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strikezag
08-14-2007, 10:13 AM
Objectively, the potential talent this year is unparalleled in Gonzaga's history. But I can't shake the notion that we are being unrealistic in our expectations this season.

The following players are either freshman, or have played so little that their ability to contribute on this level is unknown: Ira Brown, Austin Daye, Steven Gray, Robert Sacre, Theo Davis, Will Foster, Larry Gurganious, and Andrew Sorenson. That comprises the majority of the team.

Of those players, with experience, Kuso is a great energy guy and can bang underneath with the best of them, but he isn't exactly an offensive threat. Pendo is the heart and soul of the team. However, with the exception of a few games toward the end of last season, he has traditionally been more of a role player (but a very important one). Bouldin was impressive last year, and I have high hopes given the normal skill progression from freshman to sophmore year. But in my mind, there are only three proven studs this year in Pargo, Heytvelt, and Downs.

So the question again is: are Zag fans being too pollyanish regarding this season?

former1dog
08-14-2007, 10:17 AM
Too optimistic?!?!?!?!

Its like I don't even know you anymore StrikeZag!

;)

lothar98zag
08-14-2007, 10:23 AM
Are Zag fans too optimistic about this season?


Optimistic? Yes. Too optimistic? Personally, I don't think that's possible.

strikezag
08-14-2007, 10:34 AM
Frankly, I have never been more excited (or "optimistic") about the team. My work and personal life suffer due to my Zag obsession. But there are an awful lot of unknowns on the team.

lothar98zag
08-14-2007, 10:39 AM
But there are an awful lot of unknowns on the team.
That is very true. But it wouldn't be the offseason w/o unknowns, would it?

Angelo Roncalli
08-14-2007, 10:44 AM
So the question again is: are Zag fans being too pollyanish regarding this season?

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

I guess you could take the Panglossian view that Zags fans' collective optimism (to the extent such exists) is merely a mask hiding covering doubt and despair. Those who take the pessimistic approach will never be disappointed.

roxdoc
08-14-2007, 10:50 AM
For the early part of the season - particularly the tough games - when the new players are just learning the ropes and the "jell" process is still underway we may be too optimistic. We need to cut the newbies some slack and not get down if there is a speed bump or two. As the season progresses (without injuries or incidents!) my optimism knows no bounds. :D

former1dog
08-14-2007, 10:55 AM
Those who take the pessimistic approach will never be disappointed.

Agreed!

Wisdom commensurate or beyond your years? :D

cbbfanatic
08-14-2007, 10:56 AM
i wouldnt necessarily say too "optimistic"

they are too "something," but not convinced that "optimistic" is the word.

its as if many forget about all the good teams around the country that are bringing back/in more talent than the zags - combined with toughness, defensive culture, etc. there are many fanbases out there that think, either realistically or not, that their team is in for a potentially special run - but only few teams can really achieve this.

at the end of the day, i just think SOME zag fans are a LITTLE delusional about the state of their program.

jpwils
08-14-2007, 11:31 AM
It is not overly optimistic to expect a WCC championship given an injury-free
season and the coming together of veterans and newbies and those coming back from suspension.

Few teams have arguably 13 solid players who could contribute given the opportunity.

Whether or not we can win the toughest OOC games is a question mark early in the season that all teams face. If we can win two thirds of them, and I feel we can, we can expect a top 15 ranking or better.

The reasons I feel we can and should are...

1. Depth- more fouls to give at most positions , although Point Guard is a question mark behind Pargo.

2. Depth- intense battles in pre-season practice sharpen the iron of the survivors. Games should be easier in many circumstances than practice.

3. Variety of overall roster's skillset... as previously mentioned, we can
deploy better fullcourt defenders, skilled shooters from outside, penetrators,
big men who can post up, big men who float outside for 3's, and give breaks
to tired players so as to save them for crunchtime. In short, we should have different ways to win a tight game this year.

4. New focus on D-addition of an experienced coach in Coach Giacoletti
is bound to make an impression on role players and starters wishing to earn
minutes.

5. A year or two of previous experience will make us more matuire on court this year....fewer turnovers, fewer forced shots, playing within one's game better,etc.

6. Senior leadership...Pendo is solid as our leader.
Josh is back and has something to prove. Downs has something to prove and claim as well. Pargo should have an edge to his play that screams the desire
to go pro and show off in the big Dance!

These are my main reasons...we will make the dance but need to have enough in the tank to respond to difficult matchups in the Big Dance.
Our Big men are more skilled and tested for the Big Dance than last year.
We have more fouls to give at those positions. Therefore I feel Sweet Sixteen is realistic, perhaps better.

