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View Full Version : Next year's hype is overblown. Please argue with me.



tyra
05-17-2015, 08:27 AM
The preseason chatter is all about GU making another deep run. I'm still waiting for something to happen to make that plausible. True, our entire front court is returning. But realistically, how much improvement will they make? And 60% of our starting lineup (the entire backcourt) is gone. Does anyone really think next year's team can get as far as this year's team unless there is an intervening event such as new personnel who can contribute immediately? Do people really believe that our new backcourt will be as good as KP, GBJ and BW? Seriously? Please talk me out of this point of view.

willandi
05-17-2015, 08:41 AM
I think that Perks showed that he is very talented at point, and will only grow into Pangos' shoes. Melson is better than the flashes that he showed. His entire mindset changed overnight, and that's always hard to do. He will be a great replacement for GBJ. Draino will be Draino...at least as good as BW, with a better outside shot. Mac will be better with one year into the system, not feeling he has to prove something every time out. We don't know about Alberts, but he is supposed to be a lockdown defender and a stud.

Karno will be better. Sabonis will be better. Wiltjer will be better. Edwards will be so much better. Rem has been really working on his air guitar!

We will be almost as good to start and better to end.

jazzdelmar
05-17-2015, 08:49 AM
Team will be better, much better. Deal with it. :)

raise the zag
05-17-2015, 09:11 AM
Team will be better, much better. Deal with it. :)

This.

No one is replacing KP. No one. Ever. Case closed.

That said, Perks is totally different. So is Silas. So is Alberts. Even Dranginis.

Besides obvious front court, can't compare teams.

Also, front court isn't necessarily, "all things equal". We have Edwards this season for 5-10 mins per game. This will be better, more stable option than Nunez for 3-5 mins per game. Give Karno a bit more rest and not worry so much about fouls. After 2 fouls, he played soft.

Additionally, can't undervalue Sabonis' growth as well; both literal and figurative. He will step up his game and finally turn 19! His body, strength, skills are all growing.

Both Edwards spot mins and Sabonis growth will help Karno and Kyle as well. No surprises up front, only stronger. Maybe better.

Pangos gave Perks MAJOR props all season long. He is essentially a Freshman, yes, yet will be a better playmaker and higher ceiling.

Silas struggled at times, yet outplayed everyone at times as well. Once he learns to pass the ball to an open teammate, he will explode on the scene. He is/was more of an offensive threat than GBJ could be due to injury, mindset, role, confidence, athleticism. Silas is a better overall athlete, almost as good of shooter, and has the attributes to be a solid defender as well.

Wesley was tremendous at times, yet can't deny his inconsistency. He was very talented, yet clearly checked out of games as well. He will be missed. Not sure we have a player to replicate his slashing ability. Alberts is actually more athletic, a better 3pt shooter (by all accounts), and is a bouncy, active presence. Combining Dranginis IQ, effort, defense with Alberts ability to stretch the floor and make athletic plays, this combo could equal BW.

We may not have a more "proven" backcourt, yet we have one with a higher ceiling for making plays, playing fast, taller, and better suited to match-up vs Blue Bloods. Simply no denying that.

The grind it out WCC games or teams that switch defenses, this new group will struggle more, may panic more, may have more trouble with running offense, yet they will be exciting. Combined with what I believe is a BETTER front court given depth and Sabonis not even 19 yet…yes, I believe we CAN be better team in the long run.

This is precisely the type of team to lose some head-scratchers, unlike Pangos and Bell, yet more likely peaking by the time February rolls around.

As amazing as Pangos/Bell were, their teams stagnated in February in 3 of 4 seasons, including last year til Tourney time.

Point is, we have a chance with unknown backcourt to be better. I believe it will take them some time. All things equal, we can't argue that we are taller, more athletic at every positions next year. That is exciting in itself.

sittingon50
05-17-2015, 09:37 AM
Hopin' for better than a 4 seed (in the WCC Tourney).

maineblackbear
05-17-2015, 09:45 AM
I remember the Few quote back in March (I originally remembered it Feb) that our bigs were the reason our team was so dominant. Since all three of them will be better (by whatever varying degrees) I think we could win 20 with a backcourt of Marx and Lenin. Since our backcourt will be very very good I really don't see more than a handful of losses, if that, next year. In other words, in response to OP, the reason why next year's hype is not overblown is because we will return our most dominant players and add several wonderful pieces around them, (Perkins, a more seasoned Melson, EMac, Alberts (probably in limited minutes next year), I really liked Dranginis the last month of the season (sacrilege of sacrilege, I thought we were better with him on the floor than with Wesley occasionally--not all the time, but Kyle brought a different geist to the team)-- anyway, I think we will be better next year than this. I started thinking that in Jan/Feb during our mid-conference sleepwalking that culminated in our loss to BYU. I am still definitely leaning that way. Can't wait for next year.

Few quote: Mar 10, 2015 ... "The Zags' post-game press conference featured Mark Few along with two of his bigs, ... "Our bigs are what separates us nationally," Few said."

so cool that he said that-- not our vaunted backcourt, (who were great) but our bigs.

seacatfan
05-17-2015, 10:35 AM
I'm going to answer the question in a very different way. The 2015-16 Zags will be competing against a TOTALLY different field than the 14-15 version. Many teams had significant losses. Everybody that made the Final 4 will be completely different, I think just about all of the Elite 8 teams as well. Almost everybody has question marks, many teams have bigger questions than GU does. The key for the Zags is obviously improvement and maturation of the guards/wings, but it's not ridiculous to expect that from at least some of those players.

Look at it another way. When has GU NOT had new, young players step up when they were needed? A freshman Harris and inexperienced RS soph Sacre quickly became a formidable interior duo. Raivio did almost nothing as a freshman, but when he was pushed into a starting role as a soph he responded big time. You can go on and on and on with other examples. Perimeter players will step up, the frontcourt is loaded, the beat will roll on for GU. I'm not worried.

jchocolate99
05-17-2015, 10:41 AM
The preseason chatter is all about GU making another deep run. I'm still waiting for something to happen to make that plausible. True, our entire front court is returning. But realistically, how much improvement will they make? And 60% of our starting lineup (the entire backcourt) is gone. Does anyone really think next year's team can get as far as this year's team unless there is an intervening event such as new personnel who can contribute immediately? Do people really believe that our new backcourt will be as good as KP, GBJ and BW? Seriously? Please talk me out of this point of view.

We hung with and at few times were leading against the eventual national champs and that's with our backcourt not playing very good offensively. Our frontcourt is what kept us in that game so yes the hype is warranted. We're returning a more athletically talented backcourt next year with a higher ceiling. We're gonna drop some games because 1. the schedule will be tougher and 2. the inexperience in the backcourt could bite us from time to time.

Someone in this thread mentioned that no one will be replacing pangos and yes that is true. Pango's goes down as one of our greatest PG's in GU's history but Perkins is a better pure point guard and the offense will flow very fluidly through him next year. The thing that will help next years crop of guards is they all have slashing ability so in games like the one against Duke when our shots weren't dropping the guards could drive to the hoop to create shots. Perkins, McClellan and Draginis are already good at this... would have like to see more of it from Melson and not sure yet whats in Alberts offensive arsenal

sage
05-17-2015, 11:01 AM
In all the speculation in this and most other threads, no one seems to factor in the rest of the world. We can have the best Zag team ever and if everyone else has too, nothing changes.

Might need another thread on what the rest of college BB is doing.

seacatfan
05-17-2015, 11:37 AM
In all the speculation in this and most other threads, no one seems to factor in the rest of the world. We can have the best Zag team ever and if everyone else has too, nothing changes.

Might need another thread on what the rest of college BB is doing.

Look 2 posts above yours.

CdAZagFan
05-17-2015, 12:45 PM
Can't personally argue against original post... I believe the backcourt is the fuel that runs the engine (and I'm not just talking about point production, but running the plays and being able to feed the bigs in good spots), so until we see it in action, there's no telling how good this team can be.

hondo
05-17-2015, 01:04 PM
We are discounting the role of experience here. I have no doubt that Josh and Silas are excellent players and very talented. However it has been noted that college basketball is a guards game and the Zags are not going to replace in one year the experience of Kevin and Gary. Do any of you remember Kevin's first game in Moraga? As good as Kevin is he had to learn from the wars of a complete season. Both Kevin and Gary grew each season and I would not expect our new guards to start off where Pangos and Bell were when they were even juniors. The new guard tandem will be tested every night out and if they are human they will stumble some games. That just the way it has always been.

