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View Full Version : Expect the Zags to be overlooked in the 2013/14 preseason rankings



CDC84
04-08-2013, 01:40 PM
...that will be coming out soon after the national title game. One guy has his out right now:

http://basketball.realgm.com/article/227109/2013-2014-Preseason-Top-25

Of course these rankings should never be done until: 1) kids decide on the NBA draft 2) spring HS recruits decide where they are going to go 3) Juco kids decide where they are going to go 4) Key D-1 transfers (example: Tulane's Josh Davis) decide where they are going to go.

The author above feels that Gonzaga is on the outside looking in as far as being a top 25 team next year (assuming Olynyk leaves). His reasoning: Sam Dower has to make up for the scoring void left behind by Harris and Olynyk. No mention of Karnowski and how he might be after a full offseason in Spokane to rebuild his body, work with the coaches on his skill set, etc.

What analysts are going to totally overlook with next year's team is the impact Gerard Coleman is going to have. As a sophomore at Providence in the Big East, Coleman averaged 13.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 2.1 APG. The Zags almost got no scoring at the second wing position this year. That changes next year. With a redshirt year at Gonzaga under a coaching staff that is known for offensively developing players, I wouldn't be surprised if Coleman makes up for most of Elias Harris' scoring load by himself. The addition of Coleman will also elevate the play of Pangos and Bell.

Olynyk would be impossible to replace. He was a Wooden Award finalist and is an NBA first rounder. But I expect to see a transfer (D-1 or juco) to help fortify the frontcourt, and I expect Angel Nunez will help to some degree once he becomes eligible in mid-December.

Whether the prognosticators think it or not, Gonzaga will be a top 25 team at some point next season.

rijman
04-08-2013, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the heads up. The analysts had the Zags ranked 20-25 this past pre season, so what do they know. They also had Kentucky pre season #3 with a team of freshmen.

As Gordon Gecko said in Wall Street and I say to all those analysts, "You stop sending me information, and you start getting me some." And this is what I think of so called analysts as a whole "Their analysts, they don't know preferred stock from live stock, alright."

WallaWallaZag
04-08-2013, 02:05 PM
What analysts are going to totally overlook with next year's team is the impact Gerard Coleman is going to have. As a sophomore at Providence in the Big East, Coleman averaged 13.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 2.1 APG. The Zags almost got no scoring at the second wing position this year. That changes next year. With a redshirt year at Gonzaga under a coaching staff that is known for offensively developing players, I wouldn't be surprised if Coleman makes up for most of Elias Harris' scoring load by himself. The addition of Coleman will also elevate the play of Pangos and Bell.

while i agree that the staff has a good reputation for developing players offensively, the track record isn't so clear for players with coleman's skillset...especially from the wing position. staff is best known for developing point guards like pangos, raivio, dickau etc. with pargo being the closest to coleman (but still a pg). pmac, meech, arop etc. are probably more like coleman in terms of skilset.

SteelZag
04-08-2013, 02:09 PM
Gerard Coleman is going to be a huge asset for the Zags. While at Providence, in his games against elite teams such as Louisville and Syracuse, his PPG avg. was actually higher than his career totals.

He will bring a new dimension to our offense that was sorely missed this past season. Hopefully, his skills can rub off on KD and others and vice versa.

The scoring next year will be more balanced, which in my view, will mean it will be harder to guard five potential scorers as opposed to shutting down 2-3
scorers.

I'm looking forward to next season. GO ZAGS!

BobZag
04-08-2013, 02:16 PM
Zags could flirt with the tail-end of the Top-25, all depending on the quality of big (or two bigs) that comes in. If it's Davis from Tulane, or Diaz from K-State, or some other similar skilled big or two, the frontcourt's step back might only be a baby step. (Katz and others adjust their polls as changes happen.)

I'm positive about the guards and wings next year, more than I was for this year, mainly due to added experience.

Zags will be all right. Another trip to the Big Dance. That's all that seems to really matter, anyway.

CDC84
04-08-2013, 02:17 PM
while i agree that the staff has a good reputation for developing players offensively, the track record isn't so clear for players with coleman's skillset...especially from the wing position. staff is best known for developing point guards like pangos, raivio, dickau etc. with pargo being the closest to coleman (but still a pg). pmac, meech, arop etc. are probably more like coleman in terms of skilset.

