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zagsfanforlife
02-03-2015, 11:24 AM
In years past I go into Feb/March thinking, well realistically a National Championship wont happen this year. Yes I love my Zags, but I watch a ton of college basketball and know that while anything can happen in March, there are a ton of teams nationally that are just better than Gonzaga.

This is the first year since maybe Morrison’s last year (but yes I do like this team better) that I have felt, “there really aren’t many teams better than this years squad”.

My question to the board, is this: as of 2/3/2015 which teams do you think are currently better than Gonzaga. I am not talking about polls, because I do think we are helped by beating up on the WCC while other teams are losing to better teams. Looking at this years national crop without rose colored glasses, who are the teams that you think RIGHT NOW Gonzaga will need to be firing on most cylinders and get better between now and March to beat.

My group:

1) Kentucky--- I actually think Gonzaga is one of about 3 teams that have potential to beat Kentucky. I have watched all GU games and most Kentucky games, and here is my take. Obviously size and athleticism stand out from KY. They have 4 7 footers who are more athletic than anyone on GU. They play exceptional defense, can pound the ball inside, and have depth for days. However, I do think a team that can almost match their height, find ways to score from 3 pt land, and limit their offensive rebounding + has depth has a good chance. I think Karno will have success against their bigs who are not as burly and strong as Karno. If he stays out of foul trouble, he could have success against them both offensively and defensively. I firmly believe that. Pangos/Wiltjer/Draino/Bell need to be hot from the outside. I think having Perkins back would really help the depth criteria.

2) Duke—A team that has beat Virginia at Virginia and Wisconsin at Wisconsin. They have who I think is the best player in college basketball in Okafor, and quick guards in Jones and Cook who I think would give GU guards trouble. If you haven’t seen Tyus Jones this year, check him out. He can flat out play. I think if we pound it inside early on them and get Okafor in some kind of foul trouble, I think our best bet is to feed our beasts inside. Coach K is a better coach than Few, so they also have the edge there in my opinion. I really like this Duke team and if I had to pick a national champ to predict right now, they would be my choice. They have beat two top 5 teams on the road so far and have the talent. GU does have more experience though.

3) Virginia----- I just love watching Tony Bennet coach. To me he is one of the 3 best coaches in the game. I think Virginia and GU have different strengths. Virginia has bigger guards than GU, plus one of the most dynamic wings in all of basketball in Justin Anderson. They play in your face defense, don’t give up much points and slow the game down. It would be interesting to see if GU could enforce their tempo in this matchup. Virgina bigs aren’t great, but they aren’t chopped liver either. Gill is an athletic transfer. I really like their guards Brogdon and Parentes. Both shoot 85%+ from the FT line as well. Don’t get down late. This game I think would really come down to if GU can score 70 pts vs Virginia. If so, I would take GU. To me these teams are neck and neck.

4) Wisconsin--- They scare me only because they have been their before. Went to the Final Four last year, and have pretty much their whole crew back. I think Bo Ryan is a fantastic coach, and they have 4 guys that can shoot the 3 much like GU. Hayes and Kaminsky would contain our bigs better than most, and I think it would come down to which team could shoot the ball better from 3 in this game. Dekker, Jackson and Kaminsky are all seasoned vets who have been through many tough games. I think GU can definitely beat WIsky, but it wouldn’t be easy.

*** AZ- GU had that game for 38 minutes in AZ. I think GU has gotten better while AZ has stayed the same. Its not like AZ is playing in a powerhouse pac12 this year either. They aren’t getting amazing tests night in and night out either.



So back to my questions, who do you think at this moment is better than GU, or who would you say scares you the most?

23dpg
02-03-2015, 11:28 AM
Kentucky

gonzagafan62
02-03-2015, 11:30 AM
Kentucky, Northern Iowa.

That's it.

bartruff1
02-03-2015, 11:31 AM
All of them....I don't believe a 16 has beaten a 1 yet....but...it could happen...

zagsfanforlife
02-03-2015, 11:34 AM
Kentucky, Northern Iowa.

That's it.

haha i was going to include Northern Iowa but i dont think they are currently better than GU. They are a very talented, veteran team who plays defense, can shoot from outside and has a legit superstar in Tuttle.

cjm720
02-03-2015, 11:36 AM
Kentucky, Virginia and the Zags

NumberCruncher
02-03-2015, 11:40 AM
Richmond Spiders.

DixieZag
02-03-2015, 11:42 AM
Depends on what one means by "scare." If we are just talking about teams that are better than us, or at least as good, the original list is probably about right.

