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jazzdelmar
03-25-2014, 08:30 AM
MAR 23

By Adam Finkelstein | ESPN.com

In order to return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Gonzaga and its chances of dancing again in 2015.


Possible 2014-2015 starting five:
G: Kevin Pangos
G: Gary Bell, Jr.
F: Kyle Dranginis
F: Kyle Wiltjer
C: Przemek Karnowski

Who it loses: The Zags lose a pair of starters in Sam Dower and David Stockton, along with a key member of their second unit in Drew Barham. Dower was the teamís leading scorer and rebounder and a versatile offensive weapon inside of 16 feet. Stockton is the true floor general who played alongside Pangos in a dual point guard lineup for Mark Few. Barham made shots and was a zone buster off the bench. He also had enough size to plug a couple of different positions. The trio combined to play more than 70 minutes per game.

Who it adds: ESPN 100 PG Josh Perkins is the gem of this yearís recruiting class. He arrives with all the talent to make an immediate impact, but heíll have to rebound from a somewhat disappointing senior season to prove he can be the type of efficient decision-maker and shooter the Zags rely on. Bryan Alberts is a 6-foot-3 combo-guard with an intriguing upside thanks to his length, athleticism and ability to create his own shot. Silas Melson will be a college-ready scorer with good athleticism and shooting range. Wiltjer, a transfer from Kentucky, also becomes eligible next season after having to sit out this season.

What it means for next season: This will be Pangosí team in 2014-15, even more so than this season. Heíll take on most of the ball-handling and point guard responsibilities while mentoring Perkins in the process. Bell is likely to slide over a spot after starting alongside Pangos and Stockton this season in a three-guard lineup, while Dranginis should take over the starting spot on the wing, while Wiltjer will step right in at the four spot and Karnowski continue to anchor the team in the middle. Gerard Coleman will provide some instant offense off the bench. Karnowski is expected to anchor the team in the middle, while Nunez could replace Dower up front to give the Zags some added length in the starting rotation.

Trending: Level. The Zags should be poised to remain one of Americaís elite mid-major programs. Pangos and Bell will be as good of a backcourt as there is on the West Coast and Wiltjer and Karnowski should be equally formidable up front. Combine that with versatile parts such as Nunez, Coleman, and Dranginis along with some perimeter firepower off the bench, and Gonzaga will continue to be the team to beat in the West Coast Conference.

WBM
03-25-2014, 08:41 AM
I think it says a lot about this year's team and a fair amount about which direction media expectations are "trending" for Gonzaga, that we are only level from this year to next in this preview. We have more talent coming in than we are losing, we are gaining size and length at our guard positions, and we have an intriguing transfer who's been training hard and practicing with the team for a year coming in as a new starter.

My expectations are higher for next year than they were for this year's squad. I'm think our season rises or falls based on Pangos' recovery and his level of play next year.

GoZags
03-25-2014, 09:02 AM
This may change when the Sabonis news becomes "official" and in the public domain (with the cavaet that nothing is in the bag until it is in the bag ... all indications continue to look overwhelmingly positive).

cjm720
03-25-2014, 09:08 AM
Good write-up until the end plus Alberts is 6'5" not 6'3".

CDC84
03-25-2014, 09:13 AM
The ESPN folks have no idea how good Silas Melson is. He's top 75 caliber, but he just didn't get a lot of AAU exposure.

ESPN also fails to recognize the impact of Pangos' injuries. Just getting him healthy alone will cause an upward trend with the program. He was reduced to being a stand still jump shooter most of this year.

Mr Vulture
03-25-2014, 09:14 AM
I like that they characterized Perkins season as a disappointment even though he started for one of the best HS Prep programs in the country. I guess they only look at points scored when a recruit is coming in. I think next years team will be much better myself...

CDC84
03-25-2014, 09:16 AM
They also fail to recognize that Huntington Prep is one of the worst coached basketball teams I have ever seen at the high school level. Perkins is one of the better passers that has come through the high school ranks in the past 5 years, and all the coach does is have him bring the ball up and hand it off to teammates.

I guarantee you that Perkins won't be doing that at Gonzaga next year.

23dpg
03-25-2014, 10:27 AM
They also fail to recognize that Huntington Prep is one of the worst coached basketball teams I have ever seen at the high school level. Perkins is one of the better passers that has come through the high school ranks in the past 5 years, and all the coach does is have him bring the ball up and hand it off to teammates.

I guarantee you that Perkins won't be doing that at Gonzaga next year.

That's exactly what I saw when HP was on TV. I actually think he would have been better stay in Colorado.

skan72
03-25-2014, 10:57 AM
I think it says a lot about this year's team and a fair amount about which direction media expectations are "trending" for Gonzaga, that we are only level from this year to next in this preview. We have more talent coming in than we are losing, we are gaining size and length at our guard positions, and we have an intriguing transfer who's been training hard and practicing with the team for a year coming in as a new starter.

My expectations are higher for next year than they were for this year's squad. I'm think our season rises or falls based on Pangos' recovery and his level of play next year.

I really agree with this.

I don't think ESPN really did their homework here. Perkins' numbers may have been down, but he didn't have a disappointing senior season. Numbers aren't everything and it doesn't change who he is as a prospect. Plus, Melson and Alberts are better and more athletic than ESPN states here. And if Wiltjer - he was averaging 10 and 5ish his last season at Kentucky - takes even a quarter to half the jump that Olynyk did during his redshirt year, he's going to be a handful for opponents next year. Then there's Dranginis, who I expect to become the player his potential shows he can be. And to top it all off, methinks Karno is going to take another jump in his game and body this off-season and be an absolute monster next season - probably the biggest, baddest centre on the entire West Coast, if not the nation, regardless of conference.

