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zag67
08-09-2017, 06:07 PM
I have been reading and thinking about next year's basketball team. I am going to assume at this late time we will not have any unknown players joining the team. So I would like to say that this team is going to be a lot better than what many people are saying. Here is my logic. Remember I am the optimist. And this is a set of players that played in the NCAA national championship game.

First let us look at the experience that we have coming back:
Point guard - Perkins - Averaged 29 minutes, shot .418 percent, 2.3 rebounds and 119 assists
2 guard - Melson - 24 minutes, .447 percent, 3.2 rebounds and 58 assists
strong forward - Williams - 29 minutes, .582 percent, 6.4 rebounds and 57 assists
Tillie 12 minutes, .511 percent, 3.2 rebounds

Reserves: Rui and Jones - Averaged about 5 minutes,

Redshirts: Larsen - injury
Norvell

New players: Jesse Wade - Point/Shooting guard
Ayayi - Combo guard
Kispert -Wing, Small forward

I am also going to assume no injuries for now;
Starters:
Perkins
Melson
Norvell
Tillie
Williams

Wade will be the first point guard off the bench. He has had 2 years to mature and should be ready. Ayayi (if he does not redshirt) will also give us major minutes for defense
Shooting guard/wing will have Rui, Kispert as backups. Rui had a super summer and his English understanding should be much better. He has great basketball skills. Kispert (I have not seen) seems to be fantastic as far as the coaches are concerned. Will give us good backup minutes. You also have Jones who will be a solid defender and able to give good minutes.
Larsen will be a great reserve with Williams and Tillie. Also could be a starter before the end of the season. Last year the coaches were believing that he would be able to help last year.

This is more than we have had in most seasons. We have solid minutes played and players that have had the capability to watch. We are going to be super.

229SintoZag
08-09-2017, 06:30 PM
I have been reading and thinking about next year's basketball team. I am going to assume at this late time we will not have any unknown players joining the team. So I would like to say that this team is going to be a lot better than what many people are saying. Here is my logic. Remember I am the optimist. And this is a set of players that played in the NCAA national championship game.

First let us look at the experience that we have coming back:
Point guard - Perkins - Averaged 29 minutes, shot .418 percent, 2.3 rebounds and 119 assists
2 guard - Melson - 24 minutes, .447 percent, 3.2 rebounds and 58 assists
strong forward - Williams - 29 minutes, .582 percent, 6.4 rebounds and 57 assists
Tillie 12 minutes, .511 percent, 3.2 rebounds

Reserves: Rui and Jones - Averaged about 5 minutes,

Redshirts: Larsen - injury
Norvell

New players: Jesse Wade - Point/Shooting guard
Ayayi - Combo guard
Kispert -Wing, Small forward

I am also going to assume no injuries for now;
Starters:
Perkins
Melson
Norvell
Tillie
Williams

Wade will be the first point guard off the bench. He has had 2 years to mature and should be ready. Ayayi (if he does not redshirt) will also give us major minutes for defense
Shooting guard/wing will have Rui, Kispert as backups. Rui had a super summer and his English understanding should be much better. He has great basketball skills. Kispert (I have not seen) seems to be fantastic as far as the coaches are concerned. Will give us good backup minutes. You also have Jones who will be a solid defender and able to give good minutes.
Larsen will be a great reserve with Williams and Tillie. Also could be a starter before the end of the season. Last year the coaches were believing that he would be able to help last year.

This is more than we have had in most seasons. We have solid minutes played and players that have had the capability to watch. We are going to be super.

I agree with this but I think you may be underselling Larsen. If he is healthy my bet is that he becomes a major contributor and this year's pleasant "surprise." What i hear is that he has made the most of his injury year and that he will be a stronger player than most expect. I can't promise this, of course, but I just think Larsen is a good bet to be this year's surprise contributor and potential starter.

I think Norvell will be fabulous but I don't expect to see a three guard lineup that much this year. The time at the 3 spot should be one of the more interesting things to watch this season.

Goshzagit
08-09-2017, 06:41 PM
I agree with all this, yet makes the lack of depth underneath stuck out like a sore thumb.

A glaring weakness.

