Posted on: October 20, 2010 4:45 pm

Gonzaga (Preseason)

While the college basketball season is right around the corner, buzz continues in the Spokane area, even after the loss of Matt Bouldin.

Ill give you a low post and a raise on why:

Elias Harris, Robert Sacre, and Sam Dower.

That's why.

Add a backcourt of Stephen Gray and Demetri Goodson, and you will have a very competitive basketball team with lots of experience. Elias Harris is on the All-American Preseason watch list and Sam Dower is coming off a redshirt year under Mark Few. So Im not worried about "inexperience" down low, after Robert Sacre. Elias Harris, from Germany, is one of the more productive and scary PF's in the entire chain west of the Rockies. I think Gonzaga will get a lot of easy points inside the paint, as well as some really clutch play from Meech and Gray to make this a really great team. Who knows how they will do but this is my repitoire:

vs. Southern (W)
vs. IUPUI in CBE Classic (W)
vs. San Diego State in CBE Classic (W)
vs. Kansas State in CBE Classic (W)
vs. Duke/Marquette ... If Duke, a loss if Marquette, a W.
vs. Eastern Washington (W)
vs. Illinois (W)
@ Washington State (L)
@ Notre Dame (L)
vs. Lewis & Clark State (W)
vs. Baylor (W) game in Dallas,TX
vs. Xavier (L)
vs. Lafayette (W)
vs. Oklahoma State (W)
@ Wake Forest (L)
vs. Memphis (L)
vs. Cal State Bakersfield (W)

That's how I see it shaping up. A generous 12-5 Non-Conference. I think we just absolutely annihilate the Conference Competition... Saint Mary's will be the only tough games. Pepperdine is on its way up that could be tough, but Santa Clara, San Francisco, Portland, and San Diego shouldn't be big deals this year.

Should be around a "7" seed this season in the tournament.


Go ZAGS!!!!
Posted on: October 28, 2009 6:01 am
Edited on: October 29, 2009 2:07 pm

West Coast Conference Preview 2009

Its almost college basketball season, and as it approaches, I would like to introduce my 2nd WCC Conference Preview. Under the name gonzagafan62 last year, I got a lot of good reviews from last year's preview.

This year, I am going to try to do the same as I am probably one of the best to try such a preview.

Now that I got that outta the way, lets go to the preview!

Introduction: This year the West Coast Conference loses some of the more exciting players west of the Mississippi River. Losing guys like Josh Heytvelt, Jeremy Pargo, Austin Daye, John Bryant, Patrick Mills, Diamon Simpson and Gyno Pomare is really going to hurt the WCC. While somewhat unknown, you saw many these guys in the NCAA tournament as either a Gonzaga Bulldog, a St. Mary's Gael, or a San Diego Torero. The others you might recall from their listings in the top twenty of several statistical categories, like rebounds, or points per game.

But, while the conference will miss these impact players, there’s a ton of new talent that will change the NCAA this season. Let’s get to the preview.

Best of the Best: Last year, I broke the WCC into two different categories. They were the Best of the Best, and the Not So Best of the Best. That was because the WCC had 4 real complete teams and 4 really bad teams. Well this year, I see two REAL contenders, three could be surpises, and 3 really bad teams. So this year, I am going to have a Top Tier (teams that are destined for success), A Middle tier (teams that should make a run) and a bottom tier (Teams that won't be competitive).

So here we go:

The Top Tier:

1. Gonzaga Bulldogs logo Gonzaga Bulldogs - After making a lot of noise in last year's NCAA tournament, the Bulldogs definetly didn't let anyone in the WCC down last year. As they lost talent, however, Demetri Goodson definetly showed how he can be a true leader on this team by hitting the game winning shot against Western Kentucky last season. to advance the Bulldogs in the tournament. With that being said, the combonation of Matt Bouldin, Stephen Gray, Robert Sacre and Demetri Goodson is going to be hard to beat come conference play. This year, the Bulldogs have even a tougher out of conference schedule including games against Duke, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Illinois, Colorado, Memphis, Wake Forest, Davidson, Washington State, and Mississippi Valley State. Its going to be interesting this year how this preps Gonzaga for conference play, which would be a lot easier than playing all of these teams in a months span.

