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GaelfanCA
01-18-2015, 10:22 PM
Hi Gonzaga Fans,

Huge game coming up between our two teams on Thursday. Iíve been watching the majority of the Zags games this year and have been thoroughly impressed with your team, about as good as your guys squad 2 years back. I really like Wiltjer and think skill-wise he is one of the top players in the country. Pangos is rock solid as always, and the big Polski looks like heís come into his own. Too bad you guys choked that one in Arizona, outplaying that team for the most part though was a huge positive for you guys considering how good that team is in their own building.

The Gaels this year are a really scrappy, hard-working bunch. In many ways the total anti-thesis of your guys team. You guys revolve around efficient, good shooting, refined finesse basketball, while we revolve around at times ugly but ultra-physical, smash-mouth play and great rebounding.

Our team revolves around our center Brad Waldow. He is an absolute force down-low, and one on one is a real matchup nightmare. He plays mostly below the rim but has become an absolute joy to watch. He has transformed into an excellent post-passer and has a buttery-smooth touch around the hoop. That being said, your big Polish boy may be one of the only guys in the country capable of somewhat guarding him one on one, with his size and height.

At the wings we start Desmond Simmons and Garrett Jackson. Simmons is not much offensively but is a terror on the boards and the defensive end, and plays with a real edge. He has been able to shut some talented players down this year and plays the game unselfishly, and does the little things really well. Jackson was almost not playing at all during non-conference, but turned a complete 180 during the start of conference and is the reason we are 7-0 in WCC play. Really good on the boards, and when he makes his shots he is most likely our second or third best player.

We have a three guard platoon, with Aaron Bright, Kerry Carter, and Emmett Naar being the three players in question. Bright is a quick, short guard with a great handle, streaky shooting and excellent passing and court vision. He is a bit of a streaky player all around, and can have mental lapses, but when he is on really helps us out, but is a little bit jekyll and hyde.

Carter is our leader and pound for pound may be the toughest man in NCAA basketball. Plays with an edge, excellent defender with quick hands, dives on the floor for every loose ball, and can jump out of the gym. A pretty solid 3 point shooter, and smart player, his shortcomings being a somewhat limited ability to drive the rim in the halfcourt, and a propensity to be in foul trouble due to his rugged style.
Naar is just a freshman but is going to be a really good one. Already an exceptional passer with great court vision, he leads our team in assists. He Has come on as a shooter the last month or so and really is a steady hand for us in the backcourt, I never feel worried with him handling the ball. I predict he is the next great SMC guard, maybe not quite as good as Delly or Mills, but will be an All-WCC player by the time heís a senior in my opinion.

Our problem is a real drop off in quality from our top 6 players to our reserves. Dane Pineau a 6'9 power forward has shown some great flashes and had some good games, but is still a little bit physically weak and not able to score off his own move with regularity. Calvin Hermanson is a freshman small forward who has been fairly unimpressive so far this year, and is not yet a solid option for us. Jock Landale is a 6'11 freshman who will be very good in a couple years, but has been waiting in the shadows because of Waldow's play.

The good news is that our top 6 so far haven't really suffered from fatigue in any games, and always look to be full of energy. But an injury or foul trouble in any given game could spell doom.

As far as this game goes, I think that you guys have the more talented team, but will be shocked by our style and physicality a little bit. Outside of Arizona, we will be the most physical interior team you have faced. I still think you guys will beat us, but I wouldnít be suprised if it was a pretty close game. Iíll wager a 5-7 point win for Gonzaga.
Hopefully itís a good one. Go Gaels!!

TheZagPhish
01-18-2015, 10:43 PM
Cheers, Gaelfan! Thanks for the comprehensive overview. Best to both our teams this Thursday.

WallaWallaZag
01-18-2015, 10:54 PM
between karnowski and sabonis inside i would hardly consider the zags to be a finesse team...you could certainly make that case about wiltjer, but even he's become more physical than he's given credit for.

RenoZag
01-19-2015, 05:48 AM
GaelfanCA, thanks for the post. Thursday should be a closely contested battle. RB always has his kids ready to play in Spokane.

Desmond Simmons and Garrett Jackson have been complementary additions to the inside game. Have watched three or four SMC games this season and they both have had spurts where they dominated.

It will be a good game. Too bad there's four days to wait.

