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Thread: Week One Evaluation

  1. #1
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    Default Week One Evaluation

    We are fortunate to be able to watch these young men play. Concerning Gonzaga basketball, I would score it 1-0 Zags over Covid with a close call. It could have easily been reversed. Good wishes to the staff member and Dominick Harris.

    Gonzaga basketball took another huge step forward this week. Being at the top of the heap going into the season with the additional pressure of playing a legitimate Final Four threat right out of the gate had the potential to give ammunition to national naysayers should they lose. Instead, they startled even the talking heads who knew they were good by exceeding the lofty status coming into the season.

    Coach Few has always insisted on playing for the team instead of for yourself. That is only possible if there is outstanding point guard play. The Zags showed quality depth in that regard. Let's save Suggs for later. Behind him were Nembhardt, Cook and occasionally Ayayi in that role. Nembhardt ran the offense effectively but is still learning the system. Some of the shots he put up were suspect but I believe those will become less frequent when he figures out he doesn't need to be spectacular, just efficient. Cook was dynamite. The offensive stats aren't indicative of the value he brings. He was very efficient running the offense and got many "hockey" assists while on the floor. His defense was what stood out to me. Cook reminded me of Gary Bell Jr. on that end of the floor and that is high praise. Ayayi may be my favorite player. Dude just floats up and down the court and then strikes like a cobra when he feels he's needed. The guy leads the team in rebounds and he scoed 10.0/ppg without breaking a sweat. His only fault, if you can call it that, is he's too unselfish. I'd like to see him hunt for his shot more but it's obvious that hasn't been needed yet. One of these next few games it will be. All of these guys made it easier for Kispert and Timme to do their thing.

    Kispert was a revelation. His ball handling skills have improved dramatically and his confidence in his shot is approaching arrogant levels. He knows it's going in and he'll tell you all about it. In a lot of ways, it's his team. With all the playmakers on this team he knows if he gets to the right spot he will get the ball, shoot and run back on defense before the ball goes through the net because he expects it to go in. He has increased his value in the half court by being able to create for himself and get to the rim seemingly at will.

    Timme just cracks me up. He looks like a rec player from the seventies. His footwork has improved dramatically from the beginning of his freshman year till now. He does all the prep work he's supposed to before he gets the ball and again, the guards he is working with all understand angles that allow them to get the ball to him in the optimum position. Timme's use of the ball fake is fundamental basketball at it's best. Most impressive is when he takes his man off the dribble from as far out as the top of the key. The three is icing on the cake and if he does that consistently, look out.

    Suggs. Gonzaga has never seen this. The NBA draft board has him at the 18th pick. They are crazy. Lottery pick. No question. Jalen lived up to all the hype which wasn't easy. My favorite part of his game is floor vision. Combine that with playing within the team concept and you have nirvana for Coach Few. Add the ability to take over a game if need be and... well, fill in the blanks.

    Just a note on Watson and Ballo. Both of them remind me of Rui in certain ways. Watson is Rui in freshman year in that he has obvious skills yet defers to his teammates way too much. Ballo is Rui in freshman year in that he is as raw as a prime New York steak with the potential to be flame broiled perfection by his junior year.

    The next two weeks will be Christmas come early.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markburn1 View Post
    Ballo is Rui in freshman year in that he is as raw as a prime New York steak with the potential to be flame broiled perfection by his junior year.
    I expected Ballo to be slightly farther along in his development. The Rui comparisons are fair. He is as raw as Rui was as a freshman, but shows an equally stratospheric potential. It wouldn’t surprise me if Ballo develops into the most dominant college center of this generation before he leaves campus.

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    Probably won't happen, but would love to hear Walton describe Tims' game.......would be poetic and hilarious at same time......

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    Am I imagining things or is Timme doing less trash-talking this year? Last year, he was brash. This year, he seems more businesslike. His game is speaking for itself.

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    I look at Watson and think he could be the second coming of Elias Harris...but he's nowhere near there yet.

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    I was thinking Watson would be much farther along. My expectations in my head were for a tenacious offensive threat near the rim and all I've seen is tentative. Im very high on Watty and hope he proves me wrong which I think he will.
    America's Team!

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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    I look at Watson and think he could be the second coming of Elias Harris...but he's nowhere near there yet.
    Goodness, Cat, the woes of your Cats has done fried your judgment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzdelmar View Post
    Goodness, Cat, the woes of your Cats has done fried your judgment.
    I've pretty much given up on UA, I can't even muster the ability to get offended by a jab at them anymore. I did see Jordan Brown had a nice debut yesterday.

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    My biggest, very pleasant surprise is the ease at which Corey is getting to rim and finishing. Last year he would tend to get blocked at the rim but this year he is just scoring through guys at the rack. Huge addition to his skill set and now it makes defenders stay honest and respect his driving ability.

    Loved Markburn1's description of Timme.............hilarious. Too true, fundies have been going out of style since the 70's.

    Go ZAGS

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaguarxj View Post
    Am I imagining things or is Timme doing less trash-talking this year? Last year, he was brash. This year, he seems more businesslike. His game is speaking for itself.
    He appeared to be chatting up a storm in the free throw lane ( I can't recall which game ). Coach Few mentioned it in passing during one of the pre or post game interviews. . .

    Maybe Drew will be the GU version of Laettner, the really good player everyone hates, though I can't imagine Drew stepping on a prone opponent's chest.

    As some have said, it ain't smack talk if you can back it up. His frosh to soph leap in a very limited sample size appears to be significant.

