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zag buddy
02-03-2015, 08:23 PM
http://www.kentucky.com/2015/02/03/3676568_a-uk-gonzaga-clash-must-see-basketball.html?rh=1

A UK-Gonzaga clash must-see basketball, Georgia's Fox says

National speculation is already happening. Georgia's coach Fox weighs in.

HillBillyZag
02-03-2015, 08:32 PM
http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/102818/the-five-teams-that-could-beat-kentucky. Well, here it is, Medcalf thinks we can give the Cats's a game. I think we can beat them.

gonstu
02-03-2015, 08:54 PM
Bring 'em on!


(But not until the fin four)

Hoopaholic
02-03-2015, 09:38 PM
http://www.kentucky.com/2015/02/03/3676568_a-uk-gonzaga-clash-must-see-basketball.html?rh=1

A UK-Gonzaga clash must-see basketball, Georgia's Fox says

National speculation is already happening. Georgia's coach Fox weighs in.

love the line he would buy a ticket to watch it.......says alot IMO

Zagceo
02-03-2015, 09:48 PM
love the line he would buy a ticket to watch it.......says alot IMO

Agree

The thought of Kyle playing his old team.

How many players have 2 championship rings in D-1 from 2 different teams? A fella can dream

JAGzag
02-04-2015, 01:45 AM
On an average night, UK with that talent would crush us. Can we beat them? Sure, but we'd have to get lucky. Way lucky.

jazzdelmar
02-04-2015, 03:04 AM
We'd be playing with house money.

bartruff1
02-04-2015, 05:30 AM
They are so big and deep and talented and take pride in playing defense...the only team that can beat Kentucky is Kentucky...but.....it's a one game krap shoot..so...nearly anything is possible.... but not probable....March Madness....what fun....

Reborn
02-04-2015, 05:54 AM
It's kind of cool to wake up and see this thread because I was thinking about this very topic recently, and was thinking about starting a thread like this one. I think most all of us think about this match-up. Like Kentucky, Gonzaga is a very big team. No one has been able to stop Mt Karno one on one, and I for one would love to see if Kentucky could. And then you have the whole Kyle Wiltjer story. Fabulous story, imo. And as Fox said, Kyle has a great shooting touch from the outside. Kentucky has a 7'0" coming in off the bench who's really good and so does Gonzaga. Sabonis is only 6' 11" but is certainly someone who plays with intensity and power inside. I think the match-up between Gary Bell and Andrew Harrison would be classic, and I would love to see it. Harrison, yes, is 6' 6", but Gary Bell has guarded good players who are that tall before. Bell, as we know is one tough player.

For most of this season, I felt that GU would not stand a chance of beating Kentucky, if we were fortunate enough to play them. But as the season has gone on, and we've seen how other teams (even without their best player) have played with them, I am now beginning to feel that GU can play with them and on a good day could beat them. I am growing in confidence every week. If the Zags need motivation to continue to win, I think that wanting to play against Kentucky or Duke, or Wisconsin, or Virginia and even Arizona would give them motivation to continue to work hard and play hard every single day of the rest of this season. No let ups, from now until the end of the season.

Go Zags!!!
One game at a time!

JPtheBeasta
02-04-2015, 06:07 AM
I'd probably have to get on Pepcid and Imodium for a Kentucky vs GU matchup. Kentucky destroyed UCLA and Kansas this year. They are Memphis, but with NBA-like size and depth. I'd still pay money to see that, especially considering we'll probably be in different pods and that would Elite Eight matchup, or something :] In a battle of styles like this, I usually lean towards defense, which is unfortunate for us. The wild card is that we have been playing better defense than I ever remember us playing.

Baseline
02-04-2015, 06:08 AM
I wonder if GU met UK for the title if they would burn Edwards red shirt to get help with the bigs. It sounds crazy, but how many chances at the title does one get.

JPtheBeasta
02-04-2015, 06:15 AM
I wonder if GU met UK for the title if they would burn Edwards red shirt to get help with the bigs. It sounds crazy, but how many chances at the title does one get.