IF everyone stays perfectly healthy, then great, we have a fun, versatile, talented roster/team.

IF even one of Larsen, Tillie, J III get hurt, we are toast.

I know we have a competitive team and one which can off set the lack of size, but that is assuming we don't have one injury of our true frontcourt guys.

As I've said since last April, I'm baffled we haven't sought more depth in the frontcourt this off season.

Our backcourt is exciting, our wings are best they've been in a long while, and frontcourt is versatile, but woefully thin.

DixieZag
08-09-2017, 07:48 PM
I agree with all this, yet makes the lack of depth underneath stuck out like a sore thumb.

A glaring weakness.

IF everyone stays perfectly healthy, then great, we have a fun, versatile, talented roster/team.

IF even one of Larsen, Tillie, J III get hurt, we are toast.

I know we have a competitive team and one which can off set the lack of size, but that is assuming we don't have one injury of our true frontcourt guys.

As I've said since last April, I'm baffled we haven't sought more depth in the frontcourt this off season.

Yep.

Perhaps they sought it. If you added Collins to that grouop, it would suddenly look much better. I suspect they didn't think he'd be leaving after one year.

bartruff1
08-09-2017, 07:51 PM
Yep.

Perhaps they sought it. If you added Collins to that grouop, it would suddenly look much better. I suspect they didn't think he'd be leaving after one year.

sigh...

willandi
08-09-2017, 07:57 PM
In my opinion. if there is an injury to the front line, all the other teams had better watch out! The Zags have so many weapons that they will run teams into the ground. If forced to play small ball, can you imagine Perkins, Melson and Norvell as the backcourt with Tillie and JW3 the front? Subbing in Wade and Ayayi, Rui and Corey, spelled by Jones?

Pick 8 of the team and the Zags win the WCC.

Zagger
08-10-2017, 05:46 AM
In my opinion. if there is an injury to the front line, all the other teams had better watch out! The Zags have so many weapons that they will run teams into the ground. If forced to play small ball, can you imagine Perkins, Melson and Norvell as the backcourt with Tillie and JW3 the front? Subbing in Wade and Ayayi, Rui and Corey, spelled by Jones?

Pick 8 of the team and the Zags win the WCC.

My sentiments too - and I side with 229 on Larsen. This team is going to be hard to beat - quick. Wouldn't surprise me if they come close to a record on steals and swats.

TheGonzagaFactor
08-10-2017, 06:18 AM
In addition to what's already been said...

Doesn't this team have the potential to be the best 3 point shooting team in Zag history? I know someone probably mentions this every year, but...

We know Perk, Melson, Tillie can shoot from deep.

JW3 was a pretty good 3 point shooter last season except for the last few games of WCC play. His 3pt% went from 35% to 40% in the last two seasons.

We've seen that Wade and Norvell can light it up, we just need to see it at the NCAA level without the volume of shots they got in HS.

I've heard Kispert can shoot it and Ayayi is a decent shooter from the clips I've seen.

Rui might end up being the best 3 point shooter in the group. I'm not sure of his shooting % from 3 in the FIBA U19s, but that jump shot looked refined and smooth as he hit contested 3s with confidence. #RUIDICULOUS

If Larsen can shoot the 3 at all to keep people honest, we could have a 9-10 man rotation made up entirely of good 3 point shooters.


This is fun, being able to look forward to this season with a new-look team without the "F4 or bust" pressure. Of course we want to go back every year, but it's so nice to have that specific pressure relieved.

DixieZag
08-10-2017, 06:42 AM
sigh...

Was responding to a comment about the staff not bringing in another big and what they saw last year at this time when making recruiting priorities. Not at all a comment on Collins.

bartruff1
08-10-2017, 06:50 AM
If it doesn't fit, you must acquit ....

kitzbuel
08-10-2017, 07:31 AM
I agree with this but I think you may be underselling Larsen. If he is healthy my bet is that he becomes a major contributor and this year's pleasant "surprise." What i hear is that he has made the most of his injury year and that he will be a stronger player than most expect. I can't promise this, of course, but I just think Larsen is a good bet to be this year's surprise contributor and potential starter.

