January 30, 2010

Scouting Report: San Francisco

San Francisco Dons
W-L: 7-14
RPI: 233
SOS: 61
Best Wins:
(167) San Jose St. W, 76-71
(184) San Diego W, 87-71

Best Losses:
(4) Brigham Young L, 69-43
(29) Arizona St. L, 104-65
(52) Washington L, 86-71

Team Leaders:
Points: Dior Lowhorn 17.5
Assists: Dontae Bryant 3.6
Rebounds: Dior Lowhorn 6.5

Best Player:

Dior Lowhorn F 6-7 230 SR
Lowhorn is in the top 2 or 3 players in the entire WCC, he could be the x-factor for the Dons

My Take:
I really dont think this one is going to be too difficult, i expect a blowout for the Zags.

Final Score: Gonzaga 88 San Francisco 72

January 28, 2010

Game Recap: Gonzaga @ Santa Clara

Final Score: Gonzaga 71 Santa Clara 64

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Gray/Bouldin 19 Points
Rebounder: Elias Harris 14 Boards
Passer: Matt Bouldin 6 Assists
Swatter: Arop/Olynyk 2 Blocks
Thief: Matt Bouldin 4 Steals

Game MVP: Steven Gray
19 Points, 3 Boards, 3 Assists, and 1 Steal

Team Comparison: Zags/Broncos
Points: 71/64
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 0.81/0.75
Rebounds: 30/23
Shooting Percentage: 48%/45%
3pt Percentage: 33%/50%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
What a tussle, huh? Every time the Zags come to the Leavey Center, its a dogfight. Coach Keating does a masterful job of preparing his team mentally to be ready for a defensive battle. In the end the Zags emerged victorious, from being down by 14 to winning by 7, a 21 point swing. Great effort by the Zags for not throwing in the towel and letting their frustrations get the best of them. Mark Few did a great job as well keeping his bigs out of foul trouble and allowing Steven Gray and Matt Bouldin to get some rest from the constant badgering of the Bronco defenders. This game will definitely go a long way towards preparing the zags for the Memphis defensive attack. LETS GO ZAGS!

January 26, 2010

Scouting Report: Santa Clara

Santa Clara Broncos
W-L: 9-13
RPI: 249
SOS: 186
Best Wins:
(107) Pacific W, 54-53
(127) Fresno St. W, 74-67

Best Losses:
(42) St. Mary's L, 80-72
(46) UNLV L, 66-63

Team Overview:
Under Construction!

Team Leaders:
Points: Kevin Foster 19.8
Assists: Marc Trasolini 6.5
Rebounds: Robert Smith 3.1

Best Player:

Kevin Foster G 6-2 215 SO
Foster is Santa Clara's best player, but he fractured his foot and will probably miss the remainder of the season.

My Take:
Santa Clara is no match for the Zags. Santa Clara sans Kevin Foster is no match for Gonzaga High School. The Zags win handedly, no surprise here.

Final Score: Gonzaga 92 Santa Clara 67

January 25, 2010

Game Recap: Loyola Marymount @ Gonzaga

Final Score: Gonzaga 85 Loyola Marymount 69

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Elias Harris 22 Points
Rebounder: Sacre/Harris 8 Boards
Passer: 3 With 4 Assists
Swatter: Robert Sacre 3 Blocks
Thief: Demetri Goodson 3 Steals

Game MVP: Elias Harris
22 Points, 8 Boards, and 4 Assists

Team Comparison: Zags/Lions
Points: 85/69
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 1.82/0.67
Rebounds: 39/28
Shooting Percentage: 52%/44%
3pt Percentage: 19%/25%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
It means we are well on our way to another perfect WCC season. I fully expect us to run the table and possibly win out if we can take care of business in Memphis. This has truly been a remarkable season with such a young roster. LETS GO ZAGS!

