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zagster318
07-12-2007, 08:24 AM
Much is made on these boards, and around the country, about how weak the WCC is compared to other conferences. So, that begs the question: do we really want the WCC to get better? Personally, I like a weak WCC, since that guarantees the Zags an NCAA bid. Does any objective fan think the Zags would have received an NCAA bid last year playing in a power conference? One may counter this argument by asserting that the Zags aren't prepared by the WCC to make a deep NCAA run...this is probably true. However, you can circumvent this issue by scheduling a couple of quality OOC games later in the season. We saw Few and Co. do that last year w/ Stanford and Memphis, and it seems the staff is doing it again this year. Anyway, that's my diatribe for the day. Feel free to opine.

23dpg
07-12-2007, 08:27 AM
No, I would like to see the WCC get much stronger. I'd rather be fighting for supremacy of the mountain than king of the hill.

sonuvazag
07-12-2007, 08:31 AM
If the WCC is stronger, the need to be so aggressive with the OCC schedule diminishes... and then we can play stronger competition leading into the tournament.

The seeding committee gave us a 10 seed which indicates we would have received an at large bid last year.

zagster318
07-12-2007, 08:33 AM
The seeding committee gave us a 10 seed which indicates we would have received an at large bid last year.

What was our RPI and SOS?

ZagNative
07-12-2007, 08:45 AM
I don't know what our RPI and SOS rank was at the time of the announcement of the brackets, but this is it as of the end of the year:

KenPom's RPI (http://kenpom.com/rpi.php)

El Voce
07-12-2007, 09:03 AM
A much stronger WCC would mean that the Zags could suffer two or three defeats a year -- especially on the road -- and still be in the running for a fairly high seed.

A stronger WCC makes the whole conference season more fun. It would build the excitement during the week for that weekend's games. A stronger WCC is a win-win for the conference and for GU.

zagster318
07-12-2007, 09:13 AM
I don't know what our RPI and SOS rank was at the time of the announcement of the brackets, but this is it as of the end of the year:

KenPom's RPI (http://kenpom.com/rpi.php)

RPI: 60, SOS: 93- That's not a very good profile

Because I am ignorant, how is GU receiving a #10 seed indicative of the notion that they would have attained an at-large bid? A #10 seed is still pretty low.

lawzag
07-12-2007, 09:15 AM
IMO the old addage (sp?) you play up to the level of your competition is correct. Several games last year, we should have been 25-35 points ahead, based on the quality of the opposing team, yet we only won by 5-10 points (or less).

A stronger WCC would give us higher quality competition day in & day out, thereby requiring our boys to come out with their "A" game every single time. Definitely, a help come tourney time :)

Robzagnut
07-12-2007, 09:39 AM
A stronger WCC also means that the conference gets more than one team in the NCAA tourney every year. I'm hoping for the day when I see THREE teams from the WCC make it.

If the Missouri Valley conference can get four teams in, then three from the WCC is not far fetched.

sonuvazag
07-12-2007, 09:51 AM
RPI: 60, SOS: 93- That's not a very good profile

Because I am ignorant, how is GU receiving a #10 seed indicative of the notion that they would have attained an at-large bid? A #10 seed is still pretty low.

There were at large teams that received lower seeds, meaning Gonzaga was ranked by the committee above some of the last at large teams. The committee must have thought higher of GU's OCC schedule (ranked 9 in the nation) than we had feared they would.

Way I see it, GU in the Pac 10 last year would still have at least been in the running, neck and neck with Stanford and Arizona... and certainly ahead of everyone who didn't make it. It's realistic to think they would have had a winning conference season in the Pac 10.

A strong WCC can generate two or three bids and if we aren't in the top 2 or 3 of the WCC, Gonzaga is either in really bad shape or... I can't remember the other one. That extra bid takes the pressure off of those last two games in seasons where we have 7-8 losses.

DenDiegoZag
07-12-2007, 10:00 AM
A stronger WCC also means that the conference gets more than one team in the NCAA tourney every year. I'm hoping for the day when I see THREE teams from the WCC make it.

If the Missouri Valley conference can get four teams in, then three from the WCC is not far fetched.


Exactly Right...Playing quality teams in January and February is the key to making it deep in the tournament...

