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View Full Version : For those of us upset about losing Wiltjer, Kelly may make us feel better



thespywhozaggedme
08-31-2010, 10:27 AM
I watched every second of the Canada/France game and Leo Rautins finally gave Kelly major minutes. Kelly did not disappoint, in fact, one could argue that he was the second or third best player in the game after Batum of France and the Blazers, and Levon Kendall. Kelly battled underneath, beat Diaw off the dribble for an awesome basket, hit a great three pointer and was not intimidated in the least. Kelly belonged out there, but most importantly, he acted like he belonged out there.

Now, many of us, myself included were really bummed out, heart broken even, about Wiltjer's decision to go to Kentucky, but if Kelly continues to play for us like he's been doing for team Canada, we may quickly be saying, "Kyle who?" Kelly is very, very good and his frame is starting to fill out. By the time he's a junior and senior 20/10 is very, very realistic.

thespywhozaggedme
08-31-2010, 10:37 AM
Hope you're right.

Mal,
Kelly was playing against NBA guys and was dominant, not intimated at all. Plus, he's only 19 and a true sophomore. I know you've been really down on him, but I think he's gonna be a good one.

AzZag
08-31-2010, 10:48 AM
And don't forget, the main man, Stephen Bardo has said many times that KO will be in the NBA.

And, if you add an "E" to Kyle, you get Kelly.....ok, that was dumb. :D

thespywhozaggedme
08-31-2010, 10:54 AM
And don't forget, the main man, Stephen Bardo has said many times that KO will be in the NBA.

And, if you add an "E" to Kyle, you get Kelly.....ok, that was dumb. :D

It wasn't dumb, it was just wrong. If you add an "L" to Kyle, you get Kelly. :p

Baldwinzag
08-31-2010, 10:57 AM
...was not intimidated in the least. Kelly belonged out there, but most importantly, he acted like he belonged out there.

Great news.

From what I observed last season, Kelly's confidence is what held him back on the court---at least during games.

Think about how many open looks Olynyk consistently passed on, or even when he did finally pull the trigger, he displayed hesistancy in doing so. I used to scream at the former Canadian POY, FIBA MVP, and 30 ppg scorer, to just, "shoot". He rarely did and would generally defer to the older player or next option.

Heck, Bobzag told us he could play early, Coach Few gushed over him prior to the season, and anyone that attended a scrimmage or read reports from practice realized he was the player with the most build-up and not much delivery.

It wasn't his fault he was being hyped by the Coaches, players, and fans. He was also a true Frosh who was playing US ball for the first time.

KO was clearly awarded early playing time for his natural gifts, basketball ability, versatility, and off-the-charts bball IQ as a Freshman.

Bottom line, we knew he was a player, but only saw glimpses here and there. As KO became more comfortable, he became more of presence as the season progressed, althought the hesistancy and/or intimidation still lingered. Just think how natural he looked vs St Mary's in WCC or Syracuse game in NCAA tourney. . .

Now, with the Int'l and high-level basketball experience under his belt, I think he'll break through to another level and be ready to significantly contribute to this year's team.

Most casual fans will be pleasantly surprised, imo. Personally, I expect big things for Kelly. :)

thespywhozaggedme
08-31-2010, 11:03 AM
Great news.

From what I observed last season, Kelly's confidence is what held him back on the court---at least during games.

Think about how many open looks Olynyk consistently passed, or even when he did finally pull the trigger, he displayed hesistancy in doing so. I used to scream at the former Canadian POY, FIBA MVP, and 30 ppg scorer, to just, "shoot". He rarely did and would generally defer to the older player or next option.

Heck, Bobzag told us he could play early, Coach Few gushed over him prior to the season, and anyone that attended a scrimmage or read reports from practice realized he was the player with the most build-up and not much delivery.

It wasn't his fault he was being hyped by the Coaches, players, and fans. He was also a true Frosh who was playing US ball for the first time.

KO was clearly awarded early playing time for his natural gifts, basketball ability, versatility, and off-the-charts bball IQ as a Freshman.

Bottom line, we knew he was a player, but only saw glimpses here and there. As KO became more comfortable, he became more of presence as the season progressed, althought the hesistancy and/or intimidation still lingered. Just think how natural he looked vs St Mary's in WCC or Syracuse game in NCAA tourney. . .

Now, with this Int'l and high-level experience under his belt, I think he'll break through to another level and be ready to significantly contribute to this year's team.