January 23, 2010

Scouting Report: Loyola Marymount

Loyola Marymount Lions
W-L: 10-10
RPI: 202
SOS: 201
Best Wins:
(43) USC W, 67-59
(80) Notre Dame W, 87-85
(138) Long Beach St. W, 85-80

Best Losses:
(57) Tulsa L, 79-65
(81) Portland L, 79-39

Team Overview:
Under Construction!

Team Leaders:
Points: Drew Viney 16.7
Assists: Vernon Teel 6.3
Rebounds: Drew Viney 7.1

Best Player:

Vernon Teel G 6-4 190 JR
Teel is one of the better all around players in the WCC, currently he is averaging 14.5 points, 6.3 Assists, and 5.6 boards per game.

My Take:
LMU has been wildly inconsistent this year, one game they are slaying giants like USC or Notre Dame, the next they are losing to Montana. That being said, they have loads of talent and are likely to give the Zags a good run. I expect a close one, but in the end, we know the story, ZAGS win again!

Final Score: Gonzaga 82 Loyola Marymount 75

January 21, 2010

Game Recap: Pepperdine @ Gonzaga

Final Score: Gonzaga 91 Pepperdine 84

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Matt Bouldin 32 Points
Rebounder: Elias Harris 13 Boards
Passer: 3 With 3 Assists
Swatter: No Blocks
Thief: Steven Gray 2 Steals

Game MVP: Matt Bouldin
32 Points, 2 Boards, and 2 Assists

Team Comparison: Zags/Waves
Points: 91/84
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 1.50/1.00
Rebounds: 36/28
Shooting Percentage: 53%/44%
3pt Percentage: 36%/38%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
The waves, namely Keion Bell gave the Zags a run. Especially in the second half in which Keion scored 34 points. He was simply amazing, best scorer i have seen in the WCC since Adam Morrison. In the end, we won, and a win is a win is a win. LETS GO ZAGS!

January 20, 2010

Scouting Report: Pepperdine

Pepperdine Waves
W-L: 7-12
RPI: 248
SOS: 195
Best Wins:
(98) Utah W, 76-64
(171) Loyola Marymount W, 79-75

Best Losses:
(52) Miami L, 86-63
(92) Georgia L, 64-47

Team Overview:
The Waves know they can start with an outstanding tandem in junior Mychel Thompson, who plays on the wing, and sophomore shooting guard Keion Bell.

Thompson (Portland, Ore./Santa Margarita Catholic HS/Stoneridge Prep) is the only scholarship player that has been on the roster for two previous seasons. A 6-foot-7, two-year starter who has been voted team captain in 2009-10, he averaged 8.1 points as a freshman and was up to 9.6 points as a sophomore, second-best on the team. He has made 91 career three-pointers and is likely to break into Pepperdine's top 10 this season.

"Mychel might have made as much progress as anyone during the offseason," Asbury said. "The fact that he was voted captain by a landslide shows the respect that the players have for him as a leader. Even though he's a quiet leader, he leads by example. He's versatile. He can step out and shoot it, he can put the ball on the floor, he can defend, he's a very complete player. I expect great things from him."

Bell (Los Angeles, Calif./Pasadena HS) was a revelation as a freshman, showing skills that will make him one of the conference's most dynamic players for the next three seasons, and dunking ability that may make him a YouTube legend. The 6-foot-3 guard was named to the WCC All-Freshman team after averaging team highs of 12.9 points, 2.2 assists and 1.5 steals. His showing at the Say No Classic summer league prompted one local sportswriter to call him arguably the best college player in all of Southern California.

"I think Keion will be one of the top players in the conference," Asbury said. "He's improved his body, gotten bigger and stronger, and has a better understanding of the game and what we want to do. He's a pretty complete player. Once he makes a consistent jump shot and commits fewer turnovers, he may be the best player in the league at some point in time."

Team Leaders:
Points: Keion Bell 19.2
Assists: Keion Bell 4.0
Rebounds: Taylor Darby 6.3

Best Player:

Keion Bell G 6-3 200 SO
Bell is one of the best perimeter players in the WCC, with games of 34 and 28 Points so far this year.

