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Section 116
01-24-2010, 04:27 PM
On last evenings post LMU game radio show, Coach Rice noted all those missed free throws again. He was adamant about 14 points left on the court when they were opportunities to score. They are FREE throws, Free points and we have to get better. His other point of interest was the lack of a "LOCKDOWN" defender on this edition of the Zags. He noted Keion Bell's performance Thursday night and Vernon Teel last night and said what these Zags really lack is a lockdown guy like Errol Knight, or maybe the best defender ever at GU, Mike Neilsen. Rice said there is no one on this team who is that guy who will just get into the game with the ultimate defensive mindset and shut down the hothand of the opposition. He didn't name names or anything like that, he just lamented that we don't have THAT guy. Certainly team defense is important but......

ZagNative
01-24-2010, 04:34 PM
Excellent post, Section 116. Thank you once again for having your ear to the ground for us.

BobZag
01-24-2010, 05:14 PM
The staff doesn't recruit defense. They recruit offense. Nilson and Knight are two Zags in 12 years.

FuManShoes
01-24-2010, 05:40 PM
I am a bit confussed because I thought Steven Gray has been that and secondly I am confussed because I don't know how you have a lockdown guy playing zone. Can someone please explain this to me?

Anyone think Gray's defense has suffered a bit as he's become more aggressive offensively? He seems to be working harder on offense -- driving and running the floor more. A guy can only do so much and I wonder if that's taking a toll on the defensive end. I also wonder how close Manny is to being that guy -- the guy brought into the game to shut an opposing player down.

BSUBronco74
01-24-2010, 06:10 PM
[QUOTE=JohnnyGonzaga;522202]I don't remember Nilson

You don't remember Nilson? If you've been watching the Zags for any length of time at all, it would be hard not to remember Mike Nilson. Or Pendergraft for that matter, or Errol Knight.

Steven Gray is close, but nobody on this years team has yet decided that they will unconditionally and sometimes single-handedly lock down the opponent's offense like those guys did.

Zag365
01-24-2010, 06:19 PM
[QUOTE=JohnnyGonzaga;522202]I don't remember Nilson

You don't remember Nilson? If you've been watching the Zags for any length of time at all, it would be hard not to remember Mike Nilson. Or Pendergraft for that matter, or Errol Knight.

Mike Nilson is the guy you see in the videos kissing the logo at center court. I think he graduated with the 2000 class.

CDC84
01-24-2010, 06:30 PM
Can a guy play lockdown defense and be a big scorer?

Yes. Michael Jordan immediately comes to mind.

Ex-Florida wing Corey Brewer is another good example on a smaller scale. First rate wing defender, but also offensively skilled.

This is why it would be so nice to recruit at the McDonald's AA level. A lot of the guys who can do both things are those type of recruits.

ZagNative
01-24-2010, 06:50 PM
When The Bulletin ran their Elite Eight commemorative series, I posted this about Mike Nilson on guboards, summarizing some of his achievements (http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?p=258099#post258099).


WCC Defender of the Year - 1999 - 2000

Nilson's not mentioned in this December 11, 1999 story in Sports Illustrated, but you have to believe his defensive prowess had a lot to do with the outcome:

Quote:
Ugly UCLA
No. 11 Bruins set school record in 59-43 loss

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The little school that shocked the NCAA tournament with its run to the Elite Eight last season pulled off another big surprise Saturday.

Reserve Ryan Floyd scored a career-high 17 points, including five 3-pointers, and No. 24 Gonzaga held No. 11 UCLA to its lowest point total ever at Pauley Pavilion in a 59-43 victory.
....
"They just took our heart and our pride from us," UCLA freshman Jason Kapono said. "They started hitting shots and crashing the rebounds and we couldn't answer that. That's when our heart was taken and it was all downhill from there."

With John Wooden watching from behind the bench, the Bruins narrowly avoided the school record for fewest points in a half (14) at Pauley Pavilion when Earl Watson scored their final five points in the last two minutes to give them 17.

"I'm surprised at losing to any team," Watson said. "Almost every game, I think I'm going to win it, especially in Pauley Pavilion."

UCLA (3-1) shot 26 percent for the game -- a school-record low in Pauley -- and had 16 turnovers.

