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View Full Version : Outstanding Jon Rothstein Q & A with Mark Few



ZagNative
10-16-2015, 11:25 AM
this piece from CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein (http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/25342182/qa-gonzagas-mark-few-on-streak-of-16-ncaa-appearances) is just full of stuff to make your pulse race in anticipation.

CBS Sports: Your team this year returns arguably the best front court in the sport with Kyle Wiltjer, Domantas Sabonis, and Przemek Karnowski. What's going to be biggest differences in that trio this year compared to last season?

Few: I think we're going to try to play them together for stretches of games and try to make that work. They are our three best players. I think there's certainly some maturity that's been added to their games. You'll see that in their skill or just their physical development. Przemek had some medical issues that got squared away so he's as lean as he's ever been and as in shape as he's ever been. I think with Domas -- he was 18 last year and he's 19 this year. He's maturing as we speak. His game is mature, but emotionally he's matured. I think all of those things will hopefully show themselves this season.

CBS Sports: There were seven games last season where Sabonis was perfect from the field. What do you think the national perception would be of this guy if he wasn't playing behind a potential first-team All-American (Wiltjer) and Karnowski?

Few: If you look at Domas he was always playing big minutes and at big times in the game. We always had a lot of confidence in playing him and also going to him in big moments. I think he's such a team guy that he doesn't get as caught up in numbers and things like that. He truly is a guy that's solely focused on team and winning. So I think we've got to still encourage him.

He's also a perfectionist so if he makes seven shots and misses the eighth he likes to dwell on the one he missed. I think we've got to a great job of helping him focus on the seven shots he did make. I think hopefully he'll be able to show how he's expanded his game and his array of shots and range and skill set more than he did last year. I think he knows that we're counting on our three front court guys where last year we were counting on our guards.
CBS Sports: A lot of people nationally aren't all that familiar with Silas Melson, but he gets rave reviews from everyone inside your program. How would you describe his game for those who haven't seen him?

Few: He's an explosive scorer with a nice pull-up game which everybody talks about being a lost art in college basketball. He's really got that. I think we're just kind of scratching the surface with the type of defender he can be. We obviously need that to come along. He's a guy that can handle it, he can shoot it from deep, and thus far in his career he can really get it going in bunches. When he hits his first couple, you starting thinking look out! Hopefully he can strive for a little more consistency and I think he's a guy that like Josh Perkins pinch hit at times last year, but in the long run that should really help him this year. I think he'll be able to kind of showcase some of his skills and the reasons why we brought him in here.

NumberCruncher
10-16-2015, 12:10 PM
Exciting stuff. Thanks, ZN.

jazzdelmar
10-16-2015, 12:15 PM
Kinda drifted into coach speak on Melson: "he can, hopefully, I think."

hooter73
10-16-2015, 01:14 PM
Nothing on Wiltjer, thats a happy relief when there is so much press focused on him. Sabonis expanding his game sounds intriguing, and I read it like Jazz did, "he is capable..."

jazzdelmar
10-16-2015, 01:25 PM
Nothing on Wiltjer, thats a happy relief when there is so much press focused on him. Sabonis expanding his game sounds intriguing, and I read it like Jazz did, "he is capable..."

I mean with respect to Melson, not DS.

hooter73
10-16-2015, 01:56 PM
I mean with respect to Melson, not DS.

Yep, I'm with you. Sabonis good. Melson, coach speak.

Zag Man
10-16-2015, 06:04 PM
this piece from CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein (http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/25342182/qa-gonzagas-mark-few-on-streak-of-16-ncaa-appearances) is just full of stuff to make your pulse race in anticipation.

Thanks for sharing this article.

cggonzaga
10-16-2015, 11:42 PM
I didn't read Melson comments like that. The big word that stuck out to me was consistency. He's got the game but may be lacking the consistency that is warranted at this level.

ZagaZags
10-17-2015, 12:45 AM
I remember when GU fans said last year, Melson was an NBA prospect. Now they doubt him, I will side with Melson.

