Today sure is a busy day for Gonzaga related news....
- TKR was able to confirm that Cole Stefan will be taking an unofficial visit to Gonzaga for the game against Idaho on November 18th. The 6'3 SG from Minnetonka, Minnesota was here for the Gonzaga Elite Camp this past summer. Even better news for Zag fans is that Stefan plays for Net Gain Sports, which is the same AAU club that produced Sam Dower. It would be great to get a pipeline going from Net Gain Sports, as they are one of the elite AAU teams in the Midwest, and head coach Marquise Watts does a terrific job preparing his players for the next level.
Stefan is a terrific shooter, and fits the mold of the active shooting guard that Coach Few seems to love. Click here to read the interview with Coach Watts regarding both Cole Stefan and Sam Dower.
- As a countdown to Midnight Madness, Luke Winn has listed his top 15 backcourts and frontcourts. Gonzaga made both lists, as Winn has the Zags with the 13th best backcourt and the 12th best frontcourt in the nation.
Here is what Winn had to say about the GU frontcourt:
"Daye (10.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg), who might be the most skilled 6-foot-10 player in the country, is projected as a future NBA lottery pick. Heytvelt, pictured, (10.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg) was a star prior to his drug-related suspension in '06-07, but has yet to recapture that magic. The 'Zags need him to be a beast in the paint in order to be a legit top-10 team."
TKR's Take: Obviously this is nothing that GU fans haven't heard. However, I personally can't remember a team this highly ranked that is so reliant on the "potential" performance of one player. There is no questioning the incredible talent that Josh possesses, and his leadership and play this year will clearly be the difference between being a Top 25 team and a Final 4 contender. One surprising aspect of Winn's rankings was that he had Wake Forest as the #7 frontcourt in the country. It really surprises me how some writers believe that Tony Woods, Ty Walker, and Al-Farouq Aminu will bring the program back to relevance in one season. I understand that all are highly ranked prospects coming out of high school, but the jump from high school to college basketball is so difficult. I personally wouldn't want to be in a position to rely on the performance of three freshman to determine my season.
And here is what Winn had to say about the GU backcourt:
"Pargo (12.1 ppg, 6.0 apg), pictured, pulled his name out of the NBA Draft after failing to get a first-round guarantee, but he and Bouldin (12.6 ppg) are both future second-round picks. Gray, meanwhile, was a lethal long-distance shooter as a role player in '07-08, hitting 46.3 percent of his treys."
TKR's Take: In this case, I think Winn is vastly underrating the GU backcourt. Gray will certainly shed his "role player" position, as he has improved every aspect of his offensive game during the summer. Gray is bigger, stronger, and will look to attack the rim as he continues to build more confidence on the offensive end. I am also surprised that Winn does not mention Micah Downs in his writeup. Micah is 100% healthy for the first time in a couple of years, and with this health has come an increased confidence. I expect to see Micah unleashing his beautiful shot on opponents all season, as well as attacking the rim and being a force on the offensive glass. Demetri Goodson will also see playing time, and will provide a terrific spark off the bench, as he will be one of the quickest players on any team in the nation.