January 31, 2013

Loyola Marymount Recap: Things Went Well and You Should Be Happy

The Alabama-Arkansas (roll tide) game took a while to end, so I didn’t see much outside of a peek in for the first couple minutes and when ESPN2 finally shifted over the score was already 11-3. Dower was in the game (along with Stockton) and made a quick hook shot to extend the lead. The first few baskets by LMU seemed to be 3 pointers, as the generic formula for a surprise Gonzaga road loss began to take shape. That formula, in case you are unfamiliar, is simple. The home team has an easy pattern to follow: let the Zags push out to a quick lead while you look terrible and out of sorts, shoot threes constantly and watch several of them fall in regardless of range or defense, and, most importantly, pray that Gonzaga doesn’t show up.

Unfortunately, Gonzaga got the memo and absolutely dominated from the opening tip. The depth of this team was on display all night as we played aggressive on both ends of the floor. I considered doing a “running diary” type recap but that will have to wait for a different game. I honestly had trouble focusing  when the internet had SO MANY cat pictures for me look through. I decided to do this recap in bullet form and just jot down some of my impressions as the game went on. Give ‘em a look!

USBWA - Midseason Oscar Robertson List

The US Basketball Writers Association released their 12 player Mid Season Watch List for Oscar Robertson Player of the Year.

List is below:

Anthony Bennett, UNLV
Trey Burke, Michigan
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
Doug McDermott, Creighton
Ben McLemore, Kansas
Victor Oladipo, Indiana
Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga
Mason Plumlee, Duke
Russ Smith, Louisville
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
Jeff  Withey, Kansas
Cody Zeller, Indiana

For more information on the award, as well as the voters on the USBWA, please click here.

Bud Wither's KO Article: A must read


Is it just me...or is all the hype surrounding Kelly "KO" Olynyk starting to feel like a re-visitation of the Adam Morrison years? More hoopla right here in this very informative article written by Bud Withers: Kelly Olynyk

Olynyk's Case for Wooden Award

Kelly Olynyk has had a breakout season.  Who expected this previously seldom used big man to make as big of a splash on not just Gonzaga, but the Nation?  His rise to national prominence as first the Most Improved Player, and now as one of the best players in the nation, has been chronicled in ESPN, CBC, NBC, Sports Illustrated, and numerous blogs across the country. 

In this ESPN article, Kelly Olynyk is touted as one of the best players in the nation and having made quite the case for the Wooden Award.  His stats are comparable to all time college basketball greats.  I highly recommend this read!

Full ESPN Article

January 30, 2013

Gonzaga love from ESPN

Gonzaga is getting quite a bit of love from ESPN this week.  Buried deep in their "Six teams that have exceeded expectations" article, was a Top 10 poll ranking players from Non Big 6 Conferences.  The poll was voted on by ESPN analysts, with the below results:

1. Doug McDermott, Creighton -- 50 (5)
2. Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga -- 43
3. Anthony Bennett, UNLV -- 42
4. Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State -- 29
5. Mike Muscala, Bucknell -- 28
6. Rotnei Clarke, Butler -- 20
7. Cleanthony Early, Wichita State -- 13
8. Isaiah Canaan, Murray State -- 9
9. Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary's -- 8
10. Elias Harris, Gonzaga -- 7

Kevin Pangos also received 2 votes, and Tyler Haws, from BYU, received 1 vote.

Further down the article was the "Starting 5" this week featuring Gonzaga:

January 29, 2013

Zagaholic Weekly Rankings

1. Michigan 111 (6)
2. Kansas 106 (1)
3. Florida 92
4. Indiana 87
5. Duke 83
6. Gonzaga 80
7. Syracuse 70
8. Arizona 62
9. Butler 41
10. Michigan St. 39
11. Oregon 38
12. Louisville 31
13. Miami 25
14. Wichita St. 16
14. Ohio St. 16
16. Creighton 11

Others Receiving Votes: Ole Miss 7, Minnesota 7, Kansas St. 7, UCLA 5, New Mexico 5, NC St. 4, San Diego St. 3, Georgetown 2, Villanova 2, Missouri 1

AP: 7
Coaches: 7
CBS: 9
KenPom:  12

January 28, 2013

A Wild Week at The Rodeo

If you pay any attention to college basketball (and if you are reading this blog, I know you do), you would have noticed the wild week of college hoops that culminated in a quite a shake up in this weeks’ rankings.  This last week of basketball closely resembled a bull-riding event at the rodeo, as numerous top 25 teams were knocked off every day (some earning multiple losses).  If you didn’t pay attention, but are now curious as to why the polls have done a massive shift, read below for all you need to know:

-       Six of the top 10 teams last week posted an “L” in the loss column.  

