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Reborn
03-26-2009, 08:02 AM
The Zags are playing the best they have played all year. They are peaking at the right time, and are ready to give Carolina the very best of everything we have. I do not think that Carolina is playing their best basketball right now. Because Carolina's weakness is their defens, they are vulnerable to a team like Gonzaga who runs a motion offense. They are tough one on one defenders, and seem to play much better against a team, like LSU, who likes to play one on one basketball. I don't think they have played against a team like Gonzaga who will post our guards up against Carolin's. I think our strength in this game will be if Josh and Austin are hitting from the outside which forces their bigs to go out and guard, thus letting our guards attack the basket. I think Pargo and Matt, and even Steven are as good at attacking the basket as any team in the country. In most discussions about this game I think that this point has been missed. Gonzaga is one of the best shooting teams in the country and it's because we get a lot of points in the paint. Carolina is not Western Kentucky in terms of how often they will shoot the 3 pt shot. Gonzaga gives up the 3 pt shot somewhat in order to defend the 2 pt shot, where we are one of the very best in the country at doing that. This benefits the Zags against Carolina.

My greatest hope is that we limit our turnovers and get back on defense to avoid giving Carolina easy baskets, which may be their greatest strength. WE know Carolina likes transition baskets, and that's how they want to play, so we need to get back. I don't think this is going to be a major problem, and playing Western Kentucky helped us work on that issue because they (WKU) played at the tempo Carolina likes to play at. I thought we got back on D pretty well against WKU.

Carolina is a great basketball team. And they are on a mission to win the National Championship. Everyone knows that they have the talent to do that. But so does Gonzaga. And we too are on a mission, and we too have talent. We are amping up to make our deepest run of all time. It's going to be a great horse race and Gonzaga pulls away down the backstretch and wins going away by
3 lengths.

Yes We Can!!!

77Zag
03-26-2009, 08:07 AM
We are in good shape - the perfect storm
Underdogs and all the big boy pundits are favoring the Heels.

The Zags will rise and make us all proud(er)

JohnOGU
03-26-2009, 08:08 AM
The time has come...Our time is now.

FuManShoes
03-26-2009, 08:22 AM
The Zags are playing the best they have played all year. They are peaking at the right time, and are ready to give Carolina the very best of everything we have.

I'd argue the Zags dropped off a bit in Portland, at least defensively. We saw some lazy closeouts on shooters and a few too many uncontested drives by opponents (OMV and Slaughter, in particular). I pray the Zags had a nice little talk about communicating better and coming at a shooter from the side (not jumping into a guy) so we don't see a repeat of THREE fouls on three-point shots.

Nittany Tar Heel
03-26-2009, 08:23 AM
Care for a rebuttal?



I do not think that Carolina is playing their best basketball right now.

???

Before Lawson sat with his injury we had won something like 14 of 15.


Because Carolina's weakness is their defens, they are vulnerable to a team like Gonzaga who runs a motion offense. They are tough one on one defenders, and seem to play much better against a team, like LSU, who likes to play one on one basketball.

I don't think either team will have its defense as it's calling card. To be honest, we don't have tough one-on-one defense which hurts our help defense. I'd say the one-on-one is a bigger issue then the "team" defense. Strong defensive rebounding helps hide some of those issues.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the same be true in reverse?


I think our strength in this game will be if Josh and Austin are hitting from the outside which forces their bigs to go out and guard, thus letting our guards attack the basket.

If I'm the coach, I'd be fine with your bigs taking perimeter shots early. Not unguarded or anything silly like that because I know they can shoot, but I'd prefer those then 3s from Bouldin or penetration from Pargo. If they prove they can hit them, then I'd come out. Hansbrough's actually a very solid defender in space. Davis and Thompson, not so much.


Gonzaga is one of the best shooting teams in the country and it's because we get a lot of points in the paint.

No argument. That said, missed 3s fuel our break. That's why I feel Gonzaga's 3-point shooting is one of the 2 keys to the game, along with Gonzaga's bigs getting in foul trouble.


I don't think this is going to be a major problem, and playing Western Kentucky helped us work on that issue because they (WKU) played at the tempo Carolina likes to play at.

KenPom's tempo rankings:

UNC - 6th
WKU - 160th





I wish I had a better handle on what to expect from Gonzaga, but the Memphis game and the Tennessee games are the only real solid measures which isn't enough data (for me). I do think we have by far the toughest matchup of the #1 seeds in this round and you guys will stand a much better chance against us then you would have against 1 of the others. And I'm really surprised Vegas has this as the widest line of the weekend.

I'm hoping we pound it down low early, score, and get Daye and Heytveldt in foul trouble. If we don't, it will be a white-knuckler. One odd trend to keep an eye on, Carolina is 49-0 when Wayne Ellington hits 50% or more of his FGs

ZagLawGrad
03-26-2009, 08:27 AM
You can toss the W-L records and everything else that has happened this season. These two teams play basketball at a very high level.

