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Thread: ESPN: Top Ten Teams have weaknesses

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    Default ESPN: Top Ten Teams have weaknesses

    Myron Medcalf's column this morning looks at the current Top 10 and weighs in on each re: areas of concern. His take on Gonzaga:

    Concern: Navigating future matchups against more athletic teams

    Key moment that highlights concern: With 13:39 remaining in the first half of Gonzaga's 79-49 win over Texas A&M on Friday, Corey Kispert raced down the floor in transition, before stumbling and committing an offensive foul at the rim as three defenders surrounded him.

    Last year, Gonzaga never faced a deficit of athleticism in any matchup, because the Bulldogs had Brandon Clarke and Rui Hachimura, a pair of NBA first-round picks in the 2019 NBA draft. This season, Mark Few, per the norm, possesses an efficient crew that's made 42.3% of its 3-pointers and 63.2% of its shots inside the arc. The Bulldogs are still awaiting the return of Killian Tillie, who missed the start of the season following knee surgery. But they are a good team. Still, they struggled in spurts against Texas A&M, the first top-200 team on KenPom they've faced this season.

    In the A&M win, Kispert finished 1-for-10, Admon Gilder finished 1-for-4 inside the arc and Filip Petrusev got blocked at the rim in the first half. In December, the Bulldogs will face Washington, Arizona and North Carolina in a three-game stretch against teams with five-star athletes. We'll know more about Gonzaga's ability to handle elite athleticism in those matchups.
    Full story here: https://www.espn.com/mens-college-ba...ketball-top-10

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    I don't have the same concerns as Myron.

    Yes, GU had a slow start @ AM for the first 10 min. But then they figured it out and adjusted to their speed/size. Sure Kispert had a bad game... It happens. He's played in these types of games many times I have zero doubts about him. So has Guilder. Admon played 3 seasons in the SEC facing Florida/Kentucky/Tenn every year. He took two of those teams to the S16. Again-Not worried.

    It felt more like Myron NEEDED to find something ... he needed to manufacture a weakness. Pointed to his perceived "lack of athleticism. No worries. If I had to find a weakness I'd point to guard depth... Not Athleticism.

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    True enough...but there are some athletes on the team....Watson for example....and...….well...…..Watson......

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    FT shooting is another REAL weakness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyZag View Post
    I don't have the same concerns as Myron.

    Yes, GU had a slow start @ AM for the first 10 min. But then they figured it out and adjusted to their speed/size. Sure Kispert had a bad game... It happens. He's played in these types of games many times I have zero doubts about him. So has Guilder. Admon played 3 seasons in the SEC facing Florida/Kentucky/Tenn every year. He took two of those teams to the S16. Again-Not worried.

    It felt more like Myron NEEDED to find something ... he needed to manufacture a weakness. Pointed to his perceived "lack of athleticism. No worries. If I had to find a weakness I'd point to guard depth... Not Athleticism.
    Couldn't agree more. Pretty funny how he nit picked a few mistakes from our 30 point road win.
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    I've been very impressed so far. I know the level of competition hasn't been great, but this team is surprisingly cohesive given how few minutes most of these guys have spent on a court together. At this point, I'd say the greatest weakness is guard depth. Once Tillie returns the front court is going to be crowded with a diverse array of experience and talent. Yet, while Woolridge and Ayayi have both been pleasant surprises to me thus far, we're also one injury away from a 2-guard rotation. Obviously other guys can play in those spots if needed, but it would be at a cost.

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    He's right about one thing, for sure, these questions will be answered after Atlantis and the big three game stretch in December.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyzag View Post
    Couldn't agree more. Pretty funny how he nit picked a few mistakes from our 30 point road win.
    And everyone in the Top 9 moved up at least 1 spot, 'cept us. Stayed put at 8.

    We played a Power 5 (SEC) team on the road, in their arena, and blew em out.

    Virginia played Columbia at home and somehow leap frogged us.

    What's that about?

