November 29, 2009

Scouting Report: Washington State

W-L: 6-0
RPI: 98
SOS: 239
Best Wins:
(133) San Diego W 93-56
(213) E. Washington W 67-61

Best Losses:

Current Rankings:
#98 RPI

Team Overview:
The Great Alaskan Shootout Champions lost their top two scorers from last year, Taylor Rochestie (13.2 ppg, 4.5 apg) and Aron Bynes (12.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg). The challenge for former Portland State head coach Ken Bone in his first year as Tony Bennett's replacement is to find players who can fill those gaps, all while complementing 6-6 sophomore G Klay Thompson (12.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg), one of the best shooters in the conference if not the nation. 6-9 Australian freshman Brock Motum will be called on to fill Bynes' spot, while Thompson will be supported by a couple of youngsters in the backcourt--Reggie Moore and Xavier Thames. Don't overlook the tough DeAngelo Casto, from Gonzaga's back yard in Spokane.

DeAngelo Casto

Team Leaders:
Points: Klay Thompson 28.3
Assists: Reggie Moore 3.8
Rebounds: DeAngelo Casto 5.7

Best Player:
Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson G 6-6 187 SO
Thompson might be one of the top scorers in all of College Basketball this year he has already logged games of 37 and 43 Points on the year.

My Take:
At one point i assumed this would be another easy game for the Zags, but the Cougars are flying under the radar this year. Klay Thompson is coming into his own during his sophomore season and is looking like one of the most Dynamic players on the West Coast. The way he dismantled the Toreros the other night was almost magical. I expect this one to be a tough game now, probably high scoring with the Zags coming out on top.

Final Score: Gonzaga 87 Washington St. 82

November 27, 2009

WCC piling up Quality Wins...

This season the WCC figured to be in a down year. Gonzaga was bringing in 9 freshman and losing 5 experienced players. Saint Mary's was losing arguably the best player in the conference last year in Patty Mills. San Diego was coming off a disappointing second season for Coach Billy Grier. The lone bright spot figured to be Portland and it returning starters. Well, obviously the pundits were mistaken. I dont think i have seen a WCC as stacked as the one we are seeing this year...ever. Several teams have racked up quality wins over BCS conference schools. Here are the wins by team:

Wisconsin W 74-61
Cincinnati @ 61-59 OT
Colorado W 76-72
(Barely lost to #2 Michigan St. 71-75)

Oregon W 88-81
UCLA W 74-47
#16 Minnesota W 61-56
#8 West Virginia (TBD)

Saint Mary's
San Diego St. W 80-58
(Barely Lost to #24 Vanderbilt 70-72)

San Diego
Oklahoma W 76-64
Stanford W 77-64
Houston W 72-65

Loyola Marymount
USC W 67-59

I Think this bodes well for the rest of the season, there could be a chance to have 3 or 4 WCC teams go to the tournament depending on the results from here on out. LETS GO WCC! and Moreover LETS GO ZAGS!

November 26, 2009

Recap: Cincinnati vs. Gonzaga

Final Score:Gonzaga 61 Cincinnati 59 OT

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Robert Sacre 14 Points
Rebounder: Matt Bouldin 11 Boards
Passer: Steven Gray 4 Assists
Swatter: Robert Sacre 1 Block
Thief: Meech Goodson 2 Steals

Game MVP: Robert Sacre
14 Points, 5 Boards, and 3 Blocks

Team Comparison: Zags/Bearcats
Points: 61/59
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 0.69/2.20
Rebounds: 36/31
Shooting Percentage: 43%/35%
3pt Percentage: 33%/26%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
What an exhilarating game, The Bearcats came out playing GREAT DEFENSE! with only 13 minutes left in the game, they were on top by 10. But the Zags weren't having any of that, they came back and won in OT. This game should propel the Zags into the top 25.

Matt Bouldin was off his game, but still accounted for 11 Boards and a big three when it counted (at the end). Steven Gray came alive towards the end, but the real story was how Robert Sacre and Elias Harris took the game on their broad shoulders and helped the Zags to a big time early season victory and the Maui Invitational Championship! GO ZAGS!

November 25, 2009

Scouting Report: Cincinnati

W-L: 4-0
RPI: 20
SOS: 52
Best Wins:
(29) Maryland W 69-57
(46) Vanderbilt W 67-58

Best Losses:

Current Rankings:
#20 RPI

Team Overview:
Mick Cronin's 2009-2010 Bearcat team will be by far the most talented in his four years at Cincinnati.