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/0397977bf53828b3713689c91333f994f496e360/c=0-3-1261-951&r=x404&c=534x401/local/-/media/KREM/KREM/2014/11/28/635528029245650008-112814-silasmelson.jpg


Smoove ‏@KampaignSilas Oct 15
Staying as lowkey as possible


Smoove ‏@KampaignSilas Oct 15
Nobody needs to know about me lol

IMO, Silas Melson will bring in bigger numbers than GBJ did during his last two seasons. ( Yes I know Melson has 3 seasons left.)

jazzdelmar
10-17-2015, 03:34 AM
[QUOTE=ZagaZags;1138997]I remember when GU fans said last year, Melson was an NBA prospect. Now they doubt him, I will side with Melson.

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/0397977bf53828b3713689c91333f994f496e360/c=0-3-1261-951&r=x404&c=534x401/local/-/media/KREM/KREM/2014/11/28/635528029245650008-112814-silasmelson.jpg


That's damning with faint praise, ZZ. Especially in the context of the NBA talk of last year. As we all know, sometimes talent does not develop or develops late. Melson as the #1 concern is a wonderful statement on the Zags' prospects overall, wouldn't you agree?

Zagger
10-17-2015, 05:02 AM
Pangos & Bell were such a constant presence and force on the floor that this season should allow more chemistries to be explored with P&B's absence. I feel this situation will benefit Melson. I didn't feel Silas quite found a comfy fit having to come in when Josh got whacked. Perhaps this season things will mesh/meld better with Silas and the current roster. I'm eager to see how well Josh, Silas, Draino & McC work the floor, help one another score and work with the bigs. The Zags are plenty deep in talent. But it'll take spiffy teamwork to go deep into the season.

Zaga
10-17-2015, 05:41 AM
Kinda drifted into coach speak on Melson: "he can, hopefully, I think."

Seen coaches (pro) challenge players publically over the years but that is not a coach Few trait. ... Silas needs to take it as a challenge. If he really is a future pro that is all the motivation one should need don't you think? There are Fishermen and Bait Cutters! Mark Few only recruits Fishermen! Let's fish for win's this year BOYZ and the only "cutters" will be for a piece of the net!

raise the zag
10-17-2015, 05:48 AM
McClellan is ahead of him on depth chart for the same position.

Silas will get many opportunities, just as he did last year, and his time will come.

Melson might be the only "5-tool" player on the team, meaning he has all the blue-chip attributes within him.

However, until he learns how to pass the ball & find an open teammate within the framework of the offense…he'll be held back…

Tough to teach vision and to play 'selfish' unselfish basketball. Silas needs to understand the difference. Right now, he's not afraid to take the shot, can even score in bunches, but he's a selfish player. ESPN said the same about him in HS. All the talent in the world, yet doesn't understand how to incorporate in his teammates on the court.

Imagine if players like Nigel Williams-Goss had his length, athleticism, shot, quickness, etc?! or IF a player like Silas had his vision/awareness?

Top-5 pick, maybe higher.

Get it?

GoZags
10-17-2015, 06:01 AM
That was Mark Few (through Fran Fraschilla) that said that Silas Melson was perhaps Gonzaga's top NBA prospect, and that he was red shirting).

Later clarification was that Few meant after a few years in the program ie Melson wasn't currently an NBA prospect but would be after he developed.


I remember when GU fans said last year, Melson was an NBA prospect. Now they doubt him, I will side with Melson.

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/0397977bf53828b3713689c91333f994f496e360/c=0-3-1261-951&r=x404&c=534x401/local/-/media/KREM/KREM/2014/11/28/635528029245650008-112814-silasmelson.jpg





IMO, Silas Melson will bring in bigger numbers than GBJ did during his last two seasons. ( Yes I know Melson has 3 seasons left.)

RenoZag
10-17-2015, 06:04 AM
I'm eager to see how well Josh, Silas, Draino & McC work the floor, help one another score and work with the bigs. The Zags are plenty deep in talent. But it'll take spiffy teamwork to go deep into the season.

