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View Full Version : John Gasaway, ESPN Insider - top players for 2015-2016 - Wiltjer #3, Sabonis #20



ZagNative
08-10-2015, 08:28 AM
From ESPN Insider (http://insider.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/insider/story/_/id/13388093/updated-look-top-25-players-college-basketball-2015-2016-season):

3. Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga Bulldogs

At the opposite extreme from a freshman like Ben Simmons who's being hailed as a dominant NBA prospect, we have Wiltjer. Forget first-round mocks; Mark Few's senior is nowhere to be found, even on Chad Ford's Top 100. And, mind you, I'm not disputing Chad's rankings. Wiltjer turns 23 in October, and franchises at the next level are rightly obsessed with parceling out scarce roster spots to players with an abundance of peak-basketball in front of them. I do hasten to add, however, that in the present tense Wiltjer is quite simply a lethally effective college player. Last season, no player in the country -- not Jahlil Okafor, not Frank Kaminsky; no one -- combined volume with efficiency as well as Gonzaga's featured scorer.


20. Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga Bulldogs

Last season as a freshman, Sabonis functioned as an afterthought within a loaded Gonzaga offense, but even in limited minutes off the bench, the 6-foot-10 big man was already a dominant rebounder at both ends of the floor. And while Sabonis is by no means a shot-blocker, his per-possession numbers in every other facet of the game compare quite favorably with those of teammate (and starter) Przemek Karnowski. Mark Few said goodbye to Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell and Byron Wesley, but with Sabonis, Karnowski and Kyle Wiltjer all returning, the frontcourt will once again be a point of strength in Spokane.

CDC84
08-10-2015, 08:46 AM
You have to wonder what Chad Ford is thinking. How many kids in the past 20 years of college ball can shoot from all over the floor like Kyle can at his size? I have to believe some back end 2nd round team is going to grab him as an offensive specialist. At the camps this summer he was hitting NBA threes all over the place and scoring on elite players.

LongIslandZagFan
08-10-2015, 08:53 AM
GU has long since transitioned from Guard U. The legacy of the bigs that have rolled through Spokane has been very impressive... and even going back to the beginning of the "run" with Casey, it has always been an integral part.

Chicken Ball
08-10-2015, 09:19 AM
You have to wonder what Chad Ford is thinking. How many kids in the past 20 years of college ball can shoot from all over the floor like Kyle can at his size? I have to believe some back end 2nd round team is going to grab him as an offensive specialist. At the camps this summer he was hitting NBA threes all over the place and scoring on elite players.

Is there any reason KW can't be a Ryan Anderson type player at the next level?

tinfoilzag
08-10-2015, 09:28 AM
Is there any reason KW can't be a Ryan Anderson type player at the next level?

When you say "next level", I think KW is so skilled he will find time playing professional basketball. For the NBA, he would need to increase his defensive skills where he may be too limited physically for his size (in the same boat as Pangos). I hope he proves my opinion wrong.

BULLDOG#1
08-10-2015, 09:34 AM
You have to wonder what Chad Ford is thinking. How many kids in the past 20 years of college ball can shoot from all over the floor like Kyle can at his size? I have to believe some back end 2nd round team is going to grab him as an offensive specialist. At the camps this summer he was hitting NBA threes all over the place and scoring on elite players.

I think you're missing the point. NBA teams will likely take a flyer on KW in the 2nd round, but don't want to give up the guaranteed spot in the first. Providing he has the senior season we all expect, he'll get drafted ... just might be in the second.

Honestly, I still think analysts are drinking the Sabonis cool-aid and ignoring Karnowski. Seems to me that Karno should be on this list ahead of Sabonis. Sabonis has the upside, no doubt, but Karno had a great year last year and was pretty dominant in the tournament.

CDC84
08-10-2015, 09:45 AM
I think you're missing the point. NBA teams will likely take a flyer on KW in the 2nd round, but don't want to give up the guaranteed spot in the first. Providing he has the senior season we all expect, he'll get drafted ... just might be in the second.

When Chad Ford doesn't even have Wiltjer in his top 100, that means he feels he wouldn't even be drafted in the 3rd round (if the NBA had one).

BULLDOG#1
08-10-2015, 10:47 AM
When Chad Ford doesn't even have Wiltjer in his top 100, that means he feels he wouldn't even be drafted in the 3rd round (if the NBA had one).