Just win baby!

I could definitely rationalize that kind of move (from my couch with the remote in my hand). What does a very successful and respected D1 coach do with that scenario? You raised an interesting question and I look forward to the responses...

zagfan24
02-04-2015, 06:20 AM
http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/102818/the-five-teams-that-could-beat-kentucky. Well, here it is, Medcalf thinks we can give the Cats's a game. I think we can beat them.

Hahaha I do love that Myron picked the #2-#6 ranked teams as the teams that could beat Kentucky.

Zags would have a chance against Kentucky if multiple players were able to hit outside shots. Unfortunately GU doesn't have the athleticism to get shots off inside against Kentucky, IMO. Those Wildcat bigs can jump out of the gym.

LongIslandZagFan
02-04-2015, 06:28 AM
If the Zags could establish a lead with 3s, not an easy feat as UK is #6 in the country in defensive 3%, but should the Zags manage say a 10-12 point lead... they'd have a shot. Kentucky does NOT shoot 3s and when they do, they aren't all that great at it. So a late lead would allow for some wiggle room.

kitzbuel
02-04-2015, 06:46 AM
This sure sounds familiar, doesn't it.


Their trek through the <conference>, however, hasn't been as seamless. Some of that might be due to boredom and victory fatigue. They're clearly on a different level than the rest of the league, but that hasn't stopped <conference> teams from tussling with them.

rennis
02-04-2015, 07:24 AM
love the line he would buy a ticket to watch it.......says alot IMO

yup, my thoughts exactly. What I would give to see this happen in the FF.........

rennis
02-04-2015, 07:26 AM
If the Zags could establish a lead with 3s, not an easy feat as UK is #6 in the country in defensive 3%, but should the Zags manage say a 10-12 point lead... they'd have a shot. Kentucky does NOT shoot 3s and when they do, they aren't all that great at it. So a late lead would allow for some wiggle room.

They've also been out-rebounded 4 times this year. If GU could keep them off the boards and keep scoring pressure on, UK could be beaten. I'd actually give GU a 50/50 shot against the Wildcats.

CdAZagFan
02-04-2015, 07:35 AM
I think if the Zags got hot from the 3-point line, it would be a good game. It not, probably not...

hooter73
02-04-2015, 07:37 AM
Shem would be reminded of years past when he would be blocked to the ground a couple times a game. Our guards and wings wouldnt have a prayer of being effective, we would have no defense capable of even keeping up with them on a fast break, KU is a nightmare team...


And I would love to see us play them in late March.

Zagger
02-04-2015, 10:40 AM
.....Zags would have a chance against Kentucky if multiple players were able to hit outside shots. Unfortunately GU doesn't have the athleticism to get shots off inside against Kentucky, IMO. Those Wildcat bigs can jump out of the gym.
I think you're right to a point. IF (big) the Zags can manage some passing wizardry (as they have on occasion) they can catch UK guys out of position. Plus, the Zags can really shoot from anywhere (except maybe for FTs). Zag defense is getting better every game. It'll definitely take D to beat UK. Anywho, I think the Zags would be better prepared to play UK than the other way around. GU is better than 99% of the BB world thinks they are. That'll give them an advantage early on until UK figures out they have their hands full. Yeah, I'm a Koolaid drinker but so what - Zags are #2 afterall. Where I feel we're weak is focus on ball handling and passing at times (getting a ball stripped, tosses to someone who's no longer where the ball goes - that sort of stuff). But, that stuff should improve between now and March/April with continued play amongst teammates. UK is VERY GOOD. The Zags will have to play an EXCELLENT game to beat them. The Zags will also have to know any weaknesses UK has and do their best to exploit them. Offensive rebounding will also be required to keep UK's score down and give the Zags some 2nd chances. ..... End of rant - Beat Santa Clara by 30! Go Zags!

TokyoZag
02-04-2015, 10:40 AM
My dream outcome is UK and GU both remain undefeated until the national championship and then GU beats them.

