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View Full Version : What does GU need to do in order to become "elite?"



Mike83814
12-05-2015, 01:39 PM
There's been a lot of talk on the board about GU becoming the next Duke. I think we have the potential, but today's game against Zona really showed the difference between a "great" team, and a really good team.

Wiltjer and Sabonis went to great lengths to show why they're AA's, and the D the first half was off the charts. Then the second half hit and a different team emerged. Passes got sloppy and the defense fell apart.

I like seeing Perk getting more aggressive, but the shots need to connect and EMac absolutely needs to hit those layups. People who aren't named Sabonis and Siltjer need to step up on the offensive end and I just don't see that happening right now.

I don't know if this is a depth problem, and the guys are just gets gassed by the second half, a leadership problem - no one has really stepped up to be the emotional leader for the team or..? Regardless, it's frustrating to see a 14 point lead blown by poor play in a game we should have handled easily. It's even more frustrating because I firmly believe this team can be better than PY. We just have one more opportunity to prove we deserve a high seed, and after seeing this game, I don't know if that's going to happen.

Going back
To the title of the thread, what else do we need to do to become truly elite? I feel like we're right on the cusp, but not there yet.

Rant over. Just kinda disappointed in the outcome of this game.

Robzagnut
12-05-2015, 02:11 PM
A single guard to step up on offense and act like they want to win. Getting tired watching tentative guards stand around and wait for Wiltjer and Sabonis to do everything.

75Zag
12-05-2015, 02:14 PM
What does GU need to do in order to become elite?

While I would love to offer a thousand words of explanation, the ONLY answer is to win a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

Or we could chat for a thousand hours about players and sportsmanship and team spirit and Catholic values and other nonsense.

Win or go home.

Go Bulldogs!

23dpg
12-05-2015, 02:16 PM
I don't think Gonzaga can become Duke. The WCC isn't the ACC and that will never change. Gonzaga has never been able to recruit at the elite level either. They do very well, and next year's group is amazing, but not UNC, Kentucky or Duke good. That's not saying that the Zags can't win it all. But I doubt they are ever considered blue bloods. I'm ok with that too.

maynard g krebs
12-05-2015, 02:23 PM
I don't think Gonzaga can become Duke. The WCC isn't the ACC and that will never change. Gonzaga has never been able to recruit at the elite level either. They do very well, and next year's group is amazing, but not UNC, Kentucky or Duke good. That's not saying that the Zags can't win it all. But I doubt they are ever considered blue bloods. I'm ok with that too.

This. Spokane isn't gonna become Tobacco Road, ever. Still, next year's newcomers are by far the best ever, including the junior transfers. So we haven't seen the ceiling yet.

But the WCC, and market size, are limitations that factually exist and make what we see remarkable.

GUfan34
12-05-2015, 02:24 PM
I don't think Gonzaga can become Duke. The WCC isn't the ACC and that will never change. Gonzaga has never been able to recruit at the elite level either. They do very well, and next year's group is amazing, but not UNC, Kentucky or Duke good. That's not saying that the Zags can't win it all. But I doubt they are ever considered blue bloods. I'm ok with that too.

Yup. They'll never be elite and they'll never be Duke

maynard g krebs
12-05-2015, 03:35 PM
After 1963's Loyola team won, the modern era began with UCLA's ascendance. In the 52 years since, two teams from outside power conferences have won the title; Marquette in 1977 and UNLV in 1990.

And obviously none in the last 25 years.

So it appears that what GU needs to do to become "elite" is to join a power conference. That probably involves increasing the school's size by 3 or 4 times, building a 50000+ seat football stadium and 10000 seat bb arena and joining the pac-12.

There it is. Blueprint. Simple.

Except for the fact that the pac has two nat'l champs in 40 years since UCLA's run ended in 1975.

75Zag
12-05-2015, 03:42 PM
I like your thinking except for the 10K seating basketball arena. Oregon built a 12.5K arena and they suck. GU needs to shoot for the moon - perhaps 16K.

Go Bulldogs!

maynard g krebs
12-05-2015, 03:50 PM
I like your thinking except for the 10K seating basketball arena. Oregon built a 12.5K arena and they suck. GU needs to shoot for the moon - perhaps 16K.