Zagdawg
05-17-2015, 01:30 PM
One of the biggest benefits our guys have is the level of competition in practice---(we all know that this is not the same as a game --but it does help to play against the top competition more frequently).

Perkins will be competing against NWG on a daily basis throughout the year--and that will be tougher competition than he will face in 80-90% of the games throughout the entire year.

I see Perkins taking a big step moving forward in the year.

You get a solid and confident lead guard and the rest will fall into place between Melson, Alberts, Dranginis and Easy Mac.

VinnyZag
05-17-2015, 01:44 PM
I think the frontcourt can definitely improve. Karnowski has improved every year he's been here. Wiltjer made a huge jump since he's been at Gonzaga. And as for Sabonis, he's only begun to become the player he can be. I actually think he might be the best player on the team next year.

In the backcourt, I'd argue that Perkins and Melson have more raw talent and potential than Pangos and Bell. They just need experience. Next year's team won't be as good in November, but it might be better in March than last year.

SteelZag
05-17-2015, 01:46 PM
I think next year the Zags will be as good or even better than last season. The frontcourt should be unstoppable. The proposed rule change allowing 6 fouls instead of 5 would be huge for Shem and Sabonis. They could play nasty the entire game. Wiltjer is going to be Wiltjer.

The guards will all have at least one year of experience in Few's system and as mentioned above, are all taller and more athletic than KP and GBJ. Perkins is a great replacement for Pangos, although he may not be quite the 3pt threat. Melson should start at the 2 and be the new "volume" 3pt threat in the backcourt. KD is due to have a banner year offensively and on defense as well. The perimeter defense should be awesome and I'm looking forward to more steals and crowd pleasing dunks.

The Zags lose some quality players but next year's squad is loaded and they have all played together for a season.

Hogan
05-17-2015, 01:49 PM
One of the things that helped our bigs the most last year was Gary and Kevin's noted ability to shoot threes and thus stretch the floor. I don't see our new guards as being at that level and I think our bigs will feel the difference.

Reborn
05-17-2015, 01:53 PM
The preseason chatter is all about GU making another deep run. I'm still waiting for something to happen to make that plausible. True, our entire front court is returning. But realistically, how much improvement will they make? And 60% of our starting lineup (the entire backcourt) is gone. Does anyone really think next year's team can get as far as this year's team unless there is an intervening event such as new personnel who can contribute immediately? Do people really believe that our new backcourt will be as good as KP, GBJ and BW? Seriously? Please talk me out of this point of view.

All who have posted since the '14-'15 seasons ended have explained quite well why we believe the Zags will have another great season. Apparently, you don't read this board, Tyra. If you do read the posts here on GUboards and you are not convinced that the Zags will have a very good team next year, then I truly doubt that anyone could convince you. And there are writers and analysts outside of ZagNation who believe GU will have another GREAT season, and they have given their reasons for their opinions. You hold on to a belief that GU can't return to the Elete 8 or better because they are losing two very good guards. It's important to look at that,and I'm sure everyone has, or at least most here on our board. We have some pretty smart bloggers here. I think that what is coming back is more important,in this case, then who is leaving. One way of looking at how good a team will be is to look at how many players will play in the NBA. I believe that more players will make the NBA off of next years team than the numbers of those who played last year.

bartruff1
05-17-2015, 02:27 PM
I agree Tyra...I doubt they will win as many games in the WCC or the non conference....or advance as far in the Tourney.

Lost too much offense and defense and leadership (chemistry). Last year was very special.

DixieZag
05-17-2015, 02:46 PM
We are discounting the role of experience here. I have no doubt that Josh and Silas are excellent players and very talented. However it has been noted that college basketball is a guards game and the Zags are not going to replace in one year the experience of Kevin and Gary. Do any of you remember Kevin's first game in Moraga? As good as Kevin is he had to learn from the wars of a complete season. Both Kevin and Gary grew each season and I would not expect our new guards to start off where Pangos and Bell were when they were even juniors. The new guard tandem will be tested every night out and if they are human they will stumble some games. That just the way it has always been.

That's a good post.

I agree. Except (you knew it was coming?) - think about the experience on the other end. You have a fourth year senior, a fifth year senior, a player who played pro against grown men and went through the grind last year. You've got a 5th year senior in Draings (2/3 combo?). So, yes, the back court is young, but maybe physically/athletically more talented and I think the tone will be set by the experience up front. I think the thing (besides experience) we'll miss the most is Kevin's 3 pt shooting ability.

I think you are dead right about experience being a key. We'll just how to shift it from back to front, and hope that the clearly natural leader that Perk is, who watched Kevin all last year, can play a little above his years.

I'm not sure I'll recognize a Zag team that walks out for the starting jump without Kevin and Gary out there.

CDC84
05-17-2015, 02:47 PM
The NCAA tournament field next March will be more wide open than it was this past season when 7 or 8 teams clearly separated themselves. There won't be a single team as good as the Duke team that knocked off GU in the elite 8 this past March. So GU doesn't have to be as good as they were last year in order to go on a big run.

Also keep in mind that if GU gets a good enough seed, they will be able to play their first two games in Spokane Arena. I don't want to say that it's an automatic pass to the sweet 16, but it's close to it.

Fonebone
05-17-2015, 03:39 PM
All who have posted since the '14-'15 seasons ended have explained quite well why we believe the Zags will have another great season. Apparently, you don't read this board, Tyra. If you do read the posts here on GUboards and you are not convinced that the Zags will have a very good team next year, then I truly doubt that anyone could convince you. And there are writers and analysts outside of ZagNation who believe GU will have another GREAT season, and they have given their reasons for their opinions. You hold on to a belief that GU can't return to the Elete 8 or better because they are losing two very good guards. It's important to look at that,and I'm sure everyone has, or at least most here on our board. We have some pretty smart bloggers here. I think that what is coming back is more important,in this case, then who is leaving. One way of looking at how good a team will be is to look at how many players will play in the NBA. I believe that more players will make the NBA off of next years team than the numbers of those who played last year..
Reborn you are too much! I can assure you that Tyra reads the board tirelessly. Also he is a subtle iand devious character and I think you perhaps misread his question. I believe he simply posting the obvious arguments why some may think we might not be better in order to get intelligent and thoughtful responses to counter those points. It's just a technique he uses. I assure you he very seldom misses anything. He is most often several points ahead in discussions that I have seen him in. But it's all in good fun, carry-on

Coach Crazy
05-17-2015, 03:48 PM
We are discounting the role of experience here. I have no doubt that Josh and Silas are excellent players and very talented. However it has been noted that college basketball is a guards game and the Zags are not going to replace in one year the experience of Kevin and Gary. Do any of you remember Kevin's first game in Moraga? As good as Kevin is he had to learn from the wars of a complete season. Both Kevin and Gary grew each season and I would not expect our new guards to start off where Pangos and Bell were when they were even juniors. The new guard tandem will be tested every night out and if they are human they will stumble some games. That just the way it has always been.

Except that we got beat by a Duke team that had two freshman guards. Experience does matter, but that is limited in its efficacy. Talent will win the day, if used properly. Josh Perkins has a higher ceiling than KP, and he is certainly more dynamic. Melson will need to prove what he is about, but to be fair, he was thrown into things against the plan (unavoidably), and wasn't really given a ton of minutes.

jazzdelmar
05-17-2015, 04:12 PM
One of the things that helped our bigs the most last year was Gary and Kevin's noted ability to shoot threes and thus stretch the floor. I don't see our new guards as being at that level and I think our bigs will feel the difference.

Bell was off more than he was on with respect to LD shooting all year. All four years. It's revisionist to say otherwise. KP was better but had major droughts since sophomore year. Not to say the new kids are better, we don't have enough data, but to say that their three point shooting was a major piece in last years success is to avoid the reality. And to Hondo, I don't think KP and Bell materially improved every year. KPs best year was soph year and GBs best was maybe freshman year. They were terrific players out of the box, I will say that. But to say they improved every year misses the point as well. If they did, with their freshman year as their base, they would be drafted. And they won't.