LongIslandZagFan
02-04-2015, 10:49 AM
Shem would be reminded of years past when he would be blocked to the ground a couple times a game. Our guards and wings wouldnt have a prayer of being effective, we would have no defense capable of even keeping up with them on a fast break, KU is a nightmare team...


And I would love to see us play them in late March.

Just a minor quibble... KU is Kansas... UK is Kentucky.

jim77
02-04-2015, 10:59 AM
My dream outcome is UK and GU both remain undefeated until the national championship and then GU beats them.

Ahhh we have 1 loss.

I think a few of their bigs might get into foul trouble against Shem..and NONE of their bigs are gonna push him off the block. I'd also have Kyle D on one of the Harrison's. If this matchp ever happens...slim chance...we will need Nunez and his length. I twould be an exciting game, that's for sure.

Marcus
02-04-2015, 11:20 AM
I would love nothing more than to make it to the final four and face UK in either the semi final or final. It would be pretty much a home game for them though wouldnt it? Not sure how long of a drive it would be but Indianapolis would be an easy travel to get to for their fans. That would be one intense game for our Zags, maybe we could catch them sleeping, I know their fans would see it as a cake walk.

cggonzaga
02-04-2015, 11:24 AM
I see plenty here have bought into the UK hype machine. Don't get me wrong, they are terrific....BUT they are not unbeatable. Any team that can score is going to have a chance against Kentucky. We're the one team in the country that can neutralize their bigs and possibly get theirs in foul trouble. Kentucky's weak spot on defense is actually on the perimeter. Their 3 point defense % has more to do with teams they've played not being able to shoot. Interesting number... GU conference SOS 134...Kentucky 108. The SEC is terrible. Yes it will take a good effort to beat them. It will also take a good effort from Kentucky to beat us. The poster that suggested Kentucky beats us on an average night for them is out of their mind.

DADoZAG
02-04-2015, 02:58 PM
I see plenty here have bought into the UK hype machine. Don't get me wrong, they are terrific....BUT they are not unbeatable. Any team that can score is going to have a chance against Kentucky. We're the one team in the country that can neutralize their bigs and possibly get theirs in foul trouble. Kentucky's weak spot on defense is actually on the perimeter. Their 3 point defense % has more to do with teams they've played not being able to shoot. Interesting number... GU conference SOS 134...Kentucky 108. The SEC is terrible. Yes it will take a good effort to beat them. It will also take a good effort from Kentucky to beat us. The poster that suggested Kentucky beats us on an average night for them is out of their mind.

Finally!

Come on, folks. Georgia lost to UK by 11 without one of their main, if not their best, scorer in the game. The ZAGS beat Georgia by 12, with our backup point guard in the locker room.

There's no team the ZAGS should fear. It's really hard to jump after a 290 pound shoulder to the chest. Being able to jump and run is an attribute, but better team ball wins most of the time.

The "home" crowd would play a factor, but don't know if the crowd would be over 50% UK fans. 'Think all the non UK fans would be rooting for the ZAGS. The pressure would be on UK.

Don't give up 13 steals out of 14 turnovers, and the ZAGS would be in a position to win.

JMO, and I hope Fox get's to buy that ticket.

Go ZAGS!

mgadfly
02-05-2015, 08:19 AM
Kentucky is huge, talented, and deep. They are the best team in college basketball and it really isn't that close.

They have the nation's #1 average height (79.4") and a +6.9" (over national average) effective height, also good for #1 in the nation.