I think Norvell will be fabulous but I don't expect to see a three guard lineup that much this year. The time at the 3 spot should be one of the more interesting things to watch this season.

I have said before, the more minutes Larsen plays this season, the better this team will be. I really hope he earns lots of minutes. We do have Kispert to add some depth, not a bad situation at all. Granted, we would all like to not have him thrown into the deep end this season, but he is there and is absolutely viable.

maynard g krebs
08-10-2017, 09:39 AM
IF even one of Larsen, Tillie, J III get hurt, we are toast.

I know we have a competitive team and one which can off set the lack of size, but that is assuming we don't have one injury of our true frontcourt guys.



Two years ago, it was basically a 6 player rotation with only Sabonis and Wiltjer in the frontcourt after Shem went down. Mostly Dranginis was the backup 4 when there was foul trouble or one of them needed a blow. And that team blew out the 6 and 3 seeds and should have made the E8.

This yr's team, if they lose a big, still have Rui and CK, who are both capable of playing the 4 on the college level. Both can be highly effective there against most teams imo. Look at what Oregon did w/ Dillon Brooks at the 4 last year; made the final 4 after Boucher went down. Rui and CK are very capable of playing the 4 in a similar fashion if needed.

Certainly everybody needs to stay healthy to increase the likelihood of a deep run, but like 2 years ago, I think even if there's an injury to a big, the team will be far from "toast". More size, depth and versatility than that team.

As to recruiting a quality 4th big, that's a tough sell with limited minutes available behind the existing 3. Might be better with Rui/CK filling that 4th big role anyway, than having a marginally talented big body. I'm sure the coaches were trying to find one, but my guess is that unless it's an impact player, they'd rather go a bit smaller in case of injury/fouls.

And we as fans got a bit spoiled by the unexpected front line depth last year; Shem wasn't expected to be there when Collins signed, so last year could have been a 3 man rotation as well. Really unusual, a bit of a freak actually, to have 4 bigs of last yr's quality on a college team.

MDABE80
08-10-2017, 10:10 AM
Two years ago, it was basically a 6 player rotation with only Sabonis and Wiltjer in the frontcourt after Shem went down. Mostly Dranginis was the backup 4 when there was foul trouble or one of them needed a blow. And that team blew out the 6 and 3 seeds and should have made the E8.

This yr's team, if they lose a big, still have Rui and CK, who are both capable of playing the 4 on the college level. Both can be highly effective there against most teams imo. Look at what Oregon did w/ Dillon Brooks at the 4 last year; made the final 4 after Boucher went down. Rui and CK are very capable of playing the 4 in a similar fashion if needed.

Certainly everybody needs to stay healthy to increase the likelihood of a deep run, but like 2 years ago, I think even if there's an injury to a big, the team will be far from "toast". More size, depth and versatility than that team.

As to recruiting a quality 4th big, that's a tough sell with limited minutes available behind the existing 3. Might be better with Rui/CK filling that 4th big role anyway, than having a marginally talented big body. I'm sure the coaches were trying to find one, but my guess is that unless it's an impact player, they'd rather go a bit smaller in case of injury/fouls.

And we as fans got a bit spoiled by the unexpected front line depth last year; Shem wasn't expected to be there when Collins signed, so last year could have been a 3 man rotation as well. Really unusual, a bit of a freak actually, to have 4 bigs of last yr's quality on a college team.

And wasn't it that team that was lucky to get in to the NCAA tournament? McClellan came alive for the last 10 games to get the Zags in the tournament. If you recall, that team was short on adequate guard play. The bigs did their part and did very well. And if you really dig into the data, that McClellan team won close ones with defense. Last year's team played hard defense. 3 pt shooting at the end of the season wilted .
I doubt this team will be an offensive juggernaut. We have good players. I'm not certain who will be great. One thing often overlooked in our discussions is who plays defense. I suspect that'll be key the entire season.

NotoriousZ
08-10-2017, 10:53 AM
I agree with all this, yet makes the lack of depth underneath stuck out like a sore thumb.

A glaring weakness.

IF everyone stays perfectly healthy, then great, we have a fun, versatile, talented roster/team.

IF even one of Larsen, Tillie, J III get hurt, we are toast.

