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View Full Version : A Tale of Two Teams.... Headed In Opposite Directions (long)



JoeZag
03-09-2010, 08:14 AM
Last night's game put a few things into perspective for me. In a nutshell, it was abundantly clear that the two teams playing were headed in opposite directions. Despite some horrible officiating and chippy play from St Mary's, the better team 'last night' won.
- SMC is playing its best basketball of the year and is clearly playing with a great deal of confidence. They are getting all of the 'lucky' bounces (and breaks from the officials) and their kids are playing above their talent level. They shot lights out last night when left alone (which was far too often) and they played with great energy on offense and defense. Bravo to them!
- Gonzaga is limping toward the finish of the season (and has been). They played their best basketball months ago. They are not playing with confidence and they are getting all of the 'unlucky' breaks (like Manny's foot, Steve's injuries and Matt's injuries). Their kids are playing below their talent level right now, but for good reason in a lot of cases.
--I think that Elias has hit a 'wall' due to all of the games that he has played in the last 12 months. He clearly does not have the same energy and fire that he did early in the year.
--Steve was playing his best ball of the year and he almost single-handedly won the LMU semi, but the next day is always the worst with injuries like the ones he sustained. Adrenaline can cover up a lot of pain and discomfort.
--There is obviously something seriously wrong with Matt. He hasn't looked himself for weeks and couldn't even muster a great game on Senior night against far inferior competition. This reminds me of the 'Great Heytvelt Coverup' during Josh's junior year when he played with a broken foot and people doubted his heart and ability. Matt has been terrible (by his usual standards) the last several games. I don't know if it is the back, the hand, the ankles or a combination but he just isn't right. Hopefully he can heal up in time for the Dance, but he doesn't look good right now. We will probably find out after the season what was really going on.

Right now Big Rob is the only one on the team capable of playing to his early season level. The rest of the team needs to get rested up and mentally refreshed. They need 2 or 3 days of complete down time, not a whipping as some have suggested. When this team is healthy and playing with passion and energy, they are easily one of the top ten teams in America. I watch dozens of games a week and few teams compare to the 'Good Zags'. On the other hand, when they are disinterested (I don't think that was the case last night by the way) or injured or mentally out of it they are the 'Bad Zags' and can lose to virtually anybody. I think they are someplace in between right now. The season has taken its toll mentally and physically, especially for a guy like Matt who plays so many minutes. The loss of Manny did some mental damage as well as physical and I don't know if there is time for this team to put it all back together again. I hope and pray that they can, but right now it is looking like a first or second round exit. Despite the fact that SMU is heading in the more positive direction, I think that their lack of physical talent will catch up with them and they will suffer much the same fate. So at the end of the day, last night's loss really doesn't mean much at all. We need some magical 'healing hands' laid upon our Zags to get them right. Go Zags! Rest, Recover, Rebound and Rise Again!!

JoeZag
03-09-2010, 12:48 PM
Too many threads today or sore subject? Just curious....

lothar98zag
03-09-2010, 12:51 PM
Too many threads today or sore subject? Just curious....
choice #1

alaskazagnut
03-09-2010, 12:59 PM
I have found out that people read the first paragraph and if they think they get the gist of your post they will reply. They put you in a category and react reagardless of the content and thought you put into it. Too bad.

But to address it. I think you have spelled out a couple things for me that I struggled with while we were in conference play.

1. That the injuries are mounting up and are actually finally costing our guys that fire, and energy level needed to compete at a high level every game. (I mean seriously Grey had 2 fingernails bent all the way back to bleeding against LMU. Throw some sweat and dribbling on it and OUCH!!!)

2. That Rob is really the only guy who is staying consistent and we need his next couple games to be the best we have seen.

3. Everyone (but Rob) has hit a wall, not just Harris. I actually think Goodson is improving more than anyone. He is playing smarter and less chaotic.

Good post.

Therunner
03-09-2010, 01:00 PM
Well said and thoughtful post.

One thing I find questionable, is why, at this point is Coach Few & Co. keeping such a tight lid on Bouldin's injury(s). I understand the need to remain quiet on a rolled ankle, jammed finger, muscle pull, etc in the middle of the season, but why now? If anything, Coaches around the country are notorious for making injuries to key/star players public information to help with seeding and perspective in the eyes of Committee members. Remember Coach Bennett with Patty, Coach Pitino with every player, Coach Max Good and his LMU squad, Coach Pearl and his Volunteers trying to secure the 1 seed a few yrs ago, Coach K and his players year in and year, and the list goes on...

