Zagnificent

Zagnificent

  • joined Dec 13, 2008
  • last login May 22, 2014
  • posts 35
  • comments 895

From Sacramento, CA.
Gonzaga University Class of 2010 (Biology Major, Kennel Club Minor)
MUSC Grad Student

A Fan Of...

  • NBA Sacramento Kings
  • NFL San Francisco 49ers
  • NCAAF UCLA Bruins
  • NCAAB Gonzaga Bulldogs
  • NHL Phoenix Coyotes
User Blog

David Stockton makes the front page of ESPN NCAA Basketball....incidentally.

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Ncb_i_pjones_sy_576

David Stockton makes the front page of ESPN NCAA Basketball....incidentally.

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Pre-season synopsis and outlook

Here's the way I see it. Based on our progress from last year, new additions, losses, and impressions from scrimmages, here is an all-too-early season synopsis. Starters: G. Gary Bell...

Spencer Favors Two...And One is GU

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Update: Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com spoke to one of the aforementioned recruits being courted by Gonzaga -- Skylar Spencer -- and the forward explains that while he is considering five teams, two have stuck out: Florida State and Gonzaga. Asked what about Gonzaga is attractive to the 6-foot-8 Spencer and he notes how well their big men are utilized within the Zags' offense. In a recent tweet, Scout's Josh Gershon responded to a question about Spencer and noted that the forward's two favorite (at the moment) are Gonzaga and Florida State. ******* It's rare when we are able to pinpoint an area of concern a specific team has and thus, chooses to correct through recruiting. We have a bit of an indication of what direction Gonzaga will take with their 2012 recruiting class. After perusing different reports, it looks like Gonzaga will increase their interior depth with their next recruiting class -- a move that makes sense, considering the plethora of guards that make up their 2011 class. At the recent Best of the Best camp, Skylar Spencer was one of the top participants; the 6-foot-8 post is very athletic and appears to be a Gonzaga-target. Another big the Bulldogs seem to be pursuing is Richard Longrus; Greg Hicks of Scout spoke to the forward and Longrus says he already has an offer from Gonzaga and will visit the Spokane-based school. While Longrus is still developing his offensive game, the 2012 recruit is already one of the top defenders in that class. It is also worth nothing that both Spencer and Longrus are southern California-natives. Last year, Donny Daniels, formerly of UCLA, was brought onto Mark Few's staff with the purpose of primarily recruiting southern California. If the Zags are able to land either of these prospects, it will be interesting to learn if Daniels was the point-man on their recruitment.

Spencer Favors Two...And One is GU

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Update: Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com spoke to one of the aforementioned recruits being courted by Gonzaga -- Skylar Spencer -- and the forward explains that while he is considering five teams, two have stuck out: Florida State and Gonzaga. Asked what about Gonzaga is attractive to the 6-foot-8 Spencer and he notes how well their big men are utilized within the Zags' offense. In a recent tweet, Scout's Josh Gershon responded to a question about Spencer and noted that the forward's two favorite (at the moment) are Gonzaga and Florida State. ******* It's rare when we are able to pinpoint an area of concern a specific team has and thus, chooses to correct through recruiting. We have a bit of an indication of what direction Gonzaga will take with their 2012 recruiting class. After perusing different reports, it looks like Gonzaga will increase their interior depth with their next recruiting class -- a move that makes sense, considering the plethora of guards that make up their 2011 class. At the recent Best of the Best camp, Skylar Spencer was one of the top participants; the 6-foot-8 post is very athletic and appears to be a Gonzaga-target. Another big the Bulldogs seem to be pursuing is Richard Longrus; Greg Hicks of Scout spoke to the forward and Longrus says he already has an offer from Gonzaga and will visit the Spokane-based school. While Longrus is still developing his offensive game, the 2012 recruit is already one of the top defenders in that class. It is also worth nothing that both Spencer and Longrus are southern California-natives. Last year, Donny Daniels, formerly of UCLA, was brought onto Mark Few's staff with the purpose of primarily recruiting southern California. If the Zags are able to land either of these prospects, it will be interesting to learn if Daniels was the point-man on their recruitment.

Gary Bell Top Non-Big Six Newcomer

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Gary Bell, Gonzaga, SG – Bell had offers from nearly every Pac-10 school but hardly hesitated when picking the Zags after his junior season. Bell was named Washington’s Mr. Basketball at the end of the 2011 season and was also the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. At 6-foot-2, he’s a tad undersized for a shooting guard but makes up for it with his prowess from beyond the arc.