I know we have a competitive team and one which can off set the lack of size, but that is assuming we don't have one injury of our true frontcourt guys.

As I've said since last April, I'm baffled we haven't sought more depth in the frontcourt this off season.

Our backcourt is exciting, our wings are best they've been in a long while, and frontcourt is versatile, but woefully thin.

Disagree. If we lost two of them, we could be in trouble. But Maynard is right in that Rui would slide right into the 4 spot (easily). Kispert would get more time at the wing and the Zags would not miss a beat. Put me in the glass half full section.

gbnyba17
08-10-2017, 12:18 PM
Speaking of front court depth... what ever happened to the power forward transfer we were recruiting (I think Hawkins?)?

amaronizag
08-10-2017, 01:08 PM
I have high hopes for Larsen and think he will contribute big time this season, as will J3. I also have high hopes for Tillie. Sure, there are others less well suited that can fill in at the 4 if an injury pops up, but I'm also concerned about foul trouble. Even without injury, fouls will make the thin front court a glaring weak spot. Injury AND foul troubles would be too much. Still really hoping for another big. If that doesn't happen, oh well, we dance with who we got, but we're much better with a backup center.

cjm720
08-10-2017, 01:32 PM
I think our front court is fine...we had an embarrassment of riches last year that arguably no team in the country could match. Guards and defense help to win championships (and good referees lol) more than bigs.

Reborn
08-10-2017, 02:29 PM
Speaking of front court depth... what ever happened to the power forward transfer we were recruiting (I think Hawkins?)?

I asked the same question a few days ago. Got no answer. So don't expect any either. No one knows.

Like last year I am saving my yearly profection until after Thanksgiving. Hard to make a prediction if you have nothing to base it on. Here are the guys I have never seen play Div I. Norvell; Wade; Ayayi; Kispert; Larsen; Thats half the team. Rui and Jones played very very little. We have one double didgit scorer coming back. I think I will wait to see them play a few games. I think the thing that troubles me the most is that Few really never went out to get anybody good. I am not sure why but he certainly could have. I have no doubts. I definitely do not see the Zags making it to the Final Four; and feel they will have had a great season if they make it to the Sweet 16. these are feelings in early august though and not my predictions.

ZagzKrak
08-10-2017, 03:00 PM
Perkins...was co-pg/Leader of a team that went to the Sweet 16 and National Champ. game......pretty good start to a GU pg..he stays all 4 years he will probably be the leader in wins from the PG spot.

Melson....been the 2 or 3 on teams that went to the Elite 8, Sweet 16, National Champ game.....best on the ball defender we have.

J3 and Tillie..that is half of our front court last year and they will only be better this year.

With that line up alone you can throw in any slightly above average guard and we win the WCC...March is a toss up every year...all you can hope for is to make the dance and see what happens.

VaBeachZAG
08-10-2017, 03:33 PM
Speaking of front court depth... what ever happened to the power forward transfer we were recruiting (I think Hawkins?)?

We have open scholarships, and I don't care what anyone says, this team would be measurably better with a fourth quality big. I can't believe Few would not pounce on another quality big if one were to be had. Therefore, the only conclusion is that throughout the entire country and Europe there is not a big for which there is a mutual interest. Oh well.

CdAZagFan
08-10-2017, 06:15 PM
We have open scholarships, and I don't care what anyone says, this team would be measurably better with a fourth quality big.

Agreed... I would definitely feel better going into the NCAA tourney with some quality bigs. Don't want to have to rely on outside shooting when the physicality gets much tougher and scoring gets harder.

willandi
08-10-2017, 06:19 PM
Every school would feel better with quality bigs.

I'm sure that when Few talked to the Grad transfers, they were told that they could be a part of a great team and compete for a spot. None wanted that uncertainty.

I would rather have a team of players that like each other and play hard than have the atmosphere disrupted by a bad apple. I don't know that any of that is the case, but it is what makes the most sense to me.

Reborn
08-10-2017, 07:07 PM
Every school would feel better with quality bigs.

I'm sure that when Few talked to the Grad transfers, they were told that they could be a part of a great team and compete for a spot. None wanted that uncertainty.

