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View Full Version : The Zags Get Every WCC Teams Best Shot



rijman
01-31-2010, 10:15 AM
This and similar cliches seem over used lately to explain the Zags close conference games. When we barely beat Pepperdine or SCU these teams play very well and look like nationally ranked teams. Do the Zags get these teams best shots or do these teams play that way every night?

Reading through my San Diego UT today I notice SCU got beat up at home by Portland last night 74-52. The Zags barely beat SCU 71-64 in a game that wasn't settled until Gray hit a layup with 9 secs remaining to open a 5 point lead. SCU has lost 7 of their last 8 games.

The Zags squeaked by Pepperdine 91-84 at home in a game that was close to the end. Pepperdine was killed last night at home by USD 66-44. Keion Bell put up a whopping 8 points in this game, a far cry from the 37 he hung on the Zags. Between the Zag and USD losses Pepperdine lost to Portland by 16 and Saint Mary's by 17. They now have 4 losses in a row.

Now USF beats the Zags in overtime following 3 consecutive WCC losses to Pepperdine, SCU and Portland.

I know this is just a quick snapshot of recent opponents and their recent results, but this data does suggest the Zags are getting some the their WCC opponents best efforts. While WCC opponents rising to the occassion is of concern, I am left with this one question, when are WCC teams going to get the Zags best shot?

IdahoZagFan
01-31-2010, 10:43 AM
We have been discussing this. How can a team like Portland post a 16 point win over SF two nights earlier and then SF play GU like they did? And, it is not just this one game but regularly Portland or SMC blow out teams and then the GU game is closer. Although it is more pronounced this year, that has been true other years as well as evidenced by numerous previous postings about keeping the pressure on and not letting up.

We learn a lot from some of the posters on this board. Can someone explain the psychology or strategy or circumstances, etc., that makes this kind of "aberration?" We are not interested in who did what wrong in this game or other games, but rather what are the overall factors that affect this kind of result.

Could the team be playing not to lose rather than playing to win? That could be very dangerous with a young team.

It would seem that it is in the League's best interest for every team to give its best shot against not only GU, but SMC and Portland as well if they are considered other front runners. Do teams fade with SMC and Portland? Can someone who has observed some of those games provide some insight?

zagsfanforlife
01-31-2010, 12:06 PM
I am a socal die hard zags fan, and when i hear people on this board say something along the lines of "But its the Zags, thats why the other team played harder and wanted to win more", I understand why many hoops fans outside of Spokane complain about an abundance of arrogance coming from Zag nation. Do you folks seriously believe that LMU, Pepperdine, or USF play that much harder or want to win that much more against Gonzaga then they do St. Mary's, Portland, or any other team for that matter? This is college athletics, this is WCC play, where every game will dictate your place in the final standings heading towards conference tournament play. Maybe for rec league teams or YMCA the little guys always gun for the # 1 team and try harder to defeat the first place team, but I am certainly not buying it when it comes to big time college basketball.

Everytime I read someone make a remark like the above stated, I understand why other schools in the WCC dislike Zags fans. To me these comments seem arrogant, as if "We are way better than any of you, so of course you are going to play harder against us and want to win more", who cares if you beat so and so other team because they are not Gonzaga. That is basically what those who make these comments are saying. It is pretty annoying and unneeded. The team lost last night because they played an uninspired, lackadaisical game, with no heart, no defense and poor free throw shooting. Not because USF just really decided to play their hardest because it was Gonzaga.

d2zag
01-31-2010, 12:37 PM
I am a socal die hard zags fan, and when i hear people on this board say something along the lines of "But its the Zags, thats why the other team played harder and wanted to win more", I understand why many hoops fans outside of Spokane complain about an abundance of arrogance coming from Zag nation. Do you folks seriously believe that LMU, Pepperdine, or USF play that much harder or want to win that much more against Gonzaga then they do St. Mary's, Portland, or any other team for that matter? This is college athletics, this is WCC play, where every game will dictate your place in the final standings heading towards conference tournament play. Maybe for rec league teams or YMCA the little guys always gun for the # 1 team and try harder to defeat the first place team, but I am certainly not buying it when it comes to big time college basketball.

