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Thread: Zags At A Crossroads

  1. #1
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    Default Zags At A Crossroads

    Several of the many exceptional articles in the past month+ have talked about Zags’ motto of growing and developing without losing the family first foundation....basically never settling as a program, striving to improve and adapt yet retaining the close knit team culture. I believe all of it and love this about our Zags. But how is this possible in this strange new blue bloody world of one and done recruits and elite transfers?

    In my opinion, what happens between now and when next season’s roster is set will go a long way toward revealing if Zags’ culture can survive the transition into the blue blood stratosphere Few and Roth and Lloyd et al have lifted The Program into.

    I wanna see Harris and Strawther and Ballo become key cogs next year and Watson and Timme become the next stars and leaders and Ben Gregg, Kaden Perry, Hunter Sallis, Fanbo Zheng make their marks on the program and of course Chet Holmgren #ZagUp. Most of all though, I want the majority of Zags on the roster to stick around for 3-4 years so we can cheer them on and watch them grow and feel like they are weirdly like an extended part of our family as we watch them on our tv screens twice a week from November into (hopefully) April.

    The blue blood norm of multiple one and dones and transfers (in and out) is not something I look forward to. There, I said it. Can The Program really and truly stay true to its family first roots in this strange new world?
    Even though I care a lot about my basketball opinions, they are like comparing a bicycle to a championship motorcycle who is our coach. . ZagsGoZags

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    Well if it already did with Jalen Suggs, and Zach Collins i think we’ll survive. No reason not to think so especially when who the hell is going to not trust Few here lol he recruits the right kids. If they aren’t to a certain barrier we don’t offer. I know you’ve been a zag long enough Flex, that’s one of the few reasons I’m responding to this. What makes you think any of this is in doubt?
    Qualified for 23 Straight Big Dances

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzagafan62 View Post
    Well if it already did with Jalen Suggs, and Zach Collins i think we’ll survive. No reason not to think so especially when who the hell is going to not trust Few here lol he recruits the right kids. If they aren’t to a certain barrier we don’t offer. I know you’ve been a zag long enough Flex, that’s one of the few reasons I’m responding to this. What makes you think any of this is in doubt?
    The number of early departures that may happen this year + if Holmgren vibes are accurate, bringing in two probable one and dones in Sallis & Holmgren next year + expected instant eligibility transfer rule to be approved = more yearly roster turnover than ever before for Zags.

    I guess another way of putting it is that I prefer the Villanova model of recruitment & betting on your program’s player development vs the Kentucky / Duke / UNC model of bring in as many 5* as you can every year and have huge roster turnover annually.
    Even though I care a lot about my basketball opinions, they are like comparing a bicycle to a championship motorcycle who is our coach. . ZagsGoZags

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    Mark Few has the keys to the car. We are just going along for the ride.

    You are going to have to hold it a bit. The next bathroom is 15 miles up the road.
    I miss Mike Hart

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    Quote Originally Posted by MickMick View Post
    Mark Few has the keys to the car. We are just going along for the ride.

    You are going to have to hold it a bit. The next bathroom is 15 miles up the road.
    Thank you for my morning laugh. Love it

    I would add that time and time again Mark Few and others have talked about the relationships, family engagement and true desire to help the young men grow as human beings and basketball players. Those ideals don’t align with the VAST majority of one and done individuals......I would be shocked if the driver of the car turned off the pike way and drove us into the ocean.......
    Basketball...The Toy Department of Life

    Don't mess wth happy...Coach Few

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    Quote Originally Posted by GonzagasaurusFlex View Post
    The number of early departures that may happen this year + if Holmgren vibes are accurate, bringing in two probable one and dones in Sallis & Holmgren next year + expected instant eligibility transfer rule to be approved = more yearly roster turnover than ever before for Zags.

    I guess another way of putting it is that I prefer the Villanova model of recruitment & betting on your program’s player development vs the Kentucky / Duke / UNC model of bring in as many 5* as you can every year and have huge roster turnover annually.
    I definitely agree there, however aren’t we still doing a bunch of 3 and 4 year guys and transfers. I don’t think we will ever see this program as a full on one and done factory. Wright and Few still do things about the same (though I will admit Few does get one and dones more often now)

    But if we look at the roster even for next year, there’s only 2 guys with one and done potential. Leaves 11 other guys to fine in and do work for three plus years. Assuming Timme comes back (not given) - then you have Timme, Nembhard, Watson, Gregg, Perry, Strawther, Harris, and Ballo if you wanna throw him in there as all guys that will end up playing at GU for more than year and developing. Timme Watson Nembhard are all juniors or seniors. Strawther Harris Gregg will be sophomores with no real NBA potential to start year 2. They will probably be here at least 3 years if it all 4. Kaden Perry will be a guy that’s here awhile too. It’s a joke how loaded the team is. I feel we have not only kept the family growing but extended it also.