2. Portland Pilots logo Portland Pilots - Just going to be a pesky team FOR ANYONE to play. If you have Portland on your schedule, I would be very scared..... Yes, I am talking to you UCLA, Oregon, and Washington. Watch out. I am calling one of you to go down to Portland. One of the main reasons, I expect Portland to do well this season is because Nik Raivio (Derek Raivio's brother, who went to Gonzaga) is just like his brother. He is smart with the basketball, manages the game, and can read a defense in no time flat. He is also great at free throws. But that's not the only reason why. Portland suprised the WCC last year, as the year before they had heartbreaker after heartbreaker in conference play. Last year (as I stated in my preview) if they were going to win games, they would have to change some of those heartbreakers. They did just that. Now, with somewhat of a bullseye on their back, they are going to have to deal with pressure. But with seniors like Nik Raivio, T.J. Campbell, Robin Smeulders, and a juniors like Luke Sikma and Jared Stohl, I have no doubts this team is going to be competing with Gonzaga for the WCC crown. Trust me people, this team is scary good. For the WCC anyway. Watch for them to possibly sneak into the tournament.

3. San Diego Toreros logo San Diego Toreros - Well after a dissapointing and injury plagued season, I expect this team to creep back to the top of the conference due to Bill Grier's knowledge of the game and Brandon Johnson's leadership on the team. THIS year, could be the year for San Diego to sneak up on Gonzaga as they were just trounced all over last season. If San Diego can stay healthy, this team could do some real damage in the WCC and might sneak out with the conference championship and a berth in the WCC, errrr.... well so could any team right? The Toreros have a few decent out of conference games including Oklahoma, Stanford, San Diego State, and Mississippi State.

Second Tier:

4. St. Mary's (Ca.) Gaels logo Saint Mary's Gaels - I was never sold on Omar Samhan being a great player, but I was sold on Wayne Hunter and of course Patrick Mills. Of Course, it was very unfortunate of his injury because if not for the injury, Saint Mary's probably would have defeated Gonzaga all 3 times, including the WCC Title game, which would've given the Gaels around a 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. But we will leave that story for later. In turn the Gaels look to another season, with the help of mostly Wayne Hunter and Omar Samhan. The Gaels lost Patrick Mills and Diamon Simpson their all time rebounding leader. Looking forward to this season, however, I think the Gaels could make a jump to the top tier if their recruits plays to their potential. In Moraga, its tough enough to play already, but when the crowd sees exciting talent on the floor, the crowd really goes nuts.

5. San Francisco Dons logo San Francisco Dons - Dior Lowhorn. That's all I gotta say. The only superstar from any of these teams to return. This talented superstar really doesn't have the talent around him to win the conference title, but his presence alone could pull an upset in the conference somewhere. Lowhorn has struck every year since he has been here, upsetting Gonzaga in his first season and I remember a time or two where San Francisco has upset San Diego. Averaging 20.1 ppg and nearly 7 boards per game, this guy is the class of the WCC this season.

6. Santa Clara Broncos logo Santa Clara Broncos - Being as young as they are, I might be wrong on my prediction of where Santa Clara will end up this year. They might suprise me this season. I just think they are one year away from competing once again in the WCC. With young guns of Troy Alexander, Kevin Foster, Mark Trasolini, and a cast of others, this team is definetly going to be solid next season. They won't be completely horrible, but they definetly have some young grown talent. Lets get real here though. Losing a sure fire double-double player in John Bryant, and his leadership on the basketball court is really going to hurt the team. So for now, they stay at the #6 position, and I really believe they will be in the top 3 of this conference come next season. They do have two key defining games at San Diego State and UNLV which will tell how thier season will go in conference against teams like Gonzaga and Portland.

Lower Tier:

7. Pepperdine Waves logo Pepperdine Waves - They got a brutal non-conference schedule for a team like themselves. They play UCLA, Wyoming, Utah, Georgia, and Miami (Fla.). Now don't get me wrong, I think Pepperdine is definetly on their way up. But this year is going to be a lot like last for Pepperdine. These fans at least wanna see some kind of season like they had when they were going to NCAA Tournaments in the 80s and 90s. Well, this ain't gonna be it either. Its going to take some time to rebuild in Malibu, but they have some solid pieces to grow on. Tom Asbury may not be the best coach in the world, but hey, what the hell was Don Munson before the miracle Elite Eight in 1999????? So it could happen. But is it likely? That is why I have Pepperdine at #7. I am just not sold on them yet.

8. Loyola-Marymount Lions logo Loyola Marymount Lions - Seriously. This team was just downright AUFUL last season. It was hard to watch any of their games last season. Overall they went 3-28 going 2-12 in conference. They don't have any solid players anywhere on the court, and really are just hoping their freshman can generate some kind of excitement for the fans this year. I don't see how this team does much better this year either. With games against Boise State, Tulsa, USC, Notre Dame, and Montana (x2), I don't see how this team gets off to a good start. Not only that, but I think that this team will fall into a deep hole confidence wise and will do as well as they did last season in conference. Might I remind you it was almost as bad as another Lions team that played in the NFL. Oh wait, these Lions actually won games. I guess that's always a positive. Smile

In Closing: This is definetly going to be another exciting season in the West Coast Conference. With all new players, and very few of them returning its going to be fun to watch how some players react to others strengths and weaknesses. I am sure most of you don't really care about the WCC, but if you do, then you can probably see that all these new incoming freshman are going to be really good in coming years. Especially since there are some really good caoches in this league that can really coach good basketball. I can hardly wait to see how the better coaches in this conference utilize the new talent into their respective systems.


