View Full Version : Andy Katz: "Is this Gonzaga's Final Four Year?"

11-26-2012, 08:54 AM
Andy Katz's Blog (http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/blog/_/name/katz_andy/id/8677228/gonzaga-final-four-chances-dukes-quinn-cook-more-college-basketball) is entitled: "Is this Gonzaga's Final Four Year?" with the following:

Gonzaga has been talked up for quite some time as a possible Final Four team. But it's hard to ignore that this really may be the year for the Bulldogs. The landscape is ripe for Gonzaga to make a run. The Zags are so deep, and Kelly Olynyk is just getting started as a productive player. Mark Few kept being coy in the preseason about how good this squad could be, but the Zags proved in the semifinals and finals in Orlando that the ceiling is high.

11-26-2012, 08:56 AM
Also from ESPN, player of the week honors go to Elias Harris:

Player of the Weekend: Elias Harris
After leading Gonzaga over Oklahoma on Friday, Harris put up 24 points on 9-for-11 from the field against Davidson on Sunday to capture the Old Spice Classic title. Harris added 10 rebounds and two blocks. In two career games against Davidson, Harris is averaging 25.5 points per game on 80 percent shooting.

Mr Vulture
11-26-2012, 08:57 AM
I think it is way to early to put these type of expectations on this team. I see a team that has alot of potential but also needs to continue to improve, particularly with ball security.

A Final Four, while certainly not unrealistic, is more than what I would "expect" from this team. The Zags can play with anyone in the country on any given day, without a doubt. However, let's see how they develop throughout the year before putting this on them.

11-26-2012, 09:17 AM
Over the course of this tourney run we've shown we can beat anyone. It's just a matter of putting ourselves in the best possible position to play well in the tournament, where anything can happen.

During the 03-04 to 05-06 strech, we had a 2, 3 and 3 seed, the best we've gotten three years in a row. I think this team can get through this schedule with few enough losses to get us back at that level of the bracket. Looking at the schedule I cant imagine we are going to be the Vegas underdog in any games except Ok St. on the road....maybe BYU or SMC on the road but I really doubt it. This isnt to say we will only have 1-3 losses...but I just wouldnt be suprised if we win 4 or 5 more games than we typically do.

Obviously you can't just write yourself in to the next round against lower seeds, as two of those GU teams learned the hard way....but it would be really nice to not face a tournament buzzsaw/top 3 seed in the 2nd round, as we have in probably 75% of these tourneys we've been to.

11-26-2012, 10:00 AM
the ceiling is high, as high as any Zag team I can remember. that's pretty exciting

in a rush to talk final four already? no. but the national media loves the Zags before the New Year all the time, even our beloved Mr. Katz

still, seems no doubt the ceiling is high for this team, which is truly exciting...and means nothing now except maybe as an ultimate goal to reach potential perhaps. where that would put them would be pretty high up there I'd bet. but things have to go right, stay healthy, etc.. it's November

Mr Vulture
11-26-2012, 10:09 AM
My guess is that we will end up with 3-4 losses on the year, which is not bad. We have a good enough OOC schedule that I can see us hitting a hot team or having an off night. I also believe that we will likely have 5 or 6 games against BYU and St Marys with the conference tournament. I would be very surprised if we won every one of those games. I also believe that a couple of other teams in conference are good enough to surprise us on the road with our typical target.

If we go into the NCAA tournament with 28+ wins, I think we will be a Top Four seed easily, with the potential to be a really high seed. It will all come down to who we beat and avoiding the bad loss. This team has great potential and a real chance this year.

11-26-2012, 10:17 AM
Let's win the WCC first and the Tournament in Vegas before we get all hyped up -- this kind of talk swells heads.

Go Zags!!

11-26-2012, 10:40 AM
I think the assessment is fair, but remember that from a strictly quantitative perspective that the higher a team is valued, the more likely it is that they "underperform." A figure of how the team finishes against the probability of them finishing there would be very right skewed... So yeah, expecting any one team to make it to the FF is unfair, but I think discussing the possibility of GU playing in the FF is warranted.

11-26-2012, 11:07 AM
this is true. I think there has been some leadership in our program that didn't embrace the added pressure of a better seed, just happy we got in syndrome. I hope this year is different.

Get a top 4 seed, have some fun, and let it rip. If we "underperform" I will still be happy that we gave ourselves the best chance.

11-26-2012, 11:43 AM
Fun ESPN Podcast with Katz and Greenburg (http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=8677771), raving about the Zags.

