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Thread: Selection Committee "First 16" Discussion Thread - 2. 08. 20

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdmiller7 View Post
    I do love that all four 1 seeds are from the left half of the country.
    this could be the first time that all four number one seeds are from west of the Mississippi River

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    Of course they can. Why? That's an easy question. Because it happens all this time. Where have you been? We're talking about March Madness... Logic seldom wins out. It's always nice to see how much confidence you have in the Zags. I believe the Zags could be national champs. We're #1 in the nation in offense. We're a #1 seed in the West. We've only lost one game. How much more do I need to say? You haven't believed in the Zags all year; so why start now? Be consistent.

    Oh! and nice post on our most important game of the year.

    Go Zags!!!
    Hi Reborn,

    The reason I'm skeptical about GU in particular is because of the lopsided offense/defense rankings. Even assuming they are healthy and the lack of depth isn't a concern, I just fear their defensive issues will hold them back.

    You say "it" happens all the time. What is your "it"? Perhaps you are right that "logic seldom wins out" - but teams with a defense in the Zags range win out (the tourney) even more seldom.

    If "it" is a team with the Zags' Kenpom type profile going deep in march, can you tell me when the last time a team with a defense outside the top 20 (Zags just moved up to #36) has won the national championship?

    Because it hasn't happened in last 18 years and I couldn't find data for years before that.


    By the way, I'm not saying and did not say that Duke/Baylor/KU aren't beatable, or aren't beatable by the zags. Those are just the only 3 teams (+SDSU) with a top20 offense and defense.
    Last edited by LTownZag; 02-09-2020 at 09:44 PM.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdmiller7 View Post
    Now GU is 2 in KenPom so there you go, you can believe again.
    My doubts about GU aren't based in their overall kenpom rating, but in their defense rating. I hope it continues to improve, but right now it's very much similar to Dayton. Elite offense paired with a defense ranked 20 spots below any team to win a title in at least 18 years.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPtheBeasta View Post
    Baylor seems challenged offensive and I can see a team that is comfortable grinding a game out knocking Baylor off. KU would be a bad match up for GU because their defensive strength would challenge our post players, but KU is very prone to dropping an inexplicable game here and there, so I don't trust them to win enough games in a row to win it all. I will be very interested to see the Baylor/KU game on Feb 22. Duke almost lost to UNC on the road, and already dropped that head-scratcher to SFA, so I don't have the utmost confidence in them, either. SD St plays is a good defensive team that would be an interesting matchup against Baylor, and I don't think Baylor is an automatic win.

    To your point about the Zag defense, when the Zags needed a strong defensive effort against really good offenses in BYU and SMC, they delivered. I tend to be an optimist, though. (As an aside, I would be way more confident if we had Watson and 2 healthy shoulders to rely on. He is a dynamic defensive player who can be plugged in all over the lineup). The depth scares me more than their defense right now, actually. I think that some of these good defensive teams haven't seen the an offense Zag offense. The Immovable object vs Irresistible Force quandary comes to mind. We've all seen how officiating (how much contact they allow) can tilt the scales, so it could be some dark horse I never dreamed of getting there.

    Dayton has good numbers on Kenpom and has a really good player. They probably don't rebound enough, but I could see them getting lucky and making a push.
    Thanks for the comments and insight, JP! I completely agree about Watson. He would have been the perfect help for both our depth and defense. Not to mention that watching our much heralded freshmen (Ravet, Ballo, Watson) was the part of the season I was most excited for. Needless to say it's been a great a surprising season in many ways.
    Last edited by LTownZag; 02-09-2020 at 09:36 PM.

  5. #55
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    Normally I would be very concerned about Gonzaga not having, say, a top 20 defense, but the talent level in college basketball is so bad this season due to a bad recruiting class and an unprecedented amount of guys leaving for the pros who had no chance of getting drafted. We are in a historically mediocre season, and it's just the kind of season where I could see a team with a defense in the 40's and the number one offense win the whole deal. Not saying I am comfortable with GU"s defense right now (although it looked pretty good on Saturday and is certainly better when Tillie is in the lineup), but if we were to pick a season where the "traditional numbers" might not matter as much as usual, this would be the one. There is simply not a team out there who I think GU cannot beat on a neutral floor. The question is whether they can win 6 games in a row, and what their draw will be. They will have an unbelievable advantage playing their first two in Spokane.

    Got to also keep in mind that defenses are going to have a major issue with GU in that they have 7 double digit scorers. That's insane. Also got to keep in mind what Few said last week on the Rothstein podcast. GU hasn't had a Monday practice where they go hard each other the whole season due to injuries. Those are the kinds of practices which improve your defense. If this team can just stay healthy, maybe they can improve defensively to get into the high 20's or low 30's.