Everytime I read someone make a remark like the above stated, I understand why other schools in the WCC dislike Zags fans. To me these comments seem arrogant, as if "We are way better than any of you, so of course you are going to play harder against us and want to win more", who cares if you beat so and so other team because they are not Gonzaga. That is basically what those who make these comments are saying. It is pretty annoying and unneeded. The team lost last night because they played an uninspired, lackadaisical game, with no heart, no defense and poor free throw shooting. Not because USF just really decided to play their hardest because it was Gonzaga.

You can call it arrogance, but I think it's very true. We're not by any means saying it as an excuse for losing. We know why we lost, and you explained it very well. But even if we win, we know that we got that team's very best shot. There's that little extra motivation when you're playing a top team. There's no question about that. It's not that the other teams don't try hard against the other WCC teams, it's that they have that little extra motivation playing against one of the top teams in the country. You think that the rest of the WCC teams' fans would saying we weren't arrogant if we didn't say, "They play harder against the Zags"? No way! So I don't think I would consider it arrogant, I think it's just the truth.

MikeGallego
01-31-2010, 12:44 PM
I know this is just a quick snapshot of recent opponents and their recent results, but this data does suggest the Zags are getting some the their WCC opponents best efforts. While WCC opponents rising to the occassion is of concern, I am left with this one question, when are WCC teams going to get the Zags best shot?

Plus infinity. This is a conversational direction I can get behind.

MJ777
01-31-2010, 12:48 PM
You can call it arrogance, but I think it's very true. We're not by any means saying it as an excuse for losing. We know why we lost, and you explained it very well. But even if we win, we know that we got that team's very best shot. There's that little extra motivation when you're playing a top team. There's no question about that. It's not that the other teams don't try hard against the other WCC teams, it's that they have that little extra motivation playing against one of the top teams in the country. You think that the rest of the WCC teams' fans would saying we weren't arrogant if we didn't say, "They play harder against the Zags"? No way! So I don't think I would consider it arrogant, I think it's just the truth.

Plus even the bottom feeders fill up the gym with Crazy Gonzaga hating fans with USD being an exception this year. I believe SMC and Portland? now sell out every game, but others usually only sell out for their rivals and GU.

Opponents Like Avis, "Try Harder" when Zags are on the court.

GUDan07
01-31-2010, 12:48 PM
I am a socal die hard zags fan, and when i hear people on this board say something along the lines of "But its the Zags, thats why the other team played harder and wanted to win more", I understand why many hoops fans outside of Spokane complain about an abundance of arrogance coming from Zag nation. Do you folks seriously believe that LMU, Pepperdine, or USF play that much harder or want to win that much more against Gonzaga then they do St. Mary's, Portland, or any other team for that matter? This is college athletics, this is WCC play, where every game will dictate your place in the final standings heading towards conference tournament play. Maybe for rec league teams or YMCA the little guys always gun for the # 1 team and try harder to defeat the first place team, but I am certainly not buying it when it comes to big time college basketball.

And I'm not buying this. There is no question that GU gets the best shot and more effort from these teams. You can't convince me that these schools are packing the stands to capacity with fans wearing specially made shirts saying "beat the toreros". Gonzaga is the recognizable face of the conference and a dominant force for more than a decade now. With that kind of dominance comes a great deal of anger and resentment which translates into a great desire to beat Gonzaga every time they get their shot.

rijman
01-31-2010, 12:51 PM
I am a socal die hard zags fan, and when i hear people on this board say something along the lines of "But its the Zags, thats why the other team played harder and wanted to win more", I understand why many hoops fans outside of Spokane complain about an abundance of arrogance coming from Zag nation. Do you folks seriously believe that LMU, Pepperdine, or USF play that much harder or want to win that much more against Gonzaga then they do St. Mary's, Portland, or any other team for that matter? This is college athletics, this is WCC play, where every game will dictate your place in the final standings heading towards conference tournament play. Maybe for rec league teams or YMCA the little guys always gun for the # 1 team and try harder to defeat the first place team, but I am certainly not buying it when it comes to big time college basketball.