In the words of Tommy Lloyd, the Zags have never had a wing quite like Gerard Coleman before. Never. Skinner, Reason, Knight, Keita, Monninghoff......a lot of staffs would've had trouble developing these guys into offensive players. Really, the only thing Coleman needs to do is shoot around 35% from the three point line to keep defenses honest. He's already a proven commodity inside the arc, and he did it on a Big East team that had a fraction of Gonzaga's coaching ability and offensive talent. So the staff had material to work with going into his redshirt year. I think he's going to surprise a lot of folks.

The frontcourt worries me unless the Zags can add a big man this spring who fits BobZag's description.

229SintoZag
04-08-2013, 02:37 PM
How many weeks of this season was Wichita State ranked in the top 25?

BobZag
04-08-2013, 02:41 PM
How many weeks of this season was Wichita State ranked in the top 25?

Never heard of them.

duper
04-08-2013, 02:44 PM
It would really surprise me if Karnowski stayed in Spokane this summer. I would expect him to play internationally.

CDC84
04-08-2013, 02:51 PM
In which case there's a good chance he doesn't get any better. The only way he would get better is that he wouldn't get rusty because he's going to have to play big minutes next year.

Karno desperately needs the full effect of Gonzaga's strength and conditioning program. Until that happens, he won't be as good as he could be. He's not going to reshape his body playing overseas.

229SintoZag
04-08-2013, 03:05 PM
In which case there's a good chance he doesn't get any better. The only way he would get better is that he wouldn't get rusty because he's going to have to play big minutes next year.

Karno desperately needs the full effect of Gonzaga's strength and conditioning program. Until that happens, he won't be as good as he could be. He's not going to reshape his body playing overseas.

Why is this even debatable? Can't the staff somehow get the message across that he is expected to stay here and get better if he is going to be part of this program?

It's my understanding that most US players stay in Spokane for some or all of the summer. Why should it be different for a European?

I can see him wanting to go home to see his family, get some rest, etc., but after that I'd expect him to be right back in Spokane.

UKWildcatsFan
04-08-2013, 03:09 PM
How many weeks of this season was Wichita State ranked in the top 25?

Four.

KStyles
04-08-2013, 03:15 PM
Four.

I counted 5 in AP, 3 in Coaches (probably soon to be 4) (http://statsheet.com/mcb/teams/wichita-state/rank).

MDABE80
04-08-2013, 04:16 PM
They beat us up in the polls for weeks. I hope with all the "1"s going down, some of it will be muted. No 1 ranking is hard to refute though. Those new polls will begin tomorrow. ...and none of them mean much when you check back in 6 months (mid Oct). Heck these people don't even know who'll be staying, tranfering or going NBA yet.
It'll be interesting to see how they handle us. Just so the name stays prominent.

KO sticks around we'll be top 10.

cggonzaga
04-08-2013, 04:54 PM
I've said it before CDC, if coaches don't pull the reigns back on Coleman I believe he'll be our leading scorer next year. I actually see our starting five averaging double digits. Bench scoring, from the guard/wing position will be crucial much like it was this year. I believe we get it though next year from KD, Angel and I guess Barham. Add a nice defensive big and I personally believe we have a more talented overall team. We need big leaps from Bell and KD! If Kelly happened to stay I don't see how we're not top 5-10 going into the season.

duper
04-08-2013, 05:06 PM
In which case there's a good chance he doesn't get any better. The only way he would get better is that he wouldn't get rusty because he's going to have to play big minutes next year.

Karno desperately needs the full effect of Gonzaga's strength and conditioning program. Until that happens, he won't be as good as he could be. He's not going to reshape his body playing overseas.

To me it would be more about chemistry and getting more comfortable playing with your teammates. Not sure he would get any better strength and conditioning staying here or with one of the Polish national teams. Euro players seem to have stronger loyalties to there national teams than they do their college school of choice.

DixieZag
04-08-2013, 05:14 PM
Zags could flirt with the tail-end of the Top-25, all depending on the quality of big (or two bigs) that comes in. If it's Davis from Tulane, or Diaz from K-State, or some other similar skilled big or two, the frontcourt's step back might only be a baby step. (Katz and others adjust their polls as changes happen.)

I'm positive about the guards and wings next year, more than I was for this year, mainly due to added experience.

Zags will be all right. Another trip to the Big Dance. That's all that seems to really matter, anyway.

I suspect this is right BZ.

Really it doesn't matter all that much where they are initially ranked, they are a known quantity and a few good wins would bop them back up.