This game comes down to who wants it the most. Attitude and desire carry the day.

DixieZag
03-26-2009, 08:42 AM
Nittany Tar Heel brings up some good points, the most cogent being the WKU Pomeroy ranking versus the Tar Heels, we have progressed to another level and will have to bring our game up to that level. One thing Nittany should be aware of though is our tendency to play to the level of our competition, leave out the Memphis game, it was 2 days after an away big conference game, look at our tendencies against UCONN (one D*** friggin off balance falling away 3 pointer from being a win), and the early tournaments. No, WKU is not UNC, will be the first to admit it, BUT WKU shot the lights out of the place and they were not all open and unguarded, they played way above their skill level, and we were up 9 with 2 to play, then weird karma took over and we won anyway.

Sorry for the long post, but I did enjoy the rebuttal, informative -- Welcome to our board.

ZagManFan
03-26-2009, 08:47 AM
If I'm the coach, I'd be fine with your bigs taking perimeter shots early. Not unguarded or anything silly like that because I know they can shoot, but I'd prefer those then 3s from Bouldin or penetration from Pargo.

Josh and Austin are 2 of the best 3pt shooters on the team each shooting over 40%. Please let them shoot at will. I will be jumping up and down when we pump in 4 in a row.

ZagLawGrad
03-26-2009, 08:56 AM
Josh and Austin are 2 of the best 3pt shooters on the team each shooting over 40%. Please let them shoot at will. I will be jumping up and down when we pump in 4 in a row.

If the Zags win this one at the wire, I can't wait to read the "what were you doing..when it happened" threads. That'll be one for the ages.

Reborn
03-26-2009, 09:02 AM
Thanks for the very good post, Nittany Tar Heel. I appreciate your insight into your team, and you obviously know them better than I do. My point about Carolina not playing their best right now was said only because of Lawson's injury. I was actually thinking about your loss to Florida St. And having to play without Lawson, I think has caused a little wrinkle in your team. Maybe not much of one, but maybe just enough for us to come away with a victory. I did not think your game against LSU was one of your better games.

One of the announcers during that game said that usually the first game played when an injured player comes back is usually the best. I found that very interesting. Gonzaga could not beat Carolina with Lawson at 100% any more than we could have beaten St. Mary's "without Patty Mills." :D We know Lawson is going to play. I just hope he's only at about 80%. LSU did not make him play defense as I believe Pargo will. We will make Ty work all game long I think. LSU does not push the ball up court like Gonzaga does either.

You are so right about shooting 3's against Carolina. We may not be taking a lot of them. Gonzaga has not shot 3 pt shots this year as we have in previous years. It's been one of our biggest problems this year, but we do seem to be shooting better lately then we have all year. If we shoot the way we did against WKU (9 three's) I think that will hurt you. But I think our primary focus is going to be attacking the basket with our guards. Not so much in the traditional sense of attacking and dishing out to the shooters. We just like to post up our guards. Pargo and Matt and Steven will also attack the basket one on one but usually do not kick out. We attack to score or go to the line. I think the key for Gonzaga's attack is PATIENCE. Move the ball, and make you guys defend. Gonzaga does this pretty well.

It makes a lot of sense to me why Gonzaga is the least favored team to win in the Sweet 16. The experts think we're the worst team!

zagsmyboys
03-26-2009, 09:08 AM
Regardless...it is going to be a great game. When the Zags step on to the court, and after they feel the love they are getting from our Brother Tiger Fans....(getting Goose Bumps)....The game will be on. I think our guys want this game more than they have wanted any other game this year. UNC has it in their minds that they are expected to win, and may come out a little to confident, Us on the other hand (being the underdogs that we are) WANT the win!!!! The ZAGS never seem to surprise me! :D



Go ZAGS!!!!!

kyle dixon
03-26-2009, 10:03 AM
Any chance you live in Spokane? No chance I am betting you on this game from your text messages you have sent me.....

Nittany Tar Heel
03-26-2009, 10:13 AM
Nittany Tar Heel brings up some good points, the most cogent being the WKU Pomeroy ranking versus the Tar Heels, we have progressed to another level and will have to bring our game up to that level. One thing Nittany should be aware of though is our tendency to play to the level of our competition, leave out the Memphis game, it was 2 days after an away big conference game, look at our tendencies against UCONN (one D*** friggin off balance falling away 3 pointer from being a win), and the early tournaments. No, WKU is not UNC, will be the first to admit it, BUT WKU shot the lights out of the place and they were not all open and unguarded, they played way above their skill level, and we were up 9 with 2 to play, then weird karma took over and we won anyway.

Sorry for the long post, but I did enjoy the rebuttal, informative -- Welcome to our board.

Thanks for the welcome.