23zagmd
05-17-2015, 05:26 PM
I'm in Coach Crazy's Camp.......

I for one will be super disappointed if this team is not a notch better than last years team. I think two things make that happen:

1. Sabonis is going to become a dominant player on the interior like we have never even imagined in this programs history. I'm expecting better passing out of his post play and an improved 18 ft jump shot that is going to make him almost unguardable at the college level.

2. Our backcourt is finally going to be the upgrade athletically and size wise that will allow us to compete with teams like Duke who have tremendous guard play. I actually felt like not having Perkins in the Duke game caught up to us and KP with the constant ball pressure, size and depth and ultimately wore KP out. We lost that game because we didn't have Perkins, IMO, plain and simple.


Except that we got beat by a Duke team that had two freshman guards. Experience does matter, but that is limited in its efficacy. Talent will win the day, if used properly. Josh Perkins has a higher ceiling than KP, and he is certainly more dynamic. Melson will need to prove what he is about, but to be fair, he was thrown into things against the plan (unavoidably), and wasn't really given a ton of minutes.

LongIslandZagFan
05-17-2015, 05:57 PM
Team will be better, much better. Deal with it. :)

Tyra... when Jazz is sippin' the kool-aid... you can start believing.

MickMick
05-17-2015, 06:16 PM
Dranginis is seasoned within the system. He will be more of a leader, more of a mentor, and embrace the challenge of being a player to be relied upon.

This is the season he surprises folks by taking his game to another level.

He is very effective with the post entry pass. For that reason alone he is extremely valuable and will see much time. Exactly what this front court needs and Few knows it. I predicted he is #2 on the team in assists and will always be on the floor when Perkins gets a seat. Beyond that, he plays very hard on both ends. A real hustler.

I'm on the bandwagon early before many even knew that a bandwagon existed.

jazzdelmar
05-17-2015, 06:31 PM
Tyra... when Jazz is sippin' the kool-aid... you can start believing.

Indeed. Make mine lime.

DixieZag
05-17-2015, 06:31 PM
Tyra... when Jazz is sippin' the kool-aid... you can start believing.

Jazz has been mainlining Sabonis kool-aid from the beginning. So long as DS is on the team, Jazz is driving the band wagon.

Thing is, he might be right.

jazzdelmar
05-17-2015, 06:40 PM
Jazz has been mainlining Sabonis kool-aid from the beginning. So long as DS is on the team, Jazz is driving the band wagon.

Thing is, he might be right.


Thanks for the keen observation. DS is a generational player. If he improves only 30% he is an all American.

DixieZag
05-17-2015, 06:41 PM
Dranginis is seasoned within the system. He will be more of a leader, more of a mentor, and embrace the challenge of being a player to be relied upon.

This is the season he surprises folks by taking his game to another level.

He is very effective with the post entry pass. For that reason alone he is extremely valuable and will see much time. Exactly what this front court needs and Few knows it. I predicted he is #2 on the team in assists and will always be on the floor when Perkins gets a seat. Beyond that, he plays very hard on both ends. A real hustler.

I'm on the bandwagon early before many even knew that a bandwagon existed.

I like the idea of him starting at the 2 - and have been pillared here for it.

So, I'll only go so far as to say I think you are exactly right. People are right to call him the stat-stuffer, but I noticed he also gained more confidence slashing to the rim. If he can get his 3 ball more consistent, watch out.

MDABE80
05-17-2015, 07:15 PM
I like the idea of him starting at the 2 - and have been pillared here for it.

pilloried??:)

jazzdelmar
05-17-2015, 07:17 PM
I like the idea of him starting at the 2 - and have been pillared here for it.

pilloried??:)

No it's pillar, as in transformed into a pillar of salt.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lot%27s_wife

gonzagafan62
05-17-2015, 07:45 PM
I am very underwhelmed too Tyra. Although I do love 4 of the 5 starters minus Melson. Still a little underwhelmed there. Another key misnomer I the depth. I don't feel that we have that either in this existing team upcoming. Maybe we won't need it. Love the depth up front with (Eddie) and the big three.... But the three is very poor (although maybe draino can pull a dower and go off in senior year) and then perks Melson eMac and it does look underwhelming in the backcourt.

I like it for the most part. I really think the big three and draino will have a huge year. Perks will be productive. I am unsure about the rest.

seacatfan
05-17-2015, 09:08 PM
I'm not the biggest kool-aid drinker, but I'm having hard time understanding some of the reluctance to expect a big year next season. I don't see anything about the production of the guys leaving that can't be replaced. Look at the numbers.

Pangos 11.6 ppg 43% 3 point shooting
Wesley 10.6 and 31%
Bell 8.2 and 36%

Yeah Pangos had a nice percentage from distance. The other 2 not so much. The scoring I think can be matched between key returners upping their scoring and new guys chipping in. I just don't see the doom and gloom. Yeah they lost a bunch of experience between Bell and Pangos. Wesley was only at GU for one season and didn't have much time to get up to speed so that's not the same thing. Still tons of experience coming back next year, and Perkins, Melson and Alberts have all been in the program longer than when Pangos and Bell became starters, and 2 of the 3 have some actual game experience. Dranginis is a 5th year Sr. and McClellan is a Sr. entering his second year with GU. The backcourt will be fine. Might be some growing pains, but with a dominating frontcourt to lean on...just not seeing the problem here folks.

seacatfan
05-17-2015, 09:14 PM
By comparison, Dranginis and Melson both hit 34% on 3's. Not a bunch of attempts, but more than Wesley. With very limited attempts Perkins hit 40% and McClellan 38%. That guy Wiltjer hit a paltry 47%. Yeah, the Zags are gonna be a terrible shooting team next year, none of them can hit from distance.

DixieZag
05-17-2015, 09:42 PM
I like the idea of him starting at the 2 - and have been pillared here for it.

pilloried??:)

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pilloried


verb (used with object), pilloried, pillorying.
2.
to set in the pillory.
3.
to expose to public derision, ridicule, or abuse:

'"The candidate mercilessly pilloried his opponent.
It's what happens when one suggests that perhaps starting the 3 big men is a good idea too often. Or whatever else...

Now, to ensure this thread doesn't fly off the rails. I think Drainginis really raises his game. He impressed me more and more as the weeks went on last year and I felt myself wanting him in the game more and more. I'm excited to see his role expanded.

MDABE80
05-17-2015, 09:46 PM
What makes any of you think DOmas won't be improvd after his rookie year? Think Wiltjer came back to not improve and be an AA? Karno's last season to prove he should be in the bigs. he knows it.
What makes anyone think Dranginis, with this past year he had, won't continue to improve. And then Emac and Josh? Emac's been through some high end competition and played only BU this year behind Kevin. HE did well..not so much in PPG but in his ability to perform managemnt of the team. He came in as a high scorer in a far more difficult league. He's used to our OOC scedule. Josh will learn....and he'll improve.
Melson has some fine talent and he's shown it in spurts as all frosh do.

Guards are for distributing, ball andling and scoring when needed. I do think our bigs willl be better and given Drnginis and Emas, distribution won't suffer. Plsu our recruitng isn't finished for this year. We'll be as good if not better when th season begins. O YEE of little faith....no worries.
In March of next year if we aren't as good, I'll run nude across the quadrangle with an Arby's #2 in my hand.

ZagaZags
05-17-2015, 10:42 PM
MDABE80
In March of next year if we aren't as good, I'll run nude across the quadrangle with an Arby's #2 in my hand.

Elite 8 or bust? 35-3 is going to be hard to beat.

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/wzozfm.com/files/2012/07/Arbys-Logo-250x300.jpg http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/026/7/3/homer_running_naked_by_nick619gtx-d38484p.gif

MDABE80
05-17-2015, 10:59 PM
HAaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Rangerzag
05-17-2015, 11:16 PM
O YEE of little faith....no worries.
In March of next year if we aren't as good, I'll run nude across the quadrangle with an Arby's #2 in my hand.

