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View Full Version : Withers' Blog: Zags, '18-19- cue the Hoopla



sittingon50
04-12-2018, 07:40 PM
http://en.bloguru.com/GloryHounds/321870/zags-1819-cue-the-hoopla

Zags11
04-12-2018, 08:30 PM
The hype. Oh boy!

kdaleb
04-12-2018, 08:50 PM
The hype. Oh boy!

It hadn’t hit me that this will likely be Gonzaga’s highest preseason ranking to date. The excitement is palpable... and there’s what, seven months before the guys play a meaningful game.

LouisianaZag
04-12-2018, 11:18 PM
It hadn’t hit me that this will likely be Gonzaga’s highest preseason ranking to date. The excitement is palpable... and there’s what, seven months before the guys play a meaningful game.

Its going to be a long seven months!!!!!!

ZagsGoZags
04-12-2018, 11:38 PM
hey, isn't it 6 and 1/2 months

Birddog
04-13-2018, 04:04 AM
Here's a gem.......

The promise guarantees nothing, of course, and who better to remind the faithful than Mark Few, a guy who could pooh-pooh Secretariat on the final turn at Belmont?

Reborn
04-13-2018, 05:31 AM
Love the articles by But Withers. Always have. This is a nice one to get ZagNation salivating.

TexasZagFan
04-13-2018, 06:05 AM
There is no doubt in my ex-military mind that the 2018-2019 journey will be as magical as recent years. I'd say it started with Killian's announcement that he's coming back for one more year. I'm kicking off my journey this morning by brewing a cup of Mystic Monk coffee, this after ordering Bornie's book.

For those of you with season tickets, I envy you, but for me, there is nothing like a road trip for a Zag game. Nothing better than going into the belly of the beast, and walking out with a win. We'll be there in Omaha...I'll be there no matter what, going solo if it conflicts with the boys' school schedule. Many of you will be in Maui, wish I could join you.

There will be pitfalls and missteps along the way. With the new additions, we'll have a supremely talented cast, and two or three of the players we became attached to last year may play less next season. The coaching staff will be tested in a wholly different vein this year, finding the right pieces to employ while managing expectations.

bartruff1
04-13-2018, 08:40 AM
I am always concerned about a "helicopter" parent....that would be a deal breaker for me....." .....he will likely be in college for two years and a priority is that he has the ball from day one...."....or words to that effect...from Mr. Wright. No Bueno...

gonstu
04-13-2018, 08:55 AM
For those of you with season tickets, I envy you, but for me, there is nothing like a road trip for a Zag game. Nothing better than going into the belly of the beast, and walking out with a win. We'll be there in Omaha...I'll be there no matter what, going solo if it conflicts with the boys' school schedule. Many of you will be in Maui, wish I could join you.
.

Does AT LOYOLA/PEPP count as belly of the beast?

TexasZagFan
04-13-2018, 08:59 AM
Does AT LOYOLA/PEPP count as belly of the beast?

Those are road games, aren't they? I'm not giving any opponent bulletin board material.

gonstu
04-13-2018, 09:15 AM
Those are road games, aren't they? I'm not giving any opponent bulletin board material.

good point. I will say this: when the games are close, yes they feel like road games.

adoptedzag
04-13-2018, 09:45 AM
The hype. Oh boy!

I'm all aboard the hype train chugging the koolaid. I'm -> || that close to buying tickets to minneapolis.

thespywhozaggedme
04-13-2018, 09:53 AM
Does AT LOYOLA/PEPP count as belly of the beast?

I have the dubious distinction of going to a road game at LMU and we actually lost!

MDABE80
04-13-2018, 09:55 AM
In this present offseason, we've never had a Top 10 ranking and a no 1 seed. If nothing changes, we'll retain both till Mid September. Leaves lots of time to bask.........and the media will do its share to pump up the story. This next 6 months should be the greatest exposure we've ever had in preseason. This along should get us any prized recruit or transfer that fits well.
I never count chickens before the eggs hatch. It'll be fun ride. All of it based hope and backed up by talent and a great program that's developed like no other I know of.

Still, we've yet to see a schedule and we've not won one game . I'd like to go 38-0 and win the whole thing. Even if we don't, likely there are 30 wins lurking. An exciting season coming up. Most preseasons have not been like what we'll see in the next 7 months. Let's enjoy the heck out of it.

GonzagasaurusFlex
04-13-2018, 11:41 AM
I am always concerned about a "helicopter" parent....that would be a deal breaker for me....." .....he will likely be in college for two years and a priority is that he has the ball from day one...."....or words to that effect...from Mr. Wright. No Bueno...

