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primal23
10-13-2014, 01:01 PM
http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/10/13/2014-2015-season-preview-ranking-the-biggest-x-factors/


Gonzaga’s defense: Kevin Pangos, now that he’s healthy, is going to have a huge season. Kyle Wiltjer has had a year to develop his body and his game, making him the perfect stretch-four to create space in the paint for Przemek Karnowski and Domantas Sabonis. Gary Bell, Byron Wesley, Eric McClellan, Josh Perkins, Kyle Draginis. There’s plenty of talent on the Zags, but the issue will be on defense. When Pangos, Wiltjer and Karnowski are on the floor together, Mark Few will have three defensive question marks. Gonzaga is a Final Four caliber team if they get enough stops.

Hoopaholic
10-13-2014, 01:58 PM
http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/10/13/2014-2015-season-preview-ranking-the-biggest-x-factors/

Hmmmmmm claiming pango and karno defensive liabilities?

zag buddy
10-13-2014, 02:03 PM
Sabonis, with his energy and knack for attacking the ball on rebounds and passing skills, I think he will shine in that area.

cjm720
10-13-2014, 02:09 PM
Not sure how Karno will be a defensive liability....

Baseline
10-13-2014, 02:13 PM
I thought Shem should have been defensive POY last year, he is not a liability on defense.
Pangos holds his own very nicely.
Melson is the x factor

SteelZag
10-13-2014, 02:31 PM
I think Shem and a healthy Pangos will more than hold their own on defense. Team defense should be one of the best ever for the Zags. Hopefully, pace of play and efficiency by Gonzaga's offense should wear down opposing teams. Expending all their energy on the defensive side trying to stop GU's offense will leave teams listless on the offensive end.

primal23
10-13-2014, 02:37 PM
Only thing I can think of as Shem being a liability is his tendency to get into foul trouble.

maynard g krebs
10-13-2014, 02:55 PM
Lazy stereotyping (big heavy white guy has to be a bad defender, right?) Obviously either didn't see Shem play or didn't pay attention if he did.

Vanzagger
10-13-2014, 03:04 PM
I think Shem and a healthy Pangos will more than hold their own on defense. Team defense should be one of the best ever for the Zags. Hopefully, pace of play and efficiency by Gonzaga's offense should wear down opposing teams. Expending all their energy on the defensive side trying to stop GU's offense will leave teams listless on the offensive end.

+1

Reborn
10-13-2014, 03:43 PM
Defense has always been an X factor for Gonzaga, year after year; so I can see why any writer might think it is again this year. And even more specificly Gonzaga's toughness has always been questioned when they play teams from the power conferences, and specificly in March. Pangos and PK however, will not be the problem defensively. I would have to agree that Wiltjer could be a liability on both defense and rebounding.

For me the other X factor is Wesley. How will he fit into Mark Few's system?

Mantua
10-13-2014, 04:25 PM
Defense has always been an X factor for Gonzaga, year after year; so I can see why any writer might think it is again this year. And even more specificly Gonzaga's toughness has always been questioned when they play teams from the power conferences, and specificly in March. Pangos and PK however, will not be the problem defensively. I would have to agree that Wiltjer could be a liability on both defense and rebounding.

For me the other X factor is Wesley. How will he fit into Mark Few's system?

Wesley and the Substitutions are the x-factors as in just how great are they going to be!?

I'm sure that the coaches are drilling this team on defense.

Pangos and Karnowski are not defensive liabilities!

cggonzaga
10-13-2014, 04:28 PM
I also think it's important to remember too that Pangos won't have to guard mismatches anymore with Stockton gone. The guys Stockton guarded should've been the guys Pangos would've guarded. We won't have to worry about Kevin guarding 6'4, 6'5 shooting guards any longer. Not to mention it's always been a misnomer Pangos was a bad defender.

Mantua
10-13-2014, 04:45 PM
Great point! Melson and Perkins won't be mismatches. Perkins is a heady player and Melson looks like a steamroller.

DixieZag
10-13-2014, 05:18 PM
Lazy stereotyping (big heavy white guy has to be a bad defender, right?) Obviously either didn't see Shem play or didn't pay attention if he did.

+1

zag67
10-13-2014, 05:23 PM
I also agree with Maynard and Dixie. Shem can be a major force in the middle. He might not block many shots, but he does alter them. Also their big men cannot push him around. But I do hope he adds some quickness so that he does not draw as many reaching fouls. GO ZAGS.

coolhandzag
10-13-2014, 05:27 PM
Largest X-Factor this year? The draw in the Tournament. The Zags have a say in almost all other relevant factors.