QFT ;^)

zagamatic
05-18-2015, 12:35 AM
Here's the way I see the team stacking up next year. Our guards will flat out show more size and athleticism, that's not a knock on KP or GBJ, it's just a simple fact that will translate into more steals and breakouts. This will make believers out of the media and doubters nationally because let's face it, KP was NEVER gonna dunk on a fast break. All of a sudden, GU has some athletes, athletes = a shot at a deep run.
Then you have a seriously imposing backcourt! Not 1, but 2 behemoths that go 7'1" & 275 +, both of which are true centers, rim protectors and can shoot effectively to at least 15 feet, and you can run your offense through Karnowski as kind of a point center if the fellas outside start to lose control a bit to calm things down. But wait, I'm not done. Now let's take a look at Wiltjer. All that he offers is an ability to handle the ball, pass extremely well, has the ability to score in in the post and as good of range as any guard in the country. Oh,and did I mention that he obviously has to know that if he wants to earn a monster paycheck instead of just a huge paycheck that he must improve his defense? Could be some serious off season motivation there. And I'm still not done! Now let's talk about a young man named Sabonis. All he does is go after every rebound will a tenacity that is rarely seen in this day and age, attacks the rim on offense just as ferociously and can even make some beautiful passes. This young man has the potential to be a top 3 pick in the draft some day.
Ok, ok, all hyperbole aside, the reality is that as long as the backcourt holds up their end to just a "good" degree, this is a top 10 team. BUT! If Drangins improves his outside shooting by just a little, Perkins doesn't lose that fire because he's worried about another injury, Melson becomes a willing passer and E-Mac & Alberts are solid subs........then this team can be really really special. And yikes, if we add another small forward to add to the mix via transfer who can contribute right away, this team could just be ridiculous! But that's kinda like getting everything on your Christmas list when you were kinda greedy with it to begin with.

Zagger
05-18-2015, 03:09 AM
We know how good Dontmiss & Wiltjer are. We have every expectation that they'll even be better. Shem and Edwards ...... that's where in think things could get VERY interesting. I feel they'll pair up to be an awesome tag-team. Talk about BIG - with Edwards in the mix I feel there will be a greater opportunity for Mt. K to shine. The Zags are going to be darn hard to score on. As much as Wiltjer was panned here and ther for his defense - Kyle improved steadily on D. If Kyle's going to be sought after by NBA teams his D is going to have to improve further (I feel it will - noticeably). Then there's Drano - what a stud - he just keeps brining it. He just keeps getting better. The unknowns for me are Josh, Silas, Alberts for sure, and EMc - what sort of chemistry will they provide? How will Josh rebound from the seriously whacked jaw? How will Silas's play be different than working with Kevin & Gary? How awesome will EMc be? Alberts .... could he be a Wesley? My gut and my brain are telling me that it's going to be a VERY exciting year. LOTS of talent in this Zag bunch and LOTS of potential. I'm personally more excited about 15-16 right now than I've been at this time of year for any previous Zag mix. I'm already missing Kevin and Gary BIG TIME but I also feel that those two have set the bar high for O and D - they've raised the level of expectations for guards that will account, and set the stage for, great guard play and D by the Zags replacing them. Kevin and Gary have primed the pump. We're going to see some great basketball flowing in and out of Spokane this coming season. Go Zags!

thegloriousgoateeofKP
05-18-2015, 04:49 AM
The premise of the question is wrong.

You can't build a team that's a sure thing. Kentucky didn't even make the Championship Game.

All you can do is consistently build teams that *have a chance,* with the right breaks, to make the Final Four.

So the question is not "will they be better?" It's: will they have a chance?

The answer is a resounding yes.

thespywhozaggedme
05-18-2015, 05:15 AM
The preseason chatter is all about GU making another deep run. I'm still waiting for something to happen to make that plausible. True, our entire front court is returning. But realistically, how much improvement will they make? And 60% of our starting lineup (the entire backcourt) is gone. Does anyone really think next year's team can get as far as this year's team unless there is an intervening event such as new personnel who can contribute immediately? Do people really believe that our new backcourt will be as good as KP, GBJ and BW? Seriously? Please talk me out of this point of view.

Think about this for a second; we, Gonzaga University have THE BEST returning frontcourt in the nation. Not a top 10 frontcourt, one of the best frontcourt's but THE BEST in the nation. Perkins, before he got hurt was playing 20 mpg and looked like the best true frosh to ever don a Zags jersey; this kid is a flat out stud and has the "it" factor. I don't know how any fan could be down on this team. Pangs and Bell for all of the great things they did, were not offensive powerhouses last season; they combined for 19ppg; I think Perk and Melson are locks for 9.5 ppg. Draino and Alberts should combine to replicate BWess's 10.6ppg. I don't think you realize just how talented this team really is.

thespywhozaggedme
05-18-2015, 05:57 AM
Wait..........Tyra's a "he"? :confused:
.
Reborn you are too much! I can assure you that Tyra reads the board tirelessly. Also he is a subtle iand devious character and I think you perhaps misread his question. I believe he simply posting the obvious arguments why some may think we might not be better in order to get intelligent and thoughtful responses to counter those points. It's just a technique he uses. I assure you he very seldom misses anything. He is most often several points ahead in discussions that I have seen him in. But it's all in good fun, carry-on

bigblahla
05-18-2015, 06:31 AM
I'm pretty sure long before anyone else including "born" I picked last years squad to go undefeated and win it all....had Josh not been mugged in NY I still believe it would have happened.....I think next years version will be better as a team but don't expect them to have only two losses going into the"Dance".....with that said depending on match ups we have the makings of a final four team as it stands with the chance to be even better as schollies get filled....time will tell....

Go!! Zags!!!

mgadfly
05-18-2015, 06:34 AM
I wouldn't put any money on being better than 35-3 and the Elite 8 because even great teams sometimes can't duplicate that effort.

The GloriousgoateeofKP has it right though. The question is will this year's team have a chance to be something special? And he's right, they do.

With the talent inside the guards have to (1) be able to run the offense and feed the post, (2) keep teams honest by hitting some outside shots, and (3) play defense well.

PG: Perkins - Upgrade defensively. Showed he can really run the offense.
SG: EMAC & Melson: I don't know if you can upgrade Gary Bell's defense, so this is the biggest question mark on the court. EMAC's defense was fantastic in the tournament. He is an ultra-quick defender that we were using (along with Dranginis) to hassle opposing guards by the end of the season. He seemed to embrace the roll. He is more like GBJ, wasn't taking a ton of risks and getting a bunch of steals, than a David Stockton type, but I thought he proved a lot with his D. He also had a very healthy assist rate at Vanderbilt. Melson was inefficient on offense for us. He seemed to force his shot too much and had a horrible assist rate. However, he is a lengthy guard who had the highest steal rate on the entire team. Can he dial back the bad shot attempts (or convert them at a higher rate) while continuing to develop as a lockdown defender? Maybe, maybe not.
SF: Dranginis: When we needed someone to take GBJ's role on defense over it was usually Dranginis. He is a plus defender with length and good athleticism. He blocks shots and gets steals. Between Dranginis and Wesley they ate up all the SF minutes this year. The question is whether his sub off the bench can be anywhere near as effective as he was. That "sub" is likely to slide Wiltjer to the perimeter (based on some of the coaching staff's comments) for a few minutes per game. That raises some defensive questions but is very intriguing whether you agree or disagree with it. I don't know enough about Alberts to say whether he can have an impact.

We do lack a little depth in the back court. But at what we need these back court players to do (run the offense, make a few shots, feed the bigs, PLAY DEFENSE) we are probably improved. A lot of that has to do with how good I think Dranginis and Perkins are. But an injury to either one of them and we are DOOMED.

zagfan24
05-18-2015, 07:05 AM
I don't see anything about the production of the guys leaving that can't be replaced. Look at the numbers.

The pain of losing Kevin and Gary has nothing to do with numbers. Losing Pangos means losing a floor general and a leader...somebody who was a master at dictating tempo and had the cajones to take over in crunch time. I think Perkins will be outstanding but his lack of experience d/t last year's injury does mean it will take a while to get there. Losing Bell means losing the guy who was by far our best individual perimeter defensive player. He almost never allowed an average performance from somebody he was defending last year. Further, Gary rarely took bad shots...something that doesn't show up on a statsheet but is rare for a 2 guard.

