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View Full Version : CHN picks St Mary's as WCC Champions



Baldwinzag
10-20-2011, 11:21 AM
Good on ya, Gaels.


WCC: Saint Mary's
Randy Bennett's Gaels will have to account for the loss of guard Mickey McConnell, but four starters return for a team that tied for the WCC regular season crown in 2010-11.

....competition will be fierce for the top spot with newcomer BYU joining Gonzaga, Santa Clara and San Francisco as likely contenders

Much more from Collegehoopsnet HERE (http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/thirty-two-regular-season-champions-part-four-169308).

Kiddwell
10-20-2011, 11:23 AM
Good. Motivation. Bring it on.

:]

Baldwinzag
10-20-2011, 11:24 AM
Bring it on.

:]

Oh, its already been broughten! :)

Nice to know a team, which has won the last 11 WCC Championships, is suddenly considered a "contender".

:000tens: to CHN for adding fuel to the fire.

gozagswoohoo
10-20-2011, 11:35 AM
It's like my granpda always used to say....


"Jeff, you can't get down on yourself just because you can't see what time the train is coming into the subway station."



I'm still not really sure what he meant by that....or how it applies here....but for some reason, I was reminded of this.

former1dog
10-20-2011, 11:40 AM
It's like my granpda always used to say....


"Jeff, you can't get down on yourself just because you can't see what time the train is coming into the subway station."



I'm still not really sure what he meant by that....or how it applies here....but for some reason, I was reminded of this.

How did you respond? Something like, "Thanks Grandpa and my name isn't Jeff."

:roll:

hondo
10-20-2011, 11:45 AM
The college game is a guards game and we will have very talented guards but most are unproven freshmen.
It takes a while to learn our system while most of the Gael guards are talented and have been in their system a few years. I'm hoping our bigs can make up the difference.

former1dog
10-20-2011, 11:50 AM
It takes a while to learn our system while most of the Gael guards are talented and have been in their system a few years. I'm hoping our bigs can make up the difference.

Hondo,

We've got a couple of guys who held their own last year vs. the Gaels from the guard spot. :)

sittingon50
10-20-2011, 12:00 PM
Does that mean the Zags will be wearing the Black Unis more?

jpwils
10-20-2011, 12:18 PM
Yessir- remembering Carter, Stockton, and Hart doing ok that second game.

And it was at St Mary's! First game went the distance and McConnell won it.

Again, I think we underestimate Hart's contributions a bit.

CDC84
10-20-2011, 01:20 PM
I think SMC is going to be better than a lot of people think, and as always, the GU/SMC games will be highly competitive, but.....

You'd think media people would learn after 11 consecutive regular season championships......

That streak is going to end at some point, but until it does, you'd almost have to be certifiably insane to predict anyone else to win the league besides GU. The Zags have won the league in years when they've been down, years when they've been up, years when they've been several games behind in the standings, years when the league has had other NCAA tournament caliber teams, etc. They've won the title in every conceivable way.

Baldwinzag
10-20-2011, 01:25 PM
You'd think media people would learn after 11 consecutive regular season championships......

That streak is going to end at some point, but until it does, you'd almost have to be certifiably insane to predict anyone else to win the league besides GU. The Zags have won the league in years when they've been down, years when they've been up, years when they've been several games behind in the standings, years when the league has had other NCAA tournament caliber teams, etc. They've won the title in every conceivable way.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1aH398KmBB8/TCEl6IoRnVI/AAAAAAAABSk/tGeaWZ6eiGY/s1600/strange_brew_they_never_learn.gif

maynard g krebs
10-20-2011, 01:32 PM
For a prognosticator, there's really no downside to picking SMC. If they win, you look like a genius, and if they don't, heck, you went out on a limb and made a gutsy pick. Picking the Zags is safe but boring to an outsider.

Papa K
10-20-2011, 01:41 PM
I hope the team hangs some of these quotes in the locker room. It's always a good motivator to read things like this during the season.

MDABE80
10-20-2011, 01:46 PM
Well....I'd like to run the table. I think we can too! Tough chore but we can.
SMC won on an absolute freak shot. Our defense wasn't up to speed then even though you can't stop freakish events with the best defenses...1 in 100 stuff.

