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View Full Version : Just how good are these Zags, really?



BobZag
11-21-2007, 10:29 AM
GU has beaten three nobodies. Montana did not look like a Big Sky favorite unless that conference is a flat-out joke, and honestly, Idaho and Riverside are odds-on last-place bottom feeders in their conferences. So, while the Zags sputtered on offense for 20 minutes vs all three of these cupcakes but woke up in the second 20 minutes to make the games blowouts, shooting 54% and doing well on defense, consider who GU was playing and where these games were played.

The last time GU played and beat three softies to begin the season, Illinois blew the doors off the Zags in the fourth game (and first non-K2 game), causing Few to compare the team to looking like a high school squad that didn't belong on the same court as the Illini.

So I ask... Just how good are these Zags, really?

dawgfather11
11-21-2007, 10:37 AM
this is BY FAR the best zags team EVER. Just wait for the Heytfelt to come back and this could be your year. You guy's should destroy the GAS really is no competition for you up there.

bayzag09
11-21-2007, 10:43 AM
This team is good and has the capability to be great, but truthfully I don't think we win the GAS. When your leading scorer in 3 games is a freshman your due for one bad game(even if he is a stud), and when that bad game comes I don't know if we'll have enough. I mean this on a Josh-less team. When he comes back, this team will be nasty.

Zag By the Bay
11-21-2007, 10:48 AM
Based on the SMC's solid win last night over Oregon, I would say that the Gaels are father along than we are. Before everyone blows a gasket, I think that Zag fans will have a better idea how good we are after the GAS.
We have simply have not been tested.
BobZag opened a can worms with this open ended question!;)

gonza
11-21-2007, 10:51 AM
Geez Dawg, you looking for rep points ???

Reborn
11-21-2007, 10:52 AM
I WILL guarentee you one thing for sure. The Hilltoppers (this year) are NOT Illinois from that year. That Illinois team was one of the best Illinois teams EVER. Nice try BZ, but really it's not a good comparison. The Hilltoppers aren't even rated in the top 25.....why should we fear them so much? Please, please tell me!!!!:D

JAGzag
11-21-2007, 10:54 AM
this is BY FAR the best zags team EVER. Just wait for the Heytfelt to come back and this could be your year. You guy's should destroy the GAS really is no competition for you up there.

Dawgfather11! Where the hell you been!! Don't tell me you just troll the site and don't say hello? Hey, great game against New Jersey Institute of Technology, BTW ... really, I mean that with all sincerity ... really.

MDABE80
11-21-2007, 10:56 AM
Lots of talent ( the best we've had) and the potential is high. Whether the kids develop that talent is unknown till later. Our 3 pt shooting is awful, BUT the defense has inproved considerably. Is it a Top 10 defense? Not sure but soon it'll be tested.
I look around the country and am seriously amazed at what other teams have. I suppose those Top 20 teams should be majorly talented. SOme moreso that we are...right now. Josh's return should help but the improvemnt will be by what increment? Who knows?

If Josh gets back in this fight and Austin continues to do well, and the 3 pt shooting strightens out, and the defense toughens further, and.....and and....
we'll know more in the next 2 to 3 weeks.But I do think that if the kids stay healthy, it's not so far fetched to be a Top 10 team. With some luck......Elite 8. WHat's the "heart" of a team worth? Tin men don't do so well. Teams with heart can beat everyone. Thus far, the "heart" of this team hasn't been tested. More later...

cggonzaga
11-21-2007, 11:03 AM
Well let's see:

1) This team plays great defense, not good, Great! When's the last time you saw a GU team play defense like this? My guess is never.

2) We've played weak competition and have received their best shots for about 20 minutes a game. Their best shots couldn't keep them from being blown out in the end. This team is already learning to put teams away. Again, when was the last time a GU team did that?

3) Scoring is very balanced. Any guy on any given night can step up and dominate. While the offense hasn't been run like in the past it's much more balanced and guys are being allowed to roam a little bit. I personally like it better than running the flex for 20+seconds because this team isn't a "flex" kind of team. They want to run and get out and finish.

4) While free throw shooting hasn't been great, we're getting there quite a bit (and this is without Josh!). This tells me the guys are being incredibly aggressive going to the basket something past teams haven't always been. We may not shoot the three ball as well but they're more than making up for it in this department.

5) The depth is incredible. We're missing two of our better players and it doesn't seem like we've missed a beat. It's scary how good we'll be when Josh and Steven get back!

