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GUZagDenver
12-03-2009, 06:10 AM
I will premise this post by saying that last night'w in was big. If you told me at the beginning of the season that we were going to have a combined 10 points from Rob Sacre and Steven Gray against a Top 25 caliber team, and still win, I would have called you crazy. We looked horrible in the first half, but turned it around and scratched one out. Something that is becoming a staple of this team.

That being said, one of my biggest concerns is Meech's inability to shoot the basketball. It really hurt us last night when they were playing off of him and sagging down on our big men. They were literally playing off of him by 10 feet, and he wouldn't shoot the ball. I know he took one shot and missed badly. He also really struggles from the free throw line, and never really looks comfortable shooting the basketball. I love what he brings to the table with his speed running the floor, and on-the-ball defense, but his shot looks bad, and hasn't really improved from last year.

jazzdelmar
12-03-2009, 06:17 AM
agree, but meech played so well vs Cincy, taking good shots and making them. still, he looks winston brooks like at times. he will prob never be a deadeye shooter but he brings so much else to the table. this team doesnt need him to take any more than 3-5 shots a gm. vilarino looks more o-minded but i cant see few changing the lienup. in certain gms, meech will just play less.

NotoriousZ
12-03-2009, 06:43 AM
You have to love what he brings on D. The one thing that would help him most IMO is to develope those 5-10 foot runners. He can blow away just about anybody with the first step, but sometimes he takes it too far into traffic and gets swatted in the paint.

There were times in the WSU game where he had a clear lane to the basket (after beating one guy off the ball) and he decided to pass instead of going for the hoop. If he was a little more aggressive on offense we could score many more points I think. He doesn't always have to take that 5-10 runners either, when the defense collapses on him (and it will after he makes a few of those) he could find the open man--easy basket.

Timeout!
12-03-2009, 06:45 AM
Its more than just his shooting -- he lacks court vision, timing on his penetration & finishes, crisp passing to the post or guards, and exhibits an unbelievably frustrating propensity to pick up his dribble in inexplicable moments. How many times does Meech allow himself to get trapped at halfcourt or on the perimeter? I haven't seen GJ or even Gibbs do this once this season. Not a sign of starting PG, IMO.

To make matter worse, Meech does it at least 4-5 times per game which leads to our offensive being out of sorts and changing the play to bail him out of a trap. Also, I love the fact he's fast and a tremendous transition guard, but he rushes things beyond recognition -- even the other players would have to agree on some level b/c it shows. Our other players never seem to be on the same page as Meech's "fast" mind. Against WSU, Meech couldn't run a play or lead to score when he was leading the offense. That should tell us something. We didn't score unless Matt, Gray, or even Gibbs lead the play.

We can only hope our so-called "true" PG improves drastically as the season progresses b/c he was next in line and the duties are his. However, I'd much prefer GJ or even Gibbs, who both seem to have a better overall/versatile game and are both solid passers. Meech, not so much for me.

Just my opinion.

zagfan24
12-03-2009, 07:08 AM
Its more than just his shooting -- he lacks court vision, timing on his penetration & finishes, crisp passing to the post or guards, and exhibits an unbelievably frustrating propensity to pick up his dribble in inexplicable moments. How many times does Meech allow himself to get trapped at halfcourt or on the perimeter? I haven't seen GJ or even Gibbs do this once this season. Not a sign of starting PG, IMO.

To make matter worse, Meech does it at least 4-5 times per game which leads to our offensive being out of sorts and changing the play to bail him out of a trap. Also, I love the fact he's fast and a tremendous transition guard, but he rushes things beyond recognition -- even the other players would have to agree on some level b/c it shows. Our other players never seem to be on the same page as Meech's "fast" mind. Against WSU, Meech couldn't run a play or lead to score when he was leading the offense. That should tell us something. We didn't score unless Matt, Gray, or even Gibbs lead the play.

We can only hope our so-called "true" PG improves drastically as the season progresses b/c he was next in line and the duties are his. However, I'd much prefer GJ or even Gibbs, who both seem to have a better overall/versatile game and are both solid passers. Meech, not so much for me.

Just my opinion.

Strongly disagree with you on this one. Meech had a tough game last night - but he has actually had very few turnovers this season. While he occasionally races down the court when the defense is slow getting back -- he has considerably improved his ability to be "under control" while doing so. Moreover, he plays within himself and doesn't force shots that aren't part of his game. His defense has been incredible this season...Few called him one of the best on ball defenders we've ever had.