You guys will be surprised by this new group of faces.

Baldwinzag
10-20-2011, 01:47 PM
I think SMC is going to be better than a lot of people think, and as always, the GU/SMC games will be highly competitive, but.....


I couldn't agree more, yet too bad we won't find out until the New Years or so...

DCZag
10-20-2011, 01:49 PM
Like we need any more bulletin board material - I'll believe it when it happens, do I hear a 12 anyone?

Mantua
10-20-2011, 01:54 PM
Although I'm under the impression that this team looks better grounded than some in past years, I'm all for motivation. Kinda wish we were not appearing as highly ranked in so many polls. Can they handle early success if they get it?

CDC84
10-20-2011, 02:18 PM
The chance to win another WCC regular season title and inch closer to Wooden and UCLA in the record books is all the motivation the guys need.

If the program were to somehow break that UCLA streak one day, I am on record as saying it will be one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of the game at any level, and a record, like Cy Young's 511 wins in baseball, that will likely never be broken by anyone. There are a number of reasons why, but it's not worth expounding upon them until GU actually manages to break the record, and there's a long ways to go before that happens. One season at a time.

cjm720
10-20-2011, 02:22 PM
I think SMC has a legit shot. Both teams lost a pivotal player and have the core back.

Frankly, they should have taken the title last year, but we got big time help from lowly San Diego.

Baseline
10-20-2011, 02:31 PM
I think I just spotted the official start of the Seasons Doom material!!

Don't sweat SMC, worry about SF.

MickMick
10-20-2011, 02:46 PM
Winning the Conference title is more important than winning a post season game.

The streak has taken on that much significance. It also is huge motivation for conference opponents. An example is the WCC fans that still talk about GU's first K2 home loss to a conference opponent. It meant that much for them to see a chink in the armor. Could some one refresh me on how many games it took before GU lost at thier new home to a conference foe?

It has helped recruiting into the conference. Breaking the streak would propel a good player into memorable status amongst his fans long after he has left the institution. Legendary wouldn't be a bad description.

This is how important the GU players and fans should regard the streak. Just as important as the opponents do. GU won't get there (UCLA's record) unless they do. It is all about hunger and the WCC is stocked with hungry opposition. Look no further than the preseason rhetoric coming from SCU.

hondo
10-20-2011, 04:06 PM
Frankly, they should have taken the title last year, but we got big time help from lowly San Diego.

Not the only time in the streak we got lucky. Remember Santa Clara's collapse when they had it all but wrapped up.

gamagin
10-20-2011, 04:11 PM
Winning the Conference title is more important than winning a post season game.

The streak has taken on that much significance. It also is huge motivation for conference opponents. An example is the WCC fans that still talk about GU's first K2 home loss to a conference opponent. It meant that much for them to see a chink in the armor. Could some one refresh me on how many games it took before GU lost at thier new home to a conference foe?

It has helped recruiting into the conference. Breaking the streak would propel a good player into memorable status amongst his fans long after he has left the institution. Legendary wouldn't be a bad description.

This is how important the GU players and fans should regard the streak. Just as important as the opponents do. GU won't get there (UCLA's record) unless they do. It is all about hunger and the WCC is stocked with hungry opposition. Look no further than the preseason rhetoric coming from SCU.

making the NCAA's is a streak worth coveting. Given a choice, I'd take getting to the dance over the WCC streak. I don't believe the WCC streak, important as it is to us because it's within reach, could stand much scrutiny up against the Wooden teams, era or streak.

The WCC crown, while important inside the WCC because that's our conference, is less important than making it to the dance.

Being good enough, either by winning the crown or because we are who we are & have achieved, goes way beyond the WCC.

It has to do with our national story, our ability (perceived or real in some years) that we bring a game to anyone, anywhere, and that we can compete, etc etc., is what has made us a national team and what keeps us in the spotlight -- especially in the pre season chatter. I think it also serves as the number one reason better and better talent appears to be finding their way to Boone Ave.

Not that we beat SMC, or SCU or UPS, to win our conference. imo.

