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BobZag
02-15-2009, 05:24 PM
Yes, the Zags can play better and they will play better. While one player may struggle, another may emerge. And if all players start clicking, look out. This weekend is a "Get Well" weekend for the team, they will in all likelihood win by large margins, allowing Few to work on the flaws and strengthen the weaknesses while resting guys and gearing up for the final road trip into Cal.

Gonzaga will win the West Coast Conference again. How many straight times will that be? And, who knows, this bunch might match the 2003-04 and 2005-06 Zags that went unbeaten in conference.

Not many, if any, programs can claim that, regardless of conference size.

Before fans panic, remember that Morrison's 2005-06 team that ran through the WCC w/o a loss had many, many close last second wins. Erroll Knight for 3 to beat USD. PMAC for 3 to beat USF. SMC and LMU just barely lost. All won at or within seconds of the buzzer. And that team went to the Sweet 16.

Also, just today #15 Butler lost at home against Loyola-Chicago (Illinois) and Loyola's RPI is down there with USF's. (219 and 231, respectively) But Gonzaga didn't lose...on the road. #12 Clemson loses to a last-place Virginia team and #6 Duke loses to an unranked BC squad.

So the Zags will win the WCC...again.
The Zags might go 14-0 in WCC play.
The Zags could win the WCC Tourney.
The Zags record could be 26-5 going into the dance.
Matt Bouldin could be WCC POY.
Mark Few could be WCC COY...again.

Can the team play better? Hell yes. They've proven that, even in a loss that was darn near a win against #1 UConn.

Peaking in March is important. The road to playing better and peaking will begin this Thursday and Saturday.

Go Zags!

krozman
02-15-2009, 05:35 PM
The moral of the story is, much like the economy (which suffers ups and downs), we will still be ok and eventually we will crack open our sweet 16 slump. If not this year, then the next, or the next......

BobZag
02-15-2009, 05:39 PM
Two home games now = Just what the doctor ordered.

A home game March 3 = More good medicine.

Some momentum, some mojo, gain confidence, start clicking...

zag67
02-15-2009, 05:40 PM
BZ, very well put. And also there are other games that they also "could have won". The only game that we have been blown out is Memphis. I just look forward to watching all of the rest of the WCC games, the USC game, the WCC tournament and then as far as we go. Let the FUN begin.

zagco
02-15-2009, 05:44 PM
Zagco agrees with everything BobZag writes, but he still thinks about the following things, which are sort of rhetorical questions:

1. When was the last time we peaked in March? It seems like it's been a long time.

2. Similarly, why do we always seem to start out the season playing great against great teams, and then we seemingly withdraw and play down?

3. Who is our leader? Who are the starters?

wiszag
02-15-2009, 05:45 PM
Let's hope so Bob. The only thing I want to see is hustle and focus, the talent is there.

NotoriousZ
02-15-2009, 05:50 PM
Ahhhhhhh, BZ, thank you. This beats the hell out of another "what's wrong with the team" post. There's plenty of stuff for the team to work on between now and March, and I'm confident that they'll work, and work hard. They just need to "peak" come tourney time and we can enjoy the ride.

Bob, you still sticking with the Sacre red shirt, or are the latest rumors true of him coming back soon? Sorry to bring this up again....Go Zags!

MississppiZag
02-15-2009, 05:55 PM
There is no such thing as too many Sacre injury reports. It is getting late though. My confidence of Sacre playing this yr is slowly decreasing. With that I am not sure if I personally want him to play. Have Sacre for 9 games(6 reg season, 2 conference tourney, and at least 1 NCAA tourney) or have a healthy Sacre for 3 more years. Tough call for the staff.

Seattle_Zag
02-15-2009, 06:34 PM
Great post, BobZag!

I'll admit we're not playing great basketball, but we have seen some players step up (Meech recently) and I think this will end up helping us come tourney time. Each player needs to find that confidence that Meech has now and then we just need to unleash it when we get there. Easier said than done, but I believe we'll get there. Most of our players have shown that confidence recently. If Pargo starts playing better and Daye and Gray get more confidence, I think we are there as a team. My point is that we are not that far off.

As for Sacre, I hope he doesn't come back this year, but I like that the coaching staff hasn't ruled him out since they don't have to. If he does come back, I think he has plenty of time to get ready for the tournament. We play some weak teams down the stretch (Pepperdine, Loyola, San Diego, USC Upstate) and if you add in that our roatation doesn't really seem set, I don't think we would see any negative impact chemistry wise. Interesting decision if he really is ready to go.

bigblahla
02-15-2009, 06:43 PM
BZ says......
So the Zags will win the WCC...again.
The Zags might go 14-0 in WCC play.
The Zags could win the WCC Tourney.
The Zags record could be 26-5 going into the dance.
Matt Bouldin could be WCC POY.
Mark Few could be WCC COY...again.

