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applezag
06-24-2007, 10:23 AM
The players that GU is looking at in guard positions for the coming years all look to be solid players that I could see in a Zag uniform. You can see them playing roles that Zag guards have played in the past, and reports seem to say that they have qualities that some of our previous guards have had. This is mostly good, except for one thing: defense. A month or so ago a poster expressed concern with the fact that the vast majority of NCAA championship teams in the past fifteen years have had a quick, penetrating guard that could break down the defense (we do have one for the next two years in Pargo). Of course, we would all like to have that element on the Zag squad for years to come, but my bigger worry is stopping these kinds of guards.

Defense is a team activity, and you don't always need to have one guy that shuts down a quick guard, but it sure is nice to not have to concentrate your whole defense on that guy. So, after Pargo leaves, who is going to be the guy who can slow down lightning-quick opponents? We have had some teams in the past that really didn't have anyone that could do that, and it hurt us down the stretch. We've had some bigger perimeter guys (like Knight) who were pretty good, but bringing them up to guard a point guard means you have match-up issues somewhere else. This past year was probably our best defensive year in that regard in a while, but a lot of that has to do with Pargo (and PMac when he was in). I know that GU has never taken defense into account when recruiting perimeter guys, but this issue does concern me.

ZagNut08
06-24-2007, 10:37 AM
Abdul Gaddy- This point guard from Tacoma, Wash., isn't a national name yet, but he is one of the better lead guards in his class. Along with his exceptional feel for the game, Gaddy is a sharp shooting three-point shooter. Along with his offensive abilities, Gaddy is a strong defender. He keeps his man in front of him with his exceptional lateral quickness and then uses his wingspan to disturb shots.

Avery Bradley- The high school teammate of Gaddy, is simply a natural scorer. His reserved athleticism allows him to finish seemingly impossible shot, and his wing span on defense creates easy shots for himself. As his body develops, he game will only get better.

I would love to lock up at least one of the Bellarmine duo

CDC84
06-24-2007, 10:39 AM
You got in before I could speak up Zagnut....the Bellarmine kids, especially Gaddy, are the guys. GU is also recruiting other 2009 guards that have a lot of quickness and athleticism....not that this necessarily translates into defensive ability in all cases......

zagco
06-24-2007, 02:04 PM
I've been exasperated about our team defense, especially how other mediocre teams seem to have record 3-point nights all the time. This has been going on for years. I feel like its more scheme/coaching/mental than it is purely physical. I sure hope we get it fixed. It's maddening to watch .500 WCC teams pop off 18 or whatever 3 pointers against us.

MDABE80
06-24-2007, 02:18 PM
Come 2009, Bradley and Gaddy could change everything. Both very talented kids.........tough defenders and they put some big points up on offense. Throw the book out on other nationally known kids. These two kids are in our own back yard. We'll know more this upcoming season but these two have all the tools to be spectacular . Gaddy's big ( 6 ft 5 in) and is an excellent guard. Bradley's a 6 ft kid but he has jets and he's supposed to be on of those extreme athletes. We'll know more this Winter. I just hope we have room.

ZagNut08
06-24-2007, 04:14 PM
Im pretty sure we will have room for both. We still have 3-4 open slots. If the staff holds out for clarke, and misses...we will have 4. With Brock on board I think we could use Gaddy at Point, Bradley as a cg/sf. I think we could use another true center in that class...then round it out with a true sf like rudd/haws

We may recruit an entire team in 09

BobZag
06-24-2007, 05:06 PM
For it to happen year after year, it is scheme or philosophy, as zagco suggests. We could have five Bradleys and Gaddys out there and other teams would still break 3-point shooting records against us.

With Giacoletti now on board, the hope is things will change. If you recall, Giacoletti's EWU teams played great defense, especially vs GU, and his Eags even beat UW (I believe Romar's first year) in Seattle.

A new, fresh approach should help. I like the defensive capabilities of our future teams. The recruits are a good mix of O and D. I think back to Florida and I remember 3-point ace Lee Humphrey, yet Florida played excellent defense. No reason why Gonzaga can't.

CDC84
06-24-2007, 05:16 PM
I would be surprised if the staff held on to that 2008 schoolie. They might even pursue the juco ranks for a PG if all else fails. They really need to get a backup PG to allow Bouldin and Pargo to play together more, and to take away any worry of the team going down the drain if either guy gets hurt for a long time. GU is already going to have to endure that fear this year, but that's just how things turned out. I can't see it happening a 2nd year in a row if the coaches can prevent it. Also, it takes a young PG at least a 1 year apprenticeship to feel comfortable running the complicated Gonzaga offense. By getting that PG in 2008, even if he ends up not being Clarke, you can groom him and not put as much pressure on Gaddy or whoever is coming for 2009. I realize that if Pargo or Bouldin get hurt in 2008/09, that puts the freshman PG (if it's not a juco) thru a baptism by fire, but it is better than having a shooting guard/wing pretending to be a PG and being kept away from what he does best.

