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View Full Version : GU #15 SI.com COLLEGE BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS



tlark420
05-03-2012, 09:23 AM
Gonzaga Bulldogs
I wonder what might have happened in the Przemek Karnowski sweepstakes had Mason Plumlee not opted to stay at Duke for his senior season, creating a starting-center job opening in Durham. The Blue Devils were a late entry into the race for Karnowski, a skilled Polish 7-footer who might have been a five-star recruit had he played prep-school ball in the U.S. There will be no Krzyzewski-coaching-Karnowski situation, though; he opted to commit to the Zags, who had been recruiting him for two years and as a result, pulled off another international coup on the level of Elias Harris (out of Germany) and Kevin Pangos (Ontario, Canada). This should give Gonzaga one of the country's better offensive front lines in Harris, Sam Dower, Karnowski and Kelly Olynyk, but I have enough concerns about their interior D that I'm hesitant to make them a top-10 team right off the bat. Departed center Robert Sacre was an elite defender who will not be easy to replace.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/luke_winn/05/01/Power.Rankings/index.html#ixzz1tpQgUtYf

raise the zag
05-03-2012, 09:48 AM
Gonzaga Bulldogs
I wonder what might have happened in the Przemek Karnowski sweepstakes had Mason Plumlee not opted to stay at Duke for his senior season, creating a starting-center job opening in Durham. The Blue Devils were a late entry into the race for Karnowski, a skilled Polish 7-footer who might have been a five-star recruit had he played prep-school ball in the U.S. There will be no Krzyzewski-coaching-Karnowski situation, though; he opted to commit to the Zags, who had been recruiting him for two years and as a result, pulled off another international coup on the level of Elias Harris (out of Germany) and Kevin Pangos (Ontario, Canada). This should give Gonzaga one of the country's better offensive front lines in Harris, Sam Dower, Karnowski and Kelly Olynyk, but I have enough concerns about their interior D that I'm hesitant to make them a top-10 team right off the bat. Departed center Robert Sacre was an elite defender who will not be easy to replace.


Couldn't agree more.

Our defense suffered mightily when Rob was injured or on the bench. HUGE difference with him manning the middle on the defensive end of the court.

Two question marks(achilles heel) remains for the 2012 team:

1.) First & foremost: tough, hard-nosed, fundamentally sound interior defense. Elias improved last year, especially his effort, yet still very suspect guarding any player of his size one-on-one -- below average instincts in this area. Dower still lacks any sort of focus or intensity on defense, he seems to be thinking about his next post move or lefty hook than actually committed to playing strong d -- of all the players, his is mental, not physical. KO could have been nicknamed FO his first two years, as in "Foul out". He's very sloppy with help defense and getting his feet to react before his slap-happy hands. Far too often he attempts to take the charge or mis-judge his timing, especially for a legit 7'-footer. All are pretty soft defenders and seem to be a step behind their men, when guys like Rob Sacre, Gary Bell, Mike Hart, even Pangos are always one step ahead, even if they lack quickness or athleticism. Commitment and focus goes a long way in helping fill this void as well. Its my primary concern, which I've shared many a times before...

2.) Scoring punch/shooting from the Wing/SF/3 position. I expect GLE to be the same type of player and presence for us next season. Strong, athletic, willing rebounder, transition defender, strong dunker, but no vast improvements from a shooting or scoring standpoint. Our only hope for a bonafide scorer, shooter, and slasher is the development of Kyle Dranginis. He could be the biggest difference maker of any new player or recruit next year. His ability to mix it up on the perimeter, shoot from long range, and provide a passing presence from the 3 will be HUGE for our success. Guy was a liability vs sound defensive teams and teams like St Mary's who move quickly and play fast in half-court. I believe each of our wing's compliment one another and will be platooned at that position, but it is critical for Kyle to add a double-threat on offense to help spread the floor. I have heard he's the "best passer on the team" and "most nifty handles", yet have also heard he's not near the consistent shooter as Pangos or Bell Jr. Yes, he features the longest range and a fearless mindset -- will pull up a J from anywhere -- but apparently not quite the dead-eye 3pt shooter as advertised. Maybe this will improve in game situations as well.

whatazag
05-03-2012, 09:57 AM
Good write up. I agree with him that our biggest concern will be interior defense. When Sacre was out of the game last year, the defense really took a hit. Remains to be seen what PK and KO can do in that respect. Other big question mark will be scoring from the wing, hopefully GLE will be more consistent this year and all the reports about KD will turn out to be accurate.

