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Thread: Growth and this season...

  1. #1
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    Default Growth and this season...

    Is this the single biggest growth weve seen in a single season? Im saying yes! We started the year with 4 mostly proven guys and have since seen 3 guys emerge as consistent winners. I really hope that this team can accomplish a few more final four appearances in the coming years. Its been a joy to watch!

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    Thanks for this nice thread, Malastein. I was thinking along these lines now since the conference season is over. Personally, at the beginning of the season, I felt the team would be pretty good this year, especially on defense. The return of JW3, Melson and Perkins inspired me because they were certainly some of the best defenders on last years' team. Also Perkins and JW3 were good scorers, and Melson had such a beautiful 3 point shot. The team looked really great early on in the season, losing in double overtime to Florida (many analysts felt in might just be the best game of the basketball season). The loss to SDSU was bad, and could hurt the team in regards to the seeding in the NCAA Tournament. We'll see.

    Overall, I felt the Zag fans who post on GUBoards were overly criticle of this team. i'm not sure why. And the constant comparisons to last years team was just completely unfair to this team. I certainly can understand how we compared the two teams early on in the season, but this has continued almost the whole season, and it just made reading the board daily hard for me. I never liked all of the criticisms. I would say that this is perhaps the most underappreciated Gonzaga team ever. But only by some who write here. I know for a fact that most posters here have been consistent in their love and appreciation for this team. I feel some of those who criticized so much are gone. Lately, the forum seems to be much more positive.


    I do think that the one person who has grown a lot is Rui. It's been really awesome watching him develop too. He certainly makes this team much better. As always, I've enjoyed watching the new players develop. But this happens every year or two. It's what makes college basketball the wonderful sport that it is. It's just been so cool to watch Kispert and Norvell develop. These are two pretty darn good freshmen.

    What is fun every year is to watch the team's chemistry and cohesion develop or grow, every year. This characteristic is for me the most beautiful to see. One of the announcers last night kept referring to how beautiful the team plays as a unit. It's true. The passing is so much better, and the spacing is now what it should be. Everyone has a sense of where they need to be. It's like watching a ballet to me. However, this is something that takes place every year, and it's something the Mark Few and his assistants do so well. The Zags, as is usual, are peaking at the right time. That game last night, and the game against St. Mary's were two indications of how good this team is. Those were two beautiful games.

    I've criticized our guards this year for some poor shooting games, and overall one of the worst shooting Gonzaga teams ever from behind the 3 point line. But then a game like last night happens, and they have been happening lately. The guards come out and hit one three after another, and it gives you a feeling of wonderful security. And the games were both on the road.

    All year long this team has been criticized for their scheduling which has really frustrated me. My God, they played: Villanova, Creighton, Ohio State, Florida, UW, and SDSU. These are all highly respected basketball programs. Who knew SDSU would have a bad year, and Florida has had a worse year than I expected. However, when you live by the 3 as their team does, there will be games when the shots just don't fall. UW is a huge rivalry, and we played them in their arena and beat the heck out of them. We beat Creighton and Ohio St by a wide margin as well. And to me what shows the most in our losses is that we only have one loss by more than 3 points. No one will ever convince me that this is not a really good team.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    Thanks for this nice thread, Malastein. I was thinking along these lines now since the conference season is over. Personally, at the beginning of the season, I felt the team would be pretty good this year, especially on defense. The return of JW3, Melson and Perkins inspired me because they were certainly some of the best defenders on last years' team. Also Perkins and JW3 were good scorers, and Melson had such a beautiful 3 point shot. The team looked really great early on in the season, losing in double overtime to Florida (many analysts felt in might just be the best game of the basketball season). The loss to SDSU was bad, and could hurt the team in regards to the seeding in the NCAA Tournament. We'll see.

    Overall, I felt the Zag fans who post on GUBoards were overly criticle of this team. i'm not sure why. And the constant comparisons to last years team was just completely unfair to this team. I certainly can understand how we compared the two teams early on in the season, but this has continued almost the whole season, and it just made reading the board daily hard for me. I never liked all of the criticisms. I would say that this is perhaps the most underappreciated Gonzaga team ever. But only by some who write here. I know for a fact that most posters here have been consistent in their love and appreciation for this team. I feel some of those who criticized so much are gone. Lately, the forum seems to be much more positive.


