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Thread: Withers visits with Few

  1. #1
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    Default Withers visits with Few

    This post is for March Madness seeding purposes only.

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    Thanks 50! Nice bulleted section on the players. Look forward to seeing Jeremy on D. Need that guy that can take an opposing team's star player out of their rhythm.
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    Downbeat assessment from the head coach. Only J3 got 5 stars.

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    Thanks for posting. Interesting comments by Few...leaves me with less lofty expectations based on his emphasis of how essential NWG and PK were to their great D last great. Not that its news just a reminder this team ain't gonna be as good defensively. He also tempered my expectations for both Rui and Larsen...and surprised me by mentioning how streaky Norvell is. He seems high on Jones and Kispert. Nada about Melson, Tillie, Wade
    It is their time....their team...I just get to watch. - Bartruff1

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    Wow, this was a very interesting and enlightening article. For me, it confirms my belief that this might be a different kind of year in terms of results than we have been use to but also extremely enjoyable and rewarding year watching our young players grow.

    His comments about JWIII and Perkins were where I thought they would be. They are both going to be counted on a ton to provide a consistent scoring threat for this team.

    His comments about Larsen are very concerning to me in that our 3rd man in the rotation and only center is and has always been a "project". This seems to be contradictory to the reports we heard last year that he was going to see significant minutes before he was hurt. This year he is going to have to play significant minutes, however, and I hope he is up for the task of doing a lot of blue collar work. This team desperately needs him to eat up minutes and play solid defense and rebound and this year will be very difficult if he is not a consistent contributor in those areas.

    The comments on Rui have been well documented to this point and I know this is going to continue to be a learning year for him so no shock there. With that being said, he is still so talented and as last year showed he can have a big impact even if he is not fully up-to-speed. In 5 minute spurts last year he was able to grab a bunch of rebounds, block several shots, and score a couple buckets so I know he can be an X-factor even if he is still learning. This will be his 2nd year in the program and his communication should have improved so I believe he will have a bigger role and he should still be able to put up decent numbers and contribute even while he is learning. When he learns to operate in the half-court (like Few stated he needs to) is when I believe he will be a superstar like Tommy said he would be in year 3; this year I believe he will be an athletic freak that can be a difference maker and help round out the team.

    It is really good to hear Few mention Jeremy Jones as being a piece that they will utilize this year. I think (no inside information) Ayayi will either red-shirt or have a limited role this year due to youth and just needing to add some muscle and I think Rui is going to have to play a lot of time at the 4 so it is nice to have the extra depth at the guard and small forward positions. His defense is going to be very important this year after losing NWG and Mathews and it is great to hear that he can guard 1-4 to give us extra versatility. I don't expect much from him on the offensive end but hopefully, on occasion, he can create some offense from his great defense, use his athleticism in the open court to help finish in transition, and knock down open 3's so he is not just a one-dimensional player that allows defenses to sag off him.

    I am pretty surprised by the comments on Norvell as I thought, at least offensively, that he was going to be a consistent presence for us. Few did mention that he is a play maker however and hopefully he will be more on than off and when he is off I hope he is still making plays for others. The defense concerns me as we have seen what great defense can do for us and it makes me wonder how much Few will play him. I was hoping he would be our solid 3rd scoring option but with him being streaky and his lack of defense I am not sure that will be the case.

    Great to hear about Kispert!!! I am really hoping he has a great freshman campaign and is a solid and consistent contributor in all areas. He has the, "toughness, size, and athleticism" to be a difference maker on both ends.

    The big concern for this year is going to be consistency. We have a bunch of young guys on this team and that usually means hit and miss performances as they figure out their roles and how to be successful. To be honest, even our upperclassman have struggled with consistency through-out their time at Gonzaga and I am curious to see if they can be consistent every game. I believe that we are going to have some great games this season and we are going to have some very bad games this season. The question is how much this team will grow by the time March comes around. This team has so much talent that it is very possible that they can make a run in March Madness, however, with the youth of this team and lack of depth up front I am preparing myself for a season that we have not become accustomed to. Either way this is going to be a very exciting season to watch as we get to see all this talent grow and come together.

