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applezag
12-14-2008, 08:46 PM
I don't like any loss, but I do think today offered a few lessons:

1. When outside shots aren't available, get the ball inside. I've seen some criticism of Heytvelt for his play in this game, but it is hard to fault him when he only gets 4 shots. If the defense is so intent on stopping the three, there needs to be concerted effort to go through Josh. It really is GU's highest percentage option for easy buckets. I especially got frustrated that we didn't see the ball in the high post to him and Daye more. That was a successful approach when they did it. I was especially frustrated when Hill had foul trouble and we still didn't do this enough.

2. We need to get better at late game situations. This has been a recurring theme for a while. It has long been Few's philosophy to defer to the same player again and again to handle the ball in these situations--all the way back to Santangelo. Would it be a bad idea to try some other guys? Austin? Gray?

3. Is Pargo being overly intent on "getting others involved"? He seemed to find himself buried under the hoop a number of times when it in the past he would have elevated and scored. I really like the approach he has taken this year overall, but wonder if he is penetrating too deep before he decides whether to pass or score. There sort of is a point where you need to decide one way or the other.

4. It's okay to set a goal of going undefeated, but advertising it isn't a good idea.

Overall this game should not give us reason to panic or doubt the long-term prospects of the team. They defended well--Arizona made tough shots. They executed on offense to get okay shots, but they needed better. They guys played hard. A lot of bounces went Arizona's way in this one and that is just going to happen sometimes. It was a winnable game to learn from, but the changes needed are minor tweaks as opposed to big ones.

Reborn
12-14-2008, 09:09 PM
Gonzaga is an Elite Team and a great basketball team. I mean did you see how excited the Wildcats were. OMG!!! I thought their fans were going to rush the floor. The announcers called it an upset. Who ever would have thought that an Arizona win over Gonzaga would be an upset. Man their players were really really excited. They played their best game of the year and the Zags played their worst. And we barely lost, and could have won.

You can't win them all.

Budinger and Wise played the whole game. They didn't take a second off. This really dispells the theory that resting guys is better than playing them all game. Wise never got tired. Budinger never got tired. Hill wasn't even breathing hard at all......They seemed rested. We seemed slow and tired. Josh never beat Hill down court one time. Josh seemed to be in slow motion today. And his shot was def off. Thats basketball.

The Zags will always get homered on the road so fans, get used to it. They shot ten more fouls shots than the Zags.

Arizona is a lot better than many people think. They will be tough at home.

Meech was not the best Freshman on the floor.

I don't know why Ira and Downs didn't play more????

CDC84
12-14-2008, 09:11 PM
Good take AZ, as always.....

loyalviking
12-14-2008, 09:44 PM
Good Post AZ.

The lesson that I hope they take out of this is how to break a press and trapping halfcourt defense. I kept waiting for Few to adjust and he never did. If you move the ball quickly against the zone and flash to the middle and run the baseline you will have layups and short jumpers all night long (they did this a few times w/ Bouldin on the baseline, and Daye to the high post). You have to make the defense move and chase, and you do this by making quick passes and cutting to the open area.

IMO the guys tried to beat it in the halfcourt with to much dribbling, not alot of movement, and holding the ball too long allowing the defense to adjust. Everyone knows you will trap at each of the corners, but yet the ball continued to be thrown there. Overload the zone with a baseline runner and a high post and pass and cut.

Anyway, I hate the fact that there are regular posters on here bashing the guys/team. There was no way this team, even as good as it is, would have went undefeated...the schedule is just too tough and they are getting everyones best every time out. They will be more than fine..Arizona suprised them tonight with the pressure and it just didn't happen.

Lesson learned would be my guess.

JohnOGU
12-14-2008, 10:07 PM
3. Is Pargo being overly intent on "getting others involved"? He seemed to find himself buried under the hoop a number of times when it in the past he would have elevated and scored. I really like the approach he has taken this year overall, but wonder if he is penetrating too deep before he decides whether to pass or score. There sort of is a point where you need to decide one way or the other.


I have been thinking this my self. We all know what JP was told during the NBA workouts he was put through. That he needs to become more of a distributor. Some time i watch him play and it looks to me as if when he gets put in a position to score, he hesitates and kicks it out to someone else.

We all also know how good of a scorer JP can be. One of the best on the team when he wants to be.

Im not saying take the game over. But if he's in a position to score, he needs to capitalize on it. If that means jumping over someone to do it, then so be it. I dont think he would go for any of those dunks where the chances of him missing are high.

MDABE80
12-14-2008, 10:27 PM
In this game, JP and everyone should have taken it to the rim and kept it up. Jeremy seemed a bit shy on driving today. Not sure why. Mostly GU spent too much time outside of the key when winning would have achieved on the inside. Just my take. Those 7 turnovers were just terrible but Az didn't waste their opportunities.

