Sharing Thoughts on 05-06 Zags

He practices with them several times a week, he gets a feel for just how they'll be come November and beyond. After dozens of pickup games, a former D1 player for a rival WCC school gives his top-10 thoughts on the Bulldogs.

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The top 10 Zag facts I love to think about:

1. Two of the last three years the team is only one shot away from the Sweet Sixteen;

2. The last five years, in my opinion, the team has had a legitimate shot at the Final Four, and it has been a pure joy watching each team assert itself each of those seasons (not to discount the seasons just prior to the last five, which of course were also marvelous in their own way);

3. The type of person and player the Zags attain at this point is a very solid, mature person, unselfish, very talented, and hard working;

4. In my opinion, the Zags have 3 of the nation's top 15 players this year (Adam Morrison; J.P. Batista; and Derek Raivio);

5. The Zags have an ocean of depth;

6. Pierre's speed and passing, Pendo's uncanny mental and physical intensity, Erroll Knight's intangible energy and high flying basketball magnetism, Mallon's great subtleties that undo opponents, the Texan's deep (very deep, very pure) range, Josh's ability to touch the roof, Larry's slashing, and the new Pargo's city style and Chicago force--all these things plus the balance of every person on the team, make this season a celebration of basketball, no matter how far this team goes;

7. Each season is a real gift to the city, we can say that about this one too, before it begins all the way to when it ends;

8. I like Morrison's defense, as much as his offense: smart, tall, great lateral quickness; and consider the offense--I'm not sure he can be stopped by most of the NBA's defenders right now;

9. Raivio is a dream for teamates with his passing and his ability to terrify opponents (he's impossible to gaurd);

10. The Triple B (Brazilian Beast Batista), will make his mark on the game here with the Zags, and for years beyond, (unreal soft touch, crisp unstoppable moves, plus the ability to take it far outside the paint with the silky J). His cool demeaner provides a calming influence on the team during times of stress, and provides balance to the fiery spirits of others like Adam.

Prepare for a season of delights!

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