Apparently neither Ayayi or Wade are developing to the point coaches anticipate being able to trust them with crucial role next season...roll with Perkins (Wade) & Norvell (Ayayi) covering the guard spots w Rui (Kispert) holding down the 3. Guess that’s why Zags are aggressively pursuing another guard.

jazzdelmar
04-13-2018, 12:15 PM
Apparently neither Ayayi or Wade are developing to the point coaches anticipate being able to trust them with crucial role next season...roll with Perkins (Wade) & Norvell (Ayayi) covering the guard spots w Rui (Kispert) holding down the 3. Guess that’s why Zags are aggressively pursuing another guard.

Agree. If anything, Joel is still a suspect but Wade is an end of the bench.

MickMick
04-13-2018, 01:39 PM
I know that I am going to get negative feedback for this, but I just don't put this team at the same level as the team that made the final four last year. They will be very good, but certainly not the caliber of This season's champ, Villanova.

bartruff1
04-13-2018, 02:14 PM
Apparently neither Ayayi or Wade are developing to the point coaches anticipate being able to trust them with crucial role next season...roll with Perkins (Wade) & Norvell (Ayayi) covering the guard spots w Rui (Kispert) holding down the 3. Guess that’s why Zags are aggressively pursuing another guard.

That is fine, but as someone who has successfully raised a professional athlete, it is my firm conviction that the parents should never ever share the spotlight or grant a interview or say anything anywhere, especially on social media....absolutely nothing good can come from it.. nothing.

Mr. Wright should stfu....at best he will embarrass his son and at worst cost him a opportunity...

gonzagafan62
04-13-2018, 02:14 PM
I know that I am going to get negative feedback for this, but I just don't put this team at the same level as the team that made the final four last year. They will be very good, but certainly not the caliber of This season's champ, Villanova.

I would somewhat agree. We still need one more player, which we may get this summer

raise the zag
04-13-2018, 02:39 PM
I know that I am going to get negative feedback for this, but I just don't put this team at the same level as the team that made the final four last year. They will be very good, but certainly not the caliber of This season's champ, Villanova.

Tough to say, until we see the development of Rui, Norvell, Tillie's health, Perkin's health, etc.

IF we can secure one more proven/talented guard, I most certainly put them up there.

We had NO idea how NWG would blend, Karno's health, Jordan Mathews was a late addition, etc.

NWG
Perkins
Mathews
J3
Karnowski

Tillie
Collins

The greatest collection of size, talent, and athleticism, not to mention a TWO 1st Round NBA draft picks off the bench.

Will never be topped, imho. Should have won the whole darn thing.

BUT...

Perkins
Norvell
Rui
Tillie
Clarke

Kispert
Petrusev

This is a potent group. Maybe most dynamic ever. No team has that frontcourt versatility, athleticism, range, and proven talent. Again, there are 3 NBA draft picks on that starting five.

Now, add in a B-Williams and it is maybe best ever, or every bit as good as the '16-'17 team IF Kispert, Petrusev make a big jump, along with Rui's dominance.

MDABE80
04-13-2018, 02:57 PM
I sorta agree with Mick. We need a lane protector and one who blocks shots but rebounds well. I'm not seeing one right now with the present group of bigs.
Also a PG/Shooting guard who can work with Josh would help this whole outlook.

"Raise" set forth the main lineup from 1016-17. We need big. That was a super group of bigs. J3 leaves a hole. Also though Nigel was great rebounder.

With the change in Few's philosophy trending away from big centers in exchange for more speed/athleticism, the "bigs" situation we have now might be a problem. More needs to be known. I'm pretty sure that if the upcoming team gets to a FF or a deep run ( ie E8 and beyond) the present group won't perform like the FF group. Different skills and strong suits.
Lots of talent here presently but FF talent? Not so sure.

raise the zag
04-13-2018, 03:44 PM
I sorta agree with Mick. We need a lane protector and one who blocks shots but rebounds well. I'm not seeing one right now with the present group of bigs.
Also a PG/Shooting guard who can work with Josh would help this whole outlook.

"Raise" set forth the main lineup from 1016-17. We need big. That was a super group of bigs. J3 leaves a hole. Also though Nigel was great rebounder.

With the change in Few's philosophy trending away from big centers in exchange for more speed/athleticism, the "bigs" situation we have now might be a problem. More needs to be known. I'm pretty sure that if the upcoming team gets to a FF or a deep run ( ie E8 and beyond) the present group won't perform like the FF group. Different skills and strong suits.
Lots of talent here presently but FF talent? Not so sure.