If we are talking about teams that just "scare" me in terms of rather not play that particular team in the tournament, I am less afraid of mid-upper level BCS teams (excluding the 5 above) than I am of very good non-BCS conferences, like No. Iowa. Just an example of what I mean. The following are the "types" of teams that scare me:

No. Iowa
VCU
Wichita State (obviously)
Butler
SMU (though we wouldn't play them in the first 2)

More so than the comparable list of:

West Virginia
Baylor
Oklahoma
Indiana
Texas

It might just be psychological. But, it feels to me like the non-BCS schools are more likely to take us very seriously than a BCS school. And, we are more likely to have a chip on our shoulder against the BCS schools. Just a theory and it may be wrong, but that's what it feels like to me.

gonzagafan62
02-03-2015, 11:45 AM
Depends on what one means by "scare." If we are just talking about teams that are better than us, or at least as good, the original list is probably about right.

If we are talking about teams that just "scare" me in terms of rather not play that particular team in the tournament, I am less afraid of mid-upper level BCS teams (excluding the 5 above) than I am of very good non-BCS conferences, like No. Iowa. Just an example of what I mean. The following are the "types" of teams that scare me:

No. Iowa
VCU
Wichita State (obviously)
Butler
SMU (though we wouldn't play them in the first 2)

More so than the comparable list of:

West Virginia
Baylor
Oklahoma
Indiana
Texas

It might just be psychological. But, it feels to me like the non-BCS schools are more likely to take us very seriously than a BCS school. And, we are more likely to have a chip on our shoulder against the BCS schools. Just a theory and it may be wrong, but that's what it feels like to me.
I feel that you are spot on Dix.

cjm720
02-03-2015, 11:50 AM
It might just be psychological. But, it feels to me like the non-BCS schools are more likely to take us very seriously than a BCS school. And, we are more likely to have a chip on our shoulder against the BCS schools. Just a theory and it may be wrong, but that's what it feels like to me.

This is spot on IMO and likely the best explanation of why we haven't advanced much lately.

jazzdelmar
02-03-2015, 11:52 AM
In the Round of 32, Ohio State.

HillBillyZag
02-03-2015, 11:53 AM
Anyone who made the Tournament has to be taken seriously, they all scare me.

hooter73
02-03-2015, 12:00 PM
Team that most scares me in march?

Gonzaga.

kitzbuel
02-03-2015, 12:02 PM
Depends on what one means by "scare." If we are just talking about teams that are better than us, or at least as good, the original list is probably about right.

If we are talking about teams that just "scare" me in terms of rather not play that particular team in the tournament, I am less afraid of mid-upper level BCS teams (excluding the 5 above) than I am of very good non-BCS conferences, like No. Iowa. Just an example of what I mean. The following are the "types" of teams that scare me:

No. Iowa
VCU
Wichita State (obviously)
Butler
SMU (though we wouldn't play them in the first 2)

More so than the comparable list of:

West Virginia
Baylor
Oklahoma
Indiana
Texas

It might just be psychological. But, it feels to me like the non-BCS schools are more likely to take us very seriously than a BCS school. And, we are more likely to have a chip on our shoulder against the BCS schools. Just a theory and it may be wrong, but that's what it feels like to me.
I always feel that BCS teams tend to be more predictable and we can go into the games with known match up strengths and weaknesses. It is the non-BCS teams that seem to be unpredictable and unknown and scare me more.

gueastcoast
02-03-2015, 12:11 PM
Am answering a different question, but it's the way I get my head around team quality.

I think the "any given Sunday" cliche applies in spades this year, as I think any of the teams in the field are beatable (the desire by many to anoint Kentucky notwithstanding).

I tend to think about quality in the sense of "who would beat GU in a seven-game series on a neutral court".

Based on what I've seen of the usual suspects (the teams mentioned in the OP and the balance of the top 10-15 in the polls), the only teams I think would beat us in that mythical seven-game series are Kentucky and Virginia.

Duke has already shown they can lay an egg, I'm not sold on Wisconsin, and I think the rest all have shown they are eminently beatable.

zagmantis2001
02-03-2015, 12:48 PM
Am answering a different question, but it's the way I get my head around team quality.

I think the "any given Sunday" cliche applies in spades this year, as I think any of the teams in the field are beatable (the desire by many to anoint Kentucky notwithstanding).

I tend to think about quality in the sense of "who would beat GU in a seven-game series on a neutral court".

Based on what I've seen of the usual suspects (the teams mentioned in the OP and the balance of the top 10-15 in the polls), the only teams I think would beat us in that mythical seven-game series are Kentucky and Virginia.

Duke has already shown they can lay an egg, I'm not sold on Wisconsin, and I think the rest all have shown they are eminently beatable.

