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bigparb
07-04-2007, 12:31 PM
Players
1) Pargo-PG
2) Bouldin-PG/SG/SF--yes, he can play the 3 due to his size/strength
3) Downs-SG/SF--I like him best as a 3
4) Gray-PG/SG
5) LG-SG/SF
6) Pendo-SF/PF
7) Ira-SG/SF/PF--SG or PF depending on the matchups
8) Daye-SG/SF/PF--SG or PF depending on matchups
9) Theo-PF
10) Hyetvelt-PF/C
11) Kuso-PF/C
12) Sacre-C
13) Foster-C

I don't know if Pendo or Daye could play the 2 much, as neither has great foot speed.......and Ira could only play there as long as his handles are good enough, IMO....are they Bobzag?

Starters (to start the year at least)
PG-Pargo-
SG-Bouldin
SF-Downs
PF-Pendo
C-Hyetvelt

Minutes (out of 200 total)
Starters
1) Pargo---30 mpg (he played 33.6 mpg last year, I don't see this slipping
much)
2) Bouldin--20-25 mpg ( played 27.6 mpg last year, this could slip)
3) Downs--20-25 mpg ( played 17.7 mpg last year, but 24.3 over the last 7
games)
4) Pendo--20-25 mpg ( played 21.9 mpg last year, but 29 over the last 7,
this will slip a bit with all of the new talent)
5) Hyetvelt--25-30 mpg ( played 26.2 mpg last year, don't see this slipping)

Total= 115-135; which leaves 65-85 minutes for the rest of the guys

You would assume Daye will get 10-15 mpg early on, and if he's as good as advertised, this will probably increase as the seson goes along.

Beyond that, it is going to be a dog fight for the remaining 55-70 minutes of run....

Has anyone seen Few lately?? He must be walking around town with a huge grin on his face.....or at least a half-smile...wow, what a problem to have.....too many good players!!

I do believe that I when I began this post I actually had a point, however, while writing the post I seemed to have lost my train of thought, and now the wife is barking at me to help her clean out the garage :); that being said, I am going to stop now. I will go back to my drooling over the possibilities of next year while I sweat it out in the garage......Go Zags!!

roxdoc
07-04-2007, 01:48 PM
The only problem with that line up is that Josh does not do particularly well as(nor does he appear to care for being) a back to the basket traditional 5. He is a 4. However, as BZ has said maybe the game plan will be away from the traditional 4 and 5 distinctions. Regardless we need someone in the lineup to lurk under the offensive boards. Past performance has shown Josh is not that guy and Pendo (bless his heart) is probably too small. Which means you need Josh in there with another "big" Can you spell Kuso, Davis, Sacre, or Foster? Better to have Pendo subbing in the 3 or 4 slot (there I go again BZ trying to do it by the numbers!:)

Larryzag
07-04-2007, 04:43 PM
The final games of last year Downs was key. Whenever he played the Zags looked better. He brought matchup problems and he rebounded to help make up for Josh being out. I thought then that Few will need to get him minutes next year maybe as a 4 sometimes. From what I saw at the end of last year, I think his rebounding is underrated.

spudzag
07-04-2007, 05:22 PM
Players

Starters (to start the year at least)
PG-Pargo-
SG-Bouldin
SF-Downs
PF-Pendo
C-Hyetvelt

Go Zags!!

You may be right on, but my SWAG is that Josh will be at the 4 spot and Kuso will start at the 5. Theo is looking for a spot too, maybe at the 5 but standing by the other guys he just looks short. The battles in practice to win the slots will be incredible and I doubt any decision has been made on who will be the 5th starter. Good news, lots of options!

Nevtelen
07-04-2007, 06:02 PM
The Pendo/Heytvelt line-up will probably be how the season starts, but to fulfill the team's potential, I really think Josh needs to move over to the 4. That means that one of our big guys - Sacre or Foster or Kuso or even Davis, though maybe he's more of a 4 - has to develop into what we need in the middle - at the least, some reliable if not prolific scoring (say 6 or 7 ppg would be okay) and mostly lots of boards and D - around 7 rpg. That would let Josh play a bit more outside an in the high post, or give him an accomplice down low to take some attention off him down there.