"The odds on us ever shooting the ball this poorly again would be very unlikely," coach Steve Lavin said. "We were probably 19 percent until a couple of late baskets."
__________________
I didn't notice if anyone else in this thread mentioned that Nilson is Gonzaga's strength and conditioning coach and has been for a while.

72Prep
01-24-2010, 07:13 PM
Alright, but rare.

True. The NBA's all time leader in assists (offense) and steals (defense) comes to mind also.

sittingon50
01-24-2010, 07:17 PM
Bill Russell.

Ezag
01-24-2010, 07:27 PM
Gray is probably our best defender, Harris is good, however not against bigs in the paint. I thought Meech would be that lockdown type defender with this speed but I guess not

TM27
01-24-2010, 08:47 PM
I thought Demetri Goodson was our lockdown defender? Isnt that why he is getting so many minutes?

WallaWallaZag
01-24-2010, 10:00 PM
I don't remember Nilson, but Knight was not averaging 18 points a game either. Adding to the question...Can a guy play lockdown defense and be a big scorer?

avery bradley

U Zig, I Zag
01-24-2010, 11:55 PM
Gray is our best defender based on what I have seen. Manny is good but he over plays it bit too much and get get burned, this will be fixed I imagine.

Meech is good, not great at shutting someone down, but good at meeting their point really fast and then staying with him.

Part of the problem, take the Bell indecent for instance, is that 1) you are not going to be able to stop a pure scorer. They can have an off night and you can be good on D and it all comes together but sometimes the bball gods are on your side and the rim is the size of a swimming pool. Bell made one when he just threw it up, I don't think he was even trying - he was fouled and threw it towards the rim. Nobody is going to stop that. 2) stopping someone like Bell is really more than just one person. You can force the player different directions, lead them into help defense, put a group on the floor that when a screen switch happens any particular player isn't totally mismatched (aka, if a guard is hot then go small all around).

In reference to overall lack of D or the ability for GU to put the smackdown on lesser teams - the St Marys board has a few posts that say we are looking more and more beatable each game...

A good @Home whipping might be in order.

alaskazagnut
01-25-2010, 02:29 AM
I would expect that the staff would claim that Goodson was lockdown. Wow, I guess everybody confuses sheer speed with being a good defender. I have seen speed from Goodson but not steals, tip aways, or blocks (I know... blocks by a 5 10 guy?:lmao: ). All anyone says about Goodson right now is that his intangibles and speed are very important and that Few must know what he is doing. I agree. But he needs some tangibles. Like some consistency in scoring, assists, rebounds or some steals and FT's. Meech needs to work on EVERY aspect of his game. Like a kid who doesn't know his own strength, Meech doesn't know his own speed. He can't control the team or the ball very well if he is going as fast as he can all the time. Its immature and selfish IMO. It would be like Will Foster just waving his arms as high as he can all the time because he is tall. Some intangible benefit must come from being taller, right? <sarcasm> It is an exaggerated analogy, but it's like Meech always running around as fast as he can, just because he can. He needs to find a balance like in the San Diego game and the 1st half of the Pepp game. If the staff does not feel Goodson is our lockdown defender (like we have implied on this board), then my worst suspicions are confirmed: Goodson has a long way to go and is lucky to be a starter, by default. I'm not bashing Goodson. He isn't even the weakest link for the team. He is just in way over his head and he is the best we have right now. At least thats what I believe.

MBOHNERT
01-25-2010, 04:03 AM
if goodson is not our "lockdown" defender then bench him...because he certainly doesnt contribute on the offensive end--in fact he's a liability.

GUZagDenver
01-25-2010, 07:00 AM
if goodson is not our "lockdown" defender then bench him...because he certainly doesnt contribute on the offensive end--in fact he's a liability.

Agreed. He's brutal.

zag67
01-25-2010, 08:18 AM
I think that before his career is over that Manny will be that type of player. I also think that he will score and rebound.

CDC84
01-25-2010, 09:57 AM
In all due respect to Coach Rice, the Zags are currently ranked at 83 in adjusted defensive efficiency at kenpom.com. Having a lock down defender would be nice, but it's a more profound problem than that. This team is defending worse than any GU team since the 2005/06 squad.

bballbeachbum
01-25-2010, 10:05 AM
read all these comments, and others on other threads, so went back and charted Teels' game last night. results are shared below. sorry the post is so long.......