My Take:
Pepperdine is a team in transition. They have talent, but in most cases its pretty young. That being said, they are off to a scorching hot start in WCC conference play at 3-0, this game is shaping up to be the fourth straight against the upper echelon of talent in the WCC, expect Pepperdine to give the Zags some trouble early on, but in the end, they are no match for the Zags premier division 1 talent. I expect a blowout.

Final Score: Gonzaga 94 Pepperdine 67

Dan Fitzgerald Dead at 67

Gonzaga University was informed late Tuesday night that Dan Fitzgerald, former head coach for Gonzaga men’s basketball, died unexpectedly earlier Tuesday evening.

Fitzgerald first came to Gonzaga in the early-1970s as freshman basketball coach, became assistant basketball coach under then-Coach Adrian Buonchristiani, left for a brief assistant coaching stint at Santa Clara University, then was named Gonzaga’s head basketball coach and athletic director in 1978.

He coached three seasons, then resigned to work full time as athletic director. But he assumed both roles again, beginning in 1985. Fitzgerald paved the way for Dan Monson to take over the coaching reins after the 1996-97 season, and Fitzgerald resigned as athletic director in December 1997.

Over the course of 15 seasons, Dan coached the Bulldogs to 252 wins and the team’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 1995. In recent years, he has served as community relations manager for Northern Quest Casino.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh, Ph.D., asked the University community to keep Dan’s family, especially his wife Darleen and their daughter Kelly, in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

RIP Dan, we will miss you!

January 16, 2010

Game Recap: Gonzaga @ San Diego

Final Score: Gonzaga 68 San Diego 50

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Elias Harris 20 Points
Rebounder: Robert Sacre 10 Boards
Passer: Demetri Goodson 5 Assists
Swatter: Robert Sacre 4 Blocks
Thief: Steven Gray 2 Steals

Game MVP: Elias Harris
20 Points, 9 Boards, 2 Assists, and a Steal

Team Comparison: Zags/Toreros
Points: 68/50
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 1.33/0.78
Rebounds: 36/25
Shooting Percentage: 53%/35%
3pt Percentage: 55%/7%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
Three road games, the top 3 teams in the WCC not named Gonzaga, Three Wins. The Zags did a great job in quelling the San Diego perimeter game, holding the Toreros to a god-awful 7% from three. This was a stepping stone to another perfect conference season. We are not out of the weeds yet as an improved Pepperdine squad is also 3-0 in conference and coming to the Kennel this thursday, expect the Zags to handle the Waves.

Scouting Report: San Diego

San Diego Toreros
W-L: 8-11
RPI: 204
SOS: 88
Best Wins:
(87) Houston W, 72-65
(105) Oklahoma W, 76-64
(126) Stanford W, 77-64

Best Losses:
(25) Mississippi St. L, 77-68
(49) New Mexico L, 82-78
(65) San Diego St. L, 69-62

Team Overview:
Point guard Brandon Johnson, who lost most of last season to a ruptured Achilles, was granted a fifth year of eligibility and will be back running the offense. The importance of Johnson's return can't be understated, as he averaged almost 17 points and 3.5 assists per game during his junior season. San Diego will have some frontcourt issues as F/C Gyno Pomare, who averaged almost 14 points and 6 boards a game, graduated, and Rob Jones, who averaged nearly 10 points and 5.5 boards left the program. Coach Bill Grier hopes 6-9 Brazilian junior college transfer Rafael Crescensio and 6-9 holdover Roberto Mafra (5.0 ppg. 2.5 rpg) can make an impact inside.

Team Leaders:
Points: Brandon Johnson 15.9
Assists: Brandon Johnson 3.1
Rebounds: Chris Lewis 6.5

Best Player:

Brandon Johnson PG 6-0 200 SR
Johnson is a fifth year senior leader who knows how to fill up the cup, he has led this San Diego team to some big wins this year.