January 25, 2013

Knockout article on (KO) Kelly Olynyk

Enjoy this in-depth article written a few days ago by Jeff Eisenberg of The Dagger. It details Kelly Olynyk's incredible transformation from the awkward position of having to red-shirt as a junior, to his meteoric rise as potentially Gonzaga's POY:

January 24, 2013

Happy National Gonzaga Day!

Today is National Gonzaga Day!!

Everyone Sign up to win a prize for National Gonzaga Day!  Could win tickets to games and many more prizes!

Click on this link:  http://www.gonzaga.edu/beinspired/125/events/national-gonzaga-day.asp

January 23, 2013

Pargo Dropped from Cavs

 Jeremy Pargo has been cut from the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Concluding a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies that gives Cleveland three new players, they were forced to cut Pargo to make room on their roster. 

We will continue to keep you updated on Jeremy Pargo.  Hopefully he finds a new NBA team.

Spokesman Review Article

RE-POST: BYU Preview

Writing about BYU athletics is always a difficult prospect. Players leave on missions at different points in their playing careers, sometimes taking off after a promising Freshman season, other times redshirting beforehand, or even declining to go on a mission entirely (Jimmer Fredette famously decided not to go on one). Where the player goes on their mission has a huge impact on their conditioning and skill when they return. Will they have access to a gym to stay in shape? Will they focus on proselytizing and avoid playing basketball for 2 full years? Will the mental growth make them more “mature” on the court, making road games easier? Honestly, I don’t know. Each individual situation is different. I do, however, have some theories.

This concept works more for BYU’s football team than it does for basketball, but it still works a little. Here is my theory: BYU is successful in large part because of their huge recruiting base. However, when you look at their individual success the past couple decades, they have mostly beaten up mediocre to bad teams, while failing to compete with more elite programs. This is because (here’s the theory part) they rarely get the 5 star elite prospects needed to win a title, but they do get a bevy of solid athletes who, upon returning from their missions, are more developed physically and mentally than their opponents. The mental difference between an 18 year old freshman and a 22 year old senior is huge, enough that “senior leadership” is a tried and true sports cliché that gets trotted out every March by ESPN talking heads.  What happens when that senior is 24 and potentially married? It’s a thought. Let me know what y’all think in the comments.

Last year, BYU finished 3rd in the WCC and qualified for the dance as a play-in team, coming back from a huge deficit to beat IONA during the “first-four” games. They beat Gonzaga at home, but lost to Baylor, SMC, and LMU (!), perhaps demonstrating both that LMU could be a dark horse this year and that BYU had a flawed team. That said, they bring back 2 huge pieces, along with a potential game-breaker returning from his mission. This year’s BYU team will go as far as Matt Carlino, Brandon Davies, and Tyler Haws can take it.

What is up with Gary Bell?

This is probably a question we have all asked over the last few weeks...Seattle Times reporter Bud Withers attempts to answer this question, in a great article!

Gary Bell Article

January 22, 2013

Buzzer Beater Classic: Recapping the Gonzaga/Butler game

Sorry for the delay in posting the game recap.  After that heart-breaker, I took a page out of Crash Mathews book and followed my own rendition of the GU Blues.  I started with number 9 (no chick flick though, just a good ol' fashioned cry), I followed that up with number 10 (drink...a lot), done immediately following the cry and into the deep hours of the night.  After drinking, I added a new number to the list: #11, I went into hibernation.  Hibernation consists of denial, refusal to talk about the game, and lots and lots of sleep.  Finally (similar to the 5 stages of grief), I started to accept the loss and moved forward to work on number 7: thinking about the next game, and the next GU victory.  Only 3 more days to wait!

