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GrizZAG
09-17-2010, 01:28 AM
Just curious to hear from this collection of armchair experts, how you feel about the intense play off season for the various national teams?

On one hand it gives them more experience and helps keep them tuned up, but on the other there is risk of injury. ??

Are they worn out and tired come fall, or in better shape?
Good thing? Bad thing?

Obviously being able to represent their respective countries is an honor and we all appreciate that of course.

Any thoughts? I worry a bit, would hate to lose Harris, Kelly, Sacre or any of them. Is Harris going to have chronic shoulder issues now? Hope not!

sittingon50
09-17-2010, 05:45 AM
Seems to me that was discussed a # of weeks ago, Few reportedly intimating that he would find those guys a break.

?

MickMick
09-17-2010, 06:06 AM
I believe in it.

Harris, KO, and Rob were practicing and playing against pros all summer. I have to think it is going to help. KO might end up being the biggest benefactor of it. If anything, just making the senior team should be a real shot in the arm with respect to confidence level.

These guys are getting excellent instruction as well. They will be taking their "lessons learned" back to their team mates. It will help on the leadership front as well.

If they truly love playing hoops (which I expect they do), I don't forsee "burnout".

gamagin
09-17-2010, 07:30 AM
I believe in it.

Harris, KO, and Rob were practicing and playing against pros all summer. I have to think it is going to help. KO might end up being the biggest benefactor of it. If anything, just making the senior team should be a real shot in the arm with respect to confidence level.

These guys are getting excellent instruction as well. They will be taking their "lessons learned" back to their team mates. It will help on the leadership front as well.

If they truly love playing hoops (which I expect they do), I don't forsee "burnout".

Any player who truly wants to excel in college and beyond would kill for these opportunities.

If anyone really is exhausted to the point of being unable to play regular season ball, that athlete likely would not be a candidate for starting in college, much less making it into the bigs. Or at the very least, that athlete needs alot more work on his game before he can hope to compete and succeed at any level.

The process, barring injuries, is built that way: to let the best of the best keep going.

So I look at all these opportunities as just that, great chances to improve, to measure oneself against better players, pros, and most importantly, to grow, mature and refine one's game in the best setting and under the best circumstances available and possible.

My hope is all our Zags return healthy and ready to show how much each has improved his game in the offseason, and that collectively, we have leadership, confidence and a winning attitude that is second to none and better than ever.

CB4
09-17-2010, 07:31 AM
IMO nothing can replace getting bigger and stronger in the gym during the off season. The experience is invaluable though.

CanadianZagFan
09-17-2010, 07:52 AM
IMO nothing can replace getting bigger and stronger in the gym during the off season. The experience is invaluable though.

I think that just lifting and adding strength to one's frame is not near enough of an offseason to partake in. Yes, being stronger is a positive, but not working on individual baketball skills, system knowledge and basketball related plyometrics can make your offseason useless. How many times have you seen that savy old vet playing a pick-up game with a bunch of jump out of the gym athletes going to work. Basketball IQ is what that 45 year old dude who can not jump or run any more is useing, and he is killing those kids. All of the Zags who spent time playing structured ball this summer will have gained valuable experience that will outweigh just getting stronger alone. Being around players that are better and more experienced than them will trickle down to the whole team. Lets not forget that the season ended in March and there is plenty of time slotted in for strength training during the 5-6 months till practice starts again....and national teams do do strength training.

hooter73
09-17-2010, 08:00 AM
Im a big proponent of Camps but if not, practicing and playing with a bunch of pro players is just as good of a learning experience to a mature student that learns and not just plays. The issue is if they see alot of palying time (which i dont think our guys did) they will be run down or hit a wall at some point in the season. Shouldnt be an issue with what the FIBA guys were actually doing as compared to a normal off season training schedule.

titopoet
09-17-2010, 08:02 AM
I think that Coach Few had the same concerns and gave the three some time off. On the good end, Harris played last year in the European Championship and was longer out from being at GU, but it had no negative effect, but playing against NBAers gave him more confidence going into the season. I believe that that will also carry over for Sacre and especially for Kelly O.

cjm720
09-17-2010, 08:34 AM
Playing for your country at that level would be a priory and honor for me. Sure there is injury risk, but the upside playing against grown men outweigh any negatives IMO.

Colbyspapa
09-17-2010, 09:07 AM
My concern isn't the burnout. That is a mental thing and I believe all three of these guys love the game and are mentally strong enough where this isn't a factor.

My concern is the wear and tear on 19, 20 and 21 year old bodies. These guys played at their highest level now for more than a year straight with no real break. In every sport, you are never 100% healthy. There is always an ache or a pull or something that nags at you when you play a long season. The muscle fibers in your legs get tired and need time to recharge. Lots of things can happen. A rolled ankle with no rest can turn into something cronic.

