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View Full Version : What role did coaching play tonite?



youreachiteach
03-15-2007, 10:42 PM
I think Few got outcoached tonite. Sampson had a plan, and his players executed it. Were the Zags properly prepared?

Few and company seemed confused on the sidelines.

sullyzag66
03-16-2007, 12:28 AM
I'm sure they were confused as to why 2-foot jumpers and layups weren't falling. The plays were there, they just weren't able to finish on a lot of them. Indiana was just a step quicker to the rebounds and loose balls. I don't blame that on coaching. Coaches prepare, but players play the game. It just wasn't there for the Zags tonight.

meadgrad02
03-16-2007, 01:08 AM
what about the three's in the first half, I don't think you can say that they were all contested...

JAGzag
03-16-2007, 05:15 AM
I'm sure they were confused as to why 2-foot jumpers and layups weren't falling. The plays were there, they just weren't able to finish on a lot of them. Indiana was just a step quicker to the rebounds and loose balls. I don't blame that on coaching. Coaches prepare, but players play the game. It just wasn't there for the Zags tonight.

Hit the nail on the head ...

omahazag
03-16-2007, 05:43 AM
I wish Micha played more....not sure why Few didn't play him more....until next year I guess....At least Creighton is still in the tourney, for now.

TuckC
03-16-2007, 06:26 AM
5-36 isn't really coaching, it's more fundamentals that the player should already have had.

EngineerZag
03-16-2007, 06:34 AM
I do think that the coaches didn't really motivate the guys much. The team looked so out of focus and lackluster from the minute they stepped on the court until the buzzer sounded (with the exception of a couple minutes down the stretch). Looking over at the bench, it was apparent to me that the coaches weren't fired up and excited ... why would the team be if the coaches aren't?

Disappointing. I was hoping that if we lost, at least it would be going down fighting like most of the past GU teams.

BruddahZagJPoe
03-16-2007, 06:53 AM
Can't believe the complaints on coaching.:confused:

As always, in Few we trust.:D

Indy was hitting the threes and they were contested for the most part as good as can be. The guys sunk into the paint a step to prevent Indy's bug man from dominating and we had stopped them pretty good in the 10' in range. Kuz did a great job.
Missing the basic layups hurt us. It would have been a different game making those.
Plus, it look like we played sometimes looking for the foul call rather than just playing thru and made faces/whinned alot when we did not get calls.
Yah, there was contact and some missed calls, but man we gotta play thru and not leave it to the refs.

Go Zags.
Another fine season.

J-Lo
03-16-2007, 07:02 AM
I think coaching definitely played a role. Few has a habit of playing very conservative when we get to the NCAA's. He falls back to his seniors and "most experienced" players.

Mallon played more minutes tonight than in any of the recent games when the Zags played an all around solid game. Downs, who has been REALLY coming on in the end of the year, saw more bench time than he has in any of those same games. Why bench the players who have been playing strong? Experience isn't everything, you have to go for talent at some point.

The other thing that bugged me was that they pretty much abandoned the flex that can work SO well for them, and played isolation, trying to pump the ball through Derek. We learned time and time again this year that that won't work. This reminded me a LOT of the Duke game, where we kept trying to funnel it through Raivio to get 3's, but the defense just had him locked down too tight, and the few shots he got weren't falling.

A good coach changes the game-plan when things aren't working out; he adjusts to throw the other team off. Why not put in PMAC for more than 45 seconds to throw a little extra pressure on the other team when they're bringing the ball down the court? How about going with the very quick Pargo/Bouldin/Downs/Pendo/Kuso lineup?

Oh yeah, and KUSO! I assumed when he was sitting on the bench that he had gotten into foul trouble when I wasn't paying attention, only to find out he only had one foul. how do you take the guy who locked down White OUT OF THE GAME?!

Obviously players play the game, and GU couldn't buy a bucket tonight. That's just how it goes sometimes. It sucks, but you just accept that and move on. But to say that Few was blameless in the evening is just not true.

Birddog
03-16-2007, 07:17 AM
Oh yeah, and KUSO! I assumed when he was sitting on the bench that he had gotten into foul trouble when I wasn't paying attention, only to find out he only had one foul. how do you take the guy who locked down White OUT OF THE GAME?!

Kuso played great defense, maybe his best, but he was an offensive liability. I'm guessing that Few decided that his lack of offense was a greater liability than his positive defense. Offensively, he played like a "deer in the headlights".

Way too much criticism is being placed on execution etc. The simple fact is that this is the kind of game that Sampson always tries to produce, because it works in his favor. IU played great defense. The passing and driving lanes were open for nano seconds before they closed. The physical nature of the game, the pushing and pulling that Sampson teams do, got to the Zags. The Zags were looking for fouls instead of playing through the crap that IU was dishing. They weren't prepared for it.

Few has been criticized for not emphasizing defense, and to that I must agree partially. Defense keeps you in close, low scoring games. Not only that, more emphasis on "D" might just prepare the team offensively when it does face a team like Sampson's. Once again. I HATE TO SAY THIS , but Kelvin deserves high marks for his game plan, they worked it to perfection. I actually thought for the most part, that the Zags played fairly decent defense vs the 3, at least better than a lot of Zag games I've seen. IU was just shooting lights out, but then lots of teams do this to the Zags don't they. Coincidence?

Birddog

mdZag23
03-16-2007, 07:26 AM
Here we go with the did Few get "outcoached" blather again. Some of you are like a broken record!

Is it at all possible that Indiana was just better last night? It's quite clear that the Zags wanted to limit the damage by White and they took their chances with the 3!

They lost. Congrats to Indian and Kelvin.

sonuvazag
03-16-2007, 07:47 AM
The thing that gets me the most, is that Few has mastered some brilliant moves of late to get the Zags to play better. The pick and pop. The flex resurrected. I didn't see any of that tonight. There was no coherent structure to what we were doing on offense.