Take the Final Fours for the past 10 seasons:

2007 Florida, Ohio State, Georgetown, UCLA
2006 UCLA, Florida, LSU, George Mason
2005 North Carolina, Illinois, Louisville, Michigan State
2004 Duke, Connecticut, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech
2003 Texas, Kansas, Marquette, Syracuse
2002 Maryland, Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana
2001 Duke, Michigan State, Arizona, Maryland
2000 Michigan State, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin
1999 Connecticut, Duke, Michigan State, Ohio State
1998 North Carolina, Kentucky, Stanford, Utah
1997 Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Arizona


Among many commonalities between these teams, is the fact that every single one of them was from a conference that had multiple teams in the tournament. I do not thing that this is a coincidence at all. In order to do more than just make the tournament, one must consistently play "Tournament Quality" teams throughout the season. As a GU fan, you must ask yourself what your definition of success is. If you are satisfied with making the tournament every year and maybe get to the occasional Sweet 16, then a weak WCC may fit that mold. I think that our goal should be a Final Four with an eventual Nat. Championship, so a key factor in building to that besides the obvious jump in talent that we have been able to recruit to the school is finding a way to bring the rest of the WCC to a place where we can get more quality games in January and February without having to ink Memphis in for a game in Feb. for about the next decade.

drnoe
07-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Let's be thankful that the WCC has far more upside than the dreaded BW. The BW is lucky to get one ESPN game per season, otherwise, they get an occasional game televised on FSN or a local public access channel. Mater Dei High School games are televised more than the BW.

zagster318
07-12-2007, 10:12 AM
A strong WCC can generate two or three bids and if we aren't in the top 2 or 3 of the WCC, Gonzaga is either in really bad shape or... I can't remember the other one. That extra bid takes the pressure off of those last two games in seasons where we have 7-8 losses.

Of course, you are operating under the assumption that Gonzaga would still only have 7 or 8 losses going into those last two games. If the WCC was stronger, it seems likely that the Zags would have have 2 or 3 more more losses. Consequently, they would be in the same position. A team with 10 or 11 losses is squarely on the bubble, even from a BCS conference. They might have squeaked in to the tournament as an at-large, but the difference would be negligible.

On a side note, the better WCC teams are, the more likely we are going to compete with them for the same recruits. Gonzaga is not at the level where they can get anyone, at least not yet. Now, if they make a final four or two, then I might be swayed in the other direction. Right now, the Zags cannot afford to be missing the NCAAs. Just ask Romar how that worked with Jrue. You would have to think UCLA making the final four, whereas UW missed the NIT, played a part in his decision to attend UCLA.

DenDiegoZag
07-12-2007, 10:22 AM
We also have to remember that those additional losses 7-12 or whatever total we want to come to would not hurt our RPI as badly as any loss to a WCC team tends to do now. By raising the number of quality teams in the WCC, we raise the Conference's RPI and thus help our own RPI. In general it can be better to lose a few more games to quality opponents than it is to drop one game to a team ranked >175 in the RPI rankings. Therefore even in off years we are in better statistical shape at 10 losses in a strong WCC than we are at 7 in a weak WCC where we "accidentally" don't win the conference championship game.

DavyZag
07-12-2007, 10:23 AM
DenDiego... I'm not sure I buy your argument. I would say that those teams made it to the Final Four because they had awesome talent and good coaches... i.e. they had high seeds. (Obvo there are outliers like George Mason, but we shouldn't dwell on that.)

They didn't get make it simply because they played in a big conference with multiple bids. I mean... come on. Every single BCS conference is going to average 3-4 bids, and some of the mid-level midmajor conference (Mountain West, CUSA, MVC, etc.) will get 2-3. So really almost every high seeded team in the tournament comes from those conferences, and those high seeds are obviously the teams most likely to make it to the Final Four.

I guess what I mean is this... if two other WCC teams got really good and made the post-season (as happened a few years ago when GU and SMC made it to the NCAAs and USF made the NIT), that wouldn't somehow magically translate into furhter advancement in the tournament. GU laid an egg against Nevada that year, in what was doubtless the toughest WCC we've seen in years.

And it's not like GU blows out the WCC every night anyway... if Santa Clara didn't piss away those two games against Pepperdine and LMU we wouldn't have won the regular season crown. And I think we all remember the Cardiac Kids in Ammo's last year.