My own personal opinion is that we are very good but not yet great. We're not blowing our wad early on in the season like in some past seasons. This team looks like it will be playing its best basketball at the end of the season when it really matters.

TheZagPhish
11-21-2007, 11:11 AM
They're really, really good. Better than we know.

Happy Thanksgiving, BZ!

hockeyzag
11-21-2007, 11:26 AM
I really think that we will be just fine, especially in the GAS. We will rise to the level of our competition and find a way to win. I'm even more confident of that this year because of how good our defense looks. And on offense, Pargo, Downs, Daye, Bouldin, and even Pendo have all shown that they can have a break out game and lead the team in scoring. And Kuso has shown how disruptive he can be on defense against top rate teams.

Don't forget the coaching folks, Few and staff aren't known for being unprepared for good competition.

gamagin
11-21-2007, 11:27 AM
that would go to the men who reached the elite 8.

Few (meaning people and the coach himself) argue that this group is made up of the best group of athletes ever assembled at GU.

But that's it. Everything else is what our best group of athletes can do to make themselves into a team.

I like what I see, but the development is embryonic at this stage.

Thus the move to throw these young uns into the fire and bring them up to speed within the time allotted.

We're all going to grow up fast with this bunch. I can't wait to watch it play out -- even if it takes a season or two to really make things work.

In the meantime, I don't think we will be entering any game we can't win.

MedZag
11-21-2007, 12:17 PM
that would go to the men who reached the elite 8.

Few (meaning people and the coach himself) argue that this group is made up of the best group of athletes ever assembled at GU.

But that's it. Everything else is what our best group of athletes can do to make themselves into a team.

I like what I see, but the development is embryonic at this stage.

Thus the move to throw these young uns into the fire and bring them up to speed within the time allotted.

We're all going to grow up fast with this bunch. I can't wait to watch it play out -- even if it takes a season or two to really make things work.

In the meantime, I don't think we will be entering any game we can't win.

Great post. Remember, the '99 team went 28-7 before their run. Thats more losses then 4 of our last 5 years. Sometimes growing pains are necessary to succeed the most in the end. This team may struggle in the beginning as young players learn to play against faster and stronger competition. But the real key is whether they can come away from it with the lessons and tools to compete better in March.

MickMick
11-21-2007, 12:20 PM
I like our defense. Too bad the guys work so hard to get the ball back just to hand it back over with lazy passes or not looking for the ball when they are on the receiving end.

How good are they? If they turn the ball over like this, then another first round exit (if they even hold onto the WCC crown). Take care of the basketball and the sky is the limit for this team.

kitzbuel
11-21-2007, 12:27 PM
I would feel much more comfortable if Josh were available for this tournament. He proved last year that he can get up for big games and he and Pargo really clicked at times, particularly in the big games. A big game adrenaline surge from Josh can make this team incredible. Without him, I feel that we are suspect to an unexpected deer-in-the-headlights game (ala the Illinois game BZ referenced above).

mendiant
11-21-2007, 12:58 PM
I'm waiting for a stronger opponent.

Free throw % is bad, Turnovers (silly ones) bad, shot percentage, not great...low 50's I think.

Defense +++

Killer instinct, much better.

I haven't completely bonded with this team yet (in a fan sort of way).

I think I'm trying to get to know the new guys and not leaning on my affections for the old guys.

I believe a good win will get everyone, including the guys, more excited about this year.

zag67
11-21-2007, 01:07 PM
Mickmick, I think that you might be too hard on them this early. The coaches can only teach so much in the short time that they had. They picked the D first, and had assumed that they would have Josh there (and it sounds like Steven was also having a high number of practice reps). When that did not happen due to the injuries (also remember that Theo went down also), they had all of the other players moving up in their roles that they would play. This meant that they had not had the same number of offensive reps as the others and are in major learn mode.

I am not saying we are not going to have some down games, because I think we will. But in order to run, we have to crawl, then walk, then jog and lastly run. I would say that many of the players are somewhere between crawl and walk, but they are growing up rapidly.

Now how good or great are they? Well I say we are now better than good, but we are very young. Young players make errors and in some ways will make the other players look bad (both on offense and defense), by not being in the right place. But the coaches (and players) are helping them and the goal is not to be making the same error over and over. Also at the rate that they seem to be improving I think that they might become great (but it might be next year before that happens). ENJOY the games and the journey. These guys are fun to watch on D and the offense is going to get better.