11-26-2012, 12:08 PM
Fun ESPN Podcast with Katz and Greenburg (http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=8677771), raving about the Zags.

Zags discussion starts at about 16-17 minutes. Thanks ZN!

11-26-2012, 12:22 PM
Who knows what can happen in a season- there could be injuries or we get a terrible seed where we simply do not match up well or the team we play can not miss 3s all game. In addition to talent it takes luck- either positive or negitive- postive the ball bounces off an opposing player in the final thirty seconds or negitive we get injuries or the ref does not see a play at the end where our player is fouled. You need to be good AND lucky.

If there is an example of that it is Notre Dame. Stanford did score at the end, Notre Dame had two players on the field wearing number two and Pitt would have gotten it first and goal at the 3 and instead they had to go for the field goal which they missed or then there is Oregon the filed goal bounched out inside of in, not getting the Stanford fumble in over time or not scoring on the long run where Anthony should have tackled the guy. So there are a lot of things that need to happen which are lucky.

When the announcer said GU is not a 17 ranked team but is in the top ten. My poor wife says o lord, you are going to get your hopes up once again- just like football season- Yes I am- Go Zags

and there is a silver lining in every cloud. Thanks for Stanford I saved a very very lot of money. Will need it to go to Atlanta

11-26-2012, 12:39 PM
I don't know how good or successful this team will be this season. Neither does anyone else in fact. Unfortunately, the print and voice media have to find ways to attract attention. Nothing gets more attention than opining about a team reaching very high goals especially when the named team is on a six oh run. I don't recall ever hearing the Coaches at Duke, N.C., Syracuse, Louisville nodding their heads enthusiastically when the Media 'anoints' the team as THE ultimate team to beat in a particular season.

The Zags are a good team. If they are to become a 'great team' it will be when the season is over and the results are in. Basketball 'pundits' announcing their beliefs early in a 30 game season reminds me of the time Ohio State's football coach, Woody Hayes, was asked why he rarely threw the football. Hayes answered: "When a pass is thrown, 7 things can happen and 6 of them are bad". Well, telling 18-22 year olds that 'this is the year' everytime the team plays a game makes Woody Hayes look damned smart in my opinion.

Lets play the games and see what happens.

11-26-2012, 01:47 PM
I don't think the team should get wrapped up in the hype and strive to get better. They need to work hard and continue to work on free throws.

But, heck, we are fans. I rather we dream big and have us all win it all. Why not dream of the final four and winning it all? This team is has the pieces and coaching to be a Zag team for the ages. The nature of being a fan is being wrapped up and living in the expectation that your team is the best team that ever wore a uniform. And I am a fan and not a realistic prognosticator. I know their are fans of Duke, Indiana, Kentucky that dream the same way. In fact most of their fans believe that way. Why not us?

Let me put my zags glasses back on. It is fun and joyous to think that they will every game. Since, I lose no money or anything else if they do lose, I lose nothing by celebrating their wins. And if they do lose, then I am disappointed for a little bit, but I shake of the dust and put the glasses back on again and think they will will it all with only one lose.

Time for us fans to up our game and believe!!!!

11-26-2012, 01:54 PM
I think it is way to early to put these type of expectations on this team.

It isn't way to early to put these type of expectations on this team. It is WAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY too early to put these type of expectations on this team.

11-26-2012, 02:04 PM
We're good. We know it and the team knows it. A #1-3 seed is attainable if we don't lose the easy ones and come out with only 2-4 losses.

I do wish the media would keep out of it though!

U Zig, I Zag
11-26-2012, 02:13 PM
Long ways to go. Looking at those listed ahead of us (and some of those behind us) I notice several classic big-time programs and some up and comers. I have watched several them play this year already - not sure we are in the same league (yet) as Louisville, Duke and Mich. Mich in particular plays very well.

We are gonna lose one and the board will implode (as is our habit) -but I do feel this team has all the pieces to finish on their own terms and not be outclassed by a UNC, etc. The one situation where I would like someone to step up is the 3 - we need an offensive presence there. GLE/Hart/Kyle fill different roles there, but I wish we had a traditional Big-6 quality slasher. good thing is we got plenty of time to improve... :)

11-26-2012, 04:10 PM
We don't have any weak spots. The 3 with Edi, Hart, Drag make it solid now.

11-26-2012, 05:17 PM
there are two parts to the season:

1) everything that determines tournament seed.
2) the tournament itself.

1 or 2 losses doesn't derail part 1. but a derailed part 1 means a real tough part 2. so we need to minimize losses to get a top 3 seed, which we are in line for now (3*4=12)