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Reborn
12-26-2015, 08:18 AM
Before the season began almost everyone was very, very excited about this years basketball team. Then, when out of conference play began, the team lost 3 games to very good teams, but did not good in the losses. The mood began to change here and doubt crept in, and many posters seemed to lose faith in the team. The team is playing much better now; so I wanted to check in with you and see if you have gone back to how you believed at the beginning of the season. Do you once again feel this is a Final Four team?[/SIZE]

I know that I was very worried about the team for awhile, but they are sure moving in the right direction and this team is looking more and more like the team that I thought they would be. My confidence in them is very high right now.

RenoZag
12-26-2015, 08:26 AM
Never believed they were a Final Four team. Thought the guards were going to be inconsistent ( they are, but showing steady improvement ). Several weeks ago I wrote here they needed to learn to win without Karnowski. They are showing they can do that. I have hopes they can shine in March but my personal jury is still out.

Have resolved to enjoy the season going forward. The cold & flu season is right around the corner and we'll see how this squad weathers the inevitable stretch of not having everyone at 100% night in and night out.

Hope all had a nice Christmas Day and safe travels.

MontanaCoyote
12-26-2015, 08:32 AM
Not without Karno. Win both WCC and conference tourney. A couple of wins in NCAA's. I would like to know from other more knowledgeable posters if St. Mary's is as good as their record and stats seem to indicate.

Best to Karno. I miss him on the court, but even more I just miss him.

TexasZagFan
12-26-2015, 09:17 AM
Let's revisit this topic after SMU. If that's not a bell weather game, I don't know what is.

Reborn
12-26-2015, 09:20 AM
Not without Karno. Win both WCC and conference tourney. A couple of wins in NCAA's. I would like to know from other more knowledgeable posters if St. Mary's is as good as their record and stats seem to indicate.

Best to Karno. I miss him on the court, but even more I just miss him.

I have seen them on TV twice now and they can really shoot the 3 ball. Best shooting team I have seen yet. However, both games were at home,and against San Francisco and I think Santa Clara. We will see what happens when they go on the Road. They also have a very very good post shooter who seems to be shooting as well as Wiltjer is. The test for them against us will be their ability to contain Sabonis, and I don't think they have a player who can. They play very good D, and they will double up on him and make our guards shoot from the outside. So IMO they are going to be very tough this year.

Martin Centre Mad Man
12-26-2015, 09:37 AM
Going into the season, there was a lot to be excited about with a great front-court and a preseason All-American on this team, but there were some big question marks and obvious vulnerabilities. I honestly had no idea if this was going to be a Top-10 team that could contend for the Final Four or merely a Top-50 team that could contend for a WCC championship and a win or two in the Big Dance. At this point, I still don't know what we have.

Preseason Question Mark No. 1: Who, besides Wiltjer, will be a good three-point shooter? None of our other players had a proven track record as a volume outside shooter. So far, they've had games when they've been hitting them, games when they've been missing them, and games when they've looked like they've been afraid to shoot. Over the past two games, the team has been shooting very well from outside. If the whole roster can consistently hit open shots from downtown, this offense will be very good.

Question Mark No. 2: Is the new back-court ready for prime time minutes? We knew that Melson and Perkins brought amazing talent to the team. We also knew that EMAC and Draino were defensive role-players who had never been asked to do much for the offense. We had high hopes that those four players could gel and execute the offense and defense efficiently enough to run a top-ten team. In the early going, they were turnover prone, missed too many shots, and collectively looked like they just weren't ready to complement the amazing front-court. Defensively, they played really well, both individually and as a unit. Over the past few games, they seem to be finding their shots and growing comfortable with their roles on both sides of the floor. I am guardedly optimistic that they will sustain this level of play against the better teams in the WCC. Hopefully, they will be ready to pay against Top-25 competition in March. In November, they didn't look that good.

Question No. 3: Does this team have enough depth? This team started the season with nine eligible scholarship players. I was concerned that our lack of depth would be a huge vulnerability, particularly if even one player went down with an injury. Well, it happened. Karnowski's injury has made our "best in the nation" front-court vulnerable to fatigue and foul trouble. Perkins has been limited by foul trouble in several games. When Sabonis and Perkins get into foul trouble, we run out of offensive options very quickly. We need all eight remaining players to contribute on a nightly basis on both sides of the floor. Our bench looked good in their first two WCC games. We need them to play well every night to be competitive against top competition. We also cannot afford even a minor, nagging injury that limits a player without removing him from the roster entirely.