VinnyZag
10-13-2014, 06:39 PM
it's always been a misnomer Pangos was a bad defender.

Yes. Pangos isn't as good as Bell or Steven Gray defensively, but he's never been bad. People assume he's a poor defender because of how he looks and because of Gonzaga's run-and-gun reputation, but I've always thought he is solid on that end.

jpwils
10-14-2014, 05:49 AM
Yes. Pangos isn't as good as Bell or Steven Gray defensively, but he's never been bad. People assume he's a poor defender because of how he looks and because of Gonzaga's run-and-gun reputation, but I've always thought he is solid on that end.

Hate to bring it up but staying healthy is a priority with this much depth.

Need Pangos, Bell, and Karnowski and all others to be healthy entering tourney time.

GoZags
10-14-2014, 06:06 AM
A word has popped up a few times on this thread (thanks cg) ... which reminds me of one of my favorite Fewie quotes. It's as true today as it was 13 years ago ... when he first made the statement.
-------------

"It's kind of a misnomer about us. It's almost funny. They assume we are not very athletic. It's a big mistake."MarkFew12/01

Hogan
10-14-2014, 07:04 AM
I guess I'll be the minority view. I agree with this critique. I think this Zag team, like most others will, at least in tournament level competition, have to win with its offense.In the tournament there are teams that win with defense and rebounding. The Zags are not this type of team. A stereotype? Sure, but an accurate one. While Shem has his strengths, I can see him having a lot of difficulty with the 6' 9" Louisville type big athlete. ( Of course they will have their own struggles with Shem.} As noted, KW is not known for his defense, nor do I think our perimeter D will be anything special, at least by top 20 standards.Of course, no team is great at everything. I think there is good hope that our defense will be competitive enough to allow our great offensive to win the day.

basketballzag
10-14-2014, 07:06 AM
A word has popped up a few times on this thread (thanks cg) ... which reminds me of one of my favorite Fewie quotes. It's as true today as it was 13 years ago ... when he first made the statement.
-------------

Connor Griffin only because no one is mentioning him as a factor.

hooter73
10-14-2014, 08:03 AM
Perimeter D will be interesting for sure. Its always our achilles heel but mostly due to personnel - like Stockton and Pangos playing together. This year, in the normal run of the game (not defense crunch time with substitutions every possession) I think it will be better than what were used to with Pangos actually matching up against a comparable guard for once, Bell who we know is plenty solid, then the wing of either Wesley or Dranginis who are both very capable. Bring in someone like Eric M. for the spark when needed.

Wiltjer at the forward will be interesting to see what he does defensively. A bit of his "liability" issues are going to be automatically mitigated purely due to the factor that the competition he will see will not be what he was playing against at KU. He'll see everyones best effort for sure though and at least a guy like Mika at BYU wont be around this year to slam him around.

Shem will never be a shot blocker but hes now in his third year, typically when NCAA bigs finally get their feet under them. Even Sacre was foul prone as a 4th year junior. I guess we'll see what the bigs can do and how many we need. Hoping Edwards still takes the year off and that Sabonis is a quick learner and gets up to speed on USA ball to be able to spell both the 4 and 5 spots when in need. A three man rotation down low (sorry Angel) will take us through just about every game Im thinking.

Zagdawg
10-14-2014, 08:39 AM
Agree about the guard depth --lots of options.
Not sure about some of the other commentary -- "Shem will never be a shot blocker but hes now in his third year"-- Shem after 2 years is the #12 shot blocker in Gonzaga history-- well if he ever becomes a shot blocker-- opposing teams had better watch out -- as he is on pace to be in the top 3-4 at Gonzaga.

Rob Sacre averaged 2.68 fouls per game as a junior and 2.18 fouls per game as a senior-- not bad for a big man mixing it up inside and protecting the rim.

Not going to assume that Wiltjer is a "liability" on D until I see him on the floor-- from what we have heard he has made some strides that should translate to improved mobility on the defensive end.

hooter73
10-14-2014, 08:58 AM
wow, surprised hes already at #12. I'll have to look that list up and watch him move up over the season. Good call!

john montana
10-14-2014, 09:09 AM
Ask Waldow if Shem can play defense.

GonzagasaurusFlex
10-14-2014, 09:51 AM
Biggest X-factors for 14-15:

1) Our shooters must have good rotation on their shots
2) Coach Few must have good rotation on his substitution patterns.

maynard g krebs
10-14-2014, 12:03 PM
Karno averaged 1.7 blocks per game. Turiaf averaged 1.5 as a soph (best was 1.9), Sacre 1.9. ESPN goes back to 2002, and the best shotblocking season for a Zag was Daye at 2.1. Heytvelt is the only other guy in that range (1.7) in the last 13 years. Couldn't find Calvary's numbers.

