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View Full Version : Domas Sabonis making early impression at Gonzaga. ( KREM 2 )



ZagaZags
10-15-2014, 11:22 PM
The son of Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis has wasted little time getting the attention of his new coach and teammates.

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2014/0417/ncb_g_sabonis01jr_1296x729.jpg

A year of big name newcomers, the most interesting may be Lithuanian freshman Domas Sabonis. The 6-foot-10-inch forward came to Spokane boasting international and professional-level experience, and it has shown early on in practice.

"I think he's feeling good and he's been playing really good," Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski said. "He plays in the post a lot he can also drive, maybe midrange shot right now that's what he's showed during practice."

He has also made a quick impression on his new head coach.

"I like a lot of things about his game," Mark Few said. "He is extremely aggressive, plays with a motor, is always going hard. Really high level rebounder, great passer, physical player, and runs and moves exceptionally well for a big guy."

Sabonis signed with Gonzaga in April, becoming the latest highly touted international recruit to choose the Zags. According to Eurohopes.com he is the number one European recruit born in 1996. Jerry Meyer of 247Sports.com rates Sabonis as a five-star prospect that projects as an NBA player.

"Domas is a skilled basketball player who should have an immediate impact on our program. We're excited to have the opportunity to allow him to continue his development as a basketball player while continuing his education," Few said.

The 6-foot-10-inch 210-pound left-handed 17-year-old played this past season for Unicaja Malaga in Spain. The club announced Wednesday that Sabonis informed them that he planned on forgoing a professional contract to play college basketball in the United States. Recent reports quoted Arvydas, saying his son was leaning towards Gonzaga if he decided to go the college route.

In the 2014 FIBA U-18 Tournament Sabonis averaged 15.9 points, 12 rebounds and 3.6 assists. In 2012 he put up 14 points and 11.4 rebounds.

A scout who has seen Sabonis play on multiple occasions had this to say about the forward: "Has a soft touch around the basket, good mobility and balance. Has great hands and is a good rebounder and defender. Will be able to play small forward, power forward and center... Will be a great fit for the Gonzaga program."

Sabonis' father played eight seasons in the NBA, all for Portland. He was inducted to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

Video at link.

http://www.krem.com/story/sports/gonzaga-bulldogs/2014/10/15/domas-sabonis-making-early-impression-at-gonzaga/17334413/

Reborn
10-16-2014, 06:54 AM
Wow! What a great article. The Zags are going to be so strong in the posts. Karno, Wiltjer, and Sabonis, and Nunez as a back-up.

And we can say the same thing about our backcourt: Pangos, Bell, Wesley, with Dranginis as a back-up at the 3, Melson at the 2 and Perkins at the point. Like Mark Few said, the team as a quality back-up at every position. Fans are wondering if the Zags might have a problem with team chemistry. I honestly don't think they will. Not with Kevin and Gary running the show. This is going to be a very, very good team.

Kiddwell
10-16-2014, 07:03 AM
There's never enough information on the new guys. Kiddwell always wants "more, more!" :drool:




:]

Zag_Dad
10-16-2014, 08:07 AM
Few, known to be very reserved on his assessment of his players, appears to be very impressed with Sabonis. It's one thing to give him lip service but Few's expression and demeanor when describing DS are very telling. http://www.krem.com/story/sports/gonzaga-bulldogs/2014/10/15/domas-sabonis-making-early-impression-at-gonzaga/17334413/
I have a feeling this kid is gonna be HUGE! Can we start the season today, please?

GO ZAGS

jazzdelmar
10-16-2014, 08:14 AM
Few, known to be very reserved on his assessment of his players, appears to be very impressed with Sabonis. It's one thing to give him lip service but Few's expression and demeanor when describing DS are very telling. http://www.krem.com/story/sports/gonzaga-bulldogs/2014/10/15/domas-sabonis-making-early-impression-at-gonzaga/17334413/
I have a feeling this kid is gonna be HUGE! Can we start the season today, please?

GO ZAGS

Agree 1,000%. His usual poker face show me he is holding two aces -- Sabonis and Melson -- in his newly dealt freshmen cards.

Malastein
10-16-2014, 08:34 AM
Agree 1,000%. His usual poker face show me he is holding two aces -- Sabonis and Melson -- in his newly dealt freshmen cards.

As much as I think I may get a bit of flak for this, Gonzaga has never had a top 8 with guys who would all shine as starters. This appears to be the deepest team to grace Spokane. Having Sabonis on this team will really make a big difference against top competition. No more stop gap backup minutes where you cringe every time they have to perform a role. I'm hoping for a lot of blowouts so that Nunez will get some burn.

NumberCruncher
10-16-2014, 08:42 AM
I'm trying to be realistic and not get too excited. It's not working.

GonzagasaurusFlex
10-16-2014, 08:45 AM
As much as I think I may get a bit of flak for this, Gonzaga has never had a top 8 with guys who would all shine as starters. This appears to be the deepest team to grace Spokane. Having Sabonis on this team will really make a big difference against top competition. No more stop gap backup minutes where you cringe every time they have to perform a role. I'm hoping for a lot of blowouts so that Nunez will get some burn.