Of course I appreciate Coach Few's character in making no excuses, but shouldn't this information re: Bouldin's chronic issues made public? I mean Matty B could barely jump, run, rebound, or dribble with his hand last night. Wouldn't it help Bouldin in the eyes of NBA scouts, All-American awards, and even NCAA Tournament seeding? He's hurting, yet our Coaches refuse to say or reveal anything, even with small injuries such as Gray's finger nails. Is our perceived "toughness" as a team actually taken too far in some instances and hurts us in the eyes of analysts, scouts, and committee members?

alaskazagnut
03-09-2010, 01:06 PM
Well said and thoughtful post.

One thing I find questionable, is why, at this point is Coach Few & Co. keeping such a tight lid on Bouldin's injury(s). I understand the need to remain quiet on a rolled ankle, jammed finger, muscle pull, etc in the middle of the season, but why now? If anything, Coaches around the country are notorious for making injuries to key/star players public information to help with seeding and perspective in the eyes of Committee members. Remember Coach Bennett with Patty, Coach Pitino with every player, Coach Max Good and his LMU squad, Coach Pearl and his Volunteers trying to secure the 1 seed a few yrs ago, Coach K and his players year in and year, and the list goes on...

Of course I appreciate Coach Few's character in making no excuses, but shouldn't this information re: Bouldin's chronic issues made public? I mean Matty B could barely jump, run, rebound, or dribble with his hand last night. Wouldn't it help Bouldin in the eyes of NBA scouts, All-American awards, and even NCAA Tournament seeding? He's hurting, yet our Coaches refuse to say or reveal anything, even with small injuries such as Gray's finger nails. Is our perceived "toughness" as a team actually taken too far in some instances and hurts us in the eyes of analysts, scouts, and committee members?

Makes sense to me. And that common sense conclusion is why I think that Bouldin is not really injured, tired and sore yes, injured no. His life is a whirlwind and he needs to get back to focus on his last NCAA tournament ever in his life. Forget school, girls and the NBA, it is do or die for Matty and I pray he is happy and can accept whatever outcome he makes for himself and the team.

marczagfan
03-09-2010, 01:27 PM
Well said and thoughtful post.

One thing I find questionable, is why, at this point is Coach Few & Co. keeping such a tight lid on Bouldin's injury(s). I understand the need to remain quiet on a rolled ankle, jammed finger, muscle pull, etc in the middle of the season, but why now? If anything, Coaches around the country are notorious for making injuries to key/star players public information to help with seeding and perspective in the eyes of Committee members. Remember Coach Bennett with Patty, Coach Pitino with every player, Coach Max Good and his LMU squad, Coach Pearl and his Volunteers trying to secure the 1 seed a few yrs ago, Coach K and his players year in and year, and the list goes on...

Of course I appreciate Coach Few's character in making no excuses, but shouldn't this information re: Bouldin's chronic issues made public? I mean Matty B could barely jump, run, rebound, or dribble with his hand last night. Wouldn't it help Bouldin in the eyes of NBA scouts, All-American awards, and even NCAA Tournament seeding? He's hurting, yet our Coaches refuse to say or reveal anything, even with small injuries such as Gray's finger nails. Is our perceived "toughness" as a team actually taken too far in some instances and hurts us in the eyes of analysts, scouts, and committee members?


They may feel that announcing Bouldiin has an injured back, fingers, or what ever it may be will affect our seed in a negative way. The committee may not be to favorable to us knowing Bouldin has a nagging injury. In all honesty I think he is just dog tired and Matt, more than anyone else, needs this 10 break.

cjm720
03-09-2010, 02:03 PM
I cannot disagree with much you said.

HOWEVER, St. Mary's just played tougher. They wanted it more from the get-go...for the seniors or for the chance to Dance. Our ticket has already been punched and we responded with less than a full effort. Few may have been outcoached, Harris may be slightly injured, we lost Arop...sure all those factors have an affect, but we still could have won if we matched the effort.

ZagLawGrad
03-09-2010, 02:06 PM
I cannot disagree with much you said.

HOWEVER, St. Mary's just played tougher. They wanted it more from the get-go...for the seniors or for the chance to Dance. Our ticket has already been punched and we responded with less than a full effort. Few may have been outcoached, Harris may be slightly injured, we lost Arop...sure all those factors have an affect, but we still could have won if we matched the effort.

Concise and spot on.