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zagzilla
03-17-2008, 11:19 AM
To win this game and advance, the Zags need to get a fast start.

During the middle of the season they had a series of slow starts that concerned us all. It was less of a factor in the final 1/3 of the season but we can't be held to 5 points in the first 5 minutes or so. Recall we started slowly against both San Diego and SC last week and never found our rhythm.

We need to stop starting Sacre. It's silly. He isn't a real starter, everybody knows he's coming out at the first stoppage in play and he isn't going to score much. It prevents the Zags from playing their game from the start.

The right thing to do is to get Josh in the starting lineup. We will only win from here on in games he is a force. It would sent a great message to him and since he is an emotional player the positive lift will really help. I don't think Davidson has an answer for him and we should make them adjust to him from the opening tip.

He's ready, He's earned it, and he gives us the best chance to start fast and win.

zagsfan21
03-17-2008, 11:25 AM
I agree. It's pretty stupid to look at the box score after a game and see that one of your starters played 2 minutes.

Maybe Few thinks that he's giving Josh a few minutes to see how the other team is playing the bigs. If that is the reason, I think Josh is smart enough to figure it out while on the floor. He did that just fine before the suspension.

McZag
03-17-2008, 11:39 AM
EXCELLENT POST! I've been holding my tongue on this issue but can't hold back anymore.

At this time of year you need your best people on the floor - for 40 minutes.

Starters:

Daye
JH
Gray
Pargo
Downs

Run all day long and score relentlessly - sub as needed and bring in Bouldin for his looks - but run baby run and score on EVERY POSSESSION!!!

Ok, I said it. Feel much better now. Back to the green beer......

FuManShoes
03-17-2008, 11:48 AM
Agree on starting Josh but not so sure the Zags should blow up the rest of the lineup (i.e. Daye and Downs over Pendo and Bouldin). It's too late for that big an adjustment, but starting Heytvelt is a no-brainer given that he is playing better, is more talented than Sacre and most importantly, actually has NCAA Tourney experience. If the Zags were playing a less talented team than Davidson I could see starting Sacre to get his feet wet, but all the numbers and the environment seem to suggest the Zags will be underdogs in this one, in which case they can't screw around with morale-boosting substitutions. Put the best, most experienced team on the floor and go after it. (And to those of you who say start Daye, I'd agree if he'd started more games. At this point, and considering this is his first Tourney, I say bring him off the bench as usual but make sure he plays 25+ minutes).

skiptheskier
03-17-2008, 11:59 AM
If there is a game to go big, I think this is it. Try to keep two of Josh, Kuso, and Daye on the court at all times, maybe even try a little with all three. We would lose little athletically and have three shot blockers contesting their drives.

Downs and Bouldin should create size advantages at their positions as well.

It sounds like their bigs might be able to hold their own defensively, but I am thinking they probably pack it in the middle to make things difficult for the bigs inside and to keep Pargo from getting to the goal. Hit our jumpers early and force them to extend the defense, opening up the middle for Daye and Pargo.

Goshzagit
03-17-2008, 12:07 PM
My question is: will Downs, Heytvelt, and Daye average only 15 minutes in our upcoming game like they did vs USD? I'm still perplexed at this decision, but I've moved on. That said, I'm hoping for better, smarter, and more efficient lineups vs. Davidson. For example, Davidson's tallest player is 6'8", so if we're unable to create mismatches for Daye(6'10"), Heytvelt(6'11"), or Downs(6'8"), there is clearly something wrong. Please, please, please more PT for our longest and most skilled players, especially against Davidson. :pray:

beatProgram
03-17-2008, 12:18 PM
starting Heytvelt is a no-brainer given that he is playing better, is more talented than Sacre and most importantly, actually has NCAA Tourney experience.

???

zagsfan21
03-17-2008, 12:26 PM
Technically more experience, but not by much: Josh played a total of 13 minutes in the 2006 tournament, totaling 3 points and 4 fouls. Regardless of experience, I think Josh is the best option.

ebayzagfan
03-17-2008, 12:29 PM
Can't believe we even need to have this discussion about Josh starting. By the end of this game, I want to see an empty ammo belt! Let's blow some carbon out on this Davidson bunch! I know we are capable of doing it.

