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LongIslandZagFan
03-10-2008, 07:43 PM
OK... please step down from the ledge people and lets talk rational.

Here is my take. Over the last two days our boys have been grabbed, pushed, shoved, checked and etc. A game like tonight or last night would never happen in the dance since fouls would get called. I'd almost want to say that it looked like our boys felt it beneath them to stoop to that level. It cost them dearly. Bravo to SCU and USD for taking full advantage of what was being given them. That level of physicality wouldn't fly in the tourney. We all know that the officiating (on all ends of the court) stinks to high heaven in the WCC. So lets just move on. (BTW where was that elite team call tonight Mr. Gottleib? I still think you are a horse's behind)

The boys couldn't buy a bucket the last 2 games. Just ugly. they were horrid from nearly everywhere on the floor. Despite that, they managed to stay in the games they played and won one of the two. Cold shooting can be remedied and they have plenty of time to work on it... Hopefully they get the Friday/Sunday games to get the extra day. They found ways to produce. Much of the problems stems from the over the top physicality that was being allowed to happen. The boys will get back into the flow.

Billy knows the system inside and out. He knows how to disrupt the system and he had his boys working it good. Tack on the fact that our boys played with so little heart in the second half and made weak efforts to get defensive boards and you have a recipe for disaster. USD just plain whooped them on the boards.

Tonight was the poster child for why the tournament needs to be on a neutral court. It is just plain unfair to allow a lower seeded team to actually have a home court advantage.

So what does it all mean? IMHO, it means don't stress it. There was a perfect storm coming at them with the above mentioned items. If they get bumped down to a 8/9 it will stink... but take the lumps and move on. I'm just as confident in this team as I have been the last 2 months. They aren't perfect and they have off nights, but the fire is still in the belly. Perhaps this bitter taste is just what they need heading into the dance.

Good Luck Boys... I can't speak for the jumpers here, but I am behind you 100%.

GO ZAGS!!!!!

MedZag
03-10-2008, 07:47 PM
Ah, whats that refreshing breeze coming from over the hill?

The winds of reason and hope!

All this pessimism can wear on a soul.

Nevtelen
03-10-2008, 07:50 PM
The only 2 problems I see with that argument is 1) yes, Grier knows the system, as everyone keeps pointing out. But Few and Co should also know most anything *he's* going to run. Yes, he's run things somewhat differently, but so has GU this year vs years past. Not sure he has an advantage there. 2) Physical - yes. Lots of checks, bumps, grabs, etc? yes. But not out of line with, say, a Big 10 game. A game like that could happen in the NCAAs. The team has to learn to deal with it. So far this year - BiS, the WCC tourney, at least one or 2 WCC games - they haven't.

OTOH, I agree about the shooting. I'm not optimistic it'll get fixed in a week off, though. This team has just not shot particularly well, esp from 3, consistently through the season. I think the rebounding WILL get fixed, though, and that was as much of a problem or even more of one than the cold shooting.

S.U. Chieftain
03-10-2008, 07:53 PM
Thanks, LongIslandZagFan, for your calming and reassuring words. I am off the ledge and sitting down now. I will put my energy into positive vibes for the Zags for the NCAAs! I'll stay positive that I have at least 4 more games left of watching Kuso and Pendo!

GO, ZAGS!

VinnyZag
03-10-2008, 07:57 PM
It IS true that GU missed a ton of shots the Zags normally would make today. Not to take anything away from USD, which played great. But ... I mean, 0-fer on 3's?
Let's hope Gonzaga just got its two stinker games out of the way and plays better in the dance.

zag944
03-10-2008, 08:01 PM
Some reality check thoughts

*While it hurts our resume and our seed, I don't think we were any worse of a team than we were 4 hours ago. We werent playing well, they were playing great.

*no matter you you play, you are going to have to beat some great teams to do the things we want to do in the tourney

*last time we were in the 8/9 game, we didnt have even close to as good of a regular season as this one was. In the tourney, we went to hell and back with Arizona. The only time I was ever more proud of the team was the Elite Eight year.

Seattle_Zag
03-10-2008, 08:05 PM
Awesome post, LIZF. It's good to see someone here thinking rationally and looking at the big picture after a loss.

MickMick
03-10-2008, 08:46 PM
My version of reality.....

Zags have struggled offensively all year long except for the last weekend of conference play. We were hoping they would make up the difference on the defensive end. Be a different type of Zag team. But defense can only account for so many turnovers by the offense and the defense just wasn't there at crunch time.