I'm not here to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I'm behind Few, win or lose. He's the commander in chief until or if he decides otherwise... but I did sense a lack of purpose and strategy in the game that goes beyond missed layins. Also, as others have stated, I did find myself looking at missing players on the bench who should have been there. No push to score points quickly with 8 minutes to go, so I know the game's over. Very odd. Also, folks have commended Sampson for doing exactly what we would expect him to do for game plan. That's fine, but why didn't why have a counter-move? Others have said defense wins at tourney time, but I didn't find any evidence that our team outplayed them offensively or defensively.

One last thought, why even put PMAC in the game to play aggressive d only to pull him out for an aggressive foul? I don't like the short leash. It's too reactive without showing any reasoning. We already now how PMAC plays. What is he in there for if you just plan to bench him in 2 minutes? Everyone makes mistakes and last night everyone did. Stop playing him if you don't trust him.

My heart goes out to the guys, but I was very disappointed by the overall effort. I expect a better run next year.

ZagManFan
03-16-2007, 07:48 AM
I want to know what happen to the "flex"? They had been running the flex for the past 4 games or so and then it stopped. Unless that was the flex last night. If so, then...WOW.

They ran 1 set flex offensive set and that was with 2:30 left in the game and Pendo got a bucket and a chance for a 3 pt play on it. The offense was putrid last night. I have never seen such poor floor spacing in a GU game. They were constantly running into each other on the offensive side of the ball. Out of sync is a bit of an understatement.

With that out of the way, I want to wish DRAV and MAllon the best in the adventures after GU. Mallon played great last night and has been a great Zag for 5 years now. Drav, we love you buddy and thanks for everything.
:allhail:

McZag
03-16-2007, 07:55 AM
I do have coaching quesitons, not criticism. Why did Mallon play so much? Didn't we win the last few games of the WCC with him on the bench and MD on the floor? Why were the guys heads down for the whole second half? Even if shots arent falling, isnt it the coaches job to keep the guys confident? Just questions.

wazZag
03-16-2007, 08:04 AM
Here we go with the did Few get "outcoached" blather again. Some of you are like a broken record!

Is it at all possible that Indiana was just better last night? It's quite clear that the Zags wanted to limit the damage by White and they took their chances with the 3!

If the team loses, Few was outcoached. Few's job throughout the last part of the season was nothing short of amazing. Everything he had planned and depended upon went up in smoke, and he was forced to reinvent the wheel. He succeeded, he got the zags to the tourney, and got beat when the luck ran out. 99% of the "Few outcoached" posts are nothing more than bitter sucker punches after disappointing losses.

jayray
03-16-2007, 08:07 AM
Here we go with the did Few get "outcoached" blather again. Some of you are like a broken record!

GU lost every aspect of the game, including the coaching aspect. GU had the talent and personnel to beat them. You have to ask yourself if we are good enough to beat them then why were we out of the game at essentially the 10 minute mark in the second half? Why was the game plan so poorly executed? What is that typical crap of putting PMAC in for 45 seconds only to pull him and yell at him. As if to almost say, "see he isn't good enough to play." The consensus around here is that he won't shoot when open - well he did last night and still got pulled. What the hell is Few expected out of a player how averages just a few minutes a game by putting him in the biggest game of the year 5 minutes into the second half? Everyone always wants to blame someone/something. Plenty of blame to go around last night - players, coaches and what about the fans? I heard Indiana fans yelling at Pargo when he was trying to shoot free throws - where were the Zag fans?

sonuvazag
03-16-2007, 08:14 AM
If the team loses, Few was outcoached. Few's job throughout the last part of the season was nothing short of amazing. Everything he had planned and depended upon went up in smoke, and he was forced to reinvent the wheel. He succeeded, he got the zags to the tourney, and got beat when the luck ran out. 99% of the "Few outcoached" posts are nothing more than bitter sucker punches after disappointing losses.

He has done great and I haven't seen one post calling for his job. Also, there's great reason to think we'll be better next year and that Few will be an even better coach next year.

Sucker punches? Mostly, I see people analyzing the game and calling it like they see it. I don't think it's out of line to say that Few has room to improve and I hope he stays at GU to show it.

wazZag
03-16-2007, 08:31 AM
Sucker punches? Mostly, I see people analyzing the game and calling it like they see it. I don't think it's out of line to say that Few has room to improve and I hope he stays at GU to show it.

I agree that most people are calling it as they see it. Fact is, the posts in this thread indicating that Few was somehow outcoached provide little, if any justification for that assertion. My point is, the smoke and mirrors act could only go on for so long. The personnel was inadequate tonight, and the zags suffered from dismal shooting despite having alot of decent opportunities tonight to score.

As for Few pulling PMAC in the other post: it wasn't because PMAC took the 3 that he missed, it was that he made a stupid defensive foul 60 feet from the basket. The Indiana PG was pushing it up the floor, and PMAC was covering him tight. That's good, but the PG started to draw contact, and PMAC backpedaled, put his arms in the air, but allowed the contact to continue until the foul was called. GU was having enough problems with fouls in the second half as it was (IU entered 1 and 1 well before the 10 minute mark). I'm not saying pulling him was right or wrong, but I think that is the play MF pulled him for.

jayray
03-16-2007, 08:36 AM
As for Few pulling PMAC in the other post: it wasn't because PMAC took the 3 that he missed, it was that he made a stupid defensive foul 60 feet from the basket.

If he pulled a player everytime someone made a stupid foul there would be no players playing by the end of the game.

ZagManFan
03-16-2007, 08:39 AM
Great in the regualr season, but falters in the post-season. Not to take away from either individual, but there is a simularity between the 2. Now 9 years straight into the dance is a great accomplishment, but is it enough for the city of Spokane and Zag fans everywere? Do we not expect more by now?

Now I will admit (much to the dismay of many on here) that I have not been a great supporter for Few. I think he lacks the big game coaching style that is required to win a National Championship. It showed last year against UCLA and again this year. His team was not ready to play last night and I put the blame on Few and the coaches. The offense looked street ballish with no direction. Yes, they did miss about 5 lay-ups that would have changed the game, but where was the intensity?

Now I do think Few is a decent coach and has really recruited some great players to the GU campus, but if he can't win tourney games what does it matter? Now I know the kids are here for more than basketball, but the kids want to win (I hope). No more excuses!! Have set plays OUTSIDE of the offense. Pendo was on fire to start the game and yet no set plays for him. Downs is maybe the best pure shooter on the team and no set plays for him either.