It starts with senior Deonta Vaughn, a potential first round pick who just may be the best player in the Big East you've never heard of. Vaughn is an explosive scorer (15.7 ppg for his career) whose offense is based around his ability to hit the three.

The Bearcats also add all-world recruit Lance Stephenson to the mix. Stephenson is just a freshman, but already he is as talented a scorer as there is in the country: He's the all-time leader in points scored in the state of New York.

Team Leaders:
Points: Yancy Gates 12.6
Assists: Deonta Vaughn 5.0
Rebounds: Yancy Gates 8.6

Best Player:

Lance Stephenson F 6-5 210 FR
Stephenson is as good a talent that has come through Cincinnati since the days of Kenyon Martin.

My Take:
This is going to be a tough one. The Bearcats are an excellent defensive team with several players who match up well with the Zags. Lance Stephenson might be one of the most talented players the Zags will match up with all year. I expect a low scoring game with the Zags on top, LETS GO ZAGS!

Final Score: Gonzaga 65 Cincinnati 60

Recap: Wisconsin vs. Gonzaga

Final Score:Gonzaga 74 Wisconsin 61

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Matt Bouldin 18 Points
Rebounder: Elias Harris 8 Boards
Passer: Matt Bouldin 5 Assists
Swatter: Robert Sacre 1 Block
Thief: Matt Bouldin 2 Steals

Game MVP: Matt Boudlin
18 Points, 6 Boards, 5 Assists, and 2 Steals

Team Comparison: Zags/Badgers
Points: 74/61
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 1.43/1.33
Rebounds: 35/27
Shooting Percentage: 47%/39%
3pt Percentage: 27%/21%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
Great Game! The Zags were given a run early on by the tough Badgers, but they took a big lead late and the badgers could never recover. Bouldin played like a magician, definitely one of the better performances hes had this year. Gray continued to play well with 15 points and 5 boards.

The front court gobbled up rebounds at an impressive clip 18 boards between Sacre/Harris/Olynyk. Harris continued to play like a man amongst boys, doing anything and everything he could to help the team. after a game like this, i expect the Zags to come out with Guns blazing and win the Maui.

November 24, 2009

Scouting Report: Wisconsin

W-L: 3-0
RPI: 28
SOS: 140
Best Wins:
(67) Arizona W 65-61

Best Losses:

Current Rankings:
#28 RPI

Team Overview:
The Badgers come into this year having lost their leading scorer and all important glue-guy. Bo Ryan will continue to utilize the "Swing Offense" and the Big Ten should expect to see the same type of tough team Wisconsin typically puts on the court. Sharpshooter Jason Bohannon will continue to stretch defenses, while Trevon Hughes will be the go-to-guy. Additionally, Jon Leuer should pick up his production. Newcomer Mike Bruesewitz may command minutes right away if he can fit into Ryan’s system.

Team Leaders:
Points: Trevon Hughes 15.7
Assists: Trevon Hughes 2.7
Rebounds: Keaton Nankivil 7.0

Best Player:

Trevon Hughes G 6-0 193 SR
Hughes is putting it all together in his senior year, similar to Matt Bouldin in that he is a complete player.

My Take:
This game is looking to be a thriller. Wisconsin plays tough as nails and just got out of a dogfight with Arizona, The Zags are as tough as they have ever been. I expect lots of fouls, low scoring and many turnovers on both sides of the ball, in the end i think the Zags are more talented this year and if they can hold it together they will prevail. GO ZAGS!

Final Score: Gonzaga 72 Wisconsin 67

November 23, 2009

Recap: Colorado Vs. Gonzaga

Final Score:Gonzaga 76 Colorado 72

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Steven Gray 27 Points
Rebounder: Elias Harris 10 Boards
Passer: Matt Bouldin 5 Assists
Swatter: Elias Harris 1 Block
Thief: Matt Bouldin 3 Steals

Game MVP: Steven Gray
27 Points, 4 Boards, and 1 steal

Team Comparison: Zags/Buffaloes
Points: 76/72
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 0.82/1.07
Rebounds: 29/22
Shooting Percentage: 47%/53%
3pt Percentage: 42%/47%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
Colorado gave us a run. I knew they would, they are young, spunky and very hungry. I think they are a legitimate Tourney team as long as they can hold their composure. That being said, we didn't play as well as i hoped. Matt Bouldin looked absolutely horrible in the first half, but turned it on at the end. Elias Harris had one of his first Freshman type games, where at times he looked frustrated and lost on the floor, He did look like a Window Cleaner though, wiping the boards every time a rebound was within range.