Next time on Zagafans Blog:

Lane Kiffin actually wins a big game
How do the Mavericks lose to the Wizards?
Interviews for who wants to be on the next Campbells Chunky Soup Commercial
How the Florida Gators finally lost a game (next year probably)
How Scarecrows were made
Egg Nog Milkshakes are back at Jack-in-the-Box.
How Zagfans predictions on the World Series went wrong.
How Zagfans predictions on the WCC went wrong.
How Zagfans predictions on anything went wrong.
How Zagfans predictions went right (Not happening)

Have Fun and drive safe folks!

Posted on: March 26, 2009 3:35 pm

What the hell is a Tarheel? Game Preview:

North Carolina vs. Gonzaga, a game that I wanted to see from the start of the 2009 NCAA Tournament is just about here. But like the 'ole master says, be careful what you wish for. Well, I am not the only one that wanted to see this matchup. There were some Tarheels fans believe it or not, and other just casual fans...

So I am not the only one that wanted to see this matchup.

First we will start with the usual and I ask the question: What the hell is a tarheel?????

Well nobody knows the exact explaination to the fact of "Tarheels" But there is one GLARING explanation that I found to be the most redundant over the internet, so here I go:

In the great state of North Carolina, just before the civil war, actually, North Carolina had three main exports. These exports were TAR, pitch and turpentine. This when it stuck to the bottom of the people's feet were called "Tar Heels" ... although I know some North Carolina fans can probably explain it better than I can, actually probably taking the time to find out the real explaination......

ANYWAYS: Here is the game preview....

For Gonzaga to win this game, they will HAVE to put an end to Ty Lawson. Make him run around on that toe, and make him chase Jeremy Pargo and Dmeteri Goodson. This is probably going to be the absolute biggest thing Gonzaga has to do. Also to halway contain Lawson and do NOT let him over 20 points. If Gonzaga lets Lawson over 20 points, then Gonzaga could be screwed.

Part 2: Tyler Hansbrough. Josh Heytvelt stopped Hansbrough two years ago, so he has the confidence to do it again. It really shouldn't be that big of an issue. HOWEVER, both players have gotten much better. Case in fact, if Hansbrough has a MONSTER game, then Gonzaga could be in big trouble. Heytvelt must have some good blocks on Hansbrough and release the tension on the backcourt to make plays.

Part 3: The new and improved Wayne Ellington. I have been told by many Carolina fans that Ellington has gotten away from most of his perimeter shooting (yes!) BUT he has to go up against the ever talented and going pro in two years Matt Bouldin. Bouldin will have his hands full If Ellington decides to drive, but I am not too worried about that. Bouldin has too many tools, but if Ellington gets screens and PnRs to shoot the three, Gonzaga might be in trouble.

Gonzaga's Keys to winning the game:

  1. Heytvelt needs a MONSTER game (or just completely shut down Hansbrough, half and half will work, too.)
  2. Matt Bouldin MUST get backdoor cuts every 10th possession or so to get 2 easy points.
  3. Gonzaga needs Stephen Gray and Micah Downs to shoot the 3 ball with a ton of consistency.
  4. Matt Bouldin must get steals and create turnovers
  5. Austin Daye is the X-Factor. He must give Deon Thompson a handful, and block shots. Also, he must make shots with consistency.
  6. Must stop Ed Davis when he comes off the bench. If he gets aggrevated and he gets moved around by Daye/Heytvelt, we might switch to a smaller lineup to fool with UNC and try to get easy point opportunities.
  7. I am not too worried about Danny Green, but if he starts scoring, Gonzaga could be in trouble as well.
  8. One last thing, If Gonzaga holds UNC to UNDER 85 points, we have a chance to win.

Good luck to Tarheel fans, and GO ZAGS!

Posted on: March 22, 2009 4:53 am

Gonzaga vs. Western Kentucky (Game Review)

Last year, Ty Rogers had a buzzerbeater to beat Drake University, and when you win that way, sometimes you lose that way too. Its just the nature of the sporting world. What you do to teams, teams do the same thing to you down the road. This theory was proven yesterday when Gonzaga's Dmeitri Goodson a true freshman banked a 10 foot jumper to win the basketball game, as Gonzaga prevailed against a red-hot Western Kentucky team.