Everytime I read someone make a remark like the above stated, I understand why other schools in the WCC dislike Zags fans. To me these comments seem arrogant, as if "We are way better than any of you, so of course you are going to play harder against us and want to win more", who cares if you beat so and so other team because they are not Gonzaga. That is basically what those who make these comments are saying. It is pretty annoying and unneeded. The team lost last night because they played an uninspired, lackadaisical game, with no heart, no defense and poor free throw shooting. Not because USF just really decided to play their hardest because it was Gonzaga.

It is natural for a team to raise their level of play when playing a highly ranked team especially playing in front of a packed home crowd which is double normal attendance. This is why Few was so concerned about SCU, per his recent Mark Few show interview, he knew SCU would raise their level of play and feed off the energy of the crowd. Did SCU play one of their best games of the year? Yes they did. Zags go to USF who has lost 3 in a row and USF beats a top ranked team, did they play one of their best games of the year, yes they did.

To dismiss the crowd and high ranked opponent phenomena and base the outcome solely on the Zags poor play is a slight to teams such as USF who played well. Lowhorn had a great game. The attitude of overlooking the opponents good play shows arrogance and a lack of respect for the other team, imho.

Mark Few, Andy Katz and Stephen Bardo have recently talked about the Zag's WCC opponents raising their level of play against the Zags. Perhaps they are all arrogant too, or just maybe they know a little bit more about college basketball than either of us.

portlandzag
01-31-2010, 12:52 PM
Do you folks seriously believe that LMU, Pepperdine, or USF play that much harder or want to win that much more against Gonzaga then they do St. Mary's, Portland, or any other team for that matter?

Ummm...yes? Not trying to be combative, but it seems fairly natural that kids are going to be more psyched to play the #1 team in the league than any other team. For teams not in the title hunt beating the league champ (of the last decade) is a big deal. Honestly, if the Zags had a few seasons of mediocrity and say SMC won the league for several years in a row and got consistent national attention, you don't think the Zags and students would be more jazzed to played SMC?

I think it's arrogant when fans talk down the WCC in general and seem to forget all the years of ball played before '99. But saying most teams in the league are more worked up to play the Zags? Seems pretty darn accurate to me.

MJ777
01-31-2010, 01:03 PM
Ummm...yes? Not trying to be combative, but it seems fairly natural that kids are going to be more psyched to play the #1 team in the league than any other team. For teams not in the title hunt beating the league champ (of the last decade) is a big deal. Honestly, if the Zags had a few seasons of mediocrity and say SMC won the league for several years in a row and got consistent national attention, you don't think the Zags and students would be more jazzed to played SMC?

I think it's arrogant when fans talk down the WCC in general and seem to forget all the years of ball played before '99. But saying most teams in the league are more worked up to play the Zags? Seems pretty darn accurate to me.

Can we delete this blasphemy and thread now? :(

zagsfanforlife
01-31-2010, 01:13 PM
between fans packing the stands and wearing shirts that say "Beat the Zags" and the players trying harder to beat the Zags then they would another team in the conference. Fans react when the players play the Zags. Its my belief that all those teams play just as hard vs the gaels as they do vs the Zags.

zagsfanforlife
01-31-2010, 01:15 PM
Don't just believe it, I know it. Ask Andy Katz and other experts, ask USF's coach and ask opponent players

"Oh, man, that’s the biggest win since anybody’s been here,” Lowhorn said.

"We came together. We wear our emotions on our sleeves," Lowhorn said. "We celebrated. You always want to beat the No. 1 team in your conference. The only team people think about is Gonzaga." Lowhorn hit a tying 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds left in regulation after a miss moments earlier and Steven Gray missed a 3 on the other end. Kwame Vaughn's 70-foot prayer for USF bounced out off the backboard and rim at the buzzer."

"Walters, who has his Miami Heat and Kansas Jayhawks jerseys hanging in his office, only hopes that this doesn't end up being his team's signature win this season, no matter how fun it was to see jubilant fans rush the court at War Memorial Gym.

"I challenged our guys," Walters said. "Let's work really hard so this isn't.

