December 30, 2008

Scouting Report: Utah

Best Wins:
Utah 83, (81) Mississippi 72
Utah 95, (99) Oregon 81

Current Rankings:
RPI: 54

Team Leaders:
Points: Luke Nevill 16.9
Assists: Luka Drca 3.7
Rebounds: Luke Nevill 8.3

Best Player:
Luke Nevill C 7-2 265 SR
This Aussie continues the long line of good big men at Utah. He is shooting 62% from the field.

My Take:
This is a good bounce back game for Gonzaga, we need the win badly. I hope for our sake that Mark Few has got his players heads right.

Final Score: Gonzaga 85 Utah 70

December 24, 2008

Recap: Portland St. @ Gonzaga

Final Score:Portland State 77 Gonzaga 70

Box score snapshot
Scorer: Matt Bouldin 18 Points
Rebounder: Austin Daye 9 Boards
Passer: Jeremy Pargo 7 Assists
Swatter: Austin Daye 2 Blocks
Theif: Matt Bouldin 4 Steals

Game MVP:Matt Bouldin
18 Points, 4 Steals, 2 Assists, 2 Boards, 2 Big Threes...
As ugly this was a game for the Zags, Bouldin was as scrappy a player on the floor as anyone...

Team Comparison: Zags/Vikings
Points: 70/77
assist to turnover ratio: 1.18/1.08
Rebounds: 28/34
Shooting Percentage: 43%/46%
3pt Percentage: 37%/39%

Notes from the sideline:
- This is starting to get ugly, the zags have lost 3 of 4 games...
- Matt Bouldin was pretty much the lone spotlight...he is very underrated for his defensive prowess...
- Mark Few MUST rally the troops and get their minds back on track after having such an ugly couple of weeks

What it means for the future (Analysis):
It means that the Zags have a lot of season left, 3 losses is not the end of the world, although if they don't stop the bleeding now, it will be 5 losses before they know it with Utah and Tennessee looming on the horizon. I expect Coach Few to get his players minds right and to continue to stress team play and hard defense, as he knows it wins championships.

December 22, 2008

Scouting Report: Portland St.

Best Wins:
Portland St. 81, (122) Portland 76
Portland St. 76, (155) Cal St. Fullerton 75

Current Rankings:
RPI: #98

Team Leaders:
Points: Jeremiah Dominguez 12.1
Assists: Dominic Waters 2.5
Rebounds: Jamie Jones 7.1

Best Player:
Jamie Jones PF 6-7 215 JR.
This undersized post player shoots a nice 58% from the field. He also is quite the rebounder, at 7.1 per game registering games of 12 and 13 respectively. Should not be too much a chore to handle him with our huge front line...

My Take:
Another easy game, although Portland State is no Texas Southern. They will be able to run the court with us, but our Defense is so tight that i don't expect them to be much of a factor. Expect a 15 point win at least.

Final Score: Gonzaga 96 Portland St. 81

Recap: UCONN @ Gonzaga

Final Score:UCONN 88 Gonzaga 83 OT

Box score snapshot
Scorer: Steven Gray 23 Points
Rebounder: Micah Downs 8 Boards
Passer: Steven Gray 4 Assists
Swatter: Austin Daye 2 Blocks
Theif: Micah Downs 3 Steals

Game MVP:Steven Gray
23 Points, 7 boards, 4 Assists, 2 Steals
Gray took over in this one, without him, this would not have been nearly as close.

Team Comparison: Zags/Huskies
Points: 83/88
assist to turnover ratio: 1.00/0.94
Rebounds: 29/37
Shooting Percentage: 50%/43%
3pt Percentage: 29%/50%

Notes from the sideline:
- Starting towards the end of the first half the Zags went on a run and UConn went cold, that then ended with UCONN rallying towards the end of the 2nd half
- The Zags were Atrocious from outside...that was the difference maker in the game.
- Steven Gray was amazing, he played very well
- The zags had Matt Bouldin, Micah Downs, Austin Daye foul out right at the beginning of OT, essentially making them a 3 player team...