Most casual fans will be pleasantly surprised, imo. Personally, I expect big things for Kelly. :)

Great post, agree on everything. Both Kelly and Manny were way to deferential last season. They will not be deferential this season. If we get our pg situation settled, this is gonna be a very, very good team. PG and backup sg are my lone concerns.

titopoet
08-31-2010, 11:03 AM
Mal,
Kelly ... but I think he's gonna be a good one.

I disagree with you, but only in tenses, He is already a good one, and getting better.

thespywhozaggedme
08-31-2010, 11:05 AM
I disagree with you, but only in tenses, He is already a good one, and getting better.

Agreed. :)

zagfan24
08-31-2010, 11:10 AM
Kelly was playing against NBA guys and was dominant, not intimated at all.

I remember being impressed with the same thing in the Michigan State game last season. He did some good, and some not so good, things in that game -- but he seemed to have that "no fear" quality that is rare in a true freshman.

Beyond improvement at the point guard position, the success of this year's team will largely depend on the development of Kelly, Sam, and Manny. Hearing positive reports about all three over the past few days leaves me feeling a bit more optimistic.

AzZag
08-31-2010, 11:17 AM
It wasn't dumb, it was just wrong. If you add an "L" to Kyle, you get Kelly. :p

Wow...that's my higher education paying huge dividends there.
I am an idiot.

That's what I get for trying to do five things at once.

GUDan07
08-31-2010, 11:27 AM
I've been excited about KO since he got here and I've stated before that I think he'll be the best player on a team here before he is done. He has great skill for his hight, and a good feel for the game. With the experience that he's getting playing in FIBA and at GU by the time he's a senior he'll be a completely different player.

roxdoc
08-31-2010, 11:33 AM
Through the years we have had a number of players who were hesitant to shoot, like Kelly to an extent last year. I have attributed this to coaching, ie, not so much a lack of confidence as the overhanging fear of doing something the coaches may not like. Like "the play calls for me to get it to the primary shooter, even though I am wide open".

former1dog
08-31-2010, 11:52 AM
Just a little perspective.

One game doesn't make a player or a career. Kelly had a nice game.

That said, it shows Kelly is capable of playing very well against top level, even NBA level talent. So, I hope he is encouraged by that and continues to try and excel.

gamagin
08-31-2010, 11:55 AM
Through the years we have had a number of players who were hesitant to shoot, like Kelly to an extent last year. I have attributed this to coaching, ie, not so much a lack of confidence as the overhanging fear of doing something the coaches may not like. Like "the play calls for me to get it to the primary shooter, even though I am wide open".

Few et al need to adjust to the talent at hand and let some of them loose to play, or build some plays around them that allows them to do their thing within the game plans.

It could be the staff's biggest challenge in the next few years. That and getting those out who may be "expected" to make the points, but don't or won't, and letting those willing and able to cut loose.

thespywhozaggedme
08-31-2010, 12:00 PM
Just a little perspective.

One game doesn't make a player or a career. Kelly had a nice game.

That said, it shows Kelly is capable of playing very well against top level, even NBA level talent. So, I hope he is encouraged by that and continues to try and excel.

No, Kelly had a great game; against NBA players. That's the real perspective. :)

former1dog
08-31-2010, 12:01 PM
Few et al need to adjust to the talent at hand and let some of them loose to play, or build some plays around them that allows them to do their thing within the game plans.

It could be the staff's biggest challenge in the next few years. That and getting those out who may be "expected" to make the points, but don't or won't, and letting those willing and able to cut loose.

I'll respectfully disagree with this concept of the coaches holding players back, especially at Gonzaga.

Frahm, Santangelo, Dickau, Stepp, Pargo, Morrison, Calvary, Floyd, Raivio, Bouldin, Daye, Turiaf, Batista, Downs, etc, etc, etc were never pulled from a game for taking an open shot, or even a shot where they were defended. I think Coach Few and staff have always rewarded offensive aggression. In fact, I think what has been penalized is timidity on offense, of which I can also think of lots of examples.

former1dog
08-31-2010, 12:04 PM
No, Kelly had a great game; against NBA players. That's the real perspective. :)

I guess my point is, of which I'm sure you're aware, is not to project a players potential on either his best game ever (possibly the one played today) or his worst game ever.

I also have a lot of faith in Kelly to take that next step and excel. Recently I showed statistically that last year he was one of our more productive players on a per minute basis.