Question No. 4: Do we have anybody on this team that can match up against a big, athletic wing? We don't have a big wing on the roster. Oddly enough, we don't have a player between 6'5" and 6'10" who can play the 3 or the 4 positions. If Wiltjer or Sabonis fouls out, we may need to play minutes with Dranginis or Alberts playing the 4. It hasn't happened, but it will. Do we have anybody who can guard a 6'8" shooter? We'll see those types of players in the Big Dance.

I guess, "my belief" is dependent on what I am asked to believe in. Do I believe this team has enough talent to win the WCC? Yes, but they'll need to lock down SMC's great outside shooters to beat them.

Can they win a game or two in March? I think so, but it will depend on match-ups. Can they equal last year's 35 wins and Elite Eight? I doubt it.

Do I believe we have a Top-Ten team? No, but we have one that could be a Top-25 level team, if it continues to develop and avoids further injuries.

Am I excited about the possibilities? Absolutely. Let's see what these kids can do.

Zag Man
12-26-2015, 09:38 AM
With the front court that we brought back, I believe we were all excited about this year’s team. Unfortunately, the guard play was very disappointing early on and cost us some winnable games. This has all changed in the past few games. I have been especially pleased with the play of Josh Perkins, who has learned to value the ball and minimized his turnovers. Of course, having the rapid development of Domas has been huge in our recent success. On the road, the WCC will be a huge challenge for our young guards. We have seen that with great players, like Stephen Grey, Matt Bouldin, Austin Daye, etc., early on in their career. We will need veterans like KW, EMac, and Kyle D to step up and settle them down. My confidence is much higher right now in our team, and I wish them best of luck for the rest of the season.

Happy New Year to all!

hooter73
12-26-2015, 10:17 AM
I knew we'd lose some games. Figure we'll gum up a conference game or two and be done by the second game in march. But I pretty much think that every year lol :)

TravelinZag
12-26-2015, 11:08 AM
Believe the prospect for a great season remains, and entirely is dependent upon the players' (all of them) commitment and will to win. Without Karno, this is a different team, certainly not top ten in talent. However, there is enough talent for them to achieve ANYTHING they want badly enough. Tall order, but with their best efforts, the results will make them, and us, incredibly proud.

Go Zags! Why wouldn't I still believe? Santa showed, and the smiles on the faces of the children I was blessed to share the holiday with made the abandonment of hope impossible. The power of belief and will can be amazing.

bartruff1
12-26-2015, 11:25 AM
I never believed this was a final four team....don't now...they may end up a top 15 team as they win in the WCC and the big five conferences teams beat each other..

I think they can win the Conference, maybe win the Tourney in Vegas, get to the NCAA and win a game or so..

maynard g krebs
12-26-2015, 01:23 PM
I have seen them on TV twice now and they can really shoot the 3 ball. Best shooting team I have seen yet. However, both games were at home,and against San Francisco and I think Santa Clara.

No, the Santa Clara game was at SC.

MickMick
12-26-2015, 01:42 PM
Mark Few, his staff, and Wiltjer/Sabonis are too good for the wheels to fall off the cart.

I expect the team will continue to get better over time. I still believe, however, that they will need to win the conference tournament to advance further.

maynard g krebs
12-26-2015, 02:21 PM
Not without Karno. Win both WCC and conference tourney. A couple of wins in NCAA's. I would like to know from other more knowledgeable posters if St. Mary's is as good as their record and stats seem to indicate.


I've seen their league games and most of the 2nd half of Stanford. Their offense is surgically precise; they look like a well oiled machine. First in the nation in both 3 pt % and fg%. Making 47% of 3's and over 60% of their 2's. First in assist/to ratio. Both guards in the top 10 or 15 in assists, and both near the top in a/to ratio.

They still run the pick and roll flawlessly, and move the ball patiently until they have a layup or wide open 3, and at least 6 guys that can shoot it.

I think at some point a team with better athleticism could just out-athlete them, like Baylor did to Samhan's team in the tourney. But I could easily see them making it to the second weekend of the NCAA's with the right matchups. Defensively they're pretty average, not bad but don't really have a rim protector and the guards/ wings aren't athletic enough to extend and pressure the ball. Kenpom has them in the teens on offense and around 110 or 120 on D.

maynard g krebs
12-26-2015, 02:31 PM
As to the OP- Karno's loss is monumental, both literally and figuratively. If he comes back I'm pretty confident in what the team can do. Perkins and McClellan are getting the rust off and getting better game by game, Alberts did some things in the last game he hadn't done before, Dranginis and Melson seem to be coming out of their respective funks.

