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MDABE80
11-20-2017, 11:12 AM
http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/team/stats/_/id/2250

As we head to the PK80 and Ohio State games, I though I'd insert these. Some very good things in this data. The 3 bigs are doing very well. Corey surprises me. Amazing Freshman. The kid is as good as we thought he'd be.
Overall, the team is doing well. Could do better in some areas but we've got 3 wins to begin the season.

Chicken Ball
11-20-2017, 11:20 AM
One thing that jumps out at a glance: five guys averaging 2 assists per game or higher, with two more coming in at 1.7. This team is full of good passers. That bodes well for the development of the team, I think.

Defense needs work.

BULLDOG#1
11-20-2017, 11:32 AM
No surprise with the vets.

Kispert is a beast.
Larson's stats do not do him justice... he's WAY better than advertised. Advanced footwork and hands for a frosh.

Lewey
11-20-2017, 01:21 PM
Hope JWIII picks up his free throw percentage. He has literally 3 times more attempts than anyone else. I thought his free throw shot looked a lot better against Utah. Much more arc than he had in the first two games.

MDABE80
11-20-2017, 01:30 PM
He's the guy they double or sag on. He's also the guy ( J3) they want to foul. J3, needs to practice his FT shooting. He'd get us another 5-10 pts.

thespywhozaggedme
11-20-2017, 03:08 PM
We are as deep and talented as I thought we were. I expect an EE with this team.

gonzagafan62
11-20-2017, 04:48 PM
We are as deep and talented as I thought we were. I expect an EE with this team.

Expect E8? It's tough just to get to the second round half the time. Could I see us doing it? Yup! But I've leaned not to ever expect anything.

thespywhozaggedme
11-20-2017, 05:35 PM
Expect E8? It's tough just to get to the second round half the time. Could I see us doing it? Yup! But I've leaned not to ever expect anything.

I am super high on this team. More so than most fans.

soccerdud
11-20-2017, 06:05 PM
I am super high on this team. More so than most fans.

that's where i was at this point last year. feeling it less this year. mostly because i don't think wing depth makes up for not having a true center for 30-ish minutes per game (larsen, who i am extremely excited about, has only managed to play 7 min, 20 min, and 7 min in the games so far). i think this is a far bigger deal than "most fans" seem to, and is likely the primary reason that j3 hasn't been the player we expected so far.

thespywhozaggedme
11-20-2017, 06:16 PM
that's where i was at this point last year. feeling it less this year. mostly because i don't think wing depth makes up for not having a true center for 30-ish minutes per game (larsen, who i am extremely excited about, has only managed to play 7 min, 20 min, and 7 min in the games so far). i think this is a far bigger deal than "most fans" seem to, and is likely the primary reason that j3 hasn't been the player we expected so far.

Larsen can be that player but JWIII gets the bulk of the minutes because Few almost always defers to seniors and he's good enough to warrant the minutes. Regarding the fact that JWIII hasn't been the player that most expected thus far is, in my opinion due to people having unrealistic expectations about him; he's kind of robotic in his post moves and struggles when double teamed. He's a good piece in the puzzle, but not the missing piece.

webspinnre
11-20-2017, 09:14 PM
The problem is that he's basically playing out of position.

soccerdud
11-20-2017, 09:55 PM
The problem is that he's basically playing out of position.

yep.

cggonzaga
11-20-2017, 11:19 PM
Not worried about JWIII in the least bit.


having a true center for 30-ish minutes per game (

Which center at Gonzaga, let alone college basketball, has averaged 30mpg in the past 20 years? There’s certainly not many. Also, how many dominant centers has there been in the past 20 years? I don’t understand the infatuation with centers on this board. College basketball, let alone the NBA, just doesn’t utilize them anymore. If you’re 7’ft and aren’t agile or can shoot from the perimeter, you’re probably not seeing a lot of action anymore.

soccerdud
11-21-2017, 12:38 AM
Not worried about JWIII in the least bit.