Maybe I drank a bit too much kool-aid, but my expectations are quite high for next season's squad. I see so much good there.

*Just waiting and waiting on this Sabonis news. Ooooo feeling frisky about next season already.

cbbfanatic
03-25-2014, 11:38 AM
The ESPN folks have no idea how good Silas Melson is. He's top 75 caliber, but he just didn't get a lot of AAU exposure.

ESPN also fails to recognize the impact of Pangos' injuries. Just getting him healthy alone will cause an upward trend with the program. He was reduced to being a stand still jump shooter most of this year.

how many times have you seen melson play in person this year? also, how many kids do you typically watch live & assess every year? curious because rivals & scout also appear to have the kid outside their top 150. doesnt mean he cant play, i just find it interesting when one dude on a message board calls the recruiting guys wrong on a particular kid, when hey see hundreds of kids every year and are responsible for putting them all in order, as opposed to cherry picking one here or there of specific interest and trying to put that individual kid in a range.

GoZags
03-25-2014, 12:05 PM
how many times have you seen melson play in person this year? also, how many kids do you typically watch live & assess every year? curious because rivals & scout also appear to have the kid outside their top 150. doesnt mean he cant play, i just find it interesting when one dude on a message board calls the recruiting guys wrong on a particular kid, when hey see hundreds of kids every year and are responsible for putting them all in order, as opposed to cherry picking one here or there of specific interest and trying to put that individual kid in a range.

cbb I believe the point is your recruiting gurus may not have seen Melson as often as they see other guys because of Melson's lack of AAU experience. Not as if this hasn't happened before ... Edwards was unknown. Morrison was unknown. It's how Gonzaga has bee able to thrive

It's not like GU is a big time Villanova type of program and can waltz in and get Too 50
Kids at will.

cbb. If you think GU's players are rated correctly how do you explain their consistent Top 25 status despite a lack of Top
25 recruiting? Or are the experts always correct?

cbbfanatic
03-25-2014, 12:21 PM
cbb I believe the point is your recruiting gurus may not have seen Melson as often as they see other guys because of Melson's lack of AAU experience. Not as if this hasn't happened before ... Edwards was unknown. Morrison was unknown. It's how Gonzaga has bee able to thrive

It's not like GU is a big time Villanova type of program and can waltz in and get Too 50
Kids at will.

cbb. If you think GU's players are rated correctly how do you explain their consistent Top 25 status despite a lack of Top
25 recruiting? Or are the experts always correct?

i only ask because it feels like cherry picking. the talent guys arent perfect, they have to sort through hundreds of kids --- no small task. and i agree that lack of aau exposure can hurt with those rankings for a particular kid (this can also help), but that just means the assessment is incomplete (and they all are by nature to varying degrees) --- not necessarily that it is wrong. who knows, maybe with more exposure, thoughts on this kid would drop, hard to say either way unless you watch 100s of kids, like these guys do.

just feels like around here its a lot of victim talk... GU commits always under-appreciated, always underrated, etc

and villanova hardly pulls top 50 kids out of their hat either - 75-100 kids, sure, but top 50s are a battle

i dont necessarily think GU prospects are always or even usually rated correctly -- i really dont know or care if they are, especially since so many are under the radar, foreign, transfers, etc but to the top 25 question, i would say that gonzaga doesnt have a top 25 caliber talent-filled roster most years (exceptions would be morrison/batista teams and a few others). The majority of their opponents will still be overmatched from a talent perspective though, and combined with GU's relatively smart play and not beating themselves, they rack up enough wins (avoid losses is more accurate) to be ranked and stay ranked a lot of years. as we've all seen, you dont really have to beat a ton of good teams (or any) to be ranked these days, you just have to take care of business and not lose to bad teams.

to keep it really relevant, look at the pattern of GU's rises up the polls in many years... hover a bit in the ooc as they take some losses against solid comp and a lot of other teams are playing the soft part of their schedule, then as conference play starts and the BCS teams grind each others records down, gonzaga is able to stay pretty clean in the wcc and the climb begins simply by not losing to teams like lmu, portland, st marys, etc. last year it went all the way to #1 with a 1-2 record against ranked teams. this year they couldnt stay as clean as needed in conference to keep the ranking, but you could see how they were getting close late in the year without really notching a lot of great wins in the process. so yeah, i dont think you need a top 25 talent roster to be ranked in the top 25. not if you are a big name mid major

did wichita state have top 5/top 1 talent this year? i dont think so. kentucky was completely unranked but are absolutely a top 3 talent roster. lots of things at play. the best rosters dont always come together as great teams

Angelo Roncalli
03-25-2014, 12:48 PM
i only ask because it feels like cherry picking. the talent guys arent perfect, they have to sort through hundreds of kids --- no small task. and i agree that lack of aau exposure can hurt with those rankings for a particular kid (this can also help), but that just means the assessment is incomplete (and they all are by nature to varying degrees) --- not necessarily that it is wrong. who knows, maybe with more exposure, thoughts on this kid would drop, hard to say either way unless you watch 100s of kids, like these guys do.

