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Thread: Gonzaga vs Duke...predictions and other thoughts

  1. #1
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    Default Gonzaga vs Duke...predictions and other thoughts

    I am so happy to be able to post this thread. I have wanted to play Duke all year, and now we have the chance. Like most of us we have thought about being in the Elite 8 all year long. And when my thoughts turned to the possibility, my heart always wanted to play Duke. They have always been the team that I have wanted to beat. There was a time, years ago (but after '99) when Gonzaga was called "little Duke" or the Duke on the West on good days. And many of us would agree that they are the best college program. And why not beat the best. I remember seeing Coach K many years ago, when he was still unknown and just beginning his career at Duke. I saw him walking into a restaurant with his team. I mustarded up some courage and went over and said hi to him and got his autograph. He was extremeely nice and very polite. And now many years later, and he's been a great human being and coach, I am thrilled to be playing him tomorrow night.

    I know that he loves his team, and I know he has loved them all. Yet, these guys are so much younger then any team he has ever had. And in the end I believe that it will be their youth that helps GU beat them tomorrow. Oh! Don't get me wrong. Those freshmen are great basketball players. Their loss will not be blamed on their talent, but on their inexperience. Tyus Jones is a very good point guard, and great scorer, but he is still inexperienced. And I believe point guard play in this tournament is so very important. Gonzaga has one of the best, and experienced, point guards in the country. And Okafer can be contained. Utah showed that. And Gonzaga has a huge front line like Utah, but even better. And like Gonzaga, Duke has been an outstanding 3 point shooting team, and last night they did no better. They made 3 three's, as did Gonzaga. It's interesting how everyone talks about how poorly Gonzaga shot from behind the arch, and not a word about Duke having the same fate.

    It's going to be a very, very close game, and I'm glad we had that game with Arizona earlier in the year. That game will prove to be the one game that helps us get past Duke. This time Gonzaga get's 'er done, and defeats Duke by 77-73.

    Gonzaga 77
    Duke 73
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

  2. #2
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    Keys to the game, imho:

    - Zags must be mentally tough...don't let the name on the opponent's jersey or the chance to make a Final Four overwhelm. Just play your tough, hard-nosed, focused game and shoot with supreme confidence.
    - Foul trouble:
    I predict Duke will try hard to get Pangos out of the game by getting him in foul trouble. Who guards their speedy point guard Tyus Jones...Pangos must because Bell needs to lock down Quinn Cook, their best shooter. McClellan will play key minutes!
    Zags must go after Okafor and pound it inside. Zags bench is much deeper than Duke's, so Zags gotta take advantage by feeding the #NextPolishHammer and Sabonis on the blocks to get Duke's bigs, Okafor and Winslow, in foul trouble.
    - Handle Duke's pressure defense...this may be the quickest team defensively Zags have played, particularly when Duke pressures the wings to prevent that 1st pass to initiate an offensive set. Protect the ball, let PK be an outlet for the pressure and play point-center a bit if need be.
    - 3-pt shooting one of Wiltjer, Pangos or Bell need to have a great shooting (or each has to at least make a couple) night from deep to limit Duke's ability to "dig down" and swipe at the ball in the low post when Karno or Sabonis get it there.
    - REBOUNDING Zags can control this game by dominating the offensive and defensive boards. *This may be the biggest key as it will neutralize poor shooting from deep and/or turnovers by gaining Zags extra possessions.

    Loving every minute of it!!!!!!
    Go Zags....don't stop now :-)))
    It is their time....their team...I just get to watch. - Bartruff1

  3. #3

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    My heart tells me Zags, my head tells me Duke.

    All along I thought there were 2 teams i wouldnt favor Gonzaga against. 1) Kentucky. 2) Duke. The reason being is that they create matchup problems I am not sure we can combat. Who will guard Winslow? Wesley is a bit smaller, Wiltjer is no where fast enough, and Bell is just too small and needs to guard Cook or Jones. Then who guards T. Jones? The guy might be the fastest guard in college basketball. Pangos? Not sure KP is fast enough. Mcclelan? Then you are playing almost 4 on 5 offensively. Bell? Then who guards Cook?

    Watching Duke last night I do think they are beatable but it will be a tough challenge. Okafor is a beast inside, but doesnt play much defense and is susceptible to offensive rebounds. I think we can take advantage of this by taking it inside with Karno and Domas and either scoring or getting JO in foul trouble. The poster above me is right. Need to shoot a lot better so we can have 1 on 1 situations inside and their quick guards cant swipe at Karno and Domas inside. If we find a way to get Okafor in foul trouble ill lean towards the Zags.

    I have tickets to the FInal 4 already with my dad. We would cry if the Zags make it there. Please make it happen boys! Not to mention some $$ i would get if they at least make the finals.

    Regardless, what a fun year this has been. Cant remember a more enjoyable run with a bunch of great guys.

    My prediction i hope fails:

    Duke 72
    Gonzaga 65

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    Love the fact we get CBS coverage Kentucky gets TBS!