I would rather have a team of players that like each other and play hard than have the atmosphere disrupted by a bad apple. I don't know that any of that is the case, but it is what makes the most sense to me.

I totally agree. However none of us knows why he did not find someone; and as been said it would help to have another post player. As you know from my posts I love these players and I believe the future is really bright. My concern is the lack of scoring in double digits from those players returning and most likely defense because it does take time to learn to play defense as a team. But believe me I am hopeful/

DixieZag
08-10-2017, 09:02 PM
JWIII and Tillie will be a very good front court. That's a ton of firepower. I don't think Tillie is that big a step down from Collins. I don't expect Tllie to be here next year, that's pretty special.

cggonzaga
08-10-2017, 10:25 PM
I agree with all this, yet makes the lack of depth underneath stuck out like a sore thumb.

A glaring weakness.

IF everyone stays perfectly healthy, then great, we have a fun, versatile, talented roster/team.

IF even one of Larsen, Tillie, J III get hurt, we are toast.

I know we have a competitive team and one which can off set the lack of size, but that is assuming we don't have one injury of our true frontcourt guys.

As I've said since last April, I'm baffled we haven't sought more depth in the frontcourt this off season.

Our backcourt is exciting, our wings are best they've been in a long while, and frontcourt is versatile, but woefully thin.

Simply look at Villanova, South Carolina and Oregon the past few years, even Kansas. Bigs are nice to have but not necessary to win. We've had an embarrassment of riches the past few years down low and still have 3 really good ones. However I think the era of the guard/wing is about to begin at GU.

maynard g krebs
08-10-2017, 11:35 PM
GU has 5 players capable of playing the 4 and/or 5 spots in college basketball, not 3, in my opinion. Agree w/ suggestions above that prospective bigs being recruited this spring/summer see better opportunities elsewhere. Anybody who has been a starter/dbl figure scorer and is a grad transfer from a mid major school wants to be sure of a major role on his new team.

It would be interesting to see how many college teams have more than 3 frontcourt players the caliber of JW3, Tillie and Larsen, along with a 6'8 freak athlete projected by some as a first rounder who is certainly capable of playing down low. Not to mention CK, 6'6 with linebacker strength, and savvy and toughness.

Maybe Kentucky, Arizona, Duke and a handful of others.

A lineup of, say, JW3, Rui, Kispert, Norvell and Perkins goes 6'9, 6'8, 6'6 or 7, 6'5 and 6'3 according to listed heights at least. That is by college standards a big, skilled, athletic group that can all shoot and pass, and you have Larsen, Tillie taking a breather w/ those 5 on the floor. A group of versatile 6'5 to 6'8 guys with multiposition ability can give you different ways to play and cover for injuries and foul trouble.

bartruff1
08-11-2017, 04:46 AM
They are going to be exciting to watch...

DixieZag
08-11-2017, 06:25 AM
They are going to be exciting to watch...

If you've got Tillie, JWIII, and Rui out at the same time, the hoop will be shaking a lot. Time to pull out the ally-oop plays that served Turiaf so well.

jazzdelmar
08-11-2017, 06:50 AM
If you've got Tillie, JWIII, and Rui out at the same time, the hoop will be shaking a lot. Time to pull out the ally-oop plays that served Turiaf so well.

As long as you bring back Blake as well, the very best at it we have ever had.

JPtheBeasta
08-11-2017, 08:20 AM
As long as you bring back Blake as well, the very best at it we have ever had.
Those were good times. I miss the half-court and 3/4-court alley oops.

zag buddy
08-11-2017, 10:10 AM
After reading this thread the following analogy came to my mind. This years team is like a room full of bright lights that light up the gym. The success of this years team will be when one of them starts blinking will they get the ball to another player who is shinning bright rather than trying to stay bright themselves. If they can recognize the hot player of the game feed him until he's not and focus in on another hot player then they will be amazing. If on the other hand egos get involved we are in trouble. This could be the most exiting team we have seen in years because every one of them is a shooter and they should be jacking them up at a very rapid pace. We very well could have off nights and lose games because we do not have a dominate reliable go to player. But if you love as I do players shooting skills on display, this could be a great year.

