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kclubfounder
02-18-2014, 06:53 PM
There has been a fair amount of sparring on this board about the overall quality of being a Butler Bulldog or a Gonzaga Bulldog. Despite the magical 2 year run of Butler, I've been of the belief it is much better to be a Zag. I believed Butler would likely go the way of every other mid-major who tried to become "The next Gonzaga."

Butler is 12-13, 2-11 in conference, and Brad Stevens is gone.

Next!

BaldguyZag
02-18-2014, 07:40 PM
There has been a fair amount of sparring on this board about the overall quality of being a Butler Bulldog or a Gonzaga Bulldog. Despite the magical 2 year run of Butler, I've been of the belief it is much better to be a Zag. I believed Butler would likely go the way of every other mid-major who tried to become "The next Gonzaga."

Butler is 12-13, 2-11 in conference, and Brad Stevens is gone.

Next!

+1

TheGonzagaFactor
02-18-2014, 07:48 PM
I'd be more understanding if their conference was better but there's no excuse for being that bad in a 2 bid league.

Oregonzagnut
02-18-2014, 07:53 PM
There has been a fair amount of sparring on this board about the overall quality of being a Butler Bulldog or a Gonzaga Bulldog. Despite the magical 2 year run of Butler, I've been of the belief it is much better to be a Zag. I believed Butler would likely go the way of every other mid-major who tried to become "The next Gonzaga."

Butler is 12-13, 2-11 in conference, and Brad Stevens is gone.

Next!

I'm sure somewhere, some Butler fans are disappointed at the "ceiling" Brad Stevens has in the Round of 2. Fandom is relative. Gonzaga fans will say we have it better, Butler fans will say they have it better (had it better).

I'll take the here and now personally and Gonzaga is ranked and in the conversation this year. Butler is 2-11 in the Big East. No brainer, and Gonzaga fans should let Butler be an example of what could happen if we lose Few.

CDC84
02-18-2014, 07:54 PM
The problem with always hiring from within is that you will eventually end up with a guy who is several notches below his predecessors. More than any program in the country, Butler's success has been directly tied to the genius of its coaches who have taken fringe major and mid major recruits and transformed them into final four players.

I suppose it's too soon to render a judgment on Brandon Miller. After all, his best player has been hurt all year. But it could very well be the case that he doesn't have the brain power of Stevens, Matta, etc. The only solution might be to recruit at a higher level, and that's a tough deal due to Butler's geographic location. Although the state of Indiana and its surrounding states have tons of players, the Bulldogs are surrounded by BCS vultures and have academic standards to adhere to. The best guys still want to play in the Big 10, the ACC, the SEC, etc.

Gonzaga doesn't have as much recruiting competition due to their location. Plus, they have the international pipeline.

GorgeZag
02-18-2014, 08:47 PM
It's tough for me to bag on a program that's been to a national championship twice in the last 5 years.

jazzdelmar
02-19-2014, 05:19 AM
Schadenfreude is not terribly classy......

ehk 21
02-19-2014, 05:47 AM
I would say that Butler's experience is an interesting comment to those in this forum who are so down on the WCC and believe that moving to the Big East would be some sort of panacea. I think Gonzaga has had a slightly down year compared to last year, but because we are in the WCC we are able to endure injuries and other obstacles and still be right in the mix of the NCAA tournament. But if you're Butler and in the Big East you have obstacles like a new coach and some player issues and suddenly you are 2-11 and not even making it to the NIT. Yes the WCC presents challenges for the Gonzaga basketball program, but it really isn't as bad a place to be as some people suggest.

bartruff1
02-19-2014, 05:56 AM
It's tough for me to bag on a program that's been to a national championship twice in the last 5 years.

Well you are a true fan, unfortunately not all fans are so understanding.

northsidezagfan
02-19-2014, 06:23 AM
It's tough for me to bag on a program that's been to a national championship twice in the last 5 years.

+1. Doubt many Butler fans would trade their 2 FF's for 10 more wins this year, or even 10 extra wins a year for the the next 10 years.

LongIslandZagFan
02-19-2014, 06:24 AM
It's tough for me to bag on a program that's been to a national championship twice in the last 5 years.

But they are 2-11 in the Big East. They just got the doors blown off them last night by St. John's. Guess what USF has WON two national championships... what does that mean? Does that make them a top notch program?

The reality is that they just didn't have the consistency to maintain the "run". Just like GWU before them. maybe they bit off more than they can chew by jumping to the BE. Either they eventually trun this around or they are perennial bottom feeders in the BE. I got my money on them being flounder.

gonzagafan62
02-19-2014, 06:33 AM
I have to agree with LIZF on this one. Cannot be a bottom feeder even in just one year and consider yourselves better. Like he stated USF has TWO national titles, yet Gonzaga keeps beating them year after year. USF Fans are starting to get very jealous of the Zags because of the 15 year run we have been on.

Butler is a young team and when you move to a better conference like the Big East when you are young, inexperienced and have injuries, you will be a bottom feeder. I have to say nothing more.

Its always better to be a Zag!

zagfan24
02-19-2014, 06:35 AM
This is just speculation, but I am guessing the intent of the original post was not to criticize Butler per se; but rather to note the absurdity of every mid-major team who makes a deep tournament being anointed "the next Gonzaga."

What the two Bulldog programs have accomplished are both incredible but very different and not directly comparable. It is strictly a matter of personal opinion as to whether a final four/championship game appearance (or two, which makes Butler's case notably more impressive than some others) are more desirable than GU's consistent tourney appearances and conference titles coupled with a failure to make a Final four, and more recently; to advance to the second weekend.