Nevtelen
03-17-2008, 12:46 PM
I think it depends on where Josh is. I think Kuso will still not want to start, probably. I hope Josh is at least 90%. Then he'd be in a position to start perhaps. We'll see.

The rest of the starting line-up needs to stay what it was. You ride the horse that brung ya from here on out. I also don't necessarily agree that Daye, Heytvelt, and Downs are our "most skilled" players. Longest, yes. But Bouldin can create serious mismatches if he's playing at the 2. I do think Gray should probably see less PT. Few has usually tightened the rotations in the past and played freshmen/role-players less in favor of starters in the NCAAs, but this is a wierd year for the team in terms of roations et al, so we'll see if that holds.

CaliforniaZaggin'
03-17-2008, 12:50 PM
Agreed about Josh. Also, I'd like to see Daye get most of the minutes at the 4 over Pendo. I love what Pendo brings to this team, but it's time to truly unleash Austin. He's the kinda of player that can get hot and carry the Zags.

gonzagulous
03-17-2008, 12:53 PM
Didn't Kuso start against San Diego? I'm guessing he's gotten talked out of his coming-off-the-bench preference, and we'll see him get the start against Davidson.

But man, if there is a game where we could use Heytvelt laying the hammer down, posterizing some fools, hitting those bankshots, rebounding like an angry wolverine...... this is it.

Hextall7388
03-17-2008, 01:06 PM
I agree 100%...Josh should be starting! Josh at 70% is better than Sacre. Frankly, I've been scratching my head for the past 10-12 games that Sacre has been starting and playing only 2 minutes. It made little sense then, and makes no sense now. This experiment, motivating technique, punishment and/or plan to get Sacre some experience....whatever it is, I hope it ends Friday. Friday is the biggest game of the year (to date), and a game in which getting off to a quick start is vital. The Zags cannot afford to fall behind early.

I'd love to see Daye get some more minutes off the bench too. At 6'10 and a long reach, he has the ability to create major matchup problems for Davidson and their front line of 6'7-6'8 players.

I'm happy to see that people are stating their opinion on this issue without the Coach Few defenders getting all worked up....so far at least. Just about every time I have even hinted at a shake up to the lineup I have received a plethora of "how dare you question the decision making of coach Few" type comments.

ZagNative
03-17-2008, 01:14 PM
These threads about starting Josh are hard for me to react civilly to - the implication being Coach Few doesn't know what he's doing when he chooses his starters. Did you happen to see MickMick's post (http://www.guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?t=10981) earlier?

Phil Martelli:

"If young people want to see a coaching clinic, then watch the Gonzaga-Davidson game. I guarantee you that no opening round game will be better coached than that one. Those coaches are geniuses."

(As accurately worded as I can recall)

Now can we break out the "verbal beat down stick" on those posters that have been beating up on Mark Few the past couple weeks?I assume that if Josh is not starting or playing a high number of minutes, there is a darned good reason, and Coach Few has not gotten us this far by being some kind of basketball dimwit.

maineblackbear
03-17-2008, 01:33 PM
i agree with zagnative but only to a certain point . . . sure, it is implicitly critical of Few to suggest starting a guy over a "starter" that plays two minutes a game.... but just saying you trust Few (which I do, also) does not mean that his decisions are beyond reproach. Why is Sacre starting? I guess it takes a genius to figure that one out . . . :D

nice thread ZZ....

mbb

Hextall7388
03-17-2008, 01:47 PM
Guess I spoke/typed too soon....