just feels like around here its a lot of victim talk... GU commits always under-appreciated, always underrated, etc

and villanova hardly pulls top 50 kids out of their hat either - 75-100 kids, sure, but top 50s are a battle

i dont necessarily think GU prospects are always or even usually rated correctly -- i really dont know or care if they are, especially since so many are under the radar, foreign, transfers, etc but to the top 25 question, i would say that gonzaga doesnt have a top 25 caliber talent-filled roster most years (exceptions would be morrison/batista teams and a few others). The majority of their opponents will still be overmatched from a talent perspective though, and combined with GU's relatively smart play and not beating themselves, they rack up enough wins (avoid losses is more accurate) to be ranked and stay ranked a lot of years. as we've all seen, you dont really have to beat a ton of good teams (or any) to be ranked these days, you just have to take care of business and not lose to bad teams.

to keep it really relevant, look at the pattern of GU's rises up the polls in many years... hover a bit in the ooc as they take some losses against solid comp and a lot of other teams are playing the soft part of their schedule, then as conference play starts and the BCS teams grind each others records down, gonzaga is able to stay pretty clean in the wcc and the climb begins simply by not losing to teams like lmu, portland, st marys, etc. last year it went all the way to #1 with a 1-2 record against ranked teams. this year they couldnt stay as clean as needed in conference to keep the ranking, but you could see how they were getting close late in the year without really notching a lot of great wins in the process. so yeah, i dont think you need a top 25 talent roster to be ranked in the top 25. not if you are a big name mid major

did wichita state have top 5/top 1 talent this year? i dont think so. kentucky was completely unranked but are absolutely a top 3 talent roster. lots of things at play. the best rosters dont always come together as great teams

It "feels" like you've got a severe superiority complex. If you don't like what you read on this board, why bother? Why not just share your infinite wisdom with somebody that cares.

maynard g krebs
03-25-2014, 12:51 PM
how many times have you seen melson play in person this year? also, how many kids do you typically watch live & assess every year? curious because rivals & scout also appear to have the kid outside their top 150. doesnt mean he cant play, i just find it interesting when one dude on a message board calls the recruiting guys wrong on a particular kid, when hey see hundreds of kids every year and are responsible for putting them all in order, as opposed to cherry picking one here or there of specific interest and trying to put that individual kid in a range.

Adam Morrison was outside the top 200 when he set the 4A state tourney scoring record in leading Mead to a runner up finish v a Franklin team with 4 D1 players, including McD AA and future NBAer Aaron Brooks.

Morrison was every bit as good as Brooks in that tourney; I'd argue a bit better. I went all 4 days that year.

GU's staff has a track record of finding players who are better than their ranking.

Melson's hs coach calls him a 6'3 Terrence Ross.

The recruiting experts seeing hundreds of kids in an AAU setting kind of makes the point. AAU is crap basketball, for one thing, and when they're looking at that many players they're basically ranking on individual skills, size, and athleticism. Important attributes but not the whole picture, as guys like Adam prove. Basketball iq and subtle skills get overlooked in that scenario to a large extent.

I saw Melson play 2 AAU games last summer and he didn't play well, as I've posted. But putting up the numbers he did at probably the premier bb school in Oregon is pretty indisputable evidence.

If you have read CDC's posts over time, you'd realize he's not some random message board poster like you and me. He's one of the couple handfuls of people here who actually know stuff. Better to listen to and learn from such people.

T

kitzbuel
03-25-2014, 12:53 PM
So does a perennial top 25 team have top 25 talent or not. If not, then what is the definition of top 25 talent?

Mr Vulture
03-25-2014, 12:54 PM
The reason guys like Melson get overlooked is a lack of AAU exposure. The general idea among recruiting "experts" is that if you aren't AAU, you can't possibly be even close to Top 100 talent. The bottom line is that Melson can play and play better than his rankings indicate. Frankly, it doesn't really matter what the "experts" think, all that matters is how the player performs at the next level. I am confident that this class will become one of the most significant we've brought in.

surfmonkey89
03-25-2014, 12:55 PM
It "feels" like you've got a severe superiority complex.

This should be in the ### Calling the Kettle Black Hall of Fame.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

cbbfanatic
03-25-2014, 01:06 PM
It "feels" like you've got a severe superiority complex. If you don't like what you read on this board, why bother? Why not just share your infinite wisdom with somebody that cares.

read it how you want... i was trying to have a college basketball discussion -- no more, no less.

maynards response is the kind of response that works for me... you know, responses, points, pieces of information, history, etc.

CDC84
03-25-2014, 01:08 PM
From Melson's Gatorade POY writeup at USA Today:


"He may be the best guard the Portland Interscholastic League has seen since (1990-91 Gatorade Oregon Player of the Year) Damon Stoudamire,” said Jeffrey McGee, head coach of rival Franklin. “Every opposing coach plans and executes their game plan around dealing with Silas. Overall, his love for the game can be seen in every effort he makes on the court.”

The state of Oregon has produced a lot of really good D-1 basketball players since 1990-91. Coach McGee has seen Melson play many, many more times than any recruiting analyst.. He's not only seen him, but he's had to scout against him in an effort to beat Jefferson HS in real organized basketball games that really matter to people. Being that he's a rival coach and not just some guy trying to pump up his own player, his words are quite meaningful.

cbbfanatic
03-25-2014, 01:10 PM
Adam Morrison was outside the top 200 when he set the 4A state tourney scoring record in leading Mead to a runner up finish v a Franklin team with 4 D1 players, including McD AA and future NBAer Aaron Brooks.