I had the fortune (misfortune, perhaps?) of attending this game, and it was definitely one for the ages. It caused a myriad of emotions: hope, elation, devastation, dismay, excitement, frustration, belief, and finally, disbelief, sadness, and shock...and that was all in the final 4.6 seconds of play.  It was a series of improbable events.  Gonzaga was up by 1 with 4.6 seconds left, Butler got the ball back, had trouble inbounding and was forced to take a timeout.  It didn't help, as the second they inbounded, they were called for a travel and turned the ball over to GU with 3.5 seconds left.  At that point, the Butler fans around me were quiet - shocked, upset, and sad...but then the place erupted.  All Gonzaga had to do to seal the deal was inbound the ball and waste the final 3.5 seconds.  Instead, the lob from David Stockton to Kelly Olynyk resulted in a steal, a run down the court, and a last second buzzer beater, awkward shot by Roosevelt Jones.  Gonzaga lost.  Just like that, the arena erupted.  The crowd rushed the court, the fans around me were screaming with jubilation, and simultaneously telling me it was a good game.  I had trouble responding, my heart was pounding, my eyes were welling with tears, and my jaw had dropped.  It was an improbable loss, one that has been since shown over and over and over again as the top Sports Center play.  It is a play that will likely never happen again, a veteran David Stockton unable to connect with the solid Kelly Olynyk.  It was a mistake, one that I am not going to fixate on, nor am I going to place blame.  It was just a sad ending to a classic game.  Had GU not been involved, it easily would have been one of the best games I had ever attended.  But that is the curse of a college basketball fan, we CARE about our teams.  Our moods are swayed by a win or a loss, and that one HURT.  If you can make it through this ramble, then please read on for more about the experience of Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Weekly Rankings

1. Duke 77 (4)
2. Kansas 74
3. Michigan 70 (1)
4. Syracuse 66
5. Indiana 52
6. Arizona 50
7. Louisville 47
8. Florida 42
9. Gonzaga 41
9. Butler 41
11. Kansas St. 23
12. Michigan St. 18
13. New Mexico 17
14. Minnesota 15
15. Oregon 10
16. Creighton 7

Others Receiving Votes: VCU 3, UCLA 2, NC St. 1

AP: 10
Coaches: 10
ESPN: 10
CBS: 12
Kenpom: 14

January 20, 2013

How to deal with the GU Blues

We have all been there, whether it was March 23, 2006 or Jan 19th 2013. It is a feeling that rarely comes, but when someone comes down with the GU Loss Blues it is no joking matter. While we all our own particular ways for dealing with a heartbreaking loss. I have scoured the depths of my pain to come up with 10 ways to deal with the GU Blues.

January 18, 2013

Butler Preview

      So what does the 2012-13 Butler team look like? Are they like last years team that struggled and eventually missed the tourney, or are they more like the previous two years where Butler went to the National Title game? The answer is probably somewhere in between. With big wins over Indiana and North Carolina, they have handled the blue bloods. This team lost to a down Xavier team early in the year, and like us, lost to a inconsistent Illinois team that has struggled early in Big Ten play.

January 17, 2013

Portland Recap: Gonzaga is OK at Basketball, Turns Out

Coach Reveno doesn't like... something (AP Photo Don Ryan)
There really isn't much to say in this recap, so I'll keep it brief. Portland is not a very good basketball team, which is surprising because Eric Reveno has managed to develop some talent in recent years. Not so much tonight. Gonzaga leapt out to a 14-2 lead before letting the Pilots make a game of it. There were some surprises though! From the opening gun, we came out shooting with strong performances from players you might not expect.

Guy Landry  Edi had a solid half with good defense and 5 points (including a three?). He didn't miss in the first half and wasn't a complete waste of time on offense. In the first half, at least. Didn't see much of him in the 2nd. Olynyk was invisible in the first half, meaning that the other surprise of the game had to step in. Drew Barham hit 3 threes in his 11 minutes of play, helping to extend the lead before half. Hmm... what else? Hart had his usual odd game with 5 boards, an assist and 2 steals, including a terrific steal off of a missed Gonzaga shot that he flipped to Olynyk for a layup. That was neat!

Speaking of KO, he came alive in the 2nd half, ending with 21 points on 8-9 shooting. Elias Harris was nowhere near as efficient as Olynyk, taking 16 shots and only making 5. He showed some aggression on a couple dunks though, taking his frustration over his off night out on a couple unfortunate Pilot defenders.  Pangos was solid, with 14 points (including 4 three pointers) and some nifty plays, though he had 4 turnovers. Honestly, my biggest issue with this game wasn't anything our stars did, it was the lack of excitement from the bench (outside of Barham). Karnowski did nothing with his 15 minutes of play, and Dower only managed a bucket in 16 minutes (on 1-5 shooting). Stockton played fine, but was largely unimpressive.