Go Bulldogs!

My "thinking" was tongue in cheek, but I think you knew that.

Oregon doesn't suck. Sweet 16 and two first round wins the last 3 yrs, and a better roster this yr.

When Bell and Ennis join the lineup, they'll be quite formidable. Already have wins over Baylor and Valpo, which last I checked was 28 on Kenpom, playing short handed.

Everybody says their new arena sucks, though. Duck fans call it the mausoleum.

gonzagafan62
12-05-2015, 04:43 PM
Wait till Melson NWG and JW3 are seniors ... Then you'll have a crazy deep team again

strikenowhere
12-05-2015, 05:25 PM
Actually beat ranked teams on their home court?

GUfan34
12-05-2015, 05:51 PM
Wait till Melson NWG and JW3 are seniors ... Then you'll have a crazy deep team again

I feel like we say "wait till..." Every season lol

Bottom line is, we, as a fan base need to lower expectations and quit pretending we are an elite national power and just enjoy being a very good team and a dominant WCC team every season. Once we accept we can't compare ourselves to the Arizonas or Kentuckys or Duke, UNC, etc etc I feel like these days after losses won't happen.

ProjectMKUltra5
12-05-2015, 07:14 PM
It's pretty simple if you ask me, That jump will happen when we get into a better conference. The WCC will forever be a ceiling that Gonzaga will not be able break through. I trust that the the powers that be understand this and will try and get Gonzaga it's seat at the big boys table.

FuManShoes
12-05-2015, 07:24 PM
Quit turning the ball over.

seacatfan
12-05-2015, 07:34 PM
It's pretty simple if you ask me, That jump will happen when we get into a better conference. The WCC will forever be a ceiling that Gonzaga will not be able break through. I trust that the the powers that be understand this and will try and get Gonzaga it's seat at the big boys table.

Unless they start up a football program, there's really nowhere for GU to go that wouldn't be basically a lateral move.

Zagceo
12-05-2015, 07:48 PM
Unless they start up a football program, there's really nowhere for GU to go that wouldn't be basically a lateral move.

Yes…..it is what it is.

Catfan what'd ya think of the second half?

Self inflicted ……..imposed upon….combination?

Ezag
12-05-2015, 07:57 PM
We need to exit the Top 25 and play with a chip on the shoulder....too much laziness right now to be a top team

bartruff1
12-05-2015, 08:09 PM
I don't think Gonzaga can become Duke. The WCC isn't the ACC and that will never change. Gonzaga has never been able to recruit at the elite level either. They do very well, and next year's group is amazing, but not UNC, Kentucky or Duke good. That's not saying that the Zags can't win it all. But I doubt they are ever considered blue bloods. I'm ok with that too.

Me too.....

seacatfan
12-05-2015, 08:28 PM
Yes…..it is what it is.

Catfan what'd ya think of the second half?

Self inflicted ……..imposed upon….combination?

Definitely a combination. I very intentionally stayed out of the game thread and post game commentary today.

jazzdelmar
12-06-2015, 04:06 AM
Definitely a combination. I very intentionally stayed out of the game thread and post game commentary today.

Sea, congrats. Your team played with great fortitude and Seannie coached rings around Few.

cjm720
12-06-2015, 07:30 AM
We are an elite program, and we continue to trend up...

bballbeachbum
12-06-2015, 08:17 AM
I feel like we say "wait till..." Every season lol

Bottom line is, we, as a fan base need to lower expectations and quit pretending we are an elite national power and just enjoy being a very good team and a dominant WCC team every season. Once we accept we can't compare ourselves to the Arizonas or Kentuckys or Duke, UNC, etc etc I feel like these days after losses won't happen.