MississppiZag
01-19-2015, 05:51 AM
After reading that I'm surprised the Gaels lost to Northern Arizona and aren't a top 15 team.

Gaels by 10.

zag67
01-19-2015, 06:16 AM
Thanks Gaelfanca, that was a nice synopsis of your team. I am looking forward to it. I have followed Bright since he was in high school. And yes he is quick and streaky. The bigs should be fun to watch. It should also be fun watching Wesley and Jackson playing against each other since both of them were teammates at USC. Good luck the rest of the year except for the three times you play us.

TheGonzagaFactor
01-19-2015, 06:52 AM
I've noticed SMC has much the same issue as the Zags in terms of not holding leads in the 2nd half. Could lead to a very entertaining game.

Zagdawg
01-19-2015, 07:36 AM
I think St Johns and Georgia are just as physical as your Gaels-- but maybe I just think that way because our back up point guard had his jaw broken by Georgia.

Good to see that the Gaels have picked it up in conference play as I was worried about them being competitive in the non-conf play (after the loss to 231 RPI -Northern Arizona at home-- I was thinking they slip out of the upper end of the WCC)-- but it sounds like they have figured things out and are ready to keep things interesting for the Zags.

Good luck--no injuries---

Go Zags

sittingon50
01-19-2015, 07:46 AM
"Choked that one in Arizona?"

Zag Man
01-19-2015, 07:56 AM
A very good synopsis of a St. Mary's team that has played well the two times I watched them on television. Thanks for posting!

23dpg
01-19-2015, 08:00 AM
Real good synopsis of SM. I agree with most of what you wrote. I watch the Gaels whenever I can.
There are two types of Zags when it comes to your team. Either they hate them (in a rivalry way), or like/respect them. I fall in the latter. Delly was one of my favorite players ever, loved his energy.

As for this year's team, I think you nailed it...depth. Carter is a fierce competitor but lacks finesses. He's as liable to throw a bullet off a teammates face as he is to throw down a monster jam. I think both Bright and Simmons are streaky. After seeing some of their good games it perplexes me how invisible they can become.

They game will revolve around Waldow and Karno/Sabo. If Waldow can play well and get the GU players in foul trouble, SM has a chance. I think you also correctly predicted the line. I expect it to be about Zags -6.

Good luck.

thegloriousgoateeofKP
01-19-2015, 08:06 AM
Boy oh boy, GaelfanCA has been sneakily snarky, hasn't he? My props to you for the subtle, backhanded shots at the Zags. Love it. Good rivalry

From the "Predictions" thread: "Carter is everything that Gael basketball stands for, and plays with far more effort than anyone you guys put on the floor."

CdAZagFan
01-19-2015, 08:33 AM
Boy oh boy, GaelfanCA has been sneakily snarky, hasn't he? My props to you for the subtle, backhanded shots at the Zags. Love it. Good rivalry

From the "Predictions" thread: "Carter is everything that Gael basketball stands for, and plays with far more effort than anyone you guys put on the floor."

My thoughts exactly... Interesting comment above: "your big Polish boy may be one of the only guys in the country capable of somewhat guarding him one on one" - seems to me, our big Polish boy has more than SOMEWHAT guarded Waldow in the past.

Hoopaholic
01-19-2015, 08:36 AM
guess he thinks zags are not hardworking....guess we shall see thursday

DixieZag
01-19-2015, 08:39 AM
Boy oh boy, GaelfanCA has been sneakily snarky, hasn't he? My props to you for the subtle, backhanded shots at the Zags. Love it. Good rivalry

From the "Predictions" thread: "Carter is everything that Gael basketball stands for, and plays with far more effort than anyone you guys put on the floor."

I don't know much and I'll trust that Carter is everything Gael basketball stands for, and even that he plays with maxed out effort, I'm just not sure how that distinguishes him from Pangos, Bell, Sabonis, Karno. . . .

And, "Choked in Arizona" - well, we did lose, so....yeah. I guess we're even in choke jobs against Arizona teams, ours on the road against the then 3rd ranked team in OT and yours to "non-sub 200" Northern Arizona loss at home. :) As I said, we'll call that a draw. Or something.