I agree that one not need to belittle the accomplishment of Butler to make a case for Gonzaga and hold strongly to the belief that the success of any smaller school is actually good for all of us. It raises the bar for the team and shows recruits what can be achieved in this setting.

cbbfanatic
02-19-2014, 06:57 AM
its not like butler only has two tournament appearances in recent years... they are more than two title game appearances, which is absolutely huge. there is more consistency on their part than they are being given credit for in this thread, in my opinion.

they're having a tough year, and i would expect some more as they dont really have the type of guys they need to compete in their new league currently in the program. not sure if they'll ever get there, but i commend them for wanting to play in a bigger pond than the horizon/a10.

and LIZF, the USF comparison is no good unless butler sucks for 50 more consecutive years. its not like USF was doing what they did in what anyone would consider a modern era.

LongIslandZagFan
02-19-2014, 07:16 AM
its not like butler only has two tournament appearances in recent years... they are more than two title game appearances, which is absolutely huge. there is more consistency on their part than they are being given credit for in this thread, in my opinion.

they're having a tough year, and i would expect some more as they dont really have the type of guys they need to compete in their new league currently in the program. not sure if they'll ever get there, but i commend them for wanting to play in a bigger pond than the horizon/a10.

and LIZF, the USF comparison is no good unless butler sucks for 50 more consecutive years. its not like USF was doing what they did in what anyone would consider a modern era.

The point is actually more valid than you think. First off, it is in the past. If two years of making the championship game produces 2-11 and an overall losing record, then something isn't right. The past success was partially due to the Horizon league, which is nowhere near the level of the WCC or MVC. The way I see it... they are going to have a seriously hard time competing when you jump to a much stronger conference, lose your coach and top players all at once. Outside of saying we play in the BE, there isn't as much to offer the recruit, if you are getting beat every night in the BE. I am not so sure they'd have done much better WITH Stevens... but they probably would have. The difference between GU and Butler is that GU hasn't had "down" seasons. They haven't had seasons with less than 20 wins. Butler has had losing seasons or sub 20 wins a couple times since Thad Matta. Brad Stevens was the driving force IMHO... without him you lose a top notch recruiter and coach.

cjm720
02-19-2014, 07:22 AM
Our sustained success is an aberration. We're lucky and blessed to be part of one of the best basketball success stories in our time IMO.

Hokis
02-19-2014, 07:26 AM
Just goes to show you what a good coach can do for your program




.....

LongIslandZagFan
02-19-2014, 07:28 AM
Just goes to show you what a good coach can do for your program




.....

Yep. More importantly is holding on to those coaches for the long term.

bartruff1
02-19-2014, 07:28 AM
its not like butler only has two tournament appearances in recent years... they are more than two title game appearances, which is absolutely huge. there is more consistency on their part than they are being given credit for in this thread, in my opinion.

they're having a tough year, and i would expect some more as they dont really have the type of guys they need to compete in their new league currently in the program. not sure if they'll ever get there, but i commend them for wanting to play in a bigger pond than the horizon/a10.

and LIZF, the USF comparison is no good unless butler sucks for 50 more consecutive years. its not like USF was doing what they did in what anyone would consider a modern era.

I feel the same way about BYU....sure, they have to take their lumps for a few years but it is worth it to play in a better Conference... they had a great run in the NIT last year.

gonzagafan62
02-19-2014, 07:29 AM
I feel the same way about BYU....sure, they have to take their lumps for a few years but it is worth it to play in a better Conference... they had a great run in the NIT last year.
:000tens:

That made me die laughing LOL!

cbbfanatic
02-19-2014, 07:39 AM
The point is actually more valid than you think. First off, it is in the past. If two years of making the championship game produces 2-11 and an overall losing record, then something isn't right. The past success was partially due to the Horizon league, which is nowhere near the level of the WCC or MVC. The way I see it... they are going to have a seriously hard time competing when you jump to a much stronger conference, lose your coach and top players all at once. Outside of saying we play in the BE, there isn't as much to offer the recruit, if you are getting beat every night in the BE. I am not so sure they'd have done much better WITH Stevens... but they probably would have. The difference between GU and Butler is that GU hasn't had "down" seasons. They haven't had seasons with less than 20 wins. Butler has had losing seasons or sub 20 wins a couple times since Thad Matta. Brad Stevens was the driving force IMHO... without him you lose a top notch recruiter and coach.

agree with a lot of what you said, but i still wouldnt lump them with USF at this point. sure, things dont look great for them and their ability to compete in the future is in real doubt, but they're still pretty fresh off of some tournament runs that were absolutely incredible. not ready to bury them quite yet, but they need to start bringing in better players and maybe coach. luckily for them, they are getting FAR more money in their new conference then they got in the past, so with some wise investing, they should be able to get back to where they were. they will lose more reg season games than they did before, but that's the unavoidable nature of playing in a better conference. they are certainly not the only program to have a final four/title in recent years to find themselves in an ugly w-l situation a few years later.

and you say the wcc is much better than the horizon, but i dont think the difference is that big in practicality. in any given year, there is 1, maybe 2 threats in those conferences to a team that has legit top 25 talent. and its a soft threat at that. look at the wcc... how many teams REALLY belong on the same floor as gonzaga? byu and st marys are OK, at best. and comparing the middle and bottoms of those leagues is splitting hairs... any good team should take care of any of those guys home or road.

i know this will be unpopular, bordering on heresy, but GU would have some NIT years in the past decade if they played in a league with the current big east teams (travel aside, just talking about teams on the floor). i dont think there would be 2-11 years, but there would be nit years for sure. maybe even this year. i commend butler for committing and moving up. they wont maintain their old winning percentage or tournament appearance frequency, but if i was a fan of theirs, i think i'd prefer it to the tiny pond they experienced from Jan-Mar. it's a lot of fun being in the mix with other legitimate programs, even if there arent 20 guaranteed wins per year

DixieZag
02-19-2014, 07:46 AM
:000tens:

That made me die laughing LOL!