MickMick
07-04-2007, 06:13 PM
I want to see waves of players working over the opposition's best big man. I want to see opposing bloggers complaining about the calls as their star spends minutes on the bench. (The two go hand in hand don't they?) Later they find out that the number of calls on both sides were relatively equal, just that our fouls were distributed among more players.

We fans have been complaining about the defense. Now with quality depth, the team should be more aggressive on the defensive end.

I want to see the Zags running at every opportunity. A non stop track meet. And the first time a player bends over to rest his hands on his knees, the horn sounds for his replacement. Depth is the counter measure for fatigue.

Man I'm stoked about this season!

Zagdog71
07-04-2007, 08:08 PM
Josh is not a traditional face up center and Few should not play him that way. He is too athletic and mobile. He is better suited to be a shooter at the 4. And he can help with rebounds. I have no claim to coaching knowledge but I would like to see a different approach to minute distribution. It is not as important to me as a fan who is a starter and who gets lots of minutes. With our depth, Iíd like to see a kind of team platoon system with frequent rotation in and out. That should be very challenging for opponents. The platoons donít have to be always rigidly fixed; the players should be matched as best as possible to match to the other team.

MickMick
07-04-2007, 08:35 PM
Josh is not a traditional face up center and Few should not play him that way. He is too athletic and mobile. He is better suited to be a shooter at the 4. And he can help with rebounds. I have no claim to coaching knowledge but I would like to see a different approach to minute distribution. It is not as important to me as a fan who is a starter and who gets lots of minutes. With our depth, I’d like to see a kind of team platoon system with frequent rotation in and out. That should be very challenging for opponents. The platoons don’t have to be always rigidly fixed; the players should be matched as best as possible to match to the other team.


Good post. Gonzaga is loaded at the wings. It may push Josh into the 5 more than many would like, but the bottom line may be getting the best rested players on the floor at any given time. Using that line of thinking, Josh plays a lot of 5.

I personally believe that Daye, Heytvelt, Pendergraft, Downs, and Davis are going to see substantial minutes. The real wild cards are Sacre and Foster. If both develop ahead of schedule, we will likely see Josh at the 4 more often than not. If they don't, then Josh will get a heck of alot of time at the 5. Kuso is going to bang the heck out of this group in practice in his attempt to get on the court.

Perhaps the most realistic scenario is that of Josh playing both positions early, and as Sacre develops (perhaps by the time conference play begins), Josh plays at the 4 almost exclusively. If Sacre plays aggressive defense, Josh may still play alot at the 5 because of foul situations.

One thing for sure, Few has never had as many options as he does now. Having said that, there is some area for concern. I believe that Few desperately wants his big men (either/or Sacre and Foster) to get into the flow quickly, otherwise the team appears rather frail. Teams would certainly devise a game plan featuring a physical style against us. The Zags need a serious enforcer like Turiaf or Batista that owns territory in the paint. And don't kid yourself about the seemingly mild mannered Batista. He moved people out of his territory with authority.

I was happy to read a post describing how "buff" Josh is this summer. The post compared Josh's escort of Sacre as a recruit a couple years back and the comparison of the two together now. Apparently, Josh has really filled out. Perhaps he is evolving into the solid 5 that we were hoping for last year. He just needs to play like it.

roxdoc
07-04-2007, 09:53 PM
Josh's lower performance as a 5 last year didn't have as much to do with his size as it did with his preference to play as a high post or even wing. I would go so far as to say if Josh has to play serious time as a traditional 5 next year he will not be leaving for the NBA.

bigparb
07-04-2007, 10:25 PM
Let me be clear about my thought process behind the starting lineup I put out there, specifically with regards to having Mr. Heytvelt "listed" as the 5.

From my previous posts (yes, all 5 or 6 of them) I don't think anyone could accuse me of thinking Josh is a back to the backet, low block center or even wanting him to be that.......I've been consistent in saying that I love Josh for what he is, which is a face up 4.

That being, said I do believe that teams, in particular teams that win, like to put the 5 guys on the court that give them the best chance to win. That is what I projected with my Starting 5.

I believe that this lineup will have no problem rebounding against anyone.....Pargo/Bouldin/Downs are all what I would consider to be 'plus' rebounders from their respective positions. These guys, along with Pendo (who's always mixing it up) and Josh (who should get 8-10 every night), will be fine.

