's must rebound. How does a guy get tougher? To me he playes against TOUGH competition this summmer, guys that will beat him up bad.

I respectfully disagree about Bol's toughness...he may well not be a tough as nails type, but I don't think he's had a fair chance to show it yet. Bol certainly was not aggressive much of last year, but I think this had a lot more to do with his late arrival and GU's difficult offense.

My HS football coach was fond of saying you couldn't go 100% unless you knew your assignment completely. I think the complexity of the offense led to Bol feeling a bit lost last season, which resulted in a lack of aggressiveness because he wasn't entirely sure what he was being asked to do at given times.

In fact, his shooting got worse as he played more...which tells me that as he was asked to actually go through the offensive sets more often (instead of just going in to fire up a couple of 3's), he likely started over thinking everything and his performance worsened.

I do completely agree with you that a summer in Spokane will be a perfect remedy, and I am hopeful Bol can be a major contributor next year.

TheBunnieRancher
05-26-2010, 06:57 PM
I'm know expert and I have not seen the amount of bb a lot of our more esteemed members, but I have been watching GU on TV for several years now and Few does use unorthodox lineups for a variety of reasons. Few was using Bol at the 4 on several occassions last year depending on match-ups. I even remember the time he had Ira! guard John Bryant a couple of years back. I even remember Austin expressing gratitude at playing the 4. We are talking about college ball here where a lot of teams count them selves lucky to have someone of Elias' stature to play the 4. There will be times where it makes no sense to play Bol at the 4 and he won't play the 4, but there will be plenty of games/match-ups where Few can/will use him there.

ZagNative
05-26-2010, 07:27 PM
So, do you think Coach Few's recommended plan for the summer included ... a lil' dancin'?

Google popped up a tweet from a lucky lady in her tweet:

# Just danced with Robert Sacre
about 19 hours ago via txt

# And Bol Kong
about 19 hours ago via txt
Seem to remember a line reported from the Gonzaga banquet about Sacre trying to date a fireplug dressed in a blond wig ... Apparently, Bol would like a little of that action too.

Reborn
05-26-2010, 08:08 PM
Few was using Bol at the 4 on several occassions last year depending on match-ups. I even remember the time he had Ira! guard John Bryant a couple of years back. I even remember Austin expressing gratitude at playing the 4. We are talking about college ball here where a lot of teams count them selves lucky to have someone of Elias' stature to play the 4. There will be times where it makes no sense to play Bol at the 4 and he won't play the 4, but there will be plenty of games/match-ups where Few can/will use him there.

Ira Brown playin the 4. Yes. A lot. Austin playin the 4. Of course. It was his position. Bol Kong? Plenty of games? I hope not. Not unless it's against lower division teams in the WCC.

MickMick
05-26-2010, 08:32 PM
Sounds like a leader type to me.

When he shines, let it be known that I always knew he would. Bol will deliver. No doubt in my mind.

Bol is a wing. He is going to shine as a wing.

bigblahla
05-26-2010, 09:37 PM
Sounds like a leader type to me.

When he shines, let it be known that I always knew he would. Bol will deliver. No doubt in my mind.

Bol is a wing. He is going to shine as a wing.

Agree with you Mick.

Go!! Zags!!!

zag67
05-27-2010, 08:18 AM
I also agree with Mick. As he learns the sets and can play reflexively, then we will see more of the real Kong. We need to remember what BK said. It will take him time to learn to play at this level. Too many of us want instant players and we forget that they need time to learn. Yes they were good/great at the level they came from, but in MOST cases, it is going to take them 1 or 2 years to reach a quality level of play at GU. Some of them will not make it (or not as fast as they want). Some of them may be an instant sucess and fit right in. Bol is one that needs the time to adjust and we need to not judge him as he is now, but what he finally becomes.

But the key to building a lasting program is that we keep bringing in players that have the "potential" of being the players that we need. Hopefully if the program is lucky enough to keep bringing in the right players and most of them meet their potential, then the program will stay at a high level. Most of us forget that in the last 3 years, we have lost multiple players and had injuries to players that were suppose to at least be solid backups to get to the next level (and guess what this will happen again). But those that were still playing learned to be competitive and play through these setbacks. That to me is what makes the GU program the sucess that it is.

ZagNative
05-27-2010, 08:45 AM
Has no one noticed that Mark Few is not a patient man? Every game Gonzaga plays counts, with perhaps the lone exhibition game, and Mark Few expects immediate contributions for every minute a player is on the floor, even a guy with big upside.

It's also important, when you talk about Bol, to remember that he's an "old guy." Time is going to run out for him to fulfill his potential if he is to fulfill his dream to play at the next level.

Just my opinion, but it seems to me that Bol needs to return to campus much improved over the past season after the summer. Every season is but an extended tryout for earning a scholarship for the next year.

DADoZAG
05-27-2010, 09:09 AM
Has no one noticed that Mark Few is not a patient man?

Patience is a non existing concept for any competent program administrator, and Mark Few has moved far beyond competent. He seems to understand that taking steps to improve the weakest link is the only way to strengthen the chain. It will be interesting when the chain’s weakest links are not so easy to spot, but that’s all off topic.

With all that went on during the two years prior to Bol’s arrival last fall it MAY be understandable that he was not prepared for D-1. I’d be amazed if that consideration was afforded him a second time. From his interview, it could be interpolated that he is very aware of that.

…and the journey continues. Ain’t it cool?

Go ZAGS!