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spudzag
11-29-2009, 10:44 AM
Last night Klay Thompson set a tournament scoring record with 43 points Saturday leading a 93-56 route of San Diego 93-56 to win the Great Alaska Shootout.

At 6-foot-6 Thompson is obviously presenting matchup challenges so far this season averaging 28 a game. Moore and Casto score about 13 a piece a game but (not to be Major Obvious) Thompson is the player to control.

So what's the defensive game plan for the Wednesday night match up?

Ezag
11-29-2009, 11:52 AM
The key is to obviously control Klay. Moore can be contained by our guards and Casto has never faced an inside like ours yet so they will be neutralized. Other than that they have no one else that is a real threat.

JohnOGU
11-29-2009, 12:20 PM
Manny comes to mind with his tenacious D. on second thought, Cincy was pretty effective in doubling matt bouldin initially. I wouldnt be opposed to doing this with Klay, because outside of him, noone else will be able to beat us.

208Zag
11-29-2009, 12:39 PM
Thompson is big time scorer and a match-up problem but he's going to have some problems of his own on the defensive end dealing with Matt and Steven.

On defense I think we need to try and keep the ball out of Thompsons hands, pressure D, traps, make him give the ball up. We also need to make him work on the defensive end, lots of screens for Matt/Steven and make him help down low on the isolation with big Rob.

MickMick
11-29-2009, 12:52 PM
Avoid the Zone like the plague.

This team will not "out-athlete" the Zags.

A mismatch at 4 positions.

maynard g krebs
11-29-2009, 12:54 PM
Thompson is incredible at coming off downscreens and catching, turning and shooting in what seems like an instant. All he needs is a step. If his defender goes under one of those screens, it's three points. Gotta go over those screens and try to deny the pass or at least be there to contest, and count on the bigs to help if he makes the backdoor cut.

Question for the x and o experts- considering Thompson's offensive prowess and his team's relative inexperience, any chance of the staff going with an unconventional defense (box and one, matchup zone, etc.) - something the Cougs might be unprepared for?

MickMick
11-29-2009, 01:02 PM
Zags are athletic enough at all five positions to switch on the screens. Instead of going around screens to reacquire your man, just switch off. Whoever winds up on Klay is on Klay.

Don't give him that brief time of being open.

This is what Minnesota started doing against the Pilot's Stohl in the second half and it proved to be effective enough to make Stohl a non-factor late in the game. They were not concerned about potential mismatches. This is when the Gophers started to make the game interesting.

Arop and Kong have the length to keep him occupied. I think they get some playing time.


Casto hasn't seen anything like Sacre and Harris yet.
Points in the paint baby!

Reborn
11-29-2009, 03:07 PM
I am so excited to see the Zags coming back home to The Kennel2 for what should be another very good game. WSU, our oldest rivals, seem prepared to put up a good fight against the Zags this year. Their awesome victory over USD in the championship game of the Alaskan Shootout seems to have now made them favorites in the game by many a fan and basketball pundit on ESPN, who today seems ready to crown WSU as the PAC 10 Savior who will hopefully put an end to all the positive talk about little old WCC.

As most basketball fans are going to want to see Thompson, I am anxious to see how WSU stops Sacre and Harris, or how they will slow down Meech, and finally how THEY will defend Bouldin and Gray. I'm excited to see how ore tough minded Zags defend Thompson and the Cougars in general.

Zag fans will be ready for this matchup and the basketball world will suddenly remember why teams do NOT like coming into the KENNEL. Before the end of the night the Cougars will wish they were back up in Alaska, even as horrible as that thought may seem.

The new Zags have really not had a chance to experience what K2 is really like when it comes to a big game. They are in for a great eperience. I am very excited to see Casto go up against Harris. I guarentee you one thing, the Cougs will be surprised by his quickness, and by his leaping ability, but mostly they will not be able to handle his toughness. Sacre, imo, is just to tall, and too good for WSU to handle. If Bobby plays smart and stays out of foul trouble the gamew will not even be close.