Talent wise, they returned six major players from last year's squad (a rarity in the land of one-and-done), have more McDonald All-American's on their roster (9) than all but one NBA team, and have consistently reeled in the #1 recruiting classes for seasons. And on the talent front, lets be a little honest, our top scorer (Wiltjer) was recruited over at UK and left because he had no chance to get the minutes and opportunities there that he is getting in Spokane. And they aren't paper tigers. This conglomeration of blue chippers have a top ten offense and the number 1 defense. Much of their offensive efficiency is powered by their offensive rebounding (second chance points) and ability to get to the free throw line. The defense is shockingly good. If the season ended today the adjusted defensive efficiency rating of 82.3 would not only be tops this season, but would be the best defensive rating by a team for as far back as Pomeroy published numbers (2002 season). So that is the best defensive team in the 5,000 or so teams (14 seasons * ~350 div 1 teams) Pomeroy has tracked. Even more impressive is how wide the margin is between this Kentucky team and the #2 team in the Advanced Stats Era. The 2009 Memphis squad had an 85.1 defensive efficiency rating (currently #1 in the ASE) and Louisville-2012 and Wisconsin-2013 had an 85.6 DRating and are tied (currently) for 2nd. The number 2 defense this season is Virginia who has an 86.1 rating which would be the tops in 10 of the 14 seasons Pomeroy has tracked. These incredible defensive team numbers are fueled by having four rim protectors who allow the defense to extend and pressure all over the court all the time. Dakari Johnson is their 5th best shot blocker. He blocks shots at about the rate of Witjer and Karno combined (our two top shot blockers).

Gonzaga is an incredibly deep team this season (at least by our standards). We are 196th in the country in bench minutes. Kentucky doesn't just talk about how deep they are, they actually back it up with the distribution of minutes. They are 7th in the country with 43.1% of their minutes going to the bench (there has been a lot of talk about their platoon style of play this season).

Kentucky is the clear front runner. They beat Kansas 72-40. Texas 63-51. North Carolina 84-70. UCLA 83-44. Louisville 58-50. All of those teams are top 25 on Kenpom except UCLA. When Kentucky is clicking they beat the #11 team in the country by 32.

There is one category where Kentucky doesn't measure up. Experience. They are young. 346th in the nation. They've been pushed to overtime twice and responded well enough to win those games. Texas A&M took them to double overtime while shooting 13% from three point range. Mississippi, an experienced team, lost in overtime. Kentucky shot 55% from three point range in that game to pull out the win. In both of these games, the Wildcats gave up too many offensive rebounds. For some reason, despite all that height and talent, Kentucky is 260th in the nation in preventing the other team from getting on the glass. UK should cruise to another national championship. What they don't want to face is a team that can get hot from three point range and get extra possessions by exploiting their single weakness; offensive rebounding.

GU is 42nd in the country in offensive rebounding percentage. Most of that is powered by Sabonis' relentless play on the glass. GU is 16th in the country in 3 point shooting percentage. Is that enough of the right stuff to knock off Kentucky if the two teams were to meet? Maybe. Maybe not. I'd think a team that executes, shoots, rebounds, and has the size to match up with Kentucky is exactly the type of team they'd prefer to avoid. But being as good as they are on defense, maybe they don't care who they play since they should be able to beat anybody.

rennis
02-05-2015, 08:32 AM
Great post mgadfly

DixieZag
02-05-2015, 09:03 AM
The worst thing that can happen at this point is for Kentucky to lose. They will get a one seed and be ranked number one unless they lose at least 2.

Therefore, we should want that very young team to have the maximum amount of pressure and, least amount of experience dealing with pressure, as they go into the tournament. We want them to not only be expected to win it all, but expected to be one of the only teams to go all the way through undefeated.

If they play well, they will not lose to anyone. If they feel pressure, make mistakes, start getting yippy at each other, then it might be possible to win if they are off.

IMO

gonzagafan62
02-05-2015, 09:10 AM
The worst thing that can happen at this point is for Kentucky to lose. They will get a one seed and be ranked number one unless they lose at least 2.

Therefore, we should want that very young team to have the maximum amount of pressure and, least amount of experience dealing with pressure, as they go into the tournament. We want them to not only be expected to win it all, but expected to be one of the only teams to go all the way through undefeated.

If they play well, they will not lose to anyone. If they feel pressure, make mistakes, start getting yippy at each other, then it might be possible to win if they are off.