Which center at Gonzaga, let alone college basketball, has averaged 30mpg in the past 20 years? There’s certainly not many. Also, how many dominant centers has there been in the past 20 years? I don’t understand the infatuation with centers on this board. College basketball, let alone the NBA, just doesn’t utilize them anymore. If you’re 7’ft and aren’t agile or can shoot from the perimeter, you’re probably not seeing a lot of action anymore.

it doesn't have to be one center. last year we had 2. yes, nwg was transcendant, but his usage % was actually lower than karno's and almost exactly equal to zc's. between the two of them, we had a "real" center on the court basically at all times using 1 of every 4 possessions and converting at a 60+% clip. oh, and jw3 had the next highest usage (20%) and converted similarly. THAT is the unsung hero of last year's success (along with the obvious: nwg was transcendent and our defense and balance were awesome).

also, i would venture that the difference between jw3 the regional mvp and jw3 shooting 40% vs 6'8" guys is the presence (or absence) of a true back-to-the-basket big, so that he can play his natural role. that's what it looks like to my eyes and the stats so far (admittedly, tiny sample size-- but you'd expect the weak/overmatched competition to inflate, if anything...) suggest nothing to the contrary.

i could be wrong, we'll see how it goes. but i predict that jw3 plays best this season when paired with larsen, and that we (as a team) will miss having a couple true centers that we can consistently get high efficiency looks with to the tune of 20-30 ppg.

cggonzaga
11-21-2017, 12:57 AM
it doesn't have to be one center. last year we had 2. yes, nwg was transcendant, but his usage % was actually lower than karno's and almost exactly equal to zc's. between the two of them, we had a "real" center on the court basically at all times using 1 of every 4 possessions and converting at a 60+% clip. oh, and jw3 had the next highest usage (20%) and converted similarly. THAT is the unsung hero of last year's success (along with the obvious: nwg was transcendent and our defense and balance were awesome).

also, i would venture that the difference between jw3 the regional mvp and jw3 shooting 40% vs 6'8" guys is the presence of a true back-to-the-basket big, so that he can play his natural role. that's what it looks like to my eyes and the stats so far (admittedly, tiny sample size-- but you'd expect the weak/overmatched competition to inflate, if anything...) suggest nothing to the contrary.

i could be wrong, we'll see how it goes. but i predict that jw3 plays best this season when paired with larsen, and that we (as a team) will miss having a couple true centers that we can consistently get high efficiency looks with to the tune of 20-30 ppg.

I like the analysis. I do believe you’re wrong about this year but we will see.

GonzagasaurusFlex
11-21-2017, 03:50 AM
The problem is that he's basically playing out of position.

yep. Larsen starting isn’t the answer though; utilizing Tillie in the high post and having him facilitate the offense from there more will help create space for JWIII to operate.

FlyZag
11-21-2017, 08:57 AM
Larsen learning to play without fouling will help everywhere. BUT it is hard for a Freshman to do. Zach Collins is still a foul machine, but he had the freedom because we had the luxury of Karno. We don't have that kind of depth this year.

IMO, Larsen's ability to limit cheap fouls and be available to stay on the floor, will determine a big part of our success.

WallaWallaZag
11-21-2017, 10:07 AM
IMO, Larsen's ability to limit cheap fouls and be available to stay on the floor, will determine a big part of our success.

i think it's far more likely that the ability of tillie and jw3 to stay on the floor is much more important to zag success than larsen's ability to do so...

DixieZag
11-21-2017, 05:47 PM
Just read that Perkins is shooting 45.8% from 3.

Granted, we have not seen an elite defense, but that's Wiltjer territory, hope the hot start gives him more confidence to let it fly when he feels it.

zag67
11-21-2017, 07:00 PM
I think that many of the JW3 and Larsen fouls in the last game were not even fouls. Yes, they have to put themselves in positions that do not allow the refs to make these calls. I think that they are smart enough and the coaches good enough to make that happen as the year goes on. I do not expect miracles early this season, but I do hope to see improvement as the year goes on.

mgadfly
11-22-2017, 07:12 AM
Not worried about JWIII in the least bit.