And finallly I am excited to see why Gonzaga did not "go after" Thompson more. We had Matt and Stephen. My prediction is that after the game everyone will know Thompson is good, but 'this year' he is not better than either. Oh yes, and Moore, the hot-shot out of Seattle, will have no idea on how to handle Meech's quickness and speed.

westside-zagfan
11-29-2009, 03:23 PM
First off a message to Mr. Deangelo Casto I hope you are ready to bang down low with the gonzaga bash brothers down in the post. You are 6'8 230 and you havent faced a legitimate threat yet this season. Well when you come to spokane you will meet Elias Harris who is also 6'8" and 220 pounds and can jump out of the gym. Then theres big rob who checks in at 7 feet tall and a cool 250 pounds. So Deangelo have fun trying to score on those 2. haha

Now how are we gonna stop klay? maybe we should deploy loyola of marlyands triangle and 2 defense that held steph curry to zero points. However loyola lost that game 73-48 haha. I dont think we need to do anything special here against klay. I think we have the length and athleticism to keep him in check. Will he score yes, good players find a way to score. we will however keep him in check and we will outscore the cougars and win this game. One important thing is to stay active defensively. He is gonna be running through screens all night and the zags will have to communicate all night and switch when necessary. They already do a good job of this but hedging the screener will be important in case they try and run some pick and rolls with klay. Keeping him in check will be key. I believe we will have the edge at every position in this game. But its basketball and shooters score and shooters can always be deadly and you gotta prepare as if he is gonna shoot how he has been shooting as of late.

Hoopaholic
11-29-2009, 03:43 PM
1. Focus on the remaining WSU team and hold them below their season average and no matter what Klay (Unless he goes off for 70 points)does we win. We win if Klay goes for 40 and the rest of the team is held in check...which means no garbage points for Casto, no easy shots for Moore.....DO not over FOCUS on Klay....play our normal, team defense and we will be fine

2. Switch on all screens involving Klay as our guards on the team can defend him , work hard to deny him thus making him work extra hard for a look at the basket

THE MAGIC BULLET in my oipnion is to ATTACK him while he is on defense. I have watched almost all of the games for WSU and am not impressed with his defensive abilities and the potential to attack him forcing him 1. into working extremely hard (thus later in game losing steam) 2. creating foul trouble issues

If we control the game, push the tempo and limit the second chance points of Casto we win this game and move on towards our next opponnent. Just wish I could be there.

Rangerzag
11-29-2009, 03:48 PM
Zag fans will be ready for this matchup and the basketball world will suddenly remember why teams do NOT like coming into the KENNEL. Before the end of the night the Cougars will wish they were back up in Alaska, even as horrible as that thought may seem.

Reborn I am going to remind you of the turncoat phenomenon displayed by the mixed allegiance Couger in ZagCammo pseudo fans who claim to be true Zags the other 729 days of the biennium. K2 will once again be the location of a sorry display of Cougar fans who have nothing better to do than masquerade
as dyed in the wool Zag fans till that one day every two years when their true colors make for an ugly scene.

In short, don't count on the Kennel being as inhospitable as usual and don't depend on what you are not going to get!

Reborn
11-29-2009, 03:59 PM
Reborn I am going to remind you of the turncoat phenomenon displayed by the mixed allegiance Couger in ZagCammo pseudo fans who claim to be true Zags the other 729 days of the biennium... In short, don't count on the Kennel being as inhospitable as usual and don't depend on what you are not going to get!

Thanks for the head up. It's sad, but since you brought it up I do remember what happened the last time the Cougars came into k2. There were a lot up upset Zag fans blogging here after the game. If my memory is right, it wasn't so much that they were cheering for WSU, but who just sat on their arses and said nothing at all. Did the Cougs beat us in K2 the last time they were there?

I guess that means that Kennel Club members must be reminded of this and come prepared to be even louder and more obnoxous than normal.

Rangerzag
11-29-2009, 04:12 PM
Media guide (pg77) claims last home game the Zags lost to WSU 51-47.