What it means for the future (Analysis):
Well for one, if it wasnt for that circus shot by AJ Price right at the end of the 2nd half, this would be a very different review, but we cant blame anyone but mr. luck for that. It means we hung in their with a national title contender, and honestly outplayed them for most of the game. I expect this to be a learning curve for the Zags as they still have 2 big games coming up (Tennessee, Memphis)

December 20, 2008

Scouting Report: UCONN

Best Wins:
Connecticut 76, (28) Miami FL 63
Connecticut 76, (56) Wisconsin 57

Current Rankings:
RPI: #7

Team Leaders:
Points: Jerome Dyson 15.4
Assists: A.J. Price 4.0
Rebounds: Hasheem Thabeet 12.1

Best Player:
Hasheem Thabeet C 7-3 263 JR.
Thabeet is a 7-3 monster of a center, who has finally started to figure it out on the offensive end of the floor. He is shooting a Career high 67% from the field and has had rebounding preformances of 17, 17, and 18 respectively. Thabeet is quite possibly the premier big man in the nation this season. Potentially a top pick in next years NBA draft.

My Take:
I am scared, honestly. I cant help but be a little intimidated by the size and strengh of UConns frontline. The Zags have not played as deep a frontline and there may not be a deeper one in the country. Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet are going to pose matchup problems gallore down low. Heytvelt is going to be forced to settle for short range jumpers and our only real hope for dominance will be the guard play of Pargo, Gray, Bouldin and Goodson. Heres hoping we can pull off the upset and beat UConn for the 2nd straight season.

Final Score: Gonzaga 70 UConn 67

OT: Heres a clip from CBSSPORTSLINE.COM

Watch CBS Videos Online

Recap: Texas Southern @ Gonzaga

Final Score:Gonzaga 84 Texas Southen 42

Box score snapshot
Scorer: Josh Heytvelt 21 Points
Rebounder: Josh Heytvelt 7 Boards
Passer: Jeremy Pargo 8 Assists
Swatter: Will Foster 2 Blocks
Theif: Matt Bouldin 2 Steals

Game MVP:Josh Heytvelt
21 Points, 7 boards, 1 Three, 62% from field
Heyvelt was monsterous, He will need a repeat preformance against UConn to help the Zags Prevail...

Team Comparison: Zags/Tigers
Points: 84/42
assist to turnover ratio: 4.00/0.83
Rebounds: 41/20
Shooting Percentage: 53%/35%
3pt Percentage: 65%/25%

Notes from the sideline:
-The Zags had 24 assists and 6 turnovers, that has to be the highest To/A ratio i have seen for them in a long time...
-Ira Brown continued his stellar play off the bench with 9 points and 6 boards...
-Pargo is now averaging 7.6 Assists per game, third in the nation...

What it means for the future (Analysis):
The Zags were playing sub par competition, and romped. That was expected. What wasnt expected was 23 inches of snow on the ground before the game, making travel quite treachorous, despite these issues, The Zags listened to coach Few and banded together. UConn looms on the horizon, and this may be the toughest game until tourney time the Zags will have all year. UConn Center Hasheem Thabeet is a monster...

December 18, 2008

Scouting Report: Texas Southern

Best Wins:
Hasnt Won...Although you gotta give them respect for playing Washington, Texas, Marquette, Cincinnati and Gonzaga in the early Season schedule...

Current Rankings:

Team Leaders:
Points: DeAndre Hall 13.4
Assists: Matthew Miller 4.3
Rebounds: Ricky Boyles 6.0

Best Player:
DeAndre Hall SG 6-6 180 JR.
Hall is the leading scorer on this thin Tiger Team. He is shooting 46% from the field, 30% from three, and a paltry 55% from the line...His best game came against Cincinnati when he scored 29 points.

My Take:
This is definitely the easiest early season game since we played Idaho. Do not expect anything short of a blow out, however will the team be looking forward to Saturdays monster matchup with #2 UCONN in Seattle? I doubt it, Mark Few has this team thinking straight as always, and Arizona was a big wakeup call last sunday. Win by 50? Probably...

Final Score: Gonzaga 96 Texas Southern 50

December 15, 2008

Recap: Gonzaga @ Arizona

Final Score:Arizona 69 Gonzaga 64

Box score snapshot
Scorer: Austin Daye 22 Points
Rebounder: Josh Heytvelt 7 Boards
Passer: Jeremy Pargo 7 Assists
Swatter: Austin Daye 5 Blocks
Theif: Jeremy Pargo 2 Steals

Game MVP:Austin Daye
22 Points, 5 Blocks, 3 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal...2 big threes...
Daye was magnificent, really the only offensive option for most of the game...too bad the rest of the team couldn't channel his intensity.

Team Comparison: Zags/Wildcats
Points: 64/69
assist to turnover ratio: 1.29/1.20
Rebounds: 29/24
Shooting Percentage: 43%/44%
3pt Percentage: 30%/70%

Notes from the sideline:
-The wildcats were almost perfect defensively, the fullcourt trap set they were were running was obscenely good.
-Jordan Hill was probably the most unstoppable player we have played this year, he has a chance to be really, really, really darn good...
-Austin Daye came out and put on a show for his daddy, 22 points and 5 blocks, nice job young daye...
-Heytvelt and Pargo were simply atrocious, they shot a combined 21%...yuck...

