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View Full Version : Gonzaga Nation is safe for another year



rennis
03-21-2008, 11:28 AM
I don't think many big programs are going to continue persuing Few if he can't win games in the big dance. I love Coach Few, and hope he never leaves, but even when we had the best 1-2 punch in the country in 2006 we couldn't make a deep run.

Coach Few is an awesome coach, just not a great tournament coach. Giving up 40 points to a single player in that setting is a coaching failure. Giving up a 10 point lead in the second half is a coaching failure. Allowing the ball to be stolen on the inbounds numerous times is a coaching failure. Horrible offensive efficiency in the final 5 minutes of the game is a coaching failure.

I don't know what it's going to take for Few to break through. We all know he can coach, he proves it every year in the early season tournaments, and in the WCC. Something just doesn't work in his schemes in March, not since 2001. I don't know what it is or what it will take, but I really hope our staff figures it out. With the talent we have we just shouldn't be losing like this in the first or second round nearly every year.

I know Few emphasizes GU's ability to win the WCC...for that I am grateful and proud. But for us to maintain our national presence, and if he indeed wants to continue to build Gonzaga's status as a top tier team, we've got to start winning games in this tournament. No matter the circumstances. Unfair? Maybe. Just the way it is? Surely.

Sorry Coach if this offends you. I don't mean to be offensive. I just think you, your staff, and your players deserve some pay-dirt in this tournament. I know you don't work that hard all year to fall in the first weekend.

Here's to hoping you guys figure out what's missing and take the next step. :cheers:

cjm720
03-21-2008, 11:34 AM
Good post...it sucks but fairly accurate. Some of the mental lapses have to be placed on the players too...those turnovers were quite costly. I still can't imagine why Downs only got 7 minutes. His defensive length and scoring abilities were obviously needed.

TM27
03-21-2008, 11:39 AM
I agree with some of what you say.

The problem as I see it is this....GU is a main stay in the tourney. So now it appears that the world does not think it is acceptable to just make it to the tourney, now you MUST WIN!!! With the sweet 16, round of 32 wins over the last few years...Few has proven that he knows how to get it done in the tournament. The problem is isolated, somewhat, to this year (IMO). A ton of depth has given Few and Co fits. His alligence to certain players is exposed more than ever this year, b/c so many other capable players are picking their nose on the bench. I still believe that next year is our year, but that is not a free pass on what happened this year. However, with all the players returning (PLEASE COME BACK PARGO!!!) we may very well see similar problems next year. Few has proven that he belongs, and Coach G is no slacker which is why I believe THEY WILL SPEND CONSIDERABLE TIME IN THE OFFSEASON figuring out how to better manage this team.

zzzjag
03-21-2008, 11:41 AM
I agree and have hesitated from daring to post anything but glowing Coach Few remarks (for fear of getting blasted or banned).

Everyone watching couldn't understand why Micah played so little, especially when he could have guarded Curry in the second half better.

I posted before the game for the Zags to win and go a few games into the tourney, Micah has to play 25 min a game (at least).

Rotate Bouldin/Gray/Downs more.

Man this is frustrating!

TexasZagFan
03-21-2008, 11:42 AM
Good post...it sucks but fairly accurate. Some of the mental lapses have to be placed on the players too...those turnovers were quite costly. I still can't imagine why Downs only got 7 minutes. His defensive length and scoring abilities were obviously needed.

Let's face it, once and for all. Micah Downs is a decent college player, but he has not been able to elevate his game from the level he displayed in HS.

Plenty of stories out there with that plot.

johnwzag
03-21-2008, 11:55 AM
Downs reminds me of Ravio, only taller. Ravio carried us in his Senior year, I think Downs we improve.

HOOTER
03-21-2008, 11:59 AM
Let's face it, once and for all. Micah Downs is a decent college player, but he has not been able to elevate his game from the level he displayed in HS.



Has he been given a chance to elevate his game? I think not.

VinnyZag
03-21-2008, 12:16 PM
Has he been given a chance to elevate his game? I think not.

Only every time he steps on the floor.

rennis
03-21-2008, 03:03 PM
Only every time he steps on the floor.

agreed somewhat, but this thread is about the coaches, not the players.

and I want it to be positive. :mad:

Air Force Zag
03-21-2008, 04:42 PM
agreed somewhat, but this thread is about the coaches, not the players.

and I want it to be positive. :mad:

Not seeing where posting about coaching failures is positive, but ok. I also don't understand how you can talk about a coach without talking about his players.

