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Thread: Will the Zags ever have a player better than John Stockton

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    Default Will the Zags ever have a player better than John Stockton

    Now that Gonzaga is literally competing for obvious future professionals on the regular, will they produce someone who ends up with a better professional career than John Stockton?

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    Nope

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    Never.Ever.Ever.

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    Not close. One off. Unicorn.

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    I think relevant question here is:

    How good was Stockton's NBA career?

    then

    What are the odds someone else comes through Gonzaga and ends higher on those all-time lists?


    Stockton seems to end up #20-#30 overall on the list of best NBA careers. He is listed in the top 3 overall point guards on the lists I googled.

    So what's the chance that a GU player goes pro and ends up in the NBA's top 20 of all time?

    I'd put the odds in the low single digits.

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    In addition to being skilled....he would have to be healthy...and be in the right place at the right time....the perfect storm … not likely but never say never...
    Last edited by bartruff1; 09-16-2019 at 09:56 AM.

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    This is an interesting question. Are you talking about career stats & accolades or are you talking about talent? Also are you factoring the different eras that Stockton and the future Zag play in? Do people think John Stockton would be just as effective in today's game as he was 25+ years ago?

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    Quote Originally Posted by strikenowhere View Post
    This is an interesting question. Are you talking about career stats & accolades or are you talking about talent? Also are you factoring the different eras that Stockton and the future Zag play in? Do people think John Stockton would be just as effective in today's game as he was 25+ years ago?
    Yes! He would be every bit as good in today's game.

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    Nearly 400 schools play D1, plus 100s more at other levels and then there are tons of international sources. Stockton is a top 50 nba player, arguably top 25. Do the math. True there are some schools with multiple top 50 players, but for GU? Don’t think so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strikenowhere View Post
    This is an interesting question. Are you talking about career stats & accolades or are you talking about talent? Also are you factoring the different eras that Stockton and the future Zag play in? Do people think John Stockton would be just as effective in today's game as he was 25+ years ago?
    I'm no NBA guru, but it seems like the game has became less big man dominant, with a greater emphasis on ball movement and passing, P&R, pick-and-pop, and obviously 3pt shooting. I wonder if the average possesion (or possessions before a basket) has more or fewer passes than in the 90s.

    Stockton shot over 40% from 3pt land in 7 separate seasons. That actually compares very similarly to all-time great (higher volume) 3pt shooters like Reggie Miller or Ray Allen. Stockton's 5 best years he was between 42% and 46%. James harden has never shot above 39% and only above 36% once.

    I couldn't find Stockton's Gonzaga years 3pt stats, but his first 3 years in the NBA he was a terrible 3pt shooter, which suggests maybe he seldom took or practiced them at GU. I think if he played now, learned the 3pt shot from younger years, and practiced it during college, he might have arguably fit even better into the NBA of the 2010s than the 1990s.
    Last edited by LTownZag; 09-16-2019 at 10:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzdelmar View Post
    Nearly 400 schools play D1, plus 100s more at other levels and then there are tons of international sources. Stockton is a top 50 nba player, arguably top 25. Do the math. True there are some schools with multiple top 50 players, but for GU? Don’t think so.
    Ooh. That's fun to think about. What are some schools with more than one top-50 all timer? Off the top, Georgetown and Wake Forest both do.

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    Stockton was a better defender. Remember he is the ALL TIME NBA steals leader... leading 2nd place by almost 600 steals. And obviously he is the ALL TIME NBA assist leader... I don't see either of those records broken in my lifetime.

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    That's a very high bar....all I can say is that I hope we do. But really that's like asking if UNC will ever put out a better player then MJ...not likely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Valley Zag View Post
    Ooh. That's fun to think about. What are some schools with more than one top-50 all timer? Off the top, Georgetown and Wake Forest both do.
    UNC based on Michael Jordan and Vince Carter alone.

    UCLA with Kareem, Walton, Reggie and Westbrook

    Kansas with Wilt, Paul Pierce, Joel Embiid

    Arizona has a lot of very good but not all time top-50 types (Kerr, Stoudamire, Iguadola, Jason Terry, Mike Bibby, Richard Jefferson)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LTownZag View Post
    I'm no NBA guru, but it seems like the game has became less big man dominant, with a greater emphasis on ball movement and passing, P&R, pick-and-pop, and obviously 3pt shooting. I wonder if the average possesion (or possessions before a basket) has more or fewer passes than in the 90s.