I'm not as confident overall just because the margin for error to get that protected seed is almost gone; I think only one more loss is allowable to get a top 4 seed, a tall order w/ road games at SMU, SMC, and BYU. Most likely is somewhere around a 6-8 seed far from home. But some of the talk about missing the tourney seems overly pessimistic to me.

DixieZag
12-26-2015, 03:02 PM
I admit that I thought we were a top 8, elite 8 type of team. Of course, that was before Karnowski went down. Plus, the turnover probs and youth went right by me.

I agree with MK - talk of needing to win the conference tourney as of right now makes little sense to me. I would think it far more important that we win the conference regular season.

I think we need to beat SMU to have any shot at a protected seed at all, and I worry about losing more than 2 in conference.

It would sure help the mood if we felt that Karno was just a month or so away, but it sure doesn't feel like there's any hope. The addition of Karnowski would also allow the committee to say to themselves "the losses to AZ and UCLA were early without one of their 3 best players" - which does us no good if he still isn't with us.

I am highly encouraged by eMac's play recently. I think he gives us an "X" factor that can win games.

As for SMC - I have no idea. In terms of playing "us" - it really doesn't matter, the country isn't the least bit impressed with them. They have a gaudy record and are not even "getting votes," so even if they're really really good it will look bad for us if we lose. BYU - same, only worse.

I see reality is that we are somewhere in that 20-30 range of teams, and can only really rise if we win all but one or two, which I don't really see happening. That makes us, as mentioned, a 7-11 seed, maybe able to win one, two at most. I think that's kind of sad b/c with Karnowski and some more stable play, I thought KW and Sabonis (if it is his last year) had a chance to do something special.

But, we've seen other teams that just suddenly "click" - we have talent, maybe . . .

cggonzaga
12-26-2015, 03:10 PM
I'm not ready to answer the question. The season is still very young. We lost 3 games by 11 points to top 25 teams and only played well for one half of each of those games. I believe Sabonis and Wiltjer have killer mentalities so we'll always be in games no matter who we play. It will ultimately come down to guard play. All 5 guards are already better than they were two weeks ago but none has reached his potential yet. I guess you'd say my cup is half full!

Coach Crazy
12-26-2015, 06:38 PM
(Just) Contend for the WCC? I'm sorry, what now?! Irrational transference, anyone? Is this team a Final Four team without adequate guard play? No. Are they a Final Four team without Shem and adequate guard play? No. Can this team get to a Final Four if Josh finds himself, Emac can put up 10 ppg and a 2-1 turnover ratio, and Silas can put up at least a 38% clip? Uh, yes. Duh.

Don't forget how special KW and DS are. With a supporting cast filling their roles Wilt and Domas are unstoppable. As far as the WCC? Don't even get me started. It's like we're watch a rabid pitbull attacking a kitten with a bloody pork chop around it's neck.

GonzagasaurusFlex
12-26-2015, 06:42 PM
Excellent thread topic Reborn, thank you.

MCMM had summed up every thought I have on this topic. Thanks for the fantastic post:

Going into the season, there was a lot to be excited about with a great front-court and a preseason All-American on this team, but there were some big question marks and obvious vulnerabilities. I honestly had no idea if this was going to be a Top-10 team that could contend for the Final Four or merely a Top-50 team that could contend for a WCC championship and a win or two in the Big Dance. At this point, I still don't know what we have.

Preseason Question Mark No. 1: Who, besides Wiltjer, will be a good three-point shooter? None of our other players had a proven track record as a volume outside shooter. So far, they've had games when they've been hitting them, games when they've been missing them, and games when they've looked like they've been afraid to shoot. Over the past two games, the team has been shooting very well from outside. If the whole roster can consistently hit open shots from downtown, this offense will be very good.

Question Mark No. 2: Is the new back-court ready for prime time minutes? We knew that Melson and Perkins brought amazing talent to the team. We also knew that EMAC and Draino were defensive role-players who had never been asked to do much for the offense. We had high hopes that those four players could gel and execute the offense and defense efficiently enough to run a top-ten team. In the early going, they were turnover prone, missed too many shots, and collectively looked like they just weren't ready to complement the amazing front-court. Defensively, they played really well, both individually and as a unit. Over the past few games, they seem to be finding their shots and growing comfortable with their roles on both sides of the floor. I am guardedly optimistic that they will sustain this level of play against the better teams in the WCC. Hopefully, they will be ready to pay against Top-25 competition in March. In November, they didn't look that good.

