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View Full Version : Reflections on the WSU game



Reborn
12-03-2009, 05:40 AM
First of all I'd like to congratulate the Cougars on one heck of a fight. You guys are for real, man. You are NOT a one man team. You ALL played great, and I thought it was the best game of the year so far. Good luck in the PAC 10. I'll be pulling for you. Bone is a very good coach.

WOW! What a game. I thougt it was one of the best games I've seen Few coach. So congrats to him. It must have been a tough decision to keep Sacre on the bench, but imo, it was the right one. And Kelly really came throgh big time with his best game so far. I think Malestein got him fired up (:D just kidding Mal). These guys are definitely the Cardiac Kids. Are we going to have to go through this every game? This was the kind of game that a great rivalry should be played like. Wow!

Matt was unbelievable all night. Did he even get a break? He reminded me of Dickau for sure. The best guard play since Dan's been gone, and it was kool that Dan was there to see it. I thought Matt looked like the real senior that he is. He understood what this game means to the team, the school and fans. He just seemed to me that he wasn't going to let the Zags lose to WSU. Not on his watch. And although his shooting was phenominal, it was his effort and TOGHNESS that impressed me the most. HIS DEFENSE was really goood. I never thought I'd ever say that about Matt. :D

And Harris was incredible. Few must have lit a fire under him at halftime. I really like to watch him play when he's on fire like he was last night. He too, just seemed to refuse to lose. He is ONE TOUGH GUY, and when he's in his zone he doesn't miss shots. I hope Few decides to go to him more and more and more. Or maybe the players decide that. But I have not seen anyone stop him yet. He's headin toward Freshman of the year, imo. He can score 20 a game if we get him the ball. THE HUMAN POGOSTICK. :)

And Gray is unbelievably tough as well. UNBELIEVABLY. What a job on Thompson. The most important question by bloggers here was,"who is going to guard Klay Thompson?" Well we found out. Matt said it best about Steven, "he should have been player of the game." I think the bond between Matt and Steven is beautiful to see. They play so great together. They remind me of Frahm and Santangilo.

Olynyk quiets his doubters I think. His best game by far, and we are seeing that he can score. Kelly fully understands how to play like a Zag. He's going to be sooooooo good. Each game he gets better. What an effort last night, EVEN on the boards. True grit, man. He understands toughness. Sacre can take some lessos from Olynyk in this area, imo.

Gibbs was really solid too. The guy has GREAT basketball vision. He made two huge passes, in true qualiy time. He makes very few mistakes. And that's why he is playing. I think we fans are learning that a player can help a team in more ways then just by scoring.

Arop was great too. He only gave Thompson one basket, and he too played quality time. It is obvious to me that Few trusts these Freshmen. When we were making our comeback it was with 4 Freshmen and Matt. It was unbelievable really. I think our Frosh may even be better than North Carolina's (who are, by the way, the talk of the nation). They were: Harris, Manny, Gibbs and Olynyk. And they all went to the next (and most important) level, and like shut the Coug out.

Great game. I'm already looking forward to Saturday against Wake Forest.

HRZag
12-03-2009, 06:04 AM
Great summary Reborn.

I get to watch the game tonight, as it was my wife's birthday last night.

These are exciting times.....and it looks like it will only get better for some time to come.

Go Zags.

ZagMan in Philly
12-03-2009, 06:18 AM
Agree on all counts...and Harris was definitely the Igniter that lead the charge for the comeback and win last night. I remember with about 5 mins left, down by 4, he stripped the ball, we went the other way, and Matt popped a long three....a momentum changer.
I hope we will have him for at least 2 years.

FuManShoes
12-03-2009, 06:35 AM
One thing that sticks out to me (among many others), is that virtually anyone the Zags put on the floor can handle the ball and run the fast break. Both Kelly and Elias broke out of the pack during the comeback, leading to buckets or fouls. The ability to really force the action and not let defenses get back is key for this team and you just don't see many bigs with that skill. I wish Rob could handle the ball better and pass better out of double teams and hopefully it comes along.

titopoet
12-03-2009, 06:47 AM
Also, Few is a coaching genius. WSU game plan was sag in the middle on Sacre and Harris and let GU try to beat from the outside. Few saw this and made an adjustment gamble. Take out Sacre and use Kelly's slasher midrange game. What that did is clear out the paint for Harris to operate. Kelly has a good of a midgame that if allowed to freely roam, he will kill you, as WSU found out. By having to follow KO out it KOed WSU. Then GU fed Harris and Kelly the ball outside the paint and let them slash toward the basket. If Sacre stays in, there is no room to operate. Bouldin made them pay from the outside and Harris from the inside. Nice move by Few.

GoZags
12-03-2009, 06:58 AM
Great summary Reborn.

I get to watch the game tonight, as it was my wife's birthday last night.

These are exciting times.....and it looks like it will only get better for some time to come.

Go Zags.

Belated Happy Birthday wishes to your bride.

GU69
12-03-2009, 07:11 AM
Very nice summary, Reborn.

I particularly like the recognition of what a good coaching job it took to win.

