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Thread: Best Zag team ever is...?

  1. #1
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    Default Best Zag team ever is...?

    There has been some chatter this year about which Zags team is the best of all time. Consensus on GUB was that it would be impossible to rank the 2020-21 Zags until we saw how the season finished. Now we know.

    So...Which Zags team is the best and why? And by "best" let's say who would win a hypothetical best of 7 series.


    • Is it the 2020-21 Zags who made it to the Championship game but got blown out? Transcendent player in Suggs with Kispert, Timme, Nemby, Ayayi. Zags ranked #1 the entire season, flirted with perfection and put up some historic numbers for offensive efficiency. The team had a record 4 All Americans, Malone and Erving award winners and a couple of potential lottery picks. Few was named COY along the way.

    • Or is it the 2016-17 Zags that also went to the Championship game and arguably should have won it? Star-laden with NWG, JW3, Karnowski, Z Collins, Matthews, Rui, Tillie, Norvell. Ranked the entire season, only 2 losses and led the country in defense. Multiple NBA players including a Lottery pick-ZBo. NWG was an All-American and Academic-AA, Karno won Jabbar award and was AA honorable mention. Few was named COY.

    • What about the 2014-15 team with Sabonis, Karnowski, Pangos, Wiltjer and GBJ that led late vs. eventual champs, Duke, in the E8? Multiple NBA players including a future all-star, Wiltjer & Pangos garner AA's. Balanced front court/back court attack.

    • Or maybe the 2018-19 team was also stacked with Rui, Clarke, Tillie, Petrusev, Norvell & Perkins. Elite 8 team with multiple NBA first rounders. Finished with 4 losses. Rui & BC are All-Americans. Ranked #1 at end of regular season


    Who would prevail in this group?

    Are there other Zags teams that are worth considering?

    ZZ

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    2017, talented and deep. Back benchers Rui and Tils are now in the NBA, for example. Norvell was shirting. Goss was as good/better than Suggsy in many ways as a collegian.

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    2017 for me, more balanced, seemed like better shooters and interior defense.

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    2017 team was up in the National Championship game with 2 min to go. 2021 was tied at 0-0 at one point.

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    Why did you leave out 2019-2020? Kispert, Tillie, Petrusev, Timme, Ayayi, Gilder, Woolridge. Pretty talented group.

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    2017. Hands down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasZagFan View Post
    Why did you leave out 2019-2020? Kispert, Tillie, Petrusev, Timme, Ayayi, Gilder, Woolridge. Pretty talented group.
    It’s a shame that they never got a tourney. Also a 1 seed. Sucks that they didn’t get their shot
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasZagFan View Post
    Why did you leave out 2019-2020? Kispert, Tillie, Petrusev, Timme, Ayayi, Gilder, Woolridge. Pretty talented group.
    Very well should have included them. They could have done damage as a 1 seed playing its first 2 in Spokane. Assuming Tillie is on the floor for the imaginary best of 7 series, then these guys might be better than either 2021 or 2017. Front court is solid with FP and Timme, wings are dangerous with Tills and Corey and the guards can defend and shoot.

    I predict this team will be overlooked in future years because it didn’t play in the tourney, lacked a charismatic “star”, Filip left, Tillie missed a lot of time and Woolly & Gilder were rent-a-guards. No NBA draft picks either (though Tillie signed after). 3/5 of that lineup were prominent for a relatively few games-even though they won over 30 of them.

    ZZ

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    The team that lost to Texas Tech was also very good.

    I feel that this year’s team over achieved based on the construction of the lineup. If I was going to pick the team with the best chemistry, this team will be it. It is also hard to argue with their record.

    I would have to go with the first national title runner-up team, based on their combination of results and roster, which didn’t really have an Achilles heel.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zagzilla View Post
    There has been some chatter this year about which Zags team is the best of all time. Consensus on GUB was that it would be impossible to rank the 2020-21 Zags until we saw how the season finished. Now we know.

    So...Which Zags team is the best and why? And by "best" let's say who would win a hypothetical best of 7 series.


    • Is it the 2020-21 Zags who made it to the Championship game but got blown out? Transcendent player in Suggs with Kispert, Timme, Nemby, Ayayi. Zags ranked #1 the entire season, flirted with perfection and put up some historic numbers for offensive efficiency. The team had a record 4 All Americans, Malone and Erving award winners and a couple of potential lottery picks. Few was named COY along the way.

    • Or is it the 2016-17 Zags that also went to the Championship game and arguably should have won it? Star-laden with NWG, JW3, Karnowski, Z Collins, Matthews, Rui, Tillie, Norvell. Ranked the entire season, only 2 losses and led the country in defense. Multiple NBA players including a Lottery pick-ZBo. NWG was an All-American and Academic-AA, Karno won Jabbar award and was AA honorable mention. Few was named COY.

    • What about the 2014-15 team with Sabonis, Karnowski, Pangos, Wiltjer and GBJ that led late vs. eventual champs, Duke, in the E8? Multiple NBA players including a future all-star, Wiltjer & Pangos garner AA's. Balanced front court/back court attack.