on the same idea, how about slowing down the hype machine? the expectations that were driven and hyped in the offseason on this team and players (and on previous ones for that matter whether positive or negative) create unrealistic expectations based on nothing more than speculation. doesn't seem helpful to me and also seems pretty inaccurate tho potential scapegoats can be uncovered ;)

not excusing the players' performances tho...no

but after 15 years finally the Zags returned to the Elite Eight, yet the hype was all about how this year's team was going to be better than that team, as if the 15 years of learning about how freakin' hard it is to get back there never happened (especially from the WCC!). look, they may work their way there, but expecting to lose KP and GBj without hiccup seemed naive even at the time.......the Zags aren't recruiting Derrick Roses or John Walls, etc. to step right in evidently. I'm cool with that and do not expect that, but it doesn't mean I'm settling for mediocrity; the Zags are not a blue blood program, maybe it will happen or maybe it won't, but their equation is different, and that's not a put down! I prefer it. so my expectations are different too

vandalzag
12-06-2015, 08:18 AM
Sea, congrats. Your team played with great fortitude and Seannie coached rings around Few.

Arizona played well in the second half, hard not to when the other team gives the ball up. Exactly what did Miller do that was so much better than Few during the game?

Zagceo
12-06-2015, 09:29 AM
Arizona played well in the second half, hard not to when the other team gives the ball up. Exactly what did Miller do that was so much better than Few during the game?

Used his bench more

DixieZag
12-06-2015, 09:46 AM
We are an elite program, and we continue to trend up...

This.

We are just not very good right now.

Which is an entirely different question.

We DO need to thump a ranked team at home - though those chances are very rare given our conference.

We had best be careful, or we'll get beat by UCLA, too.

vandalzag
12-06-2015, 09:47 AM
Used his bench more

8 scholarship players suiting up? Who should have played more? Based on what?

Zagceo
12-06-2015, 10:16 AM
8 scholarship players suiting up? Who should have played more? Based on what?

You asked what Miller did that was so much better than few during the game and I said used his bench………am I wrong?

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac342/ceo_500/Playing-time-UA-vs-Zags_zpsmz7gz2ly.png

Birddog
12-06-2015, 10:24 AM
Arizona played well in the second half, hard not to when the other team gives the ball up. Exactly what did Miller do that was so much better than Few during the game?

What Zagceo said. Edwards should have seen the floor for more minutes. He was 1 of 1 and made 2 FT's with 1 TO and 2 PF's (one totally bogus) and played but 6 mins. Sabonis and Wiltjer were gassed at the end. I thought Edwards channeled Gary Lechman with his backing down of the Az guy with his butt and the pretty baby hook. I'm usually not that critical of coaching because I'm a firm believer that the players have to make the plays. Yesterday he should have given Melson the hook after York's 2nd 3 ball and his matador defense. That was a teaching moment missed. I just thought Few's personnel mgmt was lacking yesterday, he had the same deer in the headlights look as his guards as the game wound down. Of course OTOH, if the guards had made those three lightly contested breakaway layups, then all this is moot.

vandalzag
12-06-2015, 10:33 AM
You asked what Miller did that was so much better than few during the game and I said used his bench………am I wrong?

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac342/ceo_500/Playing-time-UA-vs-Zags_zpsmz7gz2ly.png

OK who plays for Who? There is not a PG on the bench. I agree with Bird that Edwards could have seen more minutes, but that would be at the cost of 2 players that combined for 50 plus. Are you saying Melson and Alberts were the missing ingredients?

ProjectMKUltra5
12-06-2015, 10:38 AM
OK who plays for Who? There is not a PG on the bench. I agree with Bird that Edwards could have seen more minutes, but that would be at the cost of 2 players that combined for 50 plus. Are you saying Melson and Alberts were the missing ingredients?

Not to speak for him, but Alberts very well could have been that missing piece. When our guards couldn't get anything going I'd think with his shooting prowess he could have been the spark. Unfortunately we'll never know because he only played two minutes

MDABE80
12-06-2015, 10:56 AM
OK who plays for Who? There is not a PG on the bench. I agree with Bird that Edwards could have seen more minutes, but that would be at the cost of 2 players that combined for 50 plus. Are you saying Melson and Alberts were the missing ingredients?

We dont have their bench??

Zagceo
12-06-2015, 11:16 AM
OK who plays for Who? There is not a PG on the bench. I agree with Bird that Edwards could have seen more minutes, but that would be at the cost of 2 players that combined for 50 plus. Are you saying Melson and Alberts were the missing ingredients?

