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The Final Four: Pre-Game Media Thread

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  • #16
    The Most Important Match-Ups in Each Final Four Game

    From The Ringer: https://theringer.com/the-three-most...me-e88c881dc7a (Videos Embedded in Story )

    1. How will Gonzaga guard South Carolina’s perimeter stars?
    Frank Martin’s team is led by two perimeter players with imposing physical maturity in senior Sindarius Thornwell (6-foot-5, 211 pounds) and sophomore PJ Dozier (6-foot-6, 205 pounds). South Carolina is a defensive-minded team that counts on the one-on-one abilities of its best players to carry it on offense. Thornwell’s and Dozier’s length means they can create shots when the offense breaks down, and they have the passing ability to find the open man if a double-team comes.

    Gonzaga’s lack of length on the perimeter is its biggest weakness on defense. None of their four main guards — Nigel Williams-Goss, Jordan Mathews, Josh Perkins, and Silas Melson — is taller than 6-foot-4. The Bulldogs got around that problem against Xavier by putting Johnathan Williams, their hyper-athletic 6-foot-9 power forward, on the 6-foot-6 Trevon Bluiett, but the Musketeers started four perimeter players, which meant Gonzaga could cross-switch Williams on Bluiett without giving up size anywhere else. If Williams guards Thornwell, that leaves Perkins or Mathews at a disadvantage guarding one of South Carolina’s big men, not to mention Dozier still towering over whoever guards him.

    What Gonzaga coach Mark Few could do to minimize those matchups is pack the paint and dare the Gamecocks to shoot, since neither of their big men (sophomore Chris Silva and freshman Maik Kotsar) has made a 3-pointer this season, and Dozier is a 29.7 percent shooter from deep. In order to get more shooting on the floor, Martin often slides Thornwell (who boasts a 6-foot-9 wingspan) to power forward and brings in another guard (either senior Justin McKie or freshman Rakym Felder). Expect South Carolina to go small on Saturday to open up the floor against Gonzaga.

    The GUB Resource Library: Links to: Stats, Blogs, Brackets, & More. . .

    “They go to school. They do their homework. They shake hands. They say please and thank you. But once you throw that ball up, they will rip your heart out and watch you bleed.” -- Jay Bilas

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    • #17
      Nice feature article on Dustin Triano ( Gonzaga News Service )

      http://news.gonzaga.edu/2017/canadas...tball-team-win

      For Triano, the international experience at GU has revolved largely around teammates. This season, he is playing alongside athletes from Poland, France, Denmark, Japan and, of course, the United States.

      “Gonzaga has been doing this for so long that they really have it down,” he said. “They help you with all of the paperwork. Once you’re here, you feel welcome. Everyone’s included right away – you’re part of the team, part of the community.”

      Along with basketball, Gonzaga’s international players also get coaching on adjusting to the rigors of college-level course work and life in a small American city, as well as language help when needed.

      “They’re all unique individuals coming from different backgrounds with different goals, but when they first get here they’re also all wide-eyed 18-year-olds who have never been away from home,” said Steffany Galbraith, director of academic support services for GU athletics.

      “For someone … from western Canada, it’s much less of an adjustment to come to Spokane for college than it was for Przemek or Rui (Hachimura, a freshman on this year’s team who is from Japan),” Galbraith said. “Along with all of the other demands of coming here to play basketball, Przemek and Rui faced the challenges of a new culture and language.”
      The GUB Resource Library: Links to: Stats, Blogs, Brackets, & More. . .

      “They go to school. They do their homework. They shake hands. They say please and thank you. But once you throw that ball up, they will rip your heart out and watch you bleed.” -- Jay Bilas

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      • #18
        Front page of Reddit!

        Ihre Papiere bitte

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        • #19
          Originally posted by tinfoilzag View Post
          To be fair, the shoes add a half inch to the big guys.
          “No team in the country has a better winning percentage against power conference teams since 2017 than Gonzaga... the Zags are playing above average teams in the best leagues in the country and winning 78% of the time.”