DixieZag
12-03-2009, 07:13 AM
They were the difference alright and they do not even have a good understanding of what the Zags are trying to do offensively, they are getting by on true grit. Gibbs two passes took unbelievable courage and helped turn the game, they had to be pin point and it would have been easy to look away and hand it back out.

As for our Freshmen being better than North Carolina's four, I would say hold on a minute. I saw NC play the other day against Michigan State, we are not there yet. But we have nothing but upside, that is for sure.

zagfan24
12-03-2009, 07:17 AM
Matt said it best about Steven, "he should have been player of the game." I think the bond between Matt and Steven is beautiful to see. They play so great together. They remind me of Frahm and Santangilo.


I think this might be my favorite part of this season so far, amongst many favorites. Our two seasoned vets appear to generally enjoy playing with each other and show respect for one another on and off the court.

The team as a whole reflects this...it is the most unselfish group I have seen in a long time in college or pro basketball and the guys genuinely appear to have each others backs. Every time they huddle up we see encouragement, teaching, and direction -- no yelling, blaming, shrugging, etc.

I can't say enough about both Bouldin and Gray and what they have brought to the team and our program as both individuals and teammates.

FuManShoes
12-03-2009, 07:51 AM
http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sportslink/2009/dec/02/more-thoughts-gus-win-over-wsu/

Jedster
12-03-2009, 08:56 AM
Ditto on the Cougs! I hope they surprise a lot of people and put a hurting on them in Pac-10 play! I know I'll be pulling for them the rest of the season. Even though we held Klay to "only" 15 points, he sure shows that he is a great scorer. I was amazed at some of the tough shots he was taking...and making, though he did miss a fair number. In some ways, watching him reminded me of watching Morrison, at least with the feeling of "what are you shooting that for..oh, great basket!" He is definitely someone they can build around and be successful, and he's only a sophomore!

With that being said, they need someone else (or two) to step up for secondary scoring, as the game plan executed by GU tonight will be what will happen all year to the Cougs. Not sure how many teams will be able to match up with Klay like GU did with SG, but they need someone else to keep teams somewhat honest.

Casto is amazing! He has so much "hop" and energy, though it diminished as the game went along (maybe Harris had a bit to do with that). He has great positioning for rebounds and great timing. If he can just develop and polish his offensive game a bit more, the sky could truly be the limit for him.

I think teams will have their hands full all year. I am interested to see what Casto does to UW this year as I don't see anyone on their team who can match up with him. IMO our front court is much bigger and more dominant than UW's and we had our hands full a good part of the game with him. Good luck the rest of the season Cougs!

Xin Loi 67
12-03-2009, 09:09 AM
Last nights performance, "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," provided a rollercoaster of emotions for all watching. I hope everyone enjoyed the excitment of this big time come back and win as much as we here.

While watching the game the second time it something really hit me. The calm confident jabbing, rope-a-dope, let them think they have the game then, at 15 down, you go to work was not the game plan. Harris was brilliant, Gray was steadfast, his defense and Bouldin's jabbing in the first period reminded me of the Ali in his fight with Foreman. At half time for some reason, I still had a good feeling. I was confident Few and his staff would have a plan and it would be executed. It was, and the last five minutes of the game reminded me of the final stages of a bull fight, you just knew what was coming. The end came like a dagger and it was over with time to spare.

The calm and confidence of the coaches off and on the court won the game last night. My hope is that the play catches up with the confidence. It's going to happen, I'm confident but don't think for a second, I'm calm.

BobZag
12-03-2009, 09:33 AM
So far, imho, Matt has been the best leader of a Zag team I can remember. So far he ranks with the very best.

Nevtelen
12-03-2009, 09:36 AM
So far, imho, Matt has been the best leader of a Zag team I can remember. So far he ranks with the very best.

Agreed. Bouldin has been a spectacular senior leader so far!

Reborn
12-03-2009, 03:12 PM
I've thought about Robert today. I think he has difficulty playing against and defending smaller Centers. He had a similar problem against Colorado. He seems almost surprised when defenders doubl-team him, and he look clueless about what do do when it happens. Hasn't he had any training on how to react to a double-team? He had better start working on it.

His rebounding and help defense is horrible. I mean horrible. That's what had me so discouraged last night. It seems like he just wasn't even there in the game. He seemed to have no spirit at all. No desire. He just gives almost no help in the midddle, and he leaves the basket totally undended at times. He seems so much more like he wants to get charging calls rather than get a block. He started out good too, and he just kept getting worse and worse. He had NO toughness in him last night. Thank God for Olynyk. I think of him at the beginning of the year against Michigan St., how great he was. Posting up, and a nice hook shot. He's now looking like he wants to keep going out further and further outside. Just like someone else I remember. When he was going up with the ball inside last night, he just had no toughness at all, and I think that that is why the refs weren't callig fouls on Casto. Casto beat him down, imo and that worries me. Yes. Casto is tough, but he's only 6'6". What is going to happen when Robert faces a 6'10" to 7'0" guy as tough as Casto?

Like Malestein I now wonder if Few does need to pull Dower's redshirt. Not because of Olynyk but becase of Rob. We play Wake next, and they have two tough low post players. He does seem to play better against big guys like Gates from Cincinatti.

I'm wondering what you all think. Is Rob getting soft and losing his confidence?