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    Not once in 20 years has Few gushed over the upcoming team. I don't see this as much different. Larsen needs maturity but he's got good tools. From seeing him, I think he's 7 feet and about 260. He'll need time but he'll be much better with experience.
    Kispert is the one who will be the difference. Doesn't matter if he starts. He'll be the one guy who'll contribute in multiple ways.
    I think J3 will be the best player on the floor this year. Tillie? I hope he's healthy and has some endurance. He surely has big time tools. With both being about 6 10, lots will depend on how those two do.
    Rui? Don't know. SOme serious growing will be necessary.
    The guards ( in variable combinations) should do well. If Josh finally arrives, he'll make the team better. If he slides to the 2 spot, Wade has ample ability (once he gets used to D1) to play the PG spot effectively. Melson and Norvell will contribute much . I think Norvell will be a 2 and sometimes a 3. Silas can be really good. If he's solved his nervousness problems, he's got the best tools of any.
    We'll just have to see who does what.
    Few is right about one thing, we don't have a bench like last year. I'm not so certain about the defense either. That one thing will determine V's and L's.

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    Don’t agree Doc. Few is always nuanced with respect to his expectations. Last year one could read between the lines and see he was very excited and knew that he had something special. Rather than tamping expectations for the season, a coacherly habit everywhere save Lexington, I take Few on his word, the 17-18 edition has a long way to go.

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    Well that should put to rest the insane idea of Larsen starting this year.

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    As I posted awhile back, losses will pile up this year, yet be a fun/versatile team to watch. A rewarding team. We'll see growth, growing pains, surprising wins, along with senseless losses.

    A team which will fight for an NCAA birth all season long.

    With just one more legit big to provide depth, this is an entirely different squad with guys playing their fitted roles; but this season will require guys playing multiple positions, out of position, and unique lineups to win.

    I also stated, Jones will play more than any of us expect, considering our extremely thin front court, literally and figuratively. Also our defense around the rim is going to suffer, allowing teams to dribble drive more fearlessly and effectively. Karno, Collins, combined with JIII as weak side help was a tremendous force to score against. Save foul trouble, we woulda ended up as Nat'l Champs because of said duo.

    Also adding, Kispert is more ready than most of our current players are…this was all mentioned in late August.

    I have no idea who will "start", only speculation, but my occasional reports are accurate and from a legit source.

    Problem is, and Coach Few is hinting at as well, if we lose just one of JIII, Tillie, or Larsen, we essentially become a very athletic WCC contender is all, not nearly an NCAA one.

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    I’ll disagree with the above. This team will win in spite of themselves at times. It may not be the way Few prefers to win games but they’ll win games nonetheless. There’s just too much talent and quite frankly the schedule isn’t all that difficult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cggonzaga View Post
    I’ll disagree with the above. This team will win in spite of themselves at times. It may not be the way Few prefers to win games but they’ll win games nonetheless. There’s just too much talent and quite frankly the schedule isn’t all that difficult.
    Keep in mind, it's relatively speaking.

    'Piling up losses' , by Gonzaga standards, is 5 or 6 losses, esp compared to the last few seasons.

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    Fair enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzdelmar View Post
    Don’t agree Doc. Few is always nuanced with respect to his expectations. Last year one could read between the lines and see he was very excited and knew that he had something special. Rather than tamping expectations for the season, a coacherly habit everywhere save Lexington, I take Few on his word, the 17-18 edition has a long way to go.
    Of course they have a long way to go, but honestly don't all of the other teams too? Everyone has lost key players from last year and are either rebuilding or reloading. I have always believed that Gonzaga is a team that reloads. I don't find Few's remarks about the team as either positive or negative, but factual. They are young and will certainly have a long ways to go before they mature. The one thing that I disagree with Coach Few is that I believe the bench will be better than last years. Certainly, we had a good bench by the end of the year, but Tillie and Collins were both freshmen and were up and down all year. At times, and especially against St Mary's, I felt Collins played poorly. And, of course, Tillie broke his hand and was ineffective during that period of time. Melson was the one consistently good player. I am sure Larsen will be as effective as Collins was last year, and I believe Kispert will be as effective as Tillie. Or if you want to we can use Rui as a bench player and would certainly be better off the bench than Tillie was last year. That would put Kispert at the 3. Kispert can be as effective as Mathews in time I think. I still see the Zags as a very touch team, despite the fact that they are young. Yes, it's going to take time, but that's really how it is with most teams. Can we win some of the tough OOC games? I think so. Duke, like Gonzaga, will have a young inexperienced team. But will we get past Florida? For me this is the game to watch. Unfortunately Gonzaga travels to Madison Square Garden to face Villanova who is also reloading but will have an advantage playing in New York.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    The one thing that I disagree with Coach Few is that I believe the bench will be better than last years..
    lol. you think you have a better handle on this than coach? based on internet videos, fan reports, and unrelenting optimism?