Two things I am pretty sure of next year:

They will struggle more early in the year, drop a few games they shouldn't b/c they got so reliant upon pounding it inside this year that they will be figuring out finding other ways early.

They will improve more as the season goes along than this team b/c the guards will now be upper classmen, guard play gets more critical as the season gets further along - and coupled with the improvement, I'll bet there is a little bit more anger to their play, not as fun-loving we got great chemistry as this team. Don't get me wrong, I loved the chemistry of this years team and it served them well in the regular season but I think the fear of it all coming to an end and the pressure got to them against LMU - Southern - Wichita. I think next year we'll see a little more "we are pissed off and will only be a "happy bunch" if we beat your as$ later in the year." - - - At least that is my optimistic hope.

I am every bit as concerned about how much better BYU will be with their returning missionary and return scorers, wouldn't be suprised to see them picked to win the WCC.

CDC84
04-08-2013, 09:18 PM
Not sure he would get any better strength and conditioning staying here or with one of the Polish national teams.

He should ask Elias Harris. It makes a huge difference.

Radbooks
04-08-2013, 09:37 PM
Jason King at ESPN (http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/9147684/very-early-top-25-2013-14-season-ncaa-men-college-basketball) has us at 13 -


13. Gonzaga Bulldogs: The lasting image college basketball fans have of Gonzaga is of the No. 1 seed falling to Wichita State in the round of 32 of the NCAA tournament. But one loss shouldn't spoil an entire season or change the perception of a team. Gonzaga was a top-10-caliber squad all season and could be again in 2013-14. A lot the Zags' success will depend on whether 7-foot All-American Kelly Olynyk returns for his senior season. Olynyk, who averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds, is projected as a No. 1 pick in this summer's NBA draft. Losing Olynyk would hurt, especially since his frontcourt mate, senior Elias Harris, played his last college game. But even if Olynyk bolts for the pros, Gonzaga still has a solid cast of returnees in guards Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr. and David Stockton, and forward Sam Dower. Coach Mark Few is also excited about the potential of 7-foot center Przemek Karnowski, who averaged 5.4 points as a freshman.

Ezag
04-08-2013, 09:38 PM
Karno needs some serious work and I hope he gets it from Gonzaga. If not Sam gonna have quite the load next year.

mgadfly
04-08-2013, 09:43 PM
When I look at Coleman's statistics, I don't see what everyone else is in love with. I hope he is awesome, but in his two years at Providence he:

shot 24% from 3 pt range twice.
shot 54 and 67% from the free throw line
had an effective fg% of 43 and 45% (only better than GLE on this year's squad)
had an offensive rating of 91 and 97.5 (only better than GLE)

I'm not saying this is the case, but inefficient players have usually found themselves playing somewhere else or on a football field (Gurganious, PMAC, Meech, Gibbs, Arop, Monninghoff). The exceptions being Hart, Stockton and Will Foster (2 of which were walkons).

The question to me is whether Coleman can transform himself from an inefficient scorer to part of an offensive where the coaching staff demands efficiency above all else. I think KD and Barham will be efficient, so he will have to match them.

Malastein
04-08-2013, 10:37 PM
When I look at Coleman's statistics, I don't see what everyone else is in love with. I hope he is awesome, but in his two years at Providence he:

shot 24% from 3 pt range twice.
shot 54 and 67% from the free throw line
had an effective fg% of 43 and 45% (only better than GLE on this year's squad)
had an offensive rating of 91 and 97.5 (only better than GLE)

I'm not saying this is the case, but inefficient players have usually found themselves playing somewhere else or on a football field (Gurganious, PMAC, Meech, Gibbs, Arop, Monninghoff). The exceptions being Hart, Stockton and Will Foster (2 of which were walkons).

The question to me is whether Coleman can transform himself from an inefficient scorer to part of an offensive where the coaching staff demands efficiency above all else. I think KD and Barham will be efficient, so he will have to match them.

I'm more excited to see what he can do defensively. This year's team had a hole on the wing, which showed in the tournament. Plus the offense was a bit stagnant at times, and perhaps a solid slasher would help open things up.

Pargo the Destroyer
04-08-2013, 10:49 PM
Espn says he is 6'4", 143 lbs. I saw him in person numerous times. He is the same height as KP. If this is what your savior of a 3 guard is then good luck. BCS teams/FINAL 4 caliber teams don't throw out a rail thin 6'1" 3 wing player. KD, Drew and hopefully Nunez fill that role. Not Coleman.

