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View Full Version : Gut Feeling Check: Next Final Four



Malastein
05-24-2017, 08:06 PM
It's the off-season. Let's not worry about the program falling to pieces with a heavy focus on the departing players, but let's envision the future and think about when the Zags might return to the Final Four. Do you think they could make it next seaso? Or are they 5 years out? 10 years out? What is your gut feeling?

Coach Crazy
05-24-2017, 08:18 PM
'18-'19


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MTZag03
05-24-2017, 08:30 PM
5 years out. So 2021-2022.

gonzagafan62
05-24-2017, 08:32 PM
Not next season. Hopefully it's not another 2 decades

Outraged
05-24-2017, 08:40 PM
It's the off-season. Let's not worry about the program falling to pieces with a heavy focus on the departing players, but let's envision the future and think about when the Zags might return to the Final Four. Do you think they could make it next seaso? Or are they 5 years out? 10 years out? What is your gut feeling?

I think next year is possible. We have three or four Big's that will be in the NBA someday, a very good back court that has experience and length. I expect a faster motion offense with no let up on defense.

MDABE80
05-24-2017, 08:43 PM
1 Big and a PG away. Recruiting is key.

bartruff1
05-24-2017, 10:54 PM
WCC has a team in the FF about every 60 years...:D

Malastein
05-25-2017, 02:43 AM
WCC has a team in the FF about every 60 years...:D

Thank goodness that the Zags aren't a typical WCC team! My personal hunch is that it'll take 3 more seasons, but there's enough potential on the roster for it to happen next year if a few guys make major breakthroughs. There's been a few Gonzaga teams which were almost good enough, but this past team proved to be the most special yet. Coach Few has only gained respect over the years, and he's improved his staff again and again. The recipe for sustainable success is there, and hopefully it'll prove enough to breakthrough for a NCAA championship!!

Zagger
05-25-2017, 03:21 AM
One game at a time. Betting we have the point making guys/plays. I think it will boil down to defense. Can the replacements match the D of the 16-17 team? We'll find out :)

When I do think of all the current Zag players, to me it is Larsen that I know least about. We know we've got a lot of ground covered with Perkins, Melson, Tillie and J3. Those 4 are known guys and I fully anticipate all will be even better players for 17-18. It's how well Rui, Larsen, Norvell, Wade and Ayayi + additions add to the team. There's Beach too .... GU/Few is pretty darn good at getting the best out of who they have. I'd say we have a pretty good squad already to make a serious dent in the NCAAs. A Final Four repeat? At this point in time with a 'somewhat' incomplete roster ..... chatting about a FF is ... fun but with a dash/pinch/bit of comical tossed in.

thebigsmoove
05-25-2017, 05:00 AM
nobody knew we would have this kind of team this year, so lets leave all the predictions to the analysts who more often than not get egg on their face.

GoZags
05-25-2017, 05:14 AM
I am hopeful it'll happen in my lifetime ....

TravelinZag
05-25-2017, 05:18 AM
1 Big and a PG away. Recruiting is key.

Mostly agree. Two good bigs and 1 good PG away, given no more early departures and quick gel. Next year possible, but against odds; SS should be attainable. 2018-19 more likely. Anything beyond totally unknowable and dependent on players we haven't heard of, much less seen play together.

Goshzagit
05-25-2017, 06:48 AM
I plan to cherish last season for a long time.

Realistically, there is a very good chance, even probable one, we may never make it again. Not doom and gloom, just reality. Last season felt like the perfect storm -- we had 2 McDonald AA's on our roster. Highly doubt that ever happens again either.

Our first one and done. Our PG and Center were considered the 'best' at their position at the college level. More than one All-American on the same team as well.

Top 3 Defensive team in the Country. 3 bigs who were some of the best in GU history at guarding the rim. Also, won't happen at the same time.

One of the Top SG's on the West, Top-75 recruit, and 2nd leading scorer for his team was a GRAD TRANSFER to us. We will continue to get great transfers but with that pedigree on an already stacked team?

Heck, JIII was the leading scorer AND rebounder for his team before transferring to us. Combine with the #1 Center, arguably the best all around PG, one of the best 3pt shooters in Nation, a Top-10 NBA pick off the bench, and top young player via Europe. Not to mention 2 former Pac-12 All Conference players on our roster in the same season. We red-shirted the Illinois POY and Top-75 player as well. Will never happen again either.