If Zags are going to adopt a WSU style of play, they need to adopt the whole scheme. You can't be lazy with the ball. You can't pass unless you are sure the receiver is ready to take it. You can't pass through a defender. You can't pass too high. We are expecting too much of the defense if the offense cannot take care of the ball.

It is one thing to miss a shot. It is another to gift wrap possessions. I'll take a missed shot over a turnover any day (This is where Pargo seperates himself from the rest of the team). I am amazed that the same players that are afraid to take a shot, are often the same players that will throw into the teeth of the defense. At least the shot has a chance of scoring points.

This is about the extent of my rant. San Diego and Saint Marys are fine clubs with a decent chance of winning a game in the tourney. Imagine what kind of buzz an elite 8 run by USD would stir up? The media would draw up endless parallels to the Gonzaga program. I feel good for Bill Grier.

In the end, I will pull for any and all WCC teams in post season.


Edit: My apologies to Saint Marys fans. I described their play in the last 10 minutes against USD as "awful". Their final 10 minutes was probably a bit better than the Zag's last ten minutes. The Gaels would have been more than a handful for the Zags if they would have reached the final.

gamagin
03-10-2008, 08:47 PM
tns.

I think Few said it pretty well that it is hard to get up when nothing real important is at stake for one side and the other side is desparate.

we split games against two desparate teams.

Now we are desparate, meaning it's one and done from now on for us, too.

If the lads need a fire lit under them, well, it's right there.

And the curse of potential will no longer play as an excuse this year.

It's time to perform, not have the ability to perform, or save it for the playoffs. Or the prom.

And those Zags who understand and go for it should get more p.t., while those who don't, well lets just say I'd rather go down hustling, in flames, than looking lost and confused, with a whimper.

the good news is it is still up to us and it is not too late, as you point out, to adopt the right attitude.

Go Zags !

zzzjag
03-10-2008, 08:58 PM
Just returned from the game....

As far as the home team advantage goes...I would say that the crowd was no worse then a 50-50 split. The 'kennel club' sections were really loud, and then really quiet (as were all Zag fans at the end).

One nice thing about the USD students storming the court, you didnt have to listen to the obnoxiuos taunts on the very long walk up the hill, especially when I was walking back to my car with my 3 boys; 10, 8 and 4 years old. Befored the game, there were guys chugging Rockstar energy drink as you walked in and had a couple Costco type of cases on the ground.

I did like what I thought was a new high pick/roll set when Josh would come up for Pargo and then roll. It reminded me of Nash/Stoudamire Suns play. It really only worked a couple times and Josh just missed the alley oop on one play.

I watched Micah get really frustrated every time he was pulled from the game after just getting in. I have said to make a run, he needs to play more then 20 min and just saw the box and he played only 13 min.

I don't know what that does to the Zags seed but don't think it will kill em. It would be much worse to be a bubble team knowing that USD is popping a few bubbles tonight.

Least it was to Bill Grier and gives credit to the Zag program in some ways.

Hextall7388
03-10-2008, 08:58 PM
Okay, I've clamed down now. A jump from my roof would only result in a sprained ankle, so the guard took away my belt and shoe laces as they posed the greatest risk. I'm okay now.

My disappointment has been replaced with a bit of confusion caused by the Jekyll and Hyde routine over the past 7 days. Are the Zags the team that beat SMC last week,or are they the team that we have watched the last two games? Coming into the WCC tourney I really thought this was a team that could do some damage at the Dance. After these two games, we look like a 1 and done team. I guess this should come as no surprise given the way the season has gone. We have a team full of very talented players, but for some reason they have all struggled with their consistency a different times throughout the year. Based on my memory, we have had 8 different players lead the team in scoring in a single game. If you look at it from the "glass is half full" perspective, we have a very balanced team that is a scouting nightmare for opposing coaches. A team that can beat you many ways. On the other hand, perhaps it highlights the inconsistency of the players this year. With the exception of Pargo, the coaching staff must scratch their heads wondering which player is going to step up night in and night out. Pargo is clearly the leader of this team, but he needs some help on a consistent basis. Tonight it seemed like he just got fed up in the second half and took it upon himself to try to win the game. I just wish he had taken charge a little earlier.

applezag
03-10-2008, 08:58 PM
LIZF--I agree with most your observations, but am not encouraged by them the way you are. I didn't see tonight simply as cold shooting, but as bad shooting. What I mean is GU just took mediocre to bad shots when they could have gotten better ones. I just don't see a real sense of purpose on offense. Are they trying to get to the hoop? Trying to get threes? Trying to get it to the post? Trying to post up guards? There just doesn't seem to be a pattern or rhyme or reason to the thing. I personally would like to see more screening action away from the ball to free up both cutters and screeners, but that kind of motion has pretty much been abandoned this year.

