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Thread: Another final four prediction.

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    [Seth] Davis

    Gonzaga: I'm just waiting for the law of averages to kick in and see the Zags enjoy a Butleresque breakthrough to the Final Four. Elias Harris could end up being the highest draft pick selected from this program, and I love the shooting touch of Steven Gray.
    Higher than #3? Really?

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    Yeah, I think he forgot about ole' AMMO.

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    As many have said....it takes "luck" and "talent" to win it all. Teamwork is more important than both.

    How do you explain Butler's run last year? Did they have a dominating frontcourt? NOPE. Did they have a dominating PG averaging 10 apg and double digit points? Did they have an unbeatable transition game? NOPE.

    Heres what Butler did have....Defense that would get in you're face and contest EVERY shot. On offense they moved the ball around very well....and not just the point either.....shutting their point down wouldn't have mattered because the other 4 could still move the ball. They also were PATIENT and only ran when it suited them....most of their tourney games were not particularly high scoring. So what does this have to do with GU?


    I think we will have to play similiar ball this year to be successful. In the scrimmage I saw glimpses of Butler....everybody moving the ball..Meech doesn't have to put up ALL-AMERICAN numbers for us to win...he just needs to be solid and protect the ball. All of our players need to feed the open man...all of our players need to set screens....not sit on their backsides waiting for Meech or Marquise to "Make a play". I saw glimpses of just this strategy last Friday. We have the talent and depth and skill level to get it done. Are we really a final 4 contender? "YOU BETCHA"


    Besides Few's fantastic recruiting, I think his best coaching trait is building his team strategy around his talent. Instead of making the team conform to a particular strategy he tweeks his strategy to fit his team. I think one of the hardest things about playing GU is their unpredictability....They can beat you inside ..outside....transition...they are always a pretty versatile team....well balanced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim77 View Post
    As many have said....it takes "luck" and "talent" to win it all. Teamwork is more important than both.

    How do you explain Butler's run last year? Did they have a dominating frontcourt? NOPE. Did they have a dominating PG averaging 10 apg and double digit points? Did they have an unbeatable transition game? NOPE.

    Heres what Butler did have....Defense that would get in you're face and contest EVERY shot. On offense they moved the ball around very well....and not just the point either.....shutting their point down wouldn't have mattered because the other 4 could still move the ball. They also were PATIENT and only ran when it suited them....most of their tourney games were not particularly high scoring. So what does this have to do with GU?


    I think we will have to play similiar ball this year to be successful. In the scrimmage I saw glimpses of Butler....everybody moving the ball..Meech doesn't have to put up ALL-AMERICAN numbers for us to win...he just needs to be solid and protect the ball. All of our players need to feed the open man...all of our players need to set screens....not sit on their backsides waiting for Meech or Marquise to "Make a play". I saw glimpses of just this strategy last Friday. We have the talent and depth and skill level to get it done. Are we really a final 4 contender? "YOU BETCHA"
    Excellent post. Hit the nail on the head.

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    Few and Co are known for having fast starts to the season and tapering off come tourney time, in recent years. I wouldn't mind stumbling early, if it helps battle-test our guys for the tourney.

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    Another FF prediction from ESPN.

    8. Gonzaga could play in the Final Four: The Zags have three legit NBA prospects: Robert Sacre, Steven Gray and Elias Harris. Point guard play derailed them last season, however. Look for Marquise Carter to help Demetri Goodson, as Goodson struggles to score.
    I don't like all of these bloated expectation threads. A FF is really a pipe-dream with the current state of the team. Let's take this season one game at a time, exhibition or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malastein View Post
    I like what the sporting news has to say about this team. They put them at #13 with one of the best front courts, but a team missing a playmaker. Says that this won't be a fun team to watch compared to past teams. My prediction is that a final four is highly unlikely. The last real good shot the Zags had was in 2005-2006.
    +1. Next realistic hopes for a ff will come, imo, when Bell/Pangos are in their 2nd year. Winning the conference and making the 2nd weekend of the tourney would be great for this team.

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    Legit prospects? Sure it takes talent to win, no doubt. Kentucky had how many NBA picks? How many did Butler have? 1? The difference between the 2 was discipline....and defense....and offensive ball movement. The Zags of 2010-011 kinda remind me of the 99 team in that they will win ugly if needed. Lunchbucket guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malastein View Post
    Problem I have with the post is that this team doesn't have the passing skills of that Butler team. Outside of Gray and Arop, who is a proven passer? Olynyk is fringe at this point. I don't like the way this team is heading, and I'm really hoping I'm wrong. Wish I could be a Kool Aid Kid this year, but I'm not ready to drink up until I see signs of life. This team has good guys on paper, but I don't see enough guys who will make the offense gel.
    There are a few guys I think are capable distributors Olynyk for one, Arop has shown a knack for some nice passes as well. Remains to be seen how well these guys can make our offense flow but the point is Meech doesn't have to be all world to have an efficient offense. He has some strong points (ball handling, tenacious defense, and incredible speed) and if he can at least be a nominal threat for three and a facilitator on offense we are capable of a final four run. Is it a foregone exclusion or an expectation out of this team? No but they are capable of it.