Anyway... as for the WCC next season... SMC will be good. Very good. Other than that, it's a crap shoot. Honestly, I could see a team like Pepperdine or Portland finishing anywhere from last to upper half. Who knows? There's just too many weaknesses on too many of the teams.

But watch out for the Gaels. I know Samhan is a b*tch but he's a match-up problem and Simpson is a stud.

Zags-Bsee
07-12-2007, 10:24 AM
Way I see it, GU in the Pac 10 last year would still have at least been in the running, neck and neck with Stanford and Arizona... and certainly ahead of everyone who didn't make it. It's realistic to think they would have had a winning conference season in the Pac 10.

A strong WCC can generate two or three bids and if we aren't in the top 2 or 3 of the WCC, Gonzaga is either in really bad shape or... I can't remember the other one. That extra bid takes the pressure off of those last two games in seasons where we have 7-8 losses.

In short, I would rather watch us play Pac 10 conference then WCC. I think our team knowing they faced this competition would push them to play at a higher level. Maybe get them to play final 4 intensity defense. That would be more fun then being Goliath waiting to be picked off.

Having teams like Memphis in our conference would be more fun to watch. Games like last years one point OT loss to a 9th ranked team (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=270482250) (without Josh) playing are hard to beat.

DavyZag
07-12-2007, 10:36 AM
Zags-Bsee... you make a good point. I'm sold... let's move over to the Pac-10! Heck, maybe G-Prep's football team can play for us - they might be better than Stanford! :)

zagster318
07-12-2007, 10:40 AM
Having teams like Memphis in our conference would be more fun to watch. Games like last years one point OT loss to a 9th ranked team (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=270482250) (without Josh) playing are hard to beat.

I agree with this point. Hypothetically, let us assume the WCC is better. That would probably hurt us in recruiting because the coaching staff would be more reluctant to schedule OOC opponents like Memphis. IMO, what makes Gonzaga attractive to a lot of recruits is the fact that the Zags play a monster OOC schedule against teams like UNC, Duke, Michigan State, etc. The WCC will never be as good as the Pac 10. Do you think recruits will get excited about playing a tough Pepperdine squad? Doubtful. How about playing Duke at MSG? Yeah, that would probably do it for me.

DenDiegoZag
07-12-2007, 10:45 AM
DenDiego... I'm not sure I buy your argument. I would say that those teams made it to the Final Four because they had awesome talent and good coaches... i.e. they had high seeds. (Obvo there are outliers like George Mason, but we shouldn't dwell on that.)

They didn't get make it simply because they played in a big conference with multiple bids. I mean... come on. Every single BCS conference is going to average 3-4 bids, and some of the mid-level midmajor conference (Mountain West, CUSA, MVC, etc.) will get 2-3. So really almost every high seeded team in the tournament comes from those conferences, and those high seeds are obviously the teams most likely to make it to the Final Four.

I guess what I mean is this... if two other WCC teams got really good and made the post-season (as happened a few years ago when GU and SMC made it to the NCAAs and USF made the NIT), that wouldn't somehow magically translate into furhter advancement in the tournament. GU laid an egg against Nevada that year, in what was doubtless the toughest WCC we've seen in years.


The fact that all of those teams are from BCS conferences is exactly my point:

1) They have top talent, which we are now getting on a consistent basis.

2) They have great coaching, which I believe that we have.

3) They had a good record and thus a high seed entering the tournament, which we typically have when we enter the tournament (e.g. less than 10 losses, some notable non-conference wins, and a strong finish in both the regular season conference schedule and conference tournament)

4) They also have a high seed because they have good statistics to back up their record, which we all know are influenced not only by the number of wins and losses but also by WHO those wins and losses are against...not to mention where the games are played.