Grier does know the GU system, but they arent' running much of what they had when he was there. The ball screening continuity they are running this year is, I'm pretty sure, new this year. By the way, I've given that offense a fair shake and am ready to see it diminished in favor of something different (see reasons above). They are also doing quite a bit differently defensively.

I do definitely agree with your last point--don't stress it. We didn't see anything in the last two nights that we haven't seen earlier in the season. I guess the disappointment is that we thought that stuff might be out of our system--I guess not. I am still confident this team can compete with anyone (and, as Jazz mentioned yesterday, lose to anyone). While I'd like them to be more selective with shots and get easier ones, I don't expect that they'll shoot like this again. We can hope that they'll learn from and be inspired by the fact that they just flat out got outworked tonight. When I think about potentially playing a one seed in round two, I think about potential opponents (think Tennessee and Memphis). GU can beat those guys.

roxdoc
03-10-2008, 09:24 PM
Golly guys and girls it looks like we are valleying at just the wrong time.

Three of the last 5 games our offense has looked dysfunctional. We know they have it in them (last 2 league games). Will the coaches find it again for a game or two? Stay tuned.

PortlandbasedZag
03-10-2008, 09:53 PM
So...I'm done from my ledge after working my anger out at the gym, but I have to say I really disagree about the game being out of line physically. I didn't see anything in this game esp that we wouldn't see in the tourny...I saw an anemic offense, no hustle (except for Kuso and sometimes pendo and pargo), and not alot of drive.
I agree we aren't a worse team, but now this team who had everything rolling in the right direction, all the cyclinders firing absolutely sputtered to a halt. I trust Few will challenge them and I really can't think of anyone I'd rather have get in thier face, but we are going to have to see a whole different team then we saw the last two games if they even want to win thier first game, let alone make a small run....I say this with the best of intentions. I had the team primed for a run in my mind. I love the team and love seeing them play, and the worst day of the year for me (usually) is the day they lose out of the tourny, but man they HAVE to get the effort racheted up and HAVE to get the offense problems solved if they are going to make any noise in the tourny! LETS GET IT GOING ZAGS!!!!!

alaskazagnut
03-10-2008, 10:15 PM
The team jumped in the second half. Proven by LIZF's quote


Tack on the fact that our boys played with so little heart in the second half and made weak efforts to get defensive boards and you have a recipe for disaster. USD just plain whooped them on the boards.


"So little heart" As LIZF put it. It is undeniable and glaring. It hurts me.
Heart is about the only thing our team can control. If they choose to not have the heart they choose to lose. If San Diego can want it that bad why can't the Zags.

They need to check the egos at the door and rethink what they really want. Not what they are supposed to want: a Championship.

Even if I am not happy with the teams effort I still back them 100% just like LIZF, MedZag and 90% of the posters on this board. I will ALWAYS be a Zag fan thru and thru.

Zag79
03-10-2008, 10:26 PM
Thanks, LongIslandZagFan, for your calming and reassuring words. I am off the ledge and sitting down now. I will put my energy into positive vibes for the Zags for the NCAAs! I'll stay positive that I have at least 4 more games left of watching Kuso and Pendo!

while your at it check the stats before you post garbage about a guy that doesnt hold weight too. josh regressed tonight?

MIN fg/fga rbs pts
J. Heytvelt, F 16 4-9 3 8

thats better than 4 out of the 5 starters in half the time. josh is playing just fine. micah and daye as well. MORE PT is the get well syrup for these dudes.