willandi
08-11-2017, 10:44 AM
After reading this thread the following analogy came to my mind. This years team is like a room full of bright lights that light up the gym. The success of this years team will be when one of them starts blinking will they get the ball to another player who is shinning bright rather than trying to stay bright themselves. If they can recognize the hot player of the game feed him until he's not and focus in on another hot player then they will be amazing. If on the other hand egos get involved we are in trouble. This could be the most exciting team we have seen in years because every one of them is a shooter and they should be jacking them up at a very rapid pace. We very well could have off nights and lose games because we do not have a dominate reliable go to player. But if you love as I do players shooting skills on display, this could be a great year.

I fixed that in my reply! Rather have them the most exciting than the most exiting.

MileHigh
08-11-2017, 10:52 AM
Put me down as one that thinks they should not try and sign a grad transfer big and should save the scholarships for next year.

Basketball is changing and this might be a good year for Few, based on his personnel, to start tweaking his system some and go smaller without the mandatory post touch on every possesion. I remember reading a stat last year that Gonzaga led the nation last year in percentage of "post possesions" per game (where the ball went to the block for either a shot or a kick out) and it served the Zags well, but a lot of teams in College and the NBA are going to more of a 4 out scheme with 4 shooters and one big guy. ideally one of the perimeter player is a "stretch 4" that can also guard a PF on the other team and help rebound, but in terms of traditional back to the basket bigs, the trend is going away from playing more than one (if any) at a time.
Gonzaga has Larson, Tillie, and Williams on the roster, who are all at their best on the block. That is plenty at that position if you assume that for stretches of the game you might only have one of them is on the court. Playing a 6-6 or 6-7 guy as your 2nd biggest guy on the floor creates match up nightmares for teams that have big slow footed PF's.

cggonzaga
08-11-2017, 10:55 AM
GU has 5 players capable of playing the 4 and/or 5 spots in college basketball, not 3, in my opinion. Agree w/ suggestions above that prospective bigs being recruited this spring/summer see better opportunities elsewhere. Anybody who has been a starter/dbl figure scorer and is a grad transfer from a mid major school wants to be sure of a major role on his new team.

It would be interesting to see how many college teams have more than 3 frontcourt players the caliber of JW3, Tillie and Larsen, along with a 6'8 freak athlete projected by some as a first rounder who is certainly capable of playing down low. Not to mention CK, 6'6 with linebacker strength, and savvy and toughness.

Maybe Kentucky, Arizona, Duke and a handful of others.

A lineup of, say, JW3, Rui, Kispert, Norvell and Perkins goes 6'9, 6'8, 6'6 or 7, 6'5 and 6'3 according to listed heights at least. That is by college standards a big, skilled, athletic group that can all shoot and pass, and you have Larsen, Tillie taking a breather w/ those 5 on the floor. A group of versatile 6'5 to 6'8 guys with multiposition ability can give you different ways to play and cover for injuries and foul trouble.

Couldn't agree more with you and MileHigh more. Having bigs is a luxury in college basketball.

jazzdelmar
08-11-2017, 11:23 AM
Those were good times. I miss the half-court and 3/4-court alley oops.

Cory loved it more than even we did.

zagfan24
08-11-2017, 11:55 AM
GU has 5 players capable of playing the 4 and/or 5 spots in college basketball, not 3, in my opinion. Agree w/ suggestions above that prospective bigs being recruited this spring/summer see better opportunities elsewhere. Anybody who has been a starter/dbl figure scorer and is a grad transfer from a mid major school wants to be sure of a major role on his new team.

It would be interesting to see how many college teams have more than 3 frontcourt players the caliber of JW3, Tillie and Larsen, along with a 6'8 freak athlete projected by some as a first rounder who is certainly capable of playing down low. Not to mention CK, 6'6 with linebacker strength, and savvy and toughness.

Maybe Kentucky, Arizona, Duke and a handful of others.

