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ZagNative
11-19-2008, 09:35 PM
Busy, busy, busy around here, so this is the first chance I've had to reach Jim Meehan's blogs regarding the Idaho game, with lots of good stuff, as usual:

Gonzaga hikes record to 2-0, routs Idaho (http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/sportslink/archive/?postID=8730) - Posted by Jim
at 10:14 PM on 18 Nov

There are few things more satisfying for a coach than seeing his team take a game plan from the drawing board and execute it on the basketball court.

For 20 minutes, Gonzaga did precisely that, disrupting Idaho’s offensive sets and limiting the Vandals to four first-half field goals. The second 20 minutes weren’t nearly as crisp, but the issue was long decided by then.

“I was totally, incredibly pleased with how they took our game plan and how they took the challenge of setting the tone with our defense,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said after his club dismantled the Vandals 80-46 in front of a sellout crowd of 6,000 Tuesday at the McCarthey Athletic Center. “We talked about doing it the last couple days and they took it to heart.”
“It was a fun half,” said senior forward Micah Downs, who had 16 of his 18 points by intermission. “Coach (Steve) Hertz said it’s the best half he’s ever seen and he’s been around here for a long time. If we can keep up halves like that every game we’re going to be a tough team to play against.”

It’s customary for Hertz, the former Gonzaga baseball coach who is the school’s director of athletic relations, to address the team after games.
Gonzaga had nine steals, made 10 3-pointers and won the boards 47-27. Austin Daye (16 points, seven rebounds) and Steven Gray (11 points) supported Downs’ and Heytvelt’s 33 combined points.

“Micah was terrific,” junior guard Matt Bouldin said. “He hit his first couple shots and got into a rhythm.”

The Vandals got a brief spark from Luciano de Souza, who made consecutive 3s to trim GU’s lead to 17-7, but points were scarce for the remainder of the half. Kashif Watson rebounded from a scoreless first half with 12 points in the second.

Few was pleased with various aspects of his team’s defense, everything from his players maintaining a defensive stance for entire possessions to the high number of deflected passes.

“If this team buys into (defense) and can make it a strength, which is going to be a challenge for some of them just because of their physical attributes, than the better off we’re going to be,” he said. “I think we have enough different weapons that we can always play pretty good offensively if we keep sharing the ball like we have been.”Read the rest of yesterday's blog here (http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/sportslink/archive/?postID=8730).

ZagNative
11-19-2008, 09:44 PM
Here's the update for today (http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/sportslink/archive/?postID=8734):
--It was impossible not to notice when Josh Heytvelt shuffled off to the training room during Mark Few's post-game comments outside the lockerroom. A couple minutes later, Heytvelt walked by with his right ankle (yes, the most recently surgically repaired one) wrapped in ice.

This, of course, required inquiry. Heytvelt was the only one in the locker room -- everyone else was in the shower or munching pizza while watching a game on ESPN in the players' lounge area -- when a reporter cast a wary eye at Heytvelt's ankle.

"No, no, no," he smiled, knowing what was coming next. "I just rolled it a little." He went on to recreate the incident with something that looked like a tap dance. He added that these things happen from time to time and it was no big deal.
"This (Orlando) tournament coming up, it's loaded," Few said. "It is absolutely the best preseason tourney out there. We’re going to get challenged in a lot of different ways. Hopefully we can use this next week to get ready and see where we’re at."

Added Few: "It’s been really hard. We didn’t want a month without playing on our home floor either (from Nov. 18-Dec. 18). This is a really, really difficult stretch for a college basketball team. We don’t play in the Kennel again until Dec. 18. It's just the way it fell. We tried to mix some some other games in there and we just couldn’t get them. Now we just go on this juggernaut of a schedule here. That's all right. We’ve done things like this before. We need to gut it up and get 'er done."

--Few's summary of the first two games: "If we can play with that energy and that fire, and we're getting in the right spots, no matter who you’re playing against, that’s a really good thing - irregardless of your opponent."

--Injury update. Center Robert Sacre (foot) said he spent 30 minutes shoooting around Tuesday and got some individual work done.

"Hopefully Orlando, (but) that's if everything goes well," he said of his return. "I'm praying for that. Hopefully I’m going to be there and ready to play and do whatever I need to do to contribute to this team. If that means just rebounding or cheering on the bench, that’s what I’ll do."

Grant Gibbs (right shoulder) will have his long-awaited MRI today after dislocating his shoulder at practice Monday, Nov. 10.

"The last couple days it felt a lot better," said Gibbs, who, barring something unforeseen, will likely redshirt. "I highly doubt if anything is torn. I dislocated it, got it back in place and we just want to make sure there's no cartilage torn or anything like that. I think I’ll be fine."