+1

I'd like to see Coach Few give this lineup some burn together off the bench:
Perkins / Melson / Dranginis / Nunez / Sabonis

CDC84
10-16-2014, 08:51 AM
Few, known to be very reserved on his assessment of his players, appears to be very impressed with Sabonis.

The thing that he is really excited about is his motor. The overwhelming majority of bigs who enter college ball don't have a motor. They've had it easy all their lives on the basketball floor just getting by with their height. Few has said the biggest challenge with coaching big guys is getting them to "really want it." Sabonis has "wanted it" from a young age, so the staff is excited to work on other things with him.

Zag_Dad
10-16-2014, 09:26 AM
The thing that he is really excited about is his motor. The overwhelming majority of bigs who enter college ball don't have a motor. They've had it easy all their lives on the basketball floor just getting by with their height. Few has said the biggest challenge with coaching big guys is getting them to "really want it." Sabonis has "wanted it" from a young age, so the staff is excited to work on other things with him.

Whenever I think of a player who has a "motor" I always think of Morrison. That kid was always moving... he never took a break (at least on offense) and always got to an open space to receive the ball. If Sabonis has that kind of "motor" we will be lucky to keep him for two years at GU.

GO ZAGS

seacatfan
10-16-2014, 09:38 AM
Can we start the season today, please?

GO ZAGS

That's how I've been feeling for a while. Lots of excitement about the new freshmen and transfers, I'm ready to see them with my own eyes and see how this team develops and gels.

Zag_Dad
10-16-2014, 09:50 AM
That's how I've been feeling for a while. Lots of excitement about the new freshmen and transfers, I'm ready to see them with my own eyes and see how this team develops and gels.

Kraziness in the Kennel is next Saturday! Mrs. Zag_Dad and I are heading to Spokane on Friday next week to see the kids (our daughters, not the players) then to watch the team in K2. So glad they brought Kraziness back to Fall Family weekend so that the parents get to see the team scrimmage while in town to visit kids. I haven't been this excited to see a meaningless scrimmage since we went over two years ago with the anticipation of seeing Olynyk suit up after his red shirt year... (still never heard an explanation about why he was suspended for the first couple games).

CDC84
10-16-2014, 11:13 AM
Whenever I think of a player who has a "motor" I always think of Morrison. That kid was always moving... he never took a break (at least on offense) and always got to an open space to receive the ball. If Sabonis has that kind of "motor" we will be lucky to keep him for two years at GU.

I think of David Pendergraft. Let's face it....Morrison didn't exactly have a motor on the defensive end or when it came to crashing the glass. On offense, yes.

ZagaZags
10-16-2014, 11:27 AM
I think of David Pendergraft. Let's face it....Morrison didn't exactly have a motor on the defensive end or when it came to crashing the glass. On offense, yes.

Whenever I think of a player who has a "motor" I always think of Mike Hart.

zag67
10-16-2014, 11:59 AM
I agree that Hart and Pendo, both had motors. This could be even better because he is about 4 " taller. Also if he does have that type of motor, hopefully it will also migrate to the rest of the team. And to me this is a team that it seems to have that type of ability and attitude to integrate it into playing together.

Bogozags
10-16-2014, 12:41 PM
Agree 1,000%. His usual poker face show me he is holding two aces -- Sabonis and Melson -- in his newly dealt freshmen cards.

Jazz interesting you would mention those two as opposed to listing Perkins with Sabonis or adding Perkins with those two. Perkins is gonna be good but I agree, Sabonis and Melson are "two aces!"

GonzagasaurusFlex
10-16-2014, 12:57 PM
Jazz interesting you would mention those two as opposed to listing Perkins with Sabonis or adding Perkins with those two. Perkins is gonna be good but I agree, Sabonis and Melson are "two aces!"

Which is why my gut tells me that for this team to be special, and i believe it will prove special, each of these three freshmen will play key roles: Perkins, Melson, Sabonis.

"Future's So Bright, Zags Gotta Wear Shades!"

..and I believe Alberts will be a gem too. If Zags lock down 2016 big Zach Collins, I am loving the Sabonis/Edwards/Collins rotation for 2016-2017 (I am hoping Sabonis takes such a shine to college life that he realizes the NBA can wait!).
2016-2017 starting lineup: Perkins / Melson / Alberts / Sabonis / Edwards with Zach Collins and Jesse Wade off the bench

Mantua
10-16-2014, 01:34 PM
I'm trying to be realistic and not get too excited. It's not working.

I noticed that Arizona's red and blue game is going to be televised by the Pac12. So....c'mon KHQ!

