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23dpg
12-07-2012, 08:02 AM
ESPN insider article.

http://insider.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/blog/_/name/ncbexperts/id/8723605/why-gonzaga-bulldogs-nation-top-team-college-basketball

dnj116
12-07-2012, 08:10 AM
So for those of us "insider" challenged . . .

jazzdelmar
12-07-2012, 08:13 AM
Case for Gonzaga as nation's best team

Ever since I named the Gonzaga Bulldogs as one of my picks to make the Final Four in the preseason, the support I have received from the Zags faithful has been overwhelming. The tweet-in ballots for my candidacy to become mayor of Spokane have continued to roll in, and as a result, I have decided to lay out my platform for Bulldogs supremacy come April.

For those of you wondering whether my enthusiasm for the Zags has been reduced at all following their near-miss Wednesday night against the Washington State Cougars, the answer is no. With the Bulldogs poised to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2), it's time the public was educated on the completeness of this high-major team hiding in a mid-major conference.

There are no empty promises made or flip-flopping on the issues when I make this statement: This team isn't just the best in the West I think they might be the best in the country.

Here are the talking points for my candidacy:

Gonzaga is experienced, and both physically and mentally mature
Led by four-year starter Elias Harris, Mark Few's team has eight contributing players with significant playing experience. The residual effect of this is a team that not only has experience with each other on the court, but understands the grind of a college basketball season. This group knows the importance of putting in work in the weight room, knows how to practice and prepare for games, and isn't vulnerable to hitting the wall in February like teams that heavily rely on freshmen are.

Gonzaga's guard play is excellent
To be an elite team in college basketball, you must have good guard play. In Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr. and David Stockton, the Zags have a complete backcourt. They all have the ability to be a play-starter, a playmaker, and all of them can knock down the 3. As a group they shoot over 40 percent from deep.

Bell is a lockdown defender who runs the court hard, Pangos has a knack for making big shots and Stockton sees the floor well and is a steady ball-handler. They make up a very effective backcourt trio.

Gonzaga has very good frontcourt depth
How many other national title contenders have as many potential resources as the Zags? The aforementioned Harris will leave Spokane as one of the most productive players in Gonzaga history. He scores, rebounds, defends and wins. 7-foot redshirt junior Kelly Olynyk has developed into a complete post player. He can score on the block and knock down a 17-foot jumper, and he averages a rebound every three minutes. Freshman Przemek Karnowski (7-1, 305 pounds) is a mountain masquerading as a man. He has great hands, can score in the basket area and is a terrific passer. He reminds me of Arvydas Sabonis. Junior Sam Dower (6-9) averages nine points per game and a rebound every four minutes as the fourth post in the Zags' rotation.

What having a frontcourt this deep does for you as a coach is give you a unit that can overcome foul trouble to one or more of your top big men. The frontcourt is deep, talented, skilled and tough enough to wear down opposing front lines.

Gonzaga has solid role players
It's not just all about an efficient backcourt and deep frontcourt for the Zags. They also have a pair of excellent role players. Guy Landry Edi and Mike Hart play to their strengths and accept and champion their roles, bringing experience to the Kennel faithful.

Gonzaga has the flexibility to succeed against different types of opponents
In today's game, it is important to have the flexibility to deal with many different playing styles. This Gonzaga team can change defenses in order to alter the tempo of the game. The Bulldogs' zone, for example, takes away penetration, which eliminates potential mismatches and makes it easy for the Zags to run. This ability to play at more than one speed will serve Few's team well come March, as they are as comfortable executing their sets and motion in the halfcourt as they are pitching it ahead in transition. The more ways a team can win, the harder they are to beat.

Expectations are nothing new to Gonzaga. They went from being America's darlings several seasons ago to a program from which much is expected every season. But this season they appear very well-suited to handle the expectations.

Playing in the Old Spice Classic in November, the Bulldogs showed great poise against a well-disciplined, hard-screening Davidson team. This is the type of game that would have given the Bulldogs trouble previously, and not unlike the type of game they might encounter in the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament. On the road against Washington State Wednesday night, the Zags bounced back from a game-tying field goal by the Cougars to make the go-ahead bucket with 2 seconds left (courtesy of Pangos). This team has the character and intangibles to navigate the potential pitfalls of a season at or near the top of the polls.

I understand that my campaign will be met with plenty of skepticism, but remember, my pro-Gonzaga platform is built on substance and facts. Check them out against the Illini on Saturday and you'll see what I mean.