Olynyk averaged 1.1 his last year.

I think Karno's number is low. I remember games where I thought he blocked 4 or 5 shots and the box would say two. I think he gets a fingertip or 2 on some shots and deflects them a bit and scorekeepers don't record them.

maynard g krebs
10-14-2014, 12:17 PM
A stereotype? Sure, but an accurate one. While Shem has his strengths, I can see him having a lot of difficulty with the 6' 9" Louisville type big athlete.

It wasn't accurate because it portrayed him as an overall defensive liability, which is not true. Saying he might have trouble with a certain hypothetical player is nothing like what was said in the article, which said he is a weakness on defense.

So, you are agreeing with the author that Shem is a bad defender, or did you misstate your opinion?

sittingon50
10-14-2014, 12:39 PM
Karno averaged 1.7 blocks per game. Turiaf averaged 1.5 as a soph (best was 1.9), Sacre 1.9. ESPN goes back to 2002, and the best shotblocking season for a Zag was Daye at 2.1. Heytvelt is the only other guy in that range (1.7) in the last 13 years. Couldn't find Calvary's numbers.

Olynyk averaged 1.1 his last year.

I think Karno's number is low. I remember games where I thought he blocked 4 or 5 shots and the box would say two. I think he gets a fingertip or 2 on some shots and deflects them a bit and scorekeepers don't record them.

Calvary:
46 (1.4)
57 (1.7)
57 (1.7)
47 (1.5)

GrizZAG
10-14-2014, 01:00 PM
Shem improved greatly in the last part of the season...hands high, better defender, dishing out. Most of last season I notice from re-watching games guys got around him pretty easily to score inside at times. Especially drivers. It appeared fear of fouling was an issue and rightfully so. It also appeared in several games that zebras called fouls on him that didn't happen too often which made him a bit timid. Maybe his size and movement just invites that stuff perhaps. With strong alternates this year maybe he will not worry so much about it. I love the heart he plays with, you can just see it. He knows the team needs him on the floor.

Hogan
10-14-2014, 02:53 PM
My comment regarding stereotype was in relation to the Zags as a whole and their reputation. They have not been an elite defensive team in the past and I don't think they will be this year either. I reread your post and see that your reference to stereotype was solely directed at Shem.My reference was broader.

maynard g krebs
10-14-2014, 03:57 PM
My comment regarding stereotype was in relation to the Zags as a whole and their reputation. They have not been an elite defensive team in the past and I don't think they will be this year either. I reread your post and see that your reference to stereotype was solely directed at Shem.My reference was broader.

Fair enough. Agree with that. Zags have built their identity (and success) on skilled, high iq offensive players, and aren't gonna be an elite defensive team. But I think this can be one of their better groups on that end, along the lines of 2009.

RenoZag
10-14-2014, 06:26 PM
I hope this year's edition of the Bulldogs has a player that emerges as "the next Mike Hart," a glue guy that busts his arse on the boards, who disrupts the opposition's offensive flow, who leads the team in floor burns. . .

If we have one of those or even two. . .the sky's the limit.

zagamatic
10-14-2014, 06:58 PM
As always, the biggest "X FACTOR" will be the officiating crew. That will never change.

Hoopaholic
10-14-2014, 07:00 PM
As always, the biggest "X FACTOR" will be the officiating crew. That will never change.

Ouch

VinnyZag
10-14-2014, 07:20 PM
Gonzaga may not be elite on defense, but the Zags haven't been terrible the past few years either. Last year they were 15th in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom. The two years before that they were in the 30s. (Adjusted means adjusted for schedule strength, though I don't pretend to understand the methodology.)

I would also caution that blocked shots isn't the only, or even best, measure of a big guy defensively. Karnowski made huge strides last year in being in position and playing straight up against his guy, just making the other guy's shot harder. Daye may have averaged 2 blocks per game his second year, but he was also out of position a lot. Of the two, I'd rather have Karnowski, from a defensive standpoint.

DixieZag
10-14-2014, 09:30 PM
It seems to me that this team has the tools to be one of the better defending ones they've had. They are certainly longer and rangier, Nunez, Sabonis, Wilter and KD sure have length to keep a lot of balls crossing around. Throw in good size, Karno in the middle, and just swarms of guards and there is no reason (that I can see) that the team shouldn't be one of the better defending teams they've had.