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Rivals Recruiting Notables - 2012

  Anthony Bennett - #22 - 5 Stars Does not list Gonzaga in his interests (I'm guessing this is just Rivals lacking in information), though we have documented his interest in perhaps teaming up...

St. Mary's Randy Bennett to Utah?

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UPDATE: Though still unconfirmed, CoachingNewsOnline.com reported Monday that several of its sources have indicated that Utah is negotiating a contract with St. Mary's coach Randy Bennett. This is really the first we have heard of this since CSNBayArea.com reported last week that Bennett and the Utes may have had preliminary talks about a deal. --- No new names on the Utah coaching front; the main candidates still being mentioned are St. Mary's coach Randy Bennett, former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried, and possibly Virginia coach Tony Bennett and Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski. Yesterday, our own Andy Katz indicated Randy Bennett could be a good fit for the Utes. Katz has more on this below. --- We wrote yesterday that Virginia head coach Tony Bennett is potentially a new candidate for the opening at Utah, and on Tuesday BlockU.com is speculating that in fact Bennett could be one of two finalists for the Utes job, the other being current ESPN analyst and long-time Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried. On Monday, SportsByBrooks.com tweeted yesterday that Gottfried wants the job. Meanwhile, LSU head coach Trent Johnson, who ironically enough could be on the hot seat with the Tigers after another poor season in Baton Rouge, dismissed interest in the Utah job. According to BlockU.com, Pat Kinahan of 1320 KFAN has speculated that Jon Huntsman is set to offer a great deal of dough to get BYU head coach Dave Rose, but it doesn't appear that there is enough mutual interest to make that happen.

Salt Lake Tribune's Take on the Zags

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Great article from a seemingly unbiased perspective.

The Bracket We Should Pray For

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Gonzaga as an 11-Seed matched up against West Virginia (in Anaheim), and possibly Purdue as the 2-Seed in the next round. This would be ideal.

Gonzaga Is So Hot Right Now...

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Gonzaga – The Zags clinched a share of their 11th-straight West Coast Conference title by defeating San Diego 68-31 on Saturday. The victory came just 48 hours after Mark Few’s squad defeated St. Mary’s in overtime in Moraga. Gonzaga lost to St. Mary’s in Spokane earlier this season and will share the title with the Gaels. St. Mary’s will have the No. 1 seed in the West Coast Conference tournament. Back to Gonzaga … only UCLA has captured more consecutive conference titles than the Zags, as the Bruins won 13 straight Pac-8 or Pac-10 crowns from 1967-79.

Saint Mary's [22-7 (10-3), RPI: 55, SOS: 129] The hits just keep on coming for the Gaels. Saint...

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Saint Mary's [22-7 (10-3), RPI: 55, SOS: 129] The hits just keep on coming for the Gaels. Saint Mary's followed its loss at San Diego -- a team with a plus-300 RPI -- with a home loss to Utah State in the BracketBusters on Saturday. Then the Gaels lost an emotional, hard-fought battle to archrival Gonzaga in overtime Thursday night, and that might be the straw that broke this wobbly at-large camel's back. Saint Mary's obviously can't afford another loss in the regular season -- only a home game with Portland remains -- and it almost certainly has to get to the WCC tournament final to have a chance an at-large bid. Frankly, if the Gaels do make it that far, they'd be better off just finishing the job there. After three straight losses, this team just doesn't have much on its resume to recommend it. Gonzaga [20-9 (10-3), RPI: 76, SOS: 122] We weren't sure the Zags deserved the bubble love they received from our man Joe Lunardi earlier this week, and we're not sure how much better Gonzaga's profile looks after winning at Saint Mary's on Thursday night. But one thing's for sure: It definitely got better. The win over the Gaels adds another decent RPI win to make up for the Zags' dearth of truly top-notch victories, but Gonzaga does have victories over teams (Xavier, Baylor and Marquette) that most at-large mid-major candidates would love. The Watch still thinks Gonzaga can't afford to lose again before the West Coast final. But if the WCC is going to produce an at-large candidate, it appears likely to be Mark Few's team after all.

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/bubblewatch
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What Changed?