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    I'm thinking outside the box on this one:

    Zags: 82
    Duke: 61

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    I think we shoot better, not "Iowa Good" but much better. We get JO in foul trouble right away.

    Our experience trumps their athleticism

    Zags 77

    Not Zags 73
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
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    I am hooked on this disability regarding the shooting in the dome. It plays to a Zag advantage. Its going to be a game of fouls. The inside game will be the deciding factor..hence depth. The shooting debacle will force an inside game where Zags reign supreme in this one. Zags 71 Duke 64.

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    A lot of teams try to out hustle Duke...but it never seems to work. They have good athletes....Justice W is a beast. To me we take our time and pack it in a bit...and let our bigs take up space inside. I think running a controlled half court game is our best option.....and maybe a zone defense since nobody can hit from the outside. It would be nice to be the first team to figure out how to overcome the NRG shooting difficulties. I actually think we match up well in the halfcourt set as they have nobody who can push Shem off the block. The one thing that bugged me about Duke while watching them last night was their "FOUL CREATION". They will run up the backside of the defender then throw their arms up to try to get the call..which they did a couple of times. I hope Few works the refs as hard as Coach K does....its not like Duke needs any extra foul calls to win. We can beat them but, we need to keep the game under control....the more out of control it gets the better they are. The Blue devils are OVERLY aggressive at times which leaves them open to get burned...we need to play smart. GO ZAGS!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DixieZag View Post
    I think we shoot better, not "Iowa Good" but much better. We get JO in foul trouble right away.

    Our experience trumps their athleticism

    Zags 77

    Not Zags 73
    Yes and depth

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    Puke 189
    Bulldogs 40

    "And Morrison? He did what All-Americans do. He shot daggers in the daylight and stole a win." - Steve Kelley (Seattle Times)

    "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people!" - Dan Dickau #21

    Foo me once shame on you, Foo me twice shame on me.

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    One other good omen..

    This is our second game this weekend.

    In the last 2 tournaments this year (WCC and Key Arena), we played workman-like in the first game and ground out wins. The next game(s) were magical and I fully believe that is what is going to happen, here, too. I think Duke is quite pleased to have drawn us and, to the extent possible, might look past us a little.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GonzagasaurusFlex View Post
    Keys to the game, imho:


    - REBOUNDING Zags can control this game by dominating the offensive and defensive boards. *This may be the biggest key as it will neutralize poor shooting from deep and/or turnovers by gaining Zags extra possessions.
    Agree big with this....and, as always, the "little" things Dranginis does in the way of rebounding will be an X factor. He seems especially adept as chasing down those long rebounds created by missed 3's. IMO....

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    Duke is a very,very talented team. Cook, Okafor, Winslow, Jones are all supremely good players and were all higher rated prospects than any player who has ever attended GU. I respect Coach K as much as any coach in the country as well. You could get lost in Duke history and lore with a single google search. Now's the time to make our own history. These Zags are also supremely talented. Pangos IS the best point guard left in this tournament. Kyle might be THE best pure shooter left in this tournament. Shem\Sabonis might be the post tandem left in this tournament. Duke is a scary matchup, but we have the parts, the lineup, and the heart. This team is hungry. I have high hopes.

    Okafor will get his. Cook is the key to this game. Stop Cook, stop Duke. Gary has his plate full. Cook scores 12 on 4-14 shooting. After a slow night vs. UCLA, Kyle goes off. 25 points, 17 in the first half. Zags don't trail in 2nd half. Pangos dishes 7 assists and doesn't turn the ball over and ends the game with the ball in his hands and a huge smile. We party in Houston. We party in Washington. I party on Bourbon Street. Bring on Indy. Bring on Izzo\Pitino. Bring on the Final 4.

    Zags 78
    Duke 70

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    We FINALLY get Duke on a neutral floor, no MSG or Cameron Indoor.

    This is going to be a battle, but I agree with others in this thread that our depth will bring it home. I think Wesley and Drano can keep Winslow from going off, Gary will do his thing against Cook and Karno/Bonus will do fine against Okafor.

    We need to score in this one. We can run with Duke so let's turn it into a track meet, where our depth plays to our advantage. Play loose, push the pace for 40 minutes, Attack Mode as Coach calls it. Limit TO's to under 10 and shoot 75% from the stripe.

    Zags 82
    Dook 79

    Go ZAGS

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    Duke is good. Very, very good. Maybe the 2nd best team in the tournament behind Kentucky. Their ability to win this game is going to depend on two things: Keeping Okafor on the floor, and getting to the rim. Outside shots aren't going to magically start falling for either team after what happened yesterday. (Although I feel like GU will knock some down, especially Wiltjer.) I don't think GU can stop Winslow but I expect Bell and Pangos to more than hold their own against Cook and Jones. Overall I think the combination of our depth, experience, size and skill is enough to beat their superior talent because of their inexperience and potentially insufficient depth. The X-factor here in a low-ish scoring game will be coaching, and clearly Mike K. is going to have the edge in that battle - he's been here many times for a reason!