I can't speak for everyone on this thread and others like it, but personally, I think Coach Few has done, and is doing an amazing job. What he has done with the program is simply amazing. I'm sure he has a reason for starting Pendo over Daye, and Gray over Downs. I think there are very good arguments to support each of these decisions. The issue I have is with Heytvelt not starting. To date, I have not heard one explanation that explains why Sacre is starting instead of Josh. At least one that makes sense. Is Josh hurt? If so, does sitting for 2 minutes at the start of the game really help? Does he not want to start (like Kuso)? Is he performing poorly in practise? Is it an attitude problem? Is this is some way part of his punishment and/or a condition of his return to the team as a result of what happened last year? If it is one of these reasons, I think the coaching staff should say so. I'm certain it would make Josh's life a little easier by ending all the speculation. I'd imagine other students, the media and the general public ask him almost everyday why he is not starting. We have even read articles about "what happened to Josh". I can only imagine what the CBS commentators are going to come up with tell the national television audience on Friday.

kitzbuel
03-17-2008, 01:51 PM
My only addition to the conversation is that maybe Few likes winning the tip. That is basically what Sacre is in there for. I think he has had better spring than Josh, at least until recently, and probably gives Few the higher percentage chance at winning the first possesion. That gives the Zags a better opportunity to establish the tone of the game.

zagzilla
03-17-2008, 01:54 PM
These threads about starting Josh are hard for me to react civilly to - the implication being Coach Few doesn't know what he's doing when he chooses his starters. Did you happen to see MickMick's post (http://www.guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?t=10981) earlier?
I assume that if Josh is not starting or playing a high number of minutes, there is a darned good reason, and Coach Few has not gotten us this far by being some kind of basketball dimwit.

Rubbish. You are welcome to try and twist my post into Few-bashing but you won't make it stick.

You don't respond to any of my points behind the idea that JH should start. You just trot out the old "Coach Few knows best so leave it alone" idea. Blind faith is not what I learned at GU and any well-reasoned person making suggestions shouldn't be too hard for you "react civilly to".

Few is a great coach and great coaches take advantage of opportunities to keep things fresh and sharp. Thats how teams win and avoid getting stale.

Starting Josh is just such an opportunity and I for one hope he takes it.

ZagNative-Let's hear your defense of how starting Sacre gives us a better chance in the dance.

lothar98zag
03-17-2008, 02:00 PM
Didn't Kuso start against San Diego? I'm guessing he's gotten talked out of his coming-off-the-bench preference, and we'll see him get the start against Davidson.
Yes, Kuso started vs USD and I expect him to start on Friday.

...but I wouldn't mind if Josh starts - whatever it takes to get the best possible 40 minutes total from both of them.

CaliforniaZaggin'
03-17-2008, 02:02 PM
Certainly Coach Few knows whats best for his team, but it's also fun to think about and discuss what we'd do if we were in his loafers.

NevadaZag
03-17-2008, 02:13 PM
My only addition to the conversation is that maybe Few likes winning the tip. That is basically what Sacre is in there for. I think he has had better spring than Josh, at least until recently, and probably gives Few the higher percentage chance at winning the first possesion. That gives the Zags a better opportunity to establish the tone of the game.

Except the Zags haven't been winning the tip and it kind of drives me crazy because they always used to win the tip. If that is why Sacre is in, he's not doing a very good job.

sonuvazag
03-17-2008, 02:13 PM
1. I expect Kuso will start. Josh gets 20-24 minutes.
2. The same 8 players who have played quality minutes all year will each have an opportunity to make their mark, Josh included.
3. Josh could very likely be in at the end. Few will flow with his playing time decisions as the game goes along.

Zag365
03-17-2008, 02:17 PM
Coach Few has clearly laid out the challenge for this team -- win a first rounder against a team that will be very tough on their "home" court. He knows that Martelli and others are hyping this as a coaches chess match. I'm sure he will start the five that he thinks will set the right tone/stage for a 40-minute war. He wants this as much as the players. The beauty of his starting line-up decisions todate is that even we fans can't figure it out after watching 30+ games. By Friday a.m., Davidson won't have it figured out either. There is no set defensive scheme they can count on.

ZagNative
03-17-2008, 02:19 PM
I thought the questions about why Rob is starting and Josh isn't and why Josh is playing limited minutes had been answered repeatedly by the coaching staff.