     This evening's Baylor game got me thinking, what made the outcome of this game so much different than any of our previous five losses? Sure, there may have been a host of differences between...

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Scheduling

One respect in which I really appreciate having a coach as seasoned as Few is in the realm of scheduling. Back in 2008-2009 when the Zags were a pre-season top-10 and expected to make some noise,...

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Wiltjer still up in the air?

From ESPN Rumor Section: "Over the course of the past several weeks, a rumor has been lurking in comment boards and Washington fan sites involving recent Kentucky commit Kyle Wiltjer....

Pepperdine's Keion Bell Dunks Over Seven People

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Pretty impressive dunk...unimpressive 7-24 record last year. I know he took the Zags to school last year in the Kennel, and I can't wait to see if his gaudy numbers translate into more wins for the Waves, along with a little respectability.

In-Depth Look at SDSU (VERY DETAILED)

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COACH AND PROGRAM Steve Fisher has been through this before, and if history is any indication, it should be a big season for his San Diego State men's basketball squad. As Fisher enters his 20th full season as a college head coach and 12th with the Aztecs, he returns all five starters. In the two previous times Fisher has had this luxury, his 1992-93 Michigan team reached the NCAA Tournament championship game and his 2008-09 San Diego State squad won a school-record 26 games and advanced to the NIT semifinals. The Aztecs were 25-9 last season, and even though they tied for third in the Mountain West regular-season standings, they won the conference tournament and were one of a record four MWC teams to advance to the NCAA Tournament, where they narrowly lost to Tennessee in the first round. "This truly was a team, which made it even more enjoyable," Fisher said. "We had a lot of really nice young men on our team that felt like when the team wins, we all benefit." San Diego State returns 82.8 percent of its points, 80.4 percent of its rebounds and 86.7 percent of its assists from last season. Five players averaged double figures in scoring, but no one more than 12.7. Seven different players led the team in scoring. "Great expectations are had by all, starting with ourselves," Fisher said. "Our players expect us to be better. Our coaches expect us to be better. Our parents expect us to better and our fans expect us to be better. "But that's all easy to say. With the other teams in our league, there is stiff competition everywhere you go. We're not the lone ranger when talking about having high expectations." PLAYERS D.J. Gay spent his first two years as a backup at point guard to four-year starter Ritchie Williams. But last season was Gay's first as the starter and primarily running the point, and the 6-0 junior didn't disappoint (10.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.2 apg) as he earned honorable mention all-conference honors. He's also made 146 career three-pointers, fourth in school history. San Diego State Aztecs Last Season 25-9 (.735) Conference Record 11-5 (t-3rd) Starters Lost/Returning 0/5 Coach Steve Fisher (Illinois State '67) Record At School 198-149 (11 years) Career Record 382-231 (19 years) RPI Last 5 years 61-60-85-31-25 "We were very pleased with what D.J. delivered," Fisher said. "I knew he was going to be able to perform as our primary ball handler. He did an admirable job in every regard. He grew in leadership. His play was steady to spectacular as the season went on. We expect him to be our leader on this ball club." Joining Gay in the backcourt is 6-2 sophomore Chase Tapley (7.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.2 apg). Tapley scored in double figures in 13 games, shot 50 percent from the field and broke into the starting lineup at the midway point of the season. He also showed some toughness. "Chase had a spectacular freshman year," Fisher said. "He broke his hand in our last [regular-season game] against Colorado State and came back for the conference tournament and scored 15 points in the first game. "Now he's got to get better. But we really like what he did for us last year, and what he has the potential to bring to our team this upcoming season." There isn't much proven depth behind Gay and Tapley. Sophomore James Rahon is 6-5 and sat out last season after he transferred from Santa Clara. He averaged 11.3 points and shot nearly 41 percent from three-point range in his lone season at Santa Clara. Fisher hopes Rahon will give the Aztecs a boost in perimeter shooting; they shot only 31.7 percent from three-point range last season. LaBradford Franklin is a freshman point guard that should back up Gay. The 6-2, 180-pound product of Temecula, Calif., averaged 17.6 points and 4.8 assists as a senior and turned down scholarship offers from Gonzaga and Washington State. At 6-5, Jamaal Franklin is a freshman wing player Fisher and his staff like. Franklin could see playing time early, as 6-6 sophomore Tyrone Shelley (6.