Teel went for 16 pts. and 5 assists in the first half. His first point, a free throw to open the game, came after a Meech foul. None of his other 16 pts. or 5 assists in that half came with Meech as the primary defender, none (Matt got picked on one of Teel's 3 pointers, with Meech coming over to try and help; that's as close as it got)

We were up 9 pts. with 4 minutes to play in the first half, and gave it all back. Meech was not on the floor for any of that.

Then, LMU went almost the first 4 minutes of the second half without a point, and finally scored on a Teel FT after Meech fouled him; Meech was the primary on Teel in that 4 minute span. Teel did not score a field goal vs. Meech as the primary until 12:30 remained in the second half; he had already gone for 19 points (those were #s 20 and 21) and GU was up 12 points by then!

Frankly, the only player to stick with Teel in that game was Meech, even tho he was imperfect at it. Matt, Steven, Grant, Manny, KO and Elias all struggled and either allowed him to get to the paint and operate or collected fouls. That is not a rip on any of them, not even!!! Teel is good, I get that. thank goodness he missed so many freebies, and that Meech could take on that chore...lockdown defender or not!

Further, their gameplan was for Teel to post Meech up when they matched up, but it never worked except for that one FT to start the game, that's it. Then they let him try Meech on the perimeter as the second half wore on, but Meech more than held his own.

I'll say it: Meech played well in the second half. He would have had more dimes, too, if open shots that normally go down were drained. and it was Meech's push with the ball that often let us set up our O in the second half before their zone could set up (at the end of the first half, we could not score against their zone), and that was a key...not just running around fast simply because he can :lmao:

I'm no Meech apologist; that's what happenned in the game.

GO TEAM ZAGS!!!

titopoet
01-25-2010, 10:14 AM
Again, I wish would pack the line and not switch on every screen. Better to play team man to man than to rely on a "lock down" defender. Just one man opinion.

soccerdud
01-25-2010, 11:03 AM
thanks for the info bum.

i interpret meech's defensive job different than many people in this thread. to me, he will never be (and is not supposed to be) a "lockdown" defender. why? because typically the player you wish to "lockdown" is 6'3"+ slasher. these players typically are versatile athletes, with size, hops, range, and are comfortable around the basket. they will often be 5" or more taller than meech, and will likely eat his lunch if allowed to take him down into the post prior to receiving the ball (though i have every confidence meech would do everything he can to prevent that).

to me, meech's job and his value on defense is in establishing the "point" on defense, harassing, making it difficult for the opposing ballhandler to bring the ball up and get into their offense. he is particularly strong in a tough man-to-man denial scheme with the ball picked up at or near midcourt. i have seen a number of times this season where it felt like meech led the defense in causing the opponents to just go completely cold-- and this kind of contribution isn't necessarily measured in tipped balls and steals by the point man... i'd be more interested in turnovers per minute and opposing shooting percentage when meech is on the floor vs. when he is on the bench. i believe, without seeing the numbers, that he makes a significant defensive impact without being a "lockdown" defender in the right matchup and scheme.

however, as someone else said "i am not a meech apologist." i feel that the last couple of games were much better for him as far as making passes that lead to shooting opportunities, not driving into positions he couldn't dribble, pass, or shoot out of, etc... but he still needs work on all those things. he also NEEDS to hit his free throws consistently, or he will continue to be watching rather than playing during crunch time.

Zagsker
01-25-2010, 11:04 AM
On last evenings post LMU game radio show, Coach Rice noted all those missed free throws again. He was adamant about 14 points left on the court when they were opportunities to score. They are FREE throws, Free points and we have to get better. His other point of interest was the lack of a "LOCKDOWN" defender on this edition of the Zags. He noted Keion Bell's performance Thursday night and Vernon Teel last night and said what these Zags really lack is a lockdown guy like Errol Knight, or maybe the best defender ever at GU, Mike Neilsen. Rice said there is no one on this team who is that guy who will just get into the game with the ultimate defensive mindset and shut down the hothand of the opposition. He didn't name names or anything like that, he just lamented that we don't have THAT guy. Certainly team defense is important but......