The best offensive set I thought was when Bouldin was in the post and a took a couple dribbles to the middle of the key and kicked it out for a wide open 3 (I think it was Pendo, but he missed). The low post kickout is a very good way to get open shots either via a swing pass to the outside or to dump it back down low again. Bouldin can hold his own down there and with him being a great passer would have generated open looks for teammates.

So, I know people love Few and I do love his passion for his players, but do you really think we can win a Championship with him at the helm? The Championship talk is coming form people on this board, not me creating a topic. Do I think we have the talent to get to that point? YES. Now it is up to Few to take them there. If he coaches like the Memphis game then I say he can take us there. If he coaches like last night then no. IMHO.

wazZag
03-16-2007, 08:42 AM
Look, as I said in my post, Iím not defending pulling him either way. PMAC was pulled right after that ill-advised foul. Iím fully aware that other players make stupid fouls as well, but either Few thought that one was worse than others, or, he possibly thought that PMACís other qualities werenít quite redeeming enough to overlook it. I recall Josh doing the same thing in similar situations this year: he would foul on the wrong side of the court, and few would yank him.

Similarly, if Few pulled a player everytime he missed a shot...

sonuvazag
03-16-2007, 08:45 AM
This is too soon to say. Like saying Peyton Manning is not a playoff QB 8 years into his career. Oops.

GU has overachieved overall in Few's tenure and a 10 seed losing to a seven seed is not a failure in the big picture. Lots of coaches gain they're chops over time. I'm not saying I love Few unconditionally, but let's hold off on this comparison, please.

The really good players are coming. Next year should be, again, the best GU squad ever.

gamagin
03-16-2007, 08:48 AM
cdc & birddog so far have posted the most interesting twists on the GU loss, for me.

Birddog says KS pulled Gu into his game and once you take a team out of its game, well, they look like hell. Gu looked like hell.

CDC says the ZAGS were spent getting to the NCAA's and had nothing left in the tank, emotionally. that could be. if you've read tony robbins, he has noted over the years that a team which set as its goal (for example) to make it to the dance, may not have anything left when it actually makes it there. GU fits that description. The chaotic journey WAS, it turned out, the season, if that holds.

both CDC and birddog, are probably as close as we're going to get on this one.

I really don't know for sure. But as someone who has watched and admired this team immensely, I think there has been a problem with chemistry off and on all season, with and without JH.

But there were enough bright moments, enough times, when it seemed a real team was out there and that team could beat anybody, anytime, anywhere.

Some five-somes played better together than others. Some sets really flowed.

The chemists, read coaches, seem to know this but stick to what looks like a lesser plan, whatever it is and for whatever reasons I do not know, and the team seems to break back down to five guys in a pickup game against the other team for patches of time. too much time vs. Indiana, imo.

thus I find myself looking at individual players on the floor instead of that well constructed team, that flowed, that could be very smooth, that moved the ball around, that drove and dished the way we have all witnessed. We KNOW they are there.

we wonder why we don't see it; why we didn't see them try it against IU.

I still do.

JAGzag
03-16-2007, 08:50 AM
If these players really need motivation from the coaches before an NCAA game, they don't deserve to be on the court. No, the coaches aren't to blame, it just wasn't our night.

wazZag
03-16-2007, 08:53 AM
totally agree JagZag. I can understand how motivation might be an issue in the regular season, but not in the tourney.

lothar98zag
03-16-2007, 09:00 AM
I think Few got outcoached tonite. Sampson had a plan, and his players executed it. Were the Zags properly prepared?

Few and company seemed confused on the sidelines.

I think GU obivously needed two new coaches on the sideline last night. All would have been good if these two had been there to save GU:

Coach 1 (http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/member.php?u=605)
Coach 2 (http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/member.php?u=211)

:vomit-smiley-007:

El Voce
03-16-2007, 09:01 AM
Lothar, my firend -- Nicely done!:)

brenton
03-16-2007, 09:05 AM
Pmac got a foul doing what Few asked him to do...slow down the IU point guard. That is Pmac's strength and was the right call in order to get the Zags back in the game.

Pmac is just a kid too and overplayed his defensive assignment.The irony is that this faux pas was minor compared to the other missed assignments, flubbed gimmeee's and poor ball handling. Indiana is not that good folks and Coach Few was very frustrated. The fact that he took his frustration out on Pmac is an inexcusable shot for a coach of Few's calibre and reputation. That was a horsesh*t move on his part pure and simple.Coach Few gets many well deserved accolades and is undoubtably one of the top Coaches in NCAA ball, however he is human and sometimes the stress of a moment brings out these human frailties.

We all know how well he and the team handled the "incident". However I am sure he felt it very badly and has taken it very personally, and some of it came out at the wrong time.

For this reason, Zag fans need to back Few 100% right now, but at the same time not give him a pass when he F***S up, any more than he gave Pmac a pass for his stupid foul.

beatProgram
03-16-2007, 09:07 AM
A good coach changes the game-plan when things aren't working out; he adjusts to throw the other team off. Why not put in PMAC for more than 45 seconds to throw a little extra pressure on the other team when they're bringing the ball down the court?


This was confusing to me.

Kuso had the post locked down on D. You pull in PMAC to disrupt the knife thrower. Then you pull in Downs, Pendo, and rotate minutes on Pargo/Raivio/Boulding to bring the offense to the floor, and get some much needed emotional leadership out there. Not to mention with that set you get PMAC's solid court vision to push the ball with the pass to guys who can take advantage of it and put up some points in a hurry.

Chaos on both ends of the floor. No clear plan for how to orchestrate the offense. A lot of good looks by guys who can shoot were thrown away on passes or delays trying to find DRav on the floor. This leads to the "WHY NO FLEX!" situation. Don't know what happened to it, but I'm guessing that the TSA found it in one of the coachs' bags and considered it a dangerous weapon, so it's sitting in an evidence locker down at GEG.