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    I agree with Reborn's assessment of last years talent/early season performance and comparison to this year's talent and early season expectations. I would only add that we have no way to fill that huge hole in our offense/defense created by the loss of Karno, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Goss. No doubt that we have a strong back court. I really doubt that our winning margin or end of year win total will be close to last year. Even though we lack last year's depth in the front court, I agree that we have the potential to morph into a very good team by March if everybody stays healthy. Legit shot at Elite 8.

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    Is Jeremy Jones now on scholarship?

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    I think people are making too much of Few's comment that Norvell is streaky. Norvell is left handed, which usually means a person is right brain dominant. That's the creative/artistic side, as opposed to the logical/rational left brain.

    I'm left handed, so I know of what I speak. I've always been streaky; one day I can't miss from 3, and the next, my shot just feels off and I struggle. It seems to be the case for virtually all the lefties I've watched.

    Norvell if he's a typical lefty will have days when he shoots 3 for 11, and days when he goes 10 for 13. He might well have a game where he comes close to duplicating the 13 or 14 3 pointer game he had in AAU. Thing is, when he's off his floor game will still be solid and he'll contribute in other ways.

    No idea how he'll be defensively.

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    Sounds like the offense maybe won't be there like last year. Last sentence in Maynard's post is important. Defense is key every year but more so this year. Less firepower on O will require more D. I'd guess we took 10 pts from other teams last year with that defense. Love to see it again but the new kids must buy in and then have the physical ability to make it happen.
    Can't tell with the new kids just yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soccerdud View Post
    lol. you think you have a better handle on this than coach? based on internet videos, fan reports, and unrelenting optimism?
    I don't think I have a better handle on this team than Coach Few has. Yet, I also think that it's okay to disagree with him if that's how he really feels. I am not like those fans who believe that what Few says to the media in an interview is how he always feels. For instance, he could have said what he did about the bench players in order to challenge them. Maybe the toughest thing to find is someone who could be as good as Collins who averaged 10 ppg, and was an impact player off the bench. I believe Rui could be that kind of player. For this year I think Rui could help the team most by coming into the game off the bench. This would give him some time to watch the game for awhile to try to understand the flow. If Few were to do this I think he would then start Kispert. I think Kispert, as a freshman, is the most ready to be a starter. Can Kispert do what Mathews did last year? I believe he can. This would put Norvell in a role like Melson had last year. I think he can fill Melson's shoes and average 7 ppg. So there is only player left who got fairly good minutes off the bench and that was Tillie who averaged 4 ppg. This year Gonzaga will have two players who could average 4 ppg, Larsen and Wade and even Jones could do that. Last years bench had just 3 players who got significant minutes. This years team has possibly 5.

    Go Zags
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Larsen's a project? When did that happen?
    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 DixieZag View Post
    Larsen's a project? When did that happen?
    "Few hast said it, not I." Actually he said "project-y."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DixieZag View Post
    Larsen's a project? When did that happen?
    Quote Originally Posted by jazzdelmar View Post
    "Few hast said it, not I." Actually he said "project-y."
    I think the "y" is important here.

    Meaning, not quite a project per se, but also not quite ready to bust onto the scene. Not a finished product.

    Although, Few never even flirted with the word "project" when referring to Sabonis, Collins, even Karno as Frosh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goshzagit View Post
    I think the "y" is important here.

    Meaning, not quite a project per se, but also not quite ready to bust onto the scene. Not a finished product.

    Although, Few never even flirted with the word "project" when referring to Sabonis, Collins, even Karno as Frosh.
    Parsing a bit, Gosh? I think he was as much protecting the player's confidence as he was trying to be accurate. As for the 3 named ex Zags, are you kidding?

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    Coach Few's default position seems to be to downplay expectations at the start of the year. We'll see, but I suspect that the personnel are better than he lets on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPtheBeasta View Post
    Coach Few's default position seems to be to downplay expectations at the start of the year. We'll see, but I suspect that the personnel are better than he lets on.
    Maybe, but it wasn’t last year. He was downright giggly. And in some previous years he was, well, more smile-y. Tough choice for Zag diehards, do you believe your coach or your lying ears.

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