Coaches do not mishandle a ball. Coaches can't "make" a player listen. Coaches can tell a player what it takes to get playing time, but can't make a player do it. Not saying Coach Few is right or wrong, but I can tell you that we do not know what Coach Few has asked a player or a team to do versus what they have actually done. Hard to judge who is right or wrong without that tidbit of knowledge.

TomLambou
03-21-2008, 04:47 PM
Let's face it, once and for all. Micah Downs is a decent college player, but he has not been able to elevate his game from the level he displayed in HS.

Plenty of stories out there with that plot.

Difficult to elevate your game from the bench.

Difficult for Bouldin from the floor

HOOTER
03-21-2008, 04:52 PM
Coaches do not mishandle a ball. Coaches can't "make" a player listen. Coaches can tell a player what it takes to get playing time, but can't make a player do it. Not saying Coach Few is right or wrong, but I can tell you that we do not know what Coach Few has asked a player or a team to do versus what they have actually done.

If a coach can't make his players listen, he is not a good coach. A man can be the most brilliant basketball coach alive, but if he is unable to gain his teams respect then his brilliance is worthless. If Few is having trouble getting his players to buy into his system (which I personally don't think is the problem) then he either needs to find new players or find a new line of work.

Zag Fan with Doubts
03-22-2008, 01:19 PM
Air Force Zag, I don't mean to be rude, but please take a step back and make a realistic evaluation.

I'm a HUGE Zag fan but someone needs to ask some tough questions about Mark Few's coaching over the last several years. But let's stick to this year. #1 - Why do you start a 7'0" true freshman at center, play him 3 minutes, and he rarely sees the floor again? Making a statement? Punishing/motivating another big man to step up? Regular season, maybe. NCAA time? No. Play your best people. Period. #2 - What's up with Micah Downs? How does a 6'9" sharp-shooter with guard skills and tremendous athleticism play less than 10 minutes unless he's hurt? Or being disciplined? I've struggled with this all season. He's a star. Play the kid and let him shoot the rock! #3 - How does ANYONE score 40 points against you? Especially a 6'3" 14-year-old like Stephan Curry. When you have a dominant post player, you double him up when he gets the ball in the post. Wouldn't it make sense to double Curry with the closest guy EVERY TIME Curry gets the ball? Force him to pass to a teammate to do something he rarely gets to do in a game played with Curry--shoot the ball. Few was irresponsible, bull-headed, or just plain ignorant doing NOTHING to change the way they kept a guy on fire from shooting away. From a scoring perspective, he was a one-man show. Letting ANYONE ELSE on the team shoot would have been better odds for the Zags. In all honesty, the Zags are a very good "Mid-Major" university. Few doesn't want to be called that, but that's what they truly are. They're not big time yet because they continue to disappoint in a time and place where you're truly tested on a national stage--the NCAAs. Few's a great recuiter. Incredible talent at G.U., no doubt. But as a tactical coach and motivator--he's a disappointment.

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 01:55 PM
If you can, go back and watch the game again. Few called it right. If downs was left in that game and defended Curry like he did the first half, that game would have been a blow out. Down's looked like he was playing tough D, but Curry was toying with him.

Zag Fan with Doubts
03-22-2008, 02:06 PM
That's it. Micah played 7 minutes and didn't get in the game the second half. How do you explain that? In the 7 minutes he played he didn't give up more than two baskets to Curry. So he definitely wasn't a defensive liability. He got 2 rebounds and an assist while he played. Never shot the ball. I love Gray, but Curry scored about 30 on him and Gray played 35 minutes. That clearly didn't work. I'm just blown away that Few didn't totally deny Curry the ball or even double team him when he got the ball. He was being stubborn and it cost the team, the school, and all Zag fans.

Micah Downs is a premier player. If he was good enough to be recruited and signed by a tier 1 program like Kansas, I'd say he should play more than 7 minutes in the NCAA tournament. Clearly has to be personality clash with Few and Downs. And from a confidence perspective, as a player NOTHING positive comes from that lack of trust from your coach.

Air Force Zag
03-22-2008, 03:46 PM
Air Force Zag, I don't mean to be rude, but please take a step back and make a realistic evaluation.