While the experience is tremendous and they will be better players for it, what happens if these three lose their gas in December? I guess that can be said every year, but the constant travel, lack of sleep, studying, practice and games take a toll on ligaments, muscles and your regeneration process. I hope Coach Few finds a way to let these guys reccuperate while still gelling with the team. In years past, we have peaked early and I hope this doesn't accellerate when this team plays its best basketball.

CanadianZagFan
09-17-2010, 09:38 AM
My concern isn't the burnout. That is a mental thing and I believe all three of these guys love the game and are mentally strong enough where this isn't a factor.

My concern is the wear and tear on 19, 20 and 21 year old bodies. These guys played at their highest level now for more than a year straight with no real break. In every sport, you are never 100% healthy. There is always an ache or a pull or something that nags at you when you play a long season. The muscle fibers in your legs get tired and need time to recharge. Lots of things can happen. A rolled ankle with no rest can turn into something cronic.

While the experience is tremendous and they will be better players for it, what happens if these three lose their gas in December? I guess that can be said every year, but the constant travel, lack of sleep, studying, practice and games take a toll on ligaments, muscles and your regeneration process. I hope Coach Few finds a way to let these guys reccuperate while still gelling with the team. In years past, we have peaked early and I hope this doesn't accellerate when this team plays its best basketball.

Not really true, the NCAA season ended in March for these guys, and although they were in the gym, Kelly and Rob did not even play another real game till August. The summer was not as demanding as you would think it was, there was a good deal of "free time" to take it easy and regenerate. I would bet that the travel to the European tournaments and then the World championships took more out of the guys than the actual playing did on their bodies.

I feel good that Elias, Kelly and Rob will not be affected by the offseason play, any blame on this for poor play will be an excuse.

GoZags
09-17-2010, 01:50 PM
Just curious to hear from this collection of armchair experts, how you feel about the intense play off season for the various national teams?

On one hand it gives them more experience and helps keep them tuned up, but on the other there is risk of injury. ??

Are they worn out and tired come fall, or in better shape?
Good thing? Bad thing?

Obviously being able to represent their respective countries is an honor and we all appreciate that of course.

Any thoughts? I worry a bit, would hate to lose Harris, Kelly, Sacre or any of them. Is Harris going to have chronic shoulder issues now? Hope not!

Rather than speculate -- let's look at real data vis a vis the Zags, who, in the past decade or so have had multiple players on National teams -- then return to Gonzaga for their next season.

1. Matt Santangelo -- Gold Medal
http://www.usabasketball.com/mens/worlduniversity/mwug_1999.html

Set a Team USA record for 3 point shooting at the World University Games in Spain in '99 -- then came back to Gonzaga to average 13.2 pts per game and 6.4 assists per game in helpling lead the Zags to the Sweet 16.

Despite going 11-3 in league, winning the league tourney and reaching the Sweet 16 -- the WCC Player of the Year was not from Gonzaga. USF's Kenyon Jones won the honor.

2. Dan Dickau -- Bronze Medal
http://www.usabasketball.com/mens/worlduniversity/mwug_2001.html

3D followed up his Jr. year at Gonzaga by being a Bronze Medalist in the World University Games -- Team USA having narrowly lost in the semi finals to host China (and their "collegian" Yao Ming).

Dan followed up his Team USA summer by being named the WCC Player of the Year and AP 1st Team (Top 5) All American.

3. Blake Stepp
http://www.usabasketball.com/mens/panamerican/mpag_2003.html

Blake's Panama Games Team USA (all collegians) didn't fare well against the NBA and other pros that comprised the other teams in the event -- finishing 2-3. Despite the lack of a medal, it was a great experience for Blake Stepp.

Blake followed up his Team USA summer by being named the WCC Player of the Year.

4. Adam Morrison -- Gold Medal
http://www.usabasketball.com/mens/mu20_2004.html

Adam's Team USA went 5-0 to Qualify for the following year's FIBA World Championships for Young Men.

Adam followed up his Team USA summer by being named the WCC Player of the Year and AP 1st Team (Top 5) All American.

5. Elias Harris
http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fa/player/p/pid/53063/pid2//sid/6623/tid/288/tid2//_/2009_U20_European_Championship_Men/index.html

http://germanhoops.wordpress.com/2009/09/06/introducing-the-german-national-team-2009/

Prior to arriving at Gonzaga, Elias did "double duty" for Germany in the summer of '09 -- playing for their U20 team in the European Championships and then playing for their Senior Men's team in the European Championships (arriving to school several weeks late).