Yeah, and when you think about it, now they will be in such a stronger recruiting position and maybe have a better shot at the best and very talented LDS players that would make them a top team if they weren't going elsewhere. Now they can sell them on the tougher conference and that they've been just "right there" the last few years and might go over the top. :)

I never didn't appreciate what Few has done, though I am sure that a couple of years in the run might have come up short of the tourney had we not been in the WCC - especially the early years surprisingly enough, when we had to win the conference tourney (definitely) to get in.

I feel for Butler, losing a fantastic young coach like Stevens, one they thought might make a career there, is very tough.

Zags11
02-19-2014, 07:49 AM
Butler is in a tougher conference. We also have had this consistency because of Few. We have had a good coach, solid recruiting with the help of Lloyd. We really should be thankful. Im hungry for a F4 or another E8 run but I also am happy wuth what we have.

LongIslandZagFan
02-19-2014, 07:58 AM
agree with a lot of what you said, but i still wouldnt lump them with USF at this point. sure, things dont look great for them and their ability to compete in the future is in real doubt, but they're still pretty fresh off of some tournament runs that were absolutely incredible. not ready to bury them quite yet, but they need to start bringing in better players and maybe coach. luckily for them, they are getting FAR more money in their new conference then they got in the past, so with some wise investing, they should be able to get back to where they were. they will lose more reg season games than they did before, but that's the unavoidable nature of playing in a better conference. they are certainly not the only program to have a final four/title in recent years to find themselves in an ugly w-l situation a few years later.

and you say the wcc is much better than the horizon, but i dont think the difference is that big in practicality. in any given year, there is 1, maybe 2 threats in those conferences to a team that has legit top 25 talent. and its a soft threat at that. look at the wcc... how many teams REALLY belong on the same floor as gonzaga? byu and st marys are OK, at best. and comparing the middle and bottoms of those leagues is splitting hairs... any good team should take care of any of those guys home or road.

i know this will be unpopular, bordering on heresy, but GU would have some NIT years in the past decade if they played in a league with the current big east teams (travel aside, just talking about teams on the floor). i dont think there would be 2-11 years, but there would be nit years for sure. maybe even this year. i commend butler for committing and moving up. they wont maintain their old winning percentage or tournament appearance frequency, but if i was a fan of theirs, i think i'd prefer it to the tiny pond they experienced from Jan-Mar. it's a lot of fun being in the mix with other legitimate programs, even if there arent 20 guaranteed wins per year


Did a little research... I take back a bit of it... WCC averages around 12th... Horizon around 14th since 2003-04, which is that earliest I could ind conference RPI rankings (throwing out post Butler years). However... WCC had a year at 7 and a year at 10 and worst years were 15 (2). Horizon's best was 11th with worst being 20th and two years of 15 as well. I don't think that the 20th coincides with Butler having a losing season is a coincidence. I think that team was the real driver of that conference.

bartruff1
02-19-2014, 08:08 AM
As Ziggy said...." Ability can take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there ".......

cbbfanatic
02-19-2014, 08:15 AM
I think that team was the real driver of that conference.

same could be said for gonzaga for about 10 years between 99-09. St Mary's rpi ascension is as paper tiger as it gets, while BYU, i would say, is the real difference between the wcc and horizon type leagues. significant difference though, for sure. all the others - SF, LMU, Pepp etc might have improved their RPI over the last 3-5 years, but eye test doesnt show ME much improvement. i hear so much about how the wcc is so much stronger this year, but i definitely dont SEE it - not to its advertised degree anyway

i'm personally not too into average conf rpi rank because the general range that these sub major conferences occupy seems to be significantly below the big boys, and not all that different from one another - looking solely at quality of on floor product and talent. some teams/conferences have "figured out" the rpi some - ie lots of ooc road games, minimal 250+ opponents, nobody OOC at home to whom you might lose, etc to where you dont really need to be good or have any good wins to move your rpi from the 200+ range down to around 125-150 (or any other 50-75ish spot jump). doesnt necessarily make them a better or improved team, they just manage the rpi better.

rpi is pretty good at the top, as a general achievement metric, but knowing the RPI risk/opp approach that is taken with scheduling these days, you can see where the flaws can pop up if you start trying to equate it to quality vs achievement.

long story short, my opinion is that comparing CONFERENCES in the range below the top 6 or 7 through maybe 12-13 (depending on the year) is splitting hairs. they're of the same general quailty - ie a legit top 25 team should be able to run through any of them with minimal losses.

LongIslandZagFan
02-19-2014, 08:34 AM
Two years ago... WCC 11th ... Last year 10th... this year 9th. Considering average was 12... I'd say statistically that yes... the conference has been improving. This year is more impressive in that you have 4 teams in the top 100 of the RPI. This is without what I would say would be an as dominant BYU or SMC team fighting for the top.

jake
02-19-2014, 08:40 AM
Cannot be a bottom feeder even in just one year and consider yourselves better.