Steven Gray, what an enigma you are. At times you look like a full blown superstar, at other times you look like you'd rather be out surfing the waves in Maui, if only your effort matched your talent every time you step on the floor. 27 Points, 50% from the floor and 57% from three, where was this effort against Michigan State? Maybe just maybe you will pull it together and make us proud.

Ive been noticing a startling trend over the last several games, Robert Sacre gets into foul trouble far too quickly. He is quite possibly one of the most dominant big men in the country this year, but he really needs to keep his composure and not make stupid fouls, here's hoping he can keep it together against Wisconsin. GO ZAGS!

November 22, 2009

Scouting Report: Colorado

W-L: 3-0
RPI: 35
SOS: 91
Best Wins:
(43) Texas Southern W 88-77

Best Losses:

Current Rankings:
#35 RPI

Team Overview:
For a team that went 1-15 in Big 12 play last year, there are a few reasons for optimism in 2009-10. Foremost among those reasons is the return of super-stud Cory Higgins. The do-everything junior is one of the better returning players in the country and is skillful enough to help propel Colorado to a few more conference wins this season.

Expect Newcomers Alec Burks, Shane Harris-Tunks, Keegan Hornbuckle, and Marcus Relphorde to pay big dividends for Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik who is trying to steer these Buffaloes to the NCAA Tournament in his third season at the helm.

Team Leaders:
Points: Cory Higgins 23.3
Assists: Nate Tomlinson 4.0
Rebounds: Nate Tomlinson 4.7

Best Player:

Cory Higgins G 6-5 190 JR
Higgins is the Buffaloes most complete player, shooting 70% from the floor and 67% from Three.

My Take:
This is not going to be an easy game, this one will be decided at the end. I think Colorado is a lot better this year than people have given them credit for. I expect our defense to struggle with Cory Higgins and Alec Burks.

Final Score: Gonzaga 72 Colorado 65

November 21, 2009

Recap: IPFW Vs. Gonzaga

Final Score:Gonzaga 90 IPFW 55

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Robert Sacre/Matt Bouldin 15 Points
Rebounder:Robert Sacre 8 Boards
Passer: Mike Hart 3 Assists
Swatter: Robert Sacre 2 Blocks
Thief: Matt Bouldin 5 Steals

Game MVP: Robert Sacre
15 Points, 8 Boards, and 2 Blocks

Team Comparison: Zags/Mastodons
Points: 90/55
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 0.72/0.18
Rebounds: 48/33
Shooting Percentage: 63%/31%
3pt Percentage: 50%/32%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
This game helps coach Few see some of his bench, no offense to the Mastodons, but this game was never in question. I was very surprised to see Bol Kong finally work his way into a game, and he did not dissapoint 10 minutes, 8 points on 2 big threes and a couple of nice free throws (Great form). I think if he can continue to work hard, he and Kelly Olynyk will be the first two players in rotation off the bench. He had the offensive awareness of an Adam Morrison type, he also compared to Morrison on the defensive end, kinda standing around looking to others to do the work.

Meech Goodson had a great game, 14 points, 4 Steals, 2 Assists, and 2 Boards. He looked solid after a couple of rather ugly games. Steven Gray seemed to finally find his shooting touch, heres hoping he can start knocking down some threes with regularity. Elias Harris sat on the bench for a bit, but played his heart out when he got action. Robert Sacre continued to play well, and i think played the best of the bunch.

We go into the Maui Invitational with a chip on our shoulders, i would not be surprised at all if we win the whole thing, I would not wish what is about to happen to Colorado on anyone.

November 19, 2009

Recruiting News

ESPN released their Top 25 early Season recruiting class for next year, this isn't that list, but it is their honorable mention. These teams are the ones that no one would talk about, but who quietly put together great recruiting classes. No Gonzaga on the list, but that is due in part that we had such a large recruiting class this year. With Players like Sam Dower, David Stockton, and Bol Kong possibly redshirting this season, our class for next year looks solid enough to me. Enjoy.