          -Ken Pomeroy-

          https://www.ksl.com/article/50342950...in-perspective

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          • #20
            ESPN Insider: Top 25 Players of the Final Four

            http://www.espn.com/mens-college-bas...ent-final-four

            Hoops writer John Gasaway ranked 'em in reverse order; the Zags rank & comments are excerpted below:

            #25 Silas Melson: Melson gives Mark Few an additional 3-point threat on the floor. The junior is also the Bulldogs' second-best shooter at the line behind Nigel Williams-Goss.

            #21 Josh Perkins: Perkins achieved fame in the Xavier game when his steal for what was sure to be a breakaway score was interrupted -- at least visually -- by a young woman who seconds before had been mopping that end of the floor. She beat a hasty retreat, and Perkins was able to complete his lay-in, though the hesitation caused by his momentary confusion did cost the sophomore what would have been his first official dunk.

            #17 Jordan Mathews: The hero of the Bulldogs' Sweet 16 game against West Virginia, Mathews hit a 3 with less than a minute remaining to provide what was ultimately the winning margin against the Mountaineers. Nor was that shot a blip, as the Cal transfer led the Zags in made 3-pointers this season. Also, I don't know if this is in the South Carolina scouting report, but Mathews was once on "Teletubbies."

            #15 Zach Collins: Understandably lost in the furor over Collins' inside-the-rim shot block against Northwestern was the fact that he had a great game: 14 points, including 6-of-8 shooting at the line. The freshman has been less consequential in his past two outings, and against Xavier he fouled out in just 13 minutes. That said, Collins will almost certainly be needed in the game or games that await the Bulldogs. He's an outstanding shot-blocker who this season has shot 68 percent on a relatively high volume of 2s.

            #10 Przemek Karnowski: As always, Karnowski is connecting about 60 percent of the time on his shots (all 2s) in the tournament. He and Mark Few might want to up the volume, however. The senior has scored 37 points across four games, and a Gonzaga offense that (uncharacteristically) has recorded just 1.03 points per possession in that span could use larger contributions from the big guy.

            #8 Nigel Williams-Goss: This has not been the best stretch of four games we've seen this season from Williams-Goss. The junior's missed 42 shots from the field in the tournament, and the West Virginia game in particular, were rough sledding for the WCC Player of the Year. Then again, Williams-Goss hit four 3s and scored 23 points in the Bulldogs' win over Xavier. On paper, this offense has a good deal of performance blue sky above it once its star point guard plays to the level he showed in the regular season.

            #4 Johnathan Williams: In the Bulldogs' breakthrough win against Xavier in the Elite Eight, Williams scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor. The junior could have easily hung up an even more impressive number if he had done better than 2-of-8 from the line. The 6-foot-9 Williams is shooting 63 percent on his 2s this season, he's a dependable presence for Mark Few on the defensive glass, and his work on the offensive boards has been even more impressive than "dependable" in the tournament. He was named the West region MOP.
            FWIW: Thornwell rates at the top of Gasaway's list. 5 Gamecocks, 5 Ducks, and 8 Tar Heels make up the rest of the 25
            The GUB Resource Library: Links to: Stats, Blogs, Brackets, & More. . .

            “They go to school. They do their homework. They shake hands. They say please and thank you. But once you throw that ball up, they will rip your heart out and watch you bleed.” -- Jay Bilas

            Comment


            • #21
              Final Four 2017: Ranking each team's projected starters, from No. 20 to No. 1
              http://www.cbssports.com/college-bas...no-20-to-no-1/
              by Matt Norlander

              They probably have these rankings close .... But, if you tossed in Collins, Melson and Tillie they'd be bumping some of these guys out of the top 20 (from other teams).
              Go Zags!