"If this is our Super Bowl, we've got a lot more work to do.""

Last time I looked, Gonzaga was ranked 13 and 8. It is not arrogance. It is just something we as fans notice. If SMC or Portland were ranked they would get a tougher game. It is just a fact, that is all.



Just because they are more excited after they beat the # 8 team in the nation, doesnt mean they played the game harder. Of course its their biggest win. The Zags were in 1st and they were ranked 8 in the nation. Your quotes don't prove that they try harder vs the Zags then any other team

zagsfanforlife
01-31-2010, 01:23 PM
Its just a difference of opinion. I played D2 ball. Sure we wanted to beat the top dog in our league the most. But to say we gave more of an effort against them would be inaccurate imo. Seems like people are just looking for ways to justify the Zags playing a bad game. Did we get too tired of the Meech bashing posts?

billyberu
01-31-2010, 01:34 PM
I am a socal die hard zags fan, and when i hear people on this board say something along the lines of "But its the Zags, thats why the other team played harder and wanted to win more", I understand why many hoops fans outside of Spokane complain about an abundance of arrogance coming from Zag nation. Do you folks seriously believe that LMU, Pepperdine, or USF play that much harder or want to win that much more against Gonzaga then they do St. Mary's, Portland, or any other team for that matter? This is college athletics, this is WCC play, where every game will dictate your place in the final standings heading towards conference tournament play. Maybe for rec league teams or YMCA the little guys always gun for the # 1 team and try harder to defeat the first place team, but I am certainly not buying it when it comes to big time college basketball.
Everytime I read someone make a remark like the above stated, I understand why other schools in the WCC dislike Zags fans. To me these comments seem arrogant, as if "We are way better than any of you, so of course you are going to play harder against us and want to win more", who cares if you beat so and so other team because they are not Gonzaga. That is basically what those who make these comments are saying. It is pretty annoying and unneeded. The team lost last night because they played an uninspired, lackadaisical game, with no heart, no defense and poor free throw shooting. Not because USF just really decided to play their hardest because it was Gonzaga.

As I read your post over I am stuck wondering why I absolutely disagree with everything you have just written. It's probably because it's complete bull$hit.


“Oh, man, that’s the biggest win since anybody’s been here,” Lowhorn said.



“As a coach, no question this is as good a feeling as I’ve felt,” second-year USF coach Rex Walters said. “Everybody is going to look at this game and say this will be the highlight of our season. I said to the guys, ‘Let’s work hard so it isn’t.”


“We came together. We wear our emotions on our sleeves,” Lowhorn said. “We celebrated. You always want to beat the No. 1 team in your conference. The only team people think about is Gonzaga.”


Bottom line is it doesn't matter what the fans think of Gonzaga or the fans of Gonzaga or the opposing teams fans think of the fans of Gonzaga. I think the above gift-wrapped quotes tell you the story. Meanwhile who gives a rip what other fans think.

zagsfanforlife
01-31-2010, 01:38 PM
haha billy. You need to do yoga or something with your life. A little uptight man.

billyberu
01-31-2010, 01:43 PM
haha billy. You need to do yoga or something with your life. A little uptight man.

Not uptight, man. You're just wrong. Deal with it and go on.

zagsfanforlife
01-31-2010, 01:46 PM
According to you I am wrong. And coming from someone who curses in posts on an online forum, I could care less what your opinion is to be honest with you.

billyberu
01-31-2010, 01:49 PM
According to you I am wrong. And coming from someone who curses in posts on an online forum, I could care less what your opinion is to be honest with you.

Do you know of a good euphamism for B.S.? I don't so I call it what it is and try to not so cleverly hide it.

zagsfanforlife
01-31-2010, 01:50 PM
haha yoga man, yoga. Or meditation. Or running. Playing guitar, something.

Bocco
01-31-2010, 01:59 PM
Do you folks seriously believe that LMU, Pepperdine, or USF play that much harder or want to win that much more against Gonzaga then they do St. Mary's, Portland, or any other team for that matter?

As soon as these schools fill up their gyms for games against St. Mary's, Portland, or any other team for that matter, as they do against Gonzaga I will stop seriously believing that they play that much harder or want to win that much more against Gonzaga than they do the other teams.