    I see this game going one of two ways - another low scoring grinder where shots don't fall for either team and Duke grits out a tough 5 point win. Something like 67-62.

    The way I think this goes, and I realize anyone outside of GU will think a double-digit win for the bulldogs is crazy, is the other way. I think Gonzaga opens up on the perimeter and starts knocking down 3s. Okafor gets some foul trouble and is not prepared for our interior size (no one has been yet.) Duke plays the way they did when losing a couple of games mid-season, and turns the ball over on some key possessions late and stinks it up a bit on defense. Gonzaga runs away with it and cuts down those beautiful nets.

    Gonzaga - 82
    Duke - 70
    Last edited by rennis; 03-28-2015 at 01:22 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Few
    We are not here as a #%$&%&! Courtesy!!!

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    GU 79
    DU 76

    Go Zags!!

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    They will have to deal with Karnowski on the block -- and if he plays like he did last night, then they'll have to double team him... but they won't allow those crafty passes to Bonus for layups. Duke will rotate better and leave offside shooters open. If Pangos and Wiltjer can find the hoop, then GU will have Duke in a pick-you-poison situation.

    I know all the zag shooters struggled last night, but I feel a lot better about them now that they've had a game and some practice time to figure out the dome. If he can find the range, Witjer should go off on Duke. They really have nobody to match-up with him. He should be able to go right over top of Winslow and if he's guarded by Jefferson or Okafor, then he can pull them away from the bucket and have a mis-match there.

    Defensively, the zags need to stay in front of Jones and Cook and avoid fouls. Both of them are automatic at the line. I'm guessing Few plays either Bonus or Shem straight up on Okafor and tells them to avoid the fouls and then rebound like crazy. The zags could outrebound Duke and still lose this game, but I don't see them winning it unless they can out-rebound Duke (unless zag shooters go nuts). Defensively, I see McLellan and Dranginis playing big roles. Winslow will be a problem for the zags to contain, but I don't think he's got the ability to really go off for huge numbers like Okafor, Cook, or Jones could... I bet Few plays Wesley or Dranginis straight up on him (maybe Bell, but only if Winslow gets it going).

    I have a feeling that the x-factor in this game will be Wesley. If/when neither team can find a range or rhythm, Wesley is outstanding at junking the game up and scoring a bunch of points. Powell did a decent job on him last night, but many of those strips and jump balls could have easily been called fouls putting Wesley on the line. Winslow will matchup with Wesley at the beginning and as elite of a defender as Winslow is... Wesley is equally as crafty.

    Should be a great game to watch. Here's hoping we see the zags in the FF!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
    Puke 189
    Bulldogs 40

    Weren't we at that game?

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    How about Duke vs. GU in Spokane for the right to go the FF? Not likely but could happen if the Dookie Gals can beat #1 MD and GU can beat the Lady Vols today. Go Zagettes!

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    I really wanna say we are going to win this game. I love our team. I just can't. Duke 78 Zags 70
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenZag View Post
    Agree big with this....and, as always, the "little" things Dranginis does in the way of rebounding will be an X factor. He seems especially adept as chasing down those long rebounds created by missed 3's. IMO....
    Exactly. I was so pumped on Friday night to see how we boxed-out on defense in a most outstanding way and allowed only a few offensive rebounds. UCLA was pretty much one-and-done all night long. A repeat against Duke would pay dividends.
    Failure isn't fatal. Failure to change might be.
    Coach John R. Wooden

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    All of the Zags are hitting their shots. Zag defense is best all year. Zags 82 Dukies 74
    “People have an uncanny ability to make me think I am smarter than I really am. Human Beings bring me back to reality.” S.T.

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    Sighhhhhh.

    i wanna think we win, i am torn. Idk which way to go.

    I think duke wins 72 to 68 as karno gets in foul trouble. I hope im wrong....sigh.

    Actually screw this....

    Zags 78
    Duke 72

    FINAL 4 BABAAAAAAY
    Love the zags for life

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zags11 View Post
    Sighhhhhh.

    i wanna think we win, i am torn. Idk which way to go.

    I think duke wins 72 to 68 as karno gets in foul trouble. I hope im wrong....sigh.

    Actually screw this....

    Zags 78
    Duke 72

    FINAL 4 BABAAAAAAY
    If both teams find their outside shot then I see a 8-10 pt victory over Duke. If neither team is able to hit from outside then I see a 15 point win

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zags11 View Post
    Sighhhhhh.

    i wanna think we win, i am torn. Idk which way to go.

    I think duke wins 72 to 68 as karno gets in foul trouble. I hope im wrong....sigh.

    Actually screw this....

    Zags 78
    Duke 72

    FINAL 4 BABAAAAAAY
    Be brave and stick with it. Don't step back. Hold your ground and push forward. BELIEVE. TRUST.. WE ARE....GONZAGA! WE ARE...GONZAGA!!!
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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