NotoriousZ
11-29-2009, 04:12 PM
Meech would be my #1 choice to defend Klay. I think he'll see a heavy dose of Goodson, Gray, Arop, and/or GJ. I would also double team him as much as possible and make the rest of Wazzu try and score. Offensively, we should have our way in the paint so keeping Klay in check should make for an easy win at home. Go Zags!

BobZag
11-29-2009, 04:27 PM
Fwiw, I don't view this game as an easy win no matter what Klay does. It will be a very difficult win if the Zags win. Don't see an easy win, though.

tyra
11-29-2009, 04:45 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but I think the last time the Zags faced the Cougs in the Kennel (two years ago), we lost and Kyle Weaver held Matt Bouldin scoreless. Not a night I care to remember. OTOH, we spanked them last year down in Pullman.

spudzag
11-29-2009, 06:06 PM
I think this is going to be a tough game. Both teams have been on a role and have things working. Casto and Moore will be contained by Goodson and Sacre respectively. I do worry about Thompson size and shooting. Several goods match ups mentioned already. We aren't always the greatest at guarding the 3 and Thompson loves it.

7ICoug
11-29-2009, 06:28 PM
My guess is that the Zag inside game will over power the smaller Cougars and will be the difference. We have no one to match up with your center. I would, however, look for some new wrinkles.

As to Thompson being a poor defender, its clear that you haven't watched him very much if you contend that. He is a way way above average defender who has guarded a lot of quality Pac-10 guards last year. He is also a big reason that UCLA is so poor this year. They failed to offer him:D

Our competition up to this point has been lousy. The only real game we have played was against San Diego, but that was easy enough. Like many young teams we play up to the competition, but no doubt the Kennel will be a factor against the young guys as well.

I also see the back court pressure as being a factor. That was really what disrupted WSU last year at Friel. Tho at least unlike Tony Bennett teams we now have a point guard.

Nice that the best basketball game in the State will be played on the East Side again this year. Unless Seattle U takes it to the Daugs.

NotoriousZ
11-29-2009, 07:02 PM
Fwiw, I don't view this game as an easy win no matter what Klay does. It will be a very difficult win if the Zags win. Don't see an easy win, though.

Of course it's just my opinion, and possibly we could run into another Colorado-like game, but I see us scoring a ton of points in this one...I guess we will see on Wednesday.

Reborn
11-29-2009, 07:11 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but I think the last time the Zags faced the Cougs in the Kennel (two years ago), we lost and Kyle Weaver held Matt Bouldin scoreless. Not a night I care to remember. OTOH, we spanked them last year down in Pullman.

Thanks. That was a really good WSU team that finished in the Sweet 16. A great, great team. I think Moore is going to be good for the Cougs, but right now he is not better than the point guard from that Coug team. That guy was AWESOME. And I don't think that Klay Thompson will defend Matt the way Kyle Weaver did. Matt is the Senior now and Gray the Junior. I do not expect the game to be all THAT close as some think.

dim4sum
11-29-2009, 07:18 PM
Unless WSU takes the air out of the ball like Cinnci , I see the Zags winning easily. Bone teams are unlikely to play slow down--although in this case it could work to their advantage. Also WSU is far less physical that Cinnci and can't play tough guy D. Gonzaga wins 76-60.

TheMorrisonIsBack
11-29-2009, 07:48 PM
I think we are better than WSU.... And I don't see how they can stop Elias and Rob.. But I'm terrified and seriously wish I could knock myself out until Wednesday night. I am SO eager to watch this game.

ZagLawGrad
11-29-2009, 09:24 PM
43 points are impressive any night of the week. But for the most part, SD just didn't seem to adjust---many of Thompson's outside shots were literally unchalleneged. I suspect the Zags' coaching staff will have a better plan to defend against Thompson than SD.

JIMMYMAC
11-29-2009, 10:46 PM
It was THE most depressing game of any sport that I have ever attended. We.just.could.not.get.it.going. We scrapped our way back into reach late but could not convert on anything outside. I will not sit down for a second at this game. I work with a few WSU alum and had to take them both out for lunch every week for a month after that game. Same bet this time, and I look forward to the same three course lunches that those bozos scraped me for last time.