The strength of this Gonzaga team is the dynamic play of our post players, solid outside shooting and top-tier depth. Unfortunately, these past few games it's basically been the Olynyk and Harris show, featuring Kevin Pangos. That's OK! Plenty of teams would kill for three players like that, but if we want to make a deep run we have to build the confidence of our bench. Players like Bell, Karnowski, Dower, Dranginis (or Barham, whichever one Few likes more that week), Stockton and Edi have to find their role on the team and play the hell out of it. I hope this post doesn't make me sound like I'm upset, or angry, or anything like that... I'm excited about Olynyk's emergence, Pangos solid play on the road, and Harris' general awesomeness. I'm just a liiiiittle concerned about our chances in March. This year, with the lack of dominant, elite level teams, is a huge chance for Gonzaga to make a lasting mark in the tournament. We can't do that unless we leverage our true strength: the depth of our roster and our post players. Our bench should look at games like this, against overmatched opponents, as an opportunity to get big minutes and work on their game.

Zags vs. Portland...the game before the game

A lot of folks are looking past tonight's game against Portland in anticipation of the showdown against our mid-major brethren Butler on Saturday. This is understandable. Both teams are in the national spotlight year after year. And, highly successful mid-major programs that most other teams look to emulate. It also helps that both teams are ranked in the top 20. This is a chance for both programs to show up the other, and set themselves up as the top dog (Bulldog).

But first things first. We have a game tonight in the Chiles Center 7 p.m. PST. Portland always seems to play us tough as Coach Reveno gets his troops up for these games. The place will be packed, as is usually the case when the Zags come to town.

Coach Reveno has apparently been watching too much tape of the Zags based on his recent Tweet: 

"First sign I may have watched enough Gonzaga film this week? Kelly Olynyk's hair is growing on me."

That is some funny stuff! But the reality of it is is that the Pilots do not have a great team this year (record 8-10). While there is a low probability that they can pull off the upset, they do have a player that will be playing extra hard to get our attention. He is Forward Ryan Nichols, he leads the team in scoring at 13.4 ppg and he hails from Spokane. When asked why he went to Gonzaga Prep but didn't get an offer to play for the Zags, his answer was "they didn't offer me." He will definitely be out to prove the staff was wrong in that recruitment.

Portland does have a pretty good rebounding team and leads us statistically in both offensive and defensive categories. We have been out rebounded the past two games. So, this will be a good test to see if the Zags have improved any.

The Zags have won 18 straight in the series with Portland and I expect that trend to continue. Coach Few said it would be nice to get some 30 or 40 point blow-outs. Too many of our games have been closer than they should have been. Let's see if we can get them down early and keep the throttle on. It would also be nice to get minutes, and valuable experience, for our lesser used players. Hopefully, Karno and Draino get significant playing time.

There is a danger of Gonzaga looking past Portland in this one, but I still feel an easy win is on the menu. Zags by 20+.

January 16, 2013

Lakers Nation Video: Robert Sacre on Lakers Rookie Year and More | Lakers Nation

Check out this video of Robert Sacre by Laker Nation. As a rookie, one of the things required of him is to carry the other players bags, lol.

Lakers Nation Video: Robert Sacre on Lakers Rookie Year and More | Lakers Nation

January 15, 2013

Rotnei Clark Injury Takes Luster off Saturday's Zag Game

Butler's Rotnei Clark is a baller. In the video you can hear him saying he will not come out of the game. While he lays on the court, in a lot of pain, and with some numbness to his extremities, his only concern is playing. Marc Few tried real hard to recruit this guy and this is one reason why.

He was injured in the first half of their game against Dayton this weekend as he attempted a lay-up. He was fouled by Dayton's Matt Derenbecker, who was charged with a flagrant 1 foul. The injury occurred when he collided into the basket support head first. He had to be taken from the game on a stretcher. 

Many were anxiously waiting this game, as it appears to be one of the biggest hurdles left on Gonzaga's schedule. Clark was Butler's leading scorer who averages a team-high 16.2 points per game. The loss of Clark will be a huge blow to their chances of upsetting the Zags. He was Butler's leading three point sniper hitting .444% and he had bombed in 59 threes this season. It would have been exciting watching Pangos go head to head with Clark.

Fortunately for Rotnei, MRI tests showed no spinal cord injury's, but he does have a severe neck sprain that will take some time to heal before he can resume contact.

This means the #8 ranked Zags will have to play #13 ranked Butler, on the road on Saturday without their star guard.