The perfect storm of talent, situation (Karno), transfer(s) -- J3, Jordan, NWG, and elite freshman came together at the right time on the same year. We knew we had to take advantage...and they did.

Teams like Iowa St, Kansas St, Notre Dame, Pitt, Purdue, Xavier, Virginia, et al have NEVER made it to F4.

cggonzaga
05-25-2017, 06:55 AM
Next years squad surprises everyone after being extremely battle tested throughout the season. Frontcourt may be thin but extremely talented. Both starters will average near double doubles. Backcourt is very talented and deep. Could be a 3-4 loss team but no GU squad will be more prepared for the tournament than this one.

VinnyZag
05-25-2017, 07:38 AM
My guess is that some players on next year's roster play in another final four during their GU careers. I doubt that would happen in 2017-18, but the roster should be good enough in the subsequent years.

roxdoc
05-25-2017, 07:39 AM
Goshzagit - Very thoughtfully put. It was a perfect storm of terrific talent all come together. Hard to ever duplicate.

LongIslandZagFan
05-25-2017, 07:45 AM
If Zags snag Hepa AND Cherry... think sooner than later. Have to wait to see how recruiting shakes out... but dropping bigs in the NBA consistently is both a blessing and a curse. Biggest question mark for next year is Larsen. If he is a solid contributor alongside JW3... Zags could have a good season... a really good season.

GoZags
05-25-2017, 08:07 AM
I plan to cherish last season for a long time.

Realistically, there is a very good chance, even probable one, we may never make it again........

Teams like Iowa St, Kansas St, Notre Dame, Pitt, Purdue, Xavier, Virginia, et al have NEVER made it to F4.

Your point is well taken ... but UVA HAS made the Final Four .... just not recently. I was there at the Kingdome in '84 and watched them play. They also went in '81 (with Ralph Sampson).

Markburn1
05-25-2017, 08:51 AM
I'm of the opinion that for the next ten years or until Few retires, the Zags will continue to make the tournament and have a chance at deep runs. As we have seen over the last twenty years, matchups due to seeding is a huge factor. It's hard to reach a Final Four even when everything including talent and matchups fall into place. Getting to the second week of the tourney looks like a real possibility now on a yearly basis. From there, a couple breaks along with developed talent will put the Zags in a position to break into the Final Four again sooner and more often than the nationwide CBB fans and pundits expect.

gonzagafan62
05-25-2017, 09:14 AM
Your point is well taken ... but UVA HAS made the Final Four .... just not recently. I was there at the Kingdome in '84 and watched them play. They also went in '81 (with Ralph Sampson).

Purdue has too I believe

seacatfan
05-25-2017, 10:07 AM
Notre Dame went to the Final 4 in '78 w/ Digger (everybody's favorite commentator...) as the coach.

maynard g krebs
05-25-2017, 10:16 AM
Even last year's team, with 2 McDAA's and the Jabbar award winner, needed a fair amount of good fortune to make the FF- goal tending v NW, Mathews' 3 rattling in v W Va etc.

Could be next year, could be never. That said, I'm all in on the new kids, esp Norvell and Kispert. Love the film on Wade and Ayayi as well, though highlights can be deceiving (PMAC). The offense the next few years should be great, but the young guards/wings probably need a year under their belts to be elite. And w/ JW3 and probably Tillie gone after next yr, it's a question of whether their replacements are on a par w/ the bigs of the last few years.

FF's in a given year are a longshot for everyone. I'm not as freaked out as some people about the lack of instant payoff in recruiting. In fact, I think Ayayi alone makes this a very good spring recruiting season; most players sign in the fall. Seeing who's in the '18 class when November rolls around is gonna give us a much better read on this question. Hoping for Hepa and a big rim protector w/ some post moves.

My gut says given a couple of bigs that can compete w/ the elites nationally, Kispert and Norvell have a shot at leading the next group to greatness. And I'd probably add Wade based on what others have said, but the first two seem to exude confidence, smarts and unselfish team play. I'm just salivating to watch those guys.

ZagsObserver
05-25-2017, 10:19 AM
2019-2020. The 2018-2019 team will also be quite good assuming no one leaves early.

I see 2019-2020 as having the following starters: wade, ayayi/norvell, kispert, Hepa and Larsen (assuming tillie is gone). This team will have experience, talent and balance.

Zagdawg
05-25-2017, 10:27 AM
Stars aligning and the right match ups occurring do not happen very much. Without the transfers being able to get a year of experience with the team-- this was huge. Without Shem coming back from the injury and choosing to play rather than going pro. Without an All American big coming to the Zags because he though Shem was graduating. I actually think the loss on senior night helped the team in the long run with the focus and realization of how easily it could be over.