What it means for the future (Analysis):
The Zags need to take something big away from this, when the shots arent falling, pound it inside, keep plugging away, keep taking it at the oppositions bigs until they are either foul out or die. Seriously, Jordan Hill could have fouled out in the first half, thats how silly some of his fouls looked, Pargo should have continually drove inside and attacked the post, instead we got our first loss...

December 13, 2008

Scouting Report: Arizona

Best Wins:
Arizona 69, (58) San Diego St. 56

They've lost to #76 UAB and #88 Texas A&M

Current Rankings:

Team Leaders:
Points: Chase Budinger 19.4
Assists: Nic Wise 5.5
Rebounds: Jordan Hill 12.5

Best Player:
Chase Budinger SF 6-7 218 JR.
Budinger is the team leader, the consumate college athlete. He has very good hops and athletically is one of the most gifted players in the nation. HE WILL give us fits on the perimeter where he is currently shooting about 60%. Budinger is also one of the top potential NBA draft picks in the nation as well.

My Take:
This has to be one of the most intriguing matchups on our schedule. Arizona, during the Lute Olson era, has been as dominate as any team in the nation. The gives us a chance to prove we are the best in the west this year, it is also somewhat of a trap game, with #2 UCONN looming on the horizon and the big victory over the cougs a few days old, the Zags may have their mind on other things, Heres hoping Mark Few has sufficiently prepared this team for the rigors of traveling to a very much home game for Arizona in the midst of the toughest non conference schedule in the nation.

Final Score: Gonzaga 77 Arizona 65

December 11, 2008

Recap: Gonzaga @ Washington State

Final Score:Gonzaga 74 Washington State 52

Box score snapshot
Scorer: Josh Heytvelt 22 Points
Rebounder: Matt Bouldin 7 Boards
Passer: Jeremy Pargo 10 Assists
Swatter: Austin Daye 2 Blocks
Theif: Josh Heytvelt 3 Steals

22 Points, 3 Boards, 3 Steals...3 big threes...Heytvelt has consistently proved he is back, 19 ppg in the last 4 games...He's better than Tyler Hansbrough in my mind...

Team Comparison: Zags/Cougars
Points: 74/52
assist to turnover ratio: 1.75/0.38
Rebounds: 33/29
Shooting Percentage: 48%/33%
3pt Percentage: 44%/11%

Notes from the sideline:
- Defense Won it, but not for the team known for Defense...just look at the three point percentage Zags 44% Cougs 11%...nuts...
- Pargo Quietly had another double-double 11 points 10 assists
- Matt Bouldin went for 8 points and 7 boards...nice clip for a two guard

What it means for the future (Analysis):
Well for one, BRAGGIN RIGHTS!!! How you like us now, Wazzu? Really there is no competition here, Gonzaga owns Wazzu 8-2 in the last 10 years. We are #4 in the nation and it shows...domination! Look out for Arizona on Sunday, the tough schedule continues.

December 8, 2008

Scouting Report: Washington State

Best Wins:
Washington St. 63, (91) Mississippi St. 52

They've lost to #14 Baylor, and #3 Pittsburgh

Current Rankings:

Team Leaders:
Points: Klay Thompson 11.6
Assists: Taylor Rochestie 5.5
Rebounds: Aron Baynes 6.3

Best Player:
Aron Baynes C 6-10 250 SR.
Definitely the leader of the team, this Aussie is going to pose the biggest threat down low that the zags have had to compete with thus far, only Hasheem Thabeet of UCONN poses a bigger threat in my mind down the road. Keep an eye out for this ability to board as well as his 63% scoring ability.

My Take:
This series has been quite interesting for the last several years, and this year is no exception. While the cougs are by no means a push-over, they are in a slight rebuild and the Zags should win pretty handidly. I expect at least a 10 point win.

Final Score: Gonzaga 72 Washington State 60

Recap: Gonzaga @ Indiana

Final Score:Gonzaga 70 Indiana 54

Box score snapshot
Scorer: Josh Heytvelt 17 Points
Rebounder: Micah Downs 9 Boards
Passer: Jeremy Pargo 8 Assists
Swatter: Austin Daye 3 Blocks
Theif: Matt Bouldin 4 Steals

13 points, 8 assists, 1 board, 1 steal, the ability to restrain that inner desire to ball-hog, priceless...