The clear needs for two of the three 2009 schoolies are a PG type to replace Pargo and a wing type scorer to replace Downs. I'm interesting in seeing which direction the staff goes with that 3rd schoolie.

saintzag
06-24-2007, 05:51 PM
Agree we lost PMAC and are now vulnerable at the 1 or 2.

roxdoc
06-24-2007, 08:27 PM
It seems to me that there has been a lot of hysteria on this board about what would happen if we lost both of our point guards. Its funny I have never heard in the past anyone worrying about what if we loose both of our post men. I realize the point is a very important position, but we do have 2 (remember all the moaning about poor Bouldin having to play 2 instead of 1 which is his natural position)? How many point guards do most teams have? Another view - if we could wave a wand and have a 3rd PG who would we cut out of the rest of the team? I'm sure I will get yelled at but this seams to be one of those "off-season" tempests in a tea ***

MickMick
06-24-2007, 08:58 PM
It seems to me that there has been a lot of hysteria on this board about what would happen if we lost both of our point guards. Its funny I have never heard in the past anyone worrying about what if we loose both of our post men. ***

There was plenty of concern when just one post man (Josh) was lost for the season. Well justified too. The Zags were never the same without him. The game against Indiana was a fine example of a team in desperate need of a post player.



With respect to how we defend 3-point shots...please remember what conference we play in. That would be a mid major conference. What is the biggest fear of BCS schools entering the tournament against a mid major?

Three point shots.

Why?

Because there are inherently more good Div 1 small players available than good Div 1 big players. The "trickle down" effect provides the smaller schools with decent guard play at the expense of post play due to "supply and demand". In other words, due to a lack of the long since "gobbled up" big men, the mid major's best chance is with perimeter shooting via the strength of their team (guards).

By nature of the Zag's schedule, they will always be tested from the perimeter more than from the inside. This is the BCS-mid major tournament game scenario multiplied by 14. Throw in a Singletary from Virginia and a Graves from Butler and our perimeter defense appears terrible.

It is not as bad as many suggest. Please remember that we are one season removed from outplaying a UCLA team that was in the championship game. And the Zags did it employing the same collapsing zone philosophy they always have.

Certainly they can (and should) play better defense, but the Zags historically win by scoring a ton of points. That philosophy does not go unnoticed. It is exciting basketball to watch. It lures television, great recruits (the kind that can score), and expands the fan base. Further, fans of those dreary defensive style teams just love their matchup with the Zags because it is one of the rare times they get to see their team open it up offensively. They have to or they will get smoked! That is why Gonzaga is commonly described as "my second favorite team". That is called expanding your fan base.

Please......do not march to the castle with torches and pitchforks demanding an old school Big Ten defensive style of play!!! In other words, take the guy that can score and work on his defense when he gets here.....not vice versa.

bigparb
06-24-2007, 10:41 PM
Mick makes a great point here. GU has won over these last 10 yrs by outscoring people, and I might add, shooting daggers from 3. Unfortunately, the current team is lacking the long-distance marksmanship of previous Zag teams.....

Yes, we have Downs, who for my money have the one of the purest jumpers I've ever seen and let's not forget his range, which is absolutely NBA ready........After Mr. Downs, who I really hope looks for his shot more this year, I'm afraid we are lacking proven bombers. Lets break this down........

1) Bouldin--he was 29-80-36.3% last year, but he's not a bomber 1st and foremost....he benefits from knocking down his 3's no doubt, as it forces guys to defend the shot, which makes it easier for him to get into the lane, where his size allows him to finish in traffic or the eyes in the back of his head allow him to make the great pass.

2) Hyetvelt--21-52-40.4%...again not a 3pt bomber by trade......I actually can appreciate Josh for what he is, which is a highly skilled face up PF who can step out and stroke the 3. What a weapon!! Let's not get hung up on what he isn't, which is a back to the back, low block force a la JP, and let's not get too worried about turning him into "that guy". Don't get me wrong though, I'd love to see Josh round out his game and develop a pet move or two on the block, but his footwork needs A LOT of work. Can we send him to the Pete Newell Big Man Camp or see if we can get JP to take him in for a month??