My Take:
San Diego is no push over, especially at home, this marks the third straight conference game the Zags have had to go on the road. It also marks the third straight game the Zags will have faced their stiffest competition. Billy Grier knows this team frontwards and backwards and if anyone could orchestrate a big upset i would not put it past the former Zags assistant coach. If the Zags can get through this game unscathed, i strongly beleive we will run the table in the WCC again this year. LETS GO ZAGS!

Final Score: Gonzaga 88 San Diego 72

January 15, 2010

Game Recap: Gonzaga @ Saint Mary's

Final Score: Gonzaga 89 Saint Mary's 82

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Elias Harris 31 Points
Rebounder: Steven Gray 14 Boards
Passer: Steven Gray 6 Assists
Swatter: Robert Sacre 2 Blocks
Thief: Elias Harris 3 Steals

Game MVP: Elias Harris
31 Points, 13 Boards, 3 Steals, and 1 Assist

Team Comparison: Zags/Gaels
Points: 89/82
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 0.92/2.11
Rebounds: 45/25
Shooting Percentage: 60%/48%
3pt Percentage: 30%/40%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
This was a big win for the Zags; On the road in Moraga, probably one of the toughest environments outside the kennel in the WCC; Against probably the second most accomplished team in the WCC over the last 10 years; A dual of the two best coaches in our Conference. In the end, Omar the Great (Or Beast as he likes to be called) was not enough for the much more finesse driven Gaels. In the end Elias Harris put on a show and made this Saint Mary's crowd rethink their chants of "Overrated".
Boy Did Harris ever put on a show, as usual he was a monster on the glass leaping over opponents to grab boards and tip in missed shots. But it was his uncanny ability to go and get the ball on the offensive end that was most impressive. He had at least 4 tip in for dunks or Alley Oops. Including one very impressive one from Steven Gray in the first half, in which he leaped over a Saint Mary's opponent. I am officially in awe of the young Germans athleticism. He may possibly be the single most Gifted athlete in Gonzaga Basketball history; And that is high praise.

January 11, 2010

Scouting Report: Saint Mary's

Saint Mary's Gaels
W-L: 15-2
RPI: 32
SOS: 172
Best Wins:
(64) San Diego St. W, 80-58
(65) Utah St. W, 68-63
(86) Oregon W, 81-76

Best Losses:
(21) Vanderbilt L, 72-70
(51) USC L, 60-49

Team Overview:
St. Mary's has a great inside/outside game with 6-11 Omar Samhan at center and 6-0 Mickey McConnell at guard. Samhan is a beast near the basket, averaging nearly 21 points and 11 rebounds a game on 57% shooting from the field. The Saint Mary's backcourt will look to establish their post game early and often. McConnell is a deadly accurate shooter from the outside, shooting 53% from beyond the arc.

Outside of their starters, St. Mary's doesn't have a lot of experience or depth but they do have a good 6th man in Tim Williams. Who steps up for Wayne Hunter (Torn ACL) will be interesting as the most likely candidates are all freshman in Trey Anderson, Matt Dellavedova, and Jorden Page. Out of those, Anderson and Page are the most likely but have limited experience.

Team Leaders:
Points: Omar Samhan 20.8
Assists: Mickey McConnell 6.4
Rebounds: Omar Samhan 10.9

Best Player:

Omar Samhan C 6-11 265 SR
Omar Samhan, the beast from Moraga. He is probably the most seasoned post player in the WCC this season and the best since John Bryant at Santa Clara.

My Take:
This is going to be the toughest Conference game all season as we travel into Moraga. The Saint Mary's fans love to poke and prod the Zags each and every time we come to play. I expect this one to be very close and ultimately will be decided in Overtime.