We wish him a speedy recovery.


January 14, 2013

Weekly Rankings

1. Louisville 92 (3)
2. Duke 87 (2)
3. Indiana 83
4. Michigan 79
5. Kansas 76
6. Gonzaga 63
7. Syracuse 60
8. Arizona 52
9. Minnesota 40
10. Creighton 35
11. Florida 33
12. Ohio St. 30
13. Butler 25
14. San Diego St. 17
15. NC State 15
16. Kansas St. 11

Others Receiving Votes: Notre Dame 8, Illinois 6, Missouri 3, New Mexico 1

AP: 8
Coaches: 8
CBS: 9
KenPom: 13

January 12, 2013

Recruit Profile: Brekkott Chapman

Who is Brekkott Chapman?

He's a Junior at Roy High School in Roy, Utah. Measures out at 6-9, 195. Played on the Utah Hoop's 16U AAU team that won the Pangos and Mile High classics this summer. He currently has offers from Gonzaga, Utah, Colorado, BYU, Arizona St., Utah St., San Francisco, and UCLA. The consensus is that Utah is in the lead, however there is still a lot of time in his recruitment and he has just now burst onto the national scene. He can play inside and bang with other bigs, is a plus shot blocker. Has some guard skills including above average passing ability and blossoming ball handling skills. Very tall and athletic.Most likely translates to a small forward in college. Is considered a very talented perimeter on ball defender who creates havok in the passing lanes, creating turnovers, and using his long wiry frame to frustrate opponents.

His Utah Hoop's AAU coach, Peter Harrison, had this to say:
"He has a chance to be a national top 25 recruit, He's versatile, he's big and athletic and he can do a lot of things."
We will keep you posted as we learn more about Brekkott. As always, GO ZAGS!

January 11, 2013

St. Mary's vs. Gonzaga Player Rankings

Honestly for this game there should be two sets of player rankings, a first and second half, but as you can't win a basketball game only playing one half (although both teams tried) I will be taking both halves into account and giving the players what they deserve.  Feel free to sound off in the comments below.

January 10, 2013

Saint Mary's Recap, or: Prelude to a Week's Worth of Rebounding Drills

Another close one, huh? At one point, the Zags built a 20 point lead and I mentally checked out. OK, that’s not true. I was still worried. “Checked out” in this case means “started thinking about what I’ll talk about in the recap.” Before Saint Mary’s mounted their furious rally the storyline would have been Olynyk, Bell’s defense, and Dower’s potential reemergence on offense. All of that disappeared, however, when the Gael’s began to claw back in the game early in the 2nd half without any help from their star, Matthew Dellavedova.

If you had given me Dellavedova’s shooting line from this game (17 points on 5/16 shooting, 3/10 from three) I would have assumed that we won going away. Making him work that hard to get his average, keeping him from getting on a roll from three, and hounding him into 4 turnovers… that’s a good sign, right? It’s a great sign for Gary Bell, who has proven to be an excellent on ball defender, and a decent sign for the coaching staff as well. We've had trouble corralling individual stars in recent years (see: Paul, Brandon), and it looks like Few decided to do something about it. Hard doubles on ball screens, big men hedging towards “Delly” when he drove, funky rotations, etc. Few basically told Randy Bennett to find someone else to score. Unfortunately, he managed to do just that.

January 9, 2013

Bracketology! Premature and all that, but still

I'm sure some of you have already noticed this, but both SI and ESPN have published Bracketology/Bracket Watch pieces in the past week or so. While these tournament predictions are often woefully inaccurate (especially when it comes to the middle/low seeds), the 1, 2, and 3 seeds are generally pretty similar to the stuff we see later on in the year. In recent years, Gonzaga has played such a rigorous non-conference schedule that they force themselves into the sports media conversation. Even when we lose a few of these games, we end up meriting mention because of our insane travel obligations or because we were the "good win" for lots of other teams (basically the "participant" badge in college basketball). Of course, this conversation ends up dropping off around January once the conference schedule gets started.

