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View Full Version : Who will be this season's best mid-majors?



TexasZagFan
09-23-2016, 09:00 AM
http://www.espn.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/116004/who-will-be-this-seasons-best-mid-majors


While we donít consider Gonzaga a mid-major, we will include another WCC team that hasnít had the success and doesnít boast the budget of the ĎZags: Saint Maryís.

Randy Bennett went with the same starting lineup for all 35 games last season: Aussies Emmett Naar and Dane Pineau, forward Calvin Hermanson, BC transfer Joe Rahon and 6-foot-10 big man Evan Fitzner.

All five are back from a team that won 29 games and narrowly missed on getting to the NCAA tourney. Not only that, but Bennett also returns his top three reserves from a year ago.

No one knew quite what to expect from this fairly young and unproven bunch last season. The Gaels had lost all five starters, and Naar was the teamís most proven player having averaged 6.3 points per game.

The 6-foot-1 Naar was terrific a year ago as a sophomore, Pineau emerged as a double-double threat and Hermanson and Rahon were both double-figure scorers. Fitzner averaged 8.7 points and 4.4 boards in 23 minutes as a frosh so he should take a step forward.

So SMC had the same starting lineup for every game last year. What are the odds SMC avoids the injury bug this year? Not wishing them any ill will, but the odds are against them in that category. If they stay healthy, they've got a chance to make some noise.

MDABE80
09-23-2016, 09:08 AM
Tex...I was just reading the mid major assessment. I think SMC will be very difficult for us and others as well. Again though, their schedule is a bit on the weak side. I suspect BYU will make noise. Hope the WCC gets three programs in the dance. This will be an exciting season. 6 weeks till tip.
I'm surprised we aren't' getting more attention as we have so many new faces ...all of the good faces too. Seems odd as we are ranked with only 1 starter returning from last year. A bevy of competent bigs and superior kids out front. Patchwork of team but still superior.

TexasZagFan
09-23-2016, 09:15 AM
Tex...I was just reading the mid major assessment. I think SMC will be very difficult for us and others as well. Again though, their schedule is a bit on the weak side. I suspect BYU will make noise. Hope the WCC gets three programs in the dance. This will be an exciting season. 6 weeks till tip.
I'm surprised we aren't' getting more attention as we have so many new faces ...all of the good faces too. Seems odd as we are ranked with only 1 starter returning from last year. A bevy of competent bigs and superior kids out front. Patchwork of team but still superior.

Abe, it's my humble opinion that if Gonzaga can accept Melissa Click as a faculty member, then the coaching staff can assemble a formidable basketball machine from the shiny new parts. It may be ragged early on, but we'll get stronger as the year progresses. I just hope we have similar good luck on the injury front.

MDABE80
09-23-2016, 11:49 AM
lolol yep.....I still say that with some luck, we could run the table. We'll see. No matter, we'll have a dazzling team this year. ESPN will add more games once they see how good and talented this team is. It's interesting that the foreign born kids and the new US recruits haven't been given more press. BUT, as will all things we've seen over the years, they have to earn it. I cannot imagine the kids out front not being spectcular.

seacatfan
09-23-2016, 11:54 AM
Nobody is gonna run the table. I don't know why fans feel the need to throw that out there before the season begins. Not happening, don't worry about it.

MDABE80
09-23-2016, 12:10 PM
BS! It could happen with this talent. Probabl won't. I said LUCK is needed. I like the idea of having one of those historic seasons. GO ZAGS!

gonzagafan62
09-23-2016, 12:42 PM
They run a high pick and roll offense. It wasn't really on film how the executed it last year. Bulldogs figured it out in March. I don't think it's going to fool many this year. It's going to be defended better, but SMC will still win q lot of games. No tourney tho

Zag_Dad
09-23-2016, 01:57 PM
They run a high pick and roll offense. It wasn't really on film how the executed it last year. Bulldogs figured it out in March. I don't think it's going to fool many this year. It's going to be defended better, but SMC will still win q lot of games. No tourney tho

Hasn't SMC been running a high pick and roll offense as long as Bennet has been there? I'm not sure what there is to figure out... you know what they will do. I'm admittedly not a sophisticated basketball analyst, but that is what I always here when they describe the SMC offense.