Question No. 3: Does this team have enough depth? This team started the season with nine eligible scholarship players. I was concerned that our lack of depth would be a huge vulnerability, particularly if even one player went down with an injury. Well, it happened. Karnowski's injury has made our "best in the nation" front-court vulnerable to fatigue and foul trouble. Perkins has been limited by foul trouble in several games. When Sabonis and Perkins get into foul trouble, we run out of offensive options very quickly. We need all eight remaining players to contribute on a nightly basis on both sides of the floor. Our bench looked good in their first two WCC games. We need them to play well every night to be competitive against top competition. We also cannot afford even a minor, nagging injury that limits a player without removing him from the roster entirely.

Question No. 4: Do we have anybody on this team that can match up against a big, athletic wing? We don't have a big wing on the roster. Oddly enough, we don't have a player between 6'5" and 6'10" who can play the 3 or the 4 positions. If Wiltjer or Sabonis fouls out, we may need to play minutes with Dranginis or Alberts playing the 4. It hasn't happened, but it will. Do we have anybody who can guard a 6'8" shooter? We'll see those types of players in the Big Dance.

I guess, "my belief" is dependent on what I am asked to believe in. Do I believe this team has enough talent to win the WCC? Yes, but they'll need to lock down SMC's great outside shooters to beat them.

Can they win a game or two in March? I think so, but it will depend on match-ups. Can they equal last year's 35 wins and Elite Eight? I doubt it.

Do I believe we have a Top-Ten team? No, but we have one that could be a Top-25 level team, if it continues to develop and avoids further injuries.

Am I excited about the possibilities? Absolutely. Let's see what these kids can do.

MontanaCoyote
12-26-2015, 07:04 PM
MontanaCoyote (redshirt) here, Had the 3rd post on this thread. You practiced posters are Good! Got my question answered and, of course, then some. Do I even need to subscribe to the Spokesman with everything I can get right here?
Happy New Year to you all!

ProVeeZag
12-26-2015, 11:15 PM
Some great posts here everybody! Here's my take: Even 2 or 3 WCC losses would not be fatal as long as we finish in the top 2 in the conference and secure byes in the WCC tourney. Of greater importance will be how we are playing in the 2 weeks just prior to Vegas and how St Mary's and BYU are playing at that time. We've seen it in the past where GU wins the conference and even the tourney, but is not playing it's best ball at season's end. Realistically St Mary's is going to have a night or two on the road where those 3's aren't dropping and on those nights they are vulnerable to a handful of SCC teams. I think the WCC race promises to be more exciting than it's been in several years now. With Karno's injury and young guards, we're going to have to dig deeper than in recent years. It will come down to resolve, teamwork, staying healthy, and a dozen other variables...but I wouldn't miss this next two months of games for anything. The Slipper still fits!

seacatfan
12-26-2015, 11:17 PM
SMC should have beaten Cal on the road, but didn't. As such they lost their only road game in OOC and also lost against the best team they played in OOC. Cal is talented but has been somewhat disappointing during their OOC schedule. Admittedly I didn't watch any of SMC otherwise, but I'd have to say they proved nothing thus far. They did beat Stanford, but this could be the worst Stanford team in a decade or more.

As far as GU steamrolling Pepperdine and LMU at home, I have to see how they do on the road or how they play against better WCC teams like SMC and BYU to judge how good they actually are currently.

SteelZag
12-26-2015, 11:37 PM
IMHO the Zags can still have a great season and do some damage in the dance. GU has lost 3 games by a total of 11 points. Each of the games were one possession games with a minute left to play. All that with PK missing two of the games and the guards playing poorly in all three losses.

Edwards is progressing, maybe just not as fast as some would like. One thing that is really going to stall his development is not being able to bang with PK daily in practice. Edwards will keep progressing this season, although not as quickly as he possibly could with a few more minutes per game. He's no Shem but I think there is enough history on Edwards that indicate he can be serviceable for the Zags this season.