    There's no question in my mind that even if SDSU goes unbeaten, if GU wins all their remaining games, that GU will be the #1 in the west. As I documented in another thread, GU's resume will just be so superior to SDSU's that the committee will have no choice but to move SDSU to the east region. The MWC is behind the WCC is the NET ranking, but they are behind them by a significant degree. Very good chance that SDSU does not pick up a quad one win the rest of the way. Plus, I think the committee notices little things like how GU beat UW at UW when they had their full roster. That UW team is still the only team in the nation to have beaten Baylor.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDC84 View Post
    Normally I would be very concerned about Gonzaga not having, say, a top 20 defense, but the talent level in college basketball is so bad this season due to a bad recruiting class and an unprecedented amount of guys leaving for the pros who had no chance of getting drafted. We are in a historically mediocre season, and it's just the kind of season where I could see a team with a defense in the 40's and the number one offense win the whole deal. Not saying I am comfortable with GU"s defense right now (although it looked pretty good on Saturday and is certainly better when Tillie is in the lineup), but if we were to pick a season where the "traditional numbers" might not matter as much as usual, this would be the one. There is simply not a team out there who I think GU cannot beat on a neutral floor. The question is whether they can win 6 games in a row, and what their draw will be. They will have an unbelievable advantage playing their first two in Spokane.
    My worry comes down to whistle happy referees, where we get into foul trouble early. We may not have the depth to overcome it. I'm hopeful that Martynas and Pavel progress enough to earn up to 5-6 minutes in games that aren't blowouts.

    If they do get there, they should be on the court with Drew. I've noticed that Drew takes the lead in communicating to Martynas and Pavel where they need to be on defense.

    We sure lucked out when Drew signed with the Zags. I get the feeling we were his first choice all along, but I think it took his parents spending time on campus to allow him to play so far from home. His second choice was Texas A&M, a mere 3 hour drive from Richardson.

    I have no proof to offer, just my opinion based on being a parent for 30+ years.

    They appeared to be a happy group after the Aggies game.


  7. #57
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    Champions since 2002, with 2020 Gonzaga added in.



    Note, all of the pre-2020 AdjEM numbers are after the end of the tournament, when each team has just beaten 6 other tournament teams on neutral courts, so their numbers are inflated vs 2020 Gonzaga.

    Gonzaga end of season KenPom AdjEM:

    2019: 32.85
    2017: 32.05
    2015: 27.78
    2013: 27.81

  8. #58
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    By the way, Gonzaga is up to #36 in adjusted defensive efficiency today. St. Mary's was a top 10 offensive team before Saturday, so that helped the numbers.

  9. #59
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    My worry comes down to whistle happy referees, where we get into foul trouble early. We may not have the depth to overcome it. I'm hopeful that Martynas and Pavel progress enough to earn up to 5-6 minutes in games that aren't blowouts.

    If they do get there, they should be on the court with Drew. I've noticed that Drew takes the lead in communicating to Martynas and Pavel where they need to be on defense.

    We sure lucked out when Drew signed with the Zags. I get the feeling we were his first choice all along, but I think it took his parents spending time on campus to allow him to play so far from home. His second choice was Texas A&M, a mere 3 hour drive from Richardson.

    I have no proof to offer, just my opinion based on being a parent for 30+ years.
    A short bench and bad refs can certainly do you in. I really wish we had a healthy Watson. I am frankly surprised that we have not seen more zone with this team. They have the length along the perimeter to do it. Perhaps they just have not been able to practice a zone throughout the season due to all of the injuries and such. Or maybe Fewie is hiding it in the playbook until March to surprise teams.

  10. #60
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    Agree with this Zags fan....

    Ben Hopkins
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    Feb 9
    Lost Clarke, Rui, Norvell and Perkins. One returning starter. 2 grad transfers in the backcourt coming back from injury. Gonzaga has no business being this good this season and yet here we are because despite all of these challenges they still have 1 HOF coach.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zagdawg View Post
    Agree with this Zags fan....

    Ben Hopkins
    @zags_fanatic
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    Feb 9
    Lost Clarke, Rui, Norvell and Perkins. One returning starter. 2 grad transfers in the backcourt coming back from injury. Gonzaga has no business being this good this season and yet here we are because despite all of these challenges they still have 1 HOF coach.
    And this is why I think it's okay to factor in a program's history when looking at the current team rankings.

    I've seen some irate San Diego St fans who can't figure out why Gonzaga is ranked higher, but the Aztecs as a program have been only to the tournament 6 times, and made it to the S16 twice.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDC84 View Post
    Normally I would be very concerned about Gonzaga not having, say, a top 20 defense, but the talent level in college basketball is so bad this season due to a bad recruiting class and an unprecedented amount of guys leaving for the pros who had no chance of getting drafted. We are in a historically mediocre season, and it's just the kind of season where I could see a team with a defense in the 40's and the number one offense win the whole deal.

    As some supporting evidence - last year there were 7 teams with top20 defenses and offenses. This year there are 3.

  13. #63
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    5 of the 18 champs had adjD rank over 20 at the start of the tourney. They all improved during the tourney.

    2 of the 18 champs had adjO rank over 20 (both were UConn teams).

    '09 North Carolina and '15 Duke had off/def profiles nearly identical to the Zags' profile right now.

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