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    Over at The Athletic, Seth Davis thinks the Tar Heels have a bigger issue than the FT shooting Medcalf raises:

    "I definitely see a problem developing with North Carolina depending too heavily on Cole Anthony’s scoring. The sensational freshman point guard is averaging 27.3 points through his first three games, but while the Heels are scoring 77 points, only two other players have turned in a double-digit performance. UNC lost a lot of talent off last year’s squad, and Williams struck out with a bunch of high school recruits in the spring. I don’t see the level of talent here like we’re used to seeing in this program, and as great as Anthony is, he won’t be enough."
    Do the Zags have the player(s) and/or defensive chops to minimize Athony's output, thus forcing UNC to beat them with their lesser lights ?

    ETA: Davis moved GU up one notch on his AP ballot, from 6th to 5th.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagfan24 View Post
    I've been very impressed so far. I know the level of competition hasn't been great, but this team is surprisingly cohesive given how few minutes most of these guys have spent on a court together. At this point, I'd say the greatest weakness is guard depth. Once Tillie returns the front court is going to be crowded with a diverse array of experience and talent. Yet, while Woolridge and Ayayi have both been pleasant surprises to me thus far, we're also one injury away from a 2-guard rotation. Obviously other guys can play in those spots if needed, but it would be at a cost.
    My weakness would also be guard depth. If one of Woolridge, Gilder, or Ayayi goes down for any significant time people are going to have to play out of position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyzag View Post
    Couldn't agree more. Pretty funny how he nit picked a few mistakes from our 30 point road win.
    I don't recall the Vegas spread, but if memory serves Zags covered it x2. Nitpicking for sure, without the "shortcomings" perceived and imagined by Myron, the win margin could have been +/- 45 points. We dominated the glass and plenty of our missed FG attempts were converted on 2nd, and even 3rd, chance attempts. Myron was given an assignment and conjured up Zag "shortcomings" to fit the narrative.
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    the lack of athleticism shows up mostly in rim protection...watty is a good athlete but doesn't look like he will be much of a shotblocker based on what we've seen so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProVeeZag View Post
    I don't recall the Vegas spread, but if memory serves Zags covered it x2. Nitpicking for sure, without the "shortcomings" perceived and imagined by Myron, the win margin could have been +/- 45 points. We dominated the glass and plenty of our missed FG attempts were converted on 2nd, and even 3rd, chance attempts. Myron was given an assignment and conjured up Zag "shortcomings" to fit the narrative.
    The spread I saw (at least initially) was Zags by 6.


    I think post defense and freethrows are far bigger issues for GU than what the article singled out.

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    Tremendously insightful observation by MM, drilling down to that one play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdmiller7 View Post
    My weakness would also be guard depth. If one of Woolridge, Gilder, or Ayayi goes down for any significant time people are going to have to play out of position.
    Absolutely.

    I don’t think this team lacks for athleticism in the backcourt. This might be the fastest trio of guards ever to play for GU at one time.
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    That Kispert charge wasn't a big deal to me. What concerned me was picking up his dribble around the 3-point line and coughing it up. I think that happened twice. I fear that teams are going to start pressuring his dribble and trying to force turnovers. I would hate for ball-handling problems to become the chink in the Zag armor on offense that teams try to exploit.

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    Every team, including Bob Knight's unbeaten Indiana squad, has weaknesses. Some teams just have more than others. It's really just about matchups.

    I still would like to see the Big Russian get more run (speaking of a big man who is athletic). The guy was a top 50 player coming out of high school, and with Killian Tillie's history of injuries, he may be needed. I don't get why he is getting so few minutes in these blow out wins other than the fact that Watson and Timme need a lot of time as freshmen to get used to the D-1 game before the big time opponents start coming.

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    No concerns with the front court. As many of you have stated, guard depth is a significant issue. Even without an injury, it limits how aggressive they can be. I also wonder if the guards can extend the defensive by consistently hitting from the outside. It’ll be a challenge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RenoZag View Post
    Over at The Athletic, Seth Davis thinks the Tar Heels have a bigger issue than the FT shooting Medcalf raises:



    Do the Zags have the player(s) and/or defensive chops to minimize Athony's output, thus forcing UNC to beat them with their lesser lights ?

    ETA: Davis moved GU up one notch on his AP ballot, from 6th to 5th.
    Mr. Anthony, meet Mr. Ayayi. He'll be in your grill most of the night.

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    I will happily watch the zags "struggle in spurts" to future 30-point victories against P5 programs.

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