I'm thinking many of the top 100 would stay in school, whereas Wiltjer automatically qualifies for the draft. Not sure how Ford's top 100 works, but I'd be surprised if a 6'9 stretch scorer like KW wouldn't get a solid 2nd round look. Maybe GMs would take a chance on him being available for invites, but I think someone will lock him down in the 2nd - possibly first, depending on his season.

CDC84
08-10-2015, 11:04 AM
FWIW - Wiltjer isn't listed on the 2016 mock at draftexpress.com either. Sabonis is at #22.

BULLDOG#1
08-10-2015, 11:24 AM
FWIW - Wiltjer isn't listed on the 2016 mock at draftexpress.com either. Sabonis is at #22.

Well, shows you what I know. I guess the analysts don't think his offensive skill set makes up for his advanced age and less than pro-level athleticism. I'd still be surprised if he's not drafted (providing he has a solid senior year).

jazzdelmar
08-10-2015, 11:29 AM
College BB to the NBA is no longer the continuum it once was. With the exception of a handful of college players, the jump to the NBA is very high. That's what makes all these mock drafts, well, a mockery.

seacatfan
08-10-2015, 03:43 PM
Iowa's Aaron White was a 2nd round pick in the most recent draft. Fairly similar player to Wiltjer, but KW is better. If White got drafted, I don't see any reason at all to think Wiltjer wouldn't be as well, unless next year's draft is just absolutely stacked.

Bogozags
08-10-2015, 04:23 PM
Iowa's Aaron White was a 2nd round pick in the most recent draft. Fairly similar player to Wiltjer, but KW is better. If White got drafted, I don't see any reason at all to think Wiltjer wouldn't be as well, unless next year's draft is just absolutely stacked.

Let's all hope Wiltjer's defence will be improved...his offence is pretty darn good...

Watched Aaron White several times in the last two seasons and he is quite decent on defence and has good skills on offence too!

Rooting for KW to have a really great year and put the Zags on his back and carry them a long, long way this season...

Zagger
08-10-2015, 05:36 PM
I fully believe KyleW will get drafted 1st or 2nd. Kyle, IMHO, improved on defense last season and will again this season. Plus, there's no way other teams are going to keep Kyle from scoring - not with the supporting cast who can also score. I feel we'll see more green lights given to players to light things up this season. It'll be hard to ignore 30+ point nights that Kyle is sure to get. I don't mean to be overconfident about the Zag's coming season but, the team is darn good and I feel they have a few things to prove. The level of play is going to be something to watch.

MDABE80
08-10-2015, 06:35 PM
Much will be determined by how KW plays his senior year...........

Bogozags
08-11-2015, 05:09 AM
JJ Redick of Duke was a similar player in college but as a guard. He was a scoring machine that played mediocre defence at best; however, he has been able to carve a niche in the NBA and has been playing for close to or over a decade so far...hopefully, KW WILL pick up his intensity on defence...

Playing in college is a far cry from playing professionally as Melo Trimble from Maryland quickly learned when he played in the Pan Am games.

TexasZagFan
08-11-2015, 06:37 AM
When you say "next level", I think KW is so skilled he will find time playing professional basketball. For the NBA, he would need to increase his defensive skills where he may be too limited physically for his size (in the same boat as Pangos). I hope he proves my opinion wrong.

Was Mike Miller ever known for playing defense? Don't know, just asking...he's retiring after a 15+ year career in the NBA. With the right team and system, he'll be a productive NBA player. Would love to see him with the Mavericks, Dirk could teach him that step-back fadeaway of his.

DixieZag
08-11-2015, 06:42 AM
Along the lines of Bogo, who I appreciate for using the proper spelling of defence and offence, if Wiltjer played what everyone agreed was "average" defense for his height, would we be talking about him as someone who was likely to make a team?

bigblahla
08-11-2015, 07:12 AM
Along the lines of Bogo, who I appreciate for using the proper spelling of defence and offence, if Wiltjer played what everyone agreed was "average" defense for his height, would we be talking about him as someone who was likely to make a team?

American form of both words spelled with an S....just saying...;)

Go!! Zags!!!

Bogozags
08-11-2015, 07:23 AM
Was Mike Miller ever known for playing defense? Don't know, just asking...he's retiring after a 15+ year career in the NBA. With the right team and system, he'll be a productive NBA player. Would love to see him with the Mavericks, Dirk could teach him that step-back fadeaway of his.

TZF I could teach him that fadeaway...it was one of my best shots too! In fact maybe, Dirk might have gotten it from someone else who had gotten it from me! I was, the optimum word "was" deadly from both "T's"...then again...