If Edwards doesn't progress as predicted, I wouldn't mine having four guards on the floor at the same time. Dranginis has shown in the past that he can hang with many of the 4's that we go against. Is he going to be able to guard somebody like Okafor? Probably not, but IMHO KD plays taller 6'5". I feel as though, even if Edwards does progress that the Zags really need to have some sort of plan B going forward.

The Zags defense is doing great this season, especially from the perimeter. They miss having PK clog the middle, especially with Sabonis being foul prone. The way he has been playing as of lately, DS should be able to stay on the floor, although he and Wiltjer really need to curtail some of their minutes they have be playing.

If the Zags continue to improve the way they have been, I think they will be more than competitive. Just in the last few games, the guards have been shooting much better and have averaged less than 8 TO per game versus more than 14 per game in their losses. Sure, the competition wasn't as good as in the losses, but they seem to be clicking on all cylinders now and I'm going to keep my glass more than half full at this point.

As long as the Zags make the tourney, I think they have a great shot to go deep. :)

kitzbuel
12-27-2015, 04:49 AM
Who else is there in the West? There are still not many teams in the West better than GU. GU hangs right with the top PAC 12 teams. MWC, WCC are down this year.

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

jazzdelmar
12-27-2015, 04:53 AM
Who else is there in the West? There are still not many teams in the West better than GU. GU hangs right with the top PAC 12 teams. MWC, WCC are down this year.

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

Pretty sure the days of geographical balance when it comes to making up the NCAA field are long gone. Seeding, yes, there is some favoritism in placement. So no geographical love for the Zags or any western team on the bubble. Now lifetime achievement award for the program and the coach, that's another story.

Zagger
12-27-2015, 05:05 AM
Good question ...... I'm stopped from saying yes when I think of the second half play of the Zags (less aggressive, more tentative). Against fired up teams on the opponent's home court .... we'll need more than just M2C and Dontmiss getting fired up.
I believe the Zags have the potential to go deep in March as individually skilled players. Confidence and aggressiveness as a team are where my worries are. I'm cautiously optimistic due to play on 12/21 & 12/23 and even with how the BIS turned out. Go Zags!

gonzagafan62
12-27-2015, 08:56 AM
I was not very excited about this team at all honestly, but now that we've found out how to with with and without karnowski I'm fine. Problem is we need to win conference tourney. No other way in. I believe in our guys. Go damn zags!

cggonzaga
12-27-2015, 09:30 AM
A win over SMU and no more than 2 losses to St Mary's/BYU and I believe we still get a top 4 seed. The talk of no tournament just makes some look...not smart.

Reborn
12-27-2015, 09:52 AM
[QUOTE=Martin Centre Mad Man;1157878]Hopefully, they will be ready to pay against Top-25 competition in March. In November, they didn't look that good.]

I wonder how many times we have heard that it REALLY DOESN'T MATTER how we play in November and December that is important. What is important is how we are playing in March. I tend to believe this. And I believe the Zags are improving all the time and heading in the right direction, UP!!!

Go Zags!!!

Coach Crazy
12-27-2015, 09:58 AM
[QUOTE=Martin Centre Mad Man;1157878]Hopefully, they will be ready to pay against Top-25 competition in March. In November, they didn't look that good.]

I wonder how many times we have heard that it REALLY DOESN'T MATTER how we play in November and December that is important. What is important is how we are playing in March. I tend to believe this. And I believe the Zags are improving all the time and heading in the right direction, UP!!!

Go Zags!!!

It's really a matter of having a certain amount of productivity early on, but hitting your stride at the right time. Honestly, I feel like the games we lost really don't matter that much, when we take into account the actual state of this team. Even if we had won those games, we would still have most of the same struggles we do now. We're not likely in that much better of a position.

The WCC is perfect for situations like this year. A league where you can let your inexperienced guys get their confidence, and still roll your opponents in the same game. More importantly, they're more focused on themselves, and not necessarily the conference. Come dance time, that makes me more confident...knowing they aren't "WCC acclimated".

DixieZag
12-27-2015, 10:26 AM
[QUOTE=Martin Centre Mad Man;1157878]Hopefully, they will be ready to pay against Top-25 competition in March. In November, they didn't look that good.]

I wonder how many times we have heard that it REALLY DOESN'T MATTER how we play in November and December that is important. What is important is how we are playing in March. I tend to believe this. And I believe the Zags are improving all the time and heading in the right direction, UP!!!

Go Zags!!!

How we play in November/December doesn't have an impact on how we play the first week of the tournament, no doubt.