Justin Martin

1. Xavier Musketeers
Conference: Atlantic 10
Players signed: 4
SF Justin Martin (Indianapolis/Mountain State)6-7, 200
SF Jay Canty (High Point, N.C./Oak Ridge Military Academy)6-5, 175
PF Jordan Latham (Baltimore/City College)6-8, 210
PF Griffin McKenzie (Cincinnati/Moeller)6-9, 220.

Breakdown: New coach Chris Mack, who spent five years at Xavier (his alma mater) as an assistant before taking over for Sean Miller in April, showed Xavier isn't slowing down as the Musketeers cleaned up in the early signing period at small and power forward. Martin is a big-time athletic wing with size; he is a scorer with range to 20 feet. Latham is a solid big man who can score and rebound inside; he will help in the paint immediately. McKenzie is a skilled high-post player who had an outstanding summer and is a good face-up shooter out to 19 feet. Canty is a jack-of-all-trades. He is the ultimate glue guy who does the little things that can help a team win. The beat keeps going at the "X."

Juwan Staten

2. Dayton Flyers
Conference: Atlantic 10
Players signed: 5
PG Juwan Staten (Dayton, Ohio/Oak Hill Academy)5-11, 165
SG Brandon Spearman (Chicago/Simeon)6-3, 185
SG Jesse Berry (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson)6-1, 170
SF Ralph Hill (Westerville, Ohio/North)6-6, 195
SF Devin Oliver (Kalamazoo, Mich./Central)6-6, 195

Breakdown: The Flyers put together a very solid class that should help keep them in the upper echelon of the A-10 for years to come. The cornerstone of this class for coach Brian Gregory and his staff was keeping local product Staten in Dayton. The super quick and athletic point guard, who can be a difference-maker for the Flyers, can score and create with the best of them. Spearman is a solid shooting guard with a strong body who can knock it down from the perimeter and will help in many ways. Berry is a combo guard who can score and create, although he is best with the ball in his hands in point guard mode. Hill and Oliver are skilled, athletic small forwards.

Dominique Ferguson

3. Florida International Golden Panthers
Conference: Sun Belt
Players signed: 4
PF Dominique Ferguson (Indianapolis/Hargrave Military Academy)6-9, 210
PG Phil Taylor (Marietta, Ga./Wheeler)5-9, 160
SG Richaud Pack (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm)6-3, 175
SG DeJuan Wright (Detroit/Gillette [Wyo.] College)6-4, 170
PF Eric Frederick (Oklahoma City/Highland [Ill.] CC)6-7, 230

Breakdown: The Sun Belt Conference has been top-heavy during the past decade with very few teams breaking through into the upper echelon of the league. FIU has shown that not only does it plan on asserting itself as one of the elite programs in the conference, but the Panthers also plan on going toe-to-toe with the high-majors for talent. FIU's class would have been considered strong if it had included only talented backcourt players Taylor, Wright and Pack, but when coach Isiah Thomas was able to convince Ferguson, a 6-9 power forward, to sign on the dotted line, it became a class deserving of Top 25 conversation. Ferguson is a long, athletic wing who spurned offers from some of the top programs in the country to play for the Panthers and could be the lightning rod that propels Thomas' squad to new heights.

Alex Kirk

4. New Mexico Lobos
Conference: Mountain West
Players signed: 2
C Alex Kirk (Los Alamos, N.M./Los Alamos)6-10, 225
Tony Snell (Riverside, Calif./Westwind [Nev.] Prep)6-7, 190

Breakdown: Coach Steve Alford's wish list was not long, but it was specific: sign Kirk. The 6-10 center, a longtime target of the Lobos' staff, was a very important get for Alford on two fronts. First, he gives New Mexico the skilled big man it desperately needed. He fits the system perfectly and will be the post player the Lobos can build their program around. Secondly, as a highly recruited, in-state prospect, signing Kirk was monumental for the fan base. With very few in-state players good enough to help the program compete in the Mountain West, the roster is thin on players from within the borders so it was imperative to keep the big fella home. With nine freshmen and sophomores on the roster, the addition of Kirk and versatile 6-7 guard/forward Snell gives the Lobos two high-major level players to add to a more experienced squad.