CDC84
08-14-2007, 11:43 AM
The way I will put it is this....this team has more upside than any Zag team ever due to the raw talent, but there are so many question marks going into the season that it's hard to say how it will all turn out in the end. If you count Theo, the team has 5 newcomers. As talented as these guys might be, not a single one of them have a lick on D-1 experience. Josh and Theo need to continue to show dedication towards the game itself and their teammates, and we had better hope both Bouldin and Pargo stay healthy throughout the season.

It's going to be a fun team to watch though. And it's a team that will have a very different feel than previous Zag teams. I also believe the addition of RayG to the staff is going to help Few in a lot of ways.

Ideally, you would like to see the entire team come back for 2008/09 season, because that team could be something special. Not only will everyone be experienced, but the Zags will have one (for certain) or two backup PG's on the roster.

pbriz
08-14-2007, 12:37 PM
No, unless there are significant injuries. If not then there are high expectations for this team

tyra
08-14-2007, 12:46 PM
Hard to answer the question of whether the fan base is "too optimsitic" unless we know what that optimism represents. For me, I am "optimsitic" that the team will win the WCC and go to the dance. I am "optimistic" that the team will win in Round One. Beyond that, I think it remains to be seen (injuries, luck, chemistry etc). Less than that, and I start getting too "optimsitic" for the following year and will probably engage in way too many hours of post mortem analysis.

Zags-Bsee
08-14-2007, 01:41 PM
Unless you are a dominant team like Florida, March is about 90% plus likely to end with us wanting to cry like Adam, but just not willing to do it. (I can remember clicking on the ESPN link and having to see the very painful UCLA game there for almost a year.)

My memory says that a lot of extremely good teams got bounced early the last couple of years.

Or to make it really simple, the Vegas odds are going to be very close to the truth. If your think the Zags have a significantly better chance then their odds, then you are too optimistic.

So, heck yes I am too optimistic. Our odds are probably about 50 to 1. What is the fun of focusing on that. But thanks for ruining my fantasy. :)

Next you are going to tell me I don't get her, either. I used to like this board.
http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/1286/jessicaalbaik5.jpg

Now here is a better question, Pendo hits the game winning shot for the National Championship or you get her. Which do you choose. There, now my world is back in fantasy land.

JLGutrocks
08-14-2007, 01:51 PM
Pendo, any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m180/JLGutrocks/pendo2.jpg

kylasdad
08-14-2007, 04:10 PM
Yeah, I'm too optimistic but that is what makes it so fun. You just never know what may happen...

lawzag
08-15-2007, 08:00 AM
of course we are too optimistic, that's what being a fan is all about - loving your team, knowing your team is better than all the rest, cheering for your team when everyone else says there's not a chance in h*** that your team will win, crying & moping when your team loses because they were "robbed."

Fortunately, we all know that only the first 2 items above apply to this year's Zags because they have the talent, the skill and the coaching to at the very least make it to the sweet-sixteen & probably beyond!:D

I love the preseason revelry & optimism!

Russell Bevan
08-15-2007, 08:37 AM
Some of the folks here crack me up.

Pargo is our best pure PG since some guy named John.

Micha is a Buger Boy who should explode this year. He will likely have a normal Freshman to Soph. level of improvement, the largest of his college career.

Ditto for Bouldin, who is a super talent. Maybe not the pure shot of Blake, but a better passer.

Josh, if he is focused, is one of the best bigmen in the country. Remember UNC.

Pendo is a great leader and warrior.

We have our role guys:
Kuso, boards and tough fouls.
Theo and Will, shot blocking and D.
Austin and Stephen, instant O.
Ira, a leader and potential Mr. Everything, points and boards.

Are we to optimistic? No.

tyra
08-15-2007, 08:50 AM
The way I will put it is this....this team has more upside than any Zag team ever due to the raw talent, but there are so many question marks going into the season that it's hard to say how it will all turn out in the end. If you count Theo, the team has 5 newcomers. As talented as these guys might be, not a single one of them have a lick on D-1 experience.

For exactly the reasons stated above, our optimism this year needs to be tempered with a great deal of patience as the coach and team gains experience (especially the newcomers), and figures out how to gel and play as a team. For as much depth and talent as this team has, we shouldn't expect it to play at its eventual optimum immediately. Let's give them time to become the team they can be. I am committed to enjoying the journey knowing that not every step along the way will be without its challenges. Just a preseason caveat.

TheZagPhish
08-15-2007, 06:31 PM
...Instant optimism regenerator.

Love that post! Enough to shake off the default Cartesian skepticism and find anew my happy-go-lucky positivism.

MickMick
08-15-2007, 07:47 PM
Some of the folks here crack me up.

Pargo is our best pure PG since some guy named John.