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg) transferred after last season to seek more playing time. The strength of the Aztecs is their frontcourt, which is arguably one of the best in the nation. Sophomore Kawhi Leonard entered last season with a lot of hype. The 6-7, 225-pound forward was a top-rated high school player coming out of California, and players of his caliber don't usually sign with Mountain West teams. Blue Ribbon Previews Mountain West Take an Inside look at the Mountain West with Blue Ribbon's 2010-11 team reports: Insider Air Force BYU Colorado State New Mexico San Diego State Insider Free TCU UNLV Utah Wyoming Leonard lived up to the hype, leading the team in scoring (12.7 ppg) and the conference in rebounding (9.9 rpg). He garnered first-team All-MWC honors, was the MWC Tournament Most Valuable Player, and the league's Freshman of the Year. Leonard enters this season as a legitimate All-America candidate. "Kawhi is as good a rebounder as I've ever coached," Fisher said. "Kawhi is a guy that can get you double figures rebounding every night. Rarely do you live up to all the hype that a guy like him had, but he did that. He's a remarkable player." "But yet, he's got to get better. He's got to shoot the ball better from the perimeter. But the nice thing about Kawhi is there's a lot more upside." Then there's senior Billy White. At 6-8 and 235 pounds, White is the NCAA Division I leader in field-goal percentage among active players (.617). Sure, White (11.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg) gets most of his points near the basket, but that's because of his size and athleticism. Hand and knee injuries hampered White last season, and injuries have also been a problem for him much of his career. But White saved some of his best basketball for the Aztecs' postseason run last year. "I think Billy White is the best overall athlete in our league," Wyoming coach Heath Schroyer said last season. "When he was on his game, he's as good a forward as we have in this league," Fisher said. "We're hoping we'll have the consistency that a four-year senior player is able to provide." In his first season after transferring from San Diego City College, 6-9 senior forward Malcolm Thomas (10.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.5 bpg) earned second-team All-MWC honors. "Malcolm Thomas is as good a passing big man as there is on the West Coast," Fisher said. "He garnered lot of double teams early, and he struggled with it. But he became a skilled passer from the low post as a result of that. He's very athletic, quick off his feet, moves well in and around the basket. He needs to improve his free-throw shooting to become the kind of player that he's hoping and we're hoping he will be." Senior Mehdi Cheriet, a 6-9 forward, redshirted last season but has played in 35 games. Fisher describes the French native as a typical European player with good perimeter skills. The Aztecs also have bulk down low in 6-11, 297-pound senior Brian Carlwell (4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg), who transferred from Illinois. "He gave us valuable minutes off the bench," Fisher said. "He's big and strong, but also skilled. He was a threat to make a 15-foot jump shot, and was very efficient offensively [.615 FG]. He probably felt he should have played more minutes, but I thought the minutes he got other he delivered a lot of good things for us." BLUE RIBBON ANALYSIS BACKCOURT: A BENCH/DEPTH: C FRONTCOURT: A INTANGIBLES: A The Aztecs have to be considered the favorites to win the conference title based on what they have coming back from last season. There is some concern about depth, especially in the backcourt, but Fisher seems to find a way to make it work. If Franklin can be a solid backup to Gay at the point, and the team stays focused and relatively injury free, it is more than capable of not only making its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance but making a run in the tournament. "One, you have to stay healthy," Fisher said. "Two, people have to make sure they don't have agendas and play as a team. Three, I'm hoping [the MWC] have four teams again make the NCAA Tournament. We could be that good again."

Mark Few Gets His Man

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If anyone is mining the Great White North as well as Gonzaga's Mark Few, I don't know who he is. Texas' Rick Barnes probably comes closest. Nonetheless, Few has the benefit of proximity, and he used that advantage to land exactly the player he wanted to run his team in 2011. Pure point Kevin Pangos will arrive in Spokane with plenty of advance praise. "Kevin Pangos never seemed to fly under the radar. The first time I had heard of Kevin he was already being compared to Steve Nash," wrote Zach Bell of The Slipper Still Fits. "(T)he 6'2" point guard has done his fair share to earn such praise. From averaging 15 points a game in the recent FIBA U-17 games and being named the top point guard in the tournament to becoming the youngest Canadian to ever compete in a senior men's international game; Kevin seems to fit the bill in terms of a big time point guard." Whether Pangos gets the "next Nash" tag because of his otherworldly skills or his country of origin will be the true test. Few should be able to develop Pangos' already impressive skills with ease, because Pangos already has a reputation as an extremely coachable and hardworking player. He's expected to lead the team in every possible sense when he arrives on campus in 2011.