C.J. Aiken

5. Saint Joseph's Hawks
Conference: Atlantic 10
Players signed: 3
C C.J. Aiken (Conshohocken, Pa./ Plymouth-Whitemarsh Sr.)6-9, 190
SG Langston Galloway (Baton Rouge, La./Christian Life Academy)6-3, 185
SF Daryus Quarles (Clayton, N.J./Life Center Academy)6-6, 170

Breakdown: There are not many coaches who do a better job of evaluating and attracting players operating just under the radar, and then developing them into national names than Phil Martelli and his staff. They again have done a great job at unearthing some hidden gems that should keep the Hawks soaring with the A-10 elite. Aiken, a rail-thin 6-9 center, has tremendous upside and will be one of those players that people can't believe they missed on in two or three years. Galloway is a steal; he is a winner who will bring confidence and energy to the floor each night. Also, look out for Quarles, whose feel for the game and ability to score will ensure that he finds his way onto the floor.

Shelton Boykin

6. Long Beach State 49ers
Conference: Big West
Players signed: 3
SG Jacob Thomas (Columbia Heights, Minn./Columbia Heights)6-4, 190
SF Shelton Boykin (Long Beach, Calif./Poly)6-5, 190
PF Nick Shepherd (Houston/Westbury Christian)6-9, 200

Breakdown: In his third year, coach Dan Monson is quietly building a program at Long Beach State that can compete for championships. The 49ers hauled in a solid class of talent for the second year in a row with commitments from an outstanding trio of prospects. Boykin, a 6-5 wing type, exploded up the rankings due to his athletic prowess and an innate ability to score in a variety of ways. Meanwhile, Monson scored a coup by convincing the sharpshooting 6-4 Thomas to leave his Midwest roots and take up residence in the Big West. Lastly, the 49ers grabbed an intriguing big out of Texas with an enormous upside in the 6-9 Shepherd. The race for supremacy in the Big West is going to get interesting during the next few years.

Ben Vozzola

7. San Diego Toreros
Conference: West Coast
Players signed: 4
SG Ben Vozzola (Las Vegas/Centennial)6-5, 160
PF Dennis Kramer (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon)6-9, 215
C Simi Fajemisin (Lynnwood, Wash./Lynnwood)6-9, 260
PF Trevor Fuller (Dallas/Episcopal School)6-8, 225

Breakdown: Despite a disappointing season of unmet expectations on the court last season, the coaching staff never lost sight of the importance of getting it done on the recruiting trail. Coach Bill Grier needed an upgrade in frontcourt talent and he accomplished that task with a recruiting haul of three players over 6-8 -- Fajemisin, Kramer and Fuller. Fajemisin is an improving back-to-the-basket center who has upside, while Kramer and Fuller give the Toreros an athletic and skilled combination at the forward position. However, the multiskilled Vozzola, who can play all three perimeter positions, is the jewel of the class.

Alex Tiffin

8. UC Davis Aggies
Conference: Big West
Players signed: 2
Alex Tiffin (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks)6-7, 210, PF
C Michael Kurtz (Roseville, Calif./Woodcreek)6-10, 200

Breakdown: The Aggies may be new to the Division I game, but they have wasted little time adjusting to the recruiting wars that are so important to a program's success. Coach Gary Stewart & Co. have been turning heads in the recruiting world with their ability to sign quality players who should have them competing for championships. Tiffin gives UC Davis a high-level skilled performer who should garner playing time and impact the program immediately. The player who may end up as the biggest coup in the class is Kurtz, a 6-10 sleeper who oozes potential but needs to develop physically to realize his full abilities. Don't forget forward Josh Ritchart. UC Davis hasn't received Ritchart's letter of intent yet, but the Aggies commit should pair with Tiffin to give UC Davis a nice pair of bookend forwards.

Yannick Atanga

9. Santa Clara Broncos
Conference: West Coast
Players signed: 2
PF Yannick Atanga (Ojai, Calif./Besant Hill)6-8, 210
PF John McArthur (Concord, Calif./De La Salle), 6-8, 220

Breakdown: Coach Kerry Keating knows how difficult the WCC has become and landed a couple of horses to help him compete in the improving conference. The WCC continues to progress as opposing teams have upgraded their programs in order to keep up with the Joneses, in this case Gonzaga. The Broncos' two-man class addresses the need for size and athleticism on the interior. Originally from Cameroon, Atanga gives the Broncos a developing high-major athlete who can compete against the league's elite, while McArthur is a beast who is sure to be a fan favorite. He wins most loose balls and hustle plays, and brings the type of game that will have an immediate impact on the team.