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    I really want to see how Meech and Carter respond to the challenge before I start making declarations. On the surface it appears to be a trouble spot, but players can develop and grow. We just need to wait and see. I still think that those guys hitting shots is the key. If defenses are forced to respect their shot, they won't have to be passing wizards to get the ball into the bigs. I think the so-called lack of passing and playmaking ability is only going to haunt the team in a major way if defenses pack the middle.

    The one thing I do like is the defensive potential of this team. The Zags under Few have never had a backcourt with the defensive potential of Meech and Gray. If Carter can bring some defense off the pine, that's even better. As Decourcy (TSN) wrote about this offseason, it's imperative that the perimeter guys develop a defensive mentality. This team can't rely on outscoring people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maynard g krebs View Post
    +1. Next realistic hopes for a ff will come, imo, when Bell/Pangos are in their 2nd year. Winning the conference and making the 2nd weekend of the tourney would be great for this team.
    These kids are still packing lunches made by their mommies... lets hold off on the expectations. With the schedule we have this year, take one game at a time, this includes any tournament games we may have. THIS YEAR.

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    Agree with the scoring CDC. This team (like Butler) can't allow a team to drop more than 80...especially against some of our tougher OCC foes.

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    Crazy talk I tell you.

    Just for some perspective, several Pundits had Texas as a preseason top 5 in football. Curently, they are 4 and five and fighting for bowl eligibility.
    Birddog

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malastein View Post
    Nothing in sports would make me happier than to see the Zags gel, come together offensively, and surpass my wildest expectations(and I just had a grand ole time watching the SF Giants win it all). On paper, I just don't see it at this point in time. I'm really looking forward to the eyeball test, but from everything I've read and seen I think the majority crowd will be in for disappointment. I was right about last year, and I think the tourney would've been much different with a healthy Arop too. He's really the guy I'm crossing my fingers on more than any other player since Heytvelt(who didn't live up to his talent). He's the most naturally-gifted player on the roster.

    agree, mal. this f4 talk is insane and can only lead to major disappointment. when reputable journos say that and add that gray, harris and sacre are nba prospects, thats just nuts. where did the big guy from dook, brian zoubek, end up? he was a lot better than sacre. he was waived as a free agt by the nets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzdelmar View Post
    agree, mal. this f4 talk is insane and can only lead to major disappointment. when reputable journos say that and add that gray, harris and sacre are nba prospects, thats just nuts. where did the big guy from dook, brian zoubek, end up? he was a lot better than sacre. he was waived as a free agt by the nets.
    Just because I believe this team has the talent to make a final four run doesn't mean I'm going to be majorly dissapointed if they don't.
    Its not insane or ridiculous any more than any of the other top 10 15 teams out there. While I am not one of those that thinks Sacre is headed to the NBA after this year he is still a very good college center who can handle any other center out there on defense and while he is not a prolific scorer there are not many guys out there that could handle him one on one on offense either.
    Then add a very talented player in Harris along with Dower and Olynyk and you have one of the best if not the best frontcourt in college basketball.
    Steven Gray is excellent and if Meech (or Carter or a combination of both)can elevate his game on offense we have a team capable of a final four run. Its not insane and there is a reason the national guys are talking about us like this. Its BECAUSE WE HAVE THE TALENT! Not only offensively but probably more so defensively.
    I'll enjoy this season whatever the outcome but don't call me insane for believing in a very talented group of players.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malastein View Post
    I don't like the way this team is heading, and I'm really hoping I'm wrong. Wish I could be a Kool Aid Kid this year, but I'm not ready to drink up until I see signs of life.
    Are you disappointed by their 0-0 record? Why don't we let them play at least one real game this season before we start talking about where this team is "heading."

    Also, wanting to see "signs of life" implies that their play has been lifeless. Again, let's save these comments until at least 1 second of the 2010-2011 season has actually ticked off the game clock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaZaggin' View Post
    Are you disappointed by their 0-0 record? Why don't we let them play at least one real game this season before we start talking about where this team is "heading."

    Also, wanting to see "signs of life" implies that their play has been lifeless. Again, let's save these comments until at least 1 second of the 2010-2011 season has actually ticked off the game clock.
    But they're 0% from 3!!! And haven't made a shot in the paint!!! We're DOOMED!!! DOOMED, I tell you!!!

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    Teams can get on a roll. Put it all together at the right time.

    Butler looked lethargic in Anaheim last year. Zags beat St. Marys twice and handily in their own gym.