All that to say I think the Zags will be a very good, even elite team next year. They will have growing pains but could easily be a force in March. I just think it's off base to think that replacing players from a statistical standpoint is equivalent to replacing their value.

raise the zag
05-18-2015, 07:06 AM
We know Perkins was highly recruited and rated out of HS, yet many times this is misleading. However, we saw Coach Few's AND Pangos' trust in his ability last season -- from the immediate playing time (great sign!), to his production on the court, to his vision, etc. Its going to take him some time to get back in playing condition/shape, but I thought to share a reputable NBA scout's take on Josh, via Draftexpress.com 2 years ago:

-- This is exactly what I saw from him last season, thus we are in good hands --



Strengths:
-Has good size for his position to go along with a solid frame
-Terrific ball-handler. Can operate at different speeds. Utilizes hesitation moves
-Outstanding passer. Highly creative. Sees the floor extremely well. Can really run a team
-Possesses an excellent feel for the game. Passes ahead in transition
-Solid outside shooter. Can make shots with feet set or off the dribble. Can punish the defense for going under on the pick and roll
-Has very good anticipation skills. Does a nice job of finding rebounds and steals

Weaknesses:
-Average athlete by NBA standards. Doesn't possess amazing quickness or explosiveness
-Has a tendency to overdribble at times and look excessively for the highlight reel pass
-Average defender. Gets blown by. Doesn't always put the best effort in. Gambles quite a bit
-Body language around teammates isn't always the best. Sometimes appears to be focused on the wrong things

Outlook:
One of the best passers in high school basketball. Has very good potential on the pick and roll. Needs to keep honing his skill-level but has all the makings of a very good collegiate point guard and likely more than that down the road.


I'd like to point out Perkins was rated higher than D'Angelo Russell, who was a Top-5 draft pick this season, and rated higher than Grayson Allen, Duke's next white hope. And rated higher than James Blackmon, Indiana's true frosh leading scorer as well. Or Miama's starting PG.

Point is, 2014 was a terrific guard class and Perkins was considered one of the best, if not the best PG in said class.

Just another affirmation we are going to be OK...

23zagmd
05-18-2015, 07:14 AM
The premise that we have to be better than 35-3 to be considered BETTER is absolutely insane. I for one would take 31-7 with the caveat that we win our LAST game. That is BETTER to me!

I think a lot of you are losing perspective here and what some of you are saying is that this team is going to change and YOU don't really want it to! I think we've all grown very accustomed to having Gary and Kevin bust their tails every night and win a ton of games....just as Dickau, Stepp, Raivio, etc. all did and we hated to see them go. Hell, I'm still sad that Doug Spradley and Jim McPhee graduated....but that team was 8-20 and damn near lost to some NAIA schools.

Get over it and get your Zag gear on.....Next year is going to be amazing!

raise the zag
05-18-2015, 07:16 AM
35-3 can't be used as a measuring stick.

The 2015-2016 Zags have a WAYYYYY tougher schedule. Not even in the same ballpark to be compared overall.

Its all about how well we're playing in March, and hopefully won enough games to make the Tourney.

cjm720
05-18-2015, 07:32 AM
Other than experience, which is huge of course, we upgrade at every position other than the wing IMO. Love Pangos and Bell, but we won't miss them too much by conference play. IMO Perks has more upside than Pangos and Emac is a better defender than Bell in terms of shutting down elite athletes at the point of attack. Our front court is obviously fine. My biggest question mark is who's our starting and back up wing. Draginis brought a lot to the table last year and if he starts, who can replicate that fresh look off the bench?

mgadfly
05-18-2015, 07:39 AM
The premise that we have to be better than 35-3 to be considered BETTER is absolutely insane. I for one would take 31-7 with the caveat that we win our LAST game. That is BETTER to me!




I think most people were saying 35-3 AND Elite 8. Obviously, I'd take 34-4 and Final Four and argue that was better. Or 31-7 and National champions. I also don't want to be 32-1 with our first loss the opening round of the tournament to a 16 seed.

But 35-3 AND Elite 8 is a very high bar.

kitzbuel
05-18-2015, 08:38 AM
Our guard corps next year will not be inexperienced. They may not be veterans, but all but one have played major minutes in games last season. The only one without game experience is a redshirt and knows the system and players. We do not have a freshman out there.

That is a testament to the way the staff has managed the roster to this point. Despite losing our starting 1,2&3 players, we replace them with experienced players.

hondo
05-18-2015, 09:39 AM
It's not so much that the 1,2 and 3 are totally lacking in experience but the will be replacing a crew that between them, going into last season, had started about 100 games and played major minutes in those games. That kind of experience can only be acquired over several years. Granted that Duke won it all with freshmen guards but that is not often done.

Mr Vulture
05-18-2015, 10:14 AM
I would disagree that McClellan is a better defender than GBJ but I also think that it a high plateau of comparison. I personally think the GBJ is the biggest loss for this team. We will be better upfront, which seems funny to type, but is true. I think that Perkins may end up matching elite athletes better than Pangos by March but there is alot of leadership that graduated there. I am comfortable with Dranginis/Alberts on the wing as well. In the end, I think this team may be better athletically and by March, may be better than last year.


Other than experience, which is huge of course, we upgrade at every position other than the wing IMO. Love Pangos and Bell, but we won't miss them too much by conference play. IMO Perks has more upside than Pangos and Emac is a better defender than Bell in terms of shutting down elite athletes at the point of attack. Our front court is obviously fine. My biggest question mark is who's our starting and back up wing. Draginis brought a lot to the table last year and if he starts, who can replicate that fresh look off the bench?

kitzbuel
05-18-2015, 10:55 AM
It's not so much that the 1,2 and 3 are totally lacking in experience but the will be replacing a crew that between them, going into last season, had started about 100 games and played major minutes in those games. That kind of experience can only be acquired over several years. Granted that Duke won it all with freshmen guards but that is not often done.

I really think that over the course of the season our guards will become seasoned and will be hitting their stride just at the right time. We will probably take some licks early on, but I think they will gel over the season. There is probably a large dollop of wishful thinking behind this, but Tom Izzo manages to do this year in and year out.

thespywhozaggedme
05-18-2015, 11:34 AM
All things being equal, I'll take talent over experience and it's my opinion that this new young backcourt is more talented then its predecessor. Experience will come.
It's not so much that the 1,2 and 3 are totally lacking in experience but the will be replacing a crew that between them, going into last season, had started about 100 games and played major minutes in those games. That kind of experience can only be acquired over several years. Granted that Duke won it all with freshmen guards but that is not often done.

gonzagafan62
05-18-2015, 11:35 AM
35-3 can't be used as a measuring stick.

The 2015-2016 Zags have a WAYYYYY tougher schedule. Not even in the same ballpark to be compared overall.

Its all about how well we're playing in March, and hopefully won enough games to make the Tourney.

I am not so sure its a WAYYYY tougher schedule. I would say its almost slightly easier. Sure Pittsburgh and Tennessee on the schedule are better than Cal Poly and Sacramento State...... But if you look at it, its UCLA, Arizona (both at home) and SMU is on the road. That's slightly easier to me.

Whether its Tennessee, or Pittsburgh or Sacramento State or Cal Poly, we are winning those games regardless. I really feel that the MSG Tournament is even with the Bahamas this year ... some teams are decent, others stink. Bout the same to me.

I am just not seeing it man.

thespywhozaggedme
05-18-2015, 11:51 AM
35-3 can't be used as a measuring stick.

The 2015-2016 Zags have a WAYYYYY tougher schedule. Not even in the same ballpark to be compared overall.

Its all about how well we're playing in March, and hopefully won enough games to make the Tourney.

This is an absurd statement. We're gonna be preseason ranked top 10; surely you have higher expectations for this team than "making the tournament".

mainer6
05-18-2015, 11:56 AM
Until the new guards out perform KP, GBJ and BW I will remain tentatively optimistic.


Other than experience, which is huge of course, we upgrade at every position other than the wing IMO. Love Pangos and Bell, but we won't miss them too much by conference play. IMO Perks has more upside than Pangos and Emac is a better defender than Bell in terms of shutting down elite athletes at the point of attack. Our front court is obviously fine. My biggest question mark is who's our starting and back up wing. Draginis brought a lot to the table last year and if he starts, who can replicate that fresh look off the bench?