    I do think that the one person who has grown a lot is Rui. It's been really awesome watching him develop too. He certainly makes this team much better. As always, I've enjoyed watching the new players develop. But this happens every year or two. It's what makes college basketball the wonderful sport that it is. It's just been so cool to watch Kispert and Norvell develop. These are two pretty darn good freshmen.

    What is fun every year is to watch the team's chemistry and cohesion develop or grow, every year. This characteristic is for me the most beautiful to see. One of the announcers last night kept referring to how beautiful the team plays as a unit. It's true. The passing is so much better, and the spacing is now what it should be. Everyone has a sense of where they need to be. It's like watching a ballet to me. However, this is something that takes place every year, and it's something the Mark Few and his assistants do so well. The Zags, as is usual, are peaking at the right time. That game last night, and the game against St. Mary's were two indications of how good this team is. Those were two beautiful games.

    I've criticized our guards this year for some poor shooting games, and overall one of the worst shooting Gonzaga teams ever from behind the 3 point line. But then a game like last night happens, and they have been happening lately. The guards come out and hit one three after another, and it gives you a feeling of wonderful security. And the games were both on the road.

    All year long this team has been criticized for their scheduling which has really frustrated me. My God, they played: Villanova, Creighton, Ohio State, Florida, UW, and SDSU. These are all highly respected basketball programs. Who knew SDSU would have a bad year, and Florida has had a worse year than I expected. However, when you live by the 3 as their team does, there will be games when the shots just don't fall. UW is a huge rivalry, and we played them in their arena and beat the heck out of them. We beat Creighton and Ohio St by a wide margin as well. And to me what shows the most in our losses is that we only have one loss by more than 3 points. No one will ever convince me that this is not a really good team.

    Go Zags!!!


    Fine post, Reborn! What are you doing with the rest of your day?

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    Kudos to Mal & Bornie!

    There is one thing with Zach, Corey, and especially Rui as the season has marched on: they have no fear, no hesitation when the ball is in their hands. Rui was just a damn beast last night, he was unstoppable while looking for his shot, and his repertoire is considerable.

    Zach's overall game has developed considerably, despite the rare freshman mistake.

    Glad to see Corey's got his mojo back after his ankle issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasZagFan View Post
    Kudos to Mal & Bornie!

    There is one thing with Zach, Corey, and especially Rui as the season has marched on: they have no fear, no hesitation when the ball is in their hands. Rui was just a damn beast last night, he was unstoppable while looking for his shot, and his repertoire is considerable.



    Zach's overall game has developed considerably, despite the rare freshman mistake.

    Glad to see Corey's got his mojo back after his ankle issues.
    I just wish Norvell would go in for a layup on those break aways, instead of trying to dunk it every time. He doesn’t have great hops and I’m afraid that he’s going to get hurt. He’s had 3-4 throughout the season where he’s gotten hammered when trying to dunk it...and he’s hitting the floor hard!

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    Have Zags ever had a season where 6 players averaged double figures in scoring in WCC play?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagOD7540 View Post
    I just wish Norvell would go in for a layup on those break aways, instead of trying to dunk it every time. He doesnt have great hops and Im afraid that hes going to get hurt. Hes had 3-4 throughout the season where hes gotten hammered when trying to dunk it...and hes hitting the floor hard!
    I agree, plus I think he would be getting the and one more often. At least he is fearless and starting to develop as a leader. Can't wait to see him in the tournament. He is best when it's on the line.

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    A lot of our posters were hating on this zag team with 27 wins. Saying "I never seen a zag team as selfish."

    Sorry this team is better then 98% of the teams we have had. I hope they go deep.
    Love the zags for life

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    Rui's midrange jumper is a thing of beauty. Who knew. We know Corey can shoot the three. Waiting for more cofidence in it. Norvell is really talented. KT is a silent assasin. J3 = warrior. Love this team.
    To Fish & Game: Keep streams stocked well for Mr. Few!