MickMick
10-20-2011, 04:37 PM
making the NCAA's is a streak worth coveting. Given a choice, I'd take getting to the dance over the WCC streak. I don't believe the WCC streak, important as it is to us because it's within reach, could stand much scrutiny up against the Wooden teams, era or streak.

The WCC crown, while important inside the WCC because that's our conference, is less important than making it to the dance.

Being good enough, either by winning the crown or because we are who we are & have achieved, goes way beyond the WCC.

It has to do with our national story, our ability (perceived or real in some years) that we bring a game to anyone, anywhere, and that we can compete, etc etc., is what has made us a national team and what keeps us in the spotlight -- especially in the pre season chatter. I think it also serves as the number one reason better and better talent appears to be finding their way to Boone Ave.

Not that we beat SMC, or SCU or UPS, to win our conference. imo.


Equaling UCLA's streak is our national story. It will equally be a national story for the team that breaks the Zag streak. Everlasting satisfaction for the team that pulls it off.

Last year the Zags got help from an unlikely team. There will come a day when they don't get such help.

JPtheBeasta
10-20-2011, 04:54 PM
It's so hard to compare teams in different eras. I would say beating UCLA's streak would be impressive in any league. I wouldn't say GU's overall success is comparable because of all of the championships UCLA won, but I think comparing the conference streaks is fair.
Here's a question, would a modern GU team match up with one of those UCLA teams from back in the day? I say this because there is more overall talent to draw from now. I don't know any of the history of those UCLA teams first hand, but I get the impression that Walton and Kareem didn't have many that could match up against them. The lack of a shot clock or a 3-point line would seem to make a difference as well.

On the OP, good for the Gaels. It will just be that much more satisfying to beat the "champs" again this year :) Mickey was such a unique talent I have a hard time believing that Holt will completely fill those shoes. Their front line might be improved, but I think ours is as well. Let's get it on!

HOOTER
10-20-2011, 05:16 PM
Winning the Conference title is more important than winning a post season game.


I wonder if the players would agree. The post season is what these guys play for. I think winning the conference title is less about actually winning the title and more about getting to and hopefully competing in the tourney. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of pride and satisfaction that goes along with being the best in the conference year after year. I don't mean to downplay the significance of this whatsoever. It just seems to me that competing against the best in the country and having a shot at a national title is what it's all about, not just in college basketball but in many sports. Of course, winning in the post season may be a moot point if you can't first win the conference.

RenoZag
10-20-2011, 05:43 PM
You guys will be surprised by this new group of faces.

. . .is if this new group can defend the three ball.

Fonebone
10-20-2011, 06:33 PM
If we break the UCLA streak, lots, probably most people will say that our streak does not compare becaue the UCLA league was better and because of all their national championships. I think that it is probably easy to correctly argue that our very best team would not be close to as good as their top 5 teams during that streak.

For sure, they were amazing teams, and John Wooden was amazing. But at the same time, I remember years where it seemed like those UCLA teams had 3 or more all americans on a team. That was relatively common during those streaks - I think. With those types of players flooding into the program, winning a conference championship is not such a huge challenge.

In contrast, the Zags have had a lot of good players, some great ones. But if UCLA had three all americans, that means that they were better than all the other players in the county. Most of the years of our streak, I don't think that we had the three best players in our league. So in that context, what Mark Few has done is amazing.

Still, no way our teams compare to those UCLA teams - they were unbeliebable year after year, and were the elite of the elite in the entire nation.

maynard g krebs
10-20-2011, 07:25 PM
Here's a question, would a modern GU team match up with one of those UCLA teams from back in the day? I say this because there is more overall talent to draw from now. I don't know any of the history of those UCLA teams first hand, but I get the impression that Walton and Kareem didn't have many that could match up against them.

UCLA won 88 straight at one point, and routinely crushed the second best team, like 101-69 v. #2 Houston w/ Elvin Hayes, or the championship game with Memphis State when Walton shot 21-22.

But the question is really moot, because it's a different game today. Use officials from the 60's and 70's, and every one of today's players would foul out in the first 5 minutes. Use today's officials, and Sacre be shoving the stick figures he would be matched up with into the cheap seats.