Well said. Identifies the key unknown as we await the debut of the 2015-16 squad.

amaronizag
10-17-2015, 08:30 AM
I for one think Silas gets a bad rap from many on this board in regards to his shooting. He came in to rest Pangos (run the offense) and to the best of his ability, maintain the offensive production that Pangos provided. Silas can pass the ball, but if he's open, he isn't afraid to put up a shot. I much prefer that to endlessly passing the ball around the perimeter. Our guards in recent years have been too "unselfish" and passed WAY too many open shots. That's why our tempo sucked every year. Also, every extra pass is a potential turnover, especially against the Duke quality guards of the world. When you're open ---- shoot, that's the point of running plays....trying to generate open shots. T an open shot is very different from selfishly hogging the ball. When you get out of your car downtown and find a $10 bill laying on the sidewalk, PICK IT UP, don't leave it laying there in hopes of finding a $20 bill a little further down the street!!!!!!!!! If a player is inside his comfortable shooting range, a passed up open shot is the same as a missed shot in my book. GO SILAS!!! keep passing to the open bigs with good inside position, but PLEASE DON'T STOP hoisting those threes when you're open. They're far better shots than midrange 2's that are the biggest possession enders in the game.

Zagdawg
10-17-2015, 09:22 AM
I think most peoples concern is related to the assists a guard provides within the offensive flow -- Melson had qty 10 assists for the entire year last year --(Angel Nunez had 15 with 30% less minutes than Melson) we need our guards to get the offense rolling (his 12 TO to 10 assists do not help out either). His free throws are a little bit worse than Shem at 47%.

Keep in mind -- opposing teams offenses will provide an "open" shot to the poorer shooters on the opposing team (we used to hear about David Stockton and how teams would sag off him to clog the middle because he only shot 43.4% from the floor-----well Melson shoots 41.8%).

The Zags have been able to make the extra pass -- pass up a good shot to take a great shot -- pass to one of our 69% or 62% shooters on the inside vs taking a 34% shot outside.

This is the year that he can prove that he has developed and is ready to help the team --- otherwise NWG is going to be on the floor next year and his ability to contribute to a college team is already established.

I think that Melson will grow this year and with Perkins providing great passes for open looks, Melson will step up and be a solid contributor.

Go Zags

jazzdelmar
10-17-2015, 09:29 AM
McClellan is ahead of him on depth chart for the same position.

Silas will get many opportunities, just as he did last year, and his time will come.

Melson might be the only "5-tool" player on the team, meaning he has all the blue-chip attributes within him.

However, until he learns how to pass the ball & find an open teammate within the framework of the offense…he'll be held back…

Tough to teach vision and to play 'selfish' unselfish basketball. Silas needs to understand the difference. Right now, he's not afraid to take the shot, can even score in bunches, but he's a selfish player. ESPN said the same about him in HS. All the talent in the world, yet doesn't understand how to incorporate in his teammates on the court.o

Imagine if players like Nigel Williams-Goss had his length, athleticism, shot, quickness, etc?! or IF a player like Silas had his vision/awareness?

Top-5 pick, maybe higher.

Get it?


Excellent analysis, Raise. Like the underline and italics. Disagree on one thing. Melson will have less opportunity this year given the glut of talent at guard. And next year, with Nigel, his window could close.

jchocolate99
10-17-2015, 10:15 AM
This board just cracks me up... funny how praise can be heaped onto players that have no business getting the praise because they became your pet cats or "zag" players but a player that has the skills and ability a lot of you are coming down to hard on him... last year needs to be forgotten and he needs to be judged on what he's done THIS year. This year he'll most definitely be playing and have a role within the offense. He just needs to carry over what he's doing in practice to the games because it was pretty obvious last year he had a very big green light to shoot the ball anywhere on the court from coach Few and for that to be given to a freshman he was obviously showing things in practice. This year he doesn't have to worry about subbing in at PG and all that he can just come in and play his position.... Essentially what I'm saying is back the heck off the dude and let him develop and grow

exclusivelee
10-17-2015, 10:24 AM
Thinking something like this:

PG: Perkins (30min), McClellan (10min)
SG: McClellan (15min), Melson (15min), Dranginis (10min)
SF: Dranginis (17min), Alberts (12min), Wiltjer (8min), Melson (3min)
PF: Wiltjer (20min), Sabonis (20min)
C: Karnowski (25min), Edwards (10min), Sabonis (5min)

