October 31, 2012

Team Preview: Saint Mary's

The 2012-13 St. Mary’s Gaels are hoping to defend their regular season and WCC championship titles this year, but will have to replace the stalwart Rob Jones with a committee of transfers and intriguing pieces. With Matthew Dellavedova and Randy Bennett, this team would compete for a WCC crown regardless of the supporting cast, but SMC has a lot of useful parts to go along with Dellavedova, and Bennett always seems to create lineups that are consistently solid defensively and nuanced offensively. They aren't afraid of Gonzaga, and they have the talent and skill to repeat. Let’s start with what they've lost and what they've gained.

October 30, 2012

Rankings Roundup

Here are the preseason rankings for the Zags so far:

Ken Pomeroy: #14
AP: #21
USA Today: #22
CBSsports.com: #25
Massey Ratings: #17
Basketball Prospectus: #13
ESPN.com: #18

CBS Top 50 Shooters

 CBS has published their list of 2012 Pre-Season Top 50 shooters in College Basketball.

Kevin Pangos checks in at 32
Kevin Foster (Santa Clara) checks in at 44

Missing from the list - Gary Bell Jr, who once again is underrated despite finishing with a 47% 3-point shooting last season.

See full list here

October 29, 2012

Team Preview: Santa Clara

As we begin a new season, its time to take a look at the state of the West Coast Conference. This will be an 8 part series looking at all of the teams as we ramp up for the beginning of the season. We begin by looking at Santa Clara.

Santa Clara

2011-12: 8-22 (0-16 in Conference)

Statistical Leaders

Points: Kevin Foster 17.8
Rebounds: Niyi Harrison 6.3
Assists: Evan Roquemore 5.3

Outgoing Players

Jordan Akwenuke
Nick Lamson
Phillip Bach
Demetri Posey

Nothing of real significance was lost.

Incoming Players

Nate Kratch 6-6 210 F (Watertown, MN)

Kratch is a good shooting power forward. Just ask Sam Dower, being left handed at the collegiate level helps to create an advantage for a good shooting big man. Nate has a tendency to run the court well and know where to be to get the transition three, but also benefits from dribble penetration kick outs. He can definitely get his shot off in pressure.

Bob Hennen, Head Coach at Watertown/Mayer High School on Nate:
"Nate is a great player. He is so versatile on offense. He can hit the three, drive to the hoop, or post up. He is a great mid-range shooter. He can shoot off the dribble or off the catch.  Defensively, Nate is a great rebounder and shot blocker. Nate is able to defend in the post or on the perimeter. He works real hard in practice and is a great leader. He is well-respected by his teammates because of his commitment to success and his high character."

With games against Duke and Saint Louis out of conference, and Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, and BYU in conference, the schedule is tough.There are definitely several easy games to be had in the non conference against the likes of Alcorn St., Eastern Washington, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, Utah Valley, and USC Upstate.
Coaching Situation

Kerry Keating, he who most zag fans love to loathe, he of the slicked back hair and slimy demeanor is at a crossroads of sorts as he begins his 6th season as head coach of the Broncos. After not winning a WCC game last year, his seat is as hot as its ever been. The question is will the Broncos be improved? Time will tell.


I fully expect the Broncos to improve upon last seasons record, but that is not saying much. Its hard to quantify the Broncs being any worse than last year. They will win a few games in conference, but this very well may be Coach Keating's last season if he cannot get his team to rally together.The leader is Kevin Foster, and he is most certainly a talented player, but with Evan Roquemore and Niyi Harrison still here as well there is a foundation that should be able to win games. I project 13 wins, 4 in conference, probably not enough to save Coach Keating's job.

Game Recap: Gonzaga dominates Northwest Nazarene in Exhibition

It has been a long 7 months waiting for this highly anticipated Zags basketball season.  With all the early pre-season polls and hype, how can one not be extremely excited for the start of the season?  With the loss of Sacre, Spangler, Moenninghoff, Carter and Keita, and the only addition being a highly touted international big and a walk-on, I was really wondering if this is our year as many are predicting.  Although I have extreme confidence in our core returnees of Bell, Pangos, Harris and Dower, I had question marks about Edi and how Dranginis, Barham, and Stocks would fit into this rotation.  I learned soon enough how truly special this team has the potential to be.

Even though the game got off to a slow start for both teams with Gonzaga leading by 7 after the 10-minute mark, that didn’t last long, for as the players’ comfort grew, so did the score.  Midway through the first half, the Bulldogs took charge and manhandled the smaller Northwest Nazarene Team with a 19-0 scoring run to cruise to a 93-45 victory.

Gonzaga put 11 different uniforms into the game Saturday night, and 6 players pulled out double-digit points. 

October 27, 2012

GU vs NNU Live Tweets

I will be live tweeting the game tonight @zagaholic, If you are not already a follower, get on the bandwagon!