Easier to say this when you're not in the midst of a bottom feeder year. All streaks have an ebb and flow at some point. I'd take the opposite view that after two final four appearances and an almost national championship you've earned the right to not be written off after one bad year. North Carolina was 8-20 in 2001/2002 and had a rough year the next year too. I know that's a different animal, but I don't think it's really fair to look at a school during one down year after several good years in a row and write them off as a short term novelty act.

gonzagafan62
02-19-2014, 08:44 AM
Easier to say this when you're not in the midst of a bottom feeder year. All streaks have an ebb and flow at some point. I'd take the opposite view that after two final four appearances and an almost national championship you've earned the right to not be written off after one bad year. North Carolina was 8-20 in 2001/2002 and had a rough year the next year too. I know that's a different animal, but I don't think it's really fair to look at a school during one down year after several good years in a row and write them off as a short term novelty act.

Yeah but when you look at what they lost: Brad Stevens. I don't need to say more than that. He was Butler during that stretch. Now they had some successful seasons before that, mind you, but you cannot be the "next Gonzaga" without consistently getting to and making the NC2A's.

cbbfanatic
02-19-2014, 08:48 AM
Two years ago... WCC 11th ... Last year 10th... this year 9th. Considering average was 12... I'd say statistically that yes... the conference has been improving. This year is more impressive in that you have 4 teams in the top 100 of the RPI. This is without what I would say would be an as dominant BYU or SMC team fighting for the top.

cant disagree that it has statistically improved. my questions are more of a qualitative nature. i think GU could/should experience similar dominance in the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th rated RPI conferences, regardless of whether the bottom 3/4 of the conference have rpis in the 100s, 200s, or 300s

your point about 4 top 100 teams really illustrates what i am trying to say --- i dont see USF in the 80s or LMU/PEpp in the mid 100s as markedly better teams (in their ability to beat a legitimately good team like gonzaga) than when they were hanging out in the 200+ range. its RPI management, in my opinion, not better teams and players

quantitative improvement, absolutely. qualitative... outside of BYU i dont see it.

cbbfanatic
02-19-2014, 08:50 AM
Yeah but when you look at what they lost: Brad Stevens. I don't need to say more than that. He was Butler during that stretch. Now they had some successful seasons before that, mind you, but you cannot be the "next Gonzaga" without consistently getting to and making the NC2A's.

you dont NEED to, or cant? butler has overcome departing coaches before - with xavier, they are the model of that. im willing to give them some rope here, and i have always been very critical of butler

gordon hayward was pretty good. think he's getting paid to play somewhere...

LongIslandZagFan
02-19-2014, 08:52 AM
you dont NEED to, or cant? butler has overcome departing coaches before - with xavier, they are the model of that. im willing to give them some rope here, and i have always been very critical of butler

gordon hayward was pretty good. think he's getting paid to play somewhere...

Hayward and Mack... both recruited by Stevens. There is your trifecta.

Hokis
02-19-2014, 09:00 AM
Stevens WAS Butler. As far as back to back National Championships go. That is all Stevens and his ability to slow the game down and have his team play possession by possession during tourney play.



We will never see anything quite like that again IMO. I still can't believe it happened to be honest.

Yes Heyward and Howard were phenomenal. Mack was good. But BUTLER was there bc of Stevens. Not bc of one NBA bound white boy and 2 decent college players. That doesn't cut it in the tourny.

zag944
02-19-2014, 09:12 AM
We've been the model of consistency while Butler has had more peaks and valleys. It is pretty easy to point and say we are better while they are in one of those valleys, but I have a very hard time thinking they are a program that will stay down. If memory serves they had some success, then missed the tourney like 4 years in a row before going on a run which included two championship games and a Sweet 16. I will generally bet on good programs doing good things rather than turning into USF. Brad Stevens is a huge loss, but I'm sure there are plenty of good basketball people hanging around for the program to have the success it has had (the same way I am sure losing Few would be a stumbling block but that ultimately Lloyd, his staff, and the athletic department would have a very good chance to right the ship).

Shanachie
02-19-2014, 09:45 AM
I'm not going to cast any stones towards Butler. I just take this as a reminder to appreciate what we've got because it probably won't last forever. Also hope it gives pause to those who think that GU would be automatically be better with a different coach or a different conference.

siliconzag
02-19-2014, 09:49 AM
Social comparison while tempting is so burgeoisie. Butler, has had a rough year, but realistically, what do you expect with injuries to their top scorer Rodney Jones, coaching change and league change? The Big East may not be what it used to be, but it has some really good teams still. Just ask Tom Izzo who went down to a middle of the pack Georgetown on February 1. Butler has been in 6 OT games this year, and lost 4 of them. They have defeated Washington State, Purdue, Notre Dame, Marquette, Vandy. They barely missed upsetting Nova in Hinkle and have had a couple of games where they were blown out. First by Creighton in Omaha 88-60, then by the resurgent St. John's Red Storm 77-52 in MSG. I think the reports of their demise are wildly exaggerated. I agree with all the comments about Brad Stevens being one of the most inspirational and intelligent collegiate coaches in his peer group. I was saddened to see him leave the collegiate arena for the NBA. Perhaps like Pitino, he will return. Anyway, when comparing Bulldogs, this year the Western version may be better, but the boys from Indy aren't as awful as their record might show. A few different bounces and they would still be on the bubble.