Edit: Ha, I didn't see the post above mine when I posted, RTZ went into much more detail but had the same thoughts I did.

UKWildcatsFan
05-03-2012, 11:03 AM
That's pretty much what I expected the rankings to look like next season.

U Zig, I Zag
05-03-2012, 11:49 AM
Departed center Robert Sacre was an elite defender who will not be easy to replace.

Very, very true. Rob could be lock down. He was good at blocking shots but not always known for that. He worked hard on the boards and made room. We are going to miss him.

bullzag23
05-03-2012, 11:58 AM
That's pretty much what I expected the rankings to look like next season.

I was surprised to see NC State so high but I guess I didn't realize how impactful their incoming class is supposed to be..

scott257
05-04-2012, 06:13 AM
I thought this write-up sucked. One paragraph and half of it spent on Duke. No mention at all about Gary Bell Jr. This team is going to be awesome, and anyone that overlooks Gary Bell Jr., should be referred to some of his play in the second half against Ohio State. In fact, if I were Mark Few, I would put together a highlight reel of those plays and have Bell watch it every day to remind him that he is capable of destroying opposing defenses. Add to that the fact that Bell, and Harris were both very improved defensively during the course of last season and that Olynyk was one of the better defensive players the year before (and will probably be better this year), I would think things are going to be fine defensively. Of course, I also thought Sam Dower improved his defensive play last year as well and there is no reason not to expect further progress this season.

willandi
05-04-2012, 07:11 AM
Good write up. I agree with him that our biggest concern will be interior defense. When Sacre was out of the game last year, the defense really took a hit. Remains to be seen what PK and KO can do in that respect. Other big question mark will be scoring from the wing, hopefully GLE will be more consistent this year and all the reports about KD will turn out to be accurate.

Edit: Ha, I didn't see the post above mine when I posted, RTZ went into much more detail but had the same thoughts I did.

When Sacre was out, Dower manned the middle, or Hart. This year we have 2 7'+ in the middle, KO and Special K. It will be better over the course of the game!

rijman
05-04-2012, 08:04 AM
I was surprised to see NC State so high but I guess I didn't realize how impactful their incoming class is supposed to be..
UCLA's rank surprised me at #3, they were around #12 in another pre season poll. That same source had the Zags at #29 prior to PK's commitment.

cggonzaga
05-04-2012, 08:13 AM
This team is going to be awesome, and anyone that overlooks Gary Bell Jr., should be referred to some of his play in the second half against Ohio State.

Let me reference what I'm about to write with a grain of salt. I'm a huge GBJ fan and believe he will be a star here..BUT....

Many of us felt the same way about one Steven Grey after his freshman year and performance in the NCAA tournament. Steven was a tremendous on ball defender his freshman year and I think him and Gary had about the same offensive stats. Steven hit 7 threes against Davidson in the NCAA tournament. Don't get me wrong, Grey had a very nice career at GU but I don't think he lived up to the expecatations after that freshman year and game in the tournament.

Hopefully (and I believe he will) Gary becomes that star player Steven never did. If Gary ends up having the same type of career as Grey that will be great as well. I personally expect more.

As far as the ranking goes I find this closer to what we should be ranked at the beginning of the season. I truly believe this will be a top 10 team however as the season progresses.

bullzag23
05-04-2012, 08:25 AM
Let me reference what I'm about to write with a grain of salt. I'm a huge GBJ fan and believe he will be a star here..BUT....

Many of us felt the same way about one Steven Grey after his freshman year and performance in the NCAA tournament. Steven was a tremendous on ball defender his freshman year and I think him and Gary had about the same offensive stats. Steven hit 7 threes against Davidson in the NCAA tournament. Don't get me wrong, Grey had a very nice career at GU but I don't think he lived up to the expecatations after that freshman year and game in the tournament.

Hopefully (and I believe he will) Gary becomes that star player Steven never did. If Gary ends up having the same type of career as Grey that will be great as well. I personally expect more.

As far as the ranking goes I find this closer to what we should be ranked at the beginning of the season. I truly believe this will be a top 10 team however as the season progresses.