Zagdawg
04-09-2013, 07:42 AM
I'm thinking the 143 lbs and the ESPN profile data is a bit outdated. He looks closer to 175-180 lbs when we saw him most recently.

Just judging from the blue/white scrimmage he was able to get to the rim at will-- and he is very fast.

I am sure that Few will have multiple people playing the 3 -- including Coleman -- depending on the situation.

We are talking about a young man who has had an extra year to work with our strength and conditioning coach and work on his 3 and FT shooting-- we saw what Kelly did -- if Coleman even has a fraction of that improvement we will be happy with what he brings to the table. His best assets are his ability to slash and defend.

A solid slasher who can feed the post/3 pt shooters for a good look will go a long way for our team.

I am optimistic and I believe that Coleman fills a need that the program will benefit from.

Hoopaholic
04-09-2013, 07:59 AM
I expect us to come in the 15-18 range for pre season ranking......and would be comfortable from the 15-20 range

CDC84
04-09-2013, 08:11 AM
Espn says he is 6'4", 143 lbs. I saw him in person numerous times. He is the same height as KP. If this is what your savior of a 3 guard is then good luck. BCS teams/FINAL 4 caliber teams don't throw out a rail thin 6'1" 3 wing player. KD, Drew and hopefully Nunez fill that role. Not Coleman.

Back in September 2012 Coleman was listed at 6-3, 173 at gozags.com. I can just about guarantee you that he's up to 185 by now with all the redshirt year weight room work he has done. He'll weigh even more by the start of next season.

If you think Few is going to sit what maybe one of his 3 best players next season just so that he can fit it in with what very few college basketball teams can do, height wise, at the 3 spot, then I have a piece of beachfront property in Nebraska to sell you. You must play your best players. Granted, I see Coleman playing some at the 2 as well.

Even if he is an undersized three, he is so explosive and athletic that 6-6 kids won't be able to stick with him. He'll cause just as many problems as they might cause for him. In fact, I would trust Coleman to guard a 6-6 athletic wing more than K-Drang, Barham and Nunez. None of those guys are defensive studs.

UKWildcatsFan
04-09-2013, 08:42 AM
I've seen Gonzaga at spots #13, #14, #17 and #21 in a couple different "very early preseason polls". Here are a few:

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/22036310

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2013/04/09/forecasting-the-ncaa-basketball-top-25-in-2013-14/2061989/

http://www.thebiglead.com/index.php/2013/04/09/2013-2014-college-basketball-top-25-kentucky-louisville-duke-are-loaded-ohio-state-florida-and-arizona-are-as-well/

duper
04-09-2013, 10:11 AM
He should ask Elias Harris. It makes a huge difference.

Is that a good example? Harris is leaving as the same player he came in as. Not sure if Harris stayed the summers or not but he was here at least 9 out of every 12 months.

Angelo Roncalli
04-09-2013, 10:12 AM
I've seen Gonzaga at spots #13, #14, #17 and #21 in a couple different "very early preseason polls". Here are a few:

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/22036310

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2013/04/09/forecasting-the-ncaa-basketball-top-25-in-2013-14/2061989/

http://www.thebiglead.com/index.php/2013/04/09/2013-2014-college-basketball-top-25-kentucky-louisville-duke-are-loaded-ohio-state-florida-and-arizona-are-as-well/

These guys have them 12th:

http://www.sportstalkflorida.com/tuck-2013-2014-college-basketball-preview/

CDC84
04-09-2013, 10:30 AM
Is that a good example? Harris is leaving as the same player he came in as.

Totally disagree. He left as a much better all around player. Talk to Fran Fraschilla and the many TV analysts who worked GU's games this year. Especially on defense and with his moves going toward and around the basket. Much better passer as well. Got in much better shape for the American game. He was one dimensional his freshman year, and his soph slump was largely due to him playing overseas.

Unfortunately, he didn't play well vs. Southern and Wich St. Wish he could've left on a different note.

The Zags are clearly getting a little more respect than I expected. At least so far...

BroncoZAG615
04-09-2013, 10:33 AM
Is that a good example? Harris is leaving as the same player he came in as.

I don't know whether or not to laugh or cry at this statement. In the meantime, I'm bashing my head into a desk.

UKWildcatsFan
04-09-2013, 10:39 AM
I don't know whether or not to laugh or cry at this statement. In the meantime, I'm bashing my head into a desk.