Zippyzaggy
05-18-2015, 12:01 PM
Pretty much everything has been salted through, but I will add a little more detail on Dranginis and why he will improve given that he will finally get a chance to blow up as a 5th year senior, where he will be counted on more heavily than in the past.

He has not been needed to be the man, but he very well could be. He can absolutely bang away from deep given more PT, which will inspire more confidence. Given his history as a starter in high-school, I see him able to ave. 40% plus from outside the perimeter.

Let's also take another look at that High School pedigree, where among other things, he was lights out from three: "two-time Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year and a two-time Idaho State Player of the Year...senior season averaged 24 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals per game, leading the Hawks (22-5) to the Class 4A state final...scored a school-record 54 points on 20-for-26 shooting in game against Vallivue High in late November, 2011... junior year was four points shy of tying the Idaho State 4A Tournament record with 75 points in three games as Skyview finished fifth in the State tourney...averaged a team-high 20.3 points, 6.3 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 2.0 steals for the Hawks...sophomore season his layin with 28 seconds left in overtime proved to be the winning points in Skyview's 59-58 overtime victory over Pocatello for the Idaho State 4A title...averaged 10.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and shot 54.7 percent from the field...Skyview finished fifth at State his freshman season and he earned first-team All-Southern Idaho Conference honors. Maintained a 3.54 GPA...volunteered locally in Nampa on behalf of his church youth group and as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit breast cancer research...also recruited by Utah, Utah State, Boise State, Notre Dame, Washington State, Portland and San Diego.

As a previous poster mentioned above....Draino def has the ability to pull a Sammy D in his 5th year.

Worthington
05-18-2015, 12:27 PM
I'm shocked how easily some here shrug off losing Pangos and Bell. Sure Perkins was good in a limited sample size, but the "He's the best freshman we ever had" talk is way overblown. Going from a senior, 4 year starter Pangos to Perkins is a huge downgrade at the PG spot. Perkins is going to have his struggles and I'm sure show flashes of brilliance as well, but overall we're going from one of the best, most poised lead guards in the country last year to an inexperienced freshman this year.

Losing Bell hurts nearly as much as well. He was that elite role player that every team wishes they had. One of the best perimeter defenders in the history of the program and a reliable three point threat to open up the paint for our bigs. I personally think it will be McClellan as the starting 2 guard next year as he was playing over Melson at the end of the year, and just plain looked the better of the two from what I saw. EMac is the best athlete on the team and was a game changer on defense at times down the stretch last season, so defensively we'll be fine at the position. We're definitely going to miss Bell's shooting and basketball IQ though on offense.

Overall our frontcourt should be good enough to make us a top 20 team, and I do like that fact that we have some good athletes in the back court that may make us more explosive/dangerous come March, but I agree with the OP that we won't be nearly as good as last years team. No shame in that, there's just no way I can sit here and pretend like we're not in a little worse shape from losing two 4 year starting guards.

Baseline
05-18-2015, 12:30 PM
I think this coming year looks great and here is why.

KW improved markedly last year, just look at the first games and then look at the end of the year. better offense, passing and huge jump in rebounding. he is motivated and lifting weights this off season, look for improvement.

PK is still trending up and will be more versatile.

Edwards will be the surprise and will offer quality minutes with no fall off in play when he is in. by year end he will be challenging for the position.

Sabonis is special and how high the bar can be set is a question mark, all I know is we have not seen that yet. If he develops a jumper he is a lottery pick.

Perkins will be talked about by mid season in terms of being the best guard in the country. he will have a few rough games as he learns the ropes, but come March he will be way more than ready.

Melson, McClelon, Draino and Alberts will surprise and will become solid. this is where the x factor that changes the season will come from.

Few has taken a jump in his game and know can get us there.

gonzagafan62
05-18-2015, 12:45 PM
This is an absurd statement. We're gonna be preseason ranked top 10; surely you have higher expectations for this team than "making the tournament".

Spy, not trying to be demeaning, but my hopes have only hinged on going deep in the tournament twice, since I've been around watching Gonzaga on a full time basis to start the season. One of those times was the 2008-2009 season. The other was last year.

Next year is a bunch of unknowns, I can see why someone would say "hopefully make the tournament" .... I really don't think we will miss the tournament at all, especially with one of the top 2 frontcourts in the nation. The unknown is the backcourt. Sure we know Draino. Do we really know Melson, Perks, or Alberts? Some can say what they want about a small sample size for Melson and Perks, but do I feel reasonably comfortable that we can make a deep run with them? No I don't. Does that mean we can't make a deep run with them? Again, no it doesn't.

I honestly think we will win somewhere between 26-29 games, and 30 if we are lucky. Does that translate into winning a game in the tournament? Again no. Its going to be super tough as always to win a game in the tournament.

Making the tournament is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. Sure we SHOULD make the tournament, but one false misstep or injury can take a team that doesn't have a lot of depth in the backcourt and shrivel this team into a dang prune. We still will make the tournament, but I don't have much hopes for much after,

UNTIL I see the players play.

That's the other thing being missed here. We have not seen any of the three (Draino, Melson, or Perks) even start a game with consistency, nor have we even seen Alberts play one second of College Basketball.

A lot of unknowns. People will argue if a player is an "unknown" because the player is not "unknown" but what I am saying is, that the player hasn't played in his spot that he's going to be playing at all during his collegiate career. That's my definition of unknown.

I wouldn't be putting much expectations so far this year. Not yet.

Zagdawg
05-18-2015, 01:28 PM
One of the more difficult things to do in college basketball if defer to your teammates when you are conditioned to be "the man" all your life. The RS on and off thing affected Melson. He was still learning and this coming year will be different for him also. We saw some glimpses of how good of a scorer he can be. Kyle D. Is also ready to step up. Perkins will be a great facilitator running the offense and Ez Mac and Albert will be solid. As others have mentioned - we will not be perfect - but by March we will have a very good team. If we can start the dance off in Spokane, it will be huge for confidence. Going to be a fun season.

Go Zags

Ekrub
05-18-2015, 02:41 PM
Really think that Perkins is going to make our front court even better. Just need Melson/mac/Alberts/dranginis to knock down outside shots to keep the D honest

bartruff1
05-18-2015, 02:51 PM
Until the new guards out perform KP, GBJ and BW I will remain tentatively optimistic.

Now that sounds prudent....I will do the same....

OZZY
05-18-2015, 03:05 PM
I'm shocked how easily some here shrug off losing Pangos and Bell. Sure Perkins was good in a limited sample size, but the "He's the best freshman we ever had" talk is way overblown. Going from a senior, 4 year starter Pangos to Perkins is a huge downgrade at the PG spot. Perkins is going to have his struggles and I'm sure show flashes of brilliance as well, but overall we're going from one of the best, most poised lead guards in the country last year to an inexperienced freshman this year.

Losing Bell hurts nearly as much as well. He was that elite role player that every team wishes they had. One of the best perimeter defenders in the history of the program and a reliable three point threat to open up the paint for our bigs. I personally think it will be McClellan as the starting 2 guard next year as he was playing over Melson at the end of the year, and just plain looked the better of the two from what I saw. EMac is the best athlete on the team and was a game changer on defense at times down the stretch last season, so defensively we'll be fine at the position. We're definitely going to miss Bell's shooting and basketball IQ though on offense.

Overall our frontcourt should be good enough to make us a top 20 team, and I do like that fact that we have some good athletes in the back court that may make us more explosive/dangerous come March, but I agree with the OP that we won't be nearly as good as last years team. No shame in that, there's just no way I can sit here and pretend like we're not in a little worse shape from losing two 4 year starting guards.


This is pretty much my take on things as well, well said.

DixieZag
05-18-2015, 03:32 PM
Now that sounds prudent....I will do the same....

Why would prudence impact anyone's thinking?

:)

Reborn
05-18-2015, 04:06 PM
This is pretty much my take on things as well, well said.

Duke won the NCAA Tournament in March with three Freshmen starters. One was a point guard. IMO Perkins IS proven point-guard. McClelland is certainly a proven guard, and a very good one. He's going to be a senior next year. He WILL NOT have the same role next year, believe me. Silas Melson will be much better next year. Gonzaga will have the BEST front-court in the country next year. Let's see what else do you need to convince you, Tyra. I think Dranginis will be better than Wesley. I just have that feeling. I am thinking about how Sam Dower came alive his senior year once he was able to start. Dranginis will start at the 3, imo. The more I write the more I'm smiling. And like someone said, we're keeping our fingers crossed for a senior transfer or such.