I'm a HUGE Zag fan but someone needs to ask some tough questions about Mark Few's coaching over the last several years. But let's stick to this year. #1 - Why do you start a 7'0" true freshman at center, play him 3 minutes, and he rarely sees the floor again? Making a statement? Punishing/motivating another big man to step up? Regular season, maybe. NCAA time? No. Play your best people. Period. #2 - What's up with Micah Downs? How does a 6'9" sharp-shooter with guard skills and tremendous athleticism play less than 10 minutes unless he's hurt? Or being disciplined? I've struggled with this all season. He's a star. Play the kid and let him shoot the rock! #3 - How does ANYONE score 40 points against you? Especially a 6'3" 14-year-old like Stephan Curry. When you have a dominant post player, you double him up when he gets the ball in the post. Wouldn't it make sense to double Curry with the closest guy EVERY TIME Curry gets the ball? Force him to pass to a teammate to do something he rarely gets to do in a game played with Curry--shoot the ball. Few was irresponsible, bull-headed, or just plain ignorant doing NOTHING to change the way they kept a guy on fire from shooting away. From a scoring perspective, he was a one-man show. Letting ANYONE ELSE on the team shoot would have been better odds for the Zags. In all honesty, the Zags are a very good "Mid-Major" university. Few doesn't want to be called that, but that's what they truly are. They're not big time yet because they continue to disappoint in a time and place where you're truly tested on a national stage--the NCAAs. Few's a great recuiter. Incredible talent at G.U., no doubt. But as a tactical coach and motivator--he's a disappointment.

You missed my point...my point is: in all likelihood, you only know part of the story. I am not defending Coach Few, really, but I would bet there is a rationale with the team and players that you and I aren't privy to. To speculate that he is irresponsible, incompetent, and otherwise misguided is taking it too far, especially the day after a painful (but not totally unexpected) loss. Coaching is more than just the game, sometimes.

To your points - #1: Sacre starts because Kuso asked not to and Josh just does not start (why Josh does not start is for another thread, but given last year, there probably is an issue between Few and Josh and probably with justifiable reason).

#2: I am invoking Occam's Razor, since it has been brought up recently -- simplest reasons first...so incompentence, oversight, etc all move to the conspiracy theory bin for now...either Micah is not executing what the Coach is asking or is not the right matchup. While we all are entitled to our opinions, none of us have watched as much Davidson/Curry film as the coaching staff, nor have we seen performance in practice. Not saying the staff made the right move, but given the above, their info is better and its probably not personal.

#3: Your evaluation of Stephan Curry is lacking a realistic tone as well...don't disparage the guy...he did just put 40 points on one of the better performing defenses in the NCAAs this year and he had similar big games on the best teams in the country this year in close losses. Its been said before, but Ammo did that to folks too....and he had a similar lack of HS recruiting hype. As we have discussed on the board before, you have two options with Curry...you can focus on him, or you can accept that he will "get his" and defend the rest of the team...I think Few chose the latter. Tactically, maybe wrong move (hindsight makes analysis much easier, doesn't it?) but it was a considered strategy. I will concede the tactics point to you for this game...but in the spirit of a "fighter debrief" (Air Force term for an unvarnished post-flight analysis by a group of fighter pilots)...I would contend that we have no basis for analysis on Few's ability to motivate (remember, motivation is not just "rah-rah" on the sidelines, and sometimes the best motivator is not a happy positive guy all the time).

As far as the mid-major thing...we all know why Coach Few hates the term. Voluntary application of the term does two things: hurts recruiting, and lends creedence to the idea that Gonzaga is a lesser team from birth, rather than performance. If you accept that, then you accept being less than the others...it speaks volume to me that he won't abide the term. But even if you do buy into the term, Few's record as a "mid-major" coach at the NCAAs consistently exceeds all other "mid-majors" (save for Memphis) and almost all of the big BCS clubs during his tenure. While we all (Coach Few included, I am sure) really, really hates early departures in the tourney...I would not call him a disappointment.

Zag Fan with Doubts
03-22-2008, 04:05 PM
Now that's a well-articulated argument and I respect that. I don't completely agree with you. Nonetheless, well done.

If Few is not starting Heytvelt because he's still sore about Josh's stupid decisions last year around this time, then he's only "partially forgiven him"--meaning, he's forgiven him enough to wear a Zag uniform and play, but not to start. That seems silly to me. He is the most talented post man, so start him and stick with him. If he is still punishing him for his selfishness, then he's effecting others along the way. Forgive him (not forget) and move on, or cut him loose. Don't play the middle.

You've got me on #2. I know nothing about either.

For #3, I was being facetious about his immature looks. Curry's a superb shooter. Everyone in the world knew that going in. It's been in the papers and all over the web since selection Sunday. But you make my point about Few's tactical flaws as a coach as he chose to stop the others, not Curry. If Curry was a 7'3" stud center and our tallest guy was 6'8", then yes, I might concede to that strategy. But Curry's 6'3" and frail. Putting a taller person (Bouldin, Downs, Gourganious (sp?) on him in full face-up denial defense and then DOUBLING him every time he touched the ball would force his teammates to play at a higher level then they're used to, and against a taller, more athletic Zag team. That's the miss. That's what Mark misses.