I have hope Larsen can get his knee healthy enough to fuel his confidence and contribute 10 mpg. No reason he couldn't add some muscle this Summer.

Also, while Clarke isn't a tall lane protector, he averaged 3 blocks per game, and had numerous games of 5 or more blocks. One game he had something like 9 blocks!

Better shot blocker than J3, but not really a "lane" protector.

We may not be as deep as our F4 squad, next season's is good enough to contend for the Title. That's all it takes.

DixieZag
04-13-2018, 04:41 PM
The returning talent is amazing. The other "fun" thing is that I don't recall ever having a player that had both the ceiling that Rui has, and the upward trajectory in his play.

Someone rightly noted that the team didn't sound as good as last year's Nova team. Okay, that isn't exactly a damning comment. OTOH, we STILL don't know how good Rui can be. He made such a "leap" between year one and two, and had yet to shoot from the outside.

In the tournament, Rui hit the 3 that was the dagger that put Ohio State away (I think it was OSU), and the announcers made a point of stating it was one of the very few 3s he'd attempted all year, as if he doesn't have an outside shot. But, in watching the FIBA play last summer, Rui was draining 3s like he was Kevin Pangos. So, it's not like Rui doesn't have that club in his bag, Few just never needed Rui to take that shot when he had Norvelles, Perkins, and Tillies alongside. But, Rui can add that to his game.

So, even though we have unknowns in who is going to be on the roster next year, we still have an unknown in how big a jump Rui can make. If he makes a "normal" Soph-Jr leap it will be phenomenal, but one feels like he's got a much higher ceiling. We just don't know.

Zags11
04-14-2018, 12:12 AM
It hadn’t hit me that this will likely be Gonzaga’s highest preseason ranking to date. The excitement is palpable... and there’s what, seven months before the guys play a meaningful game.

Yes this is crazy!

GonzagasaurusFlex
04-14-2018, 04:19 AM
The returning talent is amazing. The other "fun" thing is that I don't recall ever having a player that had both the ceiling that Rui has, and the upward trajectory in his play.

Someone rightly noted that the team didn't sound as good as last year's Nova team. Okay, that isn't exactly a damning comment. OTOH, we STILL don't know how good Rui can be. He made such a "leap" between year one and two, and had yet to shoot from the outside.

In the tournament, Rui hit the 3 that was the dagger that put Ohio State away (I think it was OSU), and the announcers made a point of stating it was one of the very few 3s he'd attempted all year, as if he doesn't have an outside shot. But, in watching the FIBA play last summer, Rui was draining 3s like he was Kevin Pangos. So, it's not like Rui doesn't have that club in his bag, Few just never needed Rui to take that shot when he had Norvelles, Perkins, and Tillies alongside. But, Rui can add that to his game.

So, even though we have unknowns in who is going to be on the roster next year, we still have an unknown in how big a jump Rui can make. If he makes a "normal" Soph-Jr leap it will be phenomenal, but one feels like he's got a much higher ceiling. We just don't know.

I’ve thought same thing: Rui has demonstrated he can knock down 3’s in summer play for Japan so hopefully he will get comfortable doing so in Zags offense too. OTOH, one aspect of his in season development last year that was thrilling to see is that he is very very effective in the low post with great footwork. Zags need a low block offensive threat and right now Rui is best option there imho...hopefully Larsen will regain his confidence. My sense is neither Clarke or Petrusev are low post, back to the basket scorers.

Goshzagit
04-14-2018, 07:00 AM
We need a lane protector and one who blocks shots but rebounds well. I'm not seeing one right now with the present group of bigs.

Agree on rebounds being a question-mark, esp when Tillie decided to go AWOL (still convinced his utility game is perfectly suited as 28-30 mpg 6th man/off bench but no one will agree to that, including Killian. Selective motor is better fit for off bench, and his career high is when he came off bench, no coincidence, imho).

However, Clarke has shown he can block shots with the best of 'em.

During his Sophomore season, he had (8), yes (8) games with 5 or more blocks! That is unbelievable. Definitely has a nose for the ball, and incredibly timing, esp since he's closer to 6'7" than 6'8".

Not doing a player by player comparison, yet to provide context, the most blocks J3 had in a single game his entire career was (4) blocks.

bballbeachbum
04-14-2018, 08:02 AM
would like to see how Clarke fits in before making any predictions. He's a stud but will have to translate into production with this talented group. I'm with Abe on the paint protection piece of next year's team, seems kind of unknown right now but potentially strong if Clarke fits and hammers his role inside, which of course he's capable of doing. I think Zags need toughness inside after losing the toughest in J3

bballbeachbum
04-14-2018, 08:06 AM
and defending the perimeter, how good will the Zags be at that? doing it well also regards having strong paint/rim protection, but also replacing Silas' D on the opposing team's stud

Goshzagit
04-14-2018, 09:04 AM
I think Zags need toughness inside after losing the toughest in J3

agreed. we are going to have scorers and playmakers for days, but defense and simply, 'toughness' could be a concern.