Meech didn't see a lot of PT last year, and now as a Sophomore he's being asked to lead a young team from the point guard spot, which is a hell of a lot to ask. In my opinion, he's done a phenomenal job and is doing all of the things Few asks him to do. The shot will come, and he'll learn more and more how to control the tempo of games and use his speed in bursts...but I really don't think we can ask for any more than he's given us so far.

GUZagDenver
12-03-2009, 07:50 AM
Strongly disagree with you on this one. Meech had a tough game last night - but he has actually had very few turnovers this season. While he occasionally races down the court when the defense is slow getting back -- he has considerably improved his ability to be "under control" while doing so. Moreover, he plays within himself and doesn't force shots that aren't part of his game. His defense has been incredible this season...Few called him one of the best on ball defenders we've ever had.

Meech didn't see a lot of PT last year, and now as a Sophomore he's being asked to lead a young team from the point guard spot, which is a hell of a lot to ask. In my opinion, he's done a phenomenal job and is doing all of the things Few asks him to do. The shot will come, and he'll learn more and more how to control the tempo of games and use his speed in bursts...but I really don't think we can ask for any more than he's given us so far.



Will it? It certainly hasn't gotten any better from last year. He actually looks worse at the free throw line. It seems like as a sophomore in college, at this level of basketball, you can either shoot it, or you can't. And he can't. I think we kept thinking the same thing eith Pargo. Everyone thought that putting up 10,00 jump shots a summer would really improve his shotting, and it never did. Maybe I just miss the days of Ravio, Stepp, and Dickau being able to shoot the lights out, but IMO a point guard who can shoot is very important. Especially against athletic, NCAA tournament type teams who have athletic wings to guard Steven and Matt.

cjm720
12-03-2009, 07:58 AM
Wrong. Meech has improved markedly from last year. He's the 5th scoring option as a starter. Re-watch some of the games, he's been way more agressive on the scoring end this year. His foul troubles hurt him last night.

Now, if this thread was about his lack of ASSISTS for a PG I would agree. For a pass first option, his assists aren't close to where they should be IMO. That said, he has helped us win more than he's hurt us...he's a sophomore and will only get better.

Go Meech, Go Zags!!!!

DADoZAG
12-03-2009, 08:06 AM
…one of my biggest concerns is Meech's inability to shoot the basketball. It really hurt us last night when they were playing off of him and sagging down on our big men. They were literally playing off of him by 10 feet, and he wouldn't shoot the ball. I know he took one shot and missed badly. He also really struggles from the free throw line, and never really looks comfortable shooting the basketball. I love what he brings to the table with his speed running the floor, and on-the-ball defense, but his shot looks bad, and hasn't really improved from last year.

I have, admittedly, a man crush on a few of the ZAGS, including Meech. My posts touting his toughness started long ago, but this “inability” to take shots is definitely a concern. However, the inside word is that Meech’s shot has greatly improved, and Few has mentioned during more than one interview that Meech has a great shot.

What’s up?

Could it be that a fear of failure has created an internal burden for the sophomore guard? That’s my interpretation based on the reverence he shows for past GU points during his interviews with the media. Is Meech trying to think the game to much rather than just playing the game?

This fear seems to disappear when external pressure is put on him. Meech did well against Cincy, and seems to get tougher when someone knocks him down a few times. When someone gets in his face, he seems to stop thinking about what to do, and relies on his instincts.

Perhaps there needs to be a dedicated staff member to slap Meech upside the head each time he enters the game. That’s a sarcastic thought, of course, but maybe some other sort of external wake up call to get him out of his head, and into the game…

We’ve seen glimpses of what Meech can do, we know he has the athletic gifts. Coach says he can shoot. I still have the man crush and I still believe Meech is the motor that will propel this team to heights not yet seen for ZAGnation.

Go ZAGS!

JohnOGU
12-03-2009, 08:08 AM
Meech's shot LOOKs a lot better than it did last year. He just has to have confidence in himself come gametime.

bartruff1
12-03-2009, 08:08 AM
I don't think that Meech is a point guard in the traditional role of our point guards in the last ten years...BUT he is a weapon on defense...and offense it looks to me as if Few is using his speed to push and take advantage of the fast break if it is there...if not, then he gives up the ball to Matt to start the half court offense ...he is never going to be Ravio...but...they are 6-1...so something is working...he had a hell of a game against the Bearcats...

xjzico
12-03-2009, 08:15 AM
Now, if this thread was about his lack of ASSISTS for a PG I would agree. For a pass first option, his assists aren't close to where they should be IMO. That said, he has helped us win more than he's hurt us...he's a sophomore and will only get better.
It seems this year as a team assists are down.

zag buddy
12-03-2009, 08:18 AM
As the games get easier, Meech will work more variables into his game. I believe right now he is doing the things he does best minimizing his errors and allowing the other players to pick up the slack. Go Zags

CaliforniaZaggin'
12-03-2009, 08:26 AM
I agree w/ GUZagDenver. Meech is a beast on defense and he can push the ball in the open court like no one else, but his offensive stats speak for themselves. If Meech can be become a consistent perimeter shooter, then the sky is the limit. However, if he can't improve his jumper, then teams will continue to slack off him and his effectiveness in the half court will be very limited.