GoGU
12-07-2012, 08:15 AM
So much hype

jazzdelmar
12-07-2012, 08:16 AM
seth has carved out quite a nice cottage industry on such zags talk. lets see how fast he skips out when the zags inevitably lose a game or two.

nevertheless, i see the zags as having a 50-50 chance of beating any but two teams in the top 20. based on recent past, coaching and styles of play, i would put the zags chances vs the 'cuse at 3 in 10 and vs duke 1 in 10. still, things happen in the tourney.

Pargo the Destroyer
12-07-2012, 08:32 AM
Seth is challenging Fran for the highly coveted "Mayor of Spokane" title.

dnj116
12-07-2012, 08:33 AM
Thanks, Jazz.

ZagMan in Philly
12-07-2012, 08:53 AM
seth has carved out quite a nice cottage industry on such zags talk. lets see how fast he skips out when the zags inevitably lose a game or two.

nevertheless, i see the zags as having a 50-50 chance of beating any but two teams in the top 20. based on recent past, coaching and styles of play, i would put the zags chances vs the 'cuse at 3 in 10 and vs duke 1 in 10. still, things happen in the tourney.

1 in 10 vs Duke..yikes.
ok, Jazz, what about against Indiana?

Psychozag
12-07-2012, 08:54 AM
Unfortunately, I think this type of early praise happens every year, and it's the sports equivalent of the 24 hour news cycle. Want to same something boring and won't be met with much controversy? Say Duke or Indiana is the best team in the country. Want to say something that will get lots of hits and people up in arms? Say Gonzaga is the best in the country. The beauty of this statement made in early December is that come March nobody will be holding you to it.

As for me, I want to see our record at the end of December before I start believing we are top 5 good. If we make it through this month with one loss, I will believe it. That means winning 3 of the the games against the Illini, KSU, Baylor, and OSU.

jazzdelmar
12-07-2012, 08:58 AM
1 in 10 vs Duke..yikes.
ok, Jazz, what about against Indiana?

Per Duke-Zags, as Bob Redford says to Michelle Pfeiffer in "Up Close and Personal:" I've been there before.....twice before."

BeamerZag
12-07-2012, 09:01 AM
Not best... but I truly think we have the potential to be top 5. We are playing better team ball than I have ever seen us play... and we are improving. We'll see how this weekend goes

Zag 77
12-07-2012, 09:03 AM
I don't see anything good coming out of it. It just makes the players complacent rather than hungry. For GU teams, it is better to feel slighted and play with with a chip on their shoulders.

U Zig, I Zag
12-07-2012, 09:07 AM
:vomit-smiley-007:

GUZagDenver
12-07-2012, 09:18 AM
I don't see anything good coming out of it. It just makes the players complacent rather than hungry. For GU teams, it is better to feel slighted and play with with a chip on their shoulders.


Good, mentally tough players use stuff like this as motivation. Bad players let themselves get complacent.

Ekrub
12-07-2012, 09:20 AM
This kind of stuff gets me excited. I don't know about you, but espn writers talking about the zags being a FF-NC caliber team is fun as a fan. And putting previous teams propensity to become lax on this team isn't quite fair to me until they actually do just that. So far I haven't seen it. Go Zags.

rennis
12-07-2012, 09:44 AM
anytime anyone named "Seth" annoints Gonzaga with anything I cringe and want to cry, cause it spells Doom.

We are ####ed.

Birddog
12-07-2012, 09:47 AM
I doubt if the illini put this on their bulletin board!

rijman
12-07-2012, 10:22 AM
I have 2 points to make on this topic, listed in order of importance;

1) Someone has obviously hacked Jazz's account and the mods should move swiftly in sorting this out before the imposter has us holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

2) If or when the Zags finish their OOC schedule undefeated I will allow myself to start thinking about the possibility of being one of the top teams in the nation. Until then I have yet to see the Zags beat a ranked team and prove they are worthy of consideration as one of the elite teams.

Point #2 sounds more like a Jazz comment, maybe he hacked my account?

GSHSoldier
12-07-2012, 10:32 AM
This is great. I'm hearing a lot of pub from pundits that the Zags are the #1 team in the Country or a Final 4 team. I can't wait to see how Illiniois matches up Saturday. Obviously, Illinois plays teams of Gonzaga's stature (who I think of more along the lines of Ohio State quality than Michigan/Indiana). Either way, it will be a good warm up game for Illinois before they enter conference play in the best conference, the B1G, in the Nation. And it's not even close..

BobZag
12-07-2012, 10:37 AM
Pump the Brakes. Whoa!

jazzdelmar
12-07-2012, 10:45 AM
No hackers, Rij. At my core I am a cockeyed optimist......but thanks for worrying.