Brandon Clarke is a playmaker, shot blocker, rim rocker, bouncy guy but can he BANG? Can Tillie? Can Rui? Not especially.

If we play a team with a 6'11", 255lb bruiser, or even a Wilcox from Michigan type. We could be in trouble defensively and on the glass (Tillie can't be trusted in some games).

Our front court weights are as follows:

Tillie: 215 lbs
Petrusev: 210 lbs
Clarke: 210 lbs (not sure many realize how lean he is, although he plays MUCH bigger)
Rui: 225 lbs

Feather-light front court will have to rely on speed, quickness, bounce, range, creativity, & spreading the floor to attack.

Size ain't our strong suit.

soccerdud
04-14-2018, 09:34 AM
agreed. we are going to have scorers and playmakers for days, but defense and simply, 'toughness' could be a concern.

Brandon Clarke is a playmaker, shot blocker, rim rocker, bouncy guy but can he BANG? Can Tillie? Can Rui? Not especially.

If we play a team with a 6'11", 255lb bruiser, or even a Wilcox from Michigan type. We could be in trouble defensively and on the glass (Tillie can't be trusted in some games).

Our front court weights are as follows:

Tillie: 215 lbs
Petrusev: 210 lbs
Clarke: 210 lbs (not sure many realize how lean he is, although he plays MUCH bigger)
Rui: 225 lbs

Feather-light front court will have to rely on speed, quickness, bounce, range, creativity, & spreading the floor to attack.

Size ain't our strong suit.

i know he's not in the starting lineup convo, but i feel like you should probably include larsen; your post very effectively demonstrates the necessity of his involvement/improvement next season.

thespywhozaggedme
04-14-2018, 09:42 AM
agreed. we are going to have scorers and playmakers for days, but defense and simply, 'toughness' could be a concern.

Brandon Clarke is a playmaker, shot blocker, rim rocker, bouncy guy but can he BANG? Can Tillie? Can Rui? Not especially.

If we play a team with a 6'11", 255lb bruiser, or even a Wilcox from Michigan type. We could be in trouble defensively and on the glass (Tillie can't be trusted in some games).

Our front court weights are as follows:

Tillie: 215 lbs
Petrusev: 210 lbs
Clarke: 210 lbs (not sure many realize how lean he is, although he plays MUCH bigger)
Rui: 225 lbs

Feather-light front court will have to rely on speed, quickness, bounce, range, creativity, & spreading the floor to attack.

Size ain't our strong suit.

Why did you leave out Larsen?

IowaSERE
04-14-2018, 09:57 AM
Why did you leave out Larsen?

In the 5 or so games where we need a tough, physical, inside presence, Larson can come in off the bench and give us 10-15 min and 5 hard fouls.

I was very impressed with Larson early in the season. I think that he is going to be one of the biggest surprises next year.

Goshzagit
04-14-2018, 10:18 AM
In the 5 or so games where we need a tough, physical, inside presence, Larson can come in off the bench and give us 10-15 min and 5 hard fouls.

I was very impressed with Larson early in the season. I think that he is going to be one of the biggest surprises next year.

Completely agree, yet when has Coach Few ever utilized this mentality/strategy?

Never. Most Coaches do this all the time to protect their bigs, or wear opponents down, yet we do not employ this concept.

Having said that, there is no reason Larsen can't get his knee fully healthy and add muscle. Interestingly, Larsen came in as a freshman pretty bulked up, yet has leaned out since. He was well on his way to becoming a "bruiser", has the frame needed, and raw strength, yet our S&C team decided to focus on lean muscle and quickness with him.

As we move to a faster, more hybrid front court, we have tried to make Larsen quicker, lighter, agile, yet I feel this is a mistake.

We actually need him to provide the muscle, weight, strength for 10-15 mpg. We have enough quickness, agility, athleticism with Tillie, Rui, Clarke.

It would be nice to have a token big, to be BIG. I'm hoping the S&C team (Knight) realizes this with Larsen. They were trying to preserve the knee, less wear & tear last year, yet if healthy enough, put some muscle on him.

He could be 7'0", 275lb no problem. They just need to commit to it this off-season. All this depends on his knee, which is still lumbering along as he tweaked it twice last season.