Ugo Okam

T-10. Harvard Crimson
League: Ivy
Commitments: 3
(Note: Harvard doesn't officially give scholarships, so there is no NLI to sign)
C Ugo Okam (Lagos, Nigeria/Montverde, Fla.)7-1, 220
SG Laurent Rivard (St. Bruno, PQ, Canada/Northfield-Mt. Hermon School)6-5, 215
SG Matt Brown (Barrington, R.I./Northfield-Mt. Hermon School)6-3, 190

Breakdown: One of the world's most famous academic institutions, Harvard, which has experienced March Madness only once (1946), is beginning to garner some well-deserved attention on the hardwood. Coach Tommy Amaker has been able to find some true double-threat student-athletes who should give the Crimson a legitimate chance to compete for an Ivy League championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The most intriguing figure is Okam, a 7-1 center. The future BMOC -- literally -- is a rare get for an Ivy League school as athletic 7-footers who are elite students with basketball upside are usually a hot commodity.

Travis Robinson

T-10. Boston University Terriers
Conference: America East
Players signed: 7
SF Travis Robinson (Philadelphia/Friends Central)6-5, 185
PF Dominic Morris (Philadelphia/Friends Central)6-8, 230
PG D.J. Irving (Philadelphia/Arch. Carroll)6-0, 170
SG Mike Terry (Philadelphia/NE Catholic)6-1, 170
C Anthony Mayo (Philadelphia/Roman Catholic)6-8, 205
SG Malik Thomas (Wadleigh, N.Y./Wadleigh)6-4, 185
PG Henry Gaskins (Philadelphia/Friends Central)5-9, 145

Breakdown: With six of seven pledges coming out of the City of Brotherly Love, BU's class makes you wonder if the Terriers left any players in the Philadelphia area for anybody else to sign. In his first year, coach Pat Chambers and his staff signed a class of seven players that should set the foundation for his future teams. Two of the top recruits are high school teammates -- Robinson and Morris -- who give Chambers two talented forwards to build on, while Irving and Terry form the potential backcourt of the future.

November 18, 2009

Scouting Report: IPFW

IPFW stands for Indiana University, Purdue University Fort Wayne, similar to IUPUI otherwise referred to as Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis. These are part of the Indiana State Public University Network.

W-L: 1-1
RPI: 285
SOS: 24
Best Wins:
(NR) Madonna W 86-57

Best Losses:
(40) Wisconsin L 46-75

Current Rankings:
Are you Kidding?

Team Overview:
Head Coach Dane Fife is only 30, but is entering his fifth season in charge of the Mastodons. His team could be poised for a breakout year, as IPFW returns four starters and the defending Summit League Sixth Man of the Year, Deilvez Yearby (9.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg).

Team Leaders:
Points: Deilvez Yearby 20.0
Assists: Ben Botts 3.0
Rebounds: Deilvez Yearby 6.0

Best Player:

Deilvez Yearby F 6-6 212 SR
Yearby averaged 9 points and 6 boards a game as a Junior.

My Take:
This game will be a nice tuneup for the Maui Invitational, i expect the team to dominate in all aspects of the game.

Final Score: Gonzaga 92 IPFW 65

November 17, 2009

Recap: Gonzaga @ Michigan St.

Final Score:Michigan St. 75 Gonzaga 71

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Robert Sacre/Elias Harris 17 Points
Rebounder:Elias Harris 9 Boards
Passer: Matt Bouldin/Steven Gray 4 Assists
Swatter: Steven Gray 3 Blocks
Thief: Elias Harris 3 Steals

Game MVP: Elias Harris
17 Points, 9 Boards, 3 Steals, and an Assist

Team Comparison: Zags/Spartans
Points: 71/75
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 1.09/0.75
Rebounds: 30/43
Shooting Percentage: 36%/44%
3pt Percentage: 22%/27%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
What a great Game! The Zags played their hearts out. Its not often you see a Mid Major team with 9 freshman travel across the country and almost walk away with a win. For 37 Minutes of the 40 Minute game, the Zags were the better team. Overall it seemed that the Zags played like a much better team than many expected.