I just don't want to overhype the kid on the basis of one "great" game.

Edited to add: I do tend to agree with your original point, though. We've got some good to great players in the 4 spot and although with out a doubt Kyle Wiltjer would have made us a better team, we aren't going to have a bad team with out the guy.

ronh_pm
08-31-2010, 12:14 PM
I guess my point is, of which I'm sure you're aware, is not to project a players potential on either his best game ever (possibly the one played today) or his worst game ever.

I also have a lot of faith in Kelly to take that next step and excel. Recently I showed statistically that last year he was one of our more productive players on a per minute basis.

I just don't want to overhype the kid on the basis of one "great" game.

Kelly also played well in Canada and the pre-tourney in Greece. The confidence he is showing with the ball right now is starting to remind me of his high school play where he played all over the floor.

Seeing him mixing it up in the paint today against very very good competition bodes well for what he may bring to the floor for the Zags this season. I'm not sure if it is the emergence of Dower, or encouragement from Rautins but for whatever reason he is having no issues with taking the ball to the net and he does not seem to care one bit who he is being guarded by.

I think defense will be the tough part of his game as he still seems a 1/2 step slow and defensive boards some how elude him. On the other hand he has not being playing agains slouches so I'm hoping he will hold his own in the WCC and beyond.

Martin Centre Mad Man
08-31-2010, 12:18 PM
I believe that this kid has the potential to be one of Gonzaga's all-time greats. Players with his height who can actually shoot, pass, and handle the ball are incredibly rare at the college level. Once he grows into his body and develops a post game, he will be something very special.

Robzagnut
08-31-2010, 12:54 PM
I alway attributed KO's hesitation to two things:

1. He was a freshman.

2. Didn't he grow 6 inches in a year? He was still trying to figure out what his new body could do. In games I remember him laying up the ball, instead of dunking it a number of times and I kept thinking, "He still thinks he's a shorter player."

Now that he's got to play over a whole season and an off-season in his new frame I expect we'll see a new confidence in what he can do.

dim4sum
08-31-2010, 12:58 PM
...of keeping manny and kelly on the floor at the same time, with both enjoying maximum minutes. That maximizes our chances of winning in my opinion. Maybe Carter and manny in the backcourt. Gray becomes a shooting forward, Harris the PF and Kelly in the middle, sharing time with Rob. Or shifting to PF to spell Harris to maximize his minutes. Would like Kelly and Manny to get 25 minutes each. Few has to get better at disseminating the message that minutes have to be earned, lest Steven, Elias and Rob get smug about their minutes.

RockandRollJames
08-31-2010, 01:06 PM
Didn't see it, but that is great news. My one major concern of Kelly's was his confidence on the court. He was always so hesitant, especially to score. I like what I'm hearing.

hooter73
08-31-2010, 01:10 PM
...Bol Kong...and next up on the summer overhype express

I'm glad to hear KO had a great game, hes got the ability, there is little doubting that but his numbers from the rest of his summer league play are pretty shabby.

Predicting a player to be one on a list of all time greatest after one ho-hum freshman year is a bit much I think. Get them in here and playing together, then I'll say how good they are. Summer hype is not a good thing in the end I'm thinking.

thespywhozaggedme
08-31-2010, 01:22 PM
Btw, the game's currently being replayed on NBAtv.

Gufan
08-31-2010, 02:21 PM
...Bol Kong...and next up on the summer overhype express

I'm glad to hear KO had a great game, hes got the ability, there is little doubting that but his numbers from the rest of his summer league play are pretty shabby.

Predicting a player to be one on a list of all time greatest after one ho-hum freshman year is a bit much I think. Get them in here and playing together, then I'll say how good they are. Summer hype is not a good thing in the end I'm thinking.

Understand your point, and agree in part. However, did the "all time greats" put up the numbers in their freshman years to make us think they were locks to be in that category? (Sincere question, I really don't know)

I also think Kelly is a little different in that many of the greats had the physique to come in right away without much physical learning curve. Due to Kelly's growth spurt, he was not afforded that luxury.

cscz28
08-31-2010, 02:43 PM
Is there anywhere a box score could be found?

thespywhozaggedme
08-31-2010, 03:49 PM
Is there anywhere a box score could be found?