The lack of plan on defense outside of covering the post. No press, weird switches from an early man-to-man to the zone, etc. The 3-ball D was pitiful. You can't stop a hot shooter from draining them with a hand up, but you can deny him the basketball. PMAC vs. DeRogatis for a clinic on how to do that. DeRogatis didn't go cold. He didn't get the ball in a position to pop it. Denying the shooter the opportunity on the perimeter is better than contesting the shot itself.

In general it was just a bad rotation of guys on the floor. The groups that worked well together in the last 2 weeks of play were kept from playing together most of the game. I have no idea why. Key guys, and our only consistent scoring threats of late, spent a lot of time on the bench. Pendo and Downs DEFINITELY earned the right to be out there and playing heaps of minutes... but they were barely, if ever, out there together.

I saw very little action in transition, which definitely killed us. Mallon played a lot more minutes than usual as of late. I'm not convinced those two things are a coincidence. Though I'll have to admit I thought it was all over after the first 8 or so minutes of play when even Pendo was dragging his feet across half court.

Ultimately my only criticism of Few is that he's too slow to react and change his overall strategy when it clearly lacks something significant. That and the total denial he seems to be in about the effectiveness of the zone, and the reason why GU's perimeter defense is consistently poor. Then again, I'm just some punk kid, and he's a D1 top tier coach. :)

Likening this to the DUKE game is pretty accurate in my opinion. Except that Indiana played better than DUKE did.

What really shocks me about the whole thing is that I have on good information that Geoff Lieb was at the game, and anyone who's in the know can tell you that his presence at the WCC Tourney was the only thing that pulled us through. I guess that Sacramento is just too many degrees from Lieberation for the effect to work. You want someone to blame? Blame him and his weak Liebido.

Oh well. Instead of down to San Jose I'll get to ski out what little remains of the season, so all is well.

Argentum
03-16-2007, 09:09 AM
J-Lo and ZagManFan I was wondering the exact same thing. I kept looking for flex sets/action and never saw it. That offense is perfect for games that have devolved into grinders like last night, but we completely went away from it. Weird.

LargeWilliam
03-16-2007, 09:26 AM
Both teams last night had very good coaches. Both teams had very good players capable of leading their teams to the win. One team won, one didn't. They could play today with a different result. It's why they lace em up.
Perhaps it was biorhythms....too many Zags were on a triple-critical day.

Lets just say for example that Indy leads by 1 with 0.02 seconds remaing when Raivio is fouled and goes to the line to shoot a one-and-one. He misses the first, Indy boards, buzzer sounds. Does Derek now need to go work on his free throw shooting? Does few need to make sure his guys practice their FT shooting more? Should Indy have been playing zone instead of man on that final Zag possession?

So what's my point? Things happen, it's a game played by basically kids. Sometimes the ball goes in, sometimes it doesn't. Would VCU beat Duke today? Perhaps, but perhaps not.

The Zags are on a run that countless schools in the nation would sell their souls to have. Games don't always end the way folks want. It is my theory of potatoes and gravy.... in life you get fed alot of potatoes; sometimes you get some really good gravy to go on them. Enjoy the gravy. But know that tomorrow you might be eating just the potatoes once again.

You knock Few's (as well as Billy and Leon's) coaching abilities, you've lost touch with reality.

youreachiteach
03-16-2007, 09:31 AM
Why even play PMac for 45secs???? with 5 mins left in the game. Blast the kid for playing defense??

ZagManFan
03-16-2007, 09:42 AM
The reason the Flex is successful is that it creates open spaces on the court. We had maybe the poorest floor spacing I have seen in a GU game in some time. PArgo would drive and run right into one of his teammates and then we would break down. Happened all night long. Even people coming off screens were running into each other.

Speaking of Pargo, what was up with him last night? Well, I can't pick on Pargo, the whole team looked like they had lead weights inserted into the soles of their shoes last night.

I think if the team watches this game, they will feel sick to thier stomach. It was pretty bad IMO. Hopefully they learn from this and come out next year with a clean slate and run the table. 32-0 and get a #1 seed. Ranked #1 in all polls and finish it with a 38-0 season and we can have a parade in downtown Spokane. Well, dreams are free.

brasszag
03-16-2007, 09:55 AM
Speaking of Pargo, what was up with him last night? Well, I can't pick on Pargo, the whole team looked like they had lead weights inserted into the soles of their shoes last night.

I know - it was baffling to me how everyone looked like they were going Mallon-speed.

Pargo hasn't been "himself" for several games now...I don't think (offhand) we've seen more than 2 killer drives (ending with the Taz-maneuver, or a highlight-jam) in a game since Stanford...and that's his bread and butter.

HillBillyZag
03-16-2007, 10:22 AM
Lets get this out of the way. I am NOT blaming Mark Few for last nite debacle. But lets be honest about one thing, the Few strategy has always seemed to be "the best defense is a good offense". If Gonzaga ever wants to take this program from being a "threat" to the factory Schools to "scaring the hell out of them" the art of defense must be made a more vital part of their scheme. Bring in an experienced assistant whose resume emphasizes DEFENSE and spend as much practice time on that as on the offense. If you doubt that, just lok at the Cougs. Having said that, Few is a recruiter of the highest degree, and knows the flex as well as anyone in the Country. I hope he stays here forever, but please Mark, get some help!!

youreachiteach
03-16-2007, 10:58 AM
Billy Donovan hired Lary Schyatt at Florida 2 yrs ago, because his all offense approach wasnt really working. Since then, UF has won aNational championship and are ranked #1 again.

Grier is the #1 guy, Llyod recruits, what does Rice specialize in?

Hogan
03-16-2007, 11:33 AM
I'm a big Few supporter,but down by 10 or so late and no press.What's that about?

ZagDaddy
03-16-2007, 11:44 AM
If Gonzaga ever wants to take this program from being a "threat" to the factory Schools to "scaring the hell out of them" the art of defense must be made a more vital part of their scheme. Bring in an experienced assistant whose resume emphasizes DEFENSE and spend as much practice time on that as on the offense.

Save yourself some angst and lower your blood pressure at the same time by accepting that this is not going to happen. This has been apparent for years but nothing changes. Defense is not a priority.