A lineup of, say, JW3, Rui, Kispert, Norvell and Perkins goes 6'9, 6'8, 6'6 or 7, 6'5 and 6'3 according to listed heights at least. That is by college standards a big, skilled, athletic group that can all shoot and pass, and you have Larsen, Tillie taking a breather w/ those 5 on the floor. A group of versatile 6'5 to 6'8 guys with multiposition ability can give you different ways to play and cover for injuries and foul trouble.

Great post. The Zags actually continue to have a pretty loaded frontcourt compared to many other teams; may never again see 4 bigs with the level of talent they had the past year...that required a lot of luck to all come together (karnowski's extra year, freshman burger boy, a transfer, and much-better-than-expected-from-the-start Tillie). I really think that Rui and Kispert are a solid insurance policy if something would happen to one of the 3 primary frontcourt guys. Given the versatility of lineup combos used at this point I am not that concerned about front court presence per se.

If there's one thing that worries me with this year's club, it's who will be able to get THAT bucket....not just at end of games, but the one to stop a run from the opposing team, or ignite a comeback, or just when it's really, really needed. Last year NWG was able to do so almost at will, and Collins was a blessing as a second option in those types of situations. Lots of solid offensive players in this group, but will be interesting to see if somebody becomes established as the go-to need a bucket scorer.

mgadfly
08-11-2017, 10:23 PM
I'm very excited about this team but ...

NWG vs Perkins = advantage NWG
Perkins vs Norvell = advantage Perkins
Matthews vs Melson (sr) = tie
JW3 vs JW3 (sr) = advantage JW3 (sr)
Shem vs Tillie = advantage Shem
Collins vs Larsen = advantage Collins
Tillie vs Rui = advantage Tillie
Melson (jr) vs whoever gets this last spot in the rotation = advantage Melson (jr)

I think that is 6 in favor of last year, 1 in favor of this year, and 1 tie. It might be a very fun team to watch. They may win the WCC and make a run in the tournament too. But I was very excited going into last year because we were adding very known (in my opinion) high quality players. Two McD's plus two guys who were very successful in major conference play. We lost three of those 4 guys plus our 5 year center. There is no way, in my opinion, that we don't take a substantial step back this season. I'm thinking 30-6.

willandi
08-12-2017, 07:02 AM
I'm very excited about this team but ...

NWG vs Perkins = advantage NWG
Perkins vs Norvell = advantage Perkins
Matthews vs Melson (sr) = tie
JW3 vs JW3 (sr) = advantage JW3 (sr)
Shem vs Tillie = advantage Shem
Collins vs Larsen = advantage Collins
Tillie vs Rui = advantage Tillie
Melson (jr) vs whoever gets this last spot in the rotation = advantage Melson (jr)

I think that is 6 in favor of last year, 1 in favor of this year, and 1 tie. It might be a very fun team to watch. They may win the WCC and make a run in the tournament too. But I was very excited going into last year because we were adding very known (in my opinion) high quality players. Two McD's plus two guys who were very successful in major conference play. We lost three of those 4 guys plus our 5 year center. There is no way, in my opinion, that we don't take a substantial step back this season. I'm thinking 30-6.

You are looking at last year after the fact! There was no way to know how well Collins would do, a 1 year starter in HS. Nobody was truly sure if Shem would be able to play. No-one knew what NWG became, it wasn't what he was at UW, Same with Mathews and JW3. They were somewhat known commodities, but not because of how they played at GU. They ALL surpassed expectations.

You are right that there are unknowns on this team, and there are high, but unproven, expectations. The only accurate comparison will be after this year is over. If the returning players step up their game a notch, if the new players even meet their profiles, the Zags will be a different team with just as lofty expectations, and perhaps (dare I say it), will gel at the right time, catch a few breaks and...(drumroll) go farther than last year!


It could happen!

bartruff1
08-12-2017, 07:15 AM
I still have to pinch myself to realize just how good (and lucky) last years team was....they actually could (or even should) have won a National Championship....

This years team could lose two games very early in the season....but they will be exciting....with all the new kids, there will be some growing pains..

mgadfly
08-12-2017, 10:27 AM
You are looking at last year after the fact! There was no way to know how well Collins would do, a 1 year starter in HS. Nobody was truly sure if Shem would be able to play. No-one knew what NWG became, it wasn't what he was at UW, Same with Mathews and JW3. They were somewhat known commodities, but not because of how they played at GU. They ALL surpassed expectations.