seacatfan
09-23-2016, 02:23 PM
St. Joe's, Illinois, Wichita St., Kentucky have all come CLOSE to running the table in fairly recent years. I think all but Kentucky lost just before the Big Dance started. At some point keeping the perfect record in tact becomes a heavy weight dragging the players down, it's psychologically draining. It's really better not having to deal with it I think. Zags have plenty of talent, but so do some of their opponents. Even running the table just in conference is a tall order. St. Mary's and BYU loom as tough challenges, and there have been so many unexpected losses to inferior conference foes on the road over the years. I guess almost anything is POSSIBLE, but it seems so unlikely. I just don't like the idea of throwing that out there as an expectation for the season. It's unreasonable.

Bogozags
09-23-2016, 03:22 PM
St. Joe's, Illinois, Wichita St., Kentucky have all come CLOSE to running the table in fairly recent years. I think all but Kentucky lost just before the Big Dance started. At some point keeping the perfect record in tact becomes a heavy weight dragging the players down, it's psychologically draining. It's really better not having to deal with it I think. Zags have plenty of talent, but so do some of their opponents. Even running the table just in conference is a tall order. St. Mary's and BYU loom as tough challenges, and there have been so many unexpected losses to inferior conference foes on the road over the years. I guess almost anything is POSSIBLE, but it seems so unlikely. I just don't like the idea of throwing that out there as an expectation for the season. It's unreasonable.

Just to add, it is really hard to beat a team three times in one season...not saying it cannot be done as we have on frequent occasions but it is really difficult...SMC and GU run the same thing year in and year out...just saying

MontanaCoyote
09-23-2016, 05:32 PM
St. Joe's, Illinois, Wichita St., Kentucky have all come CLOSE to running the table in fairly recent years. I think all but Kentucky lost just before the Big Dance started. At some point keeping the perfect record in tact becomes a heavy weight dragging the players down, it's psychologically draining. It's really better not having to deal with it I think. Zags have plenty of talent, but so do some of their opponents. Even running the table just in conference is a tall order. St. Mary's and BYU loom as tough challenges, and there have been so many unexpected losses to inferior conference foes on the road over the years. I guess almost anything is POSSIBLE, but it seems so unlikely. I just don't like the idea of throwing that out there as an expectation for the season. It's unreasonable.

I may be wrong, but I think losing a couple of tough games can really help a team. I'm an old timer and I've always believed that when my school, Seattle U, beat Texas Western by a point in their last '65 regular season game, it helped
Texas Western get primed for The Dance where they beat Kentucky for the national championship.

It was Texas Western's only loss that year, but I think it helped them become the ultimate winners they were.

zagzilla
09-24-2016, 03:17 PM
Nobody is going undefeated. Silly to hijack the thread debating it.

SMC is going to be very difficult. Veteran, cohesive group with many minutes working together. SMC will have no fear of GU having won 2 of 3 last year.

I haven't seen the SMC schedule this year but I hope Bennett has given this team the opportunity it deserves to take some scalps out of conference.

Zags will be uneven in the beginning with 4 new starters + major new roles for player but they jell eventually and the streak will continue.

ZZ

zagzilla
09-24-2016, 03:28 PM
Just went and checked SMC's OOC schedule. Typically weak with only the away game at Stanford being noteworthy.

http://www.smcgaels.com/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=21400&SPID=12536&SPSID=101611

Home: Nevada, Prarie View A&M, San Jose St, UT Arlington, UC Irvine, W Kentucky, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, S Carolina St,

Away: Dayton, UAB, Stanford,

Gaels will be bubble fodder again this year if they don't win the autobid.

ZZ

maynard g krebs
09-24-2016, 03:55 PM
Just went and checked SMC's OOC schedule. Typically weak with only the away game at Stanford being noteworthy.

http://www.smcgaels.com/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=21400&SPID=12536&SPSID=101611

Home: Nevada, Prarie View A&M, San Jose St, UT Arlington, UC Irvine, W Kentucky, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, S Carolina St,

Away: Dayton, UAB, Stanford,

Gaels will be bubble fodder again this year if they don't win the autobid.