Sili

cbbfanatic
02-19-2014, 09:55 AM
Easier to say this when you're not in the midst of a bottom feeder year.

also a lot easier to say when you play in the wcc vs the big east, where bottom feeders are still top 150 rpi teams with top 150 recruits up and down the roster

to the current tone of the thread, it seems convenient to bury these guys solely bc of stevens' departure. how many here think this is a tournament team WITH stevens this year? i dont. no way. maybe 2-3 wins better, but still a rebuilding/reality check year. AND stevens recruited this entire roster, so it goes both ways. just seems like a convenient/boredeline lazy argument, vs a correct argument.

i really cant believe i am defending butler this way. definitely out of character

cbbfanatic
02-19-2014, 09:57 AM
by the way, i love this thread. i'm a little surprised it hasnt been banished to the board that nobody looks at.

CDC84
02-19-2014, 10:02 AM
North Carolina was 8-20 in 2001/2002 and had a rough year the next year too. I know that's a different animal, but I don't think it's really fair to look at a school during one down year after several good years in a row and write them off as a short term novelty act.

North Carolina is a totally different animal. Unlike Butler, the Heels can replenish their roster with a bunch of McDonald's AA's and future lottery picks. Everyone knows that if UNC wins a title it's going to lose a ton of players to the draft and that a down year will follow until the roster fills up again and core players gain experience. They have a history of doing this going back decades. It explains why they are a blueblood program.

It's way too early to dismiss Butler as another George Mason type squad, but there are legitimate concerns about their future due Stevens' departure and their change of conference. It's something to monitor. There were even concerns about a change of conference when Butler moved to the A-10 under Stevens:

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2012-05-02/the-butler-way-of-success-will-be-much-tougher-to-sustain-in-a-10

jake
02-19-2014, 10:10 AM
North Carolina is a totally different animal. [/url]

I get that, but the point was that one down year doesn't make a program. Clearly UNC is going to have an easier time rebounding from a down year, but just because Butler is down this year it is way too premature to say they are done or were a flash in the pan that won't maintain long term success. I completely agree that with the loss of Stevens and their new conference their future success is something to consider/question. They may never get back close to where they were and experience long-term success. I'm not saying they'll challenge for the final four again soon, but given how favorably I look at Gonzaga's success, I'm hoping final fours aren't a requirement for long-term success.

I think this thread title deserves a little love from Denny Green.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw5UWqpcsDs

CDC84
02-19-2014, 10:19 AM
I totally agree that it is too early to write them off. But again, it's something to monitor the next 2 to 3 years. The new coach is going to have to prove himself, and I suspect he's going to need to prove himself more through recruiting than anything else. It's hard to imagine him being as good as Stevens when it comes to motivating players and general X's and O's.

Zagnailler
02-19-2014, 11:01 AM
Schadenfreude is not terribly classy......

Especially when it may be seasoned with a bit of hubris.

Zagceo
02-19-2014, 11:26 AM
Schadenfreude is not terribly classy......


Well you are a true fan, unfortunately not all fans are so understanding.


It's tough for me to bag on a program that's been to a national championship twice in the last 5 years.


+1. Doubt many Butler fans would trade their 2 FF's for 10 more wins this year, or even 10 extra wins a year for the the next 10 years.

FINAL FOUR > wcc championships

LongIslandZagFan
02-19-2014, 11:44 AM
Would you trade for a couple years at the top followed by average seasons and more spotty tourney appearances for consistently winning 20+ games and making the tournament every year for the foreseeable future?

I don't enjoy Butler's fall... if it were a Duke or UNC... yeah... I'd enjoy it... but I actually respect Butler. To call it schadenfreude isn't 100%... at least for me. I just don't see that the moves made by them is necessarily going to work out for the best. Much of the "success" that Butler enjoyed revolved around Thad Matta and then to a greater extent Brad Stevens. Lickliter... the guy in the middle had success with the guys Matta brought in. I really hope I am wrong on Butler... but my guess is that the success was a product of Howard, Hayward, and Mack with Stevens driving the ship. Show me a blue chip or two coming in to Butler... right now, the classes I see that they have coming in are solid... if they were in the Horizon... not the Big East. To be honest, if GU was in a major conference i'd almost demand to see higher level of recruits. I don't see them competing at the top.

As someone said... it should be a lesson to us all that it isn't that hard to fall and if you trip... like Butler may be doing... then it is a matter if you can get up. We should appreciate what we have.

kitzbuel
02-19-2014, 12:14 PM
Would you trade for a couple years at the top followed by average seasons and more spotty tourney appearances for consistently winning 20+ games and making the tournament every year for the foreseeable future?

I don't enjoy Butler's fall... if it were a Duke or UNC... yeah... I'd enjoy it... but I actually respect Butler. To call it schadenfreude isn't 100%... at least for me. I just don't see that the moves made by them is necessarily going to work out for the best. Much of the "success" that Butler enjoyed revolved around Thad Matta and then to a greater extent Brad Stevens. Lickliter... the guy in the middle had success with the guys Matta brought in. I really hope I am wrong on Butler... but my guess is that the success was a product of Howard, Hayward, and Mack with Stevens driving the ship. Show me a blue chip or two coming in to Butler... right now, the classes I see that they have coming in are solid... if they were in the Horizon... not the Big East. To be honest, if GU was in a major conference i'd almost demand to see higher level of recruits. I don't see them competing at the top.

As someone said... it should be a lesson to us all that it isn't that hard to fall and if you trip... like Butler may be doing... then it is a matter if you can get up. We should appreciate what we have.