ZagsGoZags
03-10-2008, 11:32 PM
agree with everything LIZF says except physicality

it is my impression that the WCC usually calls a closer game than the big 6 conferences, and doesn't let as much banging and whacking go on

When we have lost to Tennessee, UCLA and Memphis we seemed to be in slow motion for all the hacks, smacks, steals, and bumping going on

zagco
03-11-2008, 06:37 AM
Watching us play for the last couple years has been an almost routinely stressful experience. More often than not, our games are maddeningly close. For a team with such a clearly high number of stellar recruits, we sqeak by in game after game, and the sheer number of mistakes--silly mistakes--is just floor-slappingly sad. We appear to play not to lose. We almost always appear surprised and caught off guard by how hard our opponent is playing. Our rotations and the roles for each player often are completely indecipherable. Where's the chemistry? Zagco feels like the team and program have become a beast that exists and grows on its own. What's our offense? Who are our 3-point shooters? Do we have a center?

LongIslandZagFan
03-11-2008, 06:42 AM
agree with everything LIZF says except physicality

it is my impression that the WCC usually calls a closer game than the big 6 conferences, and doesn't let as much banging and whacking go on

When we have lost to Tennessee, UCLA and Memphis we seemed to be in slow motion for all the hacks, smacks, steals, and bumping going on

Exactly... which is what makes the last two night anomalies. And to the person that said B10 and ACC games are just as physical as last nights games. Sorry, but I watch an outrageous amount of college hoops, as my wife's yelling can attest, and I have yet to see a game be that physical. Our guards were being guarded like a puppy going to town on a leg. I thought the two should get a room. Matt was hip checked out of bounds it was called out on Matt. But that is neither here or there.

But to those who say we have struggled offensively all year:

As of 3/9:

42nd ranked offense in the country at 77pts per game
17th ranked team in FG% at 48.4%
7th ranked team in scoring margin at 13.9 points
64th ranked team in 3pt FG% at 37.8%

Exactly how is that struggling offensively?

Shooting slumps can be fixed by practice. Playing with heart can only be found inside.

Lets go boys... I want you guys playing in April.

TacomaZAG
03-11-2008, 08:21 AM
really say that we had nothing important to play for this weekend????? Man, I hope not, because last time I checked a WCC Championship and a high seed in the dance were pretty important things. Maybe we just found the cause of our perrenial lack of "killer instinct". I read how Coach tried to justify the lack of effort in the Tacoma paper this morning but I find it hard to believe he actually said there was nothing important to play for this weekend.

I wonder if Pendo, Pargo, and others would agree with him??????????

Hopefully, we get it fixed before the dance.

Go ZAGS

ebayzagfan
03-11-2008, 08:43 AM
really say that we had nothing important to play for this weekend????? Man, I hope not, because last time I checked a WCC Championship and a high seed in the dance were pretty important things. Maybe we just found the cause of our perrenial lack of "killer instinct". I read how Coach tried to justify the lack of effort in the Tacoma paper this morning but I find it hard to believe he actually said there was nothing important to play for this weekend.



If that quote is accurate, then our problems are bigger than I thought. Other than bad shooting, poor shot selection, too many turnovers, lack of hustle, no offensive rebounding to speak of and standing around on offense, I thought the Zags looked good last night. We sure have sharp looking uniforms.

Larrylegend
03-11-2008, 08:53 AM
To say the refs were the reason the Zags lost is absurd. Gonzaga was out-rebounded 38-25, had 10 more turn-overs, were consistently beaten to loose balls, couldn’t hit a three-point shot...

Great teams are always hungry... Gonzaga wasn’t a hungry team last night.

cggonzaga
03-11-2008, 08:54 AM
I was thinking the same thing fellas. We have a team that doesn't compete if that's true and a coach that let his team down. I would like to see that quote because that just doesn't sound right. If it is....yikes!

LongIslandZagFan
03-11-2008, 08:56 AM
To say the refs were the reason the Zags lost is absurd. Gonzaga was out-rebounded 38-25, had 10 more turn-overs, were consistently beaten to loose balls, couldn’t hit a three-point shot...

Great teams are always hungry... Gonzaga wasn’t a hungry team last night.

Didn't say that necessarily. What I said was that the boys never adjusted to what the refs were letting go. It was a very very physical game and likely would not have been if it had been called differently. But USD took advantage of what was being allowed while GU didn't. THAT is the problem along with outrageous shooting woes on both nights.

zagette
03-11-2008, 09:01 AM
I suppose one could say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
We have one more game left to prove we are better than how we played yesterday and the day before...

gamagin
03-11-2008, 09:47 AM
<< really say that we had nothing important to play for this weekend????? Man, I hope not, because last time I checked a WCC Championship and a high seed in the dance were pretty important things>>