Micha is a Buger Boy who should explode this year. He will likely have a normal Freshman to Soph. level of improvement, the largest of his college career.

Ditto for Bouldin, who is a super talent. Maybe not the pure shot of Blake, but a better passer.

Josh, if he is focused, is one of the best bigmen in the country. Remember UNC.

Pendo is a great leader and warrior.

We have our role guys:
Kuso, boards and tough fouls.
Theo and Will, shot blocking and D.
Austin and Stephen, instant O.
Ira, a leader and potential Mr. Everything, points and boards.

Are we to optimistic? No.


Bravo :clap:

I'm glad I'm not the only one that is a "little delusional".

We have covered this NCAA tournament stuff before. The difference between a 10 seed and a 1 seed narrows with every season.

For the tournament:

Is the team on a roll?
Is the team getting good matchups?
Is the team on the favorable side of Lady Luck?

What is over optimistic about that? There are roughly 15-25 teams that have a realistic chance of winning it all. Of those, there are probably 5-15 teams that stand a very good chance of winning it all.

So ask yourself....Are the Zags in that last 5-15 group? If the answer is yes, then no, you are not too optimistic.

Under the right conditions, I think they are final four. I wouldn't say that about any other Western team outside of the PAC-10.

saintzag
08-15-2007, 08:14 PM
What it is really going to take for the rubber to meet the road and optimism to equate to reality, is genuine confidence by each and every member of the team that they can and will win .To install this level of confidence is the ultimate task for Mark Few and his staff.

MDABE80
08-15-2007, 08:15 PM
I haven't seen too much optimism on the Board. Sure the Zags have oodles of talent. Maybe more than other teams we've had. Last year we all thought it would be a rebuilding year. It was. This upcoming year, as best I can tell, everyone knows we have great players..some veterans and some new kids.

If we have luck and if the team gels, I've said all along that it's a Sweet 16 year.....maybe Elite 8 with some good fortune. With this much talent nobody should be shocked. I'm not sure of who will be the key to a higher advancement. I think Pargo, Josh, Micah, Matt, Pendo, etc., should make quite a splash. Considering the NBA.net site says 4 of our guys could be NBA level talent, it kinda looks like other have noticed too.

If the new recruits make a big impact to accompany the veterans, the Zags will be on everyone's mind. Nobody has said this year's edition will be world beaters. I think its best to keep this type of talk quiet anyway. It would be most "UnZaglike" to be boastful.:) Nonetheless, expect some major talk if we perform like we're capable. If this translates into Elite 8 or FF is unknown right now. Let's see a few tough games first.

Rangerzag
08-15-2007, 09:14 PM
I haven't hocked the house or retirement funds to bet the Zags on the nose to take a national championship. I haven't paid stubhub prices for Final Four tickets 'cause I am convinced the Zags will be there. I am not that optimistic ;^)

I think all the pieces are in place for one of the best seasons on record. I refuse to not be optimistic. No pre-exhibition game injuries have been announced. The first practice has not even taken place. Anything is possible.

We have a great coaching staff. We have tallented, atheletic players. We seem to have a very good schedule lining up. I see absolutely no reason to not be optimistic, except unexplained pessimism which I do not have.

I am not concerned with odds, or the law of averages. Others are welcome to weigh those factors otherwise. I choose not to.

Until something concrete occurs to weigh against my optimism, I choose to let it run rampant. It is my optimism and I am dern well entitled to it if I choose!!!!!!!!!

Your mileage may vary ;^)

kdoggy
08-15-2007, 09:20 PM
I think Heytvelt is the key. He can the factor of the Zags being a top 5 type of team or a major drag. I don't see a ton of in between.

Banking on a guy like heytvelt is always a source of some worry. We are gonna need a mentally tough Josh because he is going to get a torrent of abuse from opposing fans. If a he sulks or doesn't perform, it will drag the team down. If he plays tough, like a man posessed, he inspires the troops and the skys the limit.

LongIslandZagFan
08-16-2007, 08:03 AM
I think Heytvelt is the key. He can the factor of the Zags being a top 5 type of team or a major drag. I don't see a ton of in between.

Banking on a guy like heytvelt is always a source of some worry. We are gonna need a mentally tough Josh because he is going to get a torrent of abuse from opposing fans. If a he sulks or doesn't perform, it will drag the team down. If he plays tough, like a man posessed, he inspires the troops and the skys the limit.

I think having Theo, Kuso and Sacre doing time at the 5 would open him up to play a touch more perimeter than he did last year. I think his game is more Dirk Nowitzki in style and he'd benefit greatly from playing the 4 instead. But Theo and him down low on D will mean lots of balls going into the stands. :)