I too am experiencing these symptoms.

CDC84
04-09-2013, 11:44 AM
#15 with TSN:

http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2013-04-09/ncaa-basketball-top-25-rankings-2013-14-kentucky-michigan-st-arizona-louisville

bartruff1
04-09-2013, 01:24 PM
Gonzaga is not going to be overlooked...I suspect they will be in every top 25..

Saxon_zag
04-09-2013, 01:55 PM
while i agree that the staff has a good reputation for developing players offensively, the track record isn't so clear for players with coleman's skillset...especially from the wing position. staff is best known for developing point guards like pangos, raivio, dickau etc. with pargo being the closest to coleman (but still a pg). pmac, meech, arop etc. are probably more like coleman in terms of skilset.

In that case I hope the staff has learned a thing or two. Pmac meech and arop were all handled horribly by this staff, like most of the more "raw" athletes that we get tend to get, before they transfer or ride the bench in favor of.... other players

duper
04-09-2013, 02:14 PM
I don't know whether or not to laugh or cry at this statement. In the meantime, I'm bashing my head into a desk.

STATS
YR PTS REB AST
FR 14.6 7.4 1.6
SO 13.4 8.5 1.2
JR 12.4 6.0 1.3
SR 14.9 7.1 1.1

Looks pretty similar to me??? Good player when he got here good player when he leaves. I too thought his passing was better but it didn't turn into more assists. After his Freshmen year he might have been a first round pick now he has progressed his way out of the draft. I guess that could be head bashing into desk worthy.LOL

mgadfly
04-09-2013, 02:56 PM
STATS
YR PTS REB AST
FR 14.6 7.4 1.6
SO 13.4 8.5 1.2
JR 12.4 6.0 1.3
SR 14.9 7.1 1.1

Looks pretty similar to me??? Good player when he got here good player when he leaves. I too thought his passing was better but it didn't turn into more assists. After his Freshmen year he might have been a first round pick now he has progressed his way out of the draft. I guess that could be head bashing into desk worthy.LOL

I think Harris improved but only slightly and not offensively at all. For people bashing their heads against the wall and recalling a one-dimensional freshman Harris, I suggest a visit to the video archives. He was MUCH more one-dimensional this season as his perimeter game completely abandoned him.

When he came in his freshman year he was an older, more mature freshman in good shape and every bit prepared for the American game. He had an excellent perimeter game, solid midrange game, and the ability to get to the rim. All of that was the same his senior year except the perimeter game.

What he improved was his rebounding (the improvement isn't completely born out in the numbers because his senior season he was surrounded by better rebounders taking opportunities from him) and defense.

As for the "sophomore slump" it was due to an injury and the related weight gain. If the injury occurred overseas, I guess we could blame it on that, but I'm pretty sure staying and playing in Spokane also creates the risk of injury.

CDC84
04-09-2013, 03:35 PM
As for the "sophomore slump" it was due to an injury and the related weight gain. If the injury occurred overseas, I guess we could blame it on that, but I'm pretty sure staying and playing in Spokane also creates the risk of injury.
Today 03:14 PM

The injury happened at Gonzaga. The weight gain began overseas due to the fact that he didn't play much. He lost his conditioning, when he could've been at Gonzaga and taken his existing conditioning and improved upon it. The players who play international ball just cannot participate in strength and conditioning like they can during the summer months at Gonzaga.

If Karnowski plays international ball in Poland this offseason he will be back to square one. He will be shedding baby fat in October that he managed to lose so far at Gonzaga.

Go back and watch the GU games this year with Fran Franschilla at the mic. He pointed out time and again the areas of Elias' game that vastly improved between his freshman year and senior year. Stuff that doesn't always show up in the stats. He improved greatly in his four years here. The only mystery to me is why his three point shooting dropped off his senior year.


After his Freshmen year he might have been a first round pick now he has progressed his way out of the draft. I guess that could be head bashing into desk worthy

He's going to make more way more money playing in Europe than he ever would have in the NBA. No worries. I can 100% guarantee that. There is a demand for his services, and it won't be one of these deals where he is promised pay and ends up broke. If he had bailed after his freshman year, he would be out of the NBA by now. He wasn't good enough to last.

HOOTER
04-09-2013, 04:18 PM
The analysts had the Zags ranked 20-25 this past pre season, so what do they know.

I'd say they actually got this about dead on in hindsight.