Reborn
11-30-2009, 05:33 AM
The whole roster MUST have the MENTALITY to DEFEND K2 as the TOUGHEST place to play in the nation. Don't let them even keep it close.

I totally agree, Malastein. Great teams defend their home court. They take pride in defending their home turf, and they want to put the fear into every team that comes into K2, that they will NOT want to come back.

One becomes a champion step by step. It's a process. The Zags have started out great, and we all see that they have the heart of a champion. They've shown they can win on the road against some very good basketball teams. And now it's time to show what faces a team when they come into K2. I'm so glad that WSU is going to be a tough and confident opponent. It's gonna be a good fight. I don't know about you, but I like good fights. They make you better. WSU is a hot team right now, and they're coming into K2 to knock the Zags out. Clean. The way they did to San Diego. The Zags will need to be ready, or it will happen. But I know they will be ready. The fans must be ready too. I don't care if there are GU fans that will be pulling for WSU. They will be outnumbered by those Zag fans who ARE going to be pulling for the Zags. Those who are pulling for the Zags, please get ready to ROCK THE HOUSE. If Zag fans can do it in Maui, they can certainlly do it in K2. ROCK THE HOUSE. LET'S GET ROUDY!!! LET'S GET CRAZY!!! What a great way to start a new week, getting ready for one of my favorite games of the year. Although we care a lot for the Cougs, we MUST practice TOUGH LOVE and punish them severely.

DixieZag
11-30-2009, 09:23 AM
Yes, Gonzaga is probably the better team, yes if we play really well we should win, but the overconfidence on this normally sober board is pretty astonishing! BZ said it right, the Zags may win, but it will not be easy. Yes the Kennel may be the toughest place to play, but the last time the Cougs played here they flattened us (mentally) and won, the last time the Coug's Coach played us here (Portland State) they flatened us mentally and won.

This is a very very scary game to me. This team is rightly confident after winning in Maui, but may be a little young to remember (or even know) that this is a backyard brawl. We have the bigs, no doubt about it. But we also lead the galaxy in allowing opponents to have record three point nights against us. If this team goes in over confident, cocky, LAZY, they will pay big time.

We are not doomed. But we must play very well to win, I hope we do, but I am not sure.

Nevtelen
11-30-2009, 09:46 AM
Yes, Gonzaga is probably the better team, yes if we play really well we should win, but the overconfidence on this normally sober board is pretty astonishing! BZ said it right, the Zags may win, but it will not be easy. Yes the Kennel may be the toughest place to play, but the last time the Cougs played here they flattened us (mentally) and won, the last time the Coug's Coach played us here (Portland State) they flatened us mentally and won.

This is a very very scary game to me. This team is rightly confident after winning in Maui, but may be a little young to remember (or even know) that this is a backyard brawl. We have the bigs, no doubt about it. But we also lead the galaxy in allowing opponents to have record three point nights against us. If this team goes in over confident, cocky, LAZY, they will pay big time.

We are not doomed. But we must play very well to win, I hope we do, but I am not sure.

The board and the players are two totally different things, though. I hope the players aren't overconfident. I do think this has some elements of a trap game, coming before another big game and right after a few big wins. I still maintain that the Cougs have 1 very good player and not a lot after that. If we can stop or slow Thompson (which will be pretty hard, don't get me wrong), they just can't match GU at any other position. The Coug team of 2 years ago was VERY different than this team. And this GU team is VERY different than the one that lost to Port St. I don't think those are valid judgements on how this game will go.

NotoriousZ
12-01-2009, 12:25 PM
I take it back...this is going to be a tough game. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I really didn't know anything about Klay, except that he was a guard and he scored a ton of points.

After seeing footage of the guy, my "put Meech on him and it's an easy win" stratagy isn't going to work. I didn't realize how tall he is--he's listed as 6'6" on the roster, but he looked even taller than that when I watched some of his highlights.

So who's going to guard him? I think that no one guy is going to get that job done, so if we're not doubling him every time he touches the ball, it's going to be a shootout. And if our bigs get in foul trouble, it could get ugly.

The home court advantage will help, but we'd better play hard and stay away from the "stupid" fouls.