Lots of holes in our game today. Little things too. Kind of seem both the offense and defense didn't perform well today. Those refs didn't help much either...I watched it again. Grrrrrr

SintoZag
12-15-2008, 07:10 AM
how our ranking was never mention or posted next to our name on the screen until the end of the game and AZ won. Its like FSNs Pac-10 loving announcers did not anyone to know that AZ wasn't the high ranked team until they one.

kclubfounder
12-15-2008, 07:40 AM
I like point #4 the most. The team was too cocky. Confidence is good, but over-confidence is bad. It is a cliche, but this loss will be good for this team in the long run.

krozman
12-15-2008, 08:02 AM
did anyone else feel that Sacre was really really needed to bust our funk? HEAL FASTER BIG MAN!

TacomaZAG
12-15-2008, 08:06 AM
from this loss is the need, requirement actually, to be able to adjust on the fly. There is no excuse for being beaten by the press for pretty much the whole second half, no excuse for not pounding it inside when Hill had foul trouble, no excuse for going dry again in the final 2.5 minutes, no excuse for the panic in the last 70 seconds, no excuse for letting AZ run off 10 straight early in the second half with no attempt (time out, personnel change, etc.) to stop it.

We can't just "keep sawing wood" when the saw is dull or broken. Sometimes it's just time to try a new saw.

The second half of this game reminded me of the Davidson game last year in the tourney, the Indiana game in the tourney a number of years ago, and the last 3 minutes was UCLA all over again.

The personnel has been different for each of those tourney examples and last night's example, but the results have been the same.

Hmmmmmm.........

Not to late to fix it. We don't need to fix it during conference play except against St. Mary's and SD as the games are not the same, but it has bit us in the a$$ in the tourney year after year.

Flexibility and adaptability is the key, not blind allegiance to a pre-determined game plan.

Hopefully, I'm building this into more than it is, but last night it sure felt like deja vu all over again.

Go ZAGS

johnwzag
12-15-2008, 08:15 AM
did anyone else feel that Sacre was really really needed to bust our funk? HEAL FASTER BIG MAN!

Me! We needed him this game. Would have slowed Hill down I think.

former1dog
12-15-2008, 08:20 AM
A small but perhaps significant point.

Meech, who is already my favorite player, kept getting stuck on Budinger on defensive switches. Obviously, this is a major mismatch.

We needed to make the adjustment on defense to prevent this from happening or we needed to get Meech out of the game in favor of a bigger defender, for whom Budinger was having trouble against the whole game.

A small adjustment the coaches failed to make and in a close game could have altered the results.

77Zag
12-15-2008, 08:28 AM
I don't like any loss, but I do think today offered a few lessons:


4. It's okay to set a goal of going undefeated, but advertising it isn't a good idea.



Perfectly stated --

We are a very good side and have the ability to go as far as we've ever gone in the dance, but ... with that said, perhaps we were a bit cocky going into this game. I our momentum was tarnished a bit by Matt's comments -- let's be real - "undefeated" -- could that have displayed on the AZ lockers to help a very good team be a little better for this game.

Time to step up now and roll UConn -- I kind of feel a bit sorry for TX Southern, I smell a bit of release coming their way. Last show at the Kennel prior to Xmas break --

Go Zags!!

BobZag
12-15-2008, 11:01 AM
I don't like any loss, but I do think today offered a few lessons:

1. When outside shots aren't available, get the ball inside. I've seen some criticism of Heytvelt for his play in this game, but it is hard to fault him when he only gets 4 shots. If the defense is so intent on stopping the three, there needs to be concerted effort to go through Josh. It really is GU's highest percentage option for easy buckets. I especially got frustrated that we didn't see the ball in the high post to him and Daye more. That was a successful approach when they did it. I was especially frustrated when Hill had foul trouble and we still didn't do this enough.

2. We need to get better at late game situations. This has been a recurring theme for a while. It has long been Few's philosophy to defer to the same player again and again to handle the ball in these situations--all the way back to Santangelo. Would it be a bad idea to try some other guys? Austin? Gray?

3. Is Pargo being overly intent on "getting others involved"? He seemed to find himself buried under the hoop a number of times when it in the past he would have elevated and scored. I really like the approach he has taken this year overall, but wonder if he is penetrating too deep before he decides whether to pass or score. There sort of is a point where you need to decide one way or the other.

4. It's okay to set a goal of going undefeated, but advertising it isn't a good idea.

Overall this game should not give us reason to panic or doubt the long-term prospects of the team. They defended well--Arizona made tough shots. They executed on offense to get okay shots, but they needed better. They guys played hard. A lot of bounces went Arizona's way in this one and that is just going to happen sometimes. It was a winnable game to learn from, but the changes needed are minor tweaks as opposed to big ones.