Now, if they are getting worked by some big bruiser in the lane (of which, I just don't think there are that many out there is college basketball that we need to be especially worried about), that is when you sub and bring in a banger like Kuso or Sacre, or maybe a shot-blocker like Foster or Sacre.....heck, one might even get a wild hair and bring in some instant offense like Theo, and force this beast to work harder on defense (like he wasn't working hard guarding Josh or Pendo!!).

The bottom line is that I'm not too worried about some big bad beast tearing us up down low....not with Kuso, Sacre, Theo and Foster licking their chops on the bench, waiting to get in and mix it up.

MickMick
07-04-2007, 10:36 PM
Josh's lower performance as a 5 last year didn't have as much to do with his size as it did with his preference to play as a high post or even wing. I would go so far as to say if Josh has to play serious time as a traditional 5 next year he will not be leaving for the NBA.

You are right..Josh does not project into the NBA as a center. That doesn't mean Gonzaga will not use him at the 5. It also doesn't mean he will not benefit from the added bulk when playing that position. I maintain he can play in the NBA next year...even if he played every minute at the 5. Players often switch roles upon entering the NBA.


Perhaps the most realistic scenario is that of Josh playing both positions early, and as Sacre develops (perhaps by the time conference play begins), Josh plays at the 4 almost exclusively. If Sacre plays aggressive defense, Josh may still play alot at the 5 because of foul situations.


We are thinking similar here

MickMick
07-04-2007, 10:44 PM
Now, if they are getting worked by some big bruiser in the lane (of which, I just don't think there are that many out there is college basketball that we need to be especially worried about), that is when you sub and bring in a banger like Kuso or Sacre, or maybe a shot-blocker like Foster or Sacre.....heck, one might even get a wild hair and bring in some instant offense like Theo, and force this beast to work harder on defense (like he wasn't working hard guarding Josh or Pendo!!).

.

You are correct...about the WCC. People talk about the next step. The next level. A final four or a national championship. I guarantee you the Zags will face big physical bruisers along the way. And they will be coached to get physical against the likes of Daye, Davis, and Downs.

The premise of what I believe we need is very simple. Own a piece of real estate under the rim. And at the level that Batista and Turiaf did it. If you say Sacre and/or Foster are the guys needed to do that, then we are in complete agreement. Otherwise, no farther in the tourney than years past.


Having said that, there is some area for concern. I believe that Few desperately wants his big men (either/or Sacre and Foster) to get into the flow quickly, otherwise the team appears rather frail.

bigparb
07-04-2007, 11:26 PM
We know what Kuso brings to the table, we have an idea of what Sacre will bring and aside from shot-blocking, I don't know that we know if Foster can defend 1 on 1 in the block and we don't know if theo can be a defensive enforcer (it sounds like "no"...he's 200lbs and a scorer)......that being said, if any of our bigs not named Hyetvelt can enforce on defense and not bog us down in the half-court on offense, I will agree with your previous post.........

However, I will say that my Starting 5 lineup presumption is that the answer to this will be "no", though I'm cautiously optimistic about Kuso, given his age/maturity and extra year learning the details of the offense.....I hope Sacre gives us a lot ( including 5 fouls :) ) on the defensive end, but unless he has an extremely high basketball IQ, I see it taking some time for him to click in the half-court offense. As for Foster, I think he's still a year away from not being a liability on the offensive end, though I do see 2 blocks per game if he get 10 mpg......

Remember, none of these guys(Sacre/Foster/Kuso) has to start to be effective in the paint.......if we run into Hibbert or Hansb...wait, never mind, we know what happened there.... somewhere along the line, I've got no problem running these 3 at him, with a little bit of Hyetvelt mixed in there for flavor........

Scotto
07-05-2007, 01:46 AM
I may be a bit bias, but coaching at Rob's high school and knowing him quite well for the last five years, you guys are really going to be surprised with what you are actually going to get from the big man. His high school team ran a lot of stuff similar to the GU offense, especially off the break. So learning the system won't be that difficult. He is a terrific defender who rarely gets into foul trouble. Guarding small/quicker players on the perimeter as well.

Don't forget in 2005 at the USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival Sacre played #1 Draft pick Greg Oden to a draw, with both big men scoring 12. Rob being a year younger as well.