              Norlander has Perkins #18, Mathews #13, Williams #8, Mt. K #7 and NWG #4. Overall, ya gotta factor in the synergy + the bench + the coaches. I think that kicks up each guy 2-3 notches - at least.

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              • #22
                Zagger, it looks like the writers are all drinking from the same well of inspiration, doesn't it ? Not much in the way of new angles to cull from the coverage so far. . .I'm looking forward to listening to the ESPN Podcast with the coaches when I get home from work.

                http://www.espn.com/espnradio/play?id=19022002
                Last edited by RenoZag; 03-28-2017, 08:30 PM.
                The GUB Resource Library: Links to: Stats, Blogs, Brackets, & More. . .

                “They go to school. They do their homework. They shake hands. They say please and thank you. But once you throw that ball up, they will rip your heart out and watch you bleed.” -- Jay Bilas

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by RenoZag View Post
                  Zagger, it looks like the writers are all drinking from the same well of inspiration, doesn't it ? Not much in the way of new angles to cull from the coverage so far. . .I'm looking forward to listening to the ESPN Podcast linked above with the coaches when I get home from work.
                  I'm home now too and will listen. Found another top 20 ranking by Yahoo Sports where ....
                  Nigel #3, Karnowski #9, Williams #10, Mathews #13 & Perks #17.
                  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ranking...135112459.html
                  Wonder how much thought is put into the D side on these rankings?
                  Of the 4 F4 teams I've only watched the Zags and Oregon play this year. I did see a bit of the SC/Dook game. I wasn't overly impressed with SC's offense but their D was solid. The only thing I like about waiting until Saturday to see how things shake out is that the players sure get to have some quality time soaking up F4 fame. It's torture on the fans ;-)

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by RenoZag View Post
                    From The Ringer: https://theringer.com/the-three-most...me-e88c881dc7a (Videos Embedded in Story )

                    Gonzaga’s lack of length on the perimeter is its biggest weakness on defense. None of their four main guards — Nigel Williams-Goss, Jordan Mathews, Josh Perkins, and Silas Melson — is taller than 6-foot-4.
                    So we're back to having small-guard issues again? That didn't last long.

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                    • #25
                      http://www.cougcenter.com/2017/3/28/...all-final-four

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                      • #26
                        http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/ore...ga_oregon.html

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                        • #27
                          This is my favorite thread, thx to all contributors
                          Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
                          Mark Twain.

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                          • #28
                            A really cool look at what is going on behind the scenes:

                            Zag Logistics this week by Bud Withers

                            Gonzaga serviced about 750 boosters for the regional in San Jose. For this weekend, there are more than 3,000, all taken care of via the athletic department’s priority-points system based on annual giving. Hotel space for boosters is partly funneled through travel packages, but the athletic department has a finger on that pulse and must provide continual updates to hotels to hold or release rooms.

                            Players’ families also score this weekend. For the third straight year, the NCAA has in place a pilot program that allows for $3,000 per player family to attend the Final Four, $4,000 for the teams making the final game.
                            “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

                            ~ Desiderius Erasmus

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                            • #29
                              Love to see the parents get some love

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by thespywhozaggedme View Post
                                With Rick Neuheisel and Chris Childers. I had never heard Withers before, but he was amazing, they gave him 20 minutes of airtime and it was basically a North American infomercial for Gonzaga and Few, it was awesome. The publicity that the FF has garnered us is invaluable. Great interview!
                                Here's a link to an XM interview (excerpt) done with Coach Few where he acknowledges turning to his coacjing friends for Final Four week prep advice: Jay Wright and Billy Donovan.

                                https://soundcloud.com/siriusxmcolle...van-for-advice

                                He was on the Packer & Cremins Show
                                The GUB Resource Library: Links to: Stats, Blogs, Brackets, & More. . .

                                “They go to school. They do their homework. They shake hands. They say please and thank you. But once you throw that ball up, they will rip your heart out and watch you bleed.” -- Jay Bilas

                                Comment

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