I actually don't think it's disrespectful to say that if we played 10 games in Spokane, we'd win 9, and 5 of them would be by 12 or more. We'll see.

willandi
01-19-2015, 09:17 AM
'Carter is our leader and pound for pound may be the toughest man in NCAA basketball. Plays with an edge, excellent defender with quick hands, dives on the floor for every loose ball,"

Diving for every loose ball is foolish. If he gets on the floor for the ones in his area, it might matter. Of course, Karnowski also dives on the floor for loose balls. It would be an interesting clash if they both went for the same ball!
So far, Waldow has has very limited carreer success against Karno. Despite his play this year, nothing has shown me that it will be any different, and we have Wiltjer and Sabonis for him to contend with. My prediction is that Waldow will either be ineffective, for the most part, or will foul out and play limited minutes because of that.
Of course, that's just MY opinion. Luckily for all, the answers will become evident on Thursday.

mgadfly
01-19-2015, 09:21 AM
I've only seen a couple of games the Gaels have played this year but I think in some respects they are more physical than any team we've seen. Clearly not as talented as Arizona due to inferior offense and defense, but their interior and wing guys play hard. We are a very good offensive rebounding team (31st in the nation). The Gaels are one spot in front of us (30th - 36.8% according to kenpom). They are also 5th in defensive rebounding holding the opposition to 24% offensive rebounding. GU is 58th with 28.1% o-rebounding by opponents.

SMC is up to 57th in Kenpom and have good wins against BYU and Pepperdine (on the road, and we know how tough it is to win there against this year's waves squad). They also have a road win against Creighton. I'm not sure what happened with Northern Arizona.

If this was at SMC I'd be calling it a toss-up, but at home we've played well. Last year Karno had 15 and 9 to Waldow's 5 and 3 when they matched up in Spokane. Karno out played him at SMC as well (10 and 6 vs 9 and 3). Finally, in a lop-sided GU win in the WCC tourney Waldow eclipsed Karno's 2 point, 4 rebound effort with 14 points and 3 rebounds. So overall, last season Waldow averaged 7 and 3 against Karnowski.

Waldow is having a great season and is marginally better in a number of efficiency statistics. I'm looking forward to the matchup and think Karno's defense will bother Waldow again. Can the other players beat GU on their home court? I don't think so. GU gets motivated and wins by 15.

Nevada Don
01-19-2015, 09:40 AM
Whether it's a Kennel or a Dog Pound, sometimes I feel like we're walking in there with pork chops in our pockets.
I hope it turns out to be a good game with no injuries. And yes I am saying, "there is a chance".

thegloriousgoateeofKP
01-19-2015, 10:10 AM
Additionally, as much as we all love a good media-driven narrative, "scrappy" doesn't necessarily = "better." In fact, most of the time, "scrappy" is code for "untalented."

Don't get me wrong: David Pendergraft is my all-time favorite Zag. But if given the choice between his "scrappiness" and Sabonis' raw skill, I'm taking Domas every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

DADoZAG
01-19-2015, 10:39 AM
I don't know much and I'll trust that Carter is everything Gael basketball stands for, and even that he plays with maxed out effort, I'm just not sure how that distinguishes him from Pangos, Bell, Sabonis, Karno. . . .

And, "Choked in Arizona" - well, we did lose, so....yeah. I guess we're even in choke jobs against Arizona teams, ours on the road against the then 3rd ranked team in OT and yours to "non-sub 200" Northern Arizona loss at home. :) As I said, we'll call that a draw. Or something.

I actually don't think it's disrespectful to say that if we played 10 games in Spokane, we'd win 9, and 5 of them would be by 12 or more. We'll see.

Nicely, played.

IBELIEVETHEZAGSWILLWIN

Zag_Dad
01-19-2015, 11:20 AM
Our team revolves around our center Brad Waldow. He is an absolute force down-low, and one on one is a real matchup nightmare. He plays mostly below the rim but has become an absolute joy to watch. He has transformed into an excellent post-passer and has a buttery-smooth touch around the hoop. That being said, your big Polish boy may be one of the only guys in the country capable of somewhat guarding him one on one, with his size and height. !

I watched the SMC/BYU game Thursday night and my first thought was at their offense clearly runs through Waldo and that they will not be able to be as successful against us so long as Shem stays out of foul trouble. I am confident that between Sabonis and Shem, Waldo will have a tough game. After Waldo, I am not terribly worried about anyone else on that squad.
As for Carter... he has an annoying arrogance about him that rubs me wrong. I have always viewed Saint Mary's as similar to Gonzaga in that they recruit quality individuals who are also good basketball players. Maybe I'm wrong, but Carter comes across as a thug.
Really looking forward to the game on Thursday. I'm predicting a double digit victory for GU.

