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View Full Version : athleticism at the guard position



seacatfan
03-30-2015, 04:08 PM
A couple posts I've seen today got me thinking on this. Of course the Duke guards' ability to drive in the game yesterday and Gonzaga's guards' difficulty getting themselves open to take shots was evident. Pangos and Bell had great careers at GU, they will be missed tremendously. It's the end of an era and beginning of a new one. It will be intriguing to watch Perkins and Melson develop, I think they have different strengths and weaknesses than the outgoing duo.

I got to musing over GU guards over the years. It seems like when this whole thing got rolling back in '99, Santangelo and Q were plenty quick and plenty athletic, if not big. Dickau and Stepp were a totally different combo, not great athletes but plenty successful. During one stretch the Zags had guards like Pargo, PMac and Goodson. Hard to get more athletic and quick than those guys. And yet after that, seems like many GU fans were longing for a guard kinda like...Pangos. Seems like it's cyclical, keeps going around and around. Unfortunately I don't think GU will ever get a guard that can shoot like Dickau/Pangos, can distribute, can blow past a defender and drive and finish, has good size/length/physique and explosiveness and a high bball IQ. Such a guy probably doesn't exist, and if he does he would go to a blue blood Power 5 school and be a sure fire one and doner. Anyway just a rambling post, but athleticism/quickness for guards isn't necessarily the be all and end all. Zags have had that at times and it wasn't always everything it was cracked up to be. I'm excited about Perkins, I think he can be outstanding at GU. Liked what I saw in the few games before he got injured. We shall see what transpires next.

CDC84
03-30-2015, 04:31 PM
Perkins and Melson are an upgrade over Pangos/Bell from an athleticism/size standpoint. That being said, I doubt that either one will ever be as deadly from deep as Pangos was and Gary was most of his career. But I don't think they need to be. If they could just shoot threes at a 37 or 38 percent clip, that would probably be enough so long as they learn to run the offense and the team with intelligence. However, we need to be patient. I think we were all spoiled by how fast Pangos/Bell developed.

The one thing I am certain of at this point is that Few is going to always side with shooters over athletes w/ a defense first focus. It just hurts the GU offense too much to have guys who can't shoot or who don't have a scorer's mentality.

seacatfan
03-30-2015, 04:39 PM
Perkins and Melson are definitely an upgrade over Pangos/Bell from an athleticism/size standpoint. That being said, I doubt that either one will ever be as deadly from deep as Pangos was and Gary was most of his career. But I don't think they need to be. If they could just shoot threes at a 37 or 38 percent clip, that would probably be enough so long as they learn to run the offense and the team with intelligence. However, we need to be patient. I think we were all spoiled by how fast Pangos/Bell developed.

Shooting ability vs. athleticism/quickness is a trade off most teams have to make with guards. There aren't many players that excel at both to go around, even blue blood programs don't necessarily have this. About the best combination of these in recent years I can think of was Ty Lawson. One of the quickest players I've ever seen, impossible to stop from driving, but he also developed into a deadly shooter from distance by the end of his career at UNC. Very rare though. UConn was carried to Championships in '11 and '14 by extremely quick guards that could drive at will in Walker and Napier. Both could hit the 3 but I don't think either was a great shooter.

Hoopaholic
03-30-2015, 09:43 PM
I don't think we will have to rely on the three ball to open up the paint like we did this year. Melson and Perkins provides a penetrating, slashing with pass options far more than we had this year. Different set of skills and the attack the rim with looks to dump to the bigs will be the name of the game instead of pass in move return pass for 3 ball this past year..

different style come to zag country....the question will be can it be as succesful

Zagceo
03-30-2015, 10:49 PM
Shooting ability vs. athleticism/quickness is a trade off most teams have to make with guards. There aren't many players that excel at both to go around, even blue blood programs don't necessarily have this. About the best combination of these in recent years I can think of was Ty Lawson. One of the quickest players I've ever seen, impossible to stop from driving, but he also developed into a deadly shooter from distance by the end of his career at UNC. Very rare though. UConn was carried to Championships in '11 and '14 by extremely quick guards that could drive at will in Walker and Napier. Both could hit the 3 but I don't think either was a great shooter.

You're not gonna like it but Sam Dekker was playing like a guard against Arizona and shooting lights out from 3 and rim running. It was very impressive. Had quickness and size 6'9 that was unstoppable for the cats.

sittingon50
03-30-2015, 10:58 PM
You're not gonna like it but Sam Dekker was playing like a guard against Arizona and shooting lights out from 3 and rim running. It was very impressive. Had quickness and size 6'9 that was unstoppable for the cats.

Agree, ceo. Dekker is a stud.

WallaWallaZag
03-31-2015, 12:50 AM
You're not gonna like it but Sam Dekker was playing like a guard against Arizona and shooting lights out from 3 and rim running. It was very impressive. Had quickness and size 6'9 that was unstoppable for the cats.

dekker is a college 4 and nba 3 though, so not really in the guard conversation...he doesn't run the offense.

Zagceo
03-31-2015, 12:57 AM
dekker is a college 4 and nba 3 though, so not really in the guard conversation...he doesn't run the offense.