So far from what I've heard about GBJ the biggest difference between he and Steven is their mindset. Steven admitted to having other interests outside of just basketball and wanted to experience other things while at GU. This is not to take away from Steven at all because I believe that most people that go through GU do so for the same reason. I loved him as a player but I'll always believe he never reached his true potential because his true focus was not on basketball.

If GBJ is half the gym rat that I hear he is then I believe that is what will ultimately make him a better overall player than Steven. It's very early at this point but he will show us one way or the other over the course of the next 3 years.

sittingon50
05-04-2012, 09:19 AM
I guess I'll have to be the spelling police.

You lose credibility when you whiff on one of the Zags best all time players & can't get his 4 letter name correct.

Gray is the # 15 all time leading Zag scorer (ahead of such names as Stockton & Violette).

#6 3 Pt. FG's made (ahead of Bouldin/Raivio).

#7 Assists.

#5 steals (ahead of Stepp/Santangelo).

In none of those categories did he break into the top 10 for a season (no Beamonesque performance). What that indicates to me is a tremendous amount of consistency.

To downplay Gray's accomplishments is wrong. The stat's back it up, not my opinion.

If GBJ can reach any of those #'s then the Zags will have another alltimer.


:argh:

ZAGGED OUT
05-04-2012, 09:24 AM
I guess I'll have to be the spelling police.

You lose credibility when you whiff on one of the Zags best all time players & can't get his 4 letter name correct.

Gray is the # 15 all time leading Zag scorer (ahead of such names as Stockton & Violette).

#6 3 Pt. FG's made (ahead of Bouldin/Raivio).

#7 Assists.

#5 steals (ahead of Stepp/Santangelo).

In none of those categories did he break into the top 10 for a season (no Beamonesque performance). What that indicates to me is a tremendous amount of consistency.

To downplay Gray's accomplishments is wrong. The stat's back it up, not my opinion.

If GBJ can reach any of those #'s then the Zags will have another alltimer.


:argh:

Good response however I still think Gray didn't reach his full potential. Not saying he wasn't a great Zag, I loved watching him, but I always felt he could have got to another level.

His game against SDSU was proof of the player that I believe he could have been night in and night out. Although, I must say the WCC refs never were on his side as they called him for O-fouls on pushoffs that are not even near as bad as dellavadova's. But hey sometimes (most of the time for GU) you gotta beat the refs too.

hooter73
05-04-2012, 09:57 AM
We all know Gray was incredible in stats and ability but for whatever varied reasons, he lost the 'political' war in as far as becoming a star. He never wanted to be that. He was very very good but his personality never wanted to be the big name thing that was featured on Sportscenter and got all the hype and recognition. Honestly I think that is what cost him a direct draft to the NBA, he is just so understated... and thats fine. Its guys like that that I prefer to watch over some flashy kid that cant wait to be in front of the cameras.

DADoZAG
05-04-2012, 10:13 AM
… I still think Gray didn't reach his full potential.

IMO, injuries, some of which were never discussed, played a big part. Those that questioned Steven's heart or focus just weren’t paying attention.

In regard to the OP, personally, it doesn’t matter what the ZAGS are ranked preseason as long as they’re in the national conversation.

Go ZAGS!

maynard g krebs
05-04-2012, 10:29 AM
People often seem to omit the fact that Gray played through nagging injuries his last 2 years. Also, he had the disadvantage of playing beside a pg who couldn't shoot. That meant more defensive pressure and poorer looks, especially with Bouldin gone his last year. It would be interesting to see what Gray could have done playing beside Pangos.

That said, I believe Bell will be a bigger star than Gray. He has the ability and the mindset to elevate his game in March. He played his best games in the NCAA tournament, just as he played his best hs games in the state tourney his senior year. After the Ohio State game, it's hard to imagine him going back to being the reluctant shooter he was for much of his fr year. I believe he did that in part because he wanted to fit in as the new kid and be seen as a good teammate and unselfish player. Now that he's a vet, it would be a surprise if he didn't play with the mindset of the OSU game all year.

DADoZAG
05-04-2012, 10:57 AM
Now that he's a vet, it would be a surprise if he didn't play with the mindset of the OSU game all year.

How effing cool is that gonna' be!

Go ZAGS!