Agree. Upon reflection, it was sort of a Perfect Storm. The sixth straight away game for GU and a fresh AZ being pumped sky high. Pargo with 7 TO's. Josh scoring 6. I don't believe that happens with fresh bodies and minds.

But plenty to work on for UConn and beyond, no question.

siliconzag
12-15-2008, 03:04 PM
So far this season, I think there has been a lot of, for lack of a better word, “whiskey talk” and not only from Bouldin! I nearly got caught up in the idea that the Zags are a final four team too after reading the reviews and comments you chaps have been writing. It’s just a hunch, but this won’t be the only disappointing loss of the year IMO. In fact, if I were Randy Bennett I would study those films very carefully. Jim Calhoun may have a slightly different approach, but it appears that using a defensive scheme that encourages dribble drives may lead to turn overs and easy transition baskets.

While one loss doesn’t destroy the Zags chances to be a number one seed, it does expose some perennial vulnerabilities: turning the ball over too much, failure to adjust, inability to make crisp decisive passes, and a defense which is neither intense or adaptable. Jeremy Pargo is a decent enough PG when they are ahead, but he struggles when times are lean and Plan A isn’t working. Sorry to say this, but I am not sure the Zags belong in the top 8 teams. Arizona is not that good of a team. Some say they shot out their arse, but to be honest, part of their shooting percentage was a function of inept and maladaptive defensive execution. A victory over U Conn might exonerate the Zags, but I think there are at least 3 more losses ahead. If they break even against UConn, Memphis, Tennessee and St. Mary’s, there is still hope for a decent seed.

I plan to attend the BIS, but I think it might be a good time to put St. Jude on speed dial. And for God's sake, stay away from the whiskey!

Happy Advent,

Sili

hondo46
12-15-2008, 03:25 PM
Next year have Jim Carrey or Mariah Carey but not Harry Carey do the scheduling.

GoZAGsMang
12-15-2008, 05:52 PM
I kind of look at our schedule like- what doesnt kill us makes us stronger.

I love the grueling schedule, its like a boxer fighting 16 rounds in training- he will never have to go 16 rounds, but learns how to handle adversity.

You dont want the team to be not used to adversity in March.

These difficult games just get us more ready for the dance.

Go Zags Mang

johnwzag
12-15-2008, 06:00 PM
Can't argue with what Mark Few wants to do. He knows what he is doing.

NotoriousZ
12-15-2008, 06:40 PM
One big thing I think we could learn from this game IMO is to hustle every second you're out on the floor. This was the first game this year where I thought we out-hustled. Arizona was much more intent on diving for loose balls and getting in position for rebounds. We kind of looked like we were in slow motion for most of the game.

I agree that we should have posted up Josh more and worked the paint, probably getting Hill to foul out of the game. And having Sacre would have been a big difference maker as well. But no matter how bad things are going in a game, on offence or defence, you can always hustle.

MickMick
12-15-2008, 09:00 PM
You dribble drive when forced to. If team mates are not making themselves available, you have to get out of trouble until they do.

Trouble = the sideline. You effectively add an invisible defender (the out of bounds line), reduce the passing arc by 180 degrees (270 in a corner), and exponentially increase the likelihood of a turnover if you stop at the side line.

I would much rather see one of the ball handlers attempt to dribble toward the center of the court than stop and pick up the ball at the sideline. Better yet, the other players need to recognize when their team mate is getting into trouble and help him out. Get open and scream at him. Movement without the ball and communication.

Really, this should be drilled so that it almost comes naturally. If a player has to think too much about it, he is already behind the game. Zag players need to be conditioned to deal with the press.

It is like blitzing in football. A very high risk defense that can give up points quickly. But teams will try it and stick with it if the quarterback (ie. ball handler) proves that he cannot make the defense pay for it.

Here is a nice thread (http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=172&f=2481&t=3570930) discussing how Sheron Collins of Kansas dealt with the press against Syracuse (a loss) and their concern of how effective Missouri has been using it (at times).

From that thread a comment that caught my eye:


Teams that run and trap always seem to be ahead early in the year. Young players are still getting comfortable with handling the ball under pressure and many coaches are still working on installing half-court offensive and defensive sets. Once you get into conference people both know what to expect from the defensive scheme and they are to the point where they gameplan pretty specifically for each opponent.

and later:


I don't think you can afford to press like that against teams with good athletes and coaching. In particular I think it is a disaster plan against a team with a highly rated defense of its own because you are giving them easy buckets and they are unlikely to give you many in return. There is a reason that for the most part MU has declined to really bring the press out against the KU and UT's in conference, because they get run.



I expect the Zags to be well drilled on dealing with the press by the time conference play begins.

cjm720
12-16-2008, 06:40 AM
Can't argue with what Mark Few wants to do. He knows what he is doing.