From what I have seen they have some concerns about lack of good bigs in the recruiting pipeline and a desire to try improving PG play. That doesn't bode well for the near term. They can turn it around pretty quickly with a couple of key recruits, but they will need a year or two to develop.

cbbfanatic
02-19-2014, 12:29 PM
Would you trade for a couple years at the top followed by average seasons and more spotty tourney appearances for consistently winning 20+ games and making the tournament every year for the foreseeable future?



for me it would depend on if my team had ever been to the heights we're talking about here. if it was the program's first & second final fours - yeah, i would take it. If it was a program that had been there before and would have a reasonable chance at getting back at some point - ie still a viable program, i might say no to the guaranteed 2 yr run and take my chances with what i have - given there is no desperation for that initial breakthrough

so to simplify, if i am butler circa 2006 i would take it, if i was georgetown 2014 i might not.

Zagceo
02-19-2014, 01:40 PM
I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.

ZagaZags
02-19-2014, 02:24 PM
I'm not going to cast any stones towards Butler. I just take this as a reminder to appreciate what we've got because it probably won't last forever. Also hope it gives pause to those who think that GU would be automatically be better with a different coach or a different conference.

Last night's game was a great gauge of our progress of our program, and the reality is that we need to reset our expectations.

Look, there are a handful of schools that are expected to compete for the national championship year in and year out. Where I'm sitting those are: UNC, Duke, Memphis, UConn, Louisville, Kentucky and maybe UCLA and Kansas.

The next level are those that are perennially Top 10 and are trying like heck to get to the Final Four. Those are typically the best of the BCS conferences: Pitt, Villanova (great coach), Oklahoma, Indiana, Michigan St, Syracuse, Arizona, maybe a couple others. Top programs that can occasionally put together a team that can win it all.

The point isn't nailing the exact list. The point is: look at that list! There's your Top 15 or so programs right there.

We're in the next tier. I would define our group as Top 15-20 programs that every few years or so can put together teams that can get into the Top 10. We need to pick off a few recruits from the teams listed above to get to their level. That's not going to be easy, but it's possible. And even if we get 1-2 it's doubtful we'd be able to do it year in and year out.

So what does that mean for us?

Right now we're a perennial Top 15-20 program. Making the leap to Top 10-15 program is the logical next step, and will incredibly difficult if not impossible. Being a perennial Top 10 program is really out of the question. Look at that list folks. We don't have the conference, budget, location, or willingness to lower our academic standards needed to get there.

Our goals should always be to win the conference, win the tourney, get a protected seed, and get to the Sweet 16. Once you're in the Sweet 16 all kinds of things can happen, and if we're lucky enough to have put together one of those top 10 teams maybe we can make a deeper run.

Expecting the Final Four is unrealistic, and expecting next year's team to go further is unrealistic in the extreme. It's unfair to the players and coaches that are working to hard to continue (and advance) the great success of the program.

Finally, I'm sure many people will read this and think I'm being negative, or a doomsayer, or whatever. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Looking at KenPom, there are 344 schools. The fact that we're in the top 20 is amazing and something to be immensely proud of. Next time we get all uppity about the fact that our team might not be good enough to make the Final Four we need to consider that there are over 320 schools looking up at us.

We're incredibly lucky to be where we are today. We should spend more time appreciating what we've accomplished instead of projecting our fairy-tale fantasies on a bunch of kids and program that are already overachieving, then ripping them a new one when they don't meet those fantasies.

Win the conference. Win the tourney. Get a protected seed. Get to the Sweet 16 and hope for the best.

Seems like a pretty nice life.

I got this from RenoZag in another post in the hall of fame. I felt it should be posted again. It really is a hall of fame post.

cjm720
02-19-2014, 02:50 PM
Bravo re-post, Zaga.

Bravo post, Reno.

kclubfounder
02-19-2014, 02:56 PM
the boys from Indy aren't as awful as their record might show. A few different bounces and they would still be on the bubble.

Sili

A couple different bounces (out of about 100 chances) during their 2 magical runs in the Dance and this discussion is moot.

northsidezagfan
02-19-2014, 03:05 PM
A couple different bounces (out of about 100 chances) during their 2 magical runs in the Dance and this discussion is moot.

Same could be said for us. Heck, if Minnesota doesn't get busted in their academic scandal our run could have never existed. Doesn't discredit what we did, and same goes for Butler.

And Butler was literally an inch from being national champs. They had bounces go both ways.

bartruff1
02-19-2014, 03:38 PM
Looking back at prior success.... no matter how remarkable..... doesn't last long...longer if you don't watch or go to the games.

I have friends from Seattle University and USF who haven't followed those teams for 40 years....even their grand kids don't care about Elgin or Russell, they are Gonzaga fans.

vandalzag
02-19-2014, 03:50 PM
FINAL FOUR > wcc championships

So George Mason's 1 year run the F4 is superior to the body of work that Gonzaga has done in the regular and post season(I will assume that you are lumping in NCAA tourney results with the WCC championships)? And why would you stop at Final Four? Why is not winning the national championship the ultimate benchmark? Based on your statement you are placated just by getting to the Final 4. In the end the goal is to win it all, so if you do not win it all how can you be happy with just being there? As the Navy Seals say "2nd place is first loser". So I do not think that you can say that one (WCC Champs,NCAA Tourney Games) are less then the other (Final 4) when the other is not the final prize.