Not a team. Key Arena where we would likely end up. Our guards don't usually play well there since 2011 to present Pangos and Bell have gone 1-9, 2-11 (2011), 3-6, 3-6 (2012), 3-12, 6-15 (2013) and 5-8, 2-9 (2014.) A mixed bag.

LongIslandZagFan
02-03-2015, 12:53 PM
Any and all tourney teams scare me.

zagfan24
02-03-2015, 12:54 PM
Teams with the strong, physical guards who are adept at pressuring the ball and/or long, quick bigs who can draw fouls on the offensive end and have quick hands on the defensive end.

GonzagasaurusFlex
02-03-2015, 12:57 PM
In years past I go into Feb/March thinking, well realistically a National Championship wont happen this year. Yes I love my Zags, but I watch a ton of college basketball and know that while anything can happen in March, there are a ton of teams nationally that are just better than Gonzaga.

This is the first year since maybe Morrison’s last year (but yes I do like this team better) that I have felt, “there really aren’t many teams better than this years squad”.

My question to the board, is this: as of 2/3/2015 which teams do you think are currently better than Gonzaga. I am not talking about polls, because I do think we are helped by beating up on the WCC while other teams are losing to better teams. Looking at this years national crop without rose colored glasses, who are the teams that you think RIGHT NOW Gonzaga will need to be firing on most cylinders and get better between now and March to beat.

My group:

1) Kentucky--- I actually think Gonzaga is one of about 3 teams that have potential to beat Kentucky. I have watched all GU games and most Kentucky games, and here is my take. Obviously size and athleticism stand out from KY. They have 4 7 footers who are more athletic than anyone on GU. They play exceptional defense, can pound the ball inside, and have depth for days. However, I do think a team that can almost match their height, find ways to score from 3 pt land, and limit their offensive rebounding + has depth has a good chance. I think Karno will have success against their bigs who are not as burly and strong as Karno. If he stays out of foul trouble, he could have success against them both offensively and defensively. I firmly believe that. Pangos/Wiltjer/Draino/Bell need to be hot from the outside. I think having Perkins back would really help the depth criteria.

2) Duke—A team that has beat Virginia at Virginia and Wisconsin at Wisconsin. They have who I think is the best player in college basketball in Okafor, and quick guards in Jones and Cook who I think would give GU guards trouble. If you haven’t seen Tyus Jones this year, check him out. He can flat out play. I think if we pound it inside early on them and get Okafor in some kind of foul trouble, I think our best bet is to feed our beasts inside. Coach K is a better coach than Few, so they also have the edge there in my opinion. I really like this Duke team and if I had to pick a national champ to predict right now, they would be my choice. They have beat two top 5 teams on the road so far and have the talent. GU does have more experience though.

3) Virginia----- I just love watching Tony Bennet coach. To me he is one of the 3 best coaches in the game. I think Virginia and GU have different strengths. Virginia has bigger guards than GU, plus one of the most dynamic wings in all of basketball in Justin Anderson. They play in your face defense, don’t give up much points and slow the game down. It would be interesting to see if GU could enforce their tempo in this matchup. Virgina bigs aren’t great, but they aren’t chopped liver either. Gill is an athletic transfer. I really like their guards Brogdon and Parentes. Both shoot 85%+ from the FT line as well. Don’t get down late. This game I think would really come down to if GU can score 70 pts vs Virginia. If so, I would take GU. To me these teams are neck and neck.

4) Wisconsin--- They scare me only because they have been their before. Went to the Final Four last year, and have pretty much their whole crew back. I think Bo Ryan is a fantastic coach, and they have 4 guys that can shoot the 3 much like GU. Hayes and Kaminsky would contain our bigs better than most, and I think it would come down to which team could shoot the ball better from 3 in this game. Dekker, Jackson and Kaminsky are all seasoned vets who have been through many tough games. I think GU can definitely beat WIsky, but it wouldn’t be easy.

*** AZ- GU had that game for 38 minutes in AZ. I think GU has gotten better while AZ has stayed the same. Its not like AZ is playing in a powerhouse pac12 this year either. They aren’t getting amazing tests night in and night out either.



So back to my questions, who do you think at this moment is better than GU, or who would you say scares you the most?

These teams you mention + Notre Dame

RenoZag
02-03-2015, 01:04 PM
Teams I wouldn't be thrilled to see in our bracket (not scared of anybody per se, there are some teams that would be tough outs )

Wichita State
Maryland
Utah
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Stanford
Notre Dame
Miami

Fun "what if" thread to pass the time. . .thanks, zagsfan

DarkZagRises
02-03-2015, 01:17 PM
I feel that you are spot on Dix.