TrueLiz
03-16-2007, 11:49 AM
I agree the team didn't look like themselves, but there wasn't a point in the game that I thought Few wasn't doing his job. Coaching can't put in all those close shots that were missed. I don't think the players were physically tired - I think they were emotionally tired after a draining season. Mark Few did a tremendous job in keeping them focused to get back to this point after the Heytvelt incident.

As someone who is a fan from many states away (Minnesota), yet watching every game on TV unless I fly to attend in person, I see how the team is viewed outside of Spokane, and I work with a lot of Big 10, ACC type fans who have been expressing how amazed they are at how the team bounced back from the down points this year, and how Mark Few has built a great program. It was just a bad, forgettable game.

Now if someone could just help Dan Monson get back on track and get a fresh start to prove he wasn't a one-hit wonder as a coach...

sonuvazag
03-16-2007, 11:58 AM
I agree the team didn't look like themselves, but there wasn't a point in the game that I thought Few wasn't doing his job. Coaching can't put in all those close shots that were missed. I don't think the players were physically tired - I think they were emotionally tired after a draining season. Mark Few did a tremendous job in keeping them focused to get back to this point after the Heytvelt incident.

As someone who is a fan from many states away (Minnesota), yet watching every game on TV unless I fly to attend in person, I see how the team is viewed outside of Spokane, and I work with a lot of Big 10, ACC type fans who have been expressing how amazed they are at how the team bounced back from the down points this year, and how Mark Few has built a great program. It was just a bad, forgettable game.

Now if someone could just help Dan Monson get back on track and get a fresh start to prove he wasn't a one-hit wonder as a coach...

Thanks for some perspective and 100% agreed about Monson. We've heard that a couple of WCC schools may be giving him a look. SCU and USD.

jayray
03-16-2007, 12:09 PM
I think GU obivously needed two new coaches on the sideline last night. All would have been good if these two had been there to save GU:

Coach 1 (http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/member.php?u=605)
Coach 2 (http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/member.php?u=119)



Lothar,

You are a shinning example of a Zag. When someone posts something you don't agree with you act like what amounts to an Elementary student on the play ground and start name calling. Instead of making personal attacks of members of this board why don't you act like an adult and write an intelligent rebuttal? Do you ever add a thoughtful addition to the conversation around here or are you so uneducated and immature that you can only act like a child?

I will agree that Few has built a great program but let us not forget that this success wasn't started without Monson and Fitz (to some extent) laying the ground work.

lothar98zag
03-16-2007, 12:22 PM
jayray wrote:


Lothar,

You are a shinning example of a Zag. When someone posts something you don't agree with you act like what amounts to an Elementary student on the play ground and start name calling. Instead of making personal attacks of members of this board why don't you act like an adult and write an intelligent rebuttal? Do you ever add a thoughtful addition to the conversation around here or are you so uneducated and immature that you can only act like a child?


Thanks for the kind words.

wazZag
03-16-2007, 12:29 PM
Zing! ;)

sonuvazag
03-16-2007, 02:00 PM
I wouldn't call Lothar's reply unintelligent. But then again double negatives are to be avoided by anyone without less than an elementary education.

VanZagar
03-16-2007, 02:23 PM
Coach's plans don't mean much when one group of players is outplayed by the other. Hoosiers were better. They worked for and got open shots then knocked them down. Their defense kept the zags from getting good open looks and when we responded by going down low we couldn't convert. The seniors played well though DR was stifled by their defense. Pendo did OK but the new guys, Bouldin, Downs and Kuso played like this was their first tournament game. Pargo may have been hampered by injury but their defense wasn't providing open lanes to the hoop or room for spin moves. We weren't good enough this time.

TexasZagFan
03-16-2007, 02:40 PM
Coach's plans don't mean much when one group of players is outplayed by the other. Hoosiers were better. They worked for and got open shots then knocked them down. Their defense kept the zags from getting good open looks and when we responded by going down low we couldn't convert. The seniors played well though DR was stifled by their defense. Pendo did OK but the new guys, Bouldin, Downs and Kuso played like this was their first tournament game. Pargo may have been hampered by injury but their defense wasn't providing open lanes to the hoop or room for spin moves. We weren't good enough this time.

I thought the less experienced gents would not have been so tight, given the OOC schedule we played. I guess I was wrong.

Our overall performance reminded me of the scene from "The Replacements", where Keanu Reaves starts talking about "quicksand". You reach that level of competition, and the gimmes don't fall, it feeds upon itself...quicksand.

btzag
03-16-2007, 04:37 PM
Mallon played more minutes tonight than in any of the recent games when the Zags played an all around solid game. Downs, who has been REALLY coming on in the end of the year, saw more bench time than he has in any of those same games. Why bench the players who have been playing strong? Experience isn't everything, you have to go for talent at some point.


How about going with the very quick Pargo/Bouldin/Downs/Pendo/Kuso lineup?

Oh yeah, and KUSO! I assumed when he was sitting on the bench that he had gotten into foul trouble when I wasn't paying attention, only to find out he only had one foul. how do you take the guy who locked down White OUT OF THE GAME?!

But to say that Few was blameless in the evening is just not true.


Great post. Don't understand when fans deny coaching is a factor in the outcome of games..... So let's recap... Indiana is a tough defensive oriented team that rely's on one inside presence and a bunch of three point bombers. Gonzaga is very limited inside and rely's on their guard play and the flexibility of their 3 and 4 positions to get mismatches. So what lineup do we parade out there? We go 'big' and exploit our weaknesses with the same old Mallon/Kuso/Bouldin/Raivio/Pargo lineup that not only cannot dominate inside with the height advantage but that cannot D-up on all the 3-point shooters that Indiana threw out there. To compound the problem Mallon and Kuso who are by far the worst offensive players of the regulars combine for 17 attempts from the field! Don't even know why Mallon was on the floor, to play defense? rebound? score? couldn't do any of the three so why not change it up and go with the lineup that worked lately? Definitely a head-scratcher.