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    The team lives and dies by Josh. If he continues to grow, the sky is the limit. I wish he would play off the ball an extra 5 sets per game. It's difficult with two pure two guards in Melson and Zach, but it is what it is since Wade isn't ready. Get Josh loose and we can beat any team in the country.

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    I feel the Zags were taken for granted this season more than any other since Few took over the team. That includes me. Guilty as charged.

    1) The team is literally 4 or 5 plays away from being 30-1.

    2) Yeah, they got hammered by Villanova, but not like by 35. The Zags were exhausted after PK80. They foolishly scheduled the unnecessary (except for monetary reasons) Incarnate Word game 2 days later. Then they had one day off before destroying Creighton. And then they had to fly across the country to play an early weeknight game against an elite team in a "neutral" arena that Nova has been playing at for decades.

    3) For the first time in Few's reign as head coach, the team was picked to unanimously lose the regular season WCC title to another team. Yes, the Zags lost something like 60% of their scoring, but I also felt that coaches and press people really, really underestimated the value of Joe Rahon to SMC's team last year. That was not more evidenced than in the win at SMC when Naar just couldn't finish around the rim.

    4) There's no star on the team. Just a bunch of dudes who score in the low teens.

    5) The team basically had to operate all year without a backup for Josh Perkins. I am sorry, Silas is not a point guard.

    6) Hachimura improved massively through the course of the season, showing why it was 100% worth grabbing him, even with next to no English skills going into his freshman year.

    7) The team has two future leaders in Zach Norvell and Corey Kispert. Norvell shows the best scoring killer instinct of any GU player since Adam Morrison. He's a little wild at times, and the long range shot a bit flat, but it'll get better. Kispert's ankle injury set him back more than even I thought. But he's getting better and has a bright future.

    8) There was a time when this team was down in the dumps. But they rallied when they had to. Wins at SMC, USD and BYU, with two of them being smash jobs.

    9) In order to make sure they keep that #4 seed in Boise, the Zags need to win the WCC tourney. They have a great bracket set up. However, they must start thinking about how SMC is going to counter the Landale double teams. I would suspect we will see more players slashing towards the basket than just the PG. Ultimately, they may need to use a strategy where they try to hold Landale to his season average and hold everyone else in check.....expecting a closer game. The game will basically be a home game for GU. Zag fans always travel well to Vegas.

    10) Not sure what to think about the team in the NCAA tournament. What I do know is in that in a single game format, these guys can beat just about anyone. There have been too many top 10 upsets this season to convince me otherwise. But can they win four in a row? Not sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CDC84 View Post
    I feel the Zags were taken for granted this season more than any other since Few took over the team. That includes me. Guilty as charged.

    1) The team is literally 4 or 5 plays away from being 30-1.

    2) Yeah, they got hammered by Villanova, but not like by 35. The Zags were exhausted after PK80. They foolishly scheduled the unnecessary (except for monetary reasons) Incarnate Word game 2 days later. Then they had one day off before destroying Creighton. And then they had to fly across the country to play an early weeknight game against an elite team in a "neutral" arena that Nova has been playing at for decades.

    3) For the first time in Few's reign as head coach, the team was picked to unanimously lose the regular season WCC title to another team. Yes, the Zags lost something like 60% of their scoring, but I also felt that coaches and press people really, really underestimated the value of Joe Rahon to SMC's team last year. That was not more evidenced than in the win at SMC when Naar just couldn't finish around the rim.

    4) There's no star on the team. Just a bunch of dudes who score in the low teens.

    5) The team basically had to operate all year without a backup for Josh Perkins. I am sorry, Silas is not a point guard.

    6) Hachimura improved massively through the course of the season, showing why it was 100% worth grabbing him, even with next to no English skills going into his freshman year.

    7) The team has two future leaders in Zach Norvell and Corey Kispert. Norvell shows the best scoring killer instinct of any GU player since Adam Morrison. He's a little wild at times, and the long range shot a bit flat, but it'll get better. Kispert's ankle injury set him back more than even I thought. But he's getting better and has a bright future.