Robert Sacre looked amazing, if it was not for foul trouble he may have scored twice his 17 points. His Jump Hooks and around the basket offense was on full display, definitely one of the better offensive centers in the country. As Tom Izzo said, He is built like Adonis.

Elias Harris continued his excellent all around play showing the country that the Zags have yet again struck gold on the recruiting trail. He Played with the spunk of a seasoned vet, and in all honestly is quickly making Zag Fans forget about that Austin Daye kid. I think he is further along at this point that Daye is now in the pros.

That being said for as good as our frontcourt played, our backcourt was just as bad. Matt Bouldin seemed to press things at times, playing more like a Freshman than the Senior he is. He really needs to slow it down, and be more selective with his looks, he had 4 turnovers and a couple of those were just plain bad. Steven Gray seemed to be pressing things quite a bit and shot 3-14 from the floor and 1-8 from three, he really needs to get his shot back, if not he is nothing more than a defensive specialist. Dmitri Goodson continues to play great defense and he doesn't make a lot of mistakes on offense, but he also really does not contribute much. He had his hands involved in only 3 points all night, 1 for himself and 2 for his one assist. All in all the backcourt finished 8-34(23.5%) from the floor and 3-16(18.8%) from three, really the big difference in the game.

The bench looked lost. Kelly Olynyk is really playing like a freshman right now, not that he shouldn't but his extended minutes have been hurting this team. I cringed every time he got on the floor, he put up bad shots, play porous defense, and looked all together confused by the speed of the game and MSU's defense. He also didn't move his feet much on offense, at times he would kind of hang about two feet from the three point line and just watch the team go to work. I think he will get better over time, but right now he is a liability. GJ Vilarino played well for the most part, but he is nothing more than a Dmitri Goodson clone, which means he plays great defense but is having trouble contributing much of anything on the offensive side of the ball. Will Foster was the bright spot off the bench, in 12 minutes off the bench he ended up with a nice shot and 3 boards. Manny Arop played 1 minute and looked like a Project, he took a bad shot and gathered a rebound.

In the end, we all expected this game to be tough, but i dont think many (other than me, i predicted 75-70) expected the Zags to come this close to an upset. They played very well as a whole and came into this game with a fire and intensity that they have lacked in seasons past. Expect this team to continue to learn more about themselves through the early season schedule with games against IPFW and the Maui Invitational coming up. GO ZAGS!

November 16, 2009

Scouting Report: Michigan St.

W-L: 1-0
RPI: 17
SOS: 262

Best Wins:
(263)Florida Gulf Coast W 97-58

Current Rankings:
#2 AP
#2 Coaches
#17 RPI

Team Overview:
The Spartans will likely start three guards with Kalin Lucas, Chris Allen, and Durrell Summers. Forwards Raymar Morgan and Delvon Roe will likely complete the starting lineup.

* Lucas will be the team leader at the point guard position and is emerging as one of the top floor generals in the nation.
* Morgan is the only senior in this starting lineup and will be depended on heavily for points in the paint.
* Allen is the sharpshooter of this squad, providing a dangerous outside threat.
* Summers will use his explosiveness to drive at the basket and also can spot up and shoot from outside.
* Sophomore Delvon Roe will be given the oppurtunity to show why he was recruited so heavily as an extremely athletic forward.

Off of the bench, sophomore Korie Lucious will be a sparkplug with his lightning quickness and high energy play. Sophomore Draymond Green is continuing to get himself in better physical shape, making himself an even more dangerous player off of the bench.

Freshman centers Garrick Sherman and Derrick Nix will see a lot of playing time, to help prepare them for tournament time when MSU will need a post presence off of the bench.

Michigan State has a lean and athletic squad this year that will be one of the more exciting teams in the country. Size in the frontcourt is a weakness for the Spartans, but that didn’t stop them from reaching the Final Four last season. The Spartans should edge out Purdue for a Big-10 Chamionship and contend for a Final Four berth.

Team Leaders:
Points: Kalin Lucas 21.0
Assists: Korie Lucious 8.0
Rebounds: Derrick Nix 14.0

Best Player:

Kalin Lucas PG 6-1 190 JR
Lucas is the do everything guard for the Spartans, expect him to have a big game.