SunDevilGolfZag
03-16-2007, 06:02 PM
Few didn't get outcoached, IMO. He didn't miss 12 layups and play uninspired -- the players did. Indiana had a solid game plan and they played better. We lost -- criticism of Few is sour grapes

RebornZag
03-16-2007, 06:24 PM
Of course it did. It always does. The coach is the most important player on the team!!! In my opinion Few did not get outcoached last night. Obviously Sampson didn't either. There were two great coaches playing against one another. Few lost. But did he get out coached? No way!!! I think the team was well prepared to play the game. Few said it quite well. We missed way too many lay-ins. Period. In my opinion. That's why we lost. Missed lay-ups and missed passes that would have led to lay-ins. Kuso couldn't make the plays that the team needed him to make.

It wasn't that big of a deal to his team mates and it's not to me either. He did his best. Mallon did his best. But to tell you the truth if we would have played the way we did last night against Santa Clara in the WCC tournament we would not have played last night....Maybe it had to do with fan support. It really looked like IU had way more fan support, or at least louder ones. Gonzaga was NOT a good Road team this year. The Zags looked EXTREMELY NERVOUS last night to be playing at that level. I MEAN VERY NERVOUS....I was kind of surprised. Downs especially did. So did Bouldin. And Kuso...We must remember how young our team was this year....

But from my experience I would definately not blame this loss on Few. I saw the Zags make brilliant pass after brilliant pass...one after the other...like we've done a lot of this year. I love our passing. We just couldn't finish and put the ball in....even on very easy shots.....Few can not make a lay-up for his players. At some point they have to be accountable for their play!!!!

Jabber
03-16-2007, 06:56 PM
The ZAGS were beat fair and square last night as it just wasn't their night. I think they were emotionally spent from the prior few weeks. To my way of thinking, being so drained caused them to lose their edge, their drive and the swagger that carried them so far. Missing those easy "bunnies" and a couple of sloppy plays early only drained them more. They lost focus as a team and "bingo" it was over. Credit IU for playing some decent defense (wasn't great, but it worked). Coaches couldn't fix it. Not their fault.

My guess is that if the ZAGS played IU 10 times they would easily win 7 or 8, with or without Josh. It just wasn't their night. Wasn't meant to be last night. Can't wait for next year becasue I doubt something like last night will happen. I feel for Ravio and Mallon. They are winners all the way.

beatProgram
03-16-2007, 07:11 PM
There are a lot of people saying or implying that coaching had little to do with the loss, and I'm fine with believing that if you can answer a few questions.

Why wasn't the defensive scheme run against USD so successfully used against a very similar looking IU offensive set?

Why weren't our two most recent consistent scorers in Downs and Pendo playing heavy minutes together?

What happened to the flex offense?

Where did all the play in transition disappear to?

Exactly ZERO of the components that had come together for GU down the stretch were utilized in the game against Indiana. Not tried, and then poorly executed. They just weren't even brought to the game. Who makes those calls? What happened?

Genuinely Curious,
-beat

btzag
03-17-2007, 10:08 AM
Yes, good response Beat. I keep coming back to this thread to see if any of the coaching backers have a good response and all I see is 'layins', IU was better, and not our day. What is that? If you are a fan that barely follows the Zags than I think that might be your response, but if you are a passionate Zag fan that has watched the in's and out's of the season and players how can you not wonder at the strategy of Gonzaga's game plan? The thing that is most frustrating is Few and his staff do not appear to believe they had a bad game plan, because if they had just made those lay-in's it would have worked. Similarly Gonzaga is still playing that great zone defense even after our players have become more athletic over the years and we continually get torched from outside.

Getting stuck in a rut is never a good thing and this staff needs to be wary of that. Players must grow throughout the season and their careers and so must the coaches.

TexasZagFan
03-17-2007, 10:18 AM
Getting stuck in a rut is never a good thing and this staff needs to be wary of that. Players must grow throughout the season and their careers and so must the coaches.

Does this mean if our guys hit their bunnies next year, Mark Few will be eye-level with Will Foster? :jk:

Until the Zags make it to the Final Four, Few's resume will seem incomplete. Excellent coach, that's just the way it is today.

vandalzag
03-17-2007, 11:25 AM
Please wow us with your coaching expertise. I understand the obvious that once you give yourself an internet handle you automatically become an expert. But have you had the opportunity to release this knowledge on the real world. Maybe you have implemented an incredible man to man defense in a 4th grade YMCA league. Or was it that devastating half court trap you unleashed in the city d league. Maybe it was the lock down defense you used to throw down when you were on the freshman team. I know the current GU staff is always looking to improve. Saddle up the Gym and wow them with your brilliance. Just tell em Kingzag is here to save the day. Maybe you can team up with your brother Beatprogram and work on the offense. It is a crime against nature for two geniuses like yourselves to be held back to just posting on the internet. It is time, the bat sign is up. True fans like Jazzdelmar need you to save the day. Better yet bypass the coaches and get together with Mike Roth. It is time for a change. We do not need professionals coaching this team. We need internet guys. Just think what you and Beatprogram could do. Stop teasing with internet posts

RebornZag
03-17-2007, 11:51 AM
Btzag: You needs reasons and explanations why it wasn't Few's coaching that cost the game. Let's talk about the main reason...missed lay-ups. Have you counted them yet? Maybe you need to. There were 6 where no one was even guarding our guys. 4 of them by Kuso...I said no one around him and he misses. I'd say if a designed play can get you a layup that that is a perfecty play. Who designed those playes? Next lets's take a look at how many beautiful passes off the pick role that Kuso didn't even handle, just seemed to have blocks of wood for hands. I'd say 3 more buckets. Two of those missed passes came after GU had gotten the lead down to 2 pts in the second half (or was it 1). Kuso missed two straight passes that would have led to buckets and made a huge mistake on Defense that cost us a bucket. The two point lead went from 2 back up to 8 in a matter of one minute....THAT WAS THE MOST DISCOURAGING ONE MINUTE IN THE GAME. Few gets frustrated (as I would have) and took Kuso out and put Mallon in. Once Indiana saw Mallon they went to White and he scored 3 straight buckets on Mallon (a huge mismatch), We needed offense when 8 down I guess, but in the end we may have needed defense (anyone may question that decision to bring mallon back in, but Kuso definately needed to go out). I would think Few believed that Mallon had a better chance on White then Pendo...We'll never know. I will say that White was much, much better Center then any we faced in the WCC so making comparisons to what our strategy was against say Briant (for Loyola Marymount) or Nir Cohen for San Diego or Wiggins from San Francisco, or even Samhan from St. Mary's.