I'm saying Miller used his bench in response to your question.

Now you ask a different question as a Sunday morning QB

KW was gassed he worked his butt off till the end played 39min

he was 2-9 in last 11 min. Few was gonna ride him to the end as a lot of coaches would

knowing our lack of depth before PK was injured…….one idea substitute more efficiently into and out of timeouts.

Edwards seemed like a no brainer for more minutes playing hard imposing his size let'em foul out he's was gonna put some wear and tear on AZ bigs doing it.

Gotta think outside the box when the box is so small……….I would have tried Triano for a couple of minutes the way Perk looked and was playing.

But Arizona didn't really play so much better down the stretch if you look at the possessions at the end.

Just needed a little more rest for KW…….. Alberts could have helped also and I think we win IMO.

ZenZag
12-06-2015, 11:34 AM
Not playing Edwards more was a glaring head scratcher for me. KW was obviously gassed by the end. Sure you lose his offense by sitting him a bit....but then he doesn't fade so badly at the end. A rested KW can be more offensively potent. Edwards can come in, bang inside a bit, get fouled, make his FT's which he is very good at, possibly put some foul pressure on their bigs. Don't know...but 6 mins??

Alberts....the latest victim of Few's dog house. He has talent....he needs some damn game time. 2 mins? I recall him coming in and getting yanked almost immediately. Kid is going to play tight when he is used that way. Just my 2 pennies.

hondo
12-06-2015, 11:36 AM
Much of the problem is the weakness of the WCC. The Zags always have to front load their schedule with top notch teams in order to have a respectable RPI and play a schedule that is appealing to guys they are trying to recruit. With an almost steady diet of top notch teams and tight games our younger player don't get a chance to develop confidence like they would if they were getting more game time. I don't like to pick on Pacific but by adding them to the schedule in January or February we have to eliminate a similar strength team in November or December when we need that type of game. With a veteran group like last year it works to our advantage but with a new group of guards like this year it is tough to get everyone up to speed and build confidence.

GoZags
12-06-2015, 12:47 PM
Much of the problem is the weakness of the WCC. The Zags always have to front load their schedule with top notch teams in order to have a respectable RPI and play a schedule that is appealing to guys they are trying to recruit. With an almost steady diet of top notch teams and tight games our younger player don't get a chance to develop confidence like they would if they were getting more game time. I don't like to pick on Pacific but by adding them to the schedule in January or February we have to eliminate a similar strength team in November or December when we need that type of game. With a veteran group like last year it works to our advantage but with a new group of guards like this year it is tough to get everyone up to speed and build confidence.

Tommy flat out called this.

He said there would be some head scratching during our OOC ... but that with time, our guards will improve and we'll see that later in the season.

In the meantime, while I'd "like" us to go undefeated ... that is never going to happen (or highly unlikely to happen).

I for one am enjoying the ride.

Also "enjoying" seeing some posters who took last year off ... as Few, Tommy and the staff obviously didn't their help that much last season.

willandi
12-06-2015, 01:12 PM
This. Spokane isn't gonna become Tobacco Road, ever.

Steelhead fishing sucks back east, the trout fishing can be OK, but nothing like out here. Tobacco Road will never boast the fishing of Spokane.

SunDevilGolfZag
12-06-2015, 02:46 PM
To answer the question in the OP, all the WCC titles, the 17 big dances in a row and last year's "Elite" 8 appearance, plus whatever good things come to the program in the future all works for me. But then again I'm just a fan who's stuck with the Zags through thick and thin for 33 years running (paling in comparison to many others on this board), but what do I know is that in the leaner times in the 80s and 90s we never saw this treat coming so it is much appreciated. I'm just going to keep enjoying the ride

TravelinZag
12-07-2015, 05:05 AM
Play those who will play up to their ability and want to win. Lacadaisical attitude and carelessness don't cut it. Yes, Zag's add some great players next year, but lose some great players as well. Why wait? Play those who have a passion to win, and great things will happen!

vandalzag
12-07-2015, 05:56 AM
I'm saying Miller used his bench in response to your question.