Many things need to happen --but it can happen again.

ZagsObserver
05-25-2017, 10:38 AM
Yep. Not easy. I think that if Tillie doesn't go after next season the Zags could go Final 4 in 2018-19. Will they, maybe not, but a pretty good shot at it.

GoZags
05-25-2017, 10:40 AM
Even last year's team, with 2 McDAA's and the Jabbar award winner, needed a fair amount of good fortune to make the FF- goal tending v NW, Mathews' 3 rattling in v W Va etc.

Could be next year, could be never. That said, I'm all in on the new kids, esp Norvell and Kispert. Love the film on Wade and Ayayi as well, though highlights can be deceiving (PMAC). The offense the next few years should be great, but the young guards/wings probably need a year under their belts to be elite. And w/ JW3 and probably Tillie gone after next yr, it's a question of whether their replacements are on a par w/ the bigs of the last few years.

FF's in a given year are a longshot for everyone. I'm not as freaked out as some people about the lack of instant payoff in recruiting. In fact, I think Ayayi alone makes this a very good spring recruiting season; most players sign in the fall. Seeing who's in the '18 class when November rolls around is gonna give us a much better read on this question. Hoping for Hepa and a big rim protector w/ some post moves.

My gut says given a couple of bigs that can compete w/ the elites nationally, Kispert and Norvell have a shot at leading the next group to greatness. And I'd probably add Wade based on what others have said, but the first two seem to exude confidence, smarts and unselfish team play. I'm just salivating to watch those guys.

Yes ... highlights CAN be deceiving.

What isn't "deceiving" is the flat out enthusiasm displayed by Tommy and the staff vis a vis Ayayi.

This kid is the real deal.

maynard g krebs
05-25-2017, 10:50 AM
Yes ... highlights CAN be deceiving.

What isn't "deceiving" is the flat out enthusiasm displayed by Tommy and the staff vis a vis Ayayi.

This kid is the real deal.

Thanks for affirming that. I'm sure you're right; I just try to maintain a bit of caution until seeing a full game, that's all. I was referring to both Wade and Ayayi in terms of just seeing video highlights, if that wasn't clear.

That vid is REALLY exciting; lots of high IQ plays.

thebigsmoove
05-25-2017, 11:38 AM
Teams like Iowa St, Kansas St, Notre Dame, Pitt, Purdue, Xavier, Virginia, et al have NEVER made it to F4.

Alright lets put this nonsense to bed

Almost all of these teams have made final fours:

Iowa State in 1944
Pittsburgh 1941
Purdue in 1969, 1980
Notre Dame in 1978
Virginia in 1981, 1984
Kansas St 4 times in 1948, 1951, 1958, and 1964

Xavier is the only one who has not yet made the final four on this list. come on man.

LongIslandZagFan
05-25-2017, 11:41 AM
Modern Era starts mid-80s... think that is where the stat of not having one comes into play. But I'd have to agree that UVA has one in the modern era... albeit at the beginning of it.

LongIslandZagFan
05-25-2017, 11:43 AM
Alright lets put this nonsense to bed

Almost all of these teams have made final fours:

Iowa State in 1944
Pittsburgh 1941
Purdue in 1969, 1980
Notre Dame in 1978
Virginia in 1981, 1984
Kansas St 4 times in 1948, 1951, 1958, and 1964

Xavier is the only one who has not yet made the final four on this list. come on man.

Modern Era. Going that far back means you might as consider Loyola or USF as powerhouses. UVA is the only one post expansion to 64.

thebigsmoove
05-25-2017, 11:51 AM
Modern Era. Going that far back means you might as consider Loyola or USF as powerhouses. UVA is the only one post expansion to 64.

A final four is a final four, we could chop it up any way to make one team look more relevant than others.

seacatfan
05-25-2017, 12:03 PM
The post in question did claim those schools had NEVER made it to a F4, so the correction is legit.

LongIslandZagFan
05-25-2017, 12:12 PM
A final four is a final four, we could chop it up any way to make one team look more relevant than others.

Not a true comparison... even UVA is techinically not modern era...



19391950: 8 teams
19511952: 16 teams
19531974: varied between 22 and 25 teams
19751978: 32 teams
1979: 40 teams
19801982: 48 teams
1983: 52 teams (four play-in games before the tournament)
1984: 53 teams (five play-in games before the tournament)


In other words... final four in the 40s meant winning a single game... even with 32 teams you are talking 3 compared to 5. The 48 teams had 1st round play-ins across the board... so a high seed got byes, meaning they STILL only had to win 3 to get there.