GO ZAGS!

seacatfan
01-19-2015, 11:27 AM
Sorry folks, Creighton is 9-10 on the season and 0-6 in conference play. St. Mary's ain't getting credit for a quality win for that one, not even close. They are nothing without the departed McDermott.

zag buddy
01-19-2015, 11:59 AM
I am a Brad Waldo fan, ever since since he got his tooth knocked out, picked it up, ran to the sidelines , threw the tooth to the third person he tried to hand it to, ran back and played the rest of the game with a bloody mouth and the pain. That was his freshman year and he has continued to improve. It will be very interesting if carter gets guarded by Melson who also has tendency and can play thug like.

gonzagafan62
01-19-2015, 12:16 PM
[QUOTE=GaelfanCA;1073540]Too bad you guys choked that one in ArizonaQUOTE]

Really? Maybe you can say Arizona was the better team? Or they earned the win? Both of which are true. It was a daunting task anyway just to go to Arizona and be close, but if Wiltjer's shot goes in, we win. I don't understand that point. I could go on and on about Northern Arizona or Boise State, or St. Johns, but I won't.

I really like SMC, I don't really care for Carter, but that's not the point. SMC is a very good basketball team, and I think we will be in for a good game Thursday. I enjoyed your Gaels preview. I have watched SMC in the Boise State, St. John's and BYU games. They look really good. Waldow vs Karnowski should be fun to watch.

Good luck to you and your team.

Go Zags.

RenoZag
01-19-2015, 12:18 PM
I am a Brad Waldo fan, ever since since he got his tooth knocked out, picked it up, ran to the sidelines , threw the tooth to the third person he tried to hand it to, ran back and played the rest of the game with a bloody mouth and the pain. That was his freshman year and he has continued to improve. It will be very interesting if carter gets guarded by Melson who also has tendency and can play thug like.

Memorable moment indeed. That's when he surpassed Samhan in my eyes. Tough cookie.

I would imagine Bell will get the Carter assignment, but who knows ?

gonzagafan62
01-19-2015, 12:24 PM
I am a Brad Waldo fan, ever since since he got his tooth knocked out, picked it up, ran to the sidelines , threw the tooth to the third person he tried to hand it to, ran back and played the rest of the game with a bloody mouth and the pain. That was his freshman year and he has continued to improve. It will be very interesting if carter gets guarded by Melson who also has tendency and can play thug like.

hahaha. I remember that too. I think he tried to give the tooth to Randy Bennett if I recall correctly, and he looked at him with a face that said "Get that away from me" hahaha. It was definitely memorable. I respect Waldow. Good kid.

mgadfly
01-19-2015, 12:41 PM
If "folks" is me, that's why I said they had quality wins against BYU and Pepperdine and separately stated they had a road win against Creighton.

Even so, it is fairly noteworthy because Creighton was playing pretty well then and is still not as bad as their record might suggest. Going into that game Creighton was 8 and 2 with some quality wins against Oklahoma and Nebraska. Outside of the unexplainable road loss to North Texas Creighton has lost to the following teams with kenpom rank: Mississippi (35) neutral site, Tulsa (58) road game, Saint Mary's (57) home, Providence (51) road, Georgetown (46) road, DePaul (149) home, Seton Hall (36) home, Marquette (92) road, Providence (51) home.

Overall, Creighton is ranked 114 by kenpom (not great, but not bad either). They may end up with a horrible record (they are only favored to win 1 more game) but I don't think they are "nothing" either.

Bogozags
01-19-2015, 12:51 PM
If "folks" is me, that's why I said they had quality wins against BYU and Pepperdine and separately stated they had a road win against Creighton.

Even so, it is fairly noteworthy because Creighton was playing pretty well then and is still not as bad as their record might suggest. Going into that game Creighton was 8 and 2 with some quality wins against Oklahoma and Nebraska. Outside of the unexplainable road loss to North Texas Creighton has lost to the following teams with kenpom rank: Mississippi (35) neutral site, Tulsa (58) road game, Saint Mary's (57) home, Providence (51) road, Georgetown (46) road, DePaul (149) home, Seton Hall (36) home, Marquette (92) road, Providence (51) home.