My Take:
This game is going to be the biggest early season test the Zags have experienced in years. I expect a great game, but probably low scoring and a tough loss for the Zags.

Final Score: Michigan St. 75 Gonzaga 70

Recap: Mississippi Valley St. Vs. Gonzaga

Final Score:Gonzaga 92 MVSU 74

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Matt Bouldin 22 Points
Rebounder:Robert Sacre 9 Boards
Passer: Steven Gray 7 Assists
Swatter: Robert Sacre 3 Blocks
Thief: Demetri Goodson 3 Steals

Game MVP: Elias Harris
18 Points, 7 Boards, and a Steal in only 19 Minutes!

Team Comparison: Zags/Delta Devils
Points: 92/74
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 0.94/1.08
Rebounds: 39/22
Shooting Percentage: 56%/42%
3pt Percentage: 35%/42%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
This was a sloppy affair. Matt Bouldin looked lost at times, Demetri Goodson didn't seem to really kick it into high gear. And the freshman...They played like Freshman. There were some exceptions, Elias Harris looked like a Magician, he played with the effort and Heart of a Seasoned vet, but with the talent of an All-American. Robert Sacre proved he can be a force down low, i see big things from our front court this year. Going to East Lansing will prove to be one of the toughest early season tests in recent memory, especially with a team that is as young as this. I don't think we will win, but we will give it our best effort. GO ZAGS!

November 12, 2009

Scouting Report: Mississippi Valley State

W-L: 7-24 (2008-09)
RPI: 329
SOS: 300
Best Wins:
(259) Jackson St. 73-67

Best Losses:
This team was held to 25 points last year against Wazzu...

Current Rankings:
Are you Kidding?

Team Overview:

Highly touted junior college transfer D'Angelo Jackson is expected to push veteran Kevin Burwell at the point guard spot, where Coastal Carolina transfer Joshua Mack could also figure into the mix.

Also back for the Devils are juniors Julius Cheeks and Shannon Behling and sophomore Tashan Newsome, giving Head Coach Sean Woods plenty of options in his rotation.

Cheeks improved as the season progressed last year, upping his scoring average in league play as well as shooting better from the field, the 3-point line and the free-throw line against conference opponents. Behling was the Devils' most prolific 3-point shooter, taking the most attempts (166) on the team from beyond the arc and burying 57 of them (34.3 percent).

Team Leaders:
Points: Shannon Behling 10.4
Assists: Julius Cheeks 1.6
Rebounds: Shannon Behling 5.3

Best Player:

Shannon Behling F 6-7 200 SR
Behling led the Delta Devils in Rebounding last season despite his slight frame. He is the leading returning scorer on this team and a Senior.

My Take:
DOMINATION. This will be a nice tune up for Michigan State and should show everyone who will take charge of the Zags. I fully expect the Zags to win this one easily and am more concerned with the hit our RPI will take with a game like this on our schedule. Here's hoping this one doesn't hurt our seeding come March.

Final Score: Gonzaga 95 Mississippi Valley St. 45

November 6, 2009

Former Zags News...

I thought it would be fun to discuss the status of several former Zags with onset of the Euro League Season and the NBA Season. Here we go:

Ira Brown Drafted in the 4th Round or 59th Overall of the NBDL draft by the Austin Toros, an affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs...Jeremy Pargo scored 36 Points in his Gilboa debut, taking over the game and proving he is a great young talent. Good Luck Jeremy over there in Israel...Former Zag, and current CS Riverside forward, Larry Gurganious, scored 15 points in his debut with his new team...Austin Daye has been a slow starter for Detroit, but that was to be expected as he adjusts to the physical nature of the NBA...Adam Morrison logged a total of 3 minutes in the Dallas game on October 30th and has not played again, he appears to be stuck behind the great depth of the Lakers and may not get a chance to join the rotation unless someone is injured or he is traded away. Here's hoping he can get to a team where he gets some playing time, i have heard great things about his improvement on defense...

Look out for the first Scouting Report of the Season, Mississippi Valley State, coming mid week next week.

November 4, 2009

Recap: Alberta vs. Gonzaga

Gonzaga 94 Alberta 53

Man i love Steven Gray's new do! Its awesome! Matt Bouldin looks like hes taking the leadership roll this year and doing a dang fine job of it...LETS GO ZAGS!