FG % (2009): 42.1
FG % (2008): 54.0

FT % (2009): 59.1
FT % (2008): 64.7

3P % (2009): 0
3P % (2008): 25.0

Assists (2009): 1.4
Assists (2008): 1.6

Minutes (2009): 28.1
Minutes (2008): 13.4

Baldwinzag
12-03-2009, 08:42 AM
I'll admit, Meech plays a bit too reckless for my taste, but it works half the time all the time;). However, I wouldn't give up Meech's on-the-ball defense for anything, but unless he improves with the ball in half-court sets, he'll be passed over by season's end. I could potentially foresee Grant or GJ gaining on him by throughout the conference season for starter type minutes, but we still need Meech in a big way.

He is the reason we've been successful in limiting penetration at the point of attack. Have you noticed the quick, athletic guards lighting up other teams except when they face the Zags? Just look at Hughes going off for 28 pts against Duke who had no one to stop his dribble-drive, yet Meech had little problem containing him. We're so much better defensively when he plays it isn't funny. He's a force on the defensive end and in transition and that is a commodity in College hoops. I somewhat agree that he plays rushed and out of control, but for the time being, we need to take the bad with the good.

DenDiegoZag
12-03-2009, 08:55 AM
Will it? It certainly hasn't gotten any better from last year. He actually looks worse at the free throw line. It seems like as a sophomore in college, at this level of basketball, you can either shoot it, or you can't. And he can't. I think we kept thinking the same thing eith Pargo. Everyone thought that putting up 10,00 jump shots a summer would really improve his shotting, and it never did. Maybe I just miss the days of Ravio, Stepp, and Dickau being able to shoot the lights out, but IMO a point guard who can shoot is very important. Especially against athletic, NCAA tournament type teams who have athletic wings to guard Steven and Matt.

Let's take a look at the efficiency stats for a second and see if there is evidence to support your claim that that Pargo did not really improve his shooting and that Meech has not done so thus far:

Pargo
eFG% (from DraftExpress)
2006 32
2007 52
2008 53
2009 52

Stepp
eFG% (from DraftExpress)
2002 50
2003 55
2004 55

I, like you, enjoy having "bombs away" type point guards, but the fact is that none of the teams featuring Ravio, Stepp, and Dickau as "the point guard" were able to get GU to the third weekend of the NCAA Tournament. I think that it is too early in the season to just discount Meech's shooting improvement and I also contend that it is too early in his career to say that he is not improving his shooting. Frankly, by Pargo's junior and senior years not too many guards in the country were sagging off of him. Also, I will not belabor the the fact that Dickau and Stepp were mostly considered the #1 scoring option out of both necessity and their skill, whereas Meech is not.

The point is let's not be too hasty to judge at this point.

sdzag
12-03-2009, 09:43 AM
The bigger issue is not his shooting but what he contributes on the offensive end. As long as he doesn't pass up shots I'm ok with the lack of scoring. Meech has an insane motor and passion when he plays. He can guard any PG in the country with only one or two exceptions.


Meech needs to look to PGs like Jason Richards from Davidson during their crazy run in 2007-2008. He is a better scorer then Meech but really wasn't known for that. He was known for creating for other people. Making those around him better. Chris Duhon at Duke was also very good at this. Duhon averaged 10 points or under every year he was at Duke. But he lead the team in assists, assists to turnover, and steals in his last two years. When you have great talent like they do at Duke and now Gonzaga not everyone can be a star scorer. Meech's greatest strength is quickness but quickness should create open shots for other people. Like Duhon he doesn't have to scorer over 10 a game but needs to create for others. Under 2 assists per game isn't cutting it from a starting NCAA PG.

It's odd Gonzaga has one half of the greatest pick and roll duo in the history of the game in it's back yard but still can't figure out how to get out of ball screen traps. Stockton needs to run a clinic on how to deal with this. Specifically Meech needs to become John's BFF. Meech has talent and is very athletic but needs to learn the game. I'm not sure if you can teach court vision but a PGs passes should be crisp and accurate. Meech needs to see plays developing before they happen. Meech gets sloppy with his passes and players are having to adjust to passes. He may never have Bouldin Vision but that needs to improve.