Here ya go:

http://turkey2010.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/10/fwcm/p/eid/4728/gid/8/grid/D/nid//orderby//rid/6944/sid/4728/game.html

Reborn
08-31-2010, 06:01 PM
For those who have actually followed Kelly this summer DO KNOW THAT he has played fantastic all summer, and especially in the last month when it counted. A month ago most felt that Kelly wasn't going to make this FIBA team. His back was against the wall. Kelly had to show it on the court. And he stepped up big time. That speaks for itself to those who have not believed in Kelly (Malestein the head of that group). Kelly may soon prove he's the best player on this team. In the pic I saw he looked taller than Sacre. KELLY IS TALENTED. And Manny Arop is too. The Zags are loaded for next year.

I truly worried about Wiltjir coming to GU. I think he saw what was happening with Olynyk and decided he'd better go some place else. Kelly Olynyk has blown up this summer fans. Face it.

NEC26
08-31-2010, 06:13 PM
For those who have actually followed Kelly this summer DO KNOW THAT he has played fantastic all summer, and especially in the last month when it counted. A month ago most felt that Kelly wasn't going to make this FIBA team. His back was against the wall. Kelly had to show it on the court. And he stepped up big time. That speaks for itself to those who have not believed in Kelly (Malestein the head of that group). Kelly may soon prove he's the best player on this team. In the pic I saw he looked taller than Sacre. KELLY IS TALENTED. And Manny Arop is too. The Zags are loaded for next year.

I truly worried about Wiltjir coming to GU. I think he saw what was happening with Olynyk and decided he'd better go some place else. Kelly Olynyk has blown up this summer fans. Face it.

Lol I hardly think it was the competition here that made him choose Kentucky. I love this team too and think we have a good group but as far as I can tell Kentucky has a few good players as well.

Reborn
08-31-2010, 06:38 PM
Ok You tell me. Who does have Kentucky have at the 4 who is better than Kelly? I guarantee you that if Wiltjir sees himself sitting on the bench at Kentucky he is NOT going there. You want my prediction about who finishes higher next year, and the year after? Gonzaga. Now I know everyone dreuls over the name Kentucky and coach Cal. But let's see what happens okay? I sure don't see anyone from Kentucky playing in the International FIBA tournament. I sure don't here the name Kentucky at all. Yet when I watch the USA team play they are talking about Gonzaga with 3 guys in this tournament every game. I hooe Gu gets Kentucky next year in the NCAA's. It'll be one for the ages.

nonzagzag
08-31-2010, 07:52 PM
can anyone elucidate on what comments the US announcers are making about there being 3 Zags in the tourney?

75Zag
08-31-2010, 07:57 PM
Didn't UK also recruit Anthony Davis from Chicago? I think Davis may have eligibility issues, which might explain why Coach C was interested in Wiltjir.

Too complicated for me.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

ID ZAGFAN
08-31-2010, 08:20 PM
can anyone elucidate on what comments the US announcers are making about there being 3 Zags in the tourney?

They mention it a lot when Canada and Germany are playing, and also when Brazil is playing with an ex-Zag. They pronounce it Gon-Zaw-Ga for the most part. They bring up how few NCAA players are in the tourney, and Gonzaga has 3 of them.

In Canada's game with France, they were very positive about Kelly, kept calling him the kid or the teenager who was having a great game, and remarking how he was holding up against France's NBA players.

Some very good shout outs for our guys and for GU.

ZaGranny

ronh_pm
08-31-2010, 10:08 PM
I'm glad to hear KO had a great game, hes got the ability, there is little doubting that but his numbers from the rest of his summer league play are pretty shabby.


China
9:00
6 rbs
9 points

France
6:50
1 rb
5 points

France
0:00

Greece
17:36
2rbs
3 points

Serbia
11:38
2 rbs
1 point

Slovenia
5:57
4 rbs
8 points

Argentina
Unknown

Turkey
9 points

Lebanon
12 points

Lebanon
0:00

Lithuania
0:00

France
19:00
2 rbs
13 points

Other than the games against Greece (Canada was very bad) and Serbia, given his minutes, I would hardly say the rest of the summer has been shabby.

It's not like they are playing D2 opponents here. These are the world championships...NBA and Euro players among the national teams. When keeping it in perspective it works both ways

Larryzag
09-01-2010, 12:32 AM
http://www.edmontonsun.com/sports/basketball/2010/08/31/15202656.html

ronh_pm
09-01-2010, 07:32 AM
I missed the Can -NZ game this AM...NZ won 71-61..
Kelly's line.