LongIslandZagFan
05-25-2017, 12:13 PM
The post in question did claim those schools had NEVER made it to a F4, so the correction is legit.

I'll still stick with most people only discuss modern era... but if you want to mix apples and oranges and call them watermelons... go for it.

The primary point is that the bar for a F4 is far higher in the modern era than in 40's through 1984.

thebigsmoove
05-25-2017, 12:21 PM
I'll still stick with most people only discuss modern era... but if you want to mix apples and oranges and call them watermelons... go for it.

The primary point is that the bar for a F4 is far higher in the modern era than in 40's through 1984.

Apparently we read two entirely different posts. The primary point that was made was that those schools never made final fours (100% false). Whether YOU or anyone else view final fours from before 1985 (the year the NCAA expanded to 64 teams) as valid, is in fact opinion.

LongIslandZagFan
05-25-2017, 12:23 PM
Apparently we read two entirely different posts. The primary point that was made was that those schools never made final fours (100% false). Whether YOU or anyone else view final fours from before 1985 (the year the NCAA expanded to 64 teams) as valid, is in fact opinion.

So be it... still doesn't make the things remotely the same thing.

thebigsmoove
05-25-2017, 12:25 PM
So be it... still doesn't make the things remotely the same thing.

It also doesn't make them any less real...This is the same argument i have to hear annually between UK and UL fans here in Kentucky. Constant bickering over how valid Kentucky's national titles are pre-1980. Its a moot point, Kentucky won those titles, Louisville didn't. End of story.

LongIslandZagFan
05-25-2017, 12:30 PM
It also doesn't make them any less real...This is the same argument i have to hear annually between UK and UL fans here in Kentucky. Constant bickering over how valid Kentucky's national titles are pre-1980. Its a moot point, Kentucky won those titles, Louisville didn't. End of story.

Like I said... if you want to think winning 1 game is the same as 5... go for it.

seacatfan
05-25-2017, 12:32 PM
Well jeez, if we want to get all revisionist and make up our own guidelines for what counts and what doesn't...most of the modern era w/ such a significant talent drain of players declaring early for the NBA draft every year, maybe no Final 4's should actually count anymore. Somebody mentioned in another thread that Sabonis, Collins and NWG would all have eligibility left and what if? all those players were still in Spokane. Can you imagine if Kentucky and Duke had all of their guys still on campus from the last 2-3 years?

Again, the post in question said NEVER, it didn't make any distinction about eras. Pretty big fail in terms of lack of fact checking.

thebigsmoove
05-25-2017, 12:33 PM
Pretty big fail in terms of lack of fact checking.

Boom! goes the dynamite.

Side Note: I was looking for the like button for your post Seacatfan. Then i realized this isnt facebook. :lmao:

LongIslandZagFan
05-25-2017, 12:37 PM
Boom! goes the dynamite.

Side Note: I was looking for the like button for your post Seacatfan. Then i realized this isnt facebook. :lmao:

Like I said... JMHO... that they aren't remotely the same thing and to say they are is a stretch. I'd spot you the 70s and early 80s... 8 team tourney... sorry mentioning those years... that is a joke.

thebigsmoove
05-25-2017, 12:42 PM
Like I said... JMHO...

And ultimately thats the point. When Kentucky says they have 17 Final Fours, 12 Title Appearances, and 8 National Championships. You cant really refute that. Its fact. Its not Opinion. We could argue all day long about how easy it was or wasnt to win titles in any given era. Like how North Carolina fans have a tendency to claim Helms titles, they exist, whether they are valid or not is irrelevant. Shoot, you wanna get down to it, I guess we need to throw out every College Football Championship ever...because none of those teams have to win 6 games to win the title...See how silly that gets? Its sports history, like it or not.

seacatfan
05-25-2017, 12:53 PM
It's really two separate conversations.

Is winning 4 games to get to a Final 4 harder than winning 1 game? Of course. The game has evolved over time. I'm not debating about that. It's a simple matter of whether teams officially made a Final 4 according to NCAA records.

I was born in '72, didn't really start paying attention to college hoops til the early 80's (UNC vs. Georgetown is the first Championship Game I actually remember seeing and being aware of the importance of). I don't really care what happened in the 40's 50's etc., but they still happened even if I wasn't alive to witness it.