MickMick
07-05-2007, 04:38 AM
.....that being said, if any of our bigs not named Hyetvelt can enforce on defense and not bog us down in the half-court on offense, I will agree with your previous post.........

Remember, none of these guys(Sacre/Foster/Kuso) has to start to be effective in the paint.......if we run into Hibbert or Hansb...wait, never mind, we know what happened there.... somewhere along the line, I've got no problem running these 3 at him, with a little bit of Hyetvelt mixed in there for flavor........


We are not that far apart. But I do believe that it is the other team (not our own players) that often "bog us down." I have the tape of our game in Pullman. If there ever was a need to play good half-court offense, it was against them. Butler was similar. We didn't have a lumbering center in that game. They controlled the tempo of the game. We played a lot of half court offense and we didn't have a choice in the matter.

I fully endorse the Zags current offensive philosophy and I hope it never changes. However, there are teams that will force us into a half court game more than we would like. Coaches like Tony Bennett are masters at dictating tempo (learned it from his dad). They know what the Zags like to do, and they are going to try to take the Zags out of their game plan. I think this will especially hold true come tournament time.

There are situations that require a good half court game as well. I hope we display better practice at it than the end of regulation against Memphis or the end of the first half against Stanford.

I personally despise watching that style of play. It is like watching paint dry.But that doesn't mean there are not times that the Zags will have to play that way.

A final question as well. Did Turiaf or Batista "bog us down"?

tyra
07-05-2007, 06:51 AM
Scotto's point about Rob being more-ready-for-prime time than we usually give credit here is the key. If he (Rob) can contribute fairly quickly, then it seems likely that he will get substantial playing time as a 5-back-to-the-basket player. If that means Josh plays his natural position more often -- the 4 -- it has a cascading effect on the rest of this playing time discussion.

I continue to believe that the playing time allocation resulting from player development and Few's strategy this coming year is one of the most interesting things about this time to watch. Some players and their particular fans are going to be disappointed before this is over but I'm optimistic that the team success will be a wonderful salve.

Zagdog71
07-05-2007, 08:26 AM
It will be an exciting year. Lots of potential. It is great to hear that Rob may be ready to go early on. Player development will be key along with team chemistry. And since Iím going all over the map in this little discourse, a comment about coaching. I think Coach Few is a very good coach. There are many good coaches who continue to be successful; they usually keep on trying to do what has been successful. A great coach is one who can adapt with the players at hand. Mold them and change line ups and game plans. These are the Olsons and Williams and Krzyzewskis. What will Giacoletti do for/with Few to add to our potential this year? What is his style compared to Few that will make a difference in how the team lines up?

bigparb
07-05-2007, 09:03 AM
Mick, lets be honest here, I think we are close, we're just speaking different dialects :) Last year Wazzu and Bulter were probably 2 of the 5 best "team defense" teams in the nation and yes, clearly they bogged us down, they bogged down just about everyone!!!

My point is that if these guys can be effective in the half-court then great, however I don't see any of these guys bringing what JP or Ronny brought to the table everynight, which is high level offense and defense (does this answer The Question :))......I hope that they can at least operate effectively in the half-court offensive game ( which to me means not being lost in the flex, hitting the offensive glass hard and making good decisions with the ball) so that we can utilize their strengths on the defensive end; otherwise I feel that whatever they give us on defense won't be enough to off-set their negatives on offense.

Now, if what scotto says about Sacre is true, and we have no reason to believe that it is not (expect for your/our/my inner pessimist), then watch out....Mr. Sacre could be the x-factor for the Zags this year!!

If that is the case, depending on how well Downs plays this year, I could easily see Pendo--being the Ultimate Zag--putting the team first and being willing to come off the bench in order to run, size wise and dare I say skillz wise---(this doesn't negate my previous comments which point out the work each of these guys has in front of them to be 1st round picks), an NBA-type lineup out there everynight....C-Sacre--7'0"; PF-Hyetvelt--6'11"; SF-Downs--6'8"; SG-Bouldin--6'5"; PG-Pargo--6'2". If Sacre is that good, the rest of the country should be nervous, because that's just the Starting Five....our bench will stack up against anyone. Go Zags!!

dim4sum
07-05-2007, 01:27 PM
Scotto, hope you're still out there. I'd like your take on how Sacre compares to Batista, who was a real vacuum cleaner in and around the rim, or Turiaf, a tremendous athlete and an inspiration to everyone around him.
Turiaf, I predict, will get more minutes next season as he continues to put up good numbers in limited minutes for the Lakers.
Batista, on the other hand, went into the UCLA game with a great rep as a rebounder but as a liability in open court, and sealed his doom as an NBA fuure pick, by having the ball pickpocketed in the final minute.
Question I also have is is there more to Sacre's game than mere brute force under the rim?

