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Thread: Per ESPN's Matt Giles: "Nation's Best Frontcourt"

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    Default Per ESPN's Matt Giles: "Nation's Best Frontcourt"

    It is becoming more evident that Gonzaga is the team to beat in the West Coast conference this season, and there is a very solid chance that Mark Few's squad will take both the WCC title and tournament crown. In a recent tilt against BYU, Gonzaga coasted to a 20-point win, enjoying a boost from the duo of Elias Harris and and Kelly Olynyk, otherwise known as the nation's best frontcourt. Gonzaga's bigs completely bullied the Cougars; individually, Olynyk had a near-perfect stat line, scoring 26 points and grabbing nine boards, but combined, the Harris-Olynyk duo was much more damaging: 51 points, 19 rebounds, and connecting on 17 of their 21 free throws.

    Though Kevin Pangos has played very well, snapping out of a non-conference slump that hindered his perimeter performance, the emergence of Olynyk (and the revival of Harris) have given Few a pair of bigs he can depend on in March. The two have offensive ratings over 120, and in conference play, Harris and Olynyk have been offensive unstoppable. Gonzags's interior is converting 66 percent of their attempts within the arc, and are shooting a combined 10.4 free throws per 40 minutes. Add their ability to crash the glass and defend opposing bigs well, and the Bulldogs are going to be difficult to beat in WCC play.
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    Good article. I think there could be a serious debate with KO and EH against Plumlee/Kelly and Zeller/Watford. The next tier would probably be Murphy/Young and Fair/Southerland.
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    The Hurricane's Johnson...Gamble and Kadji aren't to shabby either.

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    Anyone know the link for those individual player "offensive ratings"?
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    Probably KenPom's subscription level. $20 totally worth it for a year's access.
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    Zeller: 124.7 ORtg; 12.0 OReb%, 19.7 DReb%, 5.3 Block%, 2.9 fouls called per 40, 6.9 fouls drawn per 40.

    Plumlee: 110.1 ORtg; 10.3 OReb%, 24.6 DReb%, 4.3 Block%, 2.3 fouls called per 40, 6.4 fouls drawn per 40.

    Olynyk: 126.3 ORtg; 12.8 OReb%, 20.3 DReb%, 4.1 Block%, 3.9 fouls called per 40, 6.5 fouls drawn per 40.


    Ryan Kelly is a very poor rebounder. When Jefferson is on the court he rebounds the heck out of the ball. But most of the time Plumlee is the only rebounder on the floor for Duke.

    Watford and Oladipo are big time rebounders. Zeller is always competing with talented rebounding teammates for those opportunities.

    Elias Harris is the best rebounder on any of the three teams. Hart and Karno along with Edi get their share of rebounds while on the floor.

    Considering the teammates on the floor, Olynyk's rebounding percentages are the best in my opinion. Not by a lot, as they are all so similar statistically, but I'm not sure Plumlee doesn't lose a couple rebounds per game to Harris if they were teammates. Where KO doesn't match up with the other guys is that he fouls way too much.

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    And considering the eye test, I like Plumlee, Olynyk, then Zeller. A couple other things to consider is Olynyk has the best assist rate of the three and is the only one that shoots from the perimeter. But I also think he is more aggressive taking it to the rim than Zeller and certainly isn't settling for outside shots.

    And to be fair to Zeller on the MSU game, Nix and Payne are both really good interior players. Payne with his length and shot blocking and Nix with his size and strength. I'm not sure they are really all that undersized. They do lack depth though.

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    Give me Elias and Kelly over any two guys in college hoops. Kelly is the least one dimensional player of the other bigs, and Elias is an automatic stat stuffer in the biggest games. Glad they have on Gonzaga uniforms without a doubt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zag79 View Post
    Give me Elias and Kelly over any two guys in college hoops. Kelly is the least one dimensional player of the other bigs, and Elias is an automatic stat stuffer in the biggest games. Glad they have on Gonzaga uniforms without a doubt.
    Same.
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    I love Kelly and EH, but for Zeller to have those figures against the level of competition they play? And with the opposition focusing on shutting him down? (with talented defenders at that...)

    TZ's numbers are impressive. Very. So are KO's of course. But TZ would have a field day against WCC's "bigs" too.

    The B1G is just ridiculous this year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rennis View Post
    I love Kelly and EH, but for Zeller to have those figures against the level of competition they play? And with the opposition focusing on shutting him down? (with talented defenders at that...)

    TZ's numbers are impressive. Very. So are KO's of course. But TZ would have a field day against WCC's "bigs" too.

    The B1G is just ridiculous this year.
    Well Gonzaga's SOS is still 15th in the country, compared to Indiana at 46. I think it's fair to say that teams in 'major conferences' opposition is largely overstated. Well, it is now at least. The thing is, Indiana hasn't even played the best teams in the Big 10 yet (Michigan and Ohio State), so what you're saying is based on who Zeller is going to play, not who he has already played.

    The two best teams in the Big 10 that Zeller has gone up against was Minnesota and Michigan State. He was terrible against Michigan State, and while he had a great game against Minnesota, the tallest player in the post Minnesota played any significant minutes was 6-8 Mbakwe. Not exactly a stellar frontcourt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rennis View Post
    I love Kelly and EH, but for Zeller to have those figures against the level of competition they play? And with the opposition focusing on shutting him down? (with talented defenders at that...)

    TZ's numbers are impressive. Very. So are KO's of course. But TZ would have a field day against WCC's "bigs" too.

    The B1G is just ridiculous this year.
    See Tempe's post above. Plus the WCC isn't (yet) that much of a drag on GU's SOS because we've played some of the better teams. If this was the end of the season and GU had a much higher SOS than Indiana, there would be some validity to this point. But right now conference play hasn't impacted the SOS numbers very much.

    The second point I'd make is I don't think the other teams can key on Zeller. At least not the times I've seen him play. They are the 3rd ranked three point shooting percentage team in the nation. Oladipo (.548), Watford (.455), Sheehey (.429), Hulls (.495), and Abell (.522). Hulls is one of the best three point shooters I've seen this year, if not the best. From the games I've seen Olynyk and Harris draw a lot more attention than Zeller. Not because they are clearly better, but because you can't leave Indiana's shooters open, even for a second.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mgadfly View Post
    Elias Harris is the best rebounder on any of the three teams. Hart and Karno along with Edi get their share of rebounds while on the floor.

    Considering the teammates on the floor, Olynyk's rebounding percentages are the best in my opinion. Not by a lot, as they are all so similar statistically, but I'm not sure Plumlee doesn't lose a couple rebounds per game to Harris if they were teammates.
    So you mean Harris is best followed by KO?

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