While I agree that playing in the Pac-10 would not hurt (although we do run into the "competing for recruits" issue there as well), it could also be of great benefit to GU to have several other "long term" strong teams in the WCC. When I compare some of our recent great teams to those great teams, ONE of the factors that I noticed was different was the level of team that we played against during our conference season as we neared the NCAA Tournament. Now we all shared in the disappointment of the Nevada game, but we do not really have many other examples involving GU to compare that to for the "what really happens when the WCC gets multiple bids in the post 1998 WCC era scenario" (e.g. getting upset in the first round with a multi-bid WCC)

Both Calipari and Few have continued to keep the GU v. Memphis game later in the season for the exact reason that I am advocating. They have both stated on several occasions that they really wanted to get a "Tournament Quality" opponent during conference play to "better prepare each of their respective teams for the NCAA tournament." If GU were able to play 4 games against "Tournament Quality" WCC teams, it would clearly help our team develop both the confidence and stamina to work through the "off" game that every team faces as they go deeper in the NCAA Tournament. While I AGREE that talent was probably the biggest factor in those teams reaching the Final Four, it is hard to discount that they each played difficult games against top tier opponents at the end of the season.

zagster318
07-12-2007, 11:06 AM
[QUOTE=DenDiegoZag;38021]

Both Calipari and Few have continued to keep the GU v. Memphis game later in the season for the exact reason that I am advocating. They have both stated on several occasions that they really wanted to get a "Tournament Quality" opponent during conference play to "better prepare each of their respective teams for the NCAA tournament." [QUOTE]

That is exactly why I want a weak WCC. What are the chances we would see GU/Memphis game in Feb. if the WCC was a better conference? None, unless you adhere to the principle of over-scheduling like Izzo. Unless the rest of the WCC catches up to Gonzaga's level, I would much rather see a Memphis or Stanford game. You also mentioned that the Zags would be competing against Pac 10 teams for recruits if they played in the Pac 10. The Zags already do this. Now, imagine having to recruit against all the Pac 10 schools AND all the other WCC schools. Chances are, that some of the talent will start going elsewhere. Now, if GU becomes a factory type school for recruiting, then I could go for having a tougher WCC. The way it stands now, GU is just not up to that level. As iterated in a previous post, if they can actually make a final four, or even win it all, then they would attain the status of a top program.

gonzagulous
07-12-2007, 12:03 PM
Playing in a weak WCC does nothing good for the team at all. It hurts our RPI, gives naysayers a reason to talk down our team, and doesn't force the team to get better in preparation for the tourney.

I could care less about a marquee game in February if we play a tough non conference schedule (which we will always do as long as Few is around) followed by solid conference opponents.

Do you think any teams from the ACC would rather be in the WCC? No way, because if you do well in a tough conference you have a shot to get into the tournament and do well.

I would rather have the WCC be the toughest conference in the country than one full of cupcakes.

zagster318
07-12-2007, 01:00 PM
Playing in a weak WCC does nothing good for the team at all. It hurts our RPI, gives naysayers a reason to talk down our team, and doesn't force the team to get better in preparation for the tourney.

I don't care what the naysayers say about us. The best way to shut them up is by doing so on the court. Additionally, better preparation comes from placing an emphasis on a team's area of weakness. Until Few decides to make defense a priority, it doesn't matter how many tough teams we play. The Zags will still make early exits in the tourney...I am hoping Ray G. helps in this department. In the marquee wins we had last year, almost all of them came in high scoring affairs. When the shots were not falling, they almost always lost. They couldn't win low scoring games against good teams. This happens year after year after year. The weak WCC schedule makes for a less than ideal situation, but it's not the crux of the problem.

Zags-Bsee
07-12-2007, 01:14 PM
Quick unreal fun thought.

Few should play WCC games with Matt starting PG with his future team of Foster, Sacre-HUGE, Theo, LG, with Daye and Gray as subs.

2nd half let the A team play.

Great for the future chemistry and for having the A team maybe be under some comeback pressure. (If we are actually behind) :)

Zags-Bsee
07-12-2007, 01:23 PM
Until Few decides to make defense a priority, it doesn't matter how many tough teams we play.

This years team screams "we could be really tough on defense".

Kuso, Sacre-HUGE, Foster

Josh - I think he wins WCC player of the year for defense reasons.
Josh averaged 2.4 blocks a game in WCC play and 4 a game his last 3 games. I am going with 4 blocks a game average in WCC play this year.

Downs, Theo, Daye, Pendo, LG, Ira

Jeremy, Matt, Sorenson, Gray

I'm no coach, but I would like to coach this group for defense. :)

My first coaching action, tell the players minutes will be handed out based on defensive effort.

former1dog
07-12-2007, 03:09 PM
No, I would like to see the WCC get much stronger. I'd rather be fighting for supremacy of the mountain than king of the hill.


23 post reflects my opinion exactly. The stronger the better.