This year's team looks to be the deepest squad we've had in Spokane for several years now and without any truly elite teams (like Kentucky last year, or some of the recent Kansas/UNC teams) lurking in the tourney, we may have our best shot at a deep run this March. That said, once the conference schedule gets underway, expect other teams to start making noise/falling apart as they upset conference rivals or maybe lose a road game to a team they should beat.  The WCC is on the rise, as we now have 4 teams that can be considered "at least decent," even if BYU and SMC have had rocky starts to the season. I agree with Andy Glockner on SI when he said, essentially, that BYU, SMC, and Santa Clara are all better than their records indicate, but even so they still could use some big wins to shore up their resume. Hopefully the new "depth" in the WCC will be enough to keep us on the radar in the next couple of months. Kelly Olynyk's stellar play has gotten Seth Davis' attention (here), though those plaudits will probably decrease in the next couple months as the level of our competition dips. While I'm a little worried that we'll slip a few spots in the rankings (and maybe in the tourney seeding as well) due to the strength of our opponents, running the table would probably be enough to secure a high seed despite this built-in disadvantage.

ESPN's bracketology (link here) has us as a 2 seed playing in Salt Lake City (potentially playing against Kentucky as a 7 seed, which is a little unlucky bu-oh my God who cares this is a made up bracket). A 2 seed seems high until you realize that there probably aren't 8 teams that are better than we are right now.

SI's Bracket Watch (link here) has us as a 3 seed playing in San Jose. 3 feels a little more accurate, but if you look closely it seems like Glockner swapped us with Minnesota (a fair choice considering how hot they are right now). We'll see how they do during their conference slate.

To me, these two predictions are based on different but equally defensible assumptions. To Joe Lunardi at ESPN, Gonzaga has proven that they are a solid team so far and he thinks we will keep up our current level of play. For us to be a 2 seed, he must assume that we will run the table in the WCC and show up in March with 1 (or 2, if we are handed a "good loss" by Butler) losses. That's understandable, and something I probably agree with. To Glockner over at SI, we've been a solid team so far and all that jazz, but he (probably) assumes that we will lose a random game to a WCC opponent (not necessarily SMC, BYU, or Santa Clara). This has happened often enough in the past that it is perfectly reasonable to take it into account. Let's hope that the Zags play well enough to make the Tournament Committee's job a lot easier come March.

January 8, 2013

Weekly Rankings

1. Duke 94 (5)
2. Michigan 91 (1)
3. Louisville 79
4. Indiana 73
5. Arizona 71
5. Kansas 71
7. Syracuse 60
8. Gonzaga 54
9. Minnesota 48
10. Illinois 34
11. Florida 29
11. Creighton 29
13. Missouri 24
14. Butler 22
15. Ohio St. 16
16. Notre Dame 5

Others Receiving Votes: San Diego St. 3, North Carolina St. 2, UCLA 1, Kansas St. 1

AP: 9
Coaches: 8
ESPN: 10
CBS: 11
KenPom: 13

Ready or Not, It's Go Time for Sacre

The progression 

Man without a number:


The great cheerleader:


Battling Blake Griffin:


Tonight, Robert Sacre gets the regular season start for the LA Lakers. He has gone from the embarrassment of being the only player without a jersey number in training camp (shame on the Lakers), to a seldom used bench ornament (but a spectacular cheerleader), to getting the start tonight against Houston.

Sacre, who had been ping-ponged to the NBA's Developmental League three times already this season was apparently deemed not quite ready for prime time. However, his averages in four games for the D-Fenders have been 11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds, and he scored an impressive 22 points Saturday against Sioux Falls. Pretty good stats so far, but the rookie that hails out of Gonzaga is still very green.

The LA Lakers, a team many thought would vie for another NBA Title, have been in disarray the whole season. The superstar players they brought in to help in this quest have either not gelled of yet, or have suffered injuries. Most recently, Paul Gasol suffered a concussion, Dwight Howard has a torn labrum, and center Jordan Hill has a hip injury. 

What this means for Sacre is that, ready or not, he has been catapulted into a starting position. He finds himself unexpectedly thrust into the position of having to be the man in the Lakers's front court.This is a tall order indeed, but also a fantastic opportunity for him. He gets the chance to learn on the fly and prove whether or not he can be successful. Can he? That remains to be seen.

Sacre has a favorite saying, "Water the Bamboo." We will find out in short order if the bamboo's thirst has been quenched. 

January 7, 2013

Staff Change

We are pleased to announce that Kurt Guner, you might also know him as "Kg", has been made Lead Editor of Zagaholic effective immediately. He has been a member of our team for several months and has a strong background in writing. We look forward to him providing his unique expertise and creative spin in our posts going forward.