I enjoy watching your team and I’d honestly be pulling for them if they were in another region. I really enjoy Gonzaga’s style of play and it’s obvious that Few is a terrific coach – make sure you keep him from Kentucky! I can tell you unequivocally that he has the respect of our fan base. He and Roy are actually pretty good buddies from what I hear; the respective staffs were allegedly hanging out together last night.

Nittany Tar Heel
03-26-2009, 10:15 AM
Josh and Austin are 2 of the best 3pt shooters on the team each shooting over 40%. Please let them shoot at will. I will be jumping up and down when we pump in 4 in a row.


I thought I made it clear that I wasn’t advocating letting them shoot “at will” and acknowledged they can hit from there. If not, I'll do so now. I just would prefer that shot, which comes with less likelihood of an offensive rebound over one from Bouldin or Pargo exposing our bug-a-boo – dribble penetration.

Nittany Tar Heel
03-26-2009, 10:29 AM
Thanks for the very good post, Nittany Tar Heel. I appreciate your insight into your team, and you obviously know them better than I do. My point about Carolina not playing their best right now was said only because of Lawson's injury.

Understood. His performance in the second half against LSU was encouraging, but I'll be concerned about it until the season's over. Fortunately, he's been practicing all week and appears to be in better shape then he was last week. I'll actually be more concerned about his ability to play on Sunday off a short layoff (if we're there, obviously) then after the 6-day layoff for tomorrow.



I did not think your game against LSU was one of your better games.

It was decent, imo. The 25-9 run to put the game away was impressive and LSU isn't chopped liver. I thought they were better then their seeding, just like I think Gonzaga is better then theirs.


LSU did not make him play defense as I believe Pargo will. We will make Ty work all game long I think. LSU does not push the ball up court like Gonzaga does either.

Agreed on both counts. I don't think that will get into his legs, but getting into the lane to initiate offense is exactly what Gonzaga must do.


I think the key for Gonzaga's attack is PATIENCE. Move the ball, and make you guys defend.

Spot on. Run when the opportunities are there, but when they're not, make Carolina play defense. We limit second shots pretty well, but if you honestly survery the defense for 30 seconds, you'll usually find a decent look at the rim.


It makes a lot of sense to me why Gonzaga is the least favored team to win in the Sweet 16. The experts think we're the worst team!

This is Vegas though. They have all those big, shiny buildings down there because they know what they're talking about. I don't care what the ESPN talking heads have to say, I'm just surprised that someone who's livlihood depends on setting these lines thinks that way. To me, Gonzaga +9 and Villanova +2 are the easy bets on the board. We shall see.



As much as people like to talk about Carolina's lax defense, here are 2 notes.

1) Using KenPom's data, which I think is best, we're 28th in defensive efficiency. Certainly not stellar, but only 8 spots back of dook, the elite shutdown defensive team....or so I'm told. I think that has more to do with the perception of dook then with UNC.

2) The common thread in our losses this year was not really defense. In all 5 losses, we shot below 40%, which is way below the season average. In other words, we usually score well enough to overcome mediocre defense but we don't defend well enough to win on a really poor shooting night. I think when/if Carolina bows out, it will be on a night where the FG% is in the 30s, not one where they give up a lot of points but play well offensively.


Forgive me for the book...I'm just anxious to try to get a handle on what to expect on Friday night (besides me drinking and screaming in my den) ;)

Nittany Tar Heel
03-26-2009, 10:32 AM
Any chance you live in Spokane? No chance I am betting you on this game from your text messages you have sent me.....

:confused:

Beg your pardon - you lost me.

edcasey
03-26-2009, 12:25 PM
Nittany

might I suggest another common denominator in your losses were

early foul trouble
Turnover issues by your bigs (Thompson, davis and Tyler)


for me I see those three as the key to beating UNC

getting fouls on them, creating turnovers and poor shooting=loss (plus scoring one more point that UNC :) )

Nittany Tar Heel
03-26-2009, 12:47 PM
Nittany

might I suggest another common denominator in your losses were

early foul trouble
Turnover issues by your bigs (Thompson, davis and Tyler)


for me I see those three as the key to beating UNC

getting fouls on them, creating turnovers and poor shooting=loss (plus scoring one more point that UNC :) )


Outside maybe a little from Danny Green, I honestly don't remember early foul trouble in any of those losses (I could be wrong), though certainly that would be tough to overcome for any team at a key position.

I only see an average of 13.5 TO/g in the losses, so I wouldn't necessarily look at that either. Though once again, that would certainly be tough to overcome if it happened now.


To me, if we're assuming Lawson's health, it's:

1) Daye/Heytvelt's ability to stay fresh & out of foul trouble

2) Gonzaga's 3-point shooting

3) Gonzaga's ability to get in the lane, by dribble or pass

4) UNC getting perimeter scoring from either Ellington or Green


In 4 losses, out 3 perimeter scorers shot 37% (Green), 40% (Ellington) and 33% (Lawson), 10%, 8% and 21% below their season averages, respectively. We shall see.