The premise of the of the original post is off, unless Butler continues the next couple of years with similar results. The question should have been centered upon the one year wonder vs the team that is always there but yet to get over the top. Teams like Dusquene, Wyoming, Seattle,etc... with a single appearance in the final 4 are not the benchmark for sustained success. I will take a program that has been built the right way and continues to do things the right way for 15 years over a team that got hot or did it the wrong way.

kclubfounder
02-19-2014, 04:07 PM
So George Mason's 1 year run the F4 is superior to the body of work that Gonzaga has done in the regular and post season(I will assume that you are lumping in NCAA tourney results with the WCC championships)? And why would you stop at Final Four? Why is not winning the national championship the ultimate benchmark? Based on your statement you are placated just by getting to the Final 4. In the end the goal is to win it all, so if you do not win it all how can you be happy with just being there? As the Navy Seals say "2nd place is first loser". So I do not think that you can say that one (WCC Champs,NCAA Tourney Games) are less then the other (Final 4) when the other is not the final prize.

The premise of the of the original post is off, unless Butler continues the next couple of years with similar results. The question should have been centered upon the one year wonder vs the team that is always there but yet to get over the top. Teams like Dusquene, Wyoming, Seattle,etc... with a single appearance in the final 4 are not the benchmark for sustained success. I will take a program that has been built the right way and continues to do things the right way for 15 years over a team that got hot or did it the wrong way.

I'm with you VZ. The OP was simply created because I saw Butler getting HAMMERED by St. Johns last night. Then I remembered all the gnashing of teeth and rubbing of hands on this board about how sweet it would be if we had a brilliant coach like Stevens. And I remembered all the jealousy of the Butler program. And my memories made me angry at the glass half empty Zags (which I realize is ridiculous and unfair). And thanks to this awesome site I was able to vent.

GO ZAGS!!!!!!!

Zags11
02-19-2014, 04:13 PM
Stevens is brilliant. 2 final 4s. He left unlike few. Thank u few.

vandalzag
02-19-2014, 04:25 PM
I'm with you VZ. The OP was simply created because I saw Butler getting HAMMERED by St. Johns last night. Then I remembered all the gnashing of teeth and rubbing of hands on this board about how sweet it would be if we had a brilliant coach like Stevens. And I remembered all the jealousy of the Butler program. And my memories made me angry at the glass half empty Zags (which I realize is ridiculous and unfair). And thanks to this awesome site I was able to vent.

GO ZAGS!!!!!!!

One could only imagine the carnage that would take place on this site if the Zags were to have a similar season as Butler is having. I agree with you through the years we have had to look at the thoughts of Grier being the better coach (while he was on staff and his first years at USD), Monson being superior, Enfield (after his run last year per Jazz), and culminating with the premise that Tommy LLoyd would present a zero drop off from Few and maybe an improvement. What is happening this year at Butler is a proof to just how good we have it at GU. It is why people should enjoy the entire journey that is college basketball. Too many things happen in a season, good and bad, to not be enjoyed or diminished based upon were you finished in a tournament.

Zags11
02-19-2014, 04:37 PM
Sure I agree. Im happy and amazed on what we have accomplished here at little ol' Gon-ZAWGA. I also would like to see us reach a F4. Win a title. You can be disappointed that you didnt but still be proud of your program.

Zagceo
02-19-2014, 05:14 PM
Would you trade for a couple years at the top followed by average seasons and more spotty tourney appearances for consistently winning 20+ games and making the tournament every year for the foreseeable future?


YES Give me 1 National Title and I can die happy!

Zippyzaggy
02-19-2014, 05:39 PM
Perhaps a simpler way of looking at it:

Have great sex once...or good sex all the time.

To me, the answer is easy. But then again, I'm a gorilla, so what do I know.

23dpg
02-19-2014, 07:19 PM
Why the Butler hate?

I like Butler and what they have achieved. It certainly was more than just a little run and one coach. However, they are in a period of uncertainty with their new coach and better conference. They are having a bad year, but have earned the right to be considered a perennial top 25 team with a bounce back next year.

RenoZag
02-19-2014, 08:12 PM
Last night's game was a great gauge of our progress of our program, and the reality is that we need to reset our expectations.

Look, there are a handful of schools that are expected to compete for the national championship year in and year out. Where I'm sitting those are: UNC, Duke, Memphis, UConn, Louisville, Kentucky and maybe UCLA and Kansas.

The next level are those that are perennially Top 10 and are trying like heck to get to the Final Four. Those are typically the best of the BCS conferences: Pitt, Villanova (great coach), Oklahoma, Indiana, Michigan St, Syracuse, Arizona, maybe a couple others. Top programs that can occasionally put together a team that can win it all.

The point isn't nailing the exact list. The point is: look at that list! There's your Top 15 or so programs right there.

We're in the next tier. I would define our group as Top 15-20 programs that every few years or so can put together teams that can get into the Top 10. We need to pick off a few recruits from the teams listed above to get to their level. That's not going to be easy, but it's possible. And even if we get 1-2 it's doubtful we'd be able to do it year in and year out.

So what does that mean for us?

Right now we're a perennial Top 15-20 program. Making the leap to Top 10-15 program is the logical next step, and will incredibly difficult if not impossible. Being a perennial Top 10 program is really out of the question. Look at that list folks. We don't have the conference, budget, location, or willingness to lower our academic standards needed to get there.

Our goals should always be to win the conference, win the tourney, get a protected seed, and get to the Sweet 16. Once you're in the Sweet 16 all kinds of things can happen, and if we're lucky enough to have put together one of those top 10 teams maybe we can make a deeper run.