Morrison was every bit as good as Brooks in that tourney; I'd argue a bit better. I went all 4 days that year.

GU's staff has a track record of finding players who are better than their ranking.

Melson's hs coach calls him a 6'3 Terrence Ross.

The recruiting experts seeing hundreds of kids in an AAU setting kind of makes the point. AAU is crap basketball, for one thing, and when they're looking at that many players they're basically ranking on individual skills, size, and athleticism. Important attributes but not the whole picture, as guys like Adam prove. Basketball iq and subtle skills get overlooked in that scenario to a large extent.

I saw Melson play 2 AAU games last summer and he didn't play well, as I've posted. But putting up the numbers he did at probably the premier bb school in Oregon is pretty indisputable evidence.

If you have read CDC's posts over time, you'd realize he's not some random message board poster like you and me. He's one of the couple handfuls of people here who actually know stuff. Better to listen to and learn from such people.

T

i dont disagree with most of what you say, though i'd temper HS coach comments as much as i would recruiting gurus. i would think that there is no such thing as a 6'3 terrence ross (his height/length are a big part of who he is as a player)

listen and learn? i do plenty of that, but it isnt based on the name of the poster. that does little for me.

cjm720
03-25-2014, 01:24 PM
I hadn't seen that quote...good stuff! Thanks for sharing, CDC.


From Melson's Gatorade POY writeup at USA Today:



The state of Oregon has produced a lot of really good D-1 basketball players since 1990-91. Coach McGee has seen Melson play many, many more times than any recruiting analyst.. He's not only seen him, but he's had to scout against him in an effort to beat Jefferson HS in real organized basketball games that really matter to people. Being that he's a rival coach and not just some guy trying to pump up his own player, his words are quite meaningful.

Zagdawg
03-25-2014, 02:04 PM
Over 1 million high schools basketball players in the United States each year-- only so much a scout can do-- I gotta agree --most tend to watch the AAU circuit and tourneys to identify who they think are the best-- so many will get missed.

Good writeup from Coach McGee -- he has some idea what Melson is capable of.

MDABE80
03-25-2014, 02:30 PM
I think we struck gold with these 3 guards. No doubt Josh will be better here. Silas is D1 ready and he's tough. If Alberts gets his knees working like normal, he'll be second to none.
All will learn lots from our present kids.
Bigs will still be a chore. Kyle will be a very good shooter but he's wispy and won't bang much when needed. Nontheless, he's a good basketball player who has seen and learned much in his travels.
Nunez,Karno and perhaps Edwards ( who may redshirt). I like Edwards a lot.really he never let us down in his spot minutes. An athletic big who can work longminutes is what we need. 6 8 -6 9.kid. We should be ranked highly with all our returnees .well top 20 anyway. SHould be a fun season.

surfmonkey89
03-25-2014, 04:41 PM
Angelo, you're over your storage limit, so I'm going to respond publicly. Might as well do that since I'm the one who popped off anyway.

I was just super upset with that last game, and when I come to the board I get even more frustrated at the way people shut down any form of dissent. You were just at the right place, at the right time, right before my wifi hotspot was going to expire. Sorry about that.

I just need to step away from this board, and remind myself that it's full of people half my age, who are the most rabid of the rabid.

Anyway, sorry about that. And thanks for letting me sit in your seat :D

Birddog
03-25-2014, 04:58 PM
I was just super upset with that last game, and when I come to the board I get even more frustrated at the way people shut down any form of dissent. You were just at the right place, at the right time, right before my wifi hotspot was going to expire. Sorry about that.

I just need to step away from this board, and remind myself that it's full of people half my age, who are the most rabid of the rabid.
Surfmonkey. If I were you I'd make a few burritos, it's great therapy. Even better is instructing other people in "How To Make A Burrito"!

I'd really enjoy one of Mikeness' game evaluations about now. That would make for some real fireworks on the board and we could keep from eating our young.

CaliforniaZaggin'
03-25-2014, 05:01 PM
The ESPN folks have no idea how good Silas Melson is. He's top 75 caliber, but he just didn't get a lot of AAU exposure.

ESPN also fails to recognize the impact of Pangos' injuries. Just getting him healthy alone will cause an upward trend with the program. He was reduced to being a stand still jump shooter most of this year.

That's a great point. Kevin went from looking like the early frontrunner from WCC Player of the Year and possible Cousy Award Finalist to, in essence, Phil Forte (no offense to OK State fans).

skan72
03-25-2014, 06:04 PM
That's a great point. Kevin went from looking like the early frontrunner from WCC Player of the Year and possible Cousy Award Finalist to, in essence, Phil Forte (no offense to OK State fans).

That's actually a fantastic analogy. Love it. It's exactly what happened with Pangos because of injuries this season.

deathchina
03-25-2014, 06:57 PM
Spot on. Agree with almost everything you say here. Especially the part about our WCC schedule artificially inflating our ranking.



i only ask because it feels like cherry picking. the talent guys arent perfect, they have to sort through hundreds of kids --- no small task. and i agree that lack of aau exposure can hurt with those rankings for a particular kid (this can also help), but that just means the assessment is incomplete (and they all are by nature to varying degrees) --- not necessarily that it is wrong. who knows, maybe with more exposure, thoughts on this kid would drop, hard to say either way unless you watch 100s of kids, like these guys do.