    You gotta be rolling at the right time. We will know from the conference tournament how far the Zags can go. If they are clicking on all cylinders in late February, they can make some noise. But we will not know until then.
    I miss Mike Hart

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    Let's see; 4 starter's back from a team that won 27 games. Indeed, couldn't be bleaker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEC26 View Post
    Just because I believe this team has the talent to make a final four run doesn't mean I'm going to be majorly dissapointed if they don't.
    Its not insane or ridiculous any more than any of the other top 10 15 teams out there. While I am not one of those that thinks Sacre is headed to the NBA after this year he is still a very good college center who can handle any other center out there on defense and while he is not a prolific scorer there are not many guys out there that could handle him one on one on offense either.
    Then add a very talented player in Harris along with Dower and Olynyk and you have one of the best if not the best frontcourt in college basketball.
    Steven Gray is excellent and if Meech (or Carter or a combination of both)can elevate his game on offense we have a team capable of a final four run. Its not insane and there is a reason the national guys are talking about us like this. Its BECAUSE WE HAVE THE TALENT! Not only offensively but probably more so defensively.
    I'll enjoy this season whatever the outcome but don't call me insane for believing in a very talented group of players.
    Bingo.

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    Default apologies, NEC

    but don't call me insane for believing in a very talented group of player


    apologies NEC, bad choice of words and there was no intention to label any single fan as such, just that the notion that gu is a f4 contender right now is irrational (better?).....and the point made that what happens in march is all that matters is spot on......

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    I go on the record and say this team has the ingredients to be something special. They may do it in a way that most Zags followers are not use to, but they have the strength, toughness, and defense to make noise in March. The key stats for this team may not be threes, but opponent's FG % and rebounds. If this team rebounds and defends like it has the potential, then they will be a hard out come March. No one will want to face them. It was great to hear the interviews after the scrimmage and, to a man, they said that they have toughen up of D. They get that D is the key.

    The posters are right that Meech will be the key, but not in the way they imagine. Listen to Few. He is asking Meech do what he does best, push the ball, start attacking from the get go, defend without gambling, pressure the passing lanes, trusting his quickness and speed. The posters want him to become a great (or just an average) 3 point shooter and they think that will lead to success. But a lot of the offense of this team will come from its defense. If Meech does do consistently what he does best, he will makes this team very good.

    What I will be watching on Friday is not who scored and how, but how was defensive rotation, what was Southern's FG% and by how much did GU out rebound Southern.

    Offense may become secondary to Defense and this will be weird to Zags fans. Many of the GU units went to Sam, even as Sacre had a double-double and KO was close to a double-double.

    This may be the best toughest defensive team Few has ever had, and as Butler proved last year, Defense can get you pretty far.
    ----
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    How many teams, at the start of LAST season, were locks to make the FF and how many did? Entering the tournament, how many teams were locks to reach the FF or even the EE and how many did?
    The Zags, if they catch a break here, there and in seeding, surely are possible to get there. Will they?, there are so few certainties in life, but they have a good chance. We will know a little more about where they stand in 8 days, and a week after that we will have a real good idea of where we are headed, what needs to be improved and what looks good.
    Anybody burying the Zags now, or anointing them to FF status, as a lock needs to share the winning powerball numbers with this boards posters. We will split it equally, and all get season tickets besides, Dutch treat.

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    I appreciae the recognition. I do, and I think it helps recruiting. There is nothing better than national recognition by the press.

    Predicting success in November this year, I believe is difficult. I think that many analysts just have a sense that it's the Zag's year for whatever reason they each have. This team is untested, and there are major changes. If Elias moves to the 3 then this is a pretty new team. I also feel that we can not truly gauge their future success off of the SOU game. A big factor will be Meech and Carter. How much can they improve in one season?

    I do not think this team is going to miss Matt B. It's going to be better. I think Meech will be better (i.e. the Davidson game) and so will Gray and Harris. From all that Im reading, the bench is better this year and that's good. We will need a better and more consistent bench to make it deep into the tournament in March.

    The Zags have the frontcourt to make a deep run. Thats good news. But do we have the shooters because we all know we have to have them. I think this will be one of the big tests. I'm excited to see who is going to rise up out of the dust to be that consistent outside threat.

    The Zags defense is going to be better. It has to be. All of the teams that make the Sweet 16 this year will have very good defenses. I don't think the improved defense will offset our need for outside scoring. A couple of guys will need to step up and begin to start hitting those outside shots. I think one of them is going to be Harris. Of course he won't be a 3 pt specialist, but I think we can count on him to hit a couple a game. My guts tell me we need to make 7-8 per game, and in particular in the big games. Fortunately for the Zags we won't have to wait long for big games.

    The final factor to me is Steven Gray. Steven must have a great year, and I think he will. He has always played in Matt's shadow and I think he is glad it's gone. I think we will see the Steven Gray we have all been waiting to see. We know he has the talent.

    I will be really happy if we make it to the Sweet 16. At the beginning of the year, and all season long, it's a great goal to achieve, believe me......It's all frosting on the cake after that. I do think that this team will make it to the Sweet 16.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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