Zagceo
08-11-2015, 07:36 AM
Funny how the perception of making it to the NBA is you must be able to defend even though the rules keep changing to open up play and increase scoring.

DixieZag
08-11-2015, 12:02 PM
American form of both words spelled with an S....just saying...;)

Go!! Zags!!!

Yes, certainly true, Americans (I'm dual) have forked a unique way of spelling it different than the rest of the English speaking world. Of course, it's use here adds some colour to discussions regarding our favourite team, a history many of us can place all the way back to when Mrs. Martin (Canadian) insisted upon the Martin Centre being spelled appropriately, too. :)

Regardless back to KW and defense and NBA

CEO raises a point about "having to defend while rules go to increase scoring" - I was watching the 30 for 30 ESPN special on the Bad Boy Pistons, and it was eye popping to see scores like 123-110 in games which involved some of the most notorious bruisers ever. It made me wonder what in the world was different then? I had meant to ask here. Is it just a greater attention to defense that keeps most games at 100ish or below? Or are rules different? Anyone know?

IowaSERE
08-11-2015, 12:10 PM
Larry Bird is in the suite now, not on the court.

a13coach
08-11-2015, 01:34 PM
Yes, certainly true, Americans (I'm dual) have forked a unique way of spelling it different than the rest of the English speaking world. Of course, it's use here adds some colour to discussions regarding our favourite team, a history many of us can place all the way back to when Mrs. Martin (Canadian) insisted upon the Martin Centre being spelled appropriately,

Sorry but NO she was not. CYM (http://www.charlottemartin.org/charlotte.htm). Although they did own land and a large home in the Canadian San Juans.

DixieZag
08-11-2015, 02:19 PM
Sorry but NO she was not. CYM (http://www.charlottemartin.org/charlotte.htm). Although they did own land and a large home in the Canadian San Juans.

I was told wrongly. Thanks for the correction.

So, along with Bird retiring, it would seem that the game is played with defense as a much bigger priority now versus late 80s. That's the only explanation that seems possible given the high scores then versus now.

amaronizag
08-11-2015, 09:47 PM
Sure they played defense back then, but they were defending a fast break off of every rebound instead of playing a half court defense. Completely different game. Many more possessions per game and defense was played on the run. Very fast pace.

Zagricultural
08-12-2015, 09:23 AM
A lot better ball movement, and less ISO plays back then.

maynard g krebs
08-12-2015, 09:38 AM
A lot better ball movement, and less ISO plays back then.

Ding ding ding. As Lionel Hollins said back in the late 90's when he was an asst coach w/ Vancouver, "players today don't have the skills we had, so we have to coach differently".

Also less body slamming in the post and bumping cutters was allowed back then. And no "hand checking". The instant a defender puts his hand on the body of a ball handler, a foul should be called.

TheGonzagaFactor
08-12-2015, 10:36 AM
Was Mike Miller ever known for playing defense? Don't know, just asking...he's retiring after a 15+ year career in the NBA. With the right team and system, he'll be a productive NBA player. Would love to see him with the Mavericks, Dirk could teach him that step-back fadeaway of his.

Mike Miller stuck around because of connections he has in the league, not because of his talent. Anyone really think Morrison couldn't do what Miller did, but better, if he had the connections?

GonzagasaurusFlex
08-12-2015, 11:07 AM
Mike Miller stuck around because of connections he has in the league, not because of his talent. Anyone really think Morrison couldn't do what Miller did, but better, if he had the connections?

Bizarre claim. Connections may get you a tryout for a team or summer league roster spot, but they will not keep you in the league for 15 years. That's an absurd conspiracy theory.

Bogozags
08-12-2015, 11:48 AM
Bizarre claim. Connections may get you a tryout for a team or summer league roster spot, but they will not keep you in the league for 15 years. That's an absurd conspiracy theory.

Agree, if Mike Miller couldn't cut it in the league, then he would not have played all those years...they run a business and would have a hard time believing the GM's would be charitable, especially with having to deal with the salary cap...

IowaSERE
08-12-2015, 12:42 PM
Mike Miller stuck around because of connections he has in the league, not because of his talent. Anyone really think Morrison couldn't do what Miller did, but better, if he had the connections?

Welcome to the board Ammo.

GonzagasaurusFlex
08-12-2015, 02:53 PM
Welcome to the board Ammo.

LMAO 😄😄😄

Jstock12
08-12-2015, 03:06 PM
Welcome to the board Ammo.

http://cdn.meme.am/instances/51364737.jpg