Yep, yep, yeppers,yes,yep and yes.

At this point I can't and won't complain about anything. I have become a deciple of the one point more theory where we end each and every game at least one point ahead of our opponent.

Works for me.

Go!! Zags!!!

snebzag
02-15-2009, 07:44 PM
I love the positive thinking. I feel the same way. Our expectations of COMPLETE success has led many down a path of finding a Lee Harvey Oswald after every game.

Peeking in March has not been routine, but I think with a sweep of WCC and Tourney victory will create that November momentum, maybe a tough first outing in the tourney and then the little train say's "I think I can, I think I can" And in the immortal words of Jackie Gleason " Away we go!"

Good team, good coaches, good fans. Positive thoughts. Victory.

seasontixholder
02-15-2009, 08:09 PM
This team DOES have a considerable upside, but it's predicated on getting Jeremy back to the status of a real starting PG, rather than like the backup he is playing like.

Our other players are struggling like the 2-thru-5 players on the San Diego and Saint Mary's squads (or like those of Memphis before the emergence their PG), given their absence of their 1s. The seniors are doing better than the younger guys at the moment, but nobody's game is optimized.

On top of that, Bouldin seems to be running on fumes. 39-40 minutes a night for a stocky guy has made an impact recently, imo, especially in the closing stages of the games.

theirishzag03
02-15-2009, 08:35 PM
The Zags BEST season ever!

14-0 WCC-
WCC Tourney Champs-
Nice NCAA run to the 3rd weekend
(2) 1st Round draft picks (Pargo and Heytvelt)
Few gets the Arizona and Oregon jobs

They actually remove one of the 4 connecting flights I have on the way back from Vegas
:o

jim77
02-15-2009, 08:40 PM
Like it Bob.

The nice part here is that the team is winning...and they have plenty of room to get better.

I'd like to see Will get some double digit minutes this week.

BobZag
02-16-2009, 08:59 AM
A lot of opposing fans, coaches, et al, dismiss what Gonzaga has done and looks to do again this season because the WCC is its conference. Well, that's fine, we've all heard it many times and it's like water on a duck's back with me, but hey, you don't see Davidson or Utah State or Butler or Xavier or Weber State or any other team undefeated in conference right now, with the exceptions only being Memphis and Oklahoma.

Gonzaga is the only team outside those two to be doing so.

Though many insist on whining, Zag fans have more to look forward to than most other fans. Like I said, LMU and Pepp give the Zags a great opportunity to get back in sync before the SCU-USD road trip, and the USC-Upstate game is a perfect tune-up to work out any wrinkles before the WCC Tourney.

Things set up nicely. :)

Reborn
02-16-2009, 09:13 AM
Though many insist on whining, Zag fans have more to look forward to than most other fans. Like I said, LMU and Pepp give the Zags a great opportunity to get back in sync before the SCU-USD road trip, and the USC-Upstate game is a perfect tune-up to work out any wrinkles before the WCC Tourney.

Things set up nicely. :)

I agree with this BZ completely. I believed it from the beginning of conference play. When looking at the conference schedule I felt it was perfect for us. First, to get us back on track after some difficult non conference losses. We seemed to lose our swagger. We had 5 of 7 conference games at home to start with, and it helped us get back on track. Yes, we had the loss against Memphis, but it came only two days after a very very great game against Universtiy of Portland. I'm sure there was a pretty big let down after that game. And so we have now set out on the road. We have 5 of our 7 conderence games on the road in the second half of conference play. So far we're off to a good start, just like we were off to a good start at the beginning of conference play and our games were at home. We are now 3-0 for the second half, and we've already beaten the second and third best teams in our conference. I'd say things look pretty bright. AS BZ says now we play at home, and Pepperdine is one of the hottest teams in our conference right now. They are. But fortunately we get to play them at home this time and should prevail. We then will head into the final week of conference play undefeated, and will face to good teams in their gyms, and we will have to play great basketball to win those two games. We do have a chance to be undefeated in conference play. So really, what is there to whine about? Is the truth only that some people can not be happy unless they whine?

Psychozag
02-16-2009, 10:00 AM
I hope the team doesn't go into the Pepp game thinking that they are going out there to run some drills. If they don't take this game seriously, Pepp will hang an L on us.

Reborn
02-16-2009, 10:34 AM
I hope the team doesn't go into the Pepp game thinking that they are going out there to run some drills. If they don't take this game seriously, Pepp will hang an L on us.

I wonder why you think they would do that? You are right about thinking the Pepperdine is a good team, and have been playing well. Gonzaga coaches and players know that too. They will be ready. You got to trust your team at some point, Psychozag. Now's a good time to start.

kitzbuel
02-16-2009, 05:02 PM
3. Who is our leader? Who are the starters?