ZZ

YOu don't consider Dayton noteworthy? Been good the last few years.

zagzilla
09-24-2016, 04:12 PM
YOu don't consider Dayton noteworthy? Been good the last few years.

I guess you are right, the Flyers were a NCAA at large team last year. W Kentucky went to NIT losing in 1st round to BYU. Hope Gaels win those games.

Bogozags
09-25-2016, 11:28 AM
Just went and checked SMC's OOC schedule. Typically weak with only the away game at Stanford being noteworthy.

http://www.smcgaels.com/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=21400&SPID=12536&SPSID=101611

Home: Nevada, Prarie View A&M, San Jose St, UT Arlington, UC Irvine, W Kentucky, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, S Carolina St,

Away: Dayton, UAB, Stanford,

Gaels will be bubble fodder again this year if they don't win the autobid.

ZZ

ZZ - The Gaels could have but one loss entering conference play and if they beat Dayton and are unbeaten, they could be ranked close to the Top Ten...of course that is "IF"...

Am glad to see they are distributing money to two HBC's that should help those programs offset expenses.

IMO...GU is going to be an entirely different team. We will be extremely skilled but not have the two weapons that dominated games from last year...time will tell how we jell and compete.

BYU only has one TRUE OCC road game... @ Illinois. All their other challenging games are held at home or on neutral courts. BYU, with wins in LA and at Las Vegas, could also be undefeated entering WCC play.

I believe both SMC and BYU are going to be tough outs and could both make the Dance...both will need some luck

I think it would be great if all three of us were undefeated to start WCC play...that would really help our Conference RPI too...

Robzagnut
09-26-2016, 09:48 AM
Just to add, it is really hard to beat a team three times in one season...not saying it cannot be done as we have on frequent occasions but it is really difficult...

This is pet peeve of mine and I wish people would quit saying it. Statistically, it is very easy to beat a team the third time after you beat them twice already. The odds are even higher in the NFL. There are numerous articles about this including this one:

http://coachbobwalsh.com/2015/03/02/its-hard-to-beat-a-team-3-times/

TheGonzagaFactor
09-26-2016, 10:10 AM
ZZ - The Gaels could have but one loss entering conference play and if they beat Dayton and are unbeaten, they could be ranked close to the Top Ten...of course that is "IF"...

Am glad to see they are distributing money to two HBC's that should help those programs offset expenses.

IMO...GU is going to be an entirely different team. We will be extremely skilled but not have the two weapons that dominated games from last year...time will tell how we jell and compete.

BYU only has one TRUE OCC road game... @ Illinois. All their other challenging games are held at home or on neutral courts. BYU, with wins in LA and at Las Vegas, could also be undefeated entering WCC play.

I believe both SMC and BYU are going to be tough outs and could both make the Dance...both will need some luck

I think it would be great if all three of us were undefeated to start WCC play...that would really help our Conference RPI too...

Not a true road game. It's at the United Center in Chicago.

It's still a good test, nonetheless.

zagzilla
09-26-2016, 11:45 AM
[QUOTE=I think it would be great if all three of us were undefeated to start WCC play...that would really help our Conference RPI too...[/QUOTE]

I always root for the WCC on the OOC portion of the season-even BYU anad SMC. Hope there are lots of Marquee wins for the WCC to support a multi-bid scenario for the NCAA

ZZ

Mr Vulture
09-26-2016, 11:54 AM
I know the national "experts" love pointing out that St Mary's returns everyone important from their team last year. All I will say is that is great, except they played virtually no one OOC last year. Additionally, they lost 3 regular season WCC games and the conference tournament championship. I am going to stick with what I've said all offseason, I believe that Gonzaga and BYU are both going to be better the SMC this year.


http://www.espn.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/116004/who-will-be-this-seasons-best-mid-majors



So SMC had the same starting lineup for every game last year. What are the odds SMC avoids the injury bug this year? Not wishing them any ill will, but the odds are against them in that category. If they stay healthy, they've got a chance to make some noise.

Zagsker
09-27-2016, 06:11 AM
YOu don't consider Dayton noteworthy? Been good the last few years.

In the context of "St. Mary's and their scheduling"

Yes, Dayton would be classified as "noteworthy"