However, b/c of the conference we are in, how we play in November and December has a huge impact on who we play the first week of the tournament, and that also matters in terms of whether we get to the second week.

Unlike the B1G or ACC or even Pac teams that start slow, we don't face top 20 opponents in February. Those teams that get to mow down top 20 teams in Feb move up in seeding almost regardless of what they did in Nov/Dec. Not us.

It's just the nature of who we are and what conference we play in. There are a couple of years, that being a "mid-major conference" was the biggest reason we got into the tourney at all, gaudy record, and conference tourney championship. There are some years that it has kept us from demonstrating big improvements that might have led to a higher seed.

This year? Who knows. We know losses don't "help" anything. How much they hurt is yet to be seen.

gonzagabasketball
12-27-2015, 10:48 AM
[QUOTE=Reborn;1157975]

It's really a matter of having a certain amount of productivity early on, but hitting your stride at the right time. Honestly, I feel like the games we lost really don't matter that much, when we take into account the actual state of this team. Even if we had won those games, we would still have most of the same struggles we do now. We're not likely in that much better of a position.

The WCC is perfect for situations like this year. A league where you can let your inexperienced guys get their confidence, and still roll your opponents in the same game. More importantly, they're more focused on themselves, and not necessarily the conference. Come dance time, that makes me more confident...knowing they aren't "WCC acclimated".

I think this sort of sums up my current out look on the season thus far. If you had told me GU would have 3 losses entering conference play, I wouldnt have been surprised. I sort of felt that with the upgrade in athleticism at guard this team at full strength that a shot at beating teams that last years roster may have struggled with physically on the perimeter, however their inexperience would lead to inconsistent play causing them to drop a game or three to teams last years team would dispatch with out a second thought.

The inexperience is most certainly rearing its ugly head, as was predicted, however the thing that has sort of caught me off guard is that they have been most consistent, they have spent much of the season winning and losing the same way. They come out strong with the bigs owning the paint, the opposition makes adjustments, the guards cant manage to counter. They looked the same beating Washington, Uconn, and Montana as they did losing to Arizona, UCLA, and TAMU. They have been generally sloppy with turnovers, poor shooting, and dismal decision making.

WSU and Tennessee feel like almost the same game in many ways, and I feel like we watch the same performance every game and its just the level and quality of opponents and their performance that is determining the outcome. Now, we have seen McCellan and Sabonis make strides, shore up weaknesses, and I think start to lead this team. The last two games especially the team as a whole seems to have made improvements, but its a small sample size and of course two typically poor performing WCC teams.

One thing I want to say, is even though I think the guards have visibly and continually been overwhelmed mentally and emotionally on the offensive end, they, to a man, continue to give total effort on the defensive end. They rebound. They dive on the floor. Congratulate team mates. Cheer from the bench. You can see the frustration in Melsons body language after foul calls or when headed to the bench and even after mistakes on defense he isnt letting up effort wise. I think credit is due the whole back court for this character trait alone. So I salute them. This also gives me a bit of optimism because if they can get it figured out on offense, the rest of the package is already there.

They will for the most part just physically impose their decided talent advantage on a significant majority of the WCC schedule, and it remains to be seen if they can take the next step, put their lessors behind them, and make some noise late in the season. The talent was brought in, and now we watch and wait to see if it can develop.

Go, Gonzaga.

Reborn
12-27-2015, 11:45 AM
[QUOTE=Reborn;1157975]

How we play in November/December doesn't have an impact on how we play the first week of the tournament, no doubt.

However, b/c of the conference we are in, how we play in November and December has a huge impact on who we play the first week of the tournament, and that also matters in terms of whether we get to the second week.

Unlike the B1G or ACC or even Pac teams that start slow, we don't face top 20 opponents in February. Those teams that get to mow down top 20 teams in Feb move up in seeding almost regardless of what they did in Nov/Dec. Not us.

It's just the nature of who we are and what conference we play in. There are a couple of years, that being a "mid-major conference" was the biggest reason we got into the tourney at all, gaudy record, and conference tourney championship. There are some years that it has kept us from demonstrating big improvements that might have led to a higher seed.

This year? Who knows. We know losses don't "help" anything. How much they hurt is yet to be seen.

I appreciate your point of veiw DZ, and I understand it, but I disagree. I have yet to hear any analyst on TV say that "it doesn't matter how teams play in Nov and Dec, but what does matter is how the are playing in February and March accept Gonzaga or any team in the WCC or for that matter any Mid-Major teams." I believe that the key in March is to get hot at the right time, and this applies to ALL teams. We all know that Gonzaga has not peaked yet; and I'm hoping that they hit their stride in March.