--Gonzaga has attempted 55 3s in two games, making 18 (3 of 3 by walk-on Andrew Sorenson, who saw action in the first half for the first time as a Bulldog). Eight different Zags put up 3s against Idaho, same as the opener against MSU-Billings.

"A lot of people were shooting from around there (the new 3-point line) anyway," Matt Bouldin said. "More than anything it's the thought of the line (that might prevent 3-point attempts), it's not the range of the shot. I thought bigs might have a harder time shooting them, but ours ... it doesn’t affect them."Read the complete blog here (http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/sportslink/archive/?postID=8734).

MickMick
11-19-2008, 10:23 PM
Good stuff ZN :)

johnwzag
11-20-2008, 03:14 AM
It makes me feel good knowing that MFew is so positive. That half was on the drawing board? Wow, that was planned? I thought maybe Idaho was just lost in another dimension for that half. I bet even the players were shocked by what they accomplished. I don't remember ever seeing a half like that. Anyone else?

65 is a pretty good number for Idaho against MSU. I expected a big win, just not with such low numbers. Especially 11 at the half. Imagine what would have happen if it was that way in the second half also. 94-22? I am thinking that MFew may not have wanted to push it that hard against Idaho.
This was a drill for future games. Better to save the guys for the tough teams. Some were disapointed by the second half, but I think I see the point.

MickMick
11-20-2008, 05:08 AM
A coach ahead of his time was San Francisco Forty Niner football coach Bill Walsh. He was most famous for "inventing" the West Coast offense, but another innovation was "scripting" plays. He would actually script the first fifteen offensive plays of the game to "set up" the defense for variations of those same plays or "play looks" later. Many people referred to Bill Walsh as a "genius".

I have never heard of basketball plays being scripted in detail, but the dynamics of the game suggest it would be nearly impossible to do. But I'm willing to bet that the Zags were flawless in following the game plan laid out by the coaching staff. D1 hoops is all about match ups and Few definitely put his players in a position to succeed.

Goshzagit
11-20-2008, 06:18 AM
I don't want to make something out of nothing, yet is anyone else mildly concerned about Heytvelt receiving treatment on his surgically repaired right ankle following the game? The only reason I care to mention this is that his response stuck out like a sore thumb by saying, "I'll be fine, I just rolled it a little." While I've always admired Heytvelt's toughness and optimism with his injuries, I can't ignore the fact he provided the exact same response during last season's stress fracture. As we all know, Josh continually tried to keep it hidden from the media, play through his injury, and respond by stating he either "rolled it in practice" or "the pain is lingering soreness from rehab". Must admit, Heytvelt is one tough cookie considering he has never really admitted to being injured and he always plays through pain. Kudos to him, yet given Heytvelt's past with his ankle and his response to serious injuries, I can't help but be concerned by this development. Even Meehan seemed a bit worried in his blog report.

This is something to keep a close eye on...

MedZag
11-20-2008, 06:25 AM
I don't want to make something out of nothing, yet is anyone else mildly concerned about Heytvelt receiving treatment on his surgically repaired right ankle following the game? The only reason I care to mention this is that his response stuck out like a sore thumb by saying, "I'll be fine, I just rolled it a little." While I've always admired Heytvelt's toughness and optimism with his injuries, I can't ignore the fact he provided the exact same response during last season's stress fracture. As we all know, Josh continually tried to keep it hidden from the media, play through his injury, and respond by stating he either "rolled it in practice" or "the pain is lingering soreness from rehab". Must admit, Heytvelt is one tough cookie considering he has never really admitted to being injured and he always plays through pain. Kudos to him, yet given Heytvelt's past with his ankle and his response to serious injuries, I can't help but be concerned by this development. Even Meehan seemed a bit worried in his blog report.

This is something to keep a close eye on...

Nope. It's basketball, a sport the human body wasn't quite designed to play, especially the long and tall humans. Lot of torque being placed on those joints. There's a reason you see NBA post players with their ankles almost perpetually taped.

Goshzagit
11-20-2008, 06:43 AM
Nope. It's basketball, a sport the human body wasn't quite designed to play, especially the long and tall humans. Lot of torque being placed on those joints. There's a reason you see NBA post players with their ankles almost perpetually taped.

Thanks MedZag. Knowing you have little worry in Heytvelt's ankle and are confident in Josh's recovery overall, I feel better already. :D

It seems to amaze me almost every elite athlete plays injured in every game they play, especially at the college level.

I believe this will be a tremendously special season for the Zags, yet we need a healthy Josh Heytvelt more than any other player on this roster.

Keep on truckin' JH!