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Thread: "Athletes" on the Zags team

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    Default "Athletes" on the Zags team

    There has been a huge amount of comments in this years tournament from announcers and the media and the half time crews about the advantages of having elite athletes. Would any of our team members be classified as this? We have elite players but do we have any elite athletes?

    Going forward, how important is it to have more elite "athletes" on our team? Do the additions of Coleman and Nunez improve our overall athleticism?

    In no way am I saying this is a reason why we lost or calling for a change in personnel or how the coaches recruit. Just wondering how important people feel this is for Gonzagas future?

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    None of the active players really qualify as "elite" athletes. I don't know about the red shirts, like Coleman.

    We've had some in the past. Calvary, Anthony Reason, Errol knight before his knees went bad, Pargo, Downs. Probably missing a few.

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    I have been waiting for this thread. It usually doesn't pop up until Final Four weekend but not surprised to see it here. It takes at least this long for us Blue and Red Eyed Zag heads to see and understand what national championship teams look like. I first started noticing this thread when Rose and Memphis made the championship game and Cal went off to UK.

    There are exceptions, like Butler, but championship teams are those that stock athletes, lots of them, and teach them disciplined team basketball. Last year's Kentucky team had just enough discipline and basketball knowledge to not beat themselves and win it all.

    But it starts with the athletes and if you have read my posts this past week you will begin to understand why I am not as down as some about GU's early exit. With one more athlete, we win last Saturday. With two more we win a game next weekend.

    Over simplified? Guilty. But without the speed, you are relying on 3's falling and refs making calls and champions rely on neither.
    Gonzaga Basketball
    Exhibiting Character Since 1907

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    Last year after Gonzaga embarrased West Virginia, in the post game interviews, Huggins was asked why ???

    He said, because Gonzaga recruits kids that know how to play basketball, and all to often, other teams recruit kids that are quick and big and strong and can run and jump and don't know how to play and won't learn...

    Now, if we can get some that can run and jump and know how to play basketball !!! But, you know where they go...

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    Santangelo was an elite athlete. Should have mentioned him. Frahm was borderline.

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    Zagco takes an athlete over a skill guy everytime, unless it's a game of HORSE or a video shoot for a basketball drills instructional. Generally speaking, he would only take a skill guy if the skill guy had truly elite skills, like Larry Bird. Otherwise, it's athlete all the way.

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    I remember Huggins saying that and I do think that their is some truth in that statement. I think it's easy to get caught up in physical ability and lose sight of the great basketball IQ and skill guys. Having said that, I also agree with McZag that in games where your skill guys have an off night it can be tougher to overcome those games and still win.

    Fwiw I feel that Guy is an elite athlete but he could not put it all together for long enough stretches to be effective. Maybe if he had all four years at Gonzaga he could have visited the Olynyk clinic and been a force. Who knows.

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    Wouldn't GLE qualify? Few apparently couldn't get him to be disciplined enough to stay on the court.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MJ777 View Post
    Wouldn't GLE qualify? Few apparently couldn't get him to be disciplined enough to stay on the court.
    I'd put him in the borderline category. Pretty good hops. Probably average speed.

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    Zagco feels that Dranginis is very athletic, although since he did not get to play a bunch this year, Zagco bases that mostly on seeing him play when he was younger. He seemed extremely athletic then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagco View Post
    Zagco takes an athlete over a skill guy everytime, unless it's a game of HORSE or a video shoot for a basketball drills instructional. Generally speaking, he would only take a skill guy if the skill guy had truly elite skills, like Larry Bird. Otherwise, it's athlete all the way.
    ......

    North Carolina had them...Kentucky had them...Cuse has them and so does Louisville...( I wonder what Few could do with that Carolina team ?)

    Next year...Kentucky is suppose to have the best recruiting class ever and a odds on favorite to win the National Championship.

    You could see the difference in the Nike Game that Pangos played in in Portland...many of those US guys are in the NBA now.

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    Any suggestion that Bell, Harris, KO, or GLE are not elite athletes is absurd.

    Neither Larry Bird, nor John Stockton, nor Pistol Pete, nor even Magic was what some today would call an elite "athlete." All know how to play the game though.

    We recruit basketball players. We ought not abandon that approach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 229SintoZag View Post
    Any suggestion that Bell, Harris, KO, or GLE are not elite athletes is absurd.
    Compared to who? Compared to you and I, sure. Compared to Oladipo or the injured kid from Kenucky or any of the former players for Gonzaga I mentioned, not really.

    You can certainly be an elite basketball player and not be an elite athlete and vice versa. All of the guys you mention are in the former camp, not the latter. With the exception of GLE.

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    Meech was quite the athlete

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    Bird, Magic, and David's dad are 3 of the Top 50 greatest players in NBA history. Pistol Pete is the greatest college basketball player of all time. Elite skill is harder to find than elite athlete, Zagco believes. If you can find it, get it. But, if it is not elte skill, then Zagco takes the athlete every time. This may be a bit of looking at basically the same thing in a different way, but he generally is not impressed by HORSE champions and drill demonstrators. He looks for explosion, the ability to move and change direction by hopping and players who can recover from bad positions.

    If he was advising a young kid who was looking to find a way to actually improve his athleticism, he would strongly advise learning and perfecting the art of Olympic lifting via cleans and snatches, and he would also advise sprinting with resistance, all meant to work the fast twitch muscles and get the mind used to explosive movement.

    Harris looked out-athleted in the tourney. He looked a bit slow in the post, evidenced by several blocked shots. He looked too deliberate and not explosive.