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    Based on lots of footage of Ballo prior to this season, I would guess that at least half of his woes are nerves/rust/lack of confidence. Once he gets his bearings, I think we’re going to see significant improvement and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it sooner rather than later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by former1dog View Post
    Based on lots of footage of Ballo prior to this season, I would guess that at least half of his woes are nerves/rust/lack of confidence. Once he gets his bearings, I think we’re going to see significant improvement and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it sooner rather than later.
    I'm with you on this assessment. Although Ballo doesn't seem to thrive in their transition offense too well and may have a limited ceiling due to his size in that regard.

    It just seems that the game is coming at him quickly right now and once that process slows down for him he and his talents will begin to take over.

    But his development is key to having any sort of depth at the 5 this season. If Timme starts shooting 38% from 3pt he'll be so gone to the NBA that everyone will soon forget the talk of him being a 4 year player.

    Mark Few's team with a PG like Suggs and the ocean of 6'5" guards around him has me excited about the possibilities. What a team.

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    The sky is the limit for this team but I do think we’ll have a better understanding of just how good they are after these next two games. I’m curious to see how we do against intense in your face and elite defense. W. VA and Baylor will let us see how the zags do against that type of defense. This will be awesome exposure for us to see as we’ll run into again in the tourney and it will give us things to work on.

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    Kispert seems to have taken a big leap forward. Gonna start calling him "Thunder" in tribute to his similarity to Thunder Dan Majerle from the old-school Phoenix Suns. Seriously I think he is a Majerle clone

    On defense, our team seems to subscribe to the Adam Morrison school-"If I outscore you, that's good defense"

    ZZ

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagzilla View Post
    Kispert seems to have taken a big leap forward. Gonna start calling him "Thunder" in tribute to his similarity to Thunder Dan Majerle from the old-school Phoenix Suns. Seriously I think he is a Majerle clone

    On defense, our team seems to subscribe to the Adam Morrison school-"If I outscore you, that's good defense"

    ZZ
    Good analogy on Thunder Dan. What should Corey's nickname be? Captain Corey seems too generic, Krash Kispert too extreme.

    Let's give the defense time to evolve...it'll come. I'll say this, Auburn had several excellent shooters. What killed them was not being disciplined, too many turnovers.

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    I'm a Ballo fan and agree with what has been said. One thing I see is his footwork is way to wide. If I was coaching I would tie a rope to his ankles in practice to narrow his steps. No I am not a gentle person, but I am caring and would help pick him up off the floor.
    If you want to be happy tomorrow, think good thoughts today--Bud Fisher


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    Quote Originally Posted by zag buddy View Post
    I'm a Ballo fan and agree with what has been said. One thing I see is his footwork is way to wide. If I was coaching I would tie a rope to his ankles in practice to narrow his steps. No I am not a gentle person.
    That type of coaching technique might get you fired today, lol.

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    JMO but it seemed to me that Ballo spent about 1/2 his time on defense scrambling to find his position. I have every confidence he’ll get there in time.

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    In an earlier podcast coach Lloyd mentioned that Ballo should be thought of as an incoming freshman and not to expect to much from him. I'm sure there is so much info racing through his head along with the adrenaline of playing he's struggling to perform. He's going to be a stud when it starts clicking.

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    It's the old E=MC squared with efficiency = multiple contusions squared. Now where is my whip?
    If you want to be happy tomorrow, think good thoughts today--Bud Fisher


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by White lightning View Post
    In an earlier podcast coach Lloyd mentioned that Ballo should be thought of as an incoming freshman and not to expect to much from him. I'm sure there is so much info racing through his head along with the adrenaline of playing he's struggling to perform. He's going to be a stud when it starts clicking.

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    It's one thing to dominate when you're playing in your age group...it's another thing to play against those who are 3-4 years older than you. Oumar just needs PT, it'll come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    I look at Watson and think he could be the second coming of Elias Harris...but he's nowhere near there yet.
    If you see Watson as the second coming of Elias Harris, then your eyes see a totally different thing than my eyes.

  23. #23
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    Smile Really like what I'm seeing so far except for...

    ...a right-now-capable Timme backup. This fan's not a coach, but it seems from Coaching Amateur-ville that a good strategy for W. Virginia and Iowa to employ is "get Timme in foul trouble" then with Timme on the bench, attack the middle with their bigs.

    Just a non-coach, amateur, remember.





    :]

    Not a slight to Pavel or Oumar, by the way.
    Yeah, we're "The Champs," uh-huh!

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    I think after our next two games we will get to see great improvement in both Watson and Ballo. The next four games are against teams that I think will allow the coaches to try certain things and also work on major issues with players.
    I think that we will see Watson shooting and handling the ball more. We have to remember that he lost all last year and coming back from injuries takes time on the court. He has had practice against some of the best, but in game movement in game conditions takes time to get back to allowing things to happen automatically..
    Ballo is going to take time. He is playing at a higher level of players both on his team and against him. At times I think we are seeing that his mind is working faster than his translation to action. Give him minutes to give our coaches more info on him that they can then work with. He is a work in progress. This is going to be like Shim.

    The best is yet to come from both of them and it is going to be fun watching diamonds in the rough become polished diamonds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddwell View Post
    ...a right-now-capable Timme backup. This fan's not a coach, but it seems from Coaching Amateur-ville that a good strategy for W. Virginia and Iowa to employ is "get Timme in foul trouble" then with Timme on the bench, attack the middle with their bigs.

    Just a non-coach, amateur, remember.





    :]

    Not a slight to Pavel or Oumar, by the way.
    I'm not worried about Pavel or Oumar filling in should Drew get in foul trouble. We may be a bit thin, compared to our guards, but I'm sure they've been working on it in practice. One thing we know about the Zags: they prepare for just about every situation.

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