The rule for post play, for example, used to be "daylight in the post", i.e., once a post established position, offensively or defensively, if the opponent initiated contact, it was immediately called a foul. Hence, there was little reason for posts to bulk up. It's a shock to see old film when you haven't seen any for a while. Totally different game.

kyle dixon
10-20-2011, 07:54 PM
Oh wait that was Mickey McConnell missing a lay up in the NIT against whoever that team was after they got screwed. My bad.

CDC84
10-20-2011, 07:56 PM
UCLA's talent under Wooden relative to the rest of their league and the entire west coast was much greater than GU's talent will ever be relative to the WCC. And it's not even close. As great as those Wooden teams were, west coast basketball outside of Long Beach State under Tark pretty much stunk back then. The Bruins pretty much had a total cake walk to the final four every year. Now once they got there it was a different story. Well, at least some of the time.

It is much, much more difficult in contemporary college basketball to consistently win conference championships due to all of the player defections and coaching changes, and also because there are just more good players in the game these days scattered throughout the country. TV and media has changed things too. There are other reasons as well.

The current game is set up to where it is almost impossible for a program - even ones outside of the BCS leagues - to go very long without having a down year which causes them to lose a regular season conference championship. The current game punishes success more than any sport in America right now. I really believe that if GU beats that UCLA record, that record will be standing 250 years from now unless you see drastic changes in the world of basketball that I don't forsee happening any time soon.

FWIW - the Blue Ribbon Yearbook picks SMC to win the league as well.

Therunner
10-20-2011, 08:05 PM
FWIW - the Blue Ribbon Yearbook picks SMC to win the league as well.

I don't know why, but this drives me absolutely crazy! Why? How? I realize St Mary's will be better than most fans expect, but how can you reward a team who hasn't won the League in over a decade or who isn't playing anyone 'til the WCC slate...

I usually don't promote this, yet someone should take a minute and post these articles on our player's very active twitter and/or Facebook b/c I doubt they have any idea this is being talked about out there...

CDC84
10-20-2011, 08:19 PM
Blue Ribbon has major concerns about GU's backcourt and the defense at the point of attack. The backcourt is a concern with every prognosticator - including ones that have GU in their top 25 - but BR takes it a bit too far, IMO. They wrote just a few sentences about Carter and way underestimated how D-1 ready Pangos and GBJ are relative to other freshmen. They also overestimated how important Steven Gray was to last year's team. Look, Steve will be missed, but he won't be missed like GU missed Bouldin last year. They also don't mention anything about the fact that despite the inexperience, GU is going to have a better perimeter shooting team this year, and how this will help the bigs.

HOOTER
10-20-2011, 08:53 PM
What they seem to forget is that the Zags have the perfect non-conference schedule to hone their skills prior to entering conference play. This backcourt may be inexperienced now, but come the end of December, after playing the likes of Mich. St, Butler, Arizona, Illinois, etc., I have a hunch they'll be ready to take on the best the WCC has to offer. Just a hunch.

Baldwinzag
10-20-2011, 09:24 PM
Look, Steve will be missed, but he won't be missed like GU missed Bouldin last year.

Gray was the ultimate Zag. Steven's presence will be forever missed and his accomplishments on-and-off the court were extraordinary during his 4 years. He was one of the most talented players to ever step foot on Campus. At the end of the day, he wasn't as integral as Bouldin. For instance, when Bouldin went down with a concussion, the team suffered mightily in his absence, yet when Gray went out with an injury, we seemed to do just fine. Nothing against Gray, b/c he was a superb player, but he just wasn't a Bouldin or a Stepp to this team.

ZagWhisperer
10-20-2011, 09:36 PM
Who won it last year? I remember that we were crowned Co-Champions, right?

I feel they are going to be every bit as good as they were last year and being snubbed for the dance has a way of motivating a team. It got us to the round of eight.

JAGzag
10-21-2011, 02:45 AM
Look, Steve will be missed, but he won't be missed like GU missed Bouldin last year.

Not even close. Steven was a great, great kid, but is replaceable on the court. Matt was the ultimate leader.