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Another Calipari Team, Same Story (Just for Fun)

Another Calipari Season Expunged?Considering the "differences" between many followers of the SSF and Kentucky's SBNation Blog, I thought this was an interesting piece that validated the point so...

Brett Kingma has Gonzaga Offer?

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Rivals has listed that Brett Kingma has a scholarship offer from Gonzaga. I know he was on our radar some time ago, but that was before Draino/Bell committed. Is landing Kingma still a priority for Few & Co.?

ESPN insider report: "The praise keeps pouring in for Kyle Wiltjer. Most recently, he showcased his...

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ESPN insider report: "The praise keeps pouring in for Kyle Wiltjer. Most recently, he showcased his impressive shooting ability at the LeBron James Skills Academy. We will surely hear Wiltjer's name more and more once the seasons start to change. The 6-foot-9 power forward has an array of offers and interest from colleges, stretching from Gonzaga to Wake Forest. One reason for his heated recruitment is that he is a phenomenal shooter. Wiltjer is a prime example of a stretch-4, a power forward who can operate out of the middle and is capable of taking his man outside and scoring on him. Gonzaga has been heavily involved in recruiting the prep for a while now. Although the Zags are a little crowded in the frontcourt, there is the possibility that Elias Harris is in Spokane for only one more year, which would mean coach Mark Few needs a big like Wiltjer who can stretch the defense and not clog up the lane. Wiltjer -- who lives in Portland, Oregon -- is being pursued by the Ducks and the Beavers, as well as Georgia Tech, Gonzaga, Kansas, Stanford, Wake Forest, Washington and USC." Paul Biancardi: "Wiltjer's skill and feel for the game are simply terrific. During drills and scrimmages, Wiltjer's footwork and touch separated him from the other post players in the class. He executes great ball fakes in order to move the defender out of position in order to get off his shot. He does a great job of screening and sealing his defender for great low-post position as well. A natural pick-and-pop power forward, Wiltjer can also score with his back to the basket and pass out of the post with great accuracy when he draws multiple defenders. Defensively, he understands how to hedge on screens with great effort. Wiltjer reminds us of a high-school version of University of Minnesota and Boston Celtics great Kevin McHale."

ESPN insider

USF Receives Sanctions for Basketball Program

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I don't know how much this will affect the team, but it's probably worth noting.

Dick Vitale's Top 40

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Edit by ZB: Vitale writes: 15. Gonzaga: Mark Few has one of the best sophomores in America, Elias Harris. The Zags will be heard from again this season.
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Samhan's Lies (according to St. Mary's)

In a dispute with a teammate over whose California high school team had been better, Samhan argued it was his at San Ramon Valley since it won a state title. Bennett had to intervene, "reminding"...

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ESPN Rumor - Elias Harris one and done?

Gonzaga defeated Saint Mary's Thursday night, thanks in large part to star Elias Harris, who may have played his best game of the year, pouring in 31 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. But these...

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ESPN mention of Poling (mention of Slipper)

UPDATE: According to Andy Poling's mother, Jenny, three or four schools have already contacted the 6-foot-11 big man about transferring. Nothing new to report, but I thought EDZ and other mods...

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Drew Gordon out of picture

This comes via ESPN insider Rumor Central... It appears that Gordon and Gonzaga will not be crossing paths. Since announcing he was transferring from UCLA, big man Drew Gordon has been all over...

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Some snippets from ESPN

• Portland: Even with a loss to No. 8 West Virginia in the title game, the Pilots were the story at the 76 Classic in Anaheim. The 27-point domination of UCLA was not a fluke, especially when...

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#1 Prospect - Josh Smith

According to Rivals 2010 top 150 Prospects, the number one prospect, Josh Smith from Kentworth, Wa, lists Gonzaga as one of his schools of interest. I don't know how serious that team ranking is,...

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Heytvelt Leads Reese's over Team Hershey

Gonzaga's Heytvelt leads All-Star team to win By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer DETROIT — Gonzaga's Josh Heytvelt hit the winning 3-pointer in the...

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