Few was making the point that it was difficult to get the lads up for this weekend versus the other coaches getting their teams up to beat us. he said they SCU/SDU are desparate (meaning they are done if they lose). we are/were not. Our guys knew that and it made it harder to motivate them.

also, (1) the WCC championship was not on the line. We already won it. we are the champions, despite what ESPN erroneously said. (2) At stake was the guaranteed slot in the dance.

finally, as noted, it may have affected our seeding, but even that is not for certain, depending on who you talk to.

best regards,

cjm720
03-11-2008, 10:21 AM
We got beat for a lot of the reasons mentioned, but we were still in the game. Everyone knows we play to the level of competition, so I'm not worried come tourney time (pre-bracket, i.e.). Look at it this way, had we won, we would have had 9 game win streak, with 6 more needed to win it all. 6 in a row is much more realistic than 15. An optimistic view, I know!

GO ZAGS!!!!!

jim77
03-11-2008, 11:24 AM
Looks like the next week of practice will be interesting. How could a team go from last weeks stellar play to this???? It looked a lot like the IU game from last year's early exit. Actually, it had more to do with the SD defense/hustle. Our offense looks great when defenses sag and give us room to operate...when they get in our faces and harass us, things get dicey.(or panic as cdc says) Discipline teams will get in you're face and stay there....and force you to make plays. What ever happened to setting screens??? Guaranteed other teams know this and will harass us....only a fool team will play zone against us. I just wonder if all this juggling in the lineup has cost us in continuity....then again with all the injuries we've had I guess it isn't surprising. This team can execute and I suspect will come to play next week. If the team hustles and gets beat..I can live with that. I just hope I don't see another guard slicing through 4 zags to get a rebound. The Zags got to where they are because of hustle. The slipper has long since worn out, now take that hiking boot and stick it in some team's A$$!

gugrad66
03-11-2008, 01:58 PM
All is issues with rebounding, poor shooting, defensive lapses, etc. boil down to poor coaching. The team wasn't ready to play either night--not motivated, not hungy and aggressive, etc. Adjustments were made as the game went on. If Few can't figure out how to beat teams he had played twice before this season, and two or three times before in the last several seasons, then how do we expect the team to do well vs. an opponent in the NCAA who we don't "know" as well.

gugrad66
03-11-2008, 02:02 PM
I'd call the "points" that Few was making EXCUSES--not only for the players' poor play, but for his poor coaching

Zag By the Bay
03-11-2008, 03:09 PM
Here is my two cents for what it worth:
The Zags are going to go into the Big Dance with something to prove or a chip on their shoulders if you will.
I think that will be a very positive frame of mind for us.
If we going to lose a game, last night's game was the one to lose.
I think we tend to over look the fact that we only lost one game in league going into last night's game against USD.
That is quite an accomplishment period!
With the exception of Memphis and Davidson, no other team went undefeated in league this season.
All WCC teams want a piece of Gonzaga each and every game we play. We have target on our backs due to the incredible run we have put together the last 10 seasons.
It is very difficult to beat the same team THREE times in the same season, especially when you play two of the games on the road.
Let's cheer on the boys at the Big Dance and see how it plays out.
Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride to the Dance.

gamagin
03-11-2008, 03:15 PM
I like the way you think.

<<cjm says: Look at it this way, had we won, we would have had 9 game win streak, with 6 more needed to win it all. 6 in a row is much more realistic than 15. An optimistic view, I know! >>

In other words, we start the dance with a clean slate. that's right.

cggonzaga
03-11-2008, 03:55 PM
Why was my post in response to gamagin deleted?

TheBunnieRancher
03-11-2008, 07:06 PM
You'all do realize that these tourney teams are fighting for their lives and their coaches for their careers yet we had not lost a WCC tourney game since 2003. During a recent game a statistic was posted that Few was catching up with Fitzgerald for 4th in WCC all-time wins at 112. The thing was that Fitz and the other two who weren't that far ahead all had at least 88 losses. Mark Few has only 13. Somebody is going to get in a lucky shot from time to time and David does occasionally knock off Goliath, especially on his own turf. So we slip a seeding or two or three. There are no easy games in the NCAA Tourney short of being a 1 or a 2 seed and then only the first game before the 1's and 2's can start falling too. This will give Few just that much more fuel to add to the fire between now and the start of the tourney. These kids have talked some big talk at times about their goals for this season. They have to stew on their lack of effort this weekend while they wait for their chance "to put their money where their mouth is..."