Scotto
07-05-2007, 01:56 PM
Sacre can do pretty much everything on the court, his offense will come along, it's probably the softest part of his game but they don't need him to be a scorer and he is working on that everyday. He will give you a solid double/double every night. Play great D and be a leader. I really believe that Rob can be a Top 15 pick in two years. I already think he has more to offer than Spencer Hawes does. right now he is about 255lbs. The coaches would like him to be about 280lbs eventually. He runs the floor like a forward. The ceiling is very high for him and Gonzaga.

Nevtelen
07-05-2007, 04:34 PM
The thing that excites me about Sacre is that his body and athleticism sound like their so far off the charts it's crazy - the right skills to complement his body are all he needs. And we all know how this coaching staff develops big men - probably even better now with Giacoletti on board. In a year or two, when he develops some polished offence and probably has his shot-blocking timing down... I'm sure Sacre will need an adjustment period, but he seems to have a chance to be a real monster down low. Imagine him at 280... hopefully he could still run the floor as well at that weight, but man...

MickMick
07-05-2007, 04:48 PM
an NBA-type lineup out there everynight....C-Sacre--7'0"; PF-Hyetvelt--6'11"; SF-Downs--6'8"; SG-Bouldin--6'5"; PG-Pargo--6'2". If Sacre is that good, the rest of the country should be nervous, because that's just the Starting Five....our bench will stack up against anyone. Go Zags!!


Now that is the lineup I want to see!

My big question was "Is Sacre up to the task?"

If Scotto is right, then I dare say we have a legit shot at a final four.

Zags-Bsee
07-05-2007, 04:50 PM
If chemistry and long term success are goals, I think most rotations should follow class.

Juniors /seniors:
Pargo (screen-drive and kick to Micah-Pendo-Josh)
Micah
Pendo
Josh
Kuso

Sophmores (focus on tough defense to make up for weaker offense)
Bouldin (these guys need magical passes- Matt can deliver that chemistry)
LG
Ira Ė Daye (if you need more offense)
Theo
Foster


Freshman team
Gray - PG
Fill in from Sophmore team LG (Matt could be SG or SF)
Daye
Theo or Foster
Sacre

Aside from building chemistry playing together, I think these are great matchups for the players individual abilities. Pargo drive and kick, Matt setting up players in right scoring positions.

Other considerations:
I think Matt should be leading as Point Guard mostly when Pargo isnít playing. Developing his own leadership skills with newer players.

I think Gray should gain experience with the key players he will be playing with long term.

Playing these rotations most of the time would develop the type of chemistry-leadership we need at tourney time.

Plus I think it creates a fun challenge between the classes that could raise overall playing as a team.

Play better as a team on defense knowing their team mates. Offensively challenge each player to come up with 2 or 3 plays they can deliver with at crunch time with their respective point gaurds.

GonzagaLove
07-06-2007, 02:29 PM
I like what Big says about boards. Our 1-3 players are all physical and better than average rebounders. We should outrebound our opposition 3 to 1 all year. God I can't wait to watch.

sittingon50
07-06-2007, 02:42 PM
If the Zags outrebound the opposition 3 to 1 they will easily set an NCAA record (Beamonesque). It would look nice in the following years Media Guide.:)

BobZag
07-06-2007, 05:25 PM
Ira! probably could play the 2. At 6'4" he's ideal. His handles surprised everyone and now he is bringing the ball up like a good PG or 2 guard does. The primary thing Ira! brings to this team, and next year's team, is toughness. Toughness is infectious. And if you have Ira!, with Pendo (and Pargo and Bouldin), tearing it up like a beast, it will rub off on everyone else. I read a post a while ago about a possible lack of toughness. I respectfully disagree. Every time a coach talks about Ira!, toughness is first and foremost. That'll be his legacy at GU.

