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View Full Version : We're big, we're talented, but are we athletic enough for a Final Four run



FuManShoes
10-17-2012, 03:16 PM
Yeah, I'm stirring the ###. Only point is that I, like many of you, am quite excited about the potential of this team and the depth at many positions. But the weakness, or at least the question mark, would appear to be athleticism - lateral speed, length, hops.

Karno will be a load in the middle but will he be a rebounding machine and be able to keep up with the pace of play? If not, who will? Bell, Pangos and Drags will be great on the perimeter, but how well will they defend elite guards? Dower and Kelly will be really skilled inside-outside threats, but will they be tough enough in a Big East or Big 12 battle? And GLE and Elias will cause fits for lesser players but has their defense improved enough to counter peers?

We'll see, but this is the question mark I have about this team, because the talent and depth are clearly there.

Mr Vulture
10-17-2012, 03:45 PM
I think this is one of our most athletic teams we have had. Our inside guys are comparable athletically to 90% of all college post players. Throw in athletes like Edi, GBJ, and even an underrated guy like Pangos and I think that we are just fine.

Reborn
10-17-2012, 03:50 PM
This thread points to the same thing as the thread on Few's statement about the toughness of the team as his only concern....don't you think????

Hogan
10-17-2012, 04:07 PM
A really interesting question. My answer would be yes, in large part because of Harris and GLE. This is one reason why I tend to think this is our year ,rather than next year as some others have projected.

RockandRollJames
10-17-2012, 04:25 PM
I just like that p-o-t is censored.

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
10-17-2012, 04:55 PM
Hi.

Oh no a black kitty cat!!! We are doomed! LOL Just kidding! :) In Great Britain, Ireland and Japan I think they represent good luck. Anyways if an Egyptian goddess called Bast or the cat goddess like black cats we are ok!

Whew!!!!! Gee whiz!! LOL

I think it will all come down to some intangibles that revolve around leadership and just a little luck or a break in the tournament in 1 game. Leadership by committee can work but I'm hoping that Senior Elias and GLE eventually step up to take on that role. Can Kevin do it as a Soph? YES

UConn basically willed themselves to a National Championship with less talent then this Zags team. For instance Niels Giffey, Roscoe Smith, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander and Jeremy Lamb were all Freshman. Kemba Walker was the Alpha dog as a Junior who took on the leadership role. The previous year the team Kemba Walker was on as a Sophomore lost in the first round of the NIT.

So what happened to this Connecticut team the next year? Lets start with with recruiting misses. None of the guys mentioned above were 5***** recruits. As a matter of fact Brandon Knight (Kentucky), CJ Leslie (NC State), Cory Joseph (Texas), Josh Selby (Kansas) and Cleveland Melvin (Depaul) all rejected UConn. So instead they went with all the other players I mentioned.

A lineup of Walker, Lamb (Fresh), Smith (Fresh), Oriakhi and Olander (Fresh) started for Connecticut. The Butler lineup in the final was Howard, Smith, Vanzant, Mack (NBA) and Stigall. Butler also as we all know got there the previous year. The pundits are hype machines and the Zags sit nicely at preseason #22.

This article summarizes great leadership and it would be great to find this in Spokane because every season has a few valleys...http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/tournament/2011/columns/story?columnist=oneil_dana&id=6294312

After Walker left UConn barely made the NCAA tournament despite adding an NBA lottery pick in Andre Drummond, a borderline 5***** recruit in DeAndre Daniels and Mr. Basketball in Illinois in Ryan Boatright. Why? NO leadership or chemistry. I think the Zags have the chemistry!

I think this Zags team can win it because there are no dominant teams at the top and the Zags have depth and skill. When Mike Mara went down at Louisville that 1 will hurt as the Cards look to get back to the Final 4. They will still be a very very deep and talented team but missing him as a shooter is so very painful.

One thing is you can't be afraid to hit someone :)! That is toughness. Play physical. Izzo instills that in his teams every year. That is why he is the best coach in America in my opinion. I think after this year people will be reflecting on coach Few's career and he will have taken the first step to a Hall of Fame coaching career. He has had an amazing career and it can be a Hall of Fame career. He is young at just 50 with about 342 wins. He can still get to 800 wins and even if he doesn't a National Championship this year will put him on his way to a Hall of Fame career.

It just takes that 1 big breakthrough year to open the door to the basketball Hall of Fame. At his age he has so much to look forward to and plenty of wins.

I say we get it this year...:)

Warmest Always,
Val

JPtheBeasta
10-17-2012, 04:57 PM
I just like that #-#-# is censored.

Fixed it for you :]

Oregonzagnut
10-17-2012, 10:45 PM
I think it will all come down to some intangibles that revolve around leadership

I agree. But I think it will come down to Harris or Pangos. GLE is a Sr but his impact and role will be less powerful this year. This is truly a deep deep team. To think about the guys on our 3rd team would make many Div 1 teams drool.:drool:

To try and decide who our 2rd team is crazy. Hart, Stockton, Barham, Bakamus or Dranginis?

Dranginis 2 time Idaho state POY!! WOW! And he redshirted.

hooter73
10-18-2012, 07:55 AM
Every year when watching the east coast teams in the last two weeks of the NCAAs, it just looks like they are on a different level. Syracuse torched us with athleticism a couple of years ago if i remember right. We've had a Pargo here and a Downs there, but most of our guys dont play with athleticism. Gray had an unbelievable vertical, but he never really combined it with his skills.

This year GU just looks closer to one of those athletic teams. We still wont rely on it, as we shouldnt, but Bell, Harris, GLE, KD, Dower (to an extent)... we are at least one of the more athletic GU teams that we've ever had. How much that actually matters, idk but it seems like the big name teams that win a lot in March have what we might have.

zag944
10-18-2012, 08:11 AM
I don't think we are one of the most athletic teams or even close to it. I dont think that makes the Final Four an impossibility though.