just feels like around here its a lot of victim talk... GU commits always under-appreciated, always underrated, etc

and villanova hardly pulls top 50 kids out of their hat either - 75-100 kids, sure, but top 50s are a battle

i dont necessarily think GU prospects are always or even usually rated correctly -- i really dont know or care if they are, especially since so many are under the radar, foreign, transfers, etc but to the top 25 question, i would say that gonzaga doesnt have a top 25 caliber talent-filled roster most years (exceptions would be morrison/batista teams and a few others). The majority of their opponents will still be overmatched from a talent perspective though, and combined with GU's relatively smart play and not beating themselves, they rack up enough wins (avoid losses is more accurate) to be ranked and stay ranked a lot of years. as we've all seen, you dont really have to beat a ton of good teams (or any) to be ranked these days, you just have to take care of business and not lose to bad teams.

to keep it really relevant, look at the pattern of GU's rises up the polls in many years... hover a bit in the ooc as they take some losses against solid comp and a lot of other teams are playing the soft part of their schedule, then as conference play starts and the BCS teams grind each others records down, gonzaga is able to stay pretty clean in the wcc and the climb begins simply by not losing to teams like lmu, portland, st marys, etc. last year it went all the way to #1 with a 1-2 record against ranked teams. this year they couldnt stay as clean as needed in conference to keep the ranking, but you could see how they were getting close late in the year without really notching a lot of great wins in the process. so yeah, i dont think you need a top 25 talent roster to be ranked in the top 25. not if you are a big name mid major

did wichita state have top 5/top 1 talent this year? i dont think so. kentucky was completely unranked but are absolutely a top 3 talent roster. lots of things at play. the best rosters dont always come together as great teams

WallaWallaZag
03-25-2014, 07:02 PM
So does a perennial top 25 team have top 25 talent or not. If not, then what is the definition of top 25 talent?

for me, the gonzaga program is the ultimate example of the sum is greater than the parts (or however the phrase goes). that's why i'm always amused by the mark few haters out there (don't get me wrong, i still think few has a lot of improving to do). zags usually don't have top 25 INDIVIDUAL talent, but almost always have a top 25 level TEAM. occasionally gonzaga does acquire and/or develop top 25 individual talents like ammo or ko but they are usually non-traditional individual talents in that their athleticism in the traditional sense (explosiveness) is not what makes them great/talented.

Ekrub
03-25-2014, 07:28 PM
Spot on. Agree with almost everything you say here. Especially the part about our WCC schedule artificially inflating our ranking.

Works both ways however. There is a second reason (other than money) that top 25 teams don't go to, say, USF to play a game. It's hard to get your reputation back after a loss like that and there is a real chance you might lose. We are essentially forced into these games where there is no upside and all the downside in the world. When we lose one of these (and almost every team in the country save a few would lose at least one WCC game) it seriously damages our ranking. I agree that sometimes due to natural attrition, we are over-ranked. However there are years when it does us a major disservice.

And FWIW, all the major statistical sites had GU as a top 5 team last year. Those sites incorporate SOS, Margin of Victory, etc... into their formulas. So the WCC was not the only reason we were ranked so high last year. It was our performance vs. the WCC relative to other teams who played them and our performance in non-conference (Butler, OSU, K-State, Baylor, Oklahoma, etc...)

CDC84
03-25-2014, 07:39 PM
Another thing about last year's team is that it had a lottery pick and first team AA on it in Kelly Olynyk. Your team goes up a notch when you have a player of that ability in your lineup. Especially a player that was as unique as KO was.

You could argue that last year's team wasn't worthy of a one seed, but they were clearly one of the best 8 teams in the country by almost every measure. Still feel that if GBJ hadn't gotten hurt that GU would've gotten past Wichita State. From that point forward the pressure would've been off. It was an opportunity lost. This year's team maxed out. You could argue that they overachieved. Beating Oklahoma State - a preseason top 7 team with a lottery pick PG - is nothing to sneeze at.

AzZag
03-25-2014, 07:44 PM
If we roll with this lineup we will get crushed on the boards. Bad.
It should be Pangos at the 1, Bell at the 2, Wiltjer at 3, Nunez at the 4 and Karno 5.
Then KD, Perkins Sabonis and GC off the bench for instant impact. I pray Edwards hits the gym like 10 hours a day and redshirts. He can be part of the "only one Zag allowed to workout" program like KO and Wiltjer.

Melson and Alberts redshirt too. Heck, make Miekle redshirt also. Unfortunately they won't be allowed to workout as Edwards will be the only one allowed.

I wouldn't be surprised if Coleman transfers to a D2 school either. Why rot on the bench and waste talent?

Ekrub
03-25-2014, 07:45 PM
Another thing about last year's team is that it had a lottery pick and first team AA on it in Kelly Olynyk. Your team goes up a notch when you have a player of that ability in your lineup. Especially a player that was as unique as KO was.

You could argue that last year's team wasn't worthy of a one seed, but they were clearly one of the best 8 teams in the country by almost every measure. Still feel that if GBJ hadn't gotten hurt that GU would've gotten past Wichita State. From that point forward the pressure would've been off. It was an opportunity lost. This year's team maxed out. You could argue that they overachieved. Beating Oklahoma State - a preseason top 7 team with a lottery pick PG - is nothing to sneeze at.

I'd go as far as to say top 5.

CDC84
03-25-2014, 07:54 PM
I have seen nothing from Nunez to suggest that he's going to be a starter much less a major rotation player on next year's team unless he works harder at his game. Lots of physical gifts and little else. I worry about his overall basketball IQ and feel for the game.