    Stockton shot over 40% from 3pt land in 7 separate seasons. That actually compares very similarly to all-time great (higher volume) 3pt shooters like Reggie Miller or Ray Allen. Stockton's 5 best years he was between 42% and 46%. James harden has never shot above 39% and only above 36% once.

    I couldn't find Stockton's Gonzaga years 3pt stats, but his first 3 years in the NBA he was a terrible 3pt shooter, which suggests maybe he seldom took or practiced them at GU. I think if he played now, learned the 3pt shot from younger years, and practiced it during college, he might have arguably fit even better into the NBA of the 2010s than the 1990s.
    There wasn't a three point shot, in college, during Stockton's time at Gonzaga.
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    Here is the kicker, Stockton wasn't a highly sought after recruit... think U of I was the biggest school after him along with Montana. He decided to stay home... had a very pedestrian freshman year, his sophomore and junior years were improved but not gangbusters. It was really he senior year where he took off. Not saying this as a knock on him at all. Here are his stats from college: https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb...tockton-1.html . My point is that greatness isn't always present from the beginning. My gut says unlikely that we will. I can't say never. Too definitive. As jazz said, the math makes it tough... but it is not impossible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevet75 View Post
    There wasn't a three point shot, in college, during Stockton's time at Gonzaga.
    Thanks for that context. It makes me think that if Stockton came along 10 or 15 years later when people shot 3s in high school and college he would have entered the NBA shooting at least high 30s% from 3. Because after his first 3 NBA years (never above 18% from 3) he was at 36% and remained consistently in the high 30s and 40s for 15 seasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
    Here is the kicker, Stockton wasn't a highly sought after recruit... think U of I was the biggest school after him along with Montana. He decided to stay home... had a very pedestrian freshman year, his sophomore and junior years were improved but not gangbusters. It was really he senior year where he took off. Not saying this as a knock on him at all. Here are his stats from college: https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb...tockton-1.html . My point is that greatness isn't always present from the beginning. My gut says unlikely that we will. I can't say never. Too definitive. As jazz said, the math makes it tough... but it is not impossible.
    I've been think of the concept of never for the last couple weeks through a existential crisis. While the game of basketball most definitely will change and change drastically through out the course of our lives, I think it is highly likely that we will one day have a player that we can debate with John Stockton. It seems like Gonzaga is on a upward trajectory with bringing in more athletic and highly rated prospects which are more likely to become stars. The sport of basketball will almost defiantly outlast all of us and "never" when talking about our little window of time that we get to look through is not very long compared to how long universities and sports themselves can last.

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    When Stockton was in his prime, Wilt Chamberlain called him the best player in the league. An ESPN article ranks him 19th all time. You never know, but a future GU player equaling his career is a very long shot, esp considering his longevity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzdelmar View Post
    Not close. One off. Unicorn.
    I am excited to see what the Bonus does over his career.
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    I am moving this to the men's basketball page, as I can kind of see how it ties into recruiting, but honestly more an open discussion on men's basketball.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caldwellzag View Post
    I am moving this to the men's basketball page, as I can kind of see how it ties into recruiting, but honestly more an open discussion on men's basketball.
    I had actually intended to post in on the main forum, and didn’t realize I hadn’t until I read this! Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malastein View Post
    I had actually intended to post in on the main forum, and didn’t realize I hadn’t until I read this! Thanks!
    No worries at all! Great discussion topic.

    My two cents. Nope. I don't think there will be many PG's better than Stockton in the NBA, let alone coming out of GU. He is one of the greatest every... That being said our new wave of top recruits we could get some guys that push the top 50 all time, but they have to catch the breaks and be in the right system.

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    The odds of this happening are almost nil.

    Stockton's NBA career is unreal. He is one of the top 3 point guards in NBA history. Career leader in assists AND steals. His longevity is unmatched.

    I thought it was impressive when Gary Payton said the toughest guy he ever played against was John Stockton. Payton would be a good one to know.

    One underrated aspect of his game was his skill in setting good screens. He was the best. Nobody was better--ever.

    If Gonzaga is lucky they may someday have a player who can arguably equal Stockton. But nobody will ever surpass him.

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    I mean, this is basically asking if we will ever have another top-50 (or top-25, depending on your rankings) all-time NBA player. Given that, it seems exceedingly unlikely to happen, which isn't a knock on future-Gonzaga, but more a statement on how hard it is to have that kind of a talent.
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