Good luck, Doc. I have confidence in your prediction though. Glad to see your confidence.

seacatfan
05-18-2015, 05:11 PM
I will not be deterred. Yes a whole bunch of experience graduated with Pangos and Bell. I think the players in place will step in and fill roles and next year should be another strong campaign for GU. I'm not going to predict they will match last year's 35-3 record, but I don't believe that should be the standard for a good season. I think high 20's or around 30 for a win total is not at all out of the question.

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
05-18-2015, 05:44 PM
The preseason chatter is all about GU making another deep run. I'm still waiting for something to happen to make that plausible. True, our entire front court is returning. But realistically, how much improvement will they make? And 60% of our starting lineup (the entire backcourt) is gone. Does anyone really think next year's team can get as far as this year's team unless there is an intervening event such as new personnel who can contribute immediately? Do people really believe that our new backcourt will be as good as KP, GBJ and BW? Seriously? Please talk me out of this point of view.

I don't see any Kentucky, Duke or Wisconsin's next year so the chalk is weaker. Your feeling about the Zags next year are very accurate. I think Sweet16 would be the ceiling if things break right. JMHO

They needed to add another shooter in the backcourt. Lee, Gibbs or Sulaimon were the big three guys to get on transfers. If the Zags added either of these 3 it would have really helped.

MDABE80
05-18-2015, 05:52 PM
VEE VILL PREVAIL! Achtung!

Coach Crazy
05-18-2015, 06:11 PM
I'm shocked how easily some here shrug off losing Pangos and Bell. Sure Perkins was good in a limited sample size, but the "He's the best freshman we ever had" talk is way overblown. Going from a senior, 4 year starter Pangos to Perkins is a huge downgrade at the PG spot.

Kevin Pangos, while one of the greats at Gonzaga was never going to be the PG to get this team to a NC, at least not during the time that he was in college basketball. We're not being genuine if we don't realize that his size, lack of athleticism, and quickness on both the offensive and defensive end of the court were going to make it difficult to win without superior bigs. He was integral, and he was able to impact the game in ways that some PG simply cannot. However, all the aforementioned issues were the reasons he was marginalized against Duke. Not to mention, it came down to KP being better at scoring when we had another guard handling the ball. So, he had plenty of things that could and did keep us from winning.

This fan base has clung to the idea of the guard being the lead stallion for far too long. We have three forwards that will get drafted, and very likely all in the first round. Plus, they are adding another 7'1" center to the mix. No one has that depth. Not even close. That makes you more than a top 20 team, just there. Josh Perkins can still have flaws and this team be a national championship contender. Josh Perkins can still be flawed, and inexperience, and this current team still win a national championship.

The word "experience" doesn't negate BPM, WS/40, or any other performance measurement. The only question we have to see with Josh, is how his efficiency responds to more minutes played. Did KP have a crazy high ORtg? Sure, but that EE game showed that some of his offensive and defensive statistics were because he didn't see certain guard types as often. Now, I agree, had they played in an actual basketball facility, we may have won that game. But sometimes those wrenches hit the gears. I would rather have a dynamic PG who can shoot .400 from 3, as opposed to a PG that has some athleticism/size/speed flaws and shooting .470.



Overall our frontcourt should be good enough to make us a top 20 team, and I do like that fact that we have some good athletes in the back court that may make us more explosive/dangerous come March, but I agree with the OP that we won't be nearly as good as last years team. No shame in that, there's just no way I can sit here and pretend like we're not in a little worse shape from losing two 4 year starting guards.

This really isn't a fair comparison. Because we have seen one, and not seen the other. But after what I saw with against Duke, I'm as likely to take this upcoming team, as I did last year's.

And guys, don't get me wrong. I'm not calling KP and GBJ moldy bread. They had great seasons. They were a part of the process that we will look back on and be able to tell our kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren about. But people wanted to see a nuanced discussion, and this type of scrutiny is necessary. I personally tend to look at things from a coaching perspective, so it's going to come across as rather blunt and unfeeling at times. Lastly, if we really want to see this program progress, KP and GBJ can't be the pinnacle of Gonzaga guards. It always has to be getting better, one year after the next, one generation after the other.

NotoriousZ
05-18-2015, 07:13 PM
The preseason chatter is all about GU making another deep run. I'm still waiting for something to happen to make that plausible. True, our entire front court is returning. But realistically, how much improvement will they make? And 60% of our starting lineup (the entire backcourt) is gone. Does anyone really think next year's team can get as far as this year's team unless there is an intervening event such as new personnel who can contribute immediately? Do people really believe that our new backcourt will be as good as KP, GBJ and BW? Seriously? Please talk me out of this point of view.

I whole-heartedly agree with the Kool-Aid drinkers on this one. I saw what I needed from Perkins in the few games before he got the Kung Foo kick to the head. He could be the best passing PG that we've ever had. And he's athletic. And he can shoot.

Final Four? Who knows. Better than last year? I would say so.

Worthington
05-19-2015, 10:09 AM
Kevin Pangos, while one of the greats at Gonzaga was never going to be the PG to get this team to a NC, at least not during the time that he was in college basketball. We're not being genuine if we don't realize that his size, lack of athleticism, and quickness on both the offensive and defensive end of the court were going to make it difficult to win without superior bigs. He was integral, and he was able to impact the game in ways that some PG simply cannot. However, all the aforementioned issues were the reasons he was marginalized against Duke. Not to mention, it came down to KP being better at scoring when we had another guard handling the ball. So, he had plenty of things that could and did keep us from winning.

I can never get on board with these overgeneralized statements about not being able to win with a certain type of player. The tournament is a crapshoot most years. Who would have thought that a Shabazz Napier led UCONN team would have been cutting down the nets two years ago? I do agree that we're bound to struggle more with athletic backcourts when we've got smaller guys like Pangos and Bell as our guards, but I still don't feel like that was the difference in the Duke game. More than anything KP and GBJ just weren't knocking down open looks IMO. I feel like Pangos never got his due on defense either. I'd say he was a big plus on that end. Always in his stance, always working hard, very quick (not explosive, but I'd say he's a quick player). Honestly, I think all this talk about how Perkins is the athletic point guard we've been waiting for is overblown. Watching the two of them, I would say Pangos is faster in the open court and a quicker player. Perkins has got great size/length and is more explosive (he's no Pargo though), but at least next year I don't think we're going to be any better defensively at the point guard spot.



This fan base has clung to the idea of the guard being the lead stallion for far too long. We have three forwards that will get drafted, and very likely all in the first round. Plus, they are adding another 7'1" center to the mix. No one has that depth. Not even close. That makes you more than a top 20 team, just there. Josh Perkins can still have flaws and this team be a national championship contender. Josh Perkins can still be flawed, and inexperience, and this current team still win a national championship.

Sabonis should go first round, but Wiltjer and Karnowski more likely are second rounders/undrafted. I don't disagree, our front court is going to be unreal next year. It was ball movement and efficiency that made last years team great though. Losing two 4 year starters, and incredibly unselfish players should disrupt the team's flow in my opinion. It might not disrupt it that much, but without seeing next years backcourt play significant minutes I can't be that confident that there won't be a drop off in how our offense runs. Not to mention we're losing two very reliable three point shooting threats in KP and GBJ that opened up a lot of stuff for our bigs. I can only imagine that we're not going to see the same kind of efficiency from beyond the arc from Perkins and Melson/McClellan.



And guys, don't get me wrong. I'm not calling KP and GBJ moldy bread. They had great seasons. They were a part of the process that we will look back on and be able to tell our kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren about. But people wanted to see a nuanced discussion, and this type of scrutiny is necessary. I personally tend to look at things from a coaching perspective, so it's going to come across as rather blunt and unfeeling at times. Lastly, if we really want to see this program progress, KP and GBJ can't be the pinnacle of Gonzaga guards. It always has to be getting better, one year after the next, one generation after the other.