While I wouldnt put money on it against some teams, I think we can beat anybody. And I dont mean that in a corny "anybody can beat anybody on any given day" type way. GU can and does play at the big boy level and has beaten many of the great programs out there. I think that's all you need to be a potential Final Four team.

jim77
10-18-2012, 09:36 AM
I don't think we are one of the most athletic teams or even close to it. I dont think that makes the Final Four an impossibility though.

While I wouldnt put money on it against some teams, I think we can beat anybody. And I dont mean that in a corny "anybody can beat anybody on any given day" type way. GU can and does play at the big boy level and has beaten many of the great programs out there. I think that's all you need to be a potential Final Four team.

Agreed...the 99 team was TOUGH.

However, a lot of teams are gonna have a hard time dealing with our size....if the opposing team can't deal with a big front court...its gonna be a long night for them. Some BS 3 forward lineup with guys 6' 6"...won't get it done against us. Its bad enough our front court is huge....its even worse that they can pass...and shoot 3's.

Oregonzagnut
10-18-2012, 11:06 AM
a lot of teams are gonna have a hard time dealing with our size....if the opposing team can't deal with a big front court...its gonna be a long night for them.

Likewise, I can't find any single player who isn't going to have a hard time dealing with Karno's size. Karno is truly going to shut down most of the other centers he faces. Especially after a year under his belt.

rennis
10-18-2012, 01:44 PM
I really don't see this as being one of our most athletic teams. Skilled, smart, crafty and great chemistry is a certainty. We're not going to roll over teams with athleticism though. Not against other elite teams anyway.

Butler's FF teams weren't supremely athletic either. But they still beat you. ;)

Baldwinzag
10-18-2012, 01:51 PM
I'd just like to win the WCC again before I even think about NCAA...

right now -- until proven otherwise -- our Zags are still the "runner-ups".

We have A LOT to prove after just losing a 7' foot NBA center to the LA Lakers, one who anchored the middle, held our defense in check, and was our 2nd best FT shooter...

We are talking about a team who took 2nd in our own Conference & our own Conference Tournament.

Are we better than last year? Maybe. Potentially. Logic and experience would say yes, but I have yet to see it played out. Our first game of the season is vs a soon-to-be Top-25 team in WVU, so we'll see...

Until we win our own conference again, a post-season birth is not just handed out like Halloween Candy, we gotta earn.

I like this posed question, yet won't be able to give an answer 'til around the New Year.

Oregonzagnut
10-18-2012, 02:08 PM
I really don't see this as being one of our most athletic teams. Skilled, smart, crafty and great chemistry is a certainty. We're not going to roll over teams with athleticism though. Not against other elite teams anyway.

Butler's FF teams weren't supremely athletic either. But they still beat you. ;)

I can't agree or disagree with that because I haven't seen anything yet. But what are you basing that on? I see an entire team collectively with one of our BEST ever frontcourts AND combined with one of our best back courts AND then combined with one of our deepest benches in every aspect such as size, strength and skills. Even basketball IQ seems to be high in every player.

I see athleticism. I see the complete package.

I assume when people mean athleticism, they mean strength, speed and hops. Size and skills are secondary when defining athleticism, IMO.

75Zag
10-18-2012, 03:25 PM
In the not too distant past, the word "athleticism" when applied to college basketball was secret code for young black men with insane speed, super human vertical leaping ability, and a "wingspan" that would make a Condor proud. If that definition still applies, I don't see this version of the Bulldogs as having a whole lot of athleticism.

On the other hand, if the meaning of the term has been modified to include big and tall men with decent skills and lots of hustle but not extraordinary speed accompanied by smart and crafty and good shooting but not too tall guards, then I think GU will have an endless supply of athleticism.

Go Bulldogs!

CarolinaZagFan
10-18-2012, 04:42 PM
:ban:
I just like that p-o-t is censored.

JAGzag
10-18-2012, 04:55 PM
Please no Final Four talk. Let's just reclaim the WCC outright ... I hate how SMC piecemeals the tourney crown with their one title to claim they have a streak ... not sure why, it just iritates me. Go Zags.

3zagda
10-18-2012, 05:50 PM
Baldwin, You need more Kool-Aid! Dude we are undefeated!
Back to the thread topic, Athleticism.
IMHO, we have as much athleticism as any Zag team in the last 10 years(my time horizon for following the Zags). During that time the Zags have always been thin on athleticism. This has always been a "mid-major" weakness, compared to the elite teams. Many of those years we have had 1 or 2 athletic guys, like Ronny, Knight, Pargo, Downs etc.
This year ( as well as much of last season) we have Edi, Bell and Harris. That's 3 probable starters that are very athletic. Sounds like Edi has shown significant improvement since last year. You have to figure Bell has improved and could really have a breakout year with a full year on campus. and I think Harris will be our best player.
As Zag teams go, this is team has PLENTY of athleticism. Enough to go far...

NotoriousZ
10-18-2012, 07:04 PM
Please no Final Four talk. Let's just reclaim the WCC outright ... I hate how SMC piecemeals the tourney crown with their one title to claim they have a streak ... not sure why, it just iritates me. Go Zags.

I want to beat the Mary's three times this year, and then I shall get out my broom.

Oregonzagnut
10-18-2012, 08:25 PM
I want to beat the Mary's three times this year, and then I shall get out my broom.

I will get out my broom, give it a big kiss and Dance with it. Literally DANCE with it. If we sweep 'em we will be dancin' for sure.