Now you ask a different question as a Sunday morning QB

KW was gassed he worked his butt off till the end played 39min

he was 2-9 in last 11 min. Few was gonna ride him to the end as a lot of coaches would

knowing our lack of depth before PK was injured…….one idea substitute more efficiently into and out of timeouts.

Edwards seemed like a no brainer for more minutes playing hard imposing his size let'em foul out he's was gonna put some wear and tear on AZ bigs doing it.

Gotta think outside the box when the box is so small……….I would have tried Triano for a couple of minutes the way Perk looked and was playing.

But Arizona didn't really play so much better down the stretch if you look at the possessions at the end.

Just needed a little more rest for KW…….. Alberts could have helped also and I think we win IMO.

You are calling me the Monday morning QB? Sabonis could not get to the line but Edwards would have put AZ into foul trouble? Triano as a PG based on what, his appearance in the last minutes of blowouts and now he is prepared to go head to head with a guard like Gabe York? With your expert internet coaching ability you should be sitting on the bench. Why not post your resume here so Few can see that you are the missing link to GU becoming an Elite player.

Zagceo
12-07-2015, 06:49 AM
You are calling me the Monday morning QB? Sabonis could not get to the line but Edwards would have put AZ into foul trouble? Triano as a PG based on what, his appearance in the last minutes of blowouts and now he is prepared to go head to head with a guard like Gabe York? With your expert internet coaching ability you should be sitting on the bench. Why not post your resume here so Few can see that you are the missing link to GU becoming an Elite player.

I said Sunday morning QB and was referring to me. Lighten up Francis.

When did we hire you as the gate keeper for alumni to engage in conversation about basketball.

You believe Triano couldn't have played 1 min when Perkins was struggling so he could rest fine .......I'm sure more agree with you but you ask me a question and I answered with one opinion.

I said let Edwards use his fouls.

Jazz is right about you.

LongIslandZagFan
12-07-2015, 07:22 AM
Unless they start up a football program, there's really nowhere for GU to go that wouldn't be basically a lateral move.

Lets be honest... Duke has a football program... but in reality... they don't.

GU has 1 less member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame... and hasn't taken a snap since the 40s. Duke has a sub .500 all time record. Nobody in the ACC fears Duke Football... and likely never will.

That being said, National championship would be about the only thing and even then the WCC would be a lead weight. However, if GU were to win it all, it might actually help recruiting in the WCC and bring it up a notch.

GonzagasaurusFlex
12-07-2015, 08:01 AM
In order to become an elite team, the 2015-16 Zags need to
1) Diversify their offense so the guards/wings at least keep the opposing D honest. Maybe bring post out to back-screen for a guard off the ball to cut to the hoop or something for a backdoor layup..doesn't have to be complicated.
2) Use the bench more period....Perkins and Wiltjer in particular looked gassed at end of game and maybe Sabonis misses the easy putback due to fatigue too?
3) Watch this video of Gonzaga beating UNC in MSG and play with a 'go beat the world' attitude rather than playing not to lose (like this same Zags team did the next night in MSG vs Butler...WTF?:-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vicGO8R6BtI

seacatfan
12-07-2015, 09:36 AM
Lets be honest... Duke has a football program... but in reality... they don't.

GU has 1 less member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame... and hasn't taken a snap since the 40s. Duke has a sub .500 all time record. Nobody in the ACC fears Duke Football... and likely never will.

That being said, National championship would be about the only thing and even then the WCC would be a lead weight. However, if GU were to win it all, it might actually help recruiting in the WCC and bring it up a notch.

Duke football will never be mistaken for Alabama, but they've actually been decent in recent years. In fact I'm fairly sure they won their division of the ACC within the last couple years, and have been going Bowling fairly regularly (although anymore going to a bowl game is a total celebrate mediocrity type of thing). Your point is taken though. With a few exceptions, most of the powerhouse bball programs aren't particularly good in football. But conference realignments (with the exception of the "new" Big East) are entirely driven by football. You no play football, you no get invited to big party.