January 6, 2013


Hey Everybody,

 I am turning on comment moderation until further notice to avoid the trolls. We were invaded this weekend by some really dirty sleazy users who had no intention to contribute anything of value. While comment moderation is on you may see a delay in the time it takes for your posts to appear. This is due to the comments needing approval before they hit the site. I apologize for the inconvenience, but we want to make sure the site is friendly for all ages, generations, and walks of life...sans trolls.


January 5, 2013

Santa Clara Recap and Player Rankings

Big players show up in big games, and Kevin Foster did just that, unfortunately he wasn't quite as big as 7'0 Kelly Olynyk.  Olynyk scored 33 points and had 10 rebounds as the Bulldogs held off a strong Santa Clara team paced by Foster's 29 points.

From start to finish it was all Olynyk, as the opening tip was tipped to Olynyk for a dunk.  From there the Zags immediately got the Broncos in foul trouble and opened up an early lead. Santa Clara was able to keep it close, despite only leading for 2:41 seconds of the game. Elias Harris emphatic dunk of the Kevin Pangos assist put the Zags on top for good with over 5 minutes left in the first half.

Gonzaga struggled to contain Foster and Trasolini, but were able to contain the rest of the Broncos and coasted to an easy win. There was no match for the size and strength of Gonzaga down low.

Player Rankings after the break!

A Bucking Bronco?

What is Zag Nation to expect against a surprising upstart Santa Clara team? Will they come out and play like the team who were down only 2 to the number 1 team in Cameron Indoor Stadium, or will we see the team that lost to 5-8 UCSB?
As this is the biggest game of the season for the Broncos (yes even bigger than Duke), Gonzaga should expect to see Santa Clara at their best. Marc Trasolini and Kevin Foster have been on fire for the Broncos and both are capable of taking over a game.

January 4, 2013

WCC New Years Resolutions

Welcome to the Year 2013 WCC Basketball. It has been a good year and you have made your presence felt with the 10th best RPI at .519. Gonzaga is ranked in the top 10 and are 5-0 against the Big 12. Santa Clara has Kevin Foster firmly in the POY race and plenty of WCC members are leading in the national statistics.

Cole Dickerson is ranked 4th in rebounds per game; 2nd in total rebounds
Davies, Haws and Ireland are all in the top 20 in PPG; Top 10 in total points
Kelly Olynyk is 4th in FG % 
De'End Parker is 15th in 3P%
Haws is 4th in FT%
Anderson and Roquemore are 8th and 9th in Total assist; Top 20 in APG
Foster and Anderson are in the Top 20 in SPG; 4th and 9th in Total steals  

Numerous other individual and team accomplishments have made this year a success, but the New Years resolutions below will make 2013 even better.

Pepperdine Recap

As some of you have pointed out, my pre-season prediction of Pepperdine's record has proved to be 100% correct, while at the same time picking the wrong team in their matchups 50% of the time. This goes to show my brilliance/ignorance, and either way i will proudly brag about it to all that will listen (for the record autocorrect just informed me that i spelled brilliance wrong).


Much like my record Gonzaga's most recent win should be something that they should brag about, and be ashamed about at the same time. Gonzaga won again, and started its WCC season off on the right foot, however they shot their worst FG % of the season at 43.4 %. Despite the 43% Gonzaga actually shot better than most of Pepperdines opponents, which was holding teams to a WCC best 39%.

January 2, 2013

Team Preview: Pepperdine (Re-Post)


    Every year the question is asked in the WCC, who could surprise…well it is not Pepperdine. This will be head coach Marty Wilson’s second full season at Pepperdine, third if you count his earlier time as an interim head, and it doesn’t appear to be getting any easier. As you will see, the Pepperdine team of today will look vastly different than that of last years as 8 different Pepperdine players will have either graduated or transferred. This is to be expected of a team with a new coach that is looking to mold his new program, let’s just hope that he is there long enough to do so.

Weekly Rankings

1. Duke 80 (5)
2. Michigan 74
3. Louisville 67
3. Arizona 67
5. Indiana 58
6. Kansas 55
7. Syracuse 43
8. Ohio St. 39
8. Minnesota 39
10. Gonzaga 37
11. Illinois 31
12. Missouri 25
13. Cincinnati 22
14. Georgetown 11
14. Florida 11
16. Creighton 7

Others Receiving Votes: UNLV 5, Butler 5, San Diego St. 4

AP: 10
Coaches: 10
ESPN: 11
CBS: 13
KenPom.com: 14