JAGzag
10-21-2011, 02:49 AM
As far as Blue Ribbon is concerned Gonzaga lost its starting backcourt from last season.. you can say freshman are going to be good before a season starts but nothing in life is certain, so they went with the easy pick.

St Mary's loses Mickey McConnell, but they bring everyone else back and lets be clear about something, a major factor in the Gaels stinking it up in the last month or so of last season is the fact they had no depth at all during conference play.. basically they had 8 fit players total, everyone else was either a trasnfer or redshirting. Rob Jones had busted ribs/Mickey had a bad ankle and RB had no one to use to give them breathers during games. This coming season the Gaels has a huge amount of depth with the return of Jordan Page & Beau Levesque, and the availability of Paul McCoy/Kyle Rowley and a redshirt freshman in Brad Waldow..

Sure there non conf sucks.. really really sucks and I hate how soft and craptastic it is and would play a GU schedule in a heart beat.. doestn change the fact St Marys could be even better this season

I agree. The top four in this league are going to be very, very tough come league play. I just hope USF stays consistent and doesn't get to complacent and soft during that pathetic OCC. We know SMC will be eyeing the Zags from day 1 and I don't see them blowing too many OCC games. BYU will have bit of a chip coming in, too. Great year coming up!

Beer_Engineer
10-21-2011, 07:31 AM
I'd like to think we're a "likely contender"...

FlyZag
10-21-2011, 08:08 AM
how can you reward a team who hasn't won the League in over a decade or who isn't playing anyone 'til the WCC slate...


Fact check: I believe they tied us for the regular season league title last year.

CaliforniaZaggin'
10-21-2011, 08:40 AM
Are the ones who pick SMC the same ones who bet on black after six red numbers in a row on the roulette wheel? The law of averages don't apply to the Zags.

rennis
10-21-2011, 09:56 AM
It's the Bulldog's title to lose. I don't see us giving it up this year unless key injuries occur that SMC or BYU don't sustain. Otherwise we're all level, and the crown gets shared by two teams. My guess is BYU and GU.

The UCLA chase is important but more important for fans of Gonzaga than fans of college basketball. Fans of college basketball will spend less time discounting the importance of breaking that streak because of our conference, and more time discrediting it because we've never made a Final Four through all of it.

Final Four appearances trump all else.

Beer_Engineer
10-21-2011, 10:08 AM
Fact check: I believe they tied us for the regular season league title last year.

we won the actual wcc title in the wcc tourney.

2wiceright
10-21-2011, 10:45 AM
As far as Blue Ribbon is concerned Gonzaga lost its starting backcourt from last season.. you can say freshman are going to be good before a season starts but nothing in life is certain, so they went with the easy pick.

St Mary's loses Mickey McConnell, but they bring everyone else back and lets be clear about something, a major factor in the Gaels stinking it up in the last month or so of last season is the fact they had no depth at all during conference play.. basically they had 8 fit players total, everyone else was either a trasnfer or redshirting. Rob Jones had busted ribs/Mickey had a bad ankle and RB had no one to use to give them breathers during games. This coming season the Gaels has a huge amount of depth with the return of Jordan Page & Beau Levesque, and the availability of Paul McCoy/Kyle Rowley and a redshirt freshman in Brad Waldow..

Sure there non conf sucks.. really really sucks and I hate how soft and craptastic it is and would play a GU schedule in a heart beat.. doestn change the fact St Marys could be even better this season

I'm sorry Sircreate, but all the excuses in the world don't cut it...Should we complain that we wouldn't have lost those 3 early WCC games cause of the how bad of shape and injured our 'star' (possible Lotto Pick as a Freshman) Elias was (which IMO would have changed everything about how we played as a team)? Same with Greys injuries and having to be on the court with barely time to take a breather...It is what it is! Once the season starts you have to play with what you have, not make excuses and dream of how better you could've/would've be if this or that was different....

That being said, St. Mary's will be tough this year and we might lose an early game to them. But I'll bet dimes to dollars the second half of this season our team will be unstoppable in or out of league! I can't wait!!!