I have devoured every enticing article like this one. Reading is no longer enough. After hearing so much about Sabonis' skills at his tender age, I want to see him play. From all I've read and the clips I've watched, I assume that the Zags will be a wiley, prodigious offensive team, but I'll continue to feel a bit crazy until I can see the defense. Wesley appears to be very promising defensively.

jazzdelmar
10-16-2014, 01:50 PM
Jazz interesting you would mention those two as opposed to listing Perkins with Sabonis or adding Perkins with those two. Perkins is gonna be good but I agree, Sabonis and Melson are "two aces!"

I'm a couple of thousand miles away and all I'm doing is reading the tea leaves. Which this year seem to be very clear. I'm almost tempted to put Melson ahead of Sabonis As a point guard Perkins will take more time to adjust. Plus he basically has Kevin blocking him. Which in the long run will be good for him

zag buddy
10-16-2014, 01:53 PM
Gf Draganis has gotten better every year. Like Pendo he does what the coaches asks him to do and is very selfless. I wouldn't count him out.

seacatfan
10-16-2014, 02:38 PM
Does Few have anything to say about Wiltjer? I'm curious if his praise for a couple of freshman before the season starts is at least partially intended to light a fire under some veterans. That's purely conjecture, I'm not an insider and I know nothing. Not at all to say the freshmen aren't looking good. I just take preseason comments with a grain of salt. Sometimes they're throwing the media a bone, sometimes the comments might be intended to push certain buttons.

seacatfan
10-16-2014, 02:59 PM
I noticed that Arizona's red and blue game is going to be televised by the Pac12. So....c'mon KHQ!


Thanks for the heads up, that wasn't even on my radar.

Malastein
10-16-2014, 03:04 PM
Perhaps Sabonis might surpass Wiltjier through the course of the season. He got better, but if Sabonis is a high energy player with skills then he may be impossible to leave on the bench. Wiltjier is a superior shooter, so they'll both play a lot. We'll see how the PT shakedown goes, since who starts doesn't matter. This really helps because Karno's tendency of getting into foul trouble versus athletic, slashing teams. There's definitely going to be guys who won't play as much as the fan base would like.

Zagnificent
10-16-2014, 03:13 PM
The real question is this: Is he the first one-and-done?! He has the pedigree. He'll shine after defenses are beaten down by the big Pole. I'll go on the record and say that he is! After the team's first final four appearance, he is picked #9 by the Sacramento Kings. Boom! I'm on the record.

seacatfan
10-16-2014, 03:14 PM
Having more good bigs than there are quite enough minutes for is not a bad problem to have, much better than the opposite. Shouldn't see anything like a Hart/Barham/Dranginis type of player forced to play spot minutes at the 4 this year like happened last year. Hopefully. Knock on wood. I feel good about a Karnowski/Wiltjer/Sabonis rotation with Nunez picking up most of whatever minutes are left.

GonzagasaurusFlex
10-16-2014, 03:25 PM
Perhaps Sabonis might surpass Wiltjier through the course of the season. He got better, but if Sabonis is a high energy player with skills then he may be impossible to leave on the bench......

I am am beginning to imagine Sabonis being so good that he breaks into the starting lineup, but I don't see it. I do see him spelling PK and KW and playing 20-25 minutes per game though.

maynard g krebs
10-16-2014, 08:10 PM
Does Few have anything to say about Wiltjer? I'm curious if his praise for a couple of freshman before the season starts is at least partially intended to light a fire under some veterans. That's purely conjecture, I'm not an insider and I know nothing. Not at all to say the freshmen aren't looking good. I just take preseason comments with a grain of salt. Sometimes they're throwing the media a bone, sometimes the comments might be intended to push certain buttons.

I'd just take it as that Wiltjer is pretty much a veteran known commodity and it's understood he's a starter and major player.

Last year before the season, Few said about Coleman that he was great in an open court game, but they'd have to see how he did in "grinder" games, for example. A certain poster here took the cynical view that Few was tamping down expectations; it turned out he was simply being factual.

I think it's a stretch to think Few is using positive media comments about the frosh to motivate the vets. It seems like with this group the vets are pretty motivated on their own, and Few's comments about his pleasure with how the frosh are performing are simply that and contain no hidden agenda.

Zags11
10-16-2014, 08:30 PM
He is gonna be a aa before the time is up and maybe an all American. Lol i kid. I think he will be a all American and be a top 10 pick.

maynard g krebs
10-17-2014, 10:37 AM
I am am beginning to imagine Sabonis being so good that he breaks into the starting lineup, but I don't see it. I do see him spelling PK and KW and playing 20-25 minutes per game though.

Sports Illustrated has a computer projection of stats for their projected top 50 freshmen. They project Sabonis to play a bit over 60% of minutes, so that would be close to 25 a game, and average something like 8 and a half pts and 8.2 rebounds.

jazzdelmar
10-17-2014, 10:50 AM
Starter minutes, at a minimum. Sure thing.


QUOTE=maynard g krebs;1038726]Sports Illustrated has a computer projection of stats for their projected top 50 freshmen. They project Sabonis to play a bit over 60% of minutes, so that would be close to 25 a game, and average something like 8 and a half pts and 8.2 rebounds.[/QUOTE]