By minutes:
Perkins: 30
Wiltjer: 28
Dranginis: 27
Karnowski: 25
Sabonis: 25
McClellan: 25
Melson: 18
Alberts: 12
Edwards: 10

cggonzaga
10-17-2015, 10:26 AM
Agreed Chocolate. And Raise the Flag to a degree. Melson wasn't brought in to "run the offense". He was brought in to bring scoring to the 2 position. If he's taking open shots or shots he creates within the system then I have no problem with him. He's never going to be the guy that averages more than 2apg. It's possible we've never had a more talented scorer from the guard position. All that being said, he does need to improve his decision making and consistency. Once he does that, watch out!

cggonzaga
10-17-2015, 10:29 AM
By minutes:
Perkins: 30
Wiltjer: 28
Dranginis: 27
Karnowski: 25
Sabonis: 25
McClellan: 25
Melson: 18
Alberts: 12
Edwards: 10

Pretty good representation Lee. I'd be a little surprised if our player of the year candidate wasn't averaging over 30mpg however. Would also like to see Sabonis a little closer to 30mpg. Would be surprised if Dranginis averaged over 25mpg.

hooter73
10-17-2015, 10:39 AM
A strong and athletic point guard, XXX excels at attacking the rim. Best shooting the ball off the dribble, he shoots it well enough from three to keep the defense honest but could improve in that area. He has the potential to be a tremendous on the ball defender.

Jeremy Pargo Rivals eval from 2004

Just sayin' :)

23dpg
10-17-2015, 10:49 AM
I remember when GU fans said last year, Melson was an NBA prospect. Now they doubt him, I will side with Melson.)

I've seen this quote on here a few times. Were fans saying this or one fan? I remember one enthusiastic supported stating that Melson was a future pro, but it was far from widespread acceptance.
Count me as a big Melson fan who I think will be a major player for this program. As for his NBA prospects I won't try and guess. I've been wrong too many times before.

MDABE80
10-17-2015, 10:56 AM
Out of his 20 plus years on campus, this is only the second time Few's been very high on the kids. Last year he sure was in the preseason and we achieved an Eltie 8. He's beginning ot repeat that same praise. He must know something.

Melson in practice is beyond fantastic. That's why last year I said AA in 2 years of play. In practice he really does look NBA worthy....or very close. Last year, he was forced into action and he really did not look like he did in practice, Shooting was just ok, passing was not OK, ball handling was barely average if that. He was pashed into a 2nd tier kid because he deserved that.
This year, I'm going to wait and see. His confindence suffered last year when his minutes dwlindled. He's got the tools but something is missing. He works hard and he's got all the huge skills. Let's hope he get back on that rising star. Until he does, I'm standing pat.

amaronizag
10-17-2015, 11:37 AM
I agree Abe, Few has historically been very closed mouth about team expectations. Last year was the first time I can remember him being a little more open about expectations. For him to be talking about "unfinished business" and the potential of this years team speaks volumes to me.

As for Melson, Few keeps players coming off the bench on a pretty tight leash. Players that don't do exactly what Few wants are like a yoyo being jerked in and out of the game. There's a reason why that didn't happen to Melson. If Few wasn't happy with his aggressive offensive play, or he wasn't doing what coach expected, he would have experienced the yoyo. I didn't see the Melson yoyo last year and I don't expect to see it this year. In many games, we saw a big drop in point production when Pangos came out of the game. I think Few was expecting Melson to pick up some of that slack.

Zagdawg
10-17-2015, 02:24 PM
Don't know that Few expected Melson to pick up Pangs scoring production when he was on the bench-- just help facilitate the offense - especially since we have some of the most efficient scoring big men in the college game.

Reborn
10-17-2015, 05:24 PM
I know that I am one of the guilty parties who said that I had a friend who saw Melson play and said that he's a future pro, and I said I trusted my friends ability to analyze talent at the high school level. I may have been wrong, but in no way did I indicate that he would go pro after his first season. I still believe in him, and why shouldn't I? He has three years left to find his place.

Bogozags
10-18-2015, 08:29 AM
Excellent analysis, Raise. Like the underline and italics. Disagree on one thing. Melson will have less opportunity this year given the glut of talent at guard. And next year, with Nigel, his window could close.

Yes Jazz, I believe you're right...he has this year to prove he can consistently fill it up on offence and play solid defence too. It is unfortunate he wasn't able to RS last season IMO it would have given him additional strength as well as seasoning...All this being said, I am hoping he has a great season as both he and Perkins will have a tremendous impact on the season.