    8) There was a time when this team was down in the dumps. But they rallied when they had to. Wins at SMC, USD and BYU, with two of them being smash jobs.

    9) In order to make sure they keep that #4 seed in Boise, the Zags need to win the WCC tourney. They have a great bracket set up. However, they must start thinking about how SMC is going to counter the Landale double teams. I would suspect we will see more players slashing towards the basket than just the PG. Ultimately, they may need to use a strategy where they try to hold Landale to his season average and hold everyone else in check.....expecting a closer game. The game will basically be a home game for GU. Zag fans always travel well to Vegas.

    10) Not sure what to think about the team in the NCAA tournament. What I do know is in that in a single game format, these guys can beat just about anyone. There have been too many top 10 upsets this season to convince me otherwise. But can they win four in a row? Not sure.
    Nicely done. Our college basketball scholar in residence, voice of reason.

    You can list me as your co-conspirator, too. I sure didn't think they had the discipline to win every road game.

    Early season they had to out-score a team to beat them, now they can win with defense, too.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

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    it was always going to be tough to follow-up the best season in school history...not fair, but that's life.

    the zag program has also grown to the point that how every team is going to be remembered will mostly be dependent on what happens in march...also not fair, but that's what happens when you become big-time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizZAG View Post
    Rui's midrange jumper is a thing of beauty. Who knew. We know Corey can shoot the three. Waiting for more cofidence in it. Norvell is really talented. KT is a silent assasin. J3 = warrior. Love this team.
    That's what has really caught my eye lately is his midrange jumper. Can't defend that shot. Hope to see that shot falling in the next few weeks.

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    I was down on our core group of big men earlier in the year- one for not showing senior leadership and the other for not takin advantage of such great God-given talent and athleticism. A third guy I thought was going to be a wing player and he has been figuring out the power forward spot on the fly. All three have stepped up big in different ways, but they all have learned to be more consistent and can be counted on every game to make an impact. The Zags wouldn’t be where they are without their great games and timely, monster individual plays.
    Last edited by JPtheBeasta; 02-26-2018 at 06:55 AM.

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    Rui at the 3 is a devastating matchup for most teams .....Kudos to Few for breaking away from his comfort zone 3 guard lineup......Rui does not start, which is fine. All the more impactful. His jumper in the paint is indeed a thing of beauty; always shocked when he misses. And if the opponent closes, poof, hes at the rim.....and a great FT shooter. Third team AA next year. A lineup of the 3 bigs, Josh and Norvell is our best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CDC84 View Post
    I feel the Zags were taken for granted this season more than any other since Few took over the team. That includes me. Guilty as charged.

    1) The team is literally 4 or 5 plays away from being 30-1.
    I just don't see this CDC84. They lost to Nova fair and square ... and it wasn't close. They lost to Florida ... and if they'd beaten Florida they'd have had to play Duke. I'm just not chalking Duke up as an automatic win. They squeaked by Texas after the Florida game and sure ... there's a chance they'd have won against Duke (instead of Texas). I just don't see how the Zags are "literally 4 or 5 plays away from being 30-1"

    That being said ... I'd LOVE to see these guys end the season 36-4. And I think they have a shot at doing it .... due in part because of some of the things mentioned in your post and in this thread. Go Zags !!!

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    I agree. I, myself, need to be more positive and supportive about this years team because they have really been tremendous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoZags View Post
    I just don't see this CDC84. They lost to Nova fair and square ... and it wasn't close. They lost to Florida ... and if they'd beaten Florida they'd have had to play Duke. I'm just not chalking Duke up as an automatic win. They squeaked by Texas after the Florida game and sure ... there's a chance they'd have won against Duke (instead of Texas). I just don't see how the Zags are "literally 4 or 5 plays away from being 30-1"

    That being said ... I'd LOVE to see these guys end the season 36-4. And I think they have a shot at doing it .... due in part because of some of the things mentioned in your post and in this thread. Go Zags !!!
    You make a good point about having to play Duke in the PK80 final. That was an oversight on my part. That would've been no easy task, and a game GU could have easily lost. Perhaps I should have said that in 3 of GU's 4 losses, they lost very close games. They weren't like 12 point defeats. And the SDSU loss is the only one that's hard to stomach. GU is clearly the better team. While GU almost lost the Texas game, they dominated most of the game. But the game also demonstrated a key weakness: the team's inability to adequately handle late game full court pressure. The Zags didn't appear any better at it against USD recently.