Not only do I not care what they are ranked in preseason, I'd say it's not that crazy to have them outside the top 25 anyway. They're probably not going to be better next season, and their performance to end this season was mediocre at best.

But with the season over and the next one barely on the horizon I guess we've got to talk about something.

duper
04-09-2013, 07:48 PM
The injury happened at Gonzaga. The weight gain began overseas due to the fact that he didn't play much. He lost his conditioning, when he could've been at Gonzaga and taken his existing conditioning and improved upon it. The players who play international ball just cannot participate in strength and conditioning like they can during the summer months at Gonzaga.

If Karnowski plays international ball in Poland this offseason he will be back to square one. He will be shedding baby fat in October that he managed to lose so far at Gonzaga.

Go back and watch the GU games this year with Fran Franschilla at the mic. He pointed out time and again the areas of Elias' game that vastly improved between his freshman year and senior year. Stuff that doesn't always show up in the stats. He improved greatly in his four years here. The only mystery to me is why his three point shooting dropped off his senior year.



He's going to make more way more money playing in Europe than he ever would have in the NBA. No worries. I can 100% guarantee that. There is a demand for his services, and it won't be one of these deals where he is promised pay and ends up broke. If he had bailed after his freshman year, he would be out of the NBA by now. He wasn't good enough to last.

How much he will make in Europe was not the debate. The debate was how much he improved while at GU. I think he did improve in certain aspects of his game but he never reached the potential that many thought he had after his freshmen year. Again he was basically the same player going out as going in, if not, wouldn't his draft stock have gone up? I personally think in the right situation and with the right team he could still be productive in the NBA. By the way you don't lose much if any conditioning in 3 months, especially at the level these guys are at, and its not like they are doing nothing either. It is kind of egotistical to think a Mid Major college could compare to a national strength and conditioning program. Travis is good but not that good.

jayray
04-09-2013, 08:08 PM
STATS
YR PTS REB AST
FR 14.6 7.4 1.6
SO 13.4 8.5 1.2
JR 12.4 6.0 1.3
SR 14.9 7.1 1.1

Looks pretty similar to me??? Good player when he got here good player when he leaves. I too thought his passing was better but it didn't turn into more assists. After his Freshmen year he might have been a first round pick now he has progressed his way out of the draft. I guess that could be head bashing into desk worthy.LOL

The numbers don't lie. While he seemed more consistent this year, if he would have elevated his game (especially in clutch situations) GU would have been unstoppable this year.

2wiceright
04-09-2013, 11:21 PM
The numbers don't lie. While he seemed more consistent this year, if he would have elevated his game (especially in clutch situations) GU would have been unstoppable this year.

I think he did elevate his game. He traveled less, passed better and more intead of forcing shots every time he got the ball. He developed his left handed 'jump hook' down on the blocks.

One thing some aren't taking into consideration is instead of always depending on Elias to carry us, he (as well as others) deferred a lot of scoring to a certain All-American on our team who seemed to come from no-where. There are only so many ways to cut up a pie, and Kelly was so efficient it only made sense for him to be our 1st and 2nd option scoring- he was on most days unstoppable (how else did we end up with our best record ever?).

Yes, Harris disappeared the last game of the season against a very good final four team that game planned taking the inside away from our bigs. I hope that isn't his legacy. Look at the all time GU scoring and rebounding lists, Harris was a monster on the boards, and most teams could do nothing about it!And even playing with Kelly, he had so many double-double's this year as well (with any previous center I would bet his scoring numbers this year would have gone up dramatically, but since it's JMHO, I realize there is no way to quantify that)...

VinnyZag
04-10-2013, 05:52 AM
These silly post-championship game polls aren't overlooking the Zags, I fear they may be overrating them. Does anybody else think the mid-teens is too high, given the current roster? (And assuming Olynyk declares for the draft.)

As for Harris, I'd point out that he was a lost, indifferent, confused defender as a freshman. By his senior year, he was a solid defender.

bartruff1
04-10-2013, 06:10 AM
I'm with you Vinny...you can't know how good the newcomers are or how they fit with the team... but I enjoy the polls and it MAY help recruiting.

CDC84
04-10-2013, 07:59 AM
Harris also suffered a soph slump because he didn't get any individual skill instruction while playing overseas. He was also asked to be player overseas (a guard essentially) that he wasn't at GU. So he came back to Gonzaga with the exact same offensive arsenal that he had his freshman year. Problem is, opponents knew that package, and started salivating at the mouth when they realized that he had done nothing during the offseason to add more tricks to his bag. All his moves were scouted (especially his drives toward the basket), and many times he had no place to go once he made his move. Lots of turnovers.