Elias followed up his "double duty" National Team play by being named the WCC Newcomer of the Year.
----------------------------------

With several WCC POY's -- including 2 AP (Top 5) All Americans and a WCC Newcomer of the Year to show for their Zag season following National Team play -- it seems as if the guys still do okay despite a busy summer. Fewie has experience here and has gone on record as saying he's going to force this year's guys away from the game for a couple of weeks to recuperate.

One other note -- neither Matt (or any other Zag) won WCC POY his senior year -- but it should be noted that Matt Santangelo played much of his Senior year with mononucleosis and despite being in great shape -- did seem "fatigued" by the end of the season.

GrizZAG
09-17-2010, 03:51 PM
You are awesome. Great thoughts, good Karma and I do appreciate what obviously is more than a passing set of thoughts you all expressed.

I am very anxious about the new players most of us have never seen yet. I watched Carter clips and read a bit about the others. Impressive indeed.

It seemed last year Mark was trying many combinations early on to find the right mix on the floor with the new players with the existing. Hopefully we get it gelled quickly so this team can just get better and better early.
They have their work cut out for them for sure.
Thanks again Co-Zags...

ZagDaddy
09-17-2010, 04:22 PM
Other than the pounding they take on their bodies I think the experience is good for them. Here's to hoping none of these young men who played hard all summer long are the next Zags to come down with the proverbial stress fractures in their feet. :(

Bing
09-18-2010, 08:31 AM
Rather than speculate -- let's look at real data vis a vis the Zags, who, in the past decade or so have had multiple players on National teams -- then return to Gonzaga for their next season.

1. Matt Santangelo -- Gold Medal
http://www.usabasketball.com/mens/worlduniversity/mwug_1999.html

Set a Team USA record for 3 point shooting at the World University Games in Spain in '99 -- then came back to Gonzaga to average 13.2 pts per game and 6.4 assists per game in helpling lead the Zags to the Sweet 16.

Despite going 11-3 in league, winning the league tourney and reaching the Sweet 16 -- the WCC Player of the Year was not from Gonzaga. USF's Kenyon Jones won the honor.

2. Dan Dickau -- Bronze Medal
http://www.usabasketball.com/mens/worlduniversity/mwug_2001.html

3D followed up his Jr. year at Gonzaga by being a Bronze Medalist in the World University Games -- Team USA having narrowly lost in the semi finals to host China (and their "collegian" Yao Ming).

Dan followed up his Team USA summer by being named the WCC Player of the Year and AP 1st Team (Top 5) All American.

3. Blake Stepp
http://www.usabasketball.com/mens/panamerican/mpag_2003.html

Blake's Panama Games Team USA (all collegians) didn't fare well against the NBA and other pros that comprised the other teams in the event -- finishing 2-3. Despite the lack of a medal, it was a great experience for Blake Stepp.

Blake followed up his Team USA summer by being named the WCC Player of the Year.

4. Adam Morrison -- Gold Medal
http://www.usabasketball.com/mens/mu20_2004.html

Adam's Team USA went 5-0 to Qualify for the following year's FIBA World Championships for Young Men.

Adam followed up his Team USA summer by being named the WCC Player of the Year and AP 1st Team (Top 5) All American.

5. Elias Harris
http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fa/player/p/pid/53063/pid2//sid/6623/tid/288/tid2//_/2009_U20_European_Championship_Men/index.html

http://germanhoops.wordpress.com/2009/09/06/introducing-the-german-national-team-2009/

Prior to arriving at Gonzaga, Elias did "double duty" for Germany in the summer of '09 -- playing for their U20 team in the European Championships and then playing for their Senior Men's team in the European Championships (arriving to school several weeks late).

Elias followed up his "double duty" National Team play by being named the WCC Newcomer of the Year.
----------------------------------

With several WCC POY's -- including 2 AP (Top 5) All Americans and a WCC Newcomer of the Year to show for their Zag season following National Team play -- it seems as if the guys still do okay despite a busy summer. Fewie has experience here and has gone on record as saying he's going to force this year's guys away from the game for a couple of weeks to recuperate.

One other note -- neither Matt (or any other Zag) won WCC POY his senior year -- but it should be noted that Matt Santangelo played much of his Senior year with mononucleosis and despite being in great shape -- did seem "fatigued" by the end of the season.

Excellent post. Thank you.

dim4sum
09-18-2010, 03:04 PM
Used to play as many three 40 minute games a day in my teens and early 20s--and I was far from an athlete. These guys are in shape and they didn't get many minutes anyhow. We've all contributed to this to some extent, but this is just another summertime stroll down paranoia lane.