3) Pargo--22-59--37.3%.....again not a 3pt bomber by trade......Mr. Pargo, did however make tremendous strides during the season with his stroke. If he makes the same kind of jump into or during his junior season, combined with his tremendous ability to get to the rim, he could be scary good, maybe even all-american good.....but again, not a 3pt bomber by trade...

4) Pendo--18-37--48.6%.....Pendo is not a 3pt marksman in the mold of Blake, Richie, Dickau, Raivio.....but he can knock down shots.....with the increased opportunity he'll get this year, Mr. Pendo ability to knock down 3's is going to be a great asset. I truly hope that he can live in the moment during his senior year and be more aggressive than he's been in years with his offense.

5) Daye--Watching his video highlights and seeing his stats, it is clear that Austin can shoot the 3 ball, but is that his calling card right now?....I don't think it is. (It does appear that he has the potential to be a great 3pt shooter and I hope he turns into one).....I think Daye going to suprise a lot of people with his combination of size and ballhandling, but I do think that the speed of the college game(he appears a bit slow of foot) and his lack of strength are going to limit what he can bring to the table this year, though I'd love to be wrong about this.

6) Gray--I may be wrong, but I see Mr. Gray as more of a scorer right now that a Stepp-like 3pt bomber.......that being said, he appears to have a sweet stroke (from the limited amount of video I've seen on him) and you never know how a guy is going to react/step up when he becomes a Zag. On a side note, maybe it is just me, but when I think about Gray he seems to have "the feel" that he could be a star. Only time, and maybe Bobzag, will tell.

7) Larry and Ira----again not 3pt shooters by trade.....I think whatever we get from them from behind the arc we should be happy with (though, didn't I see that Ira shot the ball pretty well from behind the arc over the last 2 yrs??)......These boys will be best when they are slashing to the rim and causing havoc on defense......

**this seems to fit the logic of recruiting Mr. Rotnei Clarke so hard**

Nevtelen
06-24-2007, 11:06 PM
Ira shot the 3-ball @ around 40% last season I think. Maybe it was more like 38, I don't remember exactly. Not too shabby, anyway.

MickMick
06-24-2007, 11:51 PM
Bigparb

Three total posts and you registered in February? I am inspired by your decision to join in! And I feel somewhat validated by it as well. Obviously, we are thinking alike on this subject.

applezag
06-25-2007, 06:51 AM
Mick makes a great point here. GU has won over these last 10 yrs by outscoring people

This is an accurate statement, and it shows how picky/spoiled I am. I would agree that it has been offense that has gotten GU to where it is, and it is defense that has kept it where it is. I really have no legitimate personal gripe with GU continuing to do what they have done in the last ten years for the next ten, but I think most people here would like to see them push on to the next tier of elite teams. In the past ten years the Zags have made it to one Elite 8. If someone had predicted that ten years ago, I would have taken it in a heart beat. But now I am greedy, I want more. I think to consistently compete at the next notch up GU has to improve on the defensive end. I would agree with other posters here that the bigger problem is philosophy. But I would also say that defense should be a consideration in recruiting.

When it comes to other areas of the game I do not get too worried about GU's recruiting--the staff has proven to be adept at finding and developing good players in all other facets of the game, just not defense.

roxdoc
06-25-2007, 06:56 AM
A couple of great posts by bigparb and MM. One point - aside from the days of Richie and Matt S. I don't think GU has been a 3-ball machine (we kind of got forced into it last year with DR). There were years of pounding it inside to Corey or Turiauf as the real bread and butter. It would be interesting to look at our 3-ball stats for the last 10 years. I think MM is right on about the competition - by far the best way to beat us is by taking the 3.

RebornZag
06-25-2007, 07:46 AM
The good news is that The Zags are really not that far away from becoming the team we're talking about here. I agree with BZ's take on defense and the Zags, that new blood on the coaching staff will make the defense better. Like anything else in basketball, defense must be taught. Ray Giacoletti is our man. Ray is going to make a difference. He's one heck of a coach.

The '07-'08 Zags will be much, much better than last year. The defense will be better as well. I think Josh will be more focussed this year, and not as inconsistent. I think he will be more mature. Josh possesses the athleticism we need to improve. I feel the same way about Davis. So little is said about him because we haven't seen him play, but from what I've read, he is athletic and tough. And let's not forget that LG is back and we all know he's tough and can play defense. And what about Ira Brown? I mean the guy is a monster.

I think Few and staff are doing an excellent job recruiting exactly the young men that we need. The '07 class was our best recruiting class in GU history, and I believe this trend WILL continue. I think Poling is going to be a monster as he matures. The guy can board, man. And we need that. We have Sacre at 7'0" 275....I mean what do we need. And the guy is buffed. We also saw what Foster can do on Defense last year. I am one who believes that our defense is going to be better.