Dranginis is an outstanding rebounder for a wing. I could see him collecting 6-7 RPG logging starter's minutes. He was the 3rd leading rebounder on this year's team. I wouldn't write off Wiltjer as a rebounder after an offseason with Travis Knight. He has a remade body.

Melson is division one ready right now. He defends at a high level. That alone will keep him off the redshirt list. Alberts is the guy who could use a redshirt because of his overall lack of playing experience due to injury.

AzZag
03-25-2014, 08:11 PM
I have seen nothing from Nunez to suggest that he's going to be a starter much less a major rotation player on next year's team unless he works harder at his game. Lots of physical gifts and little else. I worry about his overall basketball IQ and feel for the game.

Dranginis is an outstanding rebounder for a wing. I could see him collecting 6-7 RPG logging starter's minutes. He was the 3rd leading rebounder on this year's team. I wouldn't write off Wiltjer as a rebounder after an offseason with Travis Knight. He has a remade body.

Melson is division one ready right now. He defends at a high level. That alone will keep him off the redshirt list. Alberts is the guy who could use a redshirt because of his overall lack of playing experience due to injury.

You've seen nothing from Nunez (or Coleman) because if they make a mistake they are yanked. Then when they do get in for their 2mpg they are nervous and mess up. Coleman scored four points in one minute against Zona but turned the ball over and got yanked---for the rest of the game. I don't want Wiltjer or KD to be rebounders. They are both scorers. We need guys who can create their own shot and not just rely on GBJ and Pangos to do everything. Nunez has the talent to be a force on the glass. He just needs more development. If we keep going with high IQ guys and not athletes we will never go past the round of 32. KD can't come close to rebounding against the Aaron Gordon's. Eventually better talent wins out.

Hoopaholic
03-25-2014, 08:26 PM
Chicken or the egg which comes first

CDC84
03-25-2014, 08:33 PM
You've seen nothing from Nunez (or Coleman) because if they make a mistake they are yanked. Then when they do get in for their 2mpg they are nervous and mess up. Coleman scored four points in one minute against Zona but turned the ball over and got yanked---for the rest of the game. I don't want Wiltjer or KD to be rebounders. They are both scorers. We need guys who can create their own shot and not just rely on GBJ and Pangos to do everything. Nunez has the talent to be a force on the glass. He just needs more development. If we keep going with high IQ guys and not athletes we will never go past the round of 32. KD can't come close to rebounding against the Aaron Gordon's. Eventually better talent wins out.

High IQ guys have led to 16 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, 400+ wins, an 80%+ winning percentage, 16 out of 18 WCC postseason tournament titles, and the most consecutive regular season conference titles by any coach not named Wooden.

Few is not going to do anything to compromise that. He's not going to throw away a winning formula by risking it on guys who have to be told by other players where to stand in a 2-3 zone and who turn the ball over 3 times in 3 minutes against WCC competition.

Nunez has to want to develop. That's part of what is at issue here. Just as it was with Theo Davis. The coaches can only do so much unless a kid really wants it.

What makes Aaron Gordon special is not his raw talent. It’s the fact that he combines it with a non-stop motor and great basketball IQ. He is a very smart player who understands a lot of nuances about the game that only coaches notice.

cggonzaga
03-25-2014, 08:47 PM
Few is not going to do anything to compromise that. He's not going to throw away a winning formula by risking it on guys who have to be told by other players where to stand in a 2-3 zone and who turn the ball over 3 times in 3 minutes against WCC competition.


Sorry CDC but can't totally agree here. How does this explain a certain senior point guard that can be out of position in man defense or just flat out getting burned on the ball as well as turning the ball over 6 times not getting the hook? To me there is a double standard with certain players.

Moving on. I think Wiltjer is being grossly underrated. He's always been more talented than Kelly O and now he's working on the body. He's never going to be a low post player but he's going to score in multiple ways like Kelly did while being better from the perimeter. He's also going to play much better with Karno than Dower did as both guys won't demand the post. KP has said on multiple occassions that the guy cannot be stopped in practice. This was the same thing being said about Kelly his redshirt season. I'd be shocked if he wasn't our leading scorer next year (him or Kevin).

I also disagree with the assessment we're staying level. This will be a top 5 team next season.

CDC84
03-25-2014, 09:02 PM
Sorry CDC but can't totally agree here. How does this explain a certain senior point guard that can be out of position in man defense or just flat out getting burned on the ball as well as turning the ball over 6 times not getting the hook? To me there is a double standard with certain players.

All I can say about that is that a new era begins next season.

It's a lot easier to yank a guy who has many other guys who can play his position. If you yank that certain senior point guard, Pangos has to play the point, which basically cancels out his offense entirely due to his ailing foot. The team was never going to be the same once Kevin got hurt. Besides, Pangos had 4 turnovers himself playing off the ball. There was plenty of blame to go around.

On to next season......

AzZag
03-25-2014, 09:04 PM
[QUOTE=CDC84;1006058]High IQ guys have led to 16 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, 400+ wins, an 80%+ winning percentage, 16 out of 18 WCC postseason tournament titles, and the most consecutive regular season conference titles by any coach not named Wooden.

Few is not going to do anything to compromise that. He's not going to throw away a winning formula by risking it on guys who have to be told by other players where to stand in a 2-3 zone and who turn the ball over 3 times in 3 minutes against WCC competition.

One Elite 8 appearance in 15 years. Actually--ever.
It's time for the program to take the next step. The WCC has been conquered for our lifetimes. I want Final Fours and National Championship games. Taking risks is well...risky, yet can pay dividends. Hopefully one day the bulldog will be a pit bull.