Regarding Sacre, Coach Rice said on the Coaches Show, that the reason that Sacre was starting was as a reward for working so hard in practice.


As for Josh, my own speculation, likely as unfounded as everyone else's here, has been that he doesn't want or perhaps feels incapable to play the role that's been asked of him to help the team win - that is, to be an inside post presence, rather than working the perimeter so much.

And remember this from the recent John Blanchette column (http://www.spokesmanreview.com/sports/story.asp?ID=235330&page=all):

It was that first meeting with the Gaels which prompted Few to pretty much rip up his established rotation and improvise. So ineffective and ineffectual was Heytvelt that when his alter-ego at the 5-spot, Abdullahi Kuso, needed a blow in the first half, Few summoned freshman Robert Sacre instead. Then late in the game when Kuso fouled out, David Pendergraft replaced him as Heytvelt remained on the bench.

Since then, Few has started Sacre for a few token minutes, bringing Kuso off the bench which suits his comfort level and then shuttling in Heytvelt situationally.

"From a staff standpoint, you step aside and just try to manage the position," he said. "We have to get the people in there who are going to help us win games."

And, simply, Kuso despite his limitations as a finisher has done more in that respect.

"When he's in the game, our point differential relative to the opponent is the highest on the team," Few reported.

"There isn't a guy in America who plays harder on defense. He's in the right spot all the time defensively and does the right thing on the glass every time. He sets great screens. He gets some put-backs. He's been incredibly efficient for his minutes."I apologize if I let my impatience show with these inevitable complaints about rotations, starting lineups, etc. Some people find those discussions entertaining. For whatever reason, they're not interesting to me, especially when the questions posed have, in my opinion, been answered so often before.

zzzjag
03-17-2008, 02:30 PM
My question is: will Downs, Heytvelt, and Daye average only 15 minutes in our upcoming game like they did vs USD? I'm still perplexed at this decision, but I've moved on. That said, I'm hoping for better, smarter, and more efficient lineups vs. Davidson. For example, Davidson's tallest player is 6'8", so if we're unable to create mismatches for Daye(6'10"), Heytvelt(6'11"), or Downs(6'8"), there is clearly something wrong. Please, please, please more PT for our longest and most skilled players, especially against Davidson. :pray:

I couldn't agree more!!!

UberZagFan
03-17-2008, 02:31 PM
but this is a wierd year for the team in terms of roations et al, so we'll see if that holds.

na-uh. it is?


Uber would have started Josh last year if he hadn't got caught with fungi but not this year. Nope. Kuso deserves it.

And leave the rest of the lineup the same.

FuManShoes
03-17-2008, 03:24 PM
na-uh. it is?


Uber would have started Josh last year if he hadn't got caught with fungi but not this year. Nope. Kuso deserves it.

And leave the rest of the lineup the same.

Kuso may desreve it, but he doesn't want it. I've repeatedly read that Few starts Sacre because Kuso is more comfortable coming off the bench and apparently Sacre had "earned" the start in practice. Well, that ime has come and gone. So start Josh, who is a matchup problem, and bring Kuso off the bench for an energy burst.

roxdoc
03-17-2008, 03:59 PM
Right on ZN!

Zag79
03-17-2008, 06:37 PM
I assume that if Josh is not starting or playing a high number of minutes, there is a darned good reason, and Coach Few has not gotten us this far by being some kind of basketball dimwit.

even the best of coaches have made mistakes easily seen by the fans eyes.

wazZag
03-17-2008, 07:37 PM
Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if Few didn't want to put too much stress on Josh's ankle. I think no holds are barred in the tourney though. I hope Few makes a statement by starting Josh. Maybe he'll be pumped up...

MDABE80
03-17-2008, 07:48 PM
The principle is this: Lock down Davidson's guards and get our big guys blocking shots, scoring and rebounding like their lives depend on it. This happens.......GU wins.

gugrad66
03-17-2008, 07:56 PM
To win this game and advance, the Zags need to get a fast start.