Final Score: Gonzaga 85 Saint Mary's 82 OT

January 10, 2010

Game Recap: Portland vs. Gonzaga

Final Score: Gonzaga 81 Portland 78

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Matt Bouldin 20 Points
Rebounder: Olynyk/Harris 7 Boards
Passer: Matt Bouldin 9 Assists
Swatter: Sacre 1 Block
Thief: 3 With 1 Steal

Game MVP: Matt Bouldin
20 Points, 9 Assists, 3 Boards, and a Steal

Team Comparison: Zags/Pilots
Points: 81/78
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 2.29/5.00
Rebounds: 32/28
Shooting Percentage: 49%/50%
3pt Percentage: 29%/37%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
This was no cupcake game. Yes the Zags had won 26 of the last 27 games against Portland, but was this a typical game? We were on the road at a hostile Chiles Center, with a Portland team who is as seasoned as they have ever been. At the end of the day, walking out with a win should be seen as a big deal regardless of how close it was. I personally think the Zags played a great game, and despite Jared Stohls otherworldly three point shooting or T.J. Campbells amazing passes, We still won!

January 5, 2010

In the News

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have grabbed their first recruit out of the 2011 Class in Kyle Draganis. Draganis is a wiry 6-4 Point Guard out of Skyview High School in Nampa, ID. He seems to understand his size advantage at the Point with his ability to dominate smaller guards by creating mismatches and backing down in the paint. I expect Mark Few to use him in a similar fashion to how he uses Matt Bouldin(Also a big guard who can play the point). His biggest weakness at this time is his weight, he comes in at a very slim 165 pounds. He will need to definitely spend some time in the weight room adjusting to the much more physical nature of Division 1 College Basketball.

In Other News, late last night, the Zag family lost one of its many assets in the low post. Andy Poling will be transferring to an as yet named Division 1 program in Oregon. Most think he is transferring due to a lack of playing time. He came into this season with the expectations of challenging for a bigger role, but the Zags ended up with the opportunity to bring in players who ate away at any potential playing time that existed. I wish Andy well and hope that he can adjust to life outside Spokane.

January 4, 2010

Scouting Report: Portland

Portland Pilots
W-L: 9-5
RPI: 98
SOS: 82
Best Wins:
(11) Minnesota W, 61-56
(71) Oregon W, 88-81
(150) UCLA W, 74-47

Best Losses:
(10) West Virginia L, 84-66
(55) Washington L, 89-54
(72) Nevada L, 78-69

Team Overview:
Pilots reserve guard Jared Stohl is averaging 9.6 points after hitting a school record 10 three-pointers and scoring a season-high 30 points in the recent 82-52 victory over Idaho at the Chiles Center. Stohl is shooting 58.8 percent (20 of 34) from three-point range in five home games, and 38.5 percent (10 of 26) from beyond the arc in six road games. In his last two road games against Idaho and Washington, Stohl went 0 for 4 on three-pointers...Raivio is UP's leading scorer, averaging 14.6 points a game, and has reached double figures in points in six consecutive games and 10 of 11 overall. Campbell (12.9 ppg) and Smeulders (11.7 ppg) are the only other Pilots averaging double figures in scoring. Reserve forward Luke Sikma is averaging a team-best 7.6 rebounds, and Campbell leads the Pilots with 5.5 assists per game.

Team Leaders:
Points: Nik Raivio 14.6
Assists: T.J. Campbell 5.5
Rebounds: Luke Sikma 7.6

Best Player:

T.J. Campbell PG 5-9 190 SR
When Campbell is on, there is no stopping him. Campbell, a Red hot Three Point shooter, is averaging 12.9 Points and 5.5 Assists a game...

My Take:
When the season began, i expected Portland to be a formidable foe. They posted big early season wins over Oregon, UCLA, and Minnesota. In the last few weeks, that expectation has dramatically changed with losses to Portland State, Idaho and Nevada. Ultimately they are a team that is dangerous, but unpredicable, there is no doubt they possess the talent to potentially crack the NCAA Tournament, but it may take a near flawless run through the WCC Conference schedule or Tournament to justify a selection. This is at the Chiles Center, so expect a good game.