As I said in my preview Gonzaga needed to contain Orlando Mendez Valdez, and Gonzaga was really in trouble in the first half, when Mendez-Valdez nailed 4 straight threes, and had 17 points in the first 7 minutes, and Pettigrew great as well..... As the game progressed, and Mark Few made the adjustment to put the quicker and younger Dmetri Goodson on Orlando Mendez-Valdez, Goodson didn't let him score at all the rest of the half.

To start the next half, however, Gonzaga had a good nice run combined with a Stephen gray three to take the lead to nine. Western Kentucky continued to battle, and never gave up, and had a couple of Mendez-Valdez threes. At the very end though, Mendez-Valdez missed a potential game-tying three, and then another WKU player tipped it in for the tie. Then the freshman Goodson ran coast to coast to give the Zags the lead with 0.9 seconds left. As soon as the Zags got the basket, the WKU Coach was trying to call Timeout, but the officials missed the call, and the game was over after a half court heave that went wide right.

As Gonzaga and its fans will prevail until at least next Thursday, i would like to congratulate Western Kentucky and their fans on a great game and a season. You guys are a good team, that definetly deserved to be in the tournament, again. You guys should continue to dominate the Sun Belt in coming years. Great game, guys.

Highlights (as always) ..... right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuxo1PuynsU

Oh and how the hell do I mention the game without the great play of Slaughter? Him and Mendez-Valdez are the class of this team. great game Hilltoppers!

Posted on: March 21, 2009 7:59 pm

What the hell is a Hilltopper? Game Preview:

Gonzaga will battle Western Kentucky in a game to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The mission is simple. Win, or go home. But completing this "simple" mission, is NOT going to be the easiest of all tasks that I have ever seen before me. So, here we go.

What is a Hilltopper?

Apparently the school [Western Kentucky] sits on the top of a hill. Got that? OK, well that was simple. But what the heck is their red blob of a monster (or mascot)????? I have never seen such a thing make absolute no sense to me before... but here we go. So apparently as I have flipped around the internet one common answer I found was a startling one that still made no sense to me at all. I found out that this was a blob of blood from the enemy's team. Not sure if this is entirely true or not bu that was the common answer. I tried, but in frustration of getting this answer and a few distinct others, I have that to report.

So we got thtat outta the way, here is the game preview (sorry for the shortness, but I gotta watch the game ya know) .....

Basically Courtney Lee is not on the floor for tonights game. Big Loss? Certainly. Absolutely Crucial? NO. One thing Gonzaga MUST do tonight is stop that pesky Orlando Mendez-Valdez. He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court and if they don't stop them, they will lose. Not even going to be close. I think Gonzaga will try to slow the game down, and use the effective weapons that they can. Passing the ball to Stephen Gray, and leaving backdoor cuts to Matt Bouldin will be crucial. Leaving nobody open on WKU will also be crucial. Gonzaga needs to surround everyone with thier height, and lanky-ness  and knock down every ball they see. Creating turnovers by steals of Bouldin, and daye will also be key.

On WKU's side, I think if they speed up the pace of the game, and shoot transition threes (and make them), they have a really good shot to win, and no I am not kidding. This team already has a ton of experience and has a very good guard in Mendez-Valdez. This is going to be hard for me to watch at times, but I hope we pull it out.

My Prediction: Gonzaga 84 Western Kentucky 80.


Posted on: March 20, 2009 10:32 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2009 10:34 pm

Gonzaga vs. Akron (game in review)

Gonzaga, like many of the top seeds this week came out very sluggish... and then they turned it on...

To start, like I said in my preview that Gonzaga can't guard the perimeter shooting. Gonzaga proved me right.. All they did all day was let Akron shoot the three, and they kept draining them. As the game progressed, Austin Daye and Josh Heytvelt both had dunks to light the crowd up to get them back in the game, as the crowd was pro Zaga...

Akron proved me wrong and played with nothing to lose and had the will to win as they were up by 4 at the half. With about 10 minutes left in the game I felt like we were too much for the Zips, Stephen Gray took a 3 down 49-47 and that three was good and they went on to control the game from there to take the lead 50-47.

What was wierd was what came later, a 31-6 run to end the ball game. Akron just ran out of gas, as Gonzaga started to click on all cylinders. You can't lay down on Gonzaga if you expect to win a basketball game. This game was done and over with with about 2:30 to go. Akron just couldn't hang with the Zags at the end. And a Micah Downs three, and then a Jeremy Pargo MONSTER JAM capped the game for a Gonzaga victory 77-64.

I give them credit, they played the best they could, but the better team came out on top.

Congrats Zips! You gave us all we could handle.

BTW, here are the game highlights:


Gonzaga will play #12 seeded Western Kentucky tomorrow.


Category: NCAAB
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