On the subject of benching Meech. I'm not for it. Our defense is our strongest asset currently. The offense runs with out Meech contributing and so his value is more then any other guard because he can play the best defense. That may change but for right now Meech has some practicing to get too.

Baldwinzag
12-03-2009, 09:52 AM
The bigger issue is not his shooting but what he contributes on the offensive end.---

Meech needs to look to PGs like Jason Richards from Davidson during their crazy run in 2007-2008. He is a better scorer then Meech but really wasn't known for that. He was known for creating for other people. Making those around him better. Chris Duhon at Duke was also very good at this. Duhon averaged 10 points or under every year he was at Duke. But he lead the team in assists, assists to turnover, and steals in his last two years. When you have great talent like they do at Duke and now Gonzaga not everyone can be a star scorer. Meech's greatest strength is quickness but quickness should create open shots for other people. Like Duhon he doesn't have to scorer over 10 a game but needs to create for others. Under 2 assists per game isn't cutting it from a starting NCAA PG.

It's odd Gonzaga has one half of the greatest pick and roll duo in the history of the game in it's back yard but still can't figure out how to get out of ball screen traps. Stockton needs to run a clinic on how to deal with this. Specifically Meech needs to become John's BFF. Meech has talent and is very athletic but needs to learn the game. I'm not sure if you can teach court vision but a PGs passes should be crisp and accurate. Meech needs to see plays developing before they happen. Meech gets sloppy with his passes and players are having to adjust to passes. He may never have Bouldin Vision but that needs to improve.

Well said and perfect insight re: Meech. This entire thread could be summed up in your post alone. I especially enjoyed the two paragraphs above and couldn't have said it better myself:D...

gamagin
12-03-2009, 09:55 AM
are the matchups. Or mismatches. It is going to happen. It happened with our short, fast guards last night.

The problem wasn't so much Meech as our game underneath collapsing. Meech should have taken more shots, imo, but what he was trying to do was reestablish our gameplan -- get or go underneath and crash the boards. That broke down.

Gray was cold, RS was crowded and confused, and Matt & Elias were trying to adjust, too.

Credit WSU for that. They were daring him to shoot.

But I don't blame Meech. Few or someone, if they were going to leave Meech in, should have told him to go ahead and shoot if/when open and we'd have seen whether he was on or off. Instead he, like literally everyone else, was trying to force the game inside instead of forcing WSU to be honest and come out to challenge him and the rest on the perimeter by taking the open shot.

That's what the Cougs did to great effect early on. guys no one expected to shoot shot. and they shot well. We never found out.

In sum, we were predictible and WSU played it for all it was worth. Until we adjusted our game, their game prevailed.

I'm thinking that big lineup will be seen more often as the season progresses.

We're a better inside-out team than outside-in. We need to establish that early and often, imo, and that opens up the perimeter, if we need it.

Go TEAM Zags !

Postplayer57
12-03-2009, 09:59 AM
Meech will be fine. But mark my words,the main guy running this team after Matt leaves will be Grant Gibbs. Court sense, toughness , passing ability, shooting threes and leadership will compete well vs speed & athleticism.

FlagZag
12-03-2009, 10:00 AM
Box score for our pt guards is a bit scary. Meech, GJ and GG had a combined 2 pts and went 0-4 from the free throw line. They had a combined 2 rebounds. Look for similiar defenses in the future. The key gets really crowded. Nice adjustment by the Zags last night but it puts a lot of pressure on other players to score big. You know Wake was watching.

Ezag
12-03-2009, 10:06 AM
Meech is great. His court vision is limited because he is so short, and so fast that everything is a blur:)

vandalzag
12-03-2009, 10:26 AM
He has to become more involved in the offense, if he can't hit an outside shot he must penetrate and draw some attention from the defense. If not teams will leave him alone and double the post each time they get the ball. His defense is good, but the team is at a disadvantage on offense when he is on the floor. This is not saying they need him to score 20 a game, but he has to at least be a factor. Right now he is not. The lack of playmaking from the PG position will take away any chance of making a run come March.

bballbeachbum
12-03-2009, 10:51 AM
are the matchups. Or mismatches. It is going to happen. It happened with our short, fast guards last night.

The problem wasn't so much Meech as our game underneath collapsing. Meech should have taken more shots, imo, but what he was trying to do was reestablish our gameplan -- get or go underneath and crash the boards. That broke down.