MickMick
07-06-2007, 06:25 PM
Ira! probably could play the 2. At 6'4" he's ideal. His handles surprised everyone and now he is bringing the ball up like a good PG or 2 guard does. The primary thing Ira! brings to this team, and next year's team, is toughness. Toughness is infectious. And if you have Ira!, with Pendo (and Pargo and Bouldin), tearing it up like a beast, it will rub off on everyone else. I read a post a while ago about a possible lack of toughness. I respectfully disagree. Every time a coach talks about Ira!, toughness is first and foremost. That'll be his legacy at GU.

BZ, I value your opinion more than most anyone here, but...

Toughness isn't always a measure of getting it done. Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert was as tough as they come. He was slightly undersized for a middle linebacker too. In his prime, Larry Csonka (but no other backs mind you) used to blast him for 4 yards a pop. And Jack couldn't do anything about it. The Dolphins would have 17 play/11 minute time consuming drives....and everyone in the stands knew that more Csonka was coming. Lambert is regarded as one of the best (and toughest) middle linebackers in the history of the NFL. And even he endured a physical mismatch. (A Steeler fan would never admit it though...just say "5 rings baby".)

Some of the thin kids that have not been through a Div 1 strength & conditioning program may face physical mismatches early on in their career. Some may never get strong (relatively speaking) depending on their body type, but compensate using other developed skills (Durant) . A scenario that plays itself out across the country with almost every team. There is legit concern over possible physical mismatches for Gonzaga as well. We know what kids to be concerned about in that regard. A big, strong kid like Robert Sacre or a grown man like Ira Brown (who has already experienced the workout regimen of a professional athlete), lend some physical balance to the squad and help alleviate some of my fears.

As I stated earlier, If Scotto is correct about Sacre, I sincerely believe a final four is within this group's grasp. They most certainly would have to win various matchups along the way to get there.



Edit: I guess the other extreme would be the Washington Huskies. The Zags were simply quicker than that slow team. So foot speed can compensate for size. I guess what I was looking for was balance. The ability to go big, small, slow, or fast. To adapt to any situation and not let size (bulk not heighth), tempo, or physical strength be an exploitable area for the Zags

BBskorer
07-06-2007, 06:30 PM
I see the exclamation point works on BZ's new computer as well. ;)

bigparb
07-06-2007, 07:46 PM
I sincerely believe a final four is within this group's grasp.



Mick--if you're going to go THERE, can we at least get a Final Four prediction?? Will the Zags win the title?? :drool:

MickMick
07-06-2007, 09:27 PM
Mick--if you're going to go THERE, can we at least get a Final Four prediction?? Will the Zags win the title?? :drool:


Here is what I sincerely believe about the NCAA tournament.

Once you hit the sweet 16, any team can win it. Sure the favorites panned out last year (2 # 1 seeds and 2 # 2 seeds I believe...or something close), but the year previous was more typical. The 2005 George Mason and LSU squads have nothing on this 2007 version of the Zags.

What it really comes down to is matchups. Last year, for example, the deliberate, defensive, slow tempo styles of Wazzu and Butler played havoc with the Zag desire to get out and run. On the other hand, UNC and Texas played a style more similar to the Zags...and got whipped doing it. Obviously the Zags would prefer to play a team that tries to outscore them as opposed to outdefend them.

So come tournament time, it really is about 3 things in my opinion.

1) Are you at peak efficiency? (ie..no injuries, on a winning streak, confident, shooting well, etc.)

2) Do you matchup well against your opponent? (last season, the Zags want a Texas instead of a WSU in the tourney)

3) Are the intangibles with you? (luck, the way the ball bounces, the referees, the time keeper, etc.)


The margin for error is so slim, and the number of possibilitys/permutations are so great, that any sweet 16 team has a chance to win it all.


After saying all that, I believe a team can improve it's odds by being balanced. By being able to matchup with any individual player, and any single style. By being able to adapt to changing conditions ranging anywhere from foul trouble to one of your key players, to adjusting to a defensive look that you didn't prepare for, to having some opposing kid unexpectedly play the game of his life.

I believe the Zags are better prepared (by virtue of depth and adaptability via diverse lineups) to make more tournament noise than ever before. I believe they can win a national championship.....sincerely.