I don't criticize Few for thinking that we needed to double down on White in the first half. Yes, they hurt us with their 3's, but they didn't miss. Their 3's came against our man to man defense that was doubleing down low. My only criticism would be that I would NOT have had Bouldin on their best shooter. He was also the guy doubling down low, and was just too slow to get back out on the shooter. Matt's tall but slow. I think Bouldin's defense hurt us all season (imo).

Regarding Downs I have no answer why he didn't play more. He played only 19 minutes...vs averaging 30 something during our run at the end of the year. He wasn't shooting good (1-5) but he did hit a 3. I have NO IDEA why. We may never know either. I think our strategy of mixing man to man and match up zone throughout the game was good. I thought we played good defense, and some times very good. We held them to 39% shooting.

Rather then blame Few, I'd say that I give the credit to Wilmont, a Senior, who had a great shooting night...and played better than Ravio. I know Derek missed two wide open 3's, that I would normally knock down. Indiana was better than any WCC team by a ways. That's the truth.

vandalzag
03-17-2007, 11:52 AM
A sharp mind like yours has to have more to it than that. Stop teasing and unleash your basketball knowledge. Show us what makes KINGZAG tick. Don't tell me you are one of those bandwagon jumping guys who only is around for the good times. Don't pick now to be shy. Get over to the GU offices and help them right now. I am sure you have plenty to bring to the table.

youreachiteach
03-17-2007, 12:01 PM
Monson and Few have brought Gonzaga near the top of the basketball map. GU is well respected and have proven they can beat any team in the country in any given day. Gonzaga was the "darling" or "underdog" of the dance for a long time, but things have changed now. People, including, fans and experts expect Gonzaga to do better now. They expect them to win more games in the dance and even make a Final Four. But that hasn't happened.

Why is the question we must ask ourselves? GU has better and more athletic players now, are much deeper, and play a way tougher schedule to prepare for the dance than in the past.

The style of play has helped with recruiting, but come tourney time, its hard to win this way. I understand this style of play has helped get Few where he is at now, but will it ever get him to the Final Four?

Does GU want to remain a Butler type team, or become a consistent top 10 team who goes deep in the tournament(or not having to win the WCC to get in)?

Defense is a problem, its not worked on, its not valued enough and until Few really admits that to himself and his staff first, then publickly by hiring a defensive specialist, GU will keep being a bridesmaid who maybe becomes a maid of honour, but never the bride.

Maybe having 5 guys on the floor who can all score 20ppg is not the answer to a Final Four after all?

Indiana started the season and Big 10 league play very well, but had really struggled for the past month. But they sure looked great on Thursday.

Yes, GU was potentially drained, the travel didnt help early in the yr, but with the talent on that roster, i dont think having to beat, St Marys, San Diego, Santa Clara and Portland is not ALL that draining if you ask me.

beatProgram
03-17-2007, 02:51 PM
Maybe you can team up with your brother Beatprogram and work on the offense. It is a crime against nature for two geniuses like yourselves to be held back to just posting on the internet.

If my questions are illegitimate, then please point out how off the mark they are either in how they relate to basketball or how they have no scope pertaining to coaching.

My central point was that down the stretch to close out the season and through the WCC tournament several pieces on the team started to fall into place. More effective rotations were established. Methods for shutting down a killer 3-ball shooter were found (as I said before. PMAC gave a clinic on how to do this when on DeRogatis... twice). The team was finding a lot of transition opportunities, and the full court trap was working pretty well.

Every one of those things was absent from the game against Indiana. Not for a lack of execution. They just weren't part of the gameplan.

All I'm asking is, why? Then secondarily who's responsible for designing the gameplan?

Birddog
03-17-2007, 02:55 PM
Ahhh yes me laddies, nothing like a group pissin' contest on St Paddy's day. I hope yer all a pissin' green.

Birddog

Mantua
03-17-2007, 03:20 PM
But the local "flue" may have played more of a role than has been credted. It lasts a long time and leaves an opening for other infections.

Digressing, I am curious about no mention of the fact that the effects of ### can last well into the following day. Did everyone just assume that fact when the "scandal" was examined. The drugs have to go. Period.

ZagDaddy
03-17-2007, 03:48 PM
Ah nothing like a bogus ad hominem attack on a lovely spring afternoon.

No doubt we would have won if we had made our bunnies but really the fact that we weren't making them is just another situation where being able to play good defense pays dividends. Play good defense when your shots aren't falling and you get more possessions. More possessions means more shots.

It's beyond me how anyone could argue (other than by personal attack that is) that Few's teams don't need to improve on D and that he needs to do something about it.

I'm sure there are those who will want to know my credentials as an expert witness on this subject: I'm so flipping old I roomed with James Naismith in college. ;)

Lighten up fellas and don't attack the guys who point out the elephant in the room.

zagco
03-17-2007, 03:53 PM
Change is good. We need some change, in coaching, in routine, and players.

btzag
03-17-2007, 05:46 PM
Btzag: 4 of them by Kuso...I said no one around him and he misses. I'd say if a designed play can get you a layup that that is a perfecty play. Who designed those playes? Next lets's take a look at how many beautiful passes off the pick role that Kuso didn't even handle, just seemed to have blocks of wood for hands. I'd say 3 more buckets. Two of those missed passes came after GU had gotten the lead down to 2 pts in the second half (or was it 1). Kuso missed two straight passes that would have led to buckets and made a huge mistake on Defense that cost us a bucket. The two point lead went from 2 back up to 8 in a matter of one minute....THAT WAS THE MOST DISCOURAGING ONE MINUTE IN THE GAME. Few gets frustrated (as I would have) and took Kuso out and put Mallon in. Once Indiana saw Mallon they went to White and he scored 3 straight buckets on Mallon (a huge mismatch), We needed offense when 8 down I guess, but in the end we may have needed defense (anyone may question that decision to bring mallon back in, but Kuso definately needed to go out). I would think Few believed that Mallon had a better chance on White then Pendo...We'll never know.