    Suggs in his interview said he didn’t want to be used by Kentucky Duke unc etc. he chose to come to Gonzaga because of family. And he got just that.
    Qualified for 23 Straight Big Dances

    12 Straight Round of 32s

    11 Sweet Sixteens (6 Straight)

    4 Elite Eights

    2017 AND 2021 FINAL FOUR

    2 Winningest Players in college basketball history (Karnowski 137, Perkins 134)

    2021 Undefeated Regular Season

    The Best Point Guard to ever play the game: John Stockton, most assists, most steals.

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    Few has been and will continue to be ahead of the deadman's curve in CBB. We've landed great transfers steadily since DD and accelerated that in the 2017 era. Ones and dones were nascent until this year and beyond, but kids have left early. The notion of five, four year Kisperts is admirable, but that don't feed the Bulldog w respect to overall success. Your paradigm, Nova, is already falling behind as the landscape shifts. Jay's brilliance can only go so far. Again, we all would like to see four and three year players (with the exception of a Bonus now and then), but those days are gone my friend; lamentably.

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    I’ve been worried about this since they started bringing in Grad transfers and every year Few and company keep the family vibe going.

    I think they’ll be just fine.

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    IMHO, it's all about balance for Coach, both in his personal life and on the hardwood. That gives me a lot of solace every off season with the roster churn.

    Loved the "keys to the car" reference................

    Go ZAGS

  10. #10

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    Here’s my take:

    We will never win a championship with just 3-4 year kids. You need nba talent to win a championship, and nba talent in this day and age doesn’t stick around 3-4 years typically. Kispert and Garza are outliers.

    We will also never win a championship with all 1 and done kids. Kentucky has done it before but we are not at the Kentucky level where we are getting 5 of the top 20.

    The mixture of transfers, grad transfers, one and dones, and 2-4 year guys like kispert, Watson, most likely Harris, timme... the super solid 4 star guys out of high school, I believe is the secret sauce for GU.

    This year we had one 5 star fresh. He made a major impact. Put 2 on the floor next year, mixed with developed 2-4 year guys, and it should be a fun ride.

  11. #11
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    The key change in college basketball are the volume of transfers. That family atmosphere at GU will continue to be attractive for those players. Success really equals a balance of multi year players who have developed in the program + great transfers + elite one or two year players. If you have all elite 1 or 2 players I don’t think that can win you a championship.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagsfanforlife View Post
    Here’s my take:

    We will never win a championship with just 3-4 year kids. You need nba talent to win a championship, and nba talent in this day and age doesn’t stick around 3-4 years typically. Kispert and Garza are outliers.
    tell that to Baylor...

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    Quote Originally Posted by WallaWallaZag View Post
    tell that to Baylor...
    yep
    Basketball...The Toy Department of Life

    Don't mess wth happy...Coach Few

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    As Pitino pioneered the obvious advantages of multiple three point shots, Few was among the early pioneers, if not the master, of highly curated transfers, and I believe that will continue. He casts a Broadway show each year. Sometimes its run is a bit short, sometimes it’s boffo. No Tony yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WallaWallaZag View Post
    tell that to Baylor...
    Or Virginia in 2019,
    Or Villanova in 2018,
    Or North Carolina in 2017,
    Or Villanova in 2016.

    The last 5 national champs have had 2 one and dones, Omari Spellman in 2018 who started for Villanova and Tony Bradley who came off the bench for UNC in 2017.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by WallaWallaZag View Post
    tell that to Baylor...
    Touché. Have coffee before posting. I was trying to think of a recent team that won it all with all juniors and seniors. Couldn’t think of one.

    At least maybe my brain is already forgetting about Monday night. So that’s a positive!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdmiller7 View Post
    Or Virginia in 2019,
    Or Villanova in 2018,
    Or North Carolina in 2017,
    Or Villanova in 2016.

    The last 5 national champs have had 2 one and dones, Omari Spellman in 2018 who started for Villanova and Tony Bradley who came off the bench for UNC in 2017.
    Naw. I’ll give you Baylor. The others had multiple soph go... guy, Jerome, Hunter wasn’t four year. Nova had multiple soph... and I think divencenzo was also a frosh. Had bridges too. Unc has Jackson off the top of my head. Baylor is the only team on your list without fresh or soph studs. I get y’all want the 3-4 year student athlete, but you still have a much better shot by going the route we are now.. getting the best players who fit the culture, regardless of how long they’ll be here, while also developing a few 3-4 year guys.