IMO

Yup. I am rooting for them to continue being undefeated. The could possibly lose 3 an still be in the one seed discussion. Better not make coach cal angry

JPtheBeasta
02-05-2015, 09:27 AM
Kentucky is huge, talented, and deep. They are the best team in college basketball and it really isn't that close.

They have the nation's #1 average height (79.4") and a +6.9" (over national average) effective height, also good for #1 in the nation.

...

GU is 42nd in the country in offensive rebounding percentage. Most of that is powered by Sabonis' relentless play on the glass. GU is 16th in the country in 3 point shooting percentage. Is that enough of the right stuff to knock off Kentucky if the two teams were to meet? Maybe. Maybe not. I'd think a team that executes, shoots, rebounds, and has the size to match up with Kentucky is exactly the type of team they'd prefer to avoid. But being as good as they are on defense, maybe they don't care who they play since they should be able to beat anybody.

For whatever it's worth, I thought this was one of the best posts I've read in a while.

mgadfly
02-05-2015, 01:17 PM
Thanks JP and Rennis. I appreciate it.

DixieZag
02-05-2015, 01:18 PM
Thanks JP and Rennis. I appreciate it.

It was very well done and took a lot of time/research. Appreciate it very much.

NumberCruncher
02-05-2015, 05:28 PM
Kentucky is huge, talented, and deep. They are the best team in college basketball and it really isn't that close.

They have the nation's #1 average height (79.4") and a +6.9" (over national average) effective height, also good for #1 in the nation.

Talent wise, they returned six major players from last year's squad (a rarity in the land of one-and-done), have more McDonald All-American's on their roster (9) than all but one NBA team, and have consistently reeled in the #1 recruiting classes for seasons. And on the talent front, lets be a little honest, our top scorer (Wiltjer) was recruited over at UK and left because he had no chance to get the minutes and opportunities there that he is getting in Spokane. And they aren't paper tigers. This conglomeration of blue chippers have a top ten offense and the number 1 defense. Much of their offensive efficiency is powered by their offensive rebounding (second chance points) and ability to get to the free throw line. The defense is shockingly good. If the season ended today the adjusted defensive efficiency rating of 82.3 would not only be tops this season, but would be the best defensive rating by a team for as far back as Pomeroy published numbers (2002 season). So that is the best defensive team in the 5,000 or so teams (14 seasons * ~350 div 1 teams) Pomeroy has tracked. Even more impressive is how wide the margin is between this Kentucky team and the #2 team in the Advanced Stats Era. The 2009 Memphis squad had an 85.1 defensive efficiency rating (currently #1 in the ASE) and Louisville-2012 and Wisconsin-2013 had an 85.6 DRating and are tied (currently) for 2nd. The number 2 defense this season is Virginia who has an 86.1 rating which would be the tops in 10 of the 14 seasons Pomeroy has tracked. These incredible defensive team numbers are fueled by having four rim protectors who allow the defense to extend and pressure all over the court all the time. Dakari Johnson is their 5th best shot blocker. He blocks shots at about the rate of Witjer and Karno combined (our two top shot blockers).

Gonzaga is an incredibly deep team this season (at least by our standards). We are 196th in the country in bench minutes. Kentucky doesn't just talk about how deep they are, they actually back it up with the distribution of minutes. They are 7th in the country with 43.1% of their minutes going to the bench (there has been a lot of talk about their platoon style of play this season).

Kentucky is the clear front runner. They beat Kansas 72-40. Texas 63-51. North Carolina 84-70. UCLA 83-44. Louisville 58-50. All of those teams are top 25 on Kenpom except UCLA. When Kentucky is clicking they beat the #11 team in the country by 32.