That didn't change until he said to hell with overseas ball and stayed at Gonzaga to work with his coaches and fellow players. It wasn't just a lack of strength and conditioning and a nagging injury that caused the slump. He just didn't get any better. If you ask anyone who knows about this game - coaches, players and analysts - they will tell you that players only see real positive gains in their ability during the offseason when they have time to work on themselves. Major gains don't happen while you are playing basketball games overseas. In fact, they don't even happen during the college basketball season here in the states. You have to get away from the games to gain.

duper
04-10-2013, 10:37 AM
Interesing theory. While individual work is important to player development so is game time. No mater how you spin it Harris had pretty minimal improvement in his four years. I don't really see how you can argue differently considering his draft stock. I personally don't think it is the fault of the staff or Harris or the fact he went overseas. He simply was very close to full potential when he arrived. PS its not a bad thing.

sittingon50
04-10-2013, 11:11 AM
I personally think E is a better player, but only my opinion. I will argue however that the #'s don't exactly paint a true picture of a person's progression; it has as much to do with the supporting cast.

I recall an interview with Few r.e. E (during Jr. year, IIRC). The questioner made mention of Elias' seeming drop in production over the years. Fews response:" Well, he had Matt Bouldin feeding him the ball his first year."

bartruff1
04-10-2013, 11:18 AM
Harris was a very good player who improved every year and a even better teammate who was able to accept Kelly's role on the team...he must have been the Unit in 30% of the games or more...

IMHO the NBA was never a real possibility...

CDC84
04-10-2013, 11:29 AM
Duper - I don't measure whether a player improves or not in college based on his NBA draft stock. The NBA is a totally different game, and I never considered Harris to be anything more than a mid-second round draft pick. Ever. Even as a freshman. I always saw his future in Europe. He had a ceiling the moment he stepped on campus.

A player can improve more in his four years in college than any basketball player in the history of the world and still not get drafted into the NBA. It is a totally, completely different game.

Mark Few and his staff - as well as elite TV analysts like Fran Fraschilla - can tell you 70 things that Harris improved upon during his college years at Gonzaga. That's what I care about. How the kid improves at Gonzaga.
If that improvement leads to NBA glory later on, great, but it is secondary. What's important is improvement within the program that leads to winning.

I trust these people's opinions regarding Elias' college improvement a lot more than some scout or goofball draft analyst who saw Harris play five games in his career. I also trust my own judgment more, because I've seen every Gonzaga game that Harris ever played in. Often multiple times. He improved greatly in his college career, even if he leads to him being undrafted.

mgadfly
04-10-2013, 04:19 PM
If we aren't measuring whether a player improved by the stats or draft stock, I guess we are left with:

Harris improved drastically because that's what some guy said while watching a GU game.

The people whose jobs are on the line, who makes the decisions about how good players are, don't agree with that announcer and will prove as much when they pass him over in the draft.

The stats don't support the theory that he drastically improved.

If we are going to ignore the objective material that measures a players value, then we are left with the subjective view each of us holds.

I've watched the game tape from his freshman and senior seasons and he improved slightly (not drastically). Eye test/subjective opinion.

(Edit to add: I think this says more about how good Harris was when he was a freshman, because overall he was fantastic.)

bartruff1
04-10-2013, 05:09 PM
It is such a compelling narrative...just today Matt Norlander of CBS Sports included both Gonzaga games in his list of the ten best in the tournament.

TheGonzagaFactor
04-11-2013, 05:53 PM
How could you possibly care about rankings after we just showed how little they matter?

I can't wait for all the pointless talk about rankings and bracketology next year. All that matters is how you are playing in March, and we showed being #1 and a #1 seed is all for show.

HOOTER
04-11-2013, 06:03 PM
How could you possibly care about rankings after we just showed how little they matter?

I can't wait for all the pointless talk about rankings and bracketology next year. All that matters is how you are playing in March, and we showed being #1 and a #1 seed is all for show.

Agreed. Before the tourney we were all "yeah we're number 1 baby!" and making t-shirts and whatnot. After barely beating a 16 and then losing to a 9, suddenly being the supposed best in the country didn't mean so much anymore. So if the polls mean that little toward the end of the season, how much less do they mean this far away from next season?