22 mins
3/6 shooting (0/1 from 3)
6 points
4 rbs

ronh_pm
09-01-2010, 09:09 AM
World Championship stats..

http://www.ronhole.com/blog/images/ko_wc_stats.jpg


From FIBA page..

http://turkey2010.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/10/fwcm/player/p/eid/4728/orderby//pid/69312/rid/6944/sid/4728/tid/257/profile.html

ZagFanInNC
09-01-2010, 09:21 AM
I'll respectfully disagree with this concept of the coaches holding players back, especially at Gonzaga.

Frahm, Santangelo, Dickau, Stepp, Pargo, Morrison, Calvary, Floyd, Raivio, Bouldin, Daye, Turiaf, Batista, Downs, etc, etc, etc were never pulled from a game for taking an open shot, or even a shot where they were defended. I think Coach Few and staff have always rewarded offensive aggression. In fact, I think what has been penalized is timidity on offense, of which I can also think of lots of examples.

I disagree completely, all of the players you mentioned never held back when they were proven/upper classmen. Kelly was a true freshman, if you think he had the green light to jack it up when Matt Bouldin or Elias was on the floor I think you are mistaken. There have been plenty of players who didnt see eye to eye with the coaching staff and suffered minutes because of it reguardless of talent. Our coaching staff isnt as untouchable as everyone thinks IMO.

Reborn
09-01-2010, 09:43 AM
I disagree completely, all of the players you mentioned never held back when they were proven/upper classmen. Kelly was a true freshman, if you think he had the green light to jack it up when Matt Bouldin or Elias was on the floor I think you are mistaken. There have been plenty of players who didnt see eye to eye with the coaching staff and suffered minutes because of it reguardless of talent. Our coaching staff isnt as untouchable as everyone thinks IMO.

You might want to check the Adam Morrison quote at the bottom of your page because what you wrote makes absolutely no sense to me.

former1dog
09-01-2010, 10:05 AM
I disagree completely, all of the players you mentioned never held back when they were proven/upper classmen. Kelly was a true freshman, if you think he had the green light to jack it up when Matt Bouldin or Elias was on the floor I think you are mistaken. There have been plenty of players who didnt see eye to eye with the coaching staff and suffered minutes because of it reguardless of talent. Our coaching staff isnt as untouchable as everyone thinks IMO.

You're missing my point completely.

Just to review, my point IS NOT:

-That the coaching staff is infallible. They make plenty of mistakes and I have criticized them when in my humble opinion I think they have made mistakes.

-My point wasn't to criticize Kelly for being timid because he was a frosh.

-My point was not to say that the listed players never had points in their career where they lacked confidence on offense (with the exception of Morrison, in college, that guy never saw a shot he didn't like :D )

My point WAS to state that the coaching staff rewards offensive aggression. I'll add one caveat, offensive aggression that comes within the flow of the offensive structure. There are many examples of players being yanked due to being timid on offense, but I would guess not many players have been yanked for being aggressive within the framework of the offensive set.

dnj116
09-01-2010, 12:38 PM
I would guess not many players have been yanked for being aggressive within the framework of the offensive set.

gj

former1dog
09-01-2010, 12:43 PM
gj

GJ, at times was reckless, which doesn't equate to aggressive. Plus, at time, his aggressiveness was not within the constructs of the offense.

That said, I liked GJ. I think he had a lot of potential and I wish he would not have transferred.

ZagFanInNC
09-01-2010, 07:20 PM
You might want to check the Adam Morrison quote at the bottom of your page because what you wrote makes absolutely no sense to me.

Nope, its right.

upan8th
09-01-2010, 09:54 PM
Well, gotta love the off season, summer, AC edition of kibitzing and commentary. I just hope that when the real deal launches in Nov, all youse saying at this point that Kelly O is going to be the greatest thing since the invention of Velveeta, won't be the same people on the board in December asking what's wrong w/Olynek. Why isn't he: a) scoring more. b) boarding more. c) defending better. And finally: Playing more.

The facts are, he's not ready to do any of the above, primarily because of his youth and lack of physical maturity: Think Austin w/out the hops. His lack of strength will prevent him defending a legitimate 4 or 5 inside, or even a 3 like Elias Harris from overpowering him offensively. He hasn't demonstrated that he can create his own shot and most of his scoring will come from his scrappy nose for the ball, put backs, and tip ins. It's hard to see Few designing plays to free him for shots beyond the arc given last year's less than satisfactory 3 pt stats. Predicting that he'll be a good free throw shooter this year after watching him last season seems speculative at best.