    I sense you will disagree with me on this - I still feel there were circumstances surrounding the Villanova game that caused Gonzaga to play more poorly than they normally would. If they had played that game on a Saturday night, I would've bet big money that Gonzaga wouldn't have gotten blown out. I had at least two prominent people within basketball tell me that scheduling the game was a mistake. GU probably would have lost the game regardless, because I just feel Nova is a better team. But getting humiliated had to do with other factors. In fact, I don't believe any team in the nation would have been beaten Villanova on that night if they had to deal with what GU had to deal with. If you look back throughout college basketball history, west coast teams generally have a very hard time winning early weeknight games on the opposite end on the nation. If I were a scheduler and had control over scheduling games, I may have not scheduled that game based on that case history alone. But that's just me. Not that my view is better than anyone else's, but I am not comfortable with the play anyone, anywhere philosophy if I have control over my scheduling. I think the timing of games and where they are placed on the schedule is very important. However, the game was for a great, great cause, and it gave Gonzaga a taste of what it is going to be like to play a team in the elite 8 or whatever should they get that far.

    But I also feel one of the reasons why this team has been taken for granted is because of how badly Gonzaga played that night. I do feel how badly GU played that night did have to do with exhaustion from playing so many games in too short of a timespan, as wells as travel. The east coaster and Midwesterners just said after that domination: "Well, so much for those guys." It's an unforgiving audience. Again, still feel GU would've likely lost because Nova was the better team, but if that game is played on a different day, I feel you see a different score.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CDC84 View Post
    You make a good point about having to play Duke in the PK80 final. That was an oversight on my part. That would've been no easy task, and a game GU could have easily lost. Perhaps I should have said that in 3 of GU's 4 losses, they lost very close games. They weren't like 12 point defeats. And the SDSU loss is the only one that's hard to stomach. GU is clearly the better team. While GU almost lost the Texas game, they dominated most of the game. But the game also demonstrated a key weakness: the team's inability to adequately handle late game full court pressure. The Zags didn't appear any better at it against USD recently.

    I sense you will disagree with me on this - I still feel there were circumstances surrounding the Villanova game that caused Gonzaga to play more poorly than they normally would. If they had played that game on a Saturday night, I would've bet big money that Gonzaga wouldn't have gotten blown out. I had at least two prominent people within basketball tell me that scheduling the game was a mistake. GU probably would have lost the game regardless, because I just feel Nova is a better team. But getting humiliated had to do with other factors. In fact, I don't believe any team in the nation would have been beaten Villanova on that night if they had to deal with what GU had to deal with. If you look back throughout college basketball history, west coast teams generally have a very hard time winning early weeknight games on the opposite end on the nation. If I were a scheduler and had control over scheduling games, I may have not scheduled that game based on that case history alone. But that's just me. Not that my view is better than anyone else's, but I am not comfortable with the play anyone, anywhere philosophy if I have control over my scheduling. I think the timing of games and where they are placed on the schedule is very important. However, the game was for a great, great cause, and it gave Gonzaga a taste of what it is going to be like to play a team in the elite 8 or whatever should they get that far.

    But I also feel one of the reasons why this team has been taken for granted is because of how badly Gonzaga played that night. I do feel how badly GU played that night did have to do with exhaustion from playing so many games in too short of a timespan, as wells as travel. The east coaster and Midwesterners just said after that domination: "Well, so much for those guys." It's an unforgiving audience. Again, still feel GU would've likely lost because Nova was the better team, but if that game is played on a different day, I feel you see a different score.
    I agree CDC

    even the villanova game with the scheduling you pointed out, we were without a starter which had substantial impact on roles and rotation
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