I just need reassurance on three issues:

1) Do we have more than just Pargo to deal with a full court press of quick atheletes? How is our overall team ball handling skills? Seems we are light at guard and heavy at the wings. I can't help but replay the end of that UCLA game over in my head. We literally handed the game to them by simply not being able to bring the ball up the court.

2) Do we have a guy that will own the space under the rim? Can Sacre approximate what Batista and Turiaf did for us? I can't help but replay in my mind what the star from Indiana did to us in the paint after halftime last year.

3) Will Pargo improve his shooting and passing? He is critical to the Zag chances. He really has to come up big. We need what he did against Stanford in overtime...all of the time.

Hoopmeister
07-07-2007, 10:50 AM
I must sincerely disagree with MickMick about "toughness" not being what is always needed to "get it done." "Getting it done," does ALWAYS require toughness as part of the package. However, having said that, it also requires MORE than toughness...as indicated by MickMick. I agree with that. Those kids on the the '99 2000 Zag team may not have been athletic, but IMO they were darn tough.

I'm glad to hear BobZ say that Ira will be remembered as a Zag for his toughness. Boy does THAT ever bring a smile to my face. Brings back memories of Errol Knight. Maybe Ira Brown can be everything Errol could have been if he hadn't gotten hurt. That would be something very special.

I was talking to a high school kid the other day who had just gotten back from the GU camp. As expected he loved it. It was nice listening to him tell all kinds of stories, and believe me, this kid was glowing. He said the guy he was most impressed with was Sacre. He said that Josh is unbelievably buffed (that brought a huge smile to me). He said Pendo is really kool, and really friendly to the high school kids. He said Sacre really DEMANDS the ball down low. And he said demands with particular emphisis.

MickMick
07-07-2007, 11:18 AM
I must sincerely disagree with MickMick about "toughness" not being what is always needed to "get it done." "Getting it done," does ALWAYS require toughness as part of the package. However, having said that, it also requires MORE than toughness...as indicated by MickMick. I agree with that. Those kids on the the '99 2000 Zag team may not have been athletic, but IMO they were darn tough.

I'm glad to hear BobZ say that Ira will be remembered as a Zag for his toughness. Boy does THAT ever bring a smile to my face. Brings back memories of Errol Knight. Maybe Ira Brown can be everything Errol could have been if he hadn't gotten hurt. That would be something very special.

I was talking to a high school kid the other day who had just gotten back from the GU camp. As expected he loved it. It was nice listening to him tell all kinds of stories, and believe me, this kid was glowing. He said the guy he was most impressed with was Sacre. He said that Josh is unbelievably buffed (that brought a huge smile to me). He said Pendo is really kool, and really friendly to the high school kids. He said Sacre really DEMANDS the ball down low. And he said demands with particular emphisis.

Toughness is absolutely required to get it done. Never once did I say otherwise. Toughness, however, is not always the measure of getting it done. Toughness by itself does not always get it done. The toughest guys in the world can still be physically overmatched. Jack Lambert can still be run over by Larry Csonka, but Lambert would not have even made the squad if not for his toughness. Toughness was a prerequisite to play his position.

The Zags had an extremely tough duo of Pendergraft and Kuso attempting to get rebounds against Indiana. They are both tough as nails. They both give maximum effort. Yet Indiana was better at rebounding. Our guys were physically overmatched. Too much was expected of them. They can certainly contribute effectively, but they cannot carry the team with respect to rebounds against a team like Indiana. We were one big, physically imposing guy short of winning the rebound battle in my opinion. Without getting sidetracked, my entire point was based on getting a big, physically strong guy in the paint to be that difference maker. In my mind, toughness was never the issue.

I contend that my concerns over some of the youngsters being on the skinny side is legit. If we are asking them to bang against bulky, strongmen, then we are asking too much of them. To me, Sacre is the key. He would be a real difference maker in the rebounding department. Davis or Daye may be tough as nails, but we are going to flat beat those guys to a pulp if we don't give them a developed Sacre to help out. That was my concern. How quickly can Sacre get into the mix to help out. We look rather frail without him.