What can we realistically expect then? How about averaging 14 to 18 min/pg, 4 to 7 pts/gm, 2 to 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 to 4 fouls per game. Re-evaluate him after next season when his physical maturity begins to match his length. As a senior in '13-'14 it seems reasonable to assume he'll double the above numbers and become a valuable Sean Mallon type contributor to a very successful team.


...lean hopes, last to the feast, are not so soon famished again...

webspinnre
09-02-2010, 05:56 AM
Upan, while I'm all for tempering expectations, don't you think that seeing him play and hold his own against some NBA players showed us that he's capable of a bit more than Sean Mallon (and I like Sean and think he had a very nice role)?

cjm720
09-02-2010, 06:34 AM
Kelly Olynyk has blown up this summer fans. Face it.

"Blown up"? A successful, rewarding summer is more like it.

I've said it before and I still believe it, KO will be the focal point of the offense by his Junior year. Think High Low passing; the 3; the dip, drive and dish...he's got all the tools and versatality to thrive and this summer's international experience is huge.

Go KO, Go Zags!!!

WeSayZed
09-02-2010, 08:00 AM
"Blown up"? A successful, rewarding summer is more like it.

I've said it before and I still believe it, KO will be the focal point of the offense by his Junior year. Think High Low passing; the 3; the dip, drive and dish...he's got all the tools and versatality to thrive and this summer's international experience is huge.

Go KO, Go Zags!!!
I agree. This year I think our big 3 will be Gray, Harris, and Sacre, if for no other reason than they earned it last year and I think all 3 will be gone next year. I think Kelly and Manny will both play about 25 minutes this year and then be the focus of our offence next year, along with possibly Carter or someone else who emerges this year. I think Kelly has taken a big step up this summer, and I think hell start for us this year, but our big 3 will still be Gray, Harris and Sacre.

I have to say, however, were going to be able to put some very imposing 5 man line-ups on the floor. Sacre, Olynyk, Harris, Arop, and Gray is the one Im looking forward to the most.:)

ronh_pm
09-02-2010, 08:05 AM
After playing Spain today
22 mins
14 points
4 rbs

his numbers for the tourney; essentially 3 games as he DNP, in one and had 8 seconds in the other.

Shooting
10/18 (55.6%) including 2/5 (40%)from 3 and 11/13 (84.6%) FT

Rebounds
11 Total - 5 Offensive and 6 Defensive

Assists - Turnovers - Steals -Blocks
2 assists 4 turnovers 1 steal 0 blocks

Average over 3 games

21 mins
11 points
3.6 rbs

*added - 5th in team scoring and 4th in team rebounding (1st in scoring and 3rd in rebounds if you throw out the 8 sec game)

I think the number I like best is the 13 FT attempts. Kelly is shooting and taking it to the hoop against players bigger, stronger and more experienced than himself. And he is being successful doing it.

This bodes very well for the college season. I'm guessing Mr. Few is smiling.

IZMIR (FIBA World Championship) - Kelly Olynyk and Andrew Albicy are the most unlikely of buddies. (http://turkey2010.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/10/fwcm/news/p/eid/4728/nid/43965/sid/4728/article.html)

thespywhozaggedme
09-02-2010, 08:10 AM
Didn't see the game today, but in the commentary on the Raptors board the posters were saying that Kelly was far and away the best player and was taking it right to Gasol and scoring. On the flip side the same posters were apoplectic at Leo Rautins coaching and the poor showing.

CDC84
09-02-2010, 09:20 AM
Again, when evaluating KO's freshman season at Gonzaga, people need to keep in mind that he had been a perimeter player his entire life. He was often a point guard in HS ball. Just imagine how difficult it would be to go from playing and defending on the perimeter to becoming a low post big man and battling against experienced, high major, U.S. college players that outweigh you by 40 pounds. What I saw from Kelly last year was a player who was having to almost re-learn the game of basketball. Almost everything he did at Gonzaga last season - both in practice and in games - was entirely different from what he had done in his years prior to appearing in Spokane. I think he performed admirably, and if he showed some timidity at times, it was to be expected.

That being said, I hope to see his overall game improve this season. Gonzaga players usually grow a lot between their freshman and sophomore years.