ProjectMKUltra5
12-27-2015, 12:28 PM
A win over SMU and no more than 2 losses to St Mary's/BYU and I believe we still get a top 4 seed. The talk of no tournament just makes some look...not smart.

That's putting it mildly

MDABE80
12-27-2015, 12:37 PM
Exceptionally good post Basketball Zag. Thoughtful and a very good summary.

maynard g krebs
12-27-2015, 02:12 PM
SMC should have beaten Cal on the road, but didn't. As such they lost their only road game in OOC and also lost against the best team they played in OOC. Cal is talented but has been somewhat disappointing during their OOC schedule. Admittedly I didn't watch any of SMC otherwise, but I'd have to say they proved nothing thus far. They did beat Stanford, but this could be the worst Stanford team in a decade or more.



While it's true that comparative scores don't mean that much, here's some food for thought. St Mary's beat Stanford by 17. (At home, I know, but Cal was road, so that cuts both ways.) SMU beat Stan by 15; Villanova beat them by 14. Texas beat them by 2, and Stanford beat Arkansas by 2 or 3.

The Cal team that beat them on a late 3 lost by 1 at Virginia.

I'd suggest watching them play before dismissing them out of hand. In terms of skill level, team play, execution and passing and shooting, there is a lot to suggest they are the most skilled offensive team in the nation.

Coach Crazy
12-27-2015, 02:30 PM
[QUOTE=Coach Crazy;1157976]

I think this sort of sums up my current out look on the season thus far. If you had told me GU would have 3 losses entering conference play, I wouldnt have been surprised. I sort of felt that with the upgrade in athleticism at guard this team at full strength that a shot at beating teams that last years roster may have struggled with physically on the perimeter, however their inexperience would lead to inconsistent play causing them to drop a game or three to teams last years team would dispatch with out a second thought.

The inexperience is most certainly rearing its ugly head, as was predicted, however the thing that has sort of caught me off guard is that they have been most consistent, they have spent much of the season winning and losing the same way. They come out strong with the bigs owning the paint, the opposition makes adjustments, the guards cant manage to counter. They looked the same beating Washington, Uconn, and Montana as they did losing to Arizona, UCLA, and TAMU. They have been generally sloppy with turnovers, poor shooting, and dismal decision making.

WSU and Tennessee feel like almost the same game in many ways, and I feel like we watch the same performance every game and its just the level and quality of opponents and their performance that is determining the outcome. Now, we have seen McCellan and Sabonis make strides, shore up weaknesses, and I think start to lead this team. The last two games especially the team as a whole seems to have made improvements, but its a small sample size and of course two typically poor performing WCC teams.

One thing I want to say, is even though I think the guards have visibly and continually been overwhelmed mentally and emotionally on the offensive end, they, to a man, continue to give total effort on the defensive end. They rebound. They dive on the floor. Congratulate team mates. Cheer from the bench. You can see the frustration in Melsons body language after foul calls or when headed to the bench and even after mistakes on defense he isnt letting up effort wise. I think credit is due the whole back court for this character trait alone. So I salute them. This also gives me a bit of optimism because if they can get it figured out on offense, the rest of the package is already there.

They will for the most part just physically impose their decided talent advantage on a significant majority of the WCC schedule, and it remains to be seen if they can take the next step, put their lessors behind them, and make some noise late in the season. The talent was brought in, and now we watch and wait to see if it can develop.

Go, Gonzaga.

Their defensive effort is something that would have won us our EE game against Duke, last year. It also makes the adjustments they successfully implement that much more potent. Come March, a team that can take away your 3 point and long range shooting is going to require them to go toe-to-toe with the core strength of this team. I'll take that.

maynard g krebs
12-27-2015, 03:21 PM
I looked at some numbers for the recent games, and there's some stuff to suggest the Zags, and the guards in particular, have turned the corner. While it's true that the competition isn't as strong as the previous stretch, the recent numbers are pretty good.

The first 3 games the Zags averaged 90 ppg, including 80 against the Huskies, who foolishly tried to single cover the posts. Then ATM doubled and tripled the posts and held the Zags to 61 as the guards couldn't shoot of move the ball very well compared to what we're used to seeing. Then for a stretch of 6 games against top competition, exacerbated by the loss of Karno in that stretch, the Zags averaged 65 ppg, had a negative a/to ratio and were somewhere down around 30% shooting 3's.