Zagco, my question back to you on this question is what player does GU lose and as a resutl not make the tourney? At this point, maybe Josh only because Sacre is already out.

Despite the apparent problems in consistency and synchronization, this team is able to continue at about the same level without any one player. The Zags can almost afford to lose a player at each position and still be competitive. They may not have any future NBA super stars or highly acclaimed 5 star recruits, but there is not much of a drop in talent level between starters and bench.

SMC cannot say that. San Diego cannot say that. Davidson cannot say that.

GU's depth is definitely one component that raises it above many other teams this year and is what is keeping them ranked. They may not rise as high as they could with the potential they have, but they will never drop off either.

Zag79
02-16-2009, 06:36 PM
you don't see Davidson or Utah State or Butler or Xavier or Weber State or any other team undefeated in conference right now, with the exceptions only being Memphis and Oklahoma.

Gonzaga is the only team outside those two to be doing so.

exactly! great post BZ. people have set themselves up for disappointment due to overly high expectations. when you really sit back and think about it this zag team could end up doing what only 1 other has done by going undefeated in conference play. ill let you guys know what i think of this team after the final game they play in MARCH.

ZagLawGrad
02-16-2009, 06:43 PM
The Zags can almost afford to lose a player at each position and still be competitive. They may not have any future NBA super stars or highly acclaimed 5 star recruits, but there is not much of a drop in talent level between starters and bench.

SMC cannot say that. San Diego cannot say that. Davidson cannot say that.

Agreed. Depth will be a key factor in the Dance, especially if we can get through the opening game. The Zags can wear some teams down at that point in the season.

BobZag
02-17-2009, 09:33 AM
But even with all the above, there is an "Eye Test". And right now, the Zags just aren't passing the Eye Test. Yes, they're winning, and they'll be WCC champs again, and finish with 25 or more wins, etc., but if you watch the games, the team is askew a bit. They simply don't look like they did earlier in the season.

But this happens all across the country. Texas is a shadow of its earlier self. Duke, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Purdue, etc, etc., are all only showing brief flashes of what they once were. There is radical invonsistancies, like Louisville being slaughtered by 33 by ND, only to turn around and win big in the next game.

I'm not sure if there's a fatigue wall or a mental wall that teams hit and they must rediscover themselves or fight through it, but this is going on all across the country.

theirishzag03
02-17-2009, 10:50 AM
But even with all the above, there is an "Eye Test". And right now, the Zags just aren't passing the Eye Test. Yes, they're winning, and they'll be WCC champs again, and finish with 25 or more wins, etc., but if you watch the games, the team is askew a bit. They simply don't look like they did earlier in the season.



Totally agree!

Maybe there is another test that the Zags need to pass- The "I" test

Do the Zags pass the "I" test??? Is there enough "we", "team", and "you" and a lack of an "I" attitude throughout the team?

DixieZag
02-17-2009, 11:46 AM
I think one indicator of whether the Zags are improving and "gelling" in toughness as a team is whether they play full throtle and win the conference tourney going away. I know it sounds ridiculous to even suggest that a team wouldn't be playing at its greatest intensity, but we have seen, umm, last year, and several others when clearly our eye was already on the bigger tournament, and it cost us. Had we not lost last year to a hot team, we would not have faced a white hot Stephen Curry in the first round, and if memory serves me right, we played them better than anyone else until they got beat. The committee will not be kind to a Gonzaga team that "settles" for a league win and phones in the late season performance.

Hextall7388
02-17-2009, 11:56 AM
Great post!

The last two games have not been pretty, but we won! My rapidly retreating hairline and my ulcer would prefer every WCC game to be a Zags blowout by the half. However, I think there is something to be said for facing these challenges during the season to prepare the team for March.

Early in the season posters were concerned that we couldn't win the close games. The posters complained that the team folded under pressure. The last two games came down to the last possession and the Zags managed to come out victorious. Frankly, I want to see Bouldin, Daye, Heytvelt and Pargo at the free throw line, under pressure, forced to make important shots. Daye was clutch under pressure last game, and that was great to see! Clutch free throw shooting is key in March....just ask Memphis.

Sleepwalking through the WCC would be nice, but I'm hoping the experience of facing presure situations in February will translate into wins in March.

Reborn
02-17-2009, 12:25 PM
It is a long season for sure. There are peaks and valleys. We've had some great games, and a few stinkers. I don't see this season as that negative. The zags have been down and have bounced back each time, and I applaud them for that. They were down after the Memphis loss for sure. I thought we came back against St. Mary's pretty darn good. I'm not sure why the Zags aren't given more credit for that. Maybe because we only won by two points. Maybe some forget how good St. Mary's is and how badly they needed that win. St. Mary's fought with every bit of effort they could find. And somehow the Zags kept them at bay, and pulled out what I felt was a great win.