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    Baylor was a one off. Call it Divine Providence. They’d love that.

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    2019 Virginia started 3 juniors, 1 sophomore, and 1 freshman, Kihei Clark.
    2018 Villanova started 4 juniors and 1 Freshman, Spellman.
    2017 North Carolina started 2 seniors and 3 juniors.
    2016 Villanova started 2 seniors, 2 juniors, and 1 freshman, Jalen Brunson who played 3 years.

    I think NBA talent is important, but it doesn’t need to be one and done or two and done. 1 or 2 at the most with a mix of talented upperclassman seems to be working.

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    There’s no magic formula. But no way five starters who’ve played four years each — and clearly have not been lottery worthy yet — are going to win a NC these days. As for Baylor they are an outlier, Drew cherry picked an all star team of transfers to go with senior citizen Vital, the latest Perry Ellis in CBB.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdmiller7 View Post
    2019 Virginia started 3 juniors, 1 sophomore, and 1 freshman, Kihei Clark.
    2018 Villanova started 4 juniors and 1 Freshman, Spellman.
    2017 North Carolina started 2 seniors and 3 juniors.
    2016 Villanova started 2 seniors, 2 juniors, and 1 freshman, Jalen Brunson who played 3 years.

    I think NBA talent is important, but it doesn’t need to be one and done or two and done. 1 or 2 at the most with a mix of talented upperclassman seems to be working.
    This is the kind of college roster makeup I enjoy most as a fan. Thanks for breaking down the recent champs’ team by years.
    Even though I care a lot about my basketball opinions, they are like comparing a bicycle to a championship motorcycle who is our coach. . ZagsGoZags

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    Reading one of GZs older posts a few days ago. Much of this depends on the “fit” of the recruit. Fees been very careful to bring in kids that are superior players but work well in the family oriented model. In some ways Fews already done it. If a great player doesn’t work, he goes elsewhere. If a kid fills the Bill , and in good to great as a player, he gets offered. It’s a very simple construct the coaches have put together. Not to belabor the point, a 5 star world beater will not play here if he’s a show horse making a pit stop on his way tot the NBA especially if that player interrupts the cohesiveness of the the team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzdelmar View Post
    There’s no magic formula. But no way five starters who’ve played four years each — and clearly have not been lottery worthy yet — are going to win a NC these days. As for Baylor they are an outlier, Drew cherry picked an all star team of transfers to go with senior citizen Vital, the latest Perry Ellis in CBB.
    Yep Jazz, 4 of the 8 in the rotation were transfers. I think all 4 had redshirted a year at Baylor after the transfer and all were in their second year at least in the Baylor program. Very good team last year who brought back almost everyone. Perfect team to deal with a weird unpredictable COVID season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDABE80 View Post
    Reading one of GZs older posts a few days ago. Much of this depends on the “fit” of the recruit. Fees been very careful to bring in kids that are superior players but work well in the family oriented model. In some ways Fews already done it. If a great player doesn’t work, he goes elsewhere. If a kid fills the Bill , and in good to great as a player, he gets offered. It’s a very simple construct the coaches have put together. Not to belabor the point, a 5 star world beater will not play here if he’s a show horse making a pit stop on his way tot the NBA especially if that player interrupts the cohesiveness of the the team.
    Great post. Basketball skills are only part of the equation when it comes to who Few and co. bring to campus. I've heard rumors that have passes on plenty of very good players, including guys who made it to the NBA just because they wouldn't have been a good fit at GU and we should all be fine with that. How many players have bad mouthed the program after leaving? How many player problems have there been off the court? I had a conversation with a Duke fan who said, "Gonzaga needs to be careful getting these 5 star recruits. They can easily kill the culture of a program." I truly believe Gonzaga will never have that problem because of the staff that's on board.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 509er View Post
    I’ve been worried about this since they started bringing in Grad transfers and every year Few and company keep the family vibe going.

    I think they’ll be just fine.
    Especially our early grad transfers helped set the standard for grad transfers and they are Zags through and through. We have gotten very lucky in that Few has maintained the Zag standard with transfers.

    I would also point out that even though Suggs is a one and done, I suspect no one would argue that he's as much a Zag as anyone to ever put on the uniform, Collins, too. So we're not suffering from compromising the program.

    The fact is, we got to the finals in years we had NWG and Suggs. There's a lesson in there somewhere.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

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