Starting with St Martin's things changed. Sometimes you just need a feel good game like that, maybe, but for whatever reason the numbers since then have changed. Last 4 games: 89 ppg, 60 assists/31 turnovers, and 39 of 82 three pt fg's, 47+%. While the lesser comp figures into that, and the better shooting is in the home games, there's a lot, including ball movement, that the eye test says means the guards have made a big leap and will be a lot better going forward. In those first 3 games, the competition level was similar to the most recent 4 game stretch, but it was mostly the post play that dominated, the guard shooting wasn't as good, and the a/to ratio was night and day poorer. So lots of reason for optimism going forward.

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
12-27-2015, 03:59 PM
Before the season began almost everyone was very, very excited about this years basketball team. Then, when out of conference play began, the team lost 3 games to very good teams, but did not good in the losses. The mood began to change here and doubt crept in, and many posters seemed to lose faith in the team. The team is playing much better now; so I wanted to check in with you and see if you have gone back to how you believed at the beginning of the season. Do you once again feel this is a Final Four team?[/SIZE]

I know that I was very worried about the team for awhile, but they are sure moving in the right direction and this team is looking more and more like the team that I thought they would be. My confidence in them is very high right now.

I never thought this was a FF team with Karno. Last year I predicted FF and to say the least I was obviously dead wrong. I saw this inexperienced back court not meeting the standards of your typical FF back court. The preseason hype machine around our program sometimes is over the top (not necessarily here but in general/media). I still don't think any team in the country is going to feel comfortable drawing the Zags in the tourney. Even if we slip up a few times in the WCC and lose at SMU there is no doubt we win the WCC Tourney (our league is weak).

This team can still make the S16 and put up a huge fight to make the Regional Final. It is asking to much with the Karno injury to expect us to shock the United States of America. One thing we have though is Domas. The kid is a freakin beast! lol haha. I predict S16 and then lose in Regional Semi.

Next year with Shem its back to FF chit chat! wooooooohooooooooooooo!

GUfan34
12-27-2015, 04:45 PM
Ironically, the team might be better without Karnowski simply because it has opened up PT for Sabonis, who is easily their best player.

MDABE80
12-27-2015, 04:50 PM
If it's medically possible Karno will need to come bak for his final year. Who is the Euro leagues or NA would trust his back (spine)? Nobody would. he'll have to prove himself sturdy enough to play a season without trouble.
Meanwhile, if the guards continue to gel AND this team finds a leader, they'll be tough enough come tourney time. 16 level tough depending on the matches. This is a good team on the way up.

kitzbuel
12-27-2015, 05:27 PM
Pretty sure the days of geographical balance when it comes to making up the NCAA field are long gone. Seeding, yes, there is some favoritism in placement. So no geographical love for the Zags or any western team on the bubble. Now lifetime achievement award for the program and the coach, that's another story.
But they still do have a season after the ACC-Big10 Challenge.

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

Baseline
12-27-2015, 09:47 PM
I have seen two games of BYU and SMC and consider them both to be strong. I actually believe BYU will win the conference and it will be a shootout between GU and SMC for second place.
The appearance of GU resurgence of late has come against weak teams, so I am still not convinced it is real. The Sabonis surge could be because of reduced competition, but the more dynamic movement and shooting points to it being real. If GU takes down either of BYU or SMC convincingly, then I will be ready to ride to the EE again.

WallaWallaZag
12-28-2015, 12:35 AM
felt like this year's version of zags was s16 solid with chance at repeat e8 with some luck...w/o karno gonna need a lot of growth from the guards and even more luck, but still think s16 is within reach.

best and worst part of karno's injury is that it has allowed sabonis to start blowing up...to the point where it might become in his best interest to not return next year (don't debate on this thread please) -- really like the chances of a deep run next year if he's back. of course if sabonis and the guards keep developing at the pace shown in the last few games, who knows...

Martin Centre Mad Man
01-02-2016, 10:58 PM
I believe. And so do the players.

ZagLawGrad
01-02-2016, 10:59 PM
I believe. And so do the players.

:cheers:

Reborn
01-03-2016, 12:13 AM
When we were behind by 16 with 7 min to go in the game, I asked myself this very question during a time out.....My answer was yes. I am happy to share that with you. I said it before we went into our runs. Believing is never giving up.