Finally, I buy your reasoning for the "Mid-Major" argument. He should defend as you suggested. But if it looks, sounds, and acts like a duck...

Zag Fan with Doubts
03-22-2008, 04:53 PM
Jerk, why did you join this conversation? You clearly have nothing intelligent to offer since you likely have never worn a jockstrap in your life. Several of us were having an excellent argument about Zag hoops. Ever seen a game?

And what does my being on fire and having a lot of money got to do with it?

Sign off, bone-head.

Zag Fan with Doubts
03-22-2008, 04:57 PM
And if only Mark Few had shared your inspiring quotes with the team, maybe they would have won the game!

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 05:10 PM
That's it. Micah played 7 minutes and didn't get in the game the second half. How do you explain that? In the 7 minutes he played he didn't give up more than two baskets to Curry. So he definitely wasn't a defensive liability. He got 2 rebounds and an assist while he played. Never shot the ball. I love Gray, but Curry scored about 30 on him and Gray played 35 minutes. That clearly didn't work. I'm just blown away that Few didn't totally deny Curry the ball or even double team him when he got the ball. He was being stubborn and it cost the team, the school, and all Zag fans.

Micah Downs is a premier player. If he was good enough to be recruited and signed by a tier 1 program like Kansas, I'd say he should play more than 7 minutes in the NCAA tournament. Clearly has to be personality clash with Few and Downs. And from a confidence perspective, as a player NOTHING positive comes from that lack of trust from your coach.

I was not knocking Downs. I love downs. All year he has had his own troubles. You guys seem to forget there is a difference between playing in the wcc and playing the big boys. We have been spoiled, become a national team, yet when we play poorly in the wcc, we pay for it in real play. Go back and watch the season and the last game. Micah could not keep up with Curry ONE ON ONE and Curry was taunting him because of that. I did not see it until I watched the game again. Once Curry get's hot, few has to double team him which he did as much as possible and put someone else on him that can at least keep up. Down's could not that game.

By the looks of your conversation with others right now, I don't think that is gonna sink in. At least try and be nice.

Zag Fan with Doubts
03-22-2008, 05:16 PM
Hey, John. Sure, makes sense. Downs certainly is as quick a foot as Curry. But his height and reach may have proven over a longer period of time to alter the guy's shot. Who know? Again, I appreciate a good argument, just not an unengaged knucklehead (mendiant) jumping in the middle of this conversation with no other comments other than to disparage.

Zag Fan with Doubts
03-22-2008, 05:17 PM
Meant to say he ISN'T as quick a foot.

johnwzag
03-22-2008, 05:32 PM
Watching Steven run around the floor in the second half was amazing to watch. I hoping for Downs to get his game going. Have seen it sometimes. I think he will, he can be incredible with just a little more practice. That is why I have so much hopes for next year is because there is so much talent which just needs some finishing work.

rennis
03-22-2008, 08:35 PM
Not to sound childish, but the first thing I thought when reading ZFwD's posts was "Is this Micah's a-hole father?"

ZagsGoZags
03-22-2008, 08:54 PM
someone said "Let's face it, once and for all. Micah Downs is a decent college player, but he has not been able to elevate his game from the level he displayed in HS."

I disagree. his defense has improved greatly, and he is looking to pass more, passing better, disruptive defense as in steals, blocks, etc. are all better than when he first arrived

when he first got here he was primarily a shooter, IMO, in his own head

ToreroStudent
03-22-2008, 09:15 PM
And if only Mark Few had shared your inspiring quotes with the team, maybe they would have won the game!

It's o.k. to be critical, but I think you're taking it just a bit too far. Curry is a great shooter. He's not good...great. He's learned from the best, it's as simple as that. I also feel as if everyone is overlooking the other intangible pieces that Davidson has in place. Jason Richards is a really good passer. I was unable to watch the Zags game, but I'm guessing that he probably made some excellent passes to help with Curry's 40 point performance. Every shooter NEEDS a great point guard. Curry has one. I doubt that many people could have stopped Curry. It souded like he wen't Sorrentine style (the Vermont point guard in 2005 if anyone remembers) on the Zags. When someone has that type of game and is that hot, it's nearly impossible to stop, no matter what Few says at any time.

Edit: I had no idea that Davidson was on a 22 game winning streak going into the GU game. Sorry guys. They think they can beat anyone and probably can. I wouldnen't want to play them if I were any team in the country.