Clear your inbox. FYI.

gonzagafan62
02-03-2015, 01:22 PM
Clear your inbox. FYI.

Done.

sittingon50
02-03-2015, 01:24 PM
Golden State.

Curry & Thompson are way better than the last time the Zags saw them.

HenneZag
02-03-2015, 01:24 PM
Any team can be scary.

I definitely don't want to see

Ohio St or Miami in the 2nd round.

Iowa State

Richmond

DixieZag
02-03-2015, 01:25 PM
I always feel that BCS teams tend to be more predictable and we can go into the games with known match up strengths and weaknesses. It is the non-BCS teams that seem to be unpredictable and unknown and scare me more.

That could well be it.

I was just throwing out a possible explanation. Yours makes plenty of sense, too.

Kong-Kool-Aid
02-03-2015, 01:25 PM
Teams I wouldn't be thrilled to see in our bracket (not scared of anybody per se, there are some teams that would be tough outs )

Wichita State
Maryland
Utah
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Stanford
Notre Dame
Miami

Fun "what if" thread to pass the time. . .thanks, zagsfan

Agree with most of those, and would include

Arizona
Kentucky
Duke
Virginia
Kansas
Northern Iowa
North Carolina
Iowa State

Zagdawg
02-03-2015, 01:30 PM
I think the team would love to see Arizona again on a neutral court to get a little payback this year (rather than waiting for next).

23zagmd
02-03-2015, 02:13 PM
FREE THROW SHOOTING scares me in March. The only person I want at the line in a tight game is Kevin....the rest of them remind me of my son's 8th grade team shooting FT.....add pressure to that?????

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
02-03-2015, 02:21 PM
This is 1 of the best threads EVER. I just love reading how Zag nation feels about this topic. This is such a great place to hang sometimes and read.

Please stay healthy and have a beautiful evening.

Warmest Always,
Vxo

hondo
02-03-2015, 02:37 PM
Right now the team that scares me most is Santa Clara, Friday it will be USF. I have been to several games at both places and I have never felt comfortable in any of those games. Beat SCUm first then worry about USF.

Zagdawg
02-03-2015, 02:39 PM
Since we are talking about March-- I will go with Kentucky and Virginia.

Zagger
02-03-2015, 02:40 PM
Kentucky, Virginia and the Zags

Ditto

bartruff1
02-03-2015, 02:45 PM
West Virginia is my dark horse...

rennis
02-03-2015, 02:45 PM
Arizona & Pepperdine.


I'll worry about the others when/if we get to them.

DixieZag
02-03-2015, 02:46 PM
FREE THROW SHOOTING scares me in March. The only person I want at the line in a tight game is Kevin....the rest of them remind me of my son's 8th grade team shooting FT.....add pressure to that?????

Or Gary.

seasontixholder
02-03-2015, 03:26 PM
No fear. What, me worry ... about a game?

bigblahla
02-03-2015, 03:34 PM
I'm sure the TEAM fears no competition so I can't see a reason to be scared of any team....the Zags wouldn't be favored against some of the aforementioned teams but the games would be great. The fellas are good enough at what they do to beat anybody. It's a matter of will & skill and boy is this Zag TEAM skilled....what a show.... now on both ends of the court...the other teams are the ones who should be scared....I say bring em all on...what a ride....

Go!! Zags!!!

jazzdelmar
02-03-2015, 03:42 PM
Add Butler.

23dpg
02-03-2015, 03:43 PM
Wisconsin only scares me like BYU scares me. If they're hitting their shots, both can win. But neither are very good defensively. Circa Zags > 4 years ago.

Zagricultural
02-03-2015, 03:47 PM
Gonzaga scares me when we are up by 6 with five minutes left, and take the air out of the ball... When we lose our agression we are very beatable. If we play with that agressive edge for 40 minutes I am scared of nobody.

CdAZagFan
02-03-2015, 03:50 PM
Great post... Agree that I wouldn't want to see Kentucky, Virginia or some of those others until late in the tournament.

As an offshoot to this question, I was thinking more about a truly magical run through the Big Dance - wouldn't it be great to get to the National Championship game against Kentucky after beating (in this order): St. Mary's, Oklahoma (for Spangler's Sake), Wichita State, Arizona and Virginia? That would be some good redemption in one great run...

Granted, I wouldn't want to have to play a WCC team as a 16-seed, but just in terms of teams you'd like to defeat the most in this year's dance...