I agree 99% of the time. This game and the Davidson game really has me wondering though. Play downs and attack hill and we would have won both. Just my two cents.

GO ZAGS!!!

75Zag
12-16-2008, 08:06 AM
MickMick - you get the award for clear analysis. Here's hoping that the GU ball handlers will keep the movement toward the middle of the floor instead of heading toward the sidelines when pressed. UConn does not deserve any help from the sidelines or anything else.

Go Bulldogs. Win the BIS!

titopoet
12-16-2008, 10:46 AM
After some of the Chicken little posts about the Arizona game, it is time to put it back in perspective. This game is much like Michigan's win over Duke. Arizona after the failures of UAB and Tex A&M not only wanted it, but very much needed it. With the PAC-10 mostly likely getting three or four bids, and with AU finishing in the middle of the Pac at best 9-7, they have to win the rest of their non-conference games to make a case for an at-large bid, since they have been home on a cupcake diet. They knew it was an elimination game for them. They played like it.

Gonzaga came out flat and the spacing was horrible (especially by Josh and Downs). Pargo was off. Josh was off. They did not attack the press, as they did against Tenn. (Tenn is a far better press and better test to see how GU will handle it in the future) In the first half, GU's offense got numerous open looks that did not go down. The trap caused a few turn overs and Downs was trying to hard to impress the NBA scouts. Few was right to sit him down and remind him team first. Hill had a career game. Wise had a career game. (If AU has to count on Wise playing that well all the time, they are in major trouble ) GU was tired and a bit to cocky and it showed. AU had the hometown support. After all of that, it was just a five point and it was tied in the last part of the game. It shows how much AU is off this season.

In most seasons a team will play over their heads 3 to 4 time, a team will play 3 to 4 times under their level and upsets happen the better team is off and the weaker team is on. And this was an upset, not a case of two evenly matched teams fighting it out.

McZag
12-16-2008, 01:54 PM
did anyone else feel that Sacre was really really needed to bust our funk? HEAL FASTER BIG MAN!

Yes. I think this needs to be discussed in depth. As "long" as the team appears to be, we are not a big team. We have had muscle in the past-Calvary, Violette, JP Bat, Turiaf, etc. But this team is a bit leaner. Sacre provides great size off the bench. His defense, rebounding and ability to take up room in the paint was sorely missed Sunday night. We will face teams with big men in the coming weeks; and unless Sacre heals fast or we find a way to put bodies down low, this can again.

Disclaimer: Can we win without him? Absolutely. But one of our weaknesses is glaring in the sunlight now.

Zag79
12-16-2008, 09:53 PM
im so tired of reading how az wanted it more and out hustled us. i cant wait until the next game passes so this topc goes away. GONZAGA outrebounded az, outblocked az, had more assists, all the while pargo, josh and meech were on the floor for loose balls. hmm. that seems to tell me we were hustling just fine. what i did notice was 6 for 20 from 3. again, 6 for 20 from 3 means off shooting which was forced by az's defense. if we are on we win. its not rocket science. if we do all the things i mentioned above, AND hit a few more shots we win 99% of our games. its hoops. just because you lose doesnt mean its a deep, underlying reason.

rawkmandale
12-16-2008, 11:20 PM
titopoet, please continue posting - impressive read. Just 7 posts? Did you discover this board recently? Or, just lurking for a while?

DixieZag
12-17-2008, 02:30 AM
All very cogent analysis, much appreciated and more realistic than the undefeated talk, I do believe that we can lose 2 and maybe 3 games and still get a No. 1 seed, which is a good goal for this squad. There was a point made about outrebounding and Josh on the floor diving for balls, true enough, but that effort came at about the 5:00 minute mark in the second half when it seemed to occur to them that they could lose. I just remember seeing the look in their eyes at tip-off and the first few minutes, we just didn't act like we wanted to play an intense road game against a team that NEEDED (great point) that game. And who can really blame them, finals, same week as the emotionaly charged game against WSU, they needed a K2 game against Boise State, not a war in Arizona, BUT, I can't fault Few, he has mentioned that scheduling is the toughest part of the job. 6 for 20 is also indicative of being emotionally and physically tired, and yes, we did miss Sacre more than I would have thought. All that said, because of the loss to Arizona, I feel like we have bettered our chances against UCONN. They will have finals over, been back for some kennel love, play in their home away from home and have tasted defeat and I don't think they liked it one bit. All good from a long term perspective. Thinking good thoughts headed into this week.

bballbeachbum
12-17-2008, 08:32 AM
Great outlet here. Very glad to have found you all here.

Team showed great heart to make it all the way back in the second half vs. many road blocks, but teams lose games for reasons, reasons described wonderfully right here.

Turnovers. That stat really defines us I think. And even so, if we make some of our open looks........................