ZAGGED OUT
05-04-2012, 11:07 AM
People often seem to omit the fact that Gray played through nagging injuries his last 2 years. Also, he had the disadvantage of playing beside a pg who couldn't shoot. That meant more defensive pressure and poorer looks, especially with Bouldin gone his last year. It would be interesting to see what Gray could have done playing beside Pangos.

That said, I believe Bell will be a bigger star than Gray. He has the ability and the mindset to elevate his game in March. He played his best games in the NCAA tournament, just as he played his best hs games in the state tourney his senior year. After the Ohio State game, it's hard to imagine him going back to being the reluctant shooter he was for much of his fr year. I believe he did that in part because he wanted to fit in as the new kid and be seen as a good teammate and unselfish player. Now that he's a vet, it would be a surprise if he didn't play with the mindset of the OSU game all year.

Nice post, Gray's back injury definitely affected him and understandably so. Also, I'm glad other people realize the damage of a PG with zero shot, makes a zone defense a LOT more effective.

raise the zag
05-04-2012, 01:53 PM
IF Patty Mills would have elected to stay past his oft-injured Sophomore season, I believe he would have been one of the greatest WCC players of all-time. He was a stud, no doubt and the Zags had little to no answer for him.

Speaking of, he put up 35 pts & 12 assists for the Spurs just the other night...anyone see that? I think he followed that up with 24 & 5...he's doing well, yet the leash has been short in the playoffs thus far.

Honestly, he's unguardable when he's ON -- and is lighting quick -- faster than even Meech was, imo. More impressive than any SMC player I can remember, besides Daniel Kickert, Mickey's McConnell's Senior year, and Delly is more a system player...but Patty...color me intimidated when we played them.

zaggeist
05-04-2012, 02:18 PM
One of the main things, I believe, that affected both Stephen Gray and Matt Bouldin at the end of their respective senior years was exhaustion. Stephen is playing very well in Latvia now that he has gotten his legs back under him. He has regained that amazing vertical leaping ability. The team practices in Latvia (which include yoga) are not nearly as strenuous, apparently, as the practices were at Gonzaga, from what I understand. (He's from the same area where we live and we hear second hand reports through family friends.) Possibly our players get too tired by end of the season to perform as well as we expect. Food for thought...

raise the zag
05-04-2012, 02:25 PM
One of the main things, I believe, that affected both Stephen Gray and Matt Bouldin at the end of their respective senior years was exhaustion. Stephen is playing very well in Latvia now that he has gotten his legs back under him. He has regained that amazing vertical leaping ability. The team practices in Latvia (which include yoga) are not nearly as strenuous, apparently, as the practices were at Gonzaga, from what I understand. (He's from the same area where we live and we hear second hand reports through family friends.) Possibly our players get too tired by end of the season to perform as well as we expect. Food for thought...

True, yet Steven doesn't travel all off-season to Africa and miss practices to perform in the local play either while in Latvia.

Not knocking his extra-curricular decisions while at Gonzaga, yet when he was focused he was unstoppable and one of the better talents in College hoops, when he got distracted with traveling, performing, and partaking in recreational things, he missed out on continued development, weight room, and extra shooting sessions, etc.

He was beloved by teammates for his ways, yet Coaches were more than frustrated with Gray following his Sophomore year and that is from the Horses' mouth. While fans and cultured folk appreciated his search for soul, it was to the chagrin of many others, including his consistency as a player.

DADoZAG
05-04-2012, 02:33 PM
One of the main things, I believe, that affected both Stephen Gray and Matt Bouldin at the end of their respective senior years was exhaustion.

It is only my opinion from what I SAW, but Steven seemed to have a knee problem that started just before league, IIRC, during his senior year. He tweeked his left knee running down a ball along the sideline in the backcourt, and it seemed to me his gate and lift were both being effected at the end of the season.

I don't have any proof, but Steven himself would have to tell me otherwise to convince me it wasn't a problem for him.

Great to here he's doing well.

Go ZAGS!

cjm720
05-04-2012, 02:34 PM
Gray and Bouldin were simply the best players on the floor and Coach wanted them out there as much as possible. Period.

roxdoc
05-04-2012, 11:17 PM
Zaggeist I was thinking the same thing. Just like Bouldin the year before, they both looked (performed) run down during the last say half of their senior years. Coach did want them out there as much as possible and I think it was over done.

The good news is that this should not be a problem next year with our talent level and competition for minutes. Rotation should keep everyone fresh.