I was told that Meech was said defender and that is WHY he needs to be on the floor:confused:

Zagsker
01-25-2010, 11:06 AM
if goodson is not our "lockdown" defender then bench him...because he certainly doesnt contribute on the offensive end--in fact he's a liability.

bingo

I really like the speed in which Meech brings the ball up and he is a pest on D..but we do so much switching when we are in man that it really negates it. I just am struggling to find WHY Meech is so vital to have on the floor, when offensively he leaves us with 4 guys to their 5 and defensively, given what we have been doing, he is a non-factor

I will say though, it is amazing that we can still light up the scoreboard when we are 4 vs 5

CDC84
01-25-2010, 11:24 AM
Meech is not a wing defender. He guards the point of attack. Most D-1 teams do not have 6-4 point guards like LMU had in that game. It was a very rough matchup for him. When Meech is facing a normal PG like Trevon Hughes (6-0), Deonta Vaughn
(6-1), etc., he can be terrific on D.

I think when Coach Rice refers to a "lock down defender," what he's really referring to is a GU wing who lock down a high scoring wing on the opposing team.

This team is also not the greatest team when it comes to interior defense and shotblocking. Unlike last season, if someone gets past the first line of defense with this year's crew, GU doesn't have a Daye or Heytvelt to defend the rim and swat things away.

dim4sum
01-25-2010, 11:26 AM
whatever Meech can do, Gibbs can do more methodically, predictably and efficiently. He may not lack blinding speed, but how many Western Kentucky games are there anyway? With Gibbs in there the team has the capacity to pulverize its opposition. With Meech at the helm, there is just too much inconsistency as in the case of big leads being whittled away.
The kind of speed Meech has should result in two or three steals a game,
tips, deflections, forcing the opposition into nervous error-making, but that hasn't happened

FuManShoes
01-25-2010, 11:30 AM
Don't we need to distinguish between lockdown defender and tough defender/offensive ignitor? As another poster said, Meech may not be a "lockdown" guy who can guard three positions, but he can harass the hell out of other team's PG and on the offensive end, he's been playing much better drive and kick ball. I know it pains many that Meech is not a scoring PG or even a servicable free-throw shooter, but he also must be recognized as a solid ball handler, a speed demon, a dogged defender, a tough hombre and a good floor leader. The Zags are 15-3 and Meech has started each of those games and is averaging 26 minutes a game. Obviously he is doing something right out there or the Zags would constantly be faltering with him in the game.

CDC84
01-25-2010, 11:42 AM
Gibbs, Bouldin and Gray are too tall and slow to guard the point of attack against top 25 BCS teams with small, lightning fast PG's. It would work in the WCC though. But as far as the NCAA's are concerned, GU would struggle to get past the first weekend with anyone of those 3 guarding the point of attack. Like it or not, the Zags are going to have to live or die with Meech this season. The only real solution is get someone in the spring who can defend, run the team and shoot it. Those guys are hard to come by though...especially late in the recruiting season.

spudzag
01-25-2010, 11:59 AM
Maybe Rice is generally calling them out.

ZagNative
01-25-2010, 01:31 PM
whatever Meech can do, Gibbs can do more methodically, predictably and efficiently. He may not lack blinding speed, but how many Western Kentucky games are there anyway? With Gibbs in there the team has the capacity to pulverize its opposition. With Meech at the helm, there is just too much inconsistency as in the case of big leads being whittled away.
The kind of speed Meech has should result in two or three steals a game,
tips, deflections, forcing the opposition into nervous error-making, but that hasn't happenedFWIW, on Tom Hudson's radio show at noon today, Tom questioned Coach Few about what Rice had said about the lack of a lockdown defender, a dfensive stopper, and Few acted surprised. He said, "I disagree totally. Steven Gray is as good as we've had." He cited the job Steven had done on Klay Thompson and Willie Warren, but said that the problem arises when Steven gets in foul trouble as a result of playing too aggressively for how valuable he is to the team and that the team needs to help more.

Of Grant Gibbs, Few said he has a great feel for the game, but that they're trying to get him playing harder on defense. Few said, "He's a defensive liability every time he goes in. If he can change his defensive effort, he'll earn more minutes."

alaskazagnut
01-25-2010, 01:48 PM
to start at true point guard right now. He knows Mark Fews system, he has WCC and NCAA Tournament experience, and I have to believe he is just in his sophomore slump, a really long sophomore slump, but he will learn his limits come tournament time.