I have 2 points to make on this topic, listed in order of importance;

1) Someone has obviously hacked Jazz's account and the mods should move swiftly in sorting this out before the imposter has us holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

2) If or when the Zags finish their OOC schedule undefeated I will allow myself to start thinking about the possibility of being one of the top teams in the nation. Until then I have yet to see the Zags beat a ranked team and prove they are worthy of consideration as one of the elite teams.

Point #2 sounds more like a Jazz comment, maybe he hacked my account?

jazzdelmar
12-07-2012, 10:46 AM
Pump the Brakes. Whoa!

ot: who is coaching chelsea today? another eye-talian :)....can u pm me, i have a question....thx.

Zagsker
12-07-2012, 10:59 AM
Pump the Brakes. Whoa!

No

siliconzag
12-07-2012, 11:08 AM
We tend to drink a lot of red wine, whereas in Spokane, it appears there is a lot of Jack Daniels consumed, since the Whiskey talk is so abundant. It has been so compelling some years, that it even encouraged me, who is a bit skeptical by nature.

This talk of final four is premature, but being the best team in the country after nearly being road kill in Pullman is plain silly, and I know Sili.

Much like last year, our OOC scheduling has not turned out to be as tough as you might have imagined, as some of the teams (Oklahoma, Clemson) are having off years. Still 9-0 is a good way to begin, and the Zags are a bonafide top 15 team.

If we don't develop a wing threat, and if we fail to defend the 3 pointers on a consistent basis, we are going to get beaten at least twice, and possibly more. Anyway, the whiskey talk is way premature, whether it comes from ESPN analysts or the usual suspects. Calm down, lads, Advent has just started! And as they say, "pride goeth before a fall."

Sili

PS. Quit pickin on Jazz. He is among the most passionate Zag fans on this board. He suffers whenever they lose.

djdallaszag
12-07-2012, 11:14 AM
Junior Sam Dower (6-9) averages nine points per game and a rebound every four minutes as the fourth post in the Zags' rotation.

Interesting that he sees Sam as being 4th on the big man depth chart...

BeamerZag
12-07-2012, 11:58 AM
it's positive attention. I'll take that any day over negative (cough cough Heytvelt cough cough) or no attention (pre-'99)

DixieZag
12-07-2012, 12:00 PM
it's positive attention. I'll take that any day over negative (cough cough Heytvelt cough cough) or no attention (pre-'99)

I was just going to add that it beats reading articles on how much we suck, which is but one alternative.

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
12-07-2012, 12:13 PM
seth has carved out quite a nice cottage industry on such zags talk. lets see how fast he skips out when the zags inevitably lose a game or two.

nevertheless, i see the zags as having a 50-50 chance of beating any but two teams in the top 20. based on recent past, coaching and styles of play, i would put the zags chances vs the 'cuse at 3 in 10 and vs duke 1 in 10. still, things happen in the tourney.

Louisville with Gorgui Dieng would be the toughest match-up for the Zags as of this afternoon. Duke beat Louisville without Dieng. Of course Louisville can be beat and will be beat in the BE this year on occasion. The loss of Mike Marra before the season started however was a pretty big loss for their National Championship hopes. I think Gonzaga matches up well with Duke and Syracuse.

JMHO of course...

BobZag
12-07-2012, 02:05 PM
ot: who is coaching chelsea today? another eye-talian :)....can u pm me, i have a question....thx.

Spanish, and I can't stand him. Bad hire by Roman.

rennis
12-07-2012, 02:36 PM
Considering who Duke & Indiana have already played and dispatched, I can't see how you can make a logical arugment at this point of the season that ANYONE is better than either of those two squads.

We couldn't beat either of those two teams without stellar shooting from both Pangos & Bell. Among other things.

GonzaGAW
12-07-2012, 07:47 PM
Considering who Duke & Indiana have already played and dispatched, I can't see how you can make a logical arugment at this point of the season that ANYONE is better than either of those two squads.

We couldn't beat either of those two teams without stellar shooting from both Pangos & Bell. Among other things.

right on.

look the zags are good this year, and few may be correct his best team.
but i agree with bobzag, lets slow it down some.

personally i do not care for all the national hype and talk of best in the nation (with sincere apology to val), whatever happened to letting our actions speak for ourselves. now if we make the sweet 16 or elite 8 the national chatter will be once again how the zags always under achieve.

look, the team looks good, 9-0 is great! but we have not played as difficult a schedule as we have in past years, no top 25 team (until tomorrow) and only one true road game so far, and only two before prior to conference play.

that said, go zags! kick some butt saturday

Kiddwell
12-07-2012, 07:54 PM
Can we first be the Best Team in Illinois?



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