Reborn
09-02-2010, 10:29 AM
The facts are, he's not ready to do any of the above, primarily because of his youth and lack of physical maturity: Think Austin w/out the hops. His lack of strength will prevent him defending a legitimate 4 or 5 inside, or even a 3 like Elias Harris from overpowering him offensively. He hasn't demonstrated that he can create his own shot and most of his scoring will come from his scrappy nose for the ball, put backs, and tip ins. It's hard to see Few designing plays to free him for shots beyond the arc given last year's less than satisfactory 3 pt stats. Predicting that he'll be a good free throw shooter this year after watching him last season seems speculative at best.

What can we realistically expect then? How about averaging 14 to 18 min/pg, 4 to 7 pts/gm, 2 to 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 to 4 fouls per game. Re-evaluate him after next season when his physical maturity begins to match his length. As a senior in '13-'14 it seems reasonable to assume he'll double the above numbers and become a valuable Sean Mallon type contributor to a very successful team.


...lean hopes, last to the feast, are not so soon famished again...

Sorry but, imo you're the one who is way off, and I doubt if you have been following him this summer. Why do you think there is so much optimism surrounding Kelly? Is he averaging 11 ppg, and Canada's leading scorer in the last 3 games a dream? No! It's reality. It's a fact. HE IS MUCH BETTER, and he will continue to be much better next year.

His game will NOT affect Rob Sacre's because kelly will be playing at the 4, and possibly some 3, like he is doing for Canada. Rob has also played great this summer at certain points. He was in the news a lot. It's been fabulous that thee guys (and Harris) have made their national teams and have played at this level.

Those who believe in Kelly Olynyk will NOT be disappointed in him in November, December or whenever. It sounds like some of you will be surprised.

upan8th
09-02-2010, 12:27 PM
Well, one can always hope. Nothing wrong with that. But before hope should come caution. Great that Kelly was able to convince the Canadian coach, too late, that he belonged on the team. This would be the same team, I believe, that scored 49 pts fewer than their opponents in four games, was eclipsed by international stalwarts Lebanon and New Zealand (by 10 each) and failed to chalk up a W in the tourney. Not quite NBA caliber competition, eh?

I'm sticking with cautious hope for Kelly and will be delighted for him if he surpasses my modest expectations.

Reborn
09-02-2010, 01:04 PM
Cautious hope? There is no such thing! :D

former1dog
09-02-2010, 01:06 PM
I should point out that today Kelly had a statistically superior game than 4 of Spain's 5 starters, all of whom are NBA caliber players. Impressive. That doesn't mean I think Kelly is necessarily a better player than those guys, but at least on paper for one game, he was at that level. Fun, fun. I hope it tranfers to a successful sophomore season for him.

zag67
09-02-2010, 01:19 PM
I agree with Reborn about Kelly and what he has shown so far at FIBO. But I think that there are too many "back seat" drivers who decide someone is not going to work out before they even give them a chance to drive. Kelly will make mistakes. But he is only a Sophmore and if he improves like many of the GU players do from Freshman to Sophomore years, then he will be great. Like as been stated earlier, he is learning a new position, a new body and how to play with a new set of players. Remember we have him for THREE more years. The same can be said about Manny and Dower (4 years). And remember that Elias is only a sopmore and he will be making many errors also. That is the reason that he has stayed for one more year. To learn and prepare for a long pro career. We just all hope that (as a group) they make more solid plays and learn from their mistakes.

CDC84
09-03-2010, 09:38 AM
A person who I respect in the world of college basketball watched Kelly Olynyk play yesterday and in a couple of other recent games. He had this to say:

"I saw the game the other day...and he was terrific. Active, tough, showed a little bit if hops even."

I've been told that the GU staff is delighted with how KO has looked recently.

As I have said again and again....he's been a perimeter player his whole life, and he is just now starting to feel comfortable with playing in the low blocks. He's going to get better and better. Patience.

ID ZAGFAN
09-03-2010, 09:59 AM
Props for Kelly and Rob in today's Spokesman-Review "In Brief" column:

" Olynyk leads team Canada: Despite the best efforts of Gonzaga standout Kelly Olynyk, Canada (0-5) was dealt an 89-76 loss by Spain (3-2) in the final round of group play at the world basketball championships in Turkey.

Olynyk came off the bench to lead Canada with 14 points and four rebounds.

Bulldogs big man Robert Sacre also made his contribution for team Canada, adding eight points in 14 minutes."

Nice to see our guys getting good press.

ZaGranny