CDC84
05-26-2017, 12:46 PM
Back to the original topic.....I have no idea when the next final four run will take place, but I am pretty certain that Mark Few will get back there one or two more times before he hangs it up. Certainly one more time. The hard thing is getting to your first one. If you have a great program in place and a loyal coach, it just seems as if the 2nd run takes less work.

Reborn
05-26-2017, 08:58 PM
Back to the original topic.....I have no idea when the next final four run will take place, but I am pretty certain that Mark Few will get back there one or two more times before he hangs it up. Certainly one more time. The hard thing is getting to your first one. If you have a great program in place and a loyal coach, it just seems as if the 2nd run takes less work.

Next year will be a very interesting year I think......

amaronizag
05-27-2017, 12:47 AM
Larson, Wade, and Norvell have two years of rust to work through, but they'll be ready. I'm really excited about all 3 of those players and I expect to see them put up a lot of points next year. I'm hoping Kispert is all healed up and ready to go. What a specimen. I remember how thrilled I was to hear Josh Perkins had signed with GU. What an exciting prospect he was to me then and he still is today. We all know how good Melson, J3, and Tillie played last year. Everybody will realize very early in the season how good they are. I expect they will be gaining confidence and playing well together by PK80. This team will shoot the lights out. And if they play defense as well as I think they will, they'll make another deep run in March. Ya, we still need a backup center, but Larsen, J3, and Tillie can carry the weight. If everybody stays healthy, look out.

gonzagafan62
05-27-2017, 06:08 AM
LIZF, question yes it may have been easier to get to the final four bracket in that era but it still wasn't easy to get to the final four. Still had to be one of the top 8 teams in the country to be in that tourney.

These days a bunch of undeserving teams make the tourney and flame out quicker than that spring fling I had a decade ago. Why does that make this years tournament so much better? It doesn't. All it means is now there's a likelihood that a team that isn't deserving of a final four can get there

Coach Crazy
05-27-2017, 06:46 AM
LIZF, question yes it may have been easier to get to the final four bracket in that era but it still wasn't easy to get to the final four. Still had to be one of the top 8 teams in the country to be in that tourney.

These days a bunch of undeserving teams make the tourney and flame out quicker than that spring fling I had a decade ago. Why does that make this years tournament so much better? It doesn't. All it means is now there's a likelihood that a team that isn't deserving of a final four can get there

There is certainly some contextual nuance to the argument for the validity of titles that early on. But not enough to bring them level with the modern era.

You say undeserving, but given the landscape of college basketball, you need a system of tournament that facilitates the infrastructure of college basketball as is presently existing.


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maynard g krebs
05-27-2017, 09:29 AM
One thing about the old days that hadn't been mentioned is that the tournament only involved conference champions. I believe USC with Paul Westphal was ranked second in the country but UCLA won the league and the only tourney berth. Same deal with Maryland w/ Elmore and Tom McMillen, top 5 I think, behind UNC and Dean Smith.

The argument could be made that having to be conference champs to be eligible made it a bigger accomplishment. You had to compete hard and be GREAT all year to get in. Fifth place Arizona wouldn't even have been eligible to compete the year they won, one of many examples. UConn a couple years ago. Couldn't do it w/ just a hot 3 weeks in March.

jazzdelmar
05-27-2017, 10:48 AM
One thing about the old days that hadn't been mentioned is that the tournament only involved conference champions. I believe USC with Paul Westphal was ranked second in the country but UCLA won the league and the only tourney berth. Same deal with Maryland w/ Elmore and Tom McMillen, top 5 I think, behind UNC and Dean Smith.

The argument could be made that having to be conference champs to be eligible made it a bigger accomplishment. You had to compete hard and be GREAT all year to get in. Fifth place Arizona wouldn't even have been eligible to compete the year they won, one of many examples. UConn a couple years ago. Couldn't do it w/ just a hot 3 weeks in March.

Ah, but the NIT was spectacular. One year coach McGuire turned down the NCs for the NIT.

maynard g krebs
05-27-2017, 11:30 AM
Ah, but the NIT was spectacular. One year coach McGuire turned down the NCs for the NIT.

Yup. It was considered a really big deal when Walt Frazier led Southern Ill to the NIT title, as best example that comes to mind off the bat.

But my point was in relation to those who say it was easier to win the NCAA title w/ less teams. That was true, but offset (maybe more than offset; matter of opinion) by the fact that it was so much harder to get in.