    For his size (Zagco tends to adjust his thinking a bit for truly big guys), he agrees that KO has unusual athleticism. Now, if that translates into the NBA is a bit of a different question, because everyone in the NBA is pretty dang big and you have a lot of elite athletes who can be 4 inches shorter but still play bigger.

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    I think of the athlete vs skills guy as a continuum, with an all-athlete/no skills guy at one end, and a non-athletic, all-skills guy at the other. Between the two there are players that encompass varying levels of both skill and athleticism. An all-skills guy has to have some level of athleticism to be able to compete, as must the athlete have some level of basketball skill.

    In other words, it's not a black and white issue. There are various combinations of athleticism and skill along the continuum that can be successful, but I just don't see the odds being in favor of the mostly skills guy when up against the athletic guy with enough skills. Maybe a well-coached team is less susceptible, pushing the point a little further down the continuum toward the all-skills player--depending on match ups--I think, if for no other reason than because they are likely to be more disciplined and can stay within the offense or defense that the staff has designed to combat the other team's strengths.

    Just my thoughts.

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    I don't think of KO as an elite athlete yet he is an AA. How about Ammo, look what he and Reddick accomplished in the same season, were they elite athletes? Was Jimmer an elite athlete? I don't think so. How about Hart, I don't consider him an elite athlete either. GLE may be the best athlete on the team this season and he played only a minor role. All things considered I prefer to have top basketball players like KO and Hart, if they also happen to be elite athlete's that can't be a bad thing.
    It's not the size of the Bulldog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the Bulldog!

    GO ZAGS!!!

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    Default gray

    steven gray

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    One kid that will be amazing if he gets a little more skilled is Jito Kok for USD.

    He has incredible athleticism in a tall, long body. He's one of those put a quarter on the top of the backboard talents.

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    Next season, the Zags will not be particularly athletic relative to other top teams in the country.

    It will prove to be troublesome, but GU will still be a good team.
    I miss Mike Hart

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    Default Few gets paid to know the answer to this tread

    Why not ask him? I have never been sold on Few's ability as a coach. I realize that criticizing Few, in Spokane, is like criticizing the Pope in Rome. Nevertheless, I think Few has a Plan A and only a Plan A in games. I have never gotten the impression that Few is flexible in changing the game's strategy during a game.

    Watching the Louisville-Oregon game yesterday when half time came and Louisville was up by over 10 points, Pitino was interviewed on his way to the locker room. He said (words to the effect) that he didn't like winning the game as a result of offense -- he thought that offense alone was a losing proposition. He said that the half-time locker room would concentrate on Louisville concentrating on defense for the 2nd half. I may be wrong but MY IMPRESSION of Few is that he would have considered the lead as a product of the team doing all the right things during the first half.

    I am wholeheartedly a fan of Gonzaga and have been since my wife and my kids could go to the GU game 15 minutes before the start and sit almost anywhere we wanted too. And, when the tallest guy on campus was our Center and a 500 season was considered a success.

    I just don't think Few is that good a coach even though his win/loss record says I'm crazy.

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    You complimentary close is spot on...your crazy...IMHO of course..
    Last edited by bartruff1; 03-30-2013 at 01:59 PM.

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    Been thinking about this too.

    I was thinking about what the team needed to do to get better for next year. To be honest we are already a skilled team...and a pretty decent athletic team..but not elite. If you look at what KO did in his off season...thats what this team needs to do this season.

    They don't really need to work on personal skills..shooting ..dribbling....they need to work on becoming better athletes. In fact, they need to put the ball down and use their energy to do just that. Playing more games won't help them...getting faster,quicker and stronger will. I'm not saying they aren't good athletes..cause they are great athletes...I'm just saying that a small improvement is whats needed to put them over the top. Again, KO's new found atheticism transformed him from bench guy to ALL-American..in 1 year.

    Leave the team skills for September till season starts....and from now till September...hit the gym. We get a bit better...we'll be there.

    The lone exceptions is Karno and Sam...they need to work their post moves till they can do them in their sleep...and hit the weights.

    Coleman and Nunez DO help our athletic situation and are huge additions to the team.....I honestly think we can be better next year if the guys work hard....I'm also hoping Drew B takes over Mike Harts mantle.

    If KO comes back we are top 10 right away...either way we will be a force to be reckoned with....Dower/Karno development is critical...we're good everywhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by combatcorpsmangulaw View Post
    I just don't think Few is that good a coach even though his win/loss record says I'm crazy.
    You're entitled to your opinion and I am a Few fan, but I think you nailed it, you're crazy. There are many ways to judge a coaches success, one of those is winning percentage, another is trips to the NCAA tourney. In both of these categories Few has few peers. Mark Few is recognized as one of the top coaches in the game today, with very good reason.
    It's not the size of the Bulldog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the Bulldog!

    GO ZAGS!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rijman View Post
    You're entitled to your opinion and I am a Few fan, but I think you nailed it, you're crazy. There are many ways to judge a coaches success, one of those is winning percentage, another is trips to the NCAA tourney. In both of these categories Few has few peers. Mark Few is recognized as one of the top coaches in the game today, with very good reason.
    +100

    It hurts losing sometimes but, the guy is the perfect fit. We always compete and as a fan I respect that. I wish GU would just sign the guy for a 15 year deal and end it. He may never win a championship but, you get a good guy who runs a great program...just a no nonsense type guy. Having some flashy ex-BCS hotdog just wouldn't work for the Zags....they are Blue collar...and so is the coach. I will say that having Ben Howland as an asst would be kinda cool. Spokane would be a welcome relief from that ratrace in LA.

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