HillBillyZag
11-21-2007, 01:17 PM
If you have watched many of the "Feast Week" games being shown on ESPN this week you would know by now that while Gonzaga has the best freshman recruits in the history of the program, we are definitely not alone in that respect. This may be the best overall group of Div.1 frosh that I have ever seen in over fifty years of watching basketball. And UCLA's Love is one of the toughest kids in the paint I've ever seen. Michigan State ran four (4) good big men at that kid in yesterdays game, I meant they literally beat the S#!^ out of that boy, and he did not back off one iota, still got a double double 21 and 12, or so. If I had Love, Brockman, Harangody from ND and Pendo plus a point guard, I would play anybody. These guys are warriors. The bar has been set now for Heytvelt , if he has the heart he can play as well or even better, its up to him?

DixieZag
11-21-2007, 01:27 PM
Obviously we will know a lot more in the next two weeks, but it can already be safely said that

a: defense is now being played at a top 20 level.
b: the desire to put teams away badly is there to stay.

I like it, and WE ARE NOT DOOMED.

Dixie

MBZags
11-21-2007, 01:34 PM
In years past, GU might've had trouble with at least one of those teams because they didn't play defense. And even still, Gonzaga seemed to always play down to the competition. I've very pleased with the three blowouts so far.

J-Lo
11-21-2007, 02:11 PM
The Hilltoppers (this year) are NOT Illinois from that year. That Illinois team was one of the best Illinois teams EVER. ...[It's] not a good comparison.

I NEVER thought I'd say this, but I kind of agree with Reborn.;)

I'm certainly anxious about the pending games, and I believe this will be an actual test against real talent. But, even if we lose, I don't see a complete dismantling in our future like we had against Dee Brown and the Illini.

Reborn
11-21-2007, 02:22 PM
Hilly Billy Zag has some great points about this years Freshmen class, including the Zags'. And it is this very reason that I have so much confidence in our teams ability to play great basketball even with Josh out. Our Freshmen are not getting the hype that other freshmen are getting out there, but as we move along and play tougher teams they will. We have 3 new guys playing a lot righty now (LG, Daye and Sacre). Two are Freshmen. These guys have made the Zags a tougher team then the '06-'07 Zags in my opinion.

El Voce
11-21-2007, 02:26 PM
I think this team WILL be very good. I just don't think we are there yet. We do not, as yet, have a consistent outside scoring threat, and Kuso (despite playing very very hard) is not a consistent inside threat.

I think by about February or March, this team will be playing really well.

MickMick
11-21-2007, 02:26 PM
Mickmick, I think that you might be too hard on them this early. The coaches can only teach so much in the short time that they had. They picked the D first, and had assumed that they would have Josh there (and it sounds like Steven was also having a high number of practice reps). When that did not happen due to the injuries (also remember that Theo went down also), they had all of the other players moving up in their roles that they would play. This meant that they had not had the same number of offensive reps as the others and are in major learn mode.


My only response to this is...Pargo is a junior.

"So much in a short time"?

Seems to me that 19 year old Patrick Mills doesn't have trouble taking care of the ball within the first 4 games. And by the way, Mills is their best "on ball" defender too.

jaydee77
11-21-2007, 02:39 PM
I am sure Coach Few and staff did show show off the complete arsenal against our first three opponents. The three point shooting will come around. We will probably see more Theo in the GAS. This team is deep. The various player combinations the coaching staff can put on the floor at any one time will create nightmare matchups for opposing coaches. Depth creates competition for playing time. I can not see anyone getting complacent. Josh's injury has opened up playing time for younger guys early in the season. This will help their confidence. No "deer in the headlights" later in the year.
The players know that the quality of competition so far has been weak. They are not kidding themselves. They are aware that more work needs to be done. From what I have seen so far, these kids all get along. Josh has been totally engaged while sitting on the bench. Chemistry does not seem to be an issue.

I feel all the parts are in place for this years team to be one of the best ever.

Robzagnut
11-21-2007, 02:40 PM
After watching the UCLA, Michigan St. game last night I realized that GU has a ways to go before they get to that level. The freshmen better develop a lot by tourney time.

lothar98zag
11-21-2007, 02:52 PM
...The last time GU played and beat three softies to begin the season, Illinois blew the doors off the Zags in the fourth game (and first non-K2 game), causing Few to compare the team to looking like a high school squad that didn't belong on the same court as the Illini...


...GU opened w/ 4 softies last year (2 @ the arena) and then beat UNC in their 1st game out of town...