Zagdawg
03-25-2014, 09:15 PM
I'm confused here--help me out-- a couple of statements that don't line up from post to post.

"If we keep going with high IQ guys and not athletes we will never go past the round of 32."

"One Elite 8 appearance in 15 years." and a few rounds of 16-----but we are not supposed to be able to get past the round of 32 with the players we have.

Are we just getting lucky---or does the system work at times.

I believe we are very close to taking the next step--looking at next year as a great year of opportunity.

CDC84
03-25-2014, 09:17 PM
One Elite 8 appearance in 15 years. Actually--ever.
It's time for the program to take the next step. The WCC has been conquered for our lifetimes. I want Final Fours and National Championship games. Taking risks is well...risky, yet can pay dividends. Hopefully one day the bulldog will be a pit bull.

AZ = We've discussed this many times. Few views the NCAA tournament as a crap shoot that is largely based on matchups. He's said so many times in interviews over the years. He views regular season accomplishment and conference championships as being the true measure of the program's success. If you don't feel that way, guess what, he doesn't care one bit. He also doesn't care what the east coast media thinks about his coaching legacy either. This is a huge part of the reason why he has remained at Gonzaga. He's different from other coaches in that he can live with never, ever making the final four. Would he like to make one? Sure. But more for his players than for his legacy. He will never, ever risk regular season accomplishment for postseason gain.

You will give yourself an ulcer if you wish him to be something that he isn't and never has been. The best thing to hope for is that the staff will recruit more and more players that combine raw talent with the basketball IQ and feel for the game that Few covets.

FWIW - I share Zagdawg's view. The Zags are getting close. The history of college basketball shows that coaches who win tons of games will eventually succeed at a high level in the postseason. I always refer back to Gary Williams at Maryland. It took him years and years. At some point there's going to be a perfect bracket and a perfect Gonzaga team for it.

AzZag
03-25-2014, 09:20 PM
I'm confused here--help me out-- a couple of statements that don't line up from post to post.

"If we keep going with high IQ guys and not athletes we will never go past the round of 32."

"One Elite 8 appearance in 15 years." and a few rounds of 16-----but we are not supposed to be able to get past the round of 32 with the players we have.

Are we just getting lucky---or does the system work at times.

I believe we are very close to taking the next step--looking at next year as a great year of opportunity.

One Elite Eight [B]Fifteen] years ago. How much clearer do I have to make it? Zero Final Fours or Title Games.

AzZag
03-25-2014, 09:22 PM
Nothing wrong with being a divisional manager instead of the CEO----for some.

ZagaZags
03-25-2014, 09:28 PM
Chicken or the egg which comes first

It has to be the egg.........no wait, its the chicken. The chicken came first............Nope it needs to be the egg, the egg came first............Wait, now that I think about it, The chicken needs to lay the egg.......I'm so confused. I want a cheese omelet now....... Or do I want a chicken sandwich?

seacatfan
03-25-2014, 10:38 PM
AZ = We've discussed this many times. Few views the NCAA tournament as a crap shoot that is largely based on matchups. He's said so many times in interviews over the years. He views regular season accomplishment and conference championships as being the true measure of the program's success. If you don't feel that way, guess what, he doesn't care one bit. He also doesn't care what the east coast media thinks about his coaching legacy either. This is a huge part of the reason why he has remained at Gonzaga. He's different from other coaches in that he can live with never, ever making the final four. Would he like to make one? Sure. But more for his players than for his legacy. He will never, ever risk regular season accomplishment for postseason gain.

You will give yourself an ulcer if you wish him to be something that he isn't and never has been. The best thing to hope for is that the staff will recruit more and more players that combine raw talent with the basketball IQ and feel for the game that Few covets.

FWIW - I share Zagdawg's view. The Zags are getting close. The history of college basketball shows that coaches who win tons of games will eventually succeed at a high level in the postseason. I always refer back to Gary Williams at Maryland. It took him years and years. At some point there's going to be a perfect bracket and a perfect Gonzaga team for it.

This confuses me. If Few's focus is on the regular season and not the post season because "it's a crapshoot" why do so many think he's continuing to evolve as a coach and the Zags are about to hit a breakthrough? He's got the formula figured out for winning the WCC, he can keep doing that all day, and if that's how he defines success then all is good and there's no need to change or stretch himself or...really anything. Just keep doing the exact same thing and keep getting the exact same result.

Gary Williams coached for a long time, then got to a Final 4, then won a Title...then fell off a cliff and became irrelevant. I'm not going to try to do a breakdown of average age or average number of years coaching before reaching a Final 4 or Elite 8. I know young bucks like Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens kinda torpedo the line of thinking about just being patient. Rick Pitino, John Calipari and Billy Donovan all got to Final 4's when they were fairly young and fairly early in their coaching careers. You can find examples of quick ascent and long time to get there, but I think generally speaking the best coaches are going to get it done sooner than later. Many, many coaches (the vast majority in fact) never get to the last weekend of the season, doesn't mean they aren't good coaches, but being patient doesn't really make any difference.