BobZag
06-25-2007, 10:17 AM
Some great observations above. Appreciated very much.

I only want to toss an FYI out there--

Few & Co. are likening Gray to Stepp. That's the comparison I'm hearing most.

On a slightly different note: I wish we'd go hard after big, athletic beasts for PFs and Cs, instead of soft, skinny projects.

LynetteG
06-25-2007, 10:19 AM
Some great observations above. Appreciated very much.

I only want to toss an FYI out there--

Few & Co. are likening Gray to Stepp. That's the comparison I'm hearing most.

On a slightly different note: I wish we'd go hard after big, athletic beasts for PFs and Cs, instead of soft, skinny projects.

anyone in particular Bob? lol

applezag
06-25-2007, 10:23 AM
Gray is Stepp-like, especially on the offensive end. He is not super-quick defensively, but I do think he will be better than Stepp. Probably comparable to Bouldin in that regard (actually, Gray may be more like bouldin than Stepp--though all three are similar). He works very hard on defense, you can tell he takes pride in this. While he is not a stopper, I don't think Bouldin is in any way a liability on the defensive end. But, I still am concerned about having someone athletic enough to stick on super-quick PGs. I have not seen the Bellarmine boys yet. Actually, I haven't seen Gibbs or Clark either, I'm just going on what I've read here. Maybe they are better than advertised athletically. Time will tell.

MickMick
06-25-2007, 10:46 AM
Gray is Stepp-like, especially on the offensive end. He is not super-quick defensively, but I do think he will be better than Stepp. Probably comparable to Bouldin in that regard (actually, Gray may be more like bouldin than Stepp--though all three are similar). He works very hard on defense, you can tell he takes pride in this. While he is not a stopper, I don't think Bouldin is in any way a liability on the defensive end. But, I still am concerned about having someone athletic enough to stick on super-quick PGs. I have not seen the Bellarmine boys yet. Actually, I haven't seen Gibbs or Clark either, I'm just going on what I've read here. Maybe they are better than advertised athletically. Time will tell.

There are not a lot of guards out there with the whole package. Equally skilled at offense and defense.

Is it a function of time spent? You get X amount of hours in a day to practice.
Where is that time spent?


I know football (used to coach it) a heck of a lot better than basketball. In football, there is one axiom that holds true. The offense takes longer to develop, takes more effort to develop, and is more skill based as opposed to being heavily reliant on pure atheletic ability (like defense is).
Certainly atheleticism is important for offensive players, but the developed skills are equally important. You can't expect an athelete to magically have them. In addition, this is all relative as there certainly are acquired skills on defense too.

Basketball and football are similar in the respect that offense is dictated (you know where you are going) and defense is reactionary. Please note that great individual players can break this rule, but all thing being equal, defense is reactionary, takes less time to develop, and because it is reactionary, is more dependant upon atheleticism. How basketball is different from football is that football players specialize in either offense or defense. Basketball players are in constant transition between the two.

As an exception, take a look at the Arena Football League. In an innovative, money saving, effort to be different than the NFL, they have the "both ways" rule. Players play both offense and defense. They did not in college. What you are seeing in that league, is teams taking a lot of college offensive players, and teaching them defensive skills. There is a reason for those scoring fests..lol

What I am really saying is that the best recruiting route is to find atheletic players with great offensive skill sets (Durant anyone?). The atheletic ability gives the potential for competent defensive play. Meanwhile, the offensive skill set (which takes time to develop) is already there. Rotnei Clarke has that skill set.

It would be quicker/easier to teach Rotnei Clarke defense, than to take a great athelete and develop Clarke type offensive skills.

BobZag
06-25-2007, 10:48 AM
I'd be remiss if I didn't say how excited everyone is about Osweiler.

sonuvazag
06-25-2007, 10:52 AM
Great thread, especially want to thank bigparb for a well constructed post. One point I want to add is the best philosophy for recruiting "type" may be to look at type... no one is type-blind. And then to look at how that type fits with the rest of the types to create a system with multiple types. Clarke, though not noted for his defense, can definitely fill the role of marksman... as Lee Humprhey did for Florida... :)

please no neg rep for another comparison to Florida

LynetteG
06-25-2007, 12:48 PM
I'd be remiss if I didn't say how excited everyone is about Osweiler.

LOL

bigparb
06-25-2007, 10:00 PM
Bigparb

Three total posts and you registered in February? I am inspired by your decision to join in! And I feel somewhat validated by it as well. Obviously, we are thinking alike on this subject.


I believe in quality, not quantity. :)