Plenty of people had concerns before the UNC game...



edit to add -

-the year BZ is refering to, GU won the 3 games against softies by an average of 16pts per game
-the year I mention, GU won the 4 games by 26.5pt/gm
-this year, Gu is @ +32/game


can't wait to listen (#$%* espn) to the game tomorrow and find out a lot more about this year's team!

zag67
11-21-2007, 03:17 PM
MICKmick - My response is after Pargo you have (and remember we are only talking 3 games):

Daye - freshman,
LG - sophmore back from 1 year of no play,
Micah - junior - but missed half of last year,
Theo - Freshman - no play in about 2 years,
Matt - sophmore,
Kuso - Senior with 1 year in program,
Pendo - coming back from 2 operations,
Ira - new to the system,
Robert - freshman - new to the system.
That is not an old and experienced team (like as example WSU).

I am not disagreeing that Pargo could make some better decisions, but remember some bad decisions are because other people are not in the correct position. Others may be in trying to hard to make it happen yourself and not letting it happen because the flow is not there yet.

Give this team a month and then if there is not any improvement, then you have a case.

Also remember in a month and a half, you get Josh back, which should get you more offense.

hockeyzag
11-21-2007, 03:37 PM
I am sure Coach Few and staff did show show off the complete arsenal against our first three opponents. The three point shooting will come around. We will probably see more Theo in the GAS. This team is deep. The various player combinations the coaching staff can put on the floor at any one time will create nightmare matchups for opposing coaches. Depth creates competition for playing time. I can not see anyone getting complacent. Josh's injury has opened up playing time for younger guys early in the season. This will help their confidence. No "deer in the headlights" later in the year.
The players know that the quality of competition so far has been weak. They are not kidding themselves. They are aware that more work needs to be done. From what I have seen so far, these kids all get along. Josh has been totally engaged while sitting on the bench. Chemistry does not seem to be an issue.

I feel all the parts are in place for this years team to be one of the best ever.


Just gotta say great post, I agree completely

GU69
11-21-2007, 04:10 PM
I haven't completely bonded with this team yet (in a fan sort of way).

I think I'm trying to get to know the new guys and not leaning on my affections for the old guys.

Pretty funny, but I think that it describes my attitude.

I haven't seen enough of these guys to know what to expect. There seems to be plenty of talent, but I am really curious to see how they will work as a team against a good opponent.

MickMick
11-21-2007, 05:16 PM
I am not trying to come across as a Pargo hater. Indeed, I think he is a fine player. But this board has a habit of making him out to be much more than he really is. He does some things very well. There are other things he doesn't.

Much like a football team doesn't need an All American at quarterback if he can run the plays, limit his turnovers, and manage the game, Jeremy can take the Zags as far as they want to go......if he takes care of the ball.

I guess I am tired of the Deity status he has been given here. Save it for when his turnover/assist ratio warrants it. Further, I think he is the personality type that needs challenged. I want to see something on the court besides tomahawk jams.

dim4sum
11-21-2007, 05:47 PM
I think a key will be the consistency and team-orientation that is required of Pargo. He has forced too many plays and 13 turnovers in three games is not what we expect. I'd like to see a bit more experimentation and substituting at the guard positions. Downs, Daye, Gurganious , Pendo and Theo Davis can bring the ball up. I'd like to see an "anybody can play any position" approach.
There's the talent to do that.However, after just watching an atrocious, disorganized performance by Dentmon of UW, I have to conclude that Jeremy at his worse, is far better than Dentmon. The Huskies will be battling for the Pac10 cellar, because Brockman can't carry that team what with the rudderless leadership of Romar & Co.

Angelo Roncalli
11-21-2007, 06:07 PM
There's the talent to do that.However, after just watching an atrocious, disorganized performance by Dentmon of UW, I have to conclude that Jeremy at his worse, is far better than Dentmon.

In the second half tonight, Dentmon exhibited the worst decision-making I've seen from a point guard in a long, long time. The guy's fundamentals are severely lacking. In the poor fundamentals category, add Pondexter. He still can't dribble/drive with his left hand--a problem that opposing teams figured out after a couple games last year. Watch how defenders over-play him on his right hand. If Ken Bone were still at UW, I think he would have developed a little more.

zagmantis2001
11-21-2007, 10:06 PM
I watched the UW game as well. At one point, Dentmon made a past into the low post at a critical part of the game-I think UW was down two or three, and just basically passed it right to the opposing player. There was absolute silence from the commentators until one of them Lavin(?) basically vomited on the floor and said pointed out the obvious-the pass should have never been thrown. When Dentmon came in, they tanked. The Huskies never recovered.