Thats why I said you're not gonna like it but he was playing like a guard. But thanks for flash on what his position really is in college and the nba

BULLDOG#1
03-31-2015, 11:56 AM
While this has traditionally been a problem for zag teams... the current makeup is just the opposite. Perkins, Melson, McClellan, Dranginis, Alberts ... all have size and are great athletes. The zags will definitely miss the shooting, but the problem of undersized and non-athletic guards will no longer be an issue. If any of these guards demonstrate a consistent 3 point shot (most likely Melson and Dranginis) then the zags backcourt will be deadly. If the zags start Perkins and Melson (my guess, but could be McClellan) and Dranginis at the 3, then there will be a lot of open looks for Melson and Dranginis -- Perkins can penetrate and kick and the bigs will demand double teams. Next year's success may hinge on the ability of someone (or by committee) other than Wiltjer consistently knocking down outside shots.

Regardless of that, these guards are bigger and more athletic than any group in recent memory. They should be able to lock down most WCC guards. The non-zag WCC guard group will be down next year -- lose Dee, Anderson, Haws, Carter, Bright, Halford...

Zagdawg
03-31-2015, 12:11 PM
Perkins was shooting 40% from 3 (small sample size --4-10)-- but he should have a good shot at maintaining that clip next year.

seacatfan
03-31-2015, 12:15 PM
Regardless of that, these guards are bigger and more athletic than any group in recent memory. They should be able to lock down most WCC guards. The non-zag WCC guard group will be down next year -- lose Dee, Anderson, Haws, Carter, Bright, Halford...

Add LMU's Payne to the departing list. Off the top of my head I'd say SCU's Brownridge will be the best returning guard in the WCC next year.

seacatfan
03-31-2015, 12:16 PM
Yeah I noticed Dekker during the Arizona game. He's pretty good. Set his career high 2 games in a row, 23 against UNC and then 27 against Arizona. Peaking at the right time I'd say.

scott257
03-31-2015, 12:28 PM
Aren't both Perkins and Melson supposed to be very proficient from the 3? I thought that the biggest potential problems from this season were that we lost Perkins to his injury and we never seemed to get Melson into the flow offensively in the minutes he did get.

seacatfan
03-31-2015, 12:35 PM
Melson had a fairly good stretch of maybe 5-8 games. He started to fade and McClellan started taking more and more of the minutes spelling Pangos/Bell, didn't leave much PT for Melson down the stretch. He showed some flashes, has plenty to work on to improve his game.

zagfan94
03-31-2015, 12:52 PM
What impressed me most about Melson was his lateral foot speed, second only to McClellan next year. At 6'3 - 6'4 and with what appears to be a much longer wingspan, he has all the physical tools to be an excellent defensive player. I hope he tries to make that his identity next year.

Bogozags
03-31-2015, 01:05 PM
Both Melson and Jenks will have to be ready the first day of practice IF they want next year's team to be anything like this years...they have the skills to be really good players...we just have to be patient and let them grow...both got a taste of D1 ball this season...it's a shame that Melson burned his red shirt as Jenks could of been a big factor especially on defense...

Zagceo
03-31-2015, 01:25 PM
One of the wildcards is our 6-5 190 guard thats been redshirting. Could turn out to be a Wesley type player after a couple of years maybe.

rennis
03-31-2015, 02:28 PM
A very subtle but important factor in the success of our front court this year was the shooting ability of our guards. As long as Gary and Kevin were on the perimeter, the opposing defense had to honor that position on the court 100% of the time and could not collapse down and help with ball-denial entry passes, and flat-out double teams in the post. You could see how much play opened up for the bigs just with a substitution of Drangs for Wesley. For all of Wesley's talents, the defenses sagged off him, which gummed up the gears pretty good more than a couple of times this year in the paint. BYU took full advantage in Spokane, IMO...

Life will be a lot harder for the bigs next year if our guards aren't consistent threats from deep. Stretching the floor is almost as important as being able to score in the paint off the post entry pass to begin with.

Hoopaholic
03-31-2015, 03:38 PM
A very subtle but important factor in the success of our front court this year was the shooting ability of our guards. As long as Gary and Kevin were on the perimeter, the opposing defense had to honor that position on the court 100% of the time and could not collapse down and help with ball-denial entry passes, and flat-out double teams in the post. You could see how much play opened up for the bigs just with a substitution of Drangs for Wesley. For all of Wesley's talents, the defenses sagged off him, which gummed up the gears pretty good more than a couple of times this year in the paint. BYU took full advantage in Spokane, IMO...

Life will be a lot harder for the bigs next year if our guards aren't consistent threats from deep. Stretching the floor is almost as important as being able to score in the paint off the post entry pass to begin with.

different ways of skinning the double down or post clog defense.....one is spot up shooting as we demonstrated last couple years

THE OTHER is the new way we will see zags attack this defense and that is gap attack and taking ball to hole to create issues

different way but how effective will remain to be seen

DixieZag
03-31-2015, 03:43 PM
As a positive aside, the little bit we saw of Perkins this year seemed to show even better 3 point ability than I expected or was advertised coming in. He will always be pass first, but he seemed to have a stronger scoring drive than I thought.

seacatfan
03-31-2015, 03:49 PM
As a positive aside, the little bit we saw of Perkins this year seemed to show even better 3 point ability than I expected or was advertised coming in. He will always be pass first, but he seemed to have a stronger scoring drive than I thought.

I didn't follow his HS career very closely, but it seems like he was a fairly strong scorer when he was playing in Colorado. When he transferred to the prep school back east that was basically an all star team, he totally sacrificed his scoring to be a set up man. Wasn't he around a top 25 or top 30 recruit at some point? I think so many fans got so hyped up about Melson and Sabonis that they forgot how good of a recruit Perkins was.