I agree with you and I'm really optimistic that eventually a backcourt of Perkins and Melson can be better than Pangos and Bell, but I've just got to respect the legacy of Pangos and Bell to believe that's not going to be in their first year taking over. I could very well be wrong and I see the upside of having some longer, more athletic players in the back court, but I don't think there's anyone that can convince me, as of what we've seen in such a small sample size, that a back court of Perkins (RS Frosh), Melson (Soph), Dranginis (RS Sr) is going to be more equipped come March than Pangos (Sr), Bell (Sr), and Wesley (Sr).

seacatfan
05-19-2015, 10:19 AM
Bell was not a reliable 3 point shooter last year. He was in a shooting slump at least half of the season. A guy that knocked down 48% as a freshmen had statistically the worst season of his career as a Sr. Fell all the way to 36% from distance and also a career low 8 ppg. His defense and experience isn't exactly quantifiable, but what he brought to the table offensively last year will easily be replaced.

MDABE80
05-19-2015, 10:59 AM
Josh will need some seasoning but he knows how to find people with his passing. Does anyone remember we have EMC and Dranginis as frontliners too? I don't see lack of experience with those 2 iids........Josh a bit but he'll figiure it out quickly. ALberts is going to figure it out and soon. I think he will. He's a very very good shooter from distance. SIlas.....well........he's got the goods. His attitude soured a bit when EMAC got his minutes but Si's a great kid.........I look for him to be a big contributor this year. I hope his defense improves.
So the long and short of this is the bigs are superior and the trust in the guards is lacking. I don't see how.......superior passing and all of them have size, play very good defense ( which has been ignored in this thread) and can score. Surely though Gary's defense will be missed. Emac clamps down and Dranginis is a stopper.

Lacking in this discussion is a definition of "good", "better" and "best".

I don't know how to measure those......it's subjective for the most part. ie "good " to someone might be "superior" to someone else. Are there markers of outcome to hang our hats on?
WCC chamcionship is one. The overall record is another. Stattisitics of the team is another as is how far we go in the NCAA. There are others.

SO which you pick is where you'll land. 35-3 is a tough nut. E 8 is another. Stats should be about the same. NCAA tournament is subject to chance in large part...
I don't think "hype" is present in our evals of the upcoming team. SUrely the talent is there.every bit as much as last year. What Few does with it is up for grabs. I do believe we'll know a lot more in 5 months.

jazzdelmar
05-19-2015, 11:55 AM
Precious little correlation between the season rec and the tourney success. This team will be hard pressed to match last year's record -- a far tougher schedule (one hopes) and the need to get comfortable w new guards in charge -- but it may be a better bet than last years to get to FF.

tyra
05-19-2015, 08:08 PM
I cannot thank all the posters enough. This thread is more than I could have hoped for in smart observations, critical analysis and keen insights. This is why I read this board every day -- to learn from fellow fans. Thanks for letting me poke you. Thanks for taking the time to share your very informed opinions.

DixieZag
05-20-2015, 06:14 AM
I cannot thank all the posters enough. This thread is more than I could have hoped for in smart observations, critical analysis and keen insights. This is why I read this board every day -- to learn from fellow fans. Thanks for letting me poke you. Thanks for taking the time to share your very informed opinions.

Yeah, but, are you convinced? :)

One weird thing about life, we all seek answers to question, those answers lead to more questions, then we seek the answer to those questions.... or at least we should.

bigblahla
05-21-2015, 10:26 AM
So when I was at the Y this morning working out I took my usual sauna at the end of my workout....only one young man in there at the time....see him there a lot but never really spoke to him....he was an All American at Gonzaga and has some local barber shops that keep him busy when he isn't broadcasting....asked him about Alberts....said very good but needs work on his handles....asked about Draino....he said this could be the year he really shines....said this years Zags will be very very good....I brought up Heister and he had some interesting comments about the little storm that brewed after Heister's Arvidas Sabonis comments early in the season....told him John Rillie was the player who converted me to a GU basketball fan and he said Rillie is an unsung hero at GU for shooting them into their first NCAA tournament....all in all a pleasant conversation....our conversation ended because he had to get the kids to school so I thanked him for his time and all the great memories....truly a great Zag and a great young man....

Go!! Zags!!!

jazzdelmar
05-21-2015, 10:37 AM
So when I was at the Y this morning working out I took my usual sauna at the end of my workout....only one young man in there at the time....see him there a lot but never really spoke to him....he was an All American at Gonzaga and has some local barber shops that keep him busy when he isn't broadcasting....asked him about Alberts....said very good but needs work on his handles....asked about Draino....he said this could be the year he really shines....said this years Zags will be very very good....I brought up Heister and he had some interesting comments about the little storm that brewed after Heister's Arvidas Sabonis comments early in the season....told him John Rillie was the player who converted me to a GU basketball fan and he said Rillie is an unsung hero at GU for shooting them into their first NCAA tournament....all in all a pleasant conversation....our conversation ended because he had to get the kids to school so I thanked him for his time and all the great memories....truly a great Zag and a great young man....

Go!! Zags!!!

Why can't HE be coming back?

basketballzag
05-21-2015, 02:14 PM
Tyra... when Jazz is sippin' the kool-aid... you can start believing.


Last I recall Eric McClellan was a starter at Vanderbilt and Tulsa and he did a pretty good job when he played at those schools. Just sayin.

jazzdelmar
05-21-2015, 02:22 PM
Last I recall Eric McClellan was a starter at Vanderbilt and Tulsa and he did a pretty good job when he played at those schools. Just sayin.


Vandy and Tulsa are no GUs, however.

bballbeachbum
05-23-2015, 11:09 AM
The preseason chatter is all about GU making another deep run. I'm still waiting for something to happen to make that plausible. True, our entire front court is returning. But realistically, how much improvement will they make? And 60% of our starting lineup (the entire backcourt) is gone. Does anyone really think next year's team can get as far as this year's team unless there is an intervening event such as new personnel who can contribute immediately? Do people really believe that our new backcourt will be as good as KP, GBJ and BW? Seriously? Please talk me out of this point of view.

no argument from me, but lots to think about!

You all see what happened to Memphis after Tony Allen went down to injury? Golden State smacked them down hard. It’s not that other players can’t defend the perimeter just that Allen is special at it.

Seemed to me Gary’s senior season he had his most positively impactful year, for sure, shooting slump and all. Ask Dee, Haws, and so many others. Against Duke he hung tough, got beat but also held his own, whereas at that level KP struggled on both ends of the floor and was mercilessly attacked and exposed by Coach K’s game plan; typical Coach K to effusively praise someone like he did KP before the game and then game plan to crush him, which they did.

Next year’s team will need to fill that void, that Achilles heel void of GU teams since all this glory began—defend the 3 point line without getting beat off the bounce. Emac can do it, doesn’t do it like Gary but proved very effective at it. KD has proven it too, especially for certain matchups. But 2 players are not enough even with the paint protectors and rim protectors that GU has that help the perimeter cause so much.

So can Perkins and Melson do it? I don’t know but I’m hopeful. With Perkins some of you have seen more so know more, but he got hurt and so I just don’t know. Melson seemed more a passing lane defender and gambler to me, not the pick buster physical pest that bothers perimeter players, a la Allen and Bell jr.

anyway, I’m hopeful that’s for sure. Offensively GU’s stacked, again. I believed Gary’s O would increase his senior year with the idea he’d be more of a focal point of the O, but he was not, and rightly so; both he and KP became 2nd 3rd options and even further down the line for Gary. Both Perkins and Melson look both explosive and skilled. I don’t think that’s an issue and will be a blast to follow. But controlling big games against great perimeter players, impacting that equation offensively and defensively, that’s how you win and lose so many tournament games against great teams, like what Duke did, or Wichita St. did, to get to a FF like so many seem to judge everything against at this point here.

But the Elite 8 run, the #1 ranking and seed, all of this accomplishment and wins…the backcourt that just graduated gets a ton of credit for that from me, creating and maintaining that winning attitude and leadership, apparently more so than some others here, taking nothing away from the great big men on the team without whom the team cannot and would not be a national power.

We’ll see. Sabonis is as good as it gets, all know it. Karno has improved markedly each year, no reason why that can’t happen again; he still has plenty to improve on even with his already great impact and the track record indicates GU bigs improve throughout their career. Not to mention Wiltjer!

Lots to be excited about with some clear challenges to meet and opportunities to step up