There is one category where Kentucky doesn't measure up. Experience. They are young. 346th in the nation. They've been pushed to overtime twice and responded well enough to win those games. Texas A&M took them to double overtime while shooting 13% from three point range. Mississippi, an experienced team, lost in overtime. Kentucky shot 55% from three point range in that game to pull out the win. In both of these games, the Wildcats gave up too many offensive rebounds. For some reason, despite all that height and talent, Kentucky is 260th in the nation in preventing the other team from getting on the glass. UK should cruise to another national championship. What they don't want to face is a team that can get hot from three point range and get extra possessions by exploiting their single weakness; offensive rebounding.

GU is 42nd in the country in offensive rebounding percentage. Most of that is powered by Sabonis' relentless play on the glass. GU is 16th in the country in 3 point shooting percentage. Is that enough of the right stuff to knock off Kentucky if the two teams were to meet? Maybe. Maybe not. I'd think a team that executes, shoots, rebounds, and has the size to match up with Kentucky is exactly the type of team they'd prefer to avoid. But being as good as they are on defense, maybe they don't care who they play since they should be able to beat anybody.

Great analysis, mgadfly. Made me wonder how this year's Kentucky (and Zags) compared to other teams in the Pomeroy era. So I did a study and came up with the following top 25 out of 4,751 teams.

http://i.imgur.com/J6uN1w5.jpg

The season isn't over yet, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some regression toward the mean.

BTW, the 2013 Zags came in 38th.

LidgerZag
02-05-2015, 06:05 PM
Just a minor quibble... KU is Kansas... UK is Kentucky.

Just a minor quibble...why is it KU when the name of the university is "The University of Kansas?"

LongIslandZagFan
02-05-2015, 06:09 PM
Just a minor quibble...why is it KU when the name of the university is "The University of Kansas?"

I honestly don't know. Years ago I asked a beat reporter for the local paper for KU... He had no idea either.

Seems KU isn't sure either.


Check this out... http://www.bigbluehistory.net/bb/ukku.html

Reborn
02-05-2015, 06:22 PM
The 2015 Zags are the second highest in 2015 and Arizona #21. These are the only teams that made this list from all the teams in 2015. I'm pretty comfortable with that. 2nd is first, but again 16 is not bad, and on a given day #16 can always beat a #1 if they are not playing their very best.

Go Zags!!!

zagamatic
02-05-2015, 10:48 PM
If the Zags are to beat Kentucky this year, I think it comes down to playing a bit more methodical on offense with limited bad passes, being at least even on both sides of the boards battle, keeping our bigs out of foul trouble and we absolutely must win the 3 point line.
Kentucky lacks offensive rhythm in the half court often. So the more we can keep from having live ball turnovers, it favors the Zags. Of course, it's easier said than done.
But if we do end up playing them and can keep game pressure on them (especially if they're still undefeated) late in the game, I tend to like our experience over their pressure filled youngsters. It would be especially interesting if their bigs are in foul trouble and ours aren't.

GrizZAG
02-07-2015, 05:15 AM
FWIW I just watched replay of UK and Lville. IMO Zags can play with them and win if they believe it. So much is mental in thee situations. KY is beatable & Zags are capable. Louisville so athletic but make a lot of bad decisions.

john montana
02-07-2015, 08:22 AM
The biggest question in this matchup would be can Shem score if uk plays him with a single guy. If they double, it opens things up but if they stonewall Shem (and kW/sabonis) on the block with one guy it would probably be a long night. If we could force some double teams I think we can hang with them.

amaronizag
02-07-2015, 09:06 AM
If we play their game, a slow half court game, they kill us in the paint and win handily. If we get out and run, and beat them in a transition game before they get their defense set, we have a good chance of winning that one. We can definitely score more points than KY, it's just a matter of game plan and using our speed to beat them down court to the basket, and great shooting from the outside. In a half court game, we can't get the ball inside and score against KY like we do against the WCC teams.

bartruff1
02-07-2015, 09:12 AM
Shem would be reminded of years past when he would be blocked to the ground a couple times a game. Our guards and wings wouldnt have a prayer of being effective, we would have no defense capable of even keeping up with them on a fast break, KU is a nightmare team...


And I would love to see us play them in late March.

Me too....I think...