ZionZag
02-03-2015, 03:56 PM
All great observations.............I was thinking about this the other day in terms of which coaches have our number...maybe this should be another thread but I'd say Duke and Syracuse. I thinks personal wise we probably are a nightmare for most teams except Kentucky, Wisconsin and Virginia.

seasontixholder
02-03-2015, 04:03 PM
I'm sure the TEAM fears no competition so I can't see a reason to be scared of any team....the Zags wouldn't be favored against some of the aforementioned teams but the games would be great. The fellas are good enough at what they do to beat anybody. It's a matter of will & skill and boy is this Zag TEAM skilled....what a show.... now on both ends of the court...the other teams are the ones who should be scared....I say bring em all on...what a ride....

Go!! Zags!!!

Good for you blahla.

But seriously, when March rolls around, the Zags again will have beaten up on their little brothers in Vegas, 75 will have regaled us with his latest superiority happenings, Reborn will be glad about everything, delmar will be lamely fomenting dissension about Sabonis starting over KW, Heister will be at home with the unwashed in Alaska, some regulars still will be in mourning about the fatal Ryan Spangler defection.

Meanwhile, the locals will be celebrating the end of winter, and thankful that the games were a welcome diversion throughout the cold months. And unbothered by WWZag's proclamations that the WCC makes it impossible for Mark Few to recruit urban studs. Fools. Will the program survive another lost NC attempt? Not a chance. Coach will be understandably fired, the the march to the bottom will be underway after years of puzzling delay.

seacatfan
02-03-2015, 04:28 PM
Wisconsin only scares me like BYU scares me. If they're hitting their shots, both can win. But neither are very good defensively. Circa Zags > 4 years ago.

This caught my attention. I didn't think Wisconsin was as bad defensively as you seem to imply, comparing them to BYU. I looked at both teams schedules up to this point. There is no comparison at all. Wisconsin has given up 70 or more points only twice all year, and once was against a Duke team that is considered one of the best offenses in the country. By contrast BYU rarely holds an opponent under 70. Also BYU is totally mediocre overall as a basketball team and Wisconsin is among the elite. I just don't see mentioning them in the same breath?

Not to mention, while the Zags have done a fairly good job of slowing down Haws over the years, Kaminsky would present entirely a different challenge.

23dpg
02-03-2015, 04:38 PM
This caught my attention. I didn't think Wisconsin was as bad defensively as you seem to imply, comparing them to BYU. I looked at both teams schedules up to this point. There is no comparison at all. Wisconsin has given up 70 or more points only twice all year, and once was against a Duke team that is considered one of the best offenses in the country. By contrast BYU rarely holds an opponent under 70. Also BYU is totally mediocre overall as a basketball team and Wisconsin is among the elite. I just don't see mentioning them in the same breath?

Not to mention, while the Zags have done a fairly good job of slowing down Haws over the years, Kaminsky would present entirely a different challenge.

I should have been clearer. I don't think of BYU and Wisconsin as equals by any means. I just picked a school that we're all familiar with to compare.
For the season Wisconsin is 1st on KenPom in offensive efficiency. They are 73 defensively. By far the worst of the top ten teams.
(BYU is 13/152)

Kentucky is still the only team that scares me. All the other top teams, I think we'd have a decent chance of winning.
Vegas has Kentucky as better than even money to win it all right now. Zags check in at a respectable 10-1.

seacatfan
02-03-2015, 05:38 PM
It goes back to the Dick Bennett era, but continued thru much of Bo Ryan's tenure that Wisconsin was really stingy on defense but didn't score much. That's changed quite a bit the last several years. Better O, worse D. I'd be a little surprised to see them make the Final 4 again, but they're still a team to watch. Maybe I'm blowing it way out of proportion just based on 1 game, but Kaminsky absolutely tore up Arizona in the Tourney last year. I don't want to see any team I root for have to try to stop him this year.

raise the zag
02-03-2015, 08:15 PM
dope skills.

http://www.aceshowbiz.com/images/still/semi_pro05.jpg

zagamatic
02-03-2015, 10:37 PM
Honestly, I think that the only team that scares me this post season are the ones wearing the striped shirts. If they allow teams to be ultra aggressive on defense and not call fouls, then it'll take a heckuva effort just to get past the first weekend again. If they call the games even remotely evenly, then I like our chances against anyone.

seacatfan
02-03-2015, 10:39 PM
Let's get Tropical! That movie cracks me up. Best basketball comedy/farce of all time.

Who is #21 in that picture? I've watched that a bunch of times, I don't ever remember seeing him. I see Twiggy and Monix and of course Jackie and the crazy Russian dude (with a name not suitable to be typed out), but I don't remember another white dude. This is totally tripping me out.