Gray was cold, RS was crowded and confused, and Matt & Elias were trying to adjust, too.

Credit WSU for that. They were daring him to shoot.

But I don't blame Meech. Few or someone, if they were going to leave Meech in, should have told him to go ahead and shoot if/when open and we'd have seen whether he was on or off. Instead he, like literally everyone else, was trying to force the game inside instead of forcing WSU to be honest and come out to challenge him and the rest on the perimeter by taking the open shot.

That's what the Cougs did to great effect early on. guys no one expected to shoot shot. and they shot well. We never found out.

In sum, we were predictible and WSU played it for all it was worth. Until we adjusted our game, their game prevailed.

I'm thinking that big lineup will be seen more often as the season progresses.

We're a better inside-out team than outside-in. We need to establish that early and often, imo, and that opens up the perimeter, if we need it.

Go TEAM Zags !

well said, and agree. the toolbox expanded last night right before our eyes, and we're deeper and more versatile for it. liking this team, man

bullzag23
12-03-2009, 10:55 AM
It seems this year as a team assists are down.

As an educated guess I would assume that has a lot to do with our turnovers being up due to the inexperienced squad we have. It seems to me from simply watching our games this year that in the first half of every game we turn the ball over way too much, giving our opponent a big lead that we wither down in the 2nd half. Now against MSU this wasn't the case as we forced a ton of TO's in the first half, but in all of our wins we seem to be either nervous or overly excited and I think as the season goes along those young nerves will calm down.

WallaWallaZag
12-03-2009, 01:28 PM
i don't think it is nerves or being overly excited, but we have definitely had some problems in the first half against both colorado and wsu. in both games we had the early lead before giving up big runs...we were up on colorado until the 12 minute mark and up on wsu until the 13 minute mark. i think that we are just a little inconsistent right now probably due to our inexperience.

alldaye
12-03-2009, 02:12 PM
I really think if the matchup does not benefit Meech, or the offense becomes stagnant, Gibbs, Arop, Kong, or GJ must be subbed in quickly. Preferably Gibbs. He's got great court vision and can shoot, I love his hustle and heart too. Meech is just such a liability offensively in every catagory.

zag67
12-03-2009, 02:33 PM
I think that all of us need to look at the "real" experience that Meech has. Not that much. Most of the time last year was during cleanup, but he has showed moments of briliance. He is learning and doing a great at on the job learning. Defensively he is doing fantastic. Offensively, when another team closes down our main options, this team does not have the additional sets in yet (but they are getting there and will be getting more). As many have said earlier our defense is ahead of the offense. They need time (including Meech) to learn and recognize when to do other things (including shooting). They are young and are winning through gutts. Just remember where we thought they would be at this time.

U Zig, I Zag
12-03-2009, 02:40 PM
as time goes on. I love Meech, the love affair started during the Tourney and his instinct to go to the rim when time was running down...

That said, I hold my breath when he speeds up the court like that - there doesn't seem to be anything there half the time - it's almost as if 'I am faster than you!!' and nothing more. It kills me when he picks up the dribble for no reason whatsoever. Don't start a drinking game based on him picking up the dribble - you won't make it to the end of the game...

The D is good, but so is Gray and GJ is fast as lightning as well - maybe GJ gets more time as the season progresses? It wouldn't surprise me one bit that at the end of the season Meech isn't in as much as he is now.

I don't claim to know what the coaches see but I do know what I am watching on the court and his play is too skittish and his lack of a shot (and the respect it brings more importantly) is an anchor around this team's neck sometimes.

In all the games we have played, does anyone remember the opposing team's PG seem so out of control? He just doesn't PLAY like a PG in my opinion - in the Zag tradition or any other tradition.

Obviously he is afraid to shoot it somewhat. Maybe they need a few plays that are arranged for him to shoot short jumpers or three's - no matter what. If he has to shimmy to break free then pop it, fine - but if the bigs know what is going down they can crash the boards on the weakside. Heck, WSU was banging putbacks like it was a designed play. Maybe if Meech felt safer he would play looser with his shot.

Right now, the PG spot is our weakest spot IMHO.

chirguy
12-03-2009, 03:55 PM
Meech is a stud. He has really helped us defensively and to a lesser extent offensively. He doesn't have to be a 39 minute per gamer like Matty and Gray. On this team he has a role. Bring the ball up, play great defense and drive to get other point. If other teams sag and it hurts us other (Maybe Grant) can take his place. One thing to note, like Gray last night, when you play the great on ball defense it takes it out of you.

I think Meech is good now and will be great. He quite an asset, but in my mind a role player.