Well Reborn that is too easy and exactly what I was trying to say earlier. Kuso should be in the game to rebound and play defense. Period. He should not have any plays called for him and should not be part of the pick and role because we all know he is not there offensively. He was doing an OK job on White defensively and that is all we needed. 17 shots combined for Mallon and Kuso is about 12 too many... Then, as you say, Few got frustrated and put Mallon in. Again bad move. Mallon disrupts the flow on offense and cannot stop White on defense or rebound on either end. I think we all knew that Mallon did not have a chance against White before the game began but Few stubbornly ran him out there for 26 minutes of play. Don't get it, but let me ask you this, was it a coincidence that GU started to come together, get better player rotation, and ran off a string of victories without Mallon logging many minutes? I am all for being loyal to players but Few went to the well way too often and it cost the team. My opinion and I'm sticking with it.

sullyzag66
03-17-2007, 06:49 PM
Outcoached today:

Sean Miller--Xavier
Gary Williams--Maryland
Rick Pitino--Louisville
Tony Bennett--Washington State
Al Skinner--Boston College
Anthony Grant--Virginia Commonwealth
Tom Izzo--Michigan State

Should be a lot of coaching openings this summer. ;)

I don't think anybody not eager to blame coaching entirely on this loss is suggesting that improvements can't be made. Of course they can. Remember when Zags were outrebounded in a Tournament loss several years ago and the coaches and team made it a priority to improve rebounding? Now it is rare for them to get outrebounded. They can make adjustments. Coaches have to work with the players they have. It's hard for me to believe that the coaches ignore improving defense just because they don't believe in defense.

I agree with Dick Davey. Coaches get way too much credit and way too much blame. Doesn't mean anyone can coach, but let's not get out the broom just yet.

ZagDaddy
03-17-2007, 07:11 PM
Outcoached today:
It's hard for me to believe that the coaches ignore improving defense just because they don't believe in defense.


I don't think anyone accused the coaches of not "believing" in defense. The point is it's consistently second rate. Look at today's games, Indiana, UCLA, Ohio State and ask yourself if the Zags play anywhere near that intensity? That's the point.

Defense is not a priority in the Zag scheme. How often do you see Few pull a player for a defensive lapse? Defense is not a priority like rebounding was a few years ago or it would be a lot better by now. Plain and simple.

You don't have to be an engineer to know if your car keeps stalling after you get it out of the shop it might be time to change mechanics. We need an assistant who can teach D.

GonzagaLove
03-17-2007, 09:30 PM
...I would have liked to see Micah play more....Why put one of our best players on the bench for the first ten minutes of the second half?

jazzdelmar
03-18-2007, 05:04 AM
Downs is by faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar the best player on a team whose players have serious flaws from selfishness to retro hairdos, so why didnt he play????? I admire and respect Sean, but geez...............

23dpg
03-18-2007, 06:52 AM
Outcoached today:

Sean Miller--Xavier
Gary Williams--Maryland
Rick Pitino--Louisville
Tony Bennett--Washington State
Al Skinner--Boston College
Anthony Grant--Virginia Commonwealth
Tom Izzo--Michigan State

Should be a lot of coaching openings this summer. ;)

I don't think anybody not eager to blame coaching entirely on this loss is suggesting that improvements can't be made. Of course they can. Remember when Zags were outrebounded in a Tournament loss several years ago and the coaches and team made it a priority to improve rebounding? Now it is rare for them to get outrebounded. They can make adjustments. Coaches have to work with the players they have. It's hard for me to believe that the coaches ignore improving defense just because they don't believe in defense.

I agree with Dick Davey. Coaches get way too much credit and way too much blame. Doesn't mean anyone can coach, but let's not get out the broom just yet.

Nice post sully,

I have never seen a big game loss by Gonzaga that wasn't followed by the obligatory "Few got outcoached" thread. I expect it more than the morning sun. This is the scourge of the internet.

To say that he is getting better players now, so how come we're not in the top ten is just silly. Gonzaga has never had a top 10 recruiting class, not even close. Next year's class that everyone is raving about is rated somewhere between 11th and 24 best class at this point. Few and Gonzaga have consistently ourpreformed expectations and will continue to do so.

ps. Doesn't any one else remember the preseason predictions for GU that we all posted on GUNation? Almost everyone predicted a down or rebuilding year.

roxdoc
03-18-2007, 09:42 AM
Its not the better than expected wonderful year, its not really even the loss to Indiana, its the uninspired play and odd game plan for the final game that people are commenting about.

jayray
03-18-2007, 12:20 PM
Outcoached today:
Sean Miller--Xavier
Gary Williams--Maryland
Rick Pitino--Louisville
Tony Bennett--Washington State
Al Skinner--Boston College
Anthony Grant--Virginia Commonwealth
Tom Izzo--Michigan State


No one suggested at all that this was the case. Just because someone is of the opinion that one game came down to coaching does not imply that all these games are in anyway related. But I will say this, good coaches know that players win games and coaches lose them. So I guess your assumption is in the end correct.

If I were a cougar fan I would have been extremely pissed that Bennett couldn't come up with some kind of strategy in the last ten minutes to take the ball to the hoop and get some fouls. There were 3 players with 4 fouls. There is no denying that there is an element of coaching that lost that game. And don't go twisting my words making it look like I said I would be a better coach than any of these coaches. Maybe I would be, maybe I wouldn't be but I am in no way claiming that I would be a better coach at all. I went back and reread all the old posts and I see no one on here claiming they would make a better coach than Few. Just people pointing out that Few is a good coach who got out coached at game time. No one can answer the legit questions being posted on here except to offer explanations of missed lay-ins or offering smart aleck comments or offering some other excuse.

If you accept the explanation that it was missed lay-ins then I guess there is no where to improve for next year. Few is doing a great job, players couldn't do anything different so there is no room for improvement. Sometimes the ball just bounces the way it does. If people want to accept this - then so be it, but be prepared for the same outcome next year. . .