Expecting the Final Four is unrealistic, and expecting next year's team to go further is unrealistic in the extreme. It's unfair to the players and coaches that are working to hard to continue (and advance) the great success of the program.

Finally, I'm sure many people will read this and think I'm being negative, or a doomsayer, or whatever. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Looking at KenPom, there are 344 schools. The fact that we're in the top 20 is amazing and something to be immensely proud of. Next time we get all uppity about the fact that our team might not be good enough to make the Final Four we need to consider that there are over 320 schools looking up at us.

We're incredibly lucky to be where we are today. We should spend more time appreciating what we've accomplished instead of projecting our fairy-tale fantasies on a bunch of kids and program that are already overachieving, then ripping them a new one when they don't meet those fantasies.

Win the conference. Win the tourney. Get a protected seed. Get to the Sweet 16 and hope for the best.

Seems like a pretty nice life.

I got this from RenoZag in another post in the hall of fame. I felt it should be posted again. It really is a hall of fame post.

I didn't write it, surfmonkey89 wrote it. . .it was and still is one of the best posts re: Gonzaga's place in the hoops world, I've ever read on this board.

thegloriousgoateeofKP
02-19-2014, 11:33 PM
I've been thinking about this this year, since it's the first in a while where there's some doubt as to whether we'll make the Big Dance (I'm gonna be sweating bullets on selection Sunday if we don't beat BYU and don't win the conference tourney, but that's another discussion). Watching Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament is just so much freaking fun. Every dribble, every pass, every shot are so meaningful, and the 2 hours between the opening tip and the final buzzer are easily the 2 most dramatic, stressful, and yes, fun hours of my year...until 2 days later, if they won. Even if we never make a Final Four, those 2 hours (which hopefully turn into 4, then 6, etc.) are enough of a reward for me, and being a bubble team (kinda) this year has made me realize it. Just make the tourney and let's see what happens from there.

titopoet
02-20-2014, 04:59 AM
Villanova is back this year. This after a few seasons of misery that preceded a FF run. I say this because most here wouldn't think of comparing the Zags program to Nova's program. Why? The same goes with Tennessee and whole host of Big 7 teams. Why Butler? First, Butler is not a flash in the pan. They have been good for years and were the starting place of Thad Matta, not just Brad Stevens. They had sweet sixteens before Brad. They are a good program with a rich history.

Why then the need to compare GU to them. I think it internalizes the Medias perception of both programs as mid-majors. The very thing most Zags fans can't stand, being degraded for the simple fact of not playing in the Big 7.

Butler is going through some growing pains. They lost their best player to injuries. They lost players to transfer and had personal issues. Are they going to fade? Maybe for a few years, but Butler will be back. More to the point, GU is a major program that should be viewed as such. Comparing them to anyone but themselves does a disservice to both programs. The Zags will be good as long as Few is here and he has built such a legacy that when he retires, the program may (or not) go through growing pains, but they will be part of the big time for a long time.

cbbfanatic
02-20-2014, 06:37 AM
Villanova is back this year. This after a few seasons of misery that preceded a FF run. I say this because most here wouldn't think of comparing the Zags program to Nova's program. Why? The same goes with Tennessee and whole host of Big 7 teams. Why Butler? First, Butler is not a flash in the pan. They have been good for years and were the starting place of Thad Matta, not just Brad Stevens. They had sweet sixteens before Brad. They are a good program with a rich history.



im not sure i follow. what comparison are you making between gu and villanova & tennessee? im confused because i dont see what villanova (small private bball school, tons of historical success) and tennessee (huge public football school, little historical success) have to do with each other.

bartruff1
02-20-2014, 07:07 AM
No one is hating Butler...I suspect nearly everyone in here is a fan of Butler .... this is all about push back against the half dozen or so posters who use Butler and Brad Steven's remarkable (even historic) success to belittle Mark Few.... no more complicated than that.

titopoet
02-20-2014, 12:59 PM
im not sure i follow. what comparison are you making between gu and villanova & tennessee? im confused because i dont see what villanova (small private bball school, tons of historical success) and tennessee (huge public football school, little historical success) have to do with each other.

That is my point, they are every bit a valid comparison as Butler is, which is little or none. The only one is how the media treats the two programs that most here despise. Are we going to compare how bad Indiana is doing and how they were a false power because one season?

seacatfan
02-24-2014, 12:13 PM
This is an interesting thread I wanted to get in on but had some technical difficulties getting registered on this site, so I'm a little late to the party. Just a couple things I wanted to add. I didn't see it mentioned anywhere else, but Butler moved from the Horizon to the Atlantic 10 a year or two before joining the new Big East. A-10 is a huge step up from the Horizon and is practically just a lateral move to the Big East, at least in it's first year being reformatted. Butler was staying afloat in the A-10.

Xavier was mentioned a time or two in this thread. They aren't really parallel to Gonzaga or Butler, but they are very noteworthy for their continued excellence over a long period of time. They've certainly had a few down years, don't go to the Tourney every year. But they get there more often than not, and have a handful of Sweet 16's and at least one Elite 8 (maybe two?) to show for it. They started in a similar league to the Horizon, moved up to the A-10 a decade ago or so, and now are with Butler in the new look Big East. They've had a bunch of coaches over the years, but the winning continues. I think their strong tradition goes back 25 years of more. They've also sent a fairly impressive list of players to the NBA for a smaller school, surprisingly more earlier when they were in a smaller conference. Mostly big men. Off the top of my head I can think of Tyrone Hill, Derek Strong, Aaron Williams, Brian Grant and David West.