    • Or maybe the 2018-19 team was also stacked with Rui, Clarke, Tillie, Petrusev, Norvell & Perkins. Elite 8 team with multiple NBA first rounders. Finished with 4 losses. Rui & BC are All-Americans. Ranked #1 at end of regular season


    Who would prevail in this group?

    Are there other Zags teams that are worth considering?

    ZZ
    Norvell wasn't on the 16-17 team. Rui also played very sparingly that season.

    I would take the 20/21 in a heartbeat. I think too many of you are only remembering the Baylor game and not the rest of the season. For the record, I loved the 16/17 team. But this year's squad is the least selfish most balanced Zags team I have ever seen.

  11. #11
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    Easy to just default to 2017 after Monday but Baylor would have blown out that Carolina team too. This year’s Gonzaga team beats 2017 UNC.

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    2021 no question.

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    A contrary view, but I think the 2018/19 team is undervalued in these responses. Not saying they're the best with clear conviction, but with a properly called TT game...sigh
    Your children have been placed in the custody of...Carl's Jr.

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    IMO, the best Gonzaga team ever has yet to step on the floor of the Kennel.

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    For the last 7 years, encompassing our Sweet 16 run, I would rank them
    1. 2016-17 - closest we came to climbing the mountain
    2. 2020-21 - great team, obviously outclassed in the final
    3. 2018-19 - I think we were the best team in the country that year but just ran into a hot TT team
    4. 2019-20 - really good, but defensive deficiencies probably limited the ceiling, but we'll never know
    5. 2017-18 - what happens if Tillie doesn't get hurt
    6. 2014-15 - great team, but small backcourt limits upside compared to the last 5 years
    7. 2015-16 - most losses in the last 10 years with 8 (which is an incredible stat)

  16. #16
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    This the best team....several others with more and better players..

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    Crazy thing is if we won Monday I don’t think this would even be a debate.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanilla Gorilla View Post
    For the last 7 years, encompassing our Sweet 16 run, I would rank them
    1. 2016-17 - closest we came to climbing the mountain
    2. 2020-21 - great team, obviously outclassed in the final
    3. 2018-19 - I think we were the best team in the country that year but just ran into a hot TT team
    4. 2019-20 - really good, but defensive deficiencies probably limited the ceiling, but we'll never know
    5. 2017-18 - what happens if Tillie doesn't get hurt
    6. 2014-15 - great team, but small backcourt limits upside compared to the last 5 years
    7. 2015-16 - most losses in the last 10 years with 8 (which is an incredible stat)
    Love your 1-3. I would include Morrison’s team in this. That team was very good and should have beat ucla that went to the finals

  19. #19
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    I don't think it's fair to compare the 2017 team to the 2021 team based solely on the championship game.

    Baylor was so far and away the best team in College BB, had they not had the COVID thing they'd have been undefeated, too, and their physicality and such kept us out of the game. The FF had 3 college teams and one NBA type of team that was also hot from 3.

    The fact that we couldn't get a rebound or an open look seemed to confirm that we won the NCAA college division, Baylor was at another level. Just the way i see it.

    I think Baylor would've blown out the 2017 UNC team, too.
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  20. #20
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    2020-21, followed by 2016-17.

  21. #21
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    It's this team, and I'm not sure it's that close. What they did this year is truly extraordinary, even as painfully as it ended. Sometimes teams are hot from three, and sometimes they're not. I still feel pretty confident that a 5 or 7 game series with Baylor is a coin-flip at worst.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasZagFan View Post
    IMO, the best Gonzaga team ever has yet to step on the floor of the Kennel.
    Yep! 2022 will be the cherry with icing underneath.
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  23. #23
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    Zag teams keep finding new things to accomplish that have not been done before. There’s only one thing left... I’m hoping that I can say that next year is the best team ever. There will be a lot of depth up front and tons of inexperienced talent in the backcourt. It should be fun.

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    If 2017 team had won we wouldn’t be debating this either.

    To me, the 2017 team is the best.

    They had a bad game against BYU. This team had a bad half against BYU. The difference to me is the 2017 team was impossible to game plan for because of its variety of bigs and sensational point guard. Creighton showed everyone how to beat this year’s team by making Timme defense ball screens and in isolation. UCLA dang near got us after that doing the same thing. Then Baylor stomped us. 2021 is better against teams that can’t exploit that weakness. But 2017 didn’t have that weakness because Collins, Williams and Tillie could all defend at a pro level. And then they would have to prepare for the uniqueness of Karno which is overlooked a lot by people.

    Timme is the best offensive big of the five. But 2017 had the four best defenders of the five and the ability to morph into whatever was needed as a unit.

    But they are both fantastic teams that played for national championships and went a combined 68-3 or something, right? Whenever there is a game like our last one I think back to when I moved to Spokane and how saying the Zags would make an NCAA tournament was laughed at, and then I think of the Zags now finishing #1 or #2 in Ken Pom 4 of the last 5 years or playing in 2 of the last 4 title games and it gives me the perspective I need.

  25. #25
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    Just have to say: any team with THE BONUS and five guys or gals from the cafeteria.

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