Hoopmeister
07-07-2007, 07:18 PM
I understand the excitement for the Zags this year, but we still have a lot to prove. Unfortunately the game isn't played on paper. Let me remind everyone that outside of Daye everyone else is probably no better than most of the guys playing for the top 64 teams in America. There are a lot of great basketball players in our country, and the world, and the Zags are not the only team with great incoming players. Gray I think was around 65, Sacre around 100 and Brown was what "a one star." The Zags will not have an easy road to the Sweet 16 believe me, and if they make it past that I'll be surprised.

sonuvazag
07-07-2007, 08:09 PM
Let me remind everyone that outside of Daye everyone else is probably no better than most of the guys playing for the top 64 teams in America.
Okay.

sonuvazag
07-07-2007, 08:37 PM
Hoopmeister, we had one five star, two four stars, and a juco that was not heavily scouted, but according to inside reports will be an immediate contributor. Do you notice how many five and four star recruits Duke has for 2007 on Rivals?

I'm just putting some facts at you. Don't be excited, though, if you don't want to. No one's force feeding you kool aid. Hard road to the sweet 16? I think any program should expect that.

chirguy
07-08-2007, 09:33 AM
I love the tough guys in sports. The guys that don't give up, the guys that are mentally tough, the guys that are phisically tough. I thing of guys like Erroll Knight who made the big play when you needed it. Like Pendo who will bang when you need it and sink threes when you tell him. AJ Graves is tough, Kyle Weaver is tough. UCLA has been successfull mainly with toughness. The elite eight Zags were one of the toughest teams I've seen.

Toughness wins.

Hoopmeister
07-08-2007, 09:52 AM
I'm as excited about the Zags as anyone. I love the Zags as much as anyone. Those who know me know I love the Zags. I know one thing. The Zags haven't made it past the Sweet 16 in almost 10 years. I've had my heart broken twice since then, and I guess I've become a little more cautious in July. I don't see anyone yet with the desire to win that Adam had. And I don't see anyone with the confidence of either Adam or JP. Those two guys were unstoppable. And that team didn't advance past the Sweet 16. I ask must ask, "What will next years team have that Adam's and JP's team didn't have?

I don't care how much talent a team has (because there are probably at least 16 teams each year with more "talent" then the Zags) they will still have to have that wonderful quality of TEAM CHEMISTRY. And in order for them to advance past the Sweet 16 they will need two things. At least one closer, and more like 3 or 4. You need 3 or 4 guys who have that complete confidence to nail a game winnng shot. I think these are the unknown factors on the '07-'08 team. Oh, I forgot one other very important factor...speed. And I do worry a little bit about our speed. If I were recruiting for GU right now, say PG (as everyone has been talking about) I'd go for speed. That's why I think Theodore would have been such a good fit for the Zags.

MickMick
07-08-2007, 10:07 AM
I still stand by this:


The margin for error is so slim, and the number of possibilitys/permutations are so great, that any sweet 16 team has a chance to win it all.

In today's college basketball world, the number of basketball schools have not grown at the same rate as the number of good players that become eliglible. Include the influx of foreign players and parity has become the theme. The talent differential will continue to narrow. Further, the schools that do get the cream of the high school crop don't retain those players for longer than 1-2 years. So they don't get the extra time to build the team chemistry that hoopmeister talks about. Somehow, Billy Donovan sold several 1st round draft picks on the idea of another championship run...but that is an exception, not the rule.

For those reasons, I think the Zags have as good as a chance as anyone. The margin between the top and middle seed teams in the tournament is not as great as the sportswriters would have you believe.

So I still believe this to be true:


After saying all that, I believe a team can improve it's odds by being balanced. By being able to matchup with any individual player, and any single style. By being able to adapt to changing conditions ranging anywhere from foul trouble to one of your key players, to adjusting to a defensive look that you didn't prepare for, to having some opposing kid unexpectedly play the game of his life.

I believe the Zags are better prepared (by virtue of depth and adaptability via diverse lineups) to make more tournament noise than ever before. I believe they can win a national championship.....sincerely.

To give Hoopmeister credit, I would also lump in about 15-20 other teams that have a realistic shot as well. So again it boils down to this:


So come tournament time, it really is about 3 things in my opinion.

1) Are you at peak efficiency? (ie..no injuries, on a winning streak, confident, shooting well, etc.)

2) Do you matchup well against your opponent? (last season, the Zags want a Texas instead of a WSU in the tourney)

3) Are the intangibles with you? (luck, the way the ball bounces, the referees, the time keeper, etc.)