Overall, Creighton is ranked 114 by kenpom (not great, but not bad either). They may end up with a horrible record (they are only favored to win 1 more game) but I don't think they are "nothing" either.

I watched Oklahoma take a 17 point lead and lose to the Blue Jays...SMC won a close game on the road and as you stated, they deserve credit for winning that ROAD game...they have a good squad...not too deep but decent...Waldo is the key and when GU takes him out of his game...then it will be hard for SMC to come up with those points from his teammates...

Carter deserves credit...he is a JUCO transfer and has done well at SMC...he get's a bad rap from most because of his "attitude" but he does play on the edge but have found him to be a "tough" player BUT showed true sportsmanship in the game against BYU...liked how he tried to help up Haws BUT Haws wouldn't take his hand...

Hope both teams play well and that all players are injury free afterwards...

Gonzdb8
01-19-2015, 01:37 PM
All due respect, but i can think of at least 10 guys that would give Waldow fits. Also, "Buttery-smooth touch around the basket"...."Carter may be the toughest man in NCAA basketball"....."ultra physical and smash mouth".......hahahahahahaha. You might have drank a little too much of the hometown Kool-aid, but you are nothing short of a comedic genius.

Nevada Don
01-19-2015, 01:55 PM
Kerry Carter

Before things get further out of whack, Kerry Carter is not a thug. He is mostly all business on the floor and is a team leader. He is exactly the type of player Zag fans have admired in many of your hustle players over the years. His fouls are often "touch" fouls not hard fouls. He is a team guy. When his shot was off against BYU Carter ended up with 5 steals I believe.

Off the court, from someone who knows, Carter is intelligent, personable, a finance major and he volunteers his time at Kid's Camp.

Zagdawg
01-19-2015, 02:16 PM
The question that everyone is wanting to know the answer to is........Does he like long walks on the beach?



;) j/k -- sound like a very nice young man

Nevada Don
01-19-2015, 02:25 PM
The question that everyone is wanting to know the answer to is........Does he like long walks on the beach?



;) j/k -- sound like a very nice young man

You know, I thought the same thing after I wrote it. Excellent retort.

Mantua
01-19-2015, 02:48 PM
Gael, we played some very tough teams during a very long road stretch. How do you think your schedule matched up? Do you think that the current Gaels team can win in the Marriott Center? My guess is that the Zags might play a tough close game in Moraga, but I'm not worried to see you at our house.

Zag Man
01-19-2015, 08:00 PM
http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_27352203/saint-marys-college-transfers-key-fast-start-west

A nice article on the Gaels.

Nevada Don
01-19-2015, 09:28 PM
Gael, we played some very tough teams during a very long road stretch. How do you think your schedule matched up? Do you think that the current Gaels team can win in the Marriott Center? My guess is that the Zags might play a tough close game in Moraga, but I'm not worried to see you at our house.

I think our schedule was lacking to say the least but this year it was likely a huge benefit since we needed time for the team to blend together which is still a work in progress. Remember we only had 2 returning starters and our first off the bench is a freshman.

We won in the Marriott Center before so we won't be overwhelmed with its size. We also played in front of !6,400+at Creighton this year. Also, three of our current starters are all Pac-12 guys so I don't think they will be intimidated with the size of a facility itself. The ferocity of the crowd might be cause for a double take.

CdAZagFan
01-24-2015, 02:45 PM
I was hoping to hear a post-game synopsis of the SMU-GU game from Gaelsfan - lots of pre game posts, but nothing afterward?

RenoZag
01-24-2015, 08:33 PM
I was hoping to hear a post-game synopsis of the SMU-GU game from Gaelsfan - lots of pre game posts, but nothing afterward?

Maybe he choked on the crow he was eating in the second half. . .

CdAZagFan
01-24-2015, 09:58 PM
Must be trolling the Pilot Board tonight...

RenoZag
01-25-2015, 12:26 PM
Must be trolling the Pilot Board tonight...

He/she is trolling the GUB this afternoon. Slow day in Gael-ville. . .

CdAZagFan
01-25-2015, 07:35 PM
I saw that... He/she sounds a little bitter so that answers my original question.