As for you comments about Zag fan arrogance, I suspect it is true, in the last 10 years or so we have gone from hoping that we might win to expecting to win. I wish fans of all teams in the WCC had the same arrogance.

sullyzag66
01-31-2010, 02:14 PM
Plus even the bottom feeders fill up the gym with Crazy Gonzaga hating fans with USD being an exception this year. I believe SMC and Portland? now sell out every game, but others usually only sell out for their rivals and GU.

Opponents Like Avis, "Try Harder" when Zags are on the court.
Unfortunately, Portland's only sold-out game this year was Gonzaga. And 30% to 40% of those in attendance were Zag fans. Students showed up for that game and have shown to a few after that, but, for the most part, the arena is about 1/3 full. I'm hoping they pack the house for the St. Mary's game, and, this year, they just may.

1973Zag
01-31-2010, 02:14 PM
By now,since we know we are going to get everyones best shot,shouldn't we adjust, and not come out like we are going to walk through a victory. Don't like that best shot argument. Why don't we give them the same 'shot' that we come up with for Il.,Wisc.,Cin.,etc.etc.??? Are we that bored with our conference,or too arrogant to take them seriously---I don't think so. possibly our guys aren't as good as our fans want to think-or maybe we just played bad and got beat. it happens with 18-20 yr. olds. Maybe we shouldn't hold these young men accountable for OUR hopes and dreams, and enjoy what effort they put out for us and our school. JMO

zagsfanforlife
01-31-2010, 02:20 PM
No Johnny, I do not read the Zags media, do not have a computer, this is actually Bol Kong who has the telepathic capabilities to read my thoughts and control the tendons in my fingers to type on the imaginary keyboard that he magically created with the ability to send invisible keyboards from Spokane to LA. In fact who are the Zags? What is the media? This is confusing.

bballbeachbum
01-31-2010, 04:30 PM
for total accuracy, Lowhorn's quote was, ""The only team people think about is Gonzaga. ... Gonzaga, Gonzaga, Gonzaga, Gonzaga."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/30/SPHR1BQ88S.DTL#ixzz0eEvJfyIB

MJ777
01-31-2010, 04:47 PM
for total accuracy, Lowhorn's quote was, ""The only team people think about is Gonzaga. ... Gonzaga, Gonzaga, Gonzaga, Gonzaga."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/30/SPHR1BQ88S.DTL#ixzz0eEvJfyIB



From the article: "USF overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to upend 13th-ranked Gonzaga 81-77 in overtime in front of a crowd of 4,114, about 400 shy of a sellout at Memorial Gym."

And it wasn't even a sell out. It must be the economy "stupid". It was still a much larger and louder than average crowd which helps to fire up the home team which can help them to perform better on the floor. Sometimes the away crowds fire up the Zags. Hopefully that will be the case for the last three road games.

bartruff1
01-31-2010, 06:10 PM
I don't hear anyone arguing that the WCC teams don't look forward to beating Gonzaga....but, when it is offered as a excuse for a loss or poor play it is annoying...like any excuse...the fact is (IMHO) that Gonzaga is not playing very well...I think it is insulting to the other teams and inaccurate to think that the Gonzaga game is the only thing they care about...

bballbeachbum
01-31-2010, 07:14 PM
I don't hear anyone arguing that the WCC teams don't look forward to beating Gonzaga....but, when it is offered as a excuse for a loss or poor play it is annoying...like any excuse...the fact is (IMHO) that Gonzaga is not playing very well...I think it is insulting to the other teams and inaccurate to think that the Gonzaga game is the only thing they care about...

definitely. and would never hope it's an excuse, only wood to the fire to respond. some of the newer guys are just now starting to get this, and the need to be ready to respond with fire in kind.

no insult to anyone. here's what Coach Walters said:

Said Walters: "Everyone's going to look at this game, no question, and say that was the highlight of our season - and I challenged our guys, 'Well, let's work really hard so this isn't.' "

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/30/SPHR1BQ88S.DTL#ixzz0eFaR0R5T