October 24, 2012

ESPN Preview: Best of the West

ESPN has broken down the Best of the West (Coast) again this year, and many experts have Gonzaga at the top of the list.

ESPN's West Coast Conference Preview

And get an in depth look at "Three Big Things" Eamonn Brennan identifies about this years' Gonzaga squad:

1. GU is one of the most balanced squads in the West Coast (if not the Country)
2. Intrigue - How far can Gonzaga go (with Pangos, Harris, and Dower leading the way)?
3. The Wild-Card: What will Karnowski bring to the table?

Three Big Things

October 23, 2012

Preview: Northwest Nazarene

The Zags will open the season with an exhibition matchup with Northwest Nazarene on Saturday, October 27th. Northwest Nazarene is a small D2 college out of Nampa, Idaho (Kyle Dranginis' hometown). Dont expect a competitive game, but this should be a nice tune up to get ready for the fast approaching season.

NNU Head Coach Dave Daniels had this to say:
“This is a great opportunity to test ourselves against one of the elite D1 programs in the country.  All of our guys from the Northwest have grown up following the Gonzaga program and are really looking forward to playing the Bulldogs, We look forward to kicking off the 2012-13 season in Spokane!"
 NNU's Senior Leader is Jonathan Hawkins, a 6-3 guard out of Phoenix. He spent last year in a supporting role but finally looks ready to lead the team.

October 15, 2012

Graham Woodward commits to Penn State

Well, it looks like Gonzaga won't even get the chance to win Graham Woodward over during Kraziness in the Kennel, as he committed to Penn State earlier this morning. 

October 13, 2012

Recruit Profile: Graham Woodward

With the 2012 season upon us (yesterday was the first day of basketball practice for the Zags), the coaches are making a last minute push to secure a point guard recruit for the 2013 season: Graham Woodward.  Woodward hails from Edina, Minnesota, and his recruiting really heated up following the July evaluation period this summer.  He currently has over 15 scholarship offers, but Penn State, Drake, WSU, and Gonzaga are leading the pack at this point.  He has already taken official visits to the first three schools mentioned above, and will be taking his Official Visit to Gonzaga during Kraziness in the Kennel next weekend.  

Height: 6’0
Weight: 165 lbs.
Position: Point Guard
Year: 2013
High School: Edina High School
AAU: Minnesota Pump N’ Run

October 10, 2012

The Hype Continues - Collection of Predictions

I love the month of October, basketball season is set to begin and the sports world experts & blog sites go into a frenzy with predictions for the upcoming season!  I know many fans who detest predictions and pre-season rankings, believing they will ultimately lead to despair if their team fails to achieve or surpass the hype.  But I enjoy the hype, the hopes, the idea that others' believe as strongly in my team as I do.  So for those similar to me, below are several links to Gonzaga's predictions for the upcoming season:

Pre-Season Rankings:
NBC Sports - Gonzaga ranked 19

Athlon Sports - Gonzaga ranked 21

Sporting News - Gonzaga ranked 21

Hoop Vision - Gonzaga ranked 19

Player Rankings:

October 8, 2012

Zagaholic's Newest Contest: WIN $100.00

That's right. You can win a $100.00 Zag Store Gift Card! Or, if you prefer....$100.00 CASH!

We have had several give-a-ways so far (congratulations to our prior winners). This time we  wanted to do something a little different.

Here goes:

What you need to do- Be the first person in the comments section to predict the correct order of finish in this years W.C.C. Conference. That's it! *One attempt per person please.

We will mail you your prize, free of any shipping charges, when we determine the winner. Just email us your shipping/mailing address and your choice of prizes.

Why are we doing this? Because we are beyond excited that the start of the season is nearly here.

With Elias Harris coming back for his senior season, Kelly "KO" Olynyk and Kyle "DRAINO" Dranginis coming off their redshirts, and a dynamic dou of Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell in the back court, it looks to be a special year indeed. Other highlights will be Sam Dower for instant offense and Guy Landry on the wing. And, we'll also get a peek at our Behemoth 7'1 320 lb freshman center from Poland, Przemek Karnowski.

We want everyone to jump in and support our ZAGS!

Best of luck to everyone...GO ZAGS!!~

The teams: Pepperdine, BYU, Santa Clara, LMU, GU, SMC, USF, San Diego, Portland. You decide how they will finish!

October 2, 2012

Kyle Dranginis comes off his redshirt

Several off-season developments have piqued the interest of Zag Nation. Some of the highlights include; the addition of Przemek Karnowski and whether or not he can fill in for the loss of Robert Sacre, how Kelly Olynyk will respond coming off a redshirt, and who will step up at the wing with the losses of Mathis Keita and Mathis Monninghoff.  

But, what has intrigued me the most is the answer to who is going to be backing up our talented backcourt duo of Gary Bell Jr. and Kevin Pangos. The answer may very well be the combo guard Kyle Dranginis, who is coming off his redshirt year and is poised to take a significant role in GU’s backcourt this season.