Team Comparison: Zags/Hoosiers
assist to turnover ratio: 1.21/0.33
Rebounds: 35/31
Shooting Percentage: 46%/30%
3pt Percentage: 19%/37%

Notes from the sideline:
-Josh Heytvelt seems to be hitting on all cylinders, heres hoping he stays healthy.
-Matt Bouldin continues to quietly be very productive...look at this stat line...13 points, 5 boards, 4 steals(very underrated perimeter defender), 2 assists...
-Jeremy Pargo looked like a top 20 pick in this years draft...good for him, he finally understands what it takes to run a team
-Even with the horrible shooting night(18% from three), they still managed to win by 16...nuts...

What it means for the future (Analysis):
This means business as usual for the zags, seriously they followed their M.O. for the whole season. Feel your way through the first half, get a small lead going into half time, get chewed out by coach few and then explode in the second half. Its gotta be their new playbook.

December 4, 2008

Scouting Report: Indiana

Scouting Report

Best Wins:
Indiana 72, (150) Cornell 57

They have lost to #35 Wake Forest, #24 Notre Dame so far...

Current Rankings:

Team Leaders:
Points: Tom Pritchard 14.1
Assists: Daniel Moore 3.9
Rebounds: Tom Pritchard 7.6

Best Player:
Tom Pritchard PF 6-9 242 FR.
Mr. Pritchard has been the only bright spot this season for Coach Crean, a nice frosh power forward who can board with the best of them, his inside scoring has enabled him to shoot at 59% so far this season, he has yet to even attempt a three.

My Take:
Honestly, Gonzaga is going to smoke IU. The talent differential is insane, In both games against ranked opponents this season, IU lost by an average margin of 31.5 points. Im expecting a 40+ point win...

NOTE: Keep an eye out for Verdell Jones, former Zag recruiting Target from Champaign, IL. He is the future point for IU...

Final Score: Gonzaga 96 Indiana 52

December 2, 2008

Gonzaga has that Swagger

If you, like me, watched the tournament over the weekend, then you probably saw those quirky Old Spice commercials with LL Cool J and Brian Urlacher. Like Mr. Urlacher, and Mr. Cool James, the Zags seem to have grown up gotten buff and earned some swagger. I don't know if this can be attributed to a change in deodorant or a haircut, but i do know that there is no hotter team in the country than Gonzaga. With the grueling early season schedule, the Zags have reached heights never seen before. We are #1 in the RPI, we have the #5 Strength of Schedule and are #5 in both the AP and Coaches Polls. This all before still having to play Indiana, UCONN, WAZZU, Arizona, Memphis, and UT again.

What i saw on that court this weekend was far from perfect, but with its flaws i saw strengths that have alluded the Zags in years past. Most notably, stingy Defense and a scrappiness(toughness) that matched both Maryland and UT pound for pound. These attributes mixed with arguably the most potent offense in the nation, make Gonzaga one of my favorites for the Final Four. Mark my words, this team is destined for greatness.

December 1, 2008

Recap: Gonzaga Vs. Tennessee Round 1

Final Score: Gonzaga 83 Tennessee 74

Box score snapshot
Scorer: Steven Gray 19 points
Rebounder: Josh Heytvelt 6 Boards
Passer: Jeremy Pargo 7 Assists
Swatter: Josh Heytvelt 2 Blocks
Theif: Jeremy Pargo 3 Steals

Game MVP: Steven Gray
19 points, 4 assists, 2 boards, 67% from Three!

Team Comparison: Zags/Vols
Points: 83/74
assist to turnover ratio:1.21/0.67
Shooting Percentage: 52%/36%
3pt Percentage: 55%/29%

Notes from the sideline:
-Steven Gray went bonkers from outside, 4 for 6 from three, the man can shoot the lights out.
-Heytvelt continued his steady production with 15 points, 6 boards and 2-3 from three.
-Pargo continued to fill up the stat sheet with 10 points, 6 boards, 7 assists, 3 steals and a block
-The defense was key, holding UT to 36% shooting and 29% from behind the arc, not the mention winning the turnover battle by 7, the Zags out-scrapped the vols, beating them at their own game.

What it means for the future (Analysis):
It means that our defense is top notch, that with it we have a legitimate chance at the final four or even a national title, i think we are the top team in the west and possibly the second deepest team in the nation right behind North Carolina. Keep an eye out for us all year, the schedule does not lighten up we got IU, WAZZU, ZONA, UCONN, UT, Memphis, Utah and St. Marys coming up...

NOTE: The zags are now #5 in the nation and #1 in the RPI.