Final Score: Gonzaga 82 Portland 70

January 3, 2010

Game Recap: Gonzaga vs. Illinois

Final Score: Gonzaga 85 Illinois 83 OT

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Steven Gray 20 Points
Rebounder: Elias Harris 16 Boards
Passer: Matt Bouldin 7 Assists
Swatter: 3 With 1 Block
Thief: Matt Bouldin 2 Steals

Game MVP: Elias Harris
19 Points, 16 Boards, 1 Assist, Steal and Block...1-2 from Three...

Team Comparison: Zags/Illini
Points: 85/83
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 1.00/2.30
Rebounds: 37/30
Shooting Percentage: 56%/42%
3pt Percentage: 35%/17%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
We came out guns blazing for the first 15 Minutes, pulling out a lead of 21 in hostile Chicago. So Why did the game become so close? Mental Lapses on the offensive end caused 21 turnovers over the last 25 Minutes of the game. For as good as we played to start out, it was just as bad to finish. What transpired in the end was a much more battle tested Zag team continuing their resiliency and toughing out a win. Elias Harris was a monster on the boards. Matt Bouldin almost had a triple double, and Robert Sacre was Dominant in the low post, not only scoring but causing Illinois top post player to foul out. Great Victory, even better set up for the start of conference play.

January 1, 2010

Scouting Report: Illinois

W-L: 9-4
RPI: 53
SOS: 147
Best Wins:
(15) Clemson W, 76-74
(23) Vanderbilt W, 79-68
(70) Northwestern W, 89-83

Best Losses:
(9) Missouri L, 81-68

Current Rankings:
#53 RPI

Team Overview:
The Illinois Illini had a roller-coaster ride of a season last year that ended with a first-round loss to Western Kentucky in the NCAA tournament. At times they looked like a talented and dangerous team. They obliterated a strong Missouri team that made it to the Elite Eight early in the year and won two of their three matchups with a tough Purdue squad.

However, they struggled with their consistency in other games, especially on the offensive end. On two occasions they failed to put 40 points on the board, including an embarrassing 38-33 loss to Penn State. They finished 24-9 on the year, which was still pretty good given the roster uncertainty entering the season. While their three best players return from that team, they have some holes to replace in the backcourt.

Team Leaders:
Points: Demetri McCamey 14.1
Assists: Demetri McCamey 5.6
Rebounds: Mike Davis 10.4

Best Player:

Mike Davis F/C 6-9 220 JR
Davis is a beast in the low post, having 8 games in Double Digit rebounds this season

My Take:
While Illinois has struggled this season, they are in fact a good team. This is not going to be an easy roadtrip, having to travel all the way out to Chicago after just playing on New Years Eve in Spokane. I expect the Zags to eventually pull this one out late.

Final Score: Gonzaga 77 Illinois 75

Game Recap: Oklahoma @ Gonzaga

Final Score: Gonzaga 83 Oklahoma 69

Box Score Snapshot
Scorer: Steven Gray 18 Points
Rebounder: Elias Harris 9 Boards
Passer: Matt Bouldin 8 Assists
Swatter: Sacre/Gray 1 Block
Thief: Gray/Bouldin 2 Steals

Game MVP: Matt Bouldin
12 Points, 8 Assists, 5 Boards, and 2 Steals

Team Comparison: Zags/Sooners
Points: 83/69
Assist to /Turnover Ratio: 2.00/1.07
Rebounds: 28/22
Shooting Percentage: 51%/50%
3pt Percentage: 42%/40%

What it means for the future (Analysis):
The Zags came to play in this one, never letting the Sooners have a chance at a lead. Matt Bouldin seems to have finally healed after his Concussion and the Post Play of Harris and Sacre continues to dominate teams down low. Steven Gray continues to get better and better with every passing game, and his shot seems to have finally leveled off. I expect this game to give the Zags a boost in confidence heading into their big matchup in Chicago against the Fighting Illini.