Which center at Gonzaga, let alone college basketball, has averaged 30mpg in the past 20 years? There’s certainly not many. Also, how many dominant centers has there been in the past 20 years? I don’t understand the infatuation with centers on this board. College basketball, let alone the NBA, just doesn’t utilize them anymore. If you’re 7’ft and aren’t agile or can shoot from the perimeter, you’re probably not seeing a lot of action anymore.

The reason they are important in college basketball is because the rim protection and space eating separates good teams from Final Four teams and championship teams. Everyone buys into the myth that UConn proved you don't need a center to win the championship because it seems to be supported by what is happening in the NBA. However, I'd be comfortable contending that if you took the big man off of each of the championship teams and replaced them with another wing (even a really good one) they wouldn't have won the championship:

2017: Meeks and Hicks protected the rim. Without Meeks UNC doesn't beat Oregon and can't possibly match up with Zags.
2016: Ochefu
2015: Okafor
2014: No dominant center, but Brimah is the 6th man and is an ELITE shot blocker and UConn was 13th in shot-blocking percentage that season. 2014 is the season that someone can point to and say a dominant player isn't needed in the post, but I think it is a bit of an outlier of a season overall (Florida was real small and made the F4, Kentucky lost WCS in the first or second round and was smaller than normal) and they still had Brimah to match up with big teams (which is probably what we need Larsen to do).
2013: Dieng
2012: Anthony Davis
2011: Oriakhi and Okwandu
2010: Zoubek and the Plumlees

It also doesn't surprise me that GU's best two shot blocking seasons were 2009 and 2017. I still think if that 2009 team doesn't have Sacre (the big space-eating, rim protecting center) go down with an injury, GU ends up the best equipped team in the nation to beat UNC.

Obviously guard play and everything else has to be incredible to win a championship. But the idea that you don't have to have that interior presence on defense, in some form, and can still be a champion in college basketball, isn't yet true. I don't know that it ever will be because having a rim protector allows everyone else to gamble and take risks and have their mistake erased if they don't make the play. It allows defenses to stretch with the offenses eliminating the effectiveness of spacers and often times these big guys are the best offensive rebounders (extra chance points) in the league (offensive rebounding correlates more with height than defensive rebounding - which surprised me).

I'm not saying that Larsen has to be the answer. But between JW3, Tillie, Larsen and the rest, they have to find some way to defend that real estate right in front of the rim (not pretty well, or decently, but at a very high level) if they want to be better than a really good team.

Zagricultural
11-22-2017, 11:25 AM
it doesn't have to be one center. last year we had 2. yes, nwg was transcendant, but his usage % was actually lower than karno's and almost exactly equal to zc's. between the two of them, we had a "real" center on the court basically at all times using 1 of every 4 possessions and converting at a 60+% clip. oh, and jw3 had the next highest usage (20%) and converted similarly. THAT is the unsung hero of last year's success (along with the obvious: nwg was transcendent and our defense and balance were awesome).

also, i would venture that the difference between jw3 the regional mvp and jw3 shooting 40% vs 6'8" guys is the presence (or absence) of a true back-to-the-basket big, so that he can play his natural role. that's what it looks like to my eyes and the stats so far (admittedly, tiny sample size-- but you'd expect the weak/overmatched competition to inflate, if anything...) suggest nothing to the contrary.

i could be wrong, we'll see how it goes. but i predict that jw3 plays best this season when paired with larsen, and that we (as a team) will miss having a couple true centers that we can consistently get high efficiency looks with to the tune of 20-30 ppg.