I feel for him because once you know your problem, overcompensation and confidence can become even worse. He will pull through, but his minutes and starting job this year may be/are in jeopardy. IMO. Maybe Few and CO. have no intention of having him come off the bench. He does stimulate game tempo and the other guys feed off that. Maybe that is why we always come out to a big lead to start games. Then something goes slightly wrong and teams catch up regardless how good they are.

cjm720
01-25-2010, 01:53 PM
FWIW, on Tom Hudson's radio show at noon today, Tom questioned Coach Few about what Rice had said about the lack of a lockdown defender, a dfensive stopper, and Few acted surprised. He said, "I disagree totally. Steven Gray is as good as we've had." He cited the job Steven had done on Klay Thompson and Willie Warren, but said that the problem arises when Steven gets in foul trouble as a result of playing too aggressively for how valuable he is to the team and that the team needs to help more.

Of Grant Gibbs, Few said he has a great feel for the game, but that they're trying to get him playing harder on defense. Few said, "He's a defensive liability every time he goes in. If he can change his defensive effort, he'll earn more minutes."

Thanks, ZN. This is exactly what I thought...wow, me and Coach think a like. Maybe I am coach? :)

MontanaZag
01-26-2010, 04:46 AM
Great Post! He's the starting PG for the #8 team in the land! He brings heart and toughness to a team that needs it. As far as I'm concerned he could be playing MORE minutes. I like Grant Gibbs, but try starting him against campbell from Portland and see what kind of game he has, just because its the first PG in a while that isnt a "scorer" doesn't mean he isn't valuable. Go Meech!

Zag79
01-27-2010, 11:48 PM
The staff doesn't recruit defense. They recruit offense. Nilson and Knight are two Zags in 12 years.

bingo!


Meech is not a wing defender. He guards the point of attack. Most D-1 teams do not have 6-4 point guards like LMU had in that game. It was a very rough matchup for him. When Meech is facing a normal PG like Trevon Hughes (6-0), Deonta Vaughn
(6-1), etc., he can be terrific on D.

bingo, again!


Don't we need to distinguish between lockdown defender and tough defender/offensive ignitor? As another poster said, Meech may not be a "lockdown" guy who can guard three positions, but he can harass the hell out of other team's PG and on the offensive end, he's been playing much better drive and kick ball. I know it pains many that Meech is not a scoring PG or even a servicable free-throw shooter, but he also must be recognized as a solid ball handler, a speed demon, a dogged defender, a tough hombre and a good floor leader. The Zags are 15-3 and Meech has started each of those games and is averaging 26 minutes a game. Obviously he is doing something right out there or the Zags would constantly be faltering with him in the game.

yup, bingo!


Gibbs, Bouldin and Gray are too tall and slow to guard the point of attack against top 25 BCS teams with small, lightning fast PG's. It would work in the WCC though. But as far as the NCAA's are concerned, GU would struggle to get past the first weekend with anyone of those 3 guarding the point of attack. Like it or not, the Zags are going to have to live or die with Meech this season.

correct. i know, one more bingo was nutty! :D


He's the starting PG for the #8 team in the land! He brings heart and toughness to a team that needs it. As far as I'm concerned he could be playing MORE minutes. I like Grant Gibbs, but try starting him against campbell from Portland and see what kind of game he has, just because its the first PG in a while that isnt a "scorer" doesn't mean he isn't valuable. Go Meech!

ahh screw it! BINGO! some of you on the board crack me up. you realize we can have a guy on the court who cant shoot 3's well? you realize we can have a guy play in different fashion compared to what your used to and it can still win right? the meech posts are so played out. he is obviously doing what the coach wants, and is contributing regardless. hes much more valuable than some of you can even see.

Crazy
01-28-2010, 01:08 AM
Great Post! He's the starting PG for the #8 team in the land! He brings heart and toughness to a team that needs it. As far as I'm concerned he could be playing MORE minutes. I like Grant Gibbs, but try starting him against campbell from Portland and see what kind of game he has, just because its the first PG in a while that isnt a "scorer" doesn't mean he isn't valuable. Go Meech!


alsso a point i don't understand, when you say meech is a non factor in offense you had to look at the numbers the team made during he is on court and i believe the shooting percentage and TO ration is pretty good at Gonzaga and i doubt that they could be much better because they end up in good high percentages shots even today.