You are right that there are unknowns on this team, and there are high, but unproven, expectations. The only accurate comparison will be after this year is over. If the returning players step up their game a notch, if the new players even meet their profiles, the Zags will be a different team with just as lofty expectations, and perhaps (dare I say it), will gel at the right time, catch a few breaks and...(drumroll) go farther than last year!


It could happen!

I disagree about the before season expectations. I have been incredibly excited about two GU teams that I believed had not only a punchers chance at making a final four run, but teams that I thought would be the favorites to do so (still, a whole bunch of stuff has to go your way in a single elimination tournament). That was 2009 and 2017. I still think that if Sacre hadn't been injured in 2009 we would have received a higher seed and avoided UNC until later in the tournament.

NWG was a McDonald's All-American BEFORE he came to Gonzaga.
NWG had pretty insane numbers in a system that barely had structure BEFORE he came to Gonzaga.
NWG has always been the type of player that should be in a structured system like Gonzaga even BEFORE he came to Gonzaga.

Jordan's numbers (even efficiency stats) were better at Cal than they were at Gonzaga.
Jordan shot 43% from three point range in the two years BEFORE coming to Gonzaga.

Collins was a McDonald's All-American BEFORE he came to Gonzaga.
Collins averaged 17 p, 14 r, 3 a, and 6 b as a high school senior.
Collins set the Nevada single season records for blocks and rebounds BEFORE his GU career.

JWIII was successful in a major conference BEFORE he came to Gonzaga.
JWIII made three pointers at a very good rate BEFORE he came to Gonzaga.
JWIII blocked shots (7.1% rate as a frosh) very well BEFORE he came to Gonzaga (3.6% rate).


I'd agree with the uncertainty about Shem. But more Collins and JWIII if Shem wasn't ready to go wouldn't have been a bad thing.

I'm super excited about this team but my expectations at this point for them are not even close to what I thought of the 2017 team at this point (let alone after I saw Karno play again or by the time they reached the NCAA tournament). That's not a bad thing unless we expect to have a couple McDonald's All-Americans joining the team every season plus two proven major college transfers. I just don't think that is realistic for every season. This one is something different. It is more like five or six years ago where we were bringing in International guys that had sky-high ceilings. It worked with Olynyk and Pangos. It didn't work with anyone named Mathis. I'm excited. I think they can be really good. We have less turnover on the roster, but we also have less proven talent coming in. We need someone to be an Olynyk that out performs previous seasons. Last year we needed All-Americans to be All-Americans.

bigblahla
08-13-2017, 07:13 AM
No one will want to play the Zags in March - Norville, Kispert, Wade & Ayayi will all be acclimated to the TEAM - Rui will have serious PT.... added to who is returning and with young Mr. Larsen as the cherry on top - Zags will be scary good - and no the Gaels will not win the conference title or the tournament title - both to the Zags - I look for a magical waltz through the "Dance". Another great ride to go on. :cheers:

Go!! Zags!!!

thespywhozaggedme
08-13-2017, 10:00 AM
I'd be very surprised if we didn't at least make the elite eight.

seacatfan
08-13-2017, 10:16 AM
There were plenty of GU fans that were really excited and envisioning great things before the '16-'17 season started. However there were also quite a few wringing their hands and fretting and pointing out they couldn't possibly replace Sabonis, Wiltjer, McClellan and Dranginis. Heavy losses for a 2nd year in a row, but the cupboard is far from bare and it should be another exciting year for the Zags.

seacatfan
08-13-2017, 10:17 AM
Also some fans got completely spoiled having 4 quality bigs. That's not normal and not something that should be expected on a yearly basis.

VaBeachZAG
08-13-2017, 11:43 AM
Also some fans got completely spoiled having 4 quality bigs. That's not normal and not something that should be expected on a yearly basis.

I don't expect it, but I badly want it to give the team the best possible chance to grab that gold ring. Does that make me completely spoiled...you bet it does!

roxdoc
08-13-2017, 11:49 AM
4 Quality bigs is rare in CBB. So is getting to FF. Just sayin...