I agree with you on jw3. I'll be thrilled if he proves me wrong!

cggonzaga
11-22-2017, 12:29 PM
The reason they are important in college basketball is because the rim protection and space eating separates good teams from Final Four teams and championship teams. Everyone buys into the myth that UConn proved you don't need a center to win the championship because it seems to be supported by what is happening in the NBA. However, I'd be comfortable contending that if you took the big man off of each of the championship teams and replaced them with another wing (even a really good one) they wouldn't have won the championship:

2017: Meeks and Hicks protected the rim. Without Meeks UNC doesn't beat Oregon and can't possibly match up with Zags.
2016: Ochefu
2015: Okafor
2014: No dominant center, but Brimah is the 6th man and is an ELITE shot blocker and UConn was 13th in shot-blocking percentage that season. 2014 is the season that someone can point to and say a dominant player isn't needed in the post, but I think it is a bit of an outlier of a season overall (Florida was real small and made the F4, Kentucky lost WCS in the first or second round and was smaller than normal) and they still had Brimah to match up with big teams (which is probably what we need Larsen to do).
2013: Dieng
2012: Anthony Davis
2011: Oriakhi and Okwandu
2010: Zoubek and the Plumlees

It also doesn't surprise me that GU's best two shot blocking seasons were 2009 and 2017. I still think if that 2009 team doesn't have Sacre (the big space-eating, rim protecting center) go down with an injury, GU ends up the best equipped team in the nation to beat UNC.

Obviously guard play and everything else has to be incredible to win a championship. But the idea that you don't have to have that interior presence on defense, in some form, and can still be a champion in college basketball, isn't yet true. I don't know that it ever will be because having a rim protector allows everyone else to gamble and take risks and have their mistake erased if they don't make the play. It allows defenses to stretch with the offenses eliminating the effectiveness of spacers and often times these big guys are the best offensive rebounders (extra chance points) in the league (offensive rebounding correlates more with height than defensive rebounding - which surprised me).

I'm not saying that Larsen has to be the answer. But between JW3, Tillie, Larsen and the rest, they have to find some way to defend that real estate right in front of the rim (not pretty well, or decently, but at a very high level) if they want to be better than a really good team.

Appreciate this breakdown and I agree with a lot of this. However, I don’t consider any of those guys as true centers. For the most part they’re all just athletic power forwards. My definition of a center is Wilt, Russell, Shaq, Robinson, Olajuwon. Those players just don’t exist anymore. The game has essentially been broken down into guards, wings and forwards. I believe we have championship level forwards in the form of those named above. Larsen is a center imo and my belief is he will only add to our chances of being highly successful.

mgadfly
11-22-2017, 02:02 PM
Appreciate this breakdown and I agree with a lot of this. However, I don’t consider any of those guys as true centers. For the most part they’re all just athletic power forwards. My definition of a center is Wilt, Russell, Shaq, Robinson, Olajuwon. Those players just don’t exist anymore. The game has essentially been broken down into guards, wings and forwards. I believe we have championship level forwards in the form of those named above. Larsen is a center imo and my belief is he will only add to our chances of being highly successful.

I think I get what you are saying, but I'm still not really buying it. There have never been many of the guys like those above. I think we'd just call three of those guys forwards now and let them dribble and pass the ball more. Changing offenses so that they are position-less (or increasingly less dependent on defined roles) isn't the same as removing defensive centers from the game. And as a side note, I don't really buy it that those guys were pace and space forwards in college either, Okafor, Ochefu, Meeks, Brimah, Dieng, Davis, Oriakhi, Okwandu, Zoubek, Plumlee1, and Plumlee2 combined to go 6-31 from three point range in the seasons they won championships. You take Anthony Davis' 3-20 out of there and eliminate the Plumlee's combined 3-10 and the other 8 guys went 0-1.

The NBA has changed. But it is a myth for college basketball. The best teams every year have a guy that defends like a 5 and spends almost all of his time inside on offense. For GU, it is traditional high/low post offense with lots of post-up opportunities. For Kentucky, it is a weak side rebounder that gets a bunch of blue-collar buckets off misses. But the five man is alive and well even if they look more like Russell than a big guy like Shaq.

UberZagFan
11-23-2017, 07:33 PM
Kispert has impressed. A Hart style player with better scoring ability (or at least a more willingness to do so).

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