During the middle of the season they had a series of slow starts that concerned us all. It was less of a factor in the final 1/3 of the season but we can't be held to 5 points in the first 5 minutes or so. Recall we started slowly against both San Diego and SC last week and never found our rhythm.

We need to stop starting Sacre. It's silly. He isn't a real starter, everybody knows he's coming out at the first stoppage in play and he isn't going to score much. It prevents the Zags from playing their game from the start.

The right thing to do is to get Josh in the starting lineup. We will only win from here on in games he is a force. It would sent a great message to him and since he is an emotional player the positive lift will really help. I don't think Davidson has an answer for him and we should make them adjust to him from the opening tip.

He's ready, He's earned it, and he gives us the best chance to start fast and win.

I couldn't agree more, but I think Few is still into "punishing" Josh for the shrooms last year. So much for forgiveness and moving on.

gugrad66
03-17-2008, 08:00 PM
EXCELLENT POST! I've been holding my tongue on this issue but can't hold back anymore.

At this time of year you need your best people on the floor - for 40 minutes.

Starters:

Daye
JH
Gray
Pargo
Downs

Run all day long and score relentlessly - sub as needed and bring in Bouldin for his looks - but run baby run and score on EVERY POSSESSION!!!

Ok, I said it. Feel much better now. Back to the green beer......

I agree with the lineup except I'd have Bouldin in vs. Gray. If Bouldin remains in a fog, then I'd have Gray or Pendo in instead.

zag buddy
03-17-2008, 08:14 PM
If coach few wants to play Sacre, let him do it when we have the lead. Also during tourny time I hope he listens to his assistant coaches if his way isn't working. What effect would Foster have down low with a small starting lineup from Davidson. Not a lot of minutes, but enough to make a difference.

Zagger
03-17-2008, 09:24 PM
I'll venture two forecasts - Josh starts and plays more minutes than not. The Zags are good and now's the time to see them take off. I think Davidson will under estimate the Zags.

23dpg
03-17-2008, 09:41 PM
1st point. I'm a big Josh fan.
2nd point. I don't think he's ready to contribute like some of you think.
3rd point. I trust that Few is watching practices as sees his progress.
4th point. I hope that by next year Josh can play like last year.
5th point. Go Zags!

wazZag
03-17-2008, 09:46 PM
23,

I think for the most part, you're right. I think his contributions have been on the rise, however, and he seems to show a bit more of the "athletic burst" that he had in the past. No "old Josh" til next year, I'm afraid, but I think the ascending "this year's model" could prove pretty handy.

-wazzag

ebayzagfan
03-17-2008, 10:01 PM
Can someone please tell me what advantage Sacre' brings to GU by starting the game and playing two minutes? Anybody? Hellllloooooo-anybody? Any rational answer would be much appreciated. I will even mull over an irrational answer.

Building for the future? That's a stretch ... but it's all I can come up with. Help me out here.

beatProgram
03-17-2008, 10:39 PM
Supposedly it's because Kuso has requested specifically NOT to start. He prefers to come into the game after a couple minutes of observation.

As for why this puts Sacre out there instead of Heytfelt; I can only assume it's rehab related (pick whichever meaning you want).

ZagnetitForce
03-18-2008, 07:54 AM
I couldn't agree more, but I think Few is still into "punishing" Josh for the shrooms last year. So much for forgiveness and moving on.

Do you really think that GUgrad? You being a GU Grad I am surprised to hear you say that. You as a grad should know what Few and GU stand for and what you said is NOT it. Josh is not ready to contribute big time minutes with big time effort or else coach would have him in. IMHO.

Bring Back John Rillie
03-18-2008, 08:14 AM
This game is going to be all about defense on the perimeter and offense down low. Davidson has speed and athleticism in their golden boy, Curry, who must be shut down. They will line up relatively well with our 2's and 3's but they are no match for our big men. Get Josh on the court and leave him there until he proves to be ineffective, gets in foul trouble (which won't happen) or gets hurt. Kuso can give him a breather.