WallaWallaZag
03-25-2014, 10:38 PM
Nothing wrong with being a divisional manager instead of the CEO----for some.

also need to be realistic...gonzaga simply isn't ceo material...if the zags end up in the ceo seat it will be because they got lucky or because the were the divisional manager for so long that eventually they ended up in the ceo seat by accident...maybe the ceo in-waiting got fired for sexual harassment.

thegloriousgoateeofKP
03-25-2014, 11:56 PM
AZ = We've discussed this many times. Few views the NCAA tournament as a crap shoot that is largely based on matchups. He's said so many times in interviews over the years. He views regular season accomplishment and conference championships as being the true measure of the program's success. If you don't feel that way, guess what, he doesn't care one bit. He also doesn't care what the east coast media thinks about his coaching legacy either. This is a huge part of the reason why he has remained at Gonzaga. He's different from other coaches in that he can live with never, ever making the final four. Would he like to make one? Sure. But more for his players than for his legacy. He will never, ever risk regular season accomplishment for postseason gain.

You will give yourself an ulcer if you wish him to be something that he isn't and never has been. The best thing to hope for is that the staff will recruit more and more players that combine raw talent with the basketball IQ and feel for the game that Few covets.

FWIW - I share Zagdawg's view. The Zags are getting close. The history of college basketball shows that coaches who win tons of games will eventually succeed at a high level in the postseason. I always refer back to Gary Williams at Maryland. It took him years and years. At some point there's going to be a perfect bracket and a perfect Gonzaga team for it.

After 7 years or so reading this board, this is my favorite all-time post. Your last sentence hit me like a ton of bricks...you're right on. And Coach Few is right on, as well. The Tourney is a crapshoot. If we keep getting there, we'll eventually break through. It's a mathematical (near) certainty. And if it doesn't happen until the year 2050, just think how much it'll mean to us. I'm in it (Zag fandom, that is) for the long haul.

Birddog
03-26-2014, 03:47 AM
It has to be the egg.........no wait, its the chicken. The chicken came first............Nope it needs to be the egg, the egg came first............Wait, now that I think about it, The chicken needs to lay the egg.......I'm so confused. I want a cheese omelet now....... Or do I want a chicken sandwich?
None of this chicken or egg stuff means crap. The real issue is when will the chicken make it across the road? I'm thinking sooner rather than later.

Reborn
03-26-2014, 05:15 AM
Another thing about last year's team is that it had a lottery pick and first team AA on it in Kelly Olynyk. Your team goes up a notch when you have a player of that ability in your lineup. Especially a player that was as unique as KO was.

You could argue that last year's team wasn't worthy of a one seed, but they were clearly one of the best 8 teams in the country by almost every measure. Still feel that if GBJ hadn't gotten hurt that GU would've gotten past Wichita State. From that point forward the pressure would've been off. It was an opportunity lost. This year's team maxed out. You could argue that they overachieved. Beating Oklahoma State - a preseason top 7 team with a lottery pick PG - is nothing to sneeze at.

I'll always wonder what this team could have done if Kevin had not gotten that turf toe injury. Kevin was at least half of his true self on offense. I really admire what he did for the Zags by staying committed to the team and playing with that injury. He must have been in horrible pain all season long. What a guy. I really hope he has an unbelievable year next year, because I feel that the kind of sacrifice he made for the team always leads to great things.

Regarding recruiting, I believe it's getting consistently better each year, and eventually there will be enough talent on the team to play in a final four and also at some point to win one. The problem the Zags are now experiencing, as the recruiting is getting better is that we will continue to lose players before they graduate. Imagine what the team would have been like this year with Kelly Olynyk. Mark Few said that they would have been undefeated.

I have a memory, and I hope it's accurate (you can never tell if it is when you're getting older), that Mark Few said in the book Braveheart, that the last step in achieving his goal of reaching a Final Four was recruiting. And he believed that at some point he and his staff would be able to recruit elite talent. I believe that this was in the plan that he and his friends presented to Gonzaga University when they went there to get try to get hired. Hope I'm not wrong.

I feel that Gonzaga is getting close now, thanks to the staff being able to recruit outside of the United States. If Sabonis comes to Gonzaga, the Zags may be taking that next step that could lead to a final 4. And I do not believe that Gonzaga's loss to Arizona will hurt their recruiting at all, but I do feel that Gonzaga's ability to once again advance to the Round of 32 for the sixth straight year, and that this was our 16th straight season of making it to the NCAA National Tournament will help our recruiting. I think there are only like six or seven teams that have accomplished what Gonzaga has accomplished in the NCAA Tournament. And thanks to a very good recruiting class, that has been outlined very well here in this thread, Gonzaga will be better next year, and that says alot because the Zags were dang good this year.

Go Zags!!!

seacatfan
03-26-2014, 11:09 AM
Recruiting is a strange animal. There has been much ebb and flow to it over the years for the Zags. They've gotten guys that were ludicrously undervalued by the recruitniks (Morrison seems like the most glaring example, and it's kinda hard to believe that Pargo wasn't a bigger priority for other schools). They've plucked a few gems over the years that definitely had interest from some of the big boys--Bouldin, Heytvelt, Daye, Perkins most recently (I'm sure I'm missing somebody). The Daye/Gray/Sacre class seemed like a high water mark, recruiting got a bit sketchy for a number of years after that. The international guys kept the program afloat. Lots of mis-evaluations and guys that washed out of the program. Things seem to be back on track, still heavily leaning on Canada/Europe but having better success with the domestic recruits.

ZagaZags
03-26-2014, 11:17 AM
None of this chicken or egg stuff means crap. The real issue is when will the chicken make it across the road? I'm thinking sooner rather than later.

So the moral to this story is, can the chicken cross the road without laying an egg? ;)