bartruff1
12-07-2015, 10:01 AM
In order to become an elite team, the 2015-16 Zags need to
1) Diversify their offense so the guards/wings at least keep the opposing D honest. Maybe bring post out to back-screen for a guard off the ball to cut to the hoop or something for a backdoor layup..doesn't have to be complicated.
2) Use the bench more period....Perkins and Wiltjer in particular looked gassed at end of game and maybe Sabonis misses the easy putback due to fatigue too?
3) Watch this video of Gonzaga beating UNC in MSG and play with a 'go beat the world' attitude rather than playing not to lose (like this same Zags team did the next night in MSG vs Butler...WTF?:-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vicGO8R6BtI

As I recall, this team had a much deeper bench....and I believe they nearly blew a 16 point lead.....the coach is the same....the fact that they had three guards named Bouldin, Pargo and Raivio probably had something to do with them hanging on for the win....

Zagger
12-07-2015, 10:19 AM
We are an elite program, and we continue to trend up...

:) :) :) Agree, Agree, Agree
Yeah, and there will be TOs, missed FTs, fan fits, etc. along the way. College bb is pretty darn exciting and the Zags are definitely EXCITING! Go Zags!

Nevada Don
12-07-2015, 11:03 AM
[QUOTE=ProjectMKUltra5;1152086]It's pretty simple if you ask me, That jump will happen when we get into a better conference. The WCC will forever be a ceiling that Gonzaga will not be able break through. I trust that the the powers that be understand this and will try and get Gonzaga it's seat at the big boys table.[/QU

When in doubt, blame the WCC. I guess you think that maybe the NCAA looks at GU at the end of the season and decides that GU can't win the National Championship because they play in the WCC ? I guess winning certain games allowing you to advance are meaningless.

If your only barometer is winning a National Championship to be "elite", you're going to have a lot of disappointing days ahead of you. WTH is wrong with having a GREAT PROGRAM with a realistic chance to maybe even win a National Championship ? Some of you need to remember from whence you came and where you are now. Is it all about "winning your final game each season" and then lying there enjoying a cigarette afterwards ? Can't you take some satisfaction from the foreplay and the anticipation and excitement of seeing your team being built with each new possible recruit.

Zags, you got what 300+ D-1 teams want to have a chance to even get a whiff of. Yes you want to win it all, but I hope that the terms "elite" and "success" aren't solely defined by whether or not you won your last game of the season.

Tons of respect for most all of you posters and GU coming from Moraga.

23dpg
12-07-2015, 11:44 AM
Nevada,
I would differentiate between elite and successful.
By most people's definition, Gonzaga is successful. I think most also would argue that the Zags are not elite. Of course both are open to definitions of what exactly the parameters are.
I responded earlier to this thread and noted that the WCC isn't the ACC. Not a put down, just a fact.
I'm happy with what GU is.

LongIslandZagFan
12-07-2015, 12:56 PM
Duke football will never be mistaken for Alabama, but they've actually been decent in recent years. In fact I'm fairly sure they won their division of the ACC within the last couple years, and have been going Bowling fairly regularly (although anymore going to a bowl game is a total celebrate mediocrity type of thing). Your point is taken though. With a few exceptions, most of the powerhouse bball programs aren't particularly good in football. But conference realignments (with the exception of the "new" Big East) are entirely driven by football. You no play football, you no get invited to big party.

2013... otherwise they are happy to play .500 ball.

75Zag
12-07-2015, 01:38 PM
I think I already said this, but elite teams post one or two or more NC banners on their ceilings. Teams that are not elite have fans who engage in the "could have, would have, should have, the refs cheated us" discussions for 10 or 20 years.

"Give me elite or give me death."

Go Bulldogs!

Nevada Don
12-07-2015, 01:54 PM
I think I already said this, but elite teams post one or two or more NC banners on their ceilings. Teams that are not elite have fans who engage in the "could have, would have, should have, the refs cheated us" discussions for 10 or 20 years.

"Give me elite or give me death."

Go Bulldogs!

Do you prefer flowers or a donation? ;)

Alum08
12-07-2015, 01:55 PM
In order to become 'elite' we need a conference realignment or the consent to replace some WCC games with OOC opponents. Adding Pacific only further necessitates this. A basketball program of that caliber does not need to play us twice a year and I mean nothing bad by that other than looking out for what is best for our school.