Go ZAGS!!!! Our WCC and NCAA streaks will continue for at least the next 3 years (despite the ever improving competition in the WCC), and after our Sweet 16 win and Elite 8 appearence, our recruits only get better from there!

THIS IS OUR YEAR!!! :cheers:

tinfoilzag
10-21-2011, 10:46 AM
Transfers - check
"you really can't call Gonzaga a mid-major school anymore" - check
Someone besides Gonzaga picked to wn WCC - check
Zags are over-hyped after nation sees them on the national stage -pending
Color announcer states "Turns out David Stockton is the son of HOF guard John Stockton who also played for gon-zog-a" cut to John in crowd - pending
Zags are labeled 'overrated' after dropping a game in WCC - pending
Bob posts first 'We're Doomed' thread -pending
Zags win WCC regular season title -pending
Zags win WCC tournament -pending
Zags are under-seeded in tourney and play a 1 or 2 in 2nd round - pending
Zags make the sweet 16 and dogged because they haven't made the final four -pending
Few rumored to coach somewhere else - pending

MDABE80
10-21-2011, 11:33 AM
As CDC points out, the only reason that GU isn't picked to win the WCC is uncertainty regarding our back court. Even this is kind of surprising since David and Carter do return.
Both stunk it up in our last game. David looked like a boy and Carter lost his touch.

Well, both have a year's worth of experience and we have some mighty fine new faces in the backcourt. Even though the Scribes don't know our new kids, they should...and they will by the WCC opener. Much much talent with the newcomers. Not worried. D1 ready both!

More talent than we've had in years. The writers didn't do their job very well. Edi could be from outspace as far as they know. They just didn't look.

No doubt we have a huge talented cadre of players underneath. Sam, Rob, Spangler, Elias normally would scare the pants off an opponent. Kelly's got a few years under his belt. He'll be fine.

The issue is the guards. Good defenders, speed and terrific shooters. I'll admit I was doubtfull till I watch them work. I'm not now. We'll be fine.

GU should win the WCC if talent counts. I do know those kids will grow a heart if they don't have one. Rob will scare one into them. He is the leader.

JPtheBeasta
10-21-2011, 12:12 PM
Stockton was the defacto starter last year at times. Carter was relied on heavily and was the tournament MVP. They're good. The Gaels took Meech's defense away a lot on pick and role, so I don't think he will be missed against them much either. I'm less afraid of them this year, frankly, than last year because Mickey was a fantastic player. Rob Jones lives on the 3 point line and Mouthpiece is containable. Do the new pieces make up the difference?

john montana
10-21-2011, 12:39 PM
personally, i have no problem with anyone picking SMC to win the conference. While GU has the obvious interior advantage, SMC is clearly better on the perimeter. Delladova is the best guard in the league, and I bet Holt makes a huge leap. I think SMC is loaded and it will be a tight race all season. Head to head, our interior should be too much, but on paper, i get picking SMC as the favorite to win the conference. 4 very good teams in the WCC this year.

But you cannot mention SMC without noting their craptastic OOC schedule. They simply need to start playing some road games instead of scheduling their way to 25 wins. They put too much pressure on the GU/BYU series by being afraid to go on the road to play some decent teams. I get that teams won't play at SMC...so go play a few road games.

Terrifteacher
10-21-2011, 01:18 PM
I don't think scheduling a bunch of patsies is a good strategy when you have had to sweat through Selection Sunday with 25+ wins. It doesn't appear that the AD or Randy Bennett have learned from their mistakes. Yes they will have plenty of non-conference wins, but will that translate into a better resume than Gonzaga with 3 or 4 non-conference losses to higher quality opponents? Should be interesting to find out!

Bogozags
10-21-2011, 01:57 PM
It's like my granpda always used to say....


"Jeff, you can't get down on yourself just because you can't see what time the train is coming into the subway station."



I'm still not really sure what he meant by that....or how it applies here....but for some reason, I was reminded of this.

Just want you to know that you are truly a "SPECIAL" person...not sure what that means either or how it applies but I was reminded of this in reading your post!

Oh, I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express within the last 30 days, that might explain everything!