They played very well in the first half, but A&M's adjustments on Brockman in the second half were great. UW will win a lot of games this year, but they will be pretty inconsistent unless they find some other players to step up. A&M also killed them on rebounds.

dawgfather11
11-22-2007, 09:55 AM
Dawgfather11! Where the hell you been!! Don't tell me you just troll the site and don't say hello? Hey, great game against New Jersey Institute of Technology, BTW ... really, I mean that with all sincerity ... really.


I've been around, really only stop in here once or twice a week (mainly because I forget to plus i'm a scout.com guy) also things are stricter over here now that it's bz's own site and it's not as fun to point out that GU got better this year with the loss of ravio (addition by subtraction). Anyway's i've been saying since last year that this should be GU's best team ever, and this was before I saw what austin daye could do. I love pargo and wish UW had him (although I think we will be just fine with VO) he's the perfect floor general and run's GU offense very well. Anyway's I love gu's team this year and really hope they go far in the dance. Still workin on making it to the kennel this year with my dad to catch up with everyone! Gonna try and bring bulldogshawn to a UW game while he's home over break to, mwahaha corrupting the zags! Anyway's happy t day to everyone!

MoJoZag
11-22-2007, 11:10 AM
I think that this team stands a good chance as long as they start out strong and don't play it "cool" to begin with. The defense has been much better and we actually have bigger players inside. With Kuso fouling less often we are improving there, also.

Only the future will tell.

cair3
11-22-2007, 12:12 PM
1) the ncaa as a whole is better this year than in the past few. There may not be a team quite as good as Florida was but overall the top teams have gotten better. There is a lot of young talent and teams that were top 15 teams last year are even better this year. UCLA MEMPHIS INDIANA UNC KANSAS AND OTHERS were real good last year and are much better this year. Saint Mary's is looking real good.

2) So far our teams stregnth has been defense, but we have played well but the effectiveness of a guy like LG just hounding the other teams Point Guard will go down significantly when the point guard actually has ball control and poise. All the top teams and SMC have real good point guards. I think LG can contain them, but he wont stop them or take them completely out of their game like he did against the first 3 teams.

3) THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE. this team is ranked 14, sounds right. Is very talented, yes. can be better, sure. has some injuries will be around come march hopefully at full stregnth.

surfmonkey89
11-22-2007, 12:27 PM
They're better than we'll treat them after every loss, and worse than we want them to be.

ZagNative
11-22-2007, 01:10 PM
They're better than we'll treat them after every loss, and worse than we want them to be.

Perfectly put!

jigga5
11-22-2007, 02:48 PM
two words.... Austin Daye.... stud

ZaggyStardust
11-22-2007, 02:53 PM
They are good enough to pull off a GREAT victory tonight! Remember last year when we were able, time and time again, to take the other team's top scorer completely out of the game, Stuckey, Almond, Psycho-T??? Well, it's gonna happen again tonight... This team is proud, driven, talented, motivated and just plain good.... It will all come together tonight... Of that, I am certain.

Happy Thanksgiving to all..... I love this Zag family and feel very fortunate and thankful to have you all in my life...

GO ZAGS!!!!

BobZag
11-22-2007, 05:22 PM
I am not trying to come across as a Pargo hater. Indeed, I think he is a fine player. But this board has a habit of making him out to be much more than he really is. He does some things very well. There are other things he doesn't.

Much like a football team doesn't need an All American at quarterback if he can run the plays, limit his turnovers, and manage the game, Jeremy can take the Zags as far as they want to go......if he takes care of the ball.

I guess I am tired of the Deity status he has been given here. Save it for when his turnover/assist ratio warrants it. Further, I think he is the personality type that needs challenged. I want to see something on the court besides tomahawk jams.

Agreed. Look at ASU QB Rudy Carpenter. He's not that great, likely will only be a backup in the NFL at best, and yet he has ASU way up there.

kitzbuel
11-22-2007, 06:35 PM
If you have watched many of the "Feast Week" games being shown on ESPN this week you would know by now that while Gonzaga has the best freshman recruits in the history of the program, we are definitely not alone in that respect. This may be the best overall group of Div.1 frosh that I have